One tends not to notice all the ephemera pasted onto a fire truck. The noise overpowers questions about bumper stickers. And, in the event it's your house or car -- or you -- that's on fire, the sporting allegiances of the guys with the water suddenly seem a bit trivial.
But if you've got an inquiring mind and are handy with a camera -- as they are at SFCitizen.com -- you spot weird things.
Specifically, you see a cryptic "145=529" decal on a fire rig. It's not mathematical -- so is it some kind of insider talk. Does "145" really mean "one-for-five"? Is "529" actually "five-to-nine"? If I obtain one of something in exchange for five, is that the equivalent of giving five to nine? Who is nine in this scenario? Did I sleep through this part of the movie Pi?
Perhaps -- but firefighter Tom O'Connor has a more solid explanation.