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A Bunch of Snow

Someday I hope to be scrolling through the blog collection on a hot day, and then stumble on this Friday blog. I know it’s not much of a legal blog but it does reflect the mindset… SNOW!

It did allow us to return some phone calls and get caught up on email. And, the lawyers in the intake department stayed faithful. Way to go Intake!!! The offices that really never close, even when the doors might be closed.

Meanwhile, I worked a bit (a very little bit) from the warmth of my home office. And here are the snow pictures from the house. Maybe you’ll come back to this blog on a hot day too.

From the side of the porch

snow 1

 

From the back of the house… through the window. (that means I was being really lazy)

snow 2

And then down the street from the front door.

snow road

I hope you have a great weekend!!!!

Salt Harms

Last week, as the snow was descending on the house and yard, it looked beautiful. I was out in it with my "camera phone", taking pictures. It was a white Christmas and I could almost hear Bing Crosby singing in the backyard.

This morning, the snow wasn't as fun. As I drove out of my driveway, I got stuck. I spent the next half hour turning, reversing and driving forward, to escape the ice. I even got the amazing idea of using the other car to push it out of the rut. Of course, I was only to blame because I had not done any shoveling. I've always heard that snow shoveling is really worse on your heart than eating lard. I'm staying with that idea, too.

It shows how things have changed. I remember people strapping on chains to the tires. Now, everyone has fancy tires that are supposed to dig in the snow. Many cars have all wheel drive. Truck drivers are not the only ones going the speed limit now, in the winter.

I also remember all the salt that was spread on the highway. Road salt was always supposed to make it easy for the snow plows and helped to keep the roads from freezing. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 15 million tons of salt was used in the USA last year. Plus, since it's "natural", shouldn't we feel good about it?

Well, of course, it makes the blog because we now know that it causes problems. A Google search brings articles on salt harm; some more than 10 years old. We now know that melting snow and ice causes the salt to run off on to vegetation, soil, streams and rivers. The runoff kills fish and vegetation and has even been found in residential drinking water. Fortunately, some other alternatives are being used and Scientists are working on new ideas.

In the practice of law, you sometimes find out information in litigation that might not be helpful, but is interesting. For instance, when someone broke into a Tylenol manufacturing plant and added poison to some of the bottles, deposition questioning showed that the cotton in those bottles, served no purpose. It was only there because consumers would not buy the tylenol without it. People thought that cotton kept them fresh. So, every bottle was manufactured with "fake fresh cotton". Of course, good also came out of that litigation, because safety caps were installed.

   Knowledge that someone could break into a medicine bottle caused changes. Knowledge that salt can cause harm that is long term, is also now instituting change. What has been acceptable for years does not make it right. Now, I just need to learn how not to get stuck in my own driveway!   

  

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