This week's prize

agnespuffinJune 4, 2011

...the prize in the most dumb-founded question goes to the woman that asked this on one of my travel forums.

..."How many nights a week can I be expected to be awakened by a fire truck if I stay near a station"....

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duh......lemme think on that one.....

what?!---it might even be more than ONCE a night?

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 8:42AM
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Depends how many arsonists are busy...shaking my head

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 9:34AM
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The fire station is just across the major street that borders the back of our property and a large hospital s at the next big intersection a quarter mile away. Fire trucks and ambulances are common but it only lasts less than a minute. The Doppler effect is interesting and new types go by frequently. The link below has siren sounds and many other sounds below them for your amusement.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here are the siren sounds

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 11:21AM
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We live close to the fire station, hospital and
police station. After three years of hearing sirens
we are used to it.
The trains coming through all night are annoying.
Does one ever get used to trains?

As for the lady who asked the question.

(Here's your sign!)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 12:01AM
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Janis, guess I'm lucky that trains don't come thru often enough to be annoying, b/c I love hearing them. Even when awakened at three a.m., their whistle is a pleasant sound for me. I'm usually able to roll over and go back to sleep.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:02AM
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gandle(4 NE)

Trains? We have on an average, 130+ a day. I'm not exaggerating. Main line U.P., 3 main tracks. the only time we hear them is if a steamer goes through.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 11:29AM
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Has 844 ever ever blown her whistle that far north, yet?
Skip Weythman shot a 16 min. video of her for History Channel a year or so ago.
Gorgeous steam engine---longest running.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 12:29PM
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she must be related to the one who asked about garage sales in Savannah or wherever it was.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 2:36PM
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In one of the cities I lived in my apartment was on top of a hill so sound carried from all directions. The train tracks were 5 or more miles away. I could hear the frieght train sound its horn at each road crossing. Always early in the morning and It almost always woke me up. Kim

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 5:50PM
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We live about 1/4 mile from a major hospital and fire station, so we get our fair share of sirens.
However, we also have a "quiet" emergency service, that comes into the neighborhood, without sirens. We live on a very quiet street w/o much traffic, so there is no need for a siren.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 8:03PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Trains...reminds me of when Robert and I were house shopping a few years ago. We were looking at one very nice prospect, walking around the good sized, well-landscaped yard when a train screamed by on the well hidden tracks about 500 feet away from the front door. Robert and I AND the realtor about died laughing. (She didn't know about this fatal flaw, as it was not her property.)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:36PM
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We used to live a block from the main railroad track between Paris and Prague (pre WWII). When we moved I woke up because it was so quiet.
As military dependent I lived twice right close to firing ranges on military posts. After a while you don't hear it anymore.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 12:51PM
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Most of my life, I've lived within hearing shot of trains--what are now UP/Metra lines. I also took almost all of my childhood vacations on trains--Super Chief, Sunset Limited, California Zephyr, etc. With the right distance, there are few night sounds I like better. (Except, of course, for crickets and creatures.)

Where I am now, I can often either hear trains or water, but never both--all depending on which way the wind is blowing.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 9:26AM
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Dirtdiver, remember how the passenger cars always smelled like cigars?
(maybe that just particular to the trains running through DC!)
The good food?
The magnificent waiters and porters?
The sleeping berths?
That was a real treat, to go on a trip by train!
--At least I sure thought it was when I was a kid.

Like you, I love hearing them anytime, day or night.
They are like friends, calling out a melancholy 'Hello' through the dark.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 7:24PM
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kathyjane--yes! I remember it all, except for the cigars. But I did always like to pop in on my parents in the bar car and listen to people spin their tall tales under a haze of cigarette smoke.

Those berths were the best--the brick-red blankets, the webbing that kept one from falling out of bed, the blue light (when it was working), getting lulled to sleep by the tracks beneath.

And as to the magnificent porters and waiters, I especially remember breakfast sausage being snuck to me under a pancake, even after my parents had said I couldn't order it. Those little bits of kindness stick with you.

And I don't think any highway view can hold a candle to scenery seen from the Vista-Dome.

It was pretty great. We continued to travel by train even after Amtrak took over, but it wasn't the same.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 10:44PM
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Thanks for the link! Loved the seagulls with waves crashing. I have similar thoughts of here's your sign! when I go to lunch with friends who seem a little miffed over amulance sirens going off (and they too work in a hospital???!)... it's now a running a joke that I say, "Funny how that works when you're in the middle of four hospitals!". I love to hear the life flight helicopter as I know lives are being saved. I hope it.

This past week on our way to St. Louis, LF and I had the top down on the Miata and I remembered that truckers used to honk at me all the time. I know, being a mom is different and I am happy with it! But I also remembered being a child and getting the rigs to honk by making the airhorn signal at them. You know, the one where you look like you're the one pulling the chain? I got him to make eye contact with one particularly polite driver (actually passed the cars at a good speed and got over when reasonable, not that slow as heck sh--) and make the sign. LF must've giggled all the way through Illinois. It's odd the things you remember.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 8:48AM
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Lived by the railroad track in college in a very low rent neighbourhood. First night the train comes by I fly out of bed wonder WTH. Second night when the train comes by I was startled awake. Third night, I opened one eye, acknowledged what it was and went back to sleep. Fourth night, and beyond, never awoke again when the night train went by. I knew what it was and it wasn't a threat.

It's amazing what one can adapt to, and to sleep through. Heck, I slept through the EF0 tornado that came through here a week after the 27th April outbreak and damaged the house.

Stupid is relative and subjective.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 9:15AM
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doncha think they might've had a clue that they would hear sirens, though? It seems odd not realize that might happen. Don't be there if you don't like it???? That's what I think.

It's like my friends, why be miffed at something you know is part of being where you are. Silly goose! I moved some place that is farther away from the hospital and never get to hear the helicopter any more. One might find it quiet, but I miss it. That and hearing the low dull roar of the passsing traffic on the interstate. Kinda like waves licking the shore.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 10:13AM
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Context is everything. Small town, hardly ever. Big City, every freaking night, all night long. In between the two extremes, the complete spectrum.

200>150>125>100>bless their hearts. Where is the line where one can freely judge someone else as being stupid?

Only crime I can see is not offering enough information to give an accurate answer. Then a gentle question or two can elicit the required info to offer an accurate answer. This is what I do at work.

My apologies for inflicting my opinion on anyone here.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 10:28AM
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No problem here, just really curious.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 10:51AM
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..."How many nights a week can I be expected to be awakened by a fire truck if I stay near a station"....
As I said earlier, I live in a quiet neighborhood. So there are not many local sirens.
I've spent many a night in the hood and there were sirens, low flying helicopters with flood lights etc.
And as
endorphinjunkie said:
"every freaking night, all night long." That's also my experience.
After the first experience, I could have been the person that asked the question. But I did not. Good for her to ask the question.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 8:00PM
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still not a problem here, strictly curiosity. I am open to learn something if I haven't already.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 8:46AM
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jazmynsmom(Z5 Madison-ish)

We live about a half mile, as the crow flies, from a rail road crossing where the trains blow their whistles. A train goes by every hour or so, maybe more, maybe less. I barely notice them at all, though they're much louder in the winter when all the leaves are down and the air is cold than they are even when our windows are open in the summer.

My great-grandpa, grandpa and uncle all work(ed) for the railroad. To me, a train whistle is my grandpa's voice, and I find them soothing. Steve wakes up when they roll through, but he's a fussy sleeper.

Some guy we can only assume is stone deaf built a monster home with a monster workshop right AT the train crossing. Seriously, it's probably less than 50 feet from the tracks, and it looks like the kind of buildings that would probably go for around $750K around here. His site choice is baffling to me. Hearing my grandpa "whisper" is one thing. I sure wouldn't want to hear him "shout!"

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 4:36PM
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If the fellow has a monster workshop, he may be making something that is shipped via train. He would save on ground, air transportation.

Our city's downtown, was once a stage coach stop on "El Camino", a road between San Francisco and San Jose, CA. When the railroad was built between these two points. Our city moved the downtown close to the railroad. They built a hotel some saloons and a few cottages for the "workers". All kinds of small business started up right smack next to the tracks. Some of them are still there, but we're being gentrified. So we have to go further and further for basic service, such as shoe repair, plumbers etc..

We still have the RR, also a hub for public transportation, buses and lite rail.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 7:19PM
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jazmynsmom(Z5 Madison-ish)

That'd be a completely plausible explanation if we lived in an actual city (as opposed to a village), if the train actually stopped, and if the guy was something other than an insurance agent!

Decades ago, the train stopped here. These days, it just blows its whistle when it passes on through.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 9:55PM
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