19 July 2006


No posts in a while because I'm melting away. I actually bought a room A/C, which is a major step for an electricity-conserving tree-hugger. Seriously, I have been spending 15 minutes of every hour standing either directly in front of A/C or inside the refrigerator. That only leaves 45 minutes to scurry around and accomplish things while trying not to stand in the direct sunlight because otherwise I will burst into flames. Yes, NH does not have the sultry summer temperatures of locales further south - but that is one reason why I live in this crazy state, and mid-90s is just too hot. It has been so hot that the ambulance company let us out of our uniform shirts and into company T-shirts for a record number of days in a row.

Yesterday was the hottest this summer and I was in the single most crap-tastic truck the ambulance company owns. Oh yes, a 1993 with 150k miles which finds its way to the mechanic's bay about every third day. A/C was currently on "intermittent" status meaning it works when it feels like it. On max with the fan on high, Giggly* and I enjoyed a temperature of about 92 degrees as opposed to the 97 outside. I'm sure you can guess what comes next. A long transfer up and down hills, which we accomplished. A long drive to get back to the station. After driving 3/4 of the way back, we get another call from an outlying hospital, back the direction we'd come, for a transfer to an even more outlying location. So, back up the hills we go. Until the truck decided it had enough...with the temperature gage on the big red H, the smell of burning anti-freeze, and when we stopped, a giant cloud of steam. Of course, as we're in an ambulance, we have a radio and a cell phone to call for help and dispatch says they're sending us a tow truck.

We're stopped on the side of a major two-lane road waiting, for nearly 2 hours. At least there was an assortment of trees and bushes to choose from to deal with the consumption 200+ oz of fluid to try and stay hydrated in the heat. Exactly 1 private vehicle stopped to ask if we needed help, 1 state trooper, and 1 ambulance from another company. Thankfully, the tow truck guy had his A/C set to deep-freeze so by the time we got back to the station, I felt like a human again and not a sweaty pile of uniform clothing. Then I got to go work a baseball game, but praise the weather gods, the temperature dropped 11 degrees in the first 20 minutes I was there, and by the end of the game was a comfortable 77, and the A/C in the bedroom means I actually slept last night.

*Giggly "Joe" (not his name) is honestly what I call the guy I worked with yesterday to distinguish him from the other 4 "Joe"s that work for the company - there are times when all of them are in the station at once and it is hard to have a conversation when nobody knows who you're talking to or about. I call him this because the first shift I worked with him was one of his first with the company and he was so nervous he just giggled all day. A 21-year old guy, just giggling. Most other people call him by what he has on his license plates, but he's been Giggly to me long before I knew which vehicle was his, so Giggly he remains.

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