Dateline: Tuesday, June 29
Well, it’s only supposed to top out at a nippy 98 today. Yes, the tryouts for Satan’s team lasted three days and we don’t like to brag but we’re pretty sure we’re going to make the squad. The predicted high of 118 on Monday did not pan out, but the 116 obliterated the previous record of 112 set the day before, which smashed the previous record of 108 set the day before that. We made it. And Studley made it!
We made it without air conditioning. We were not especially comfortable but we most certainly survived, and during much of the time we weren’t even that miserable. Contrast that with folks I saw complaining bitterly about how they weren’t able to get their houses below 80 even with AC. And their swimming pools were too warm.
Of course, we’re retired, and nothing was asked of us other than to sit quietly and not die. Our mailman, on the other hand, was sent out with a full load and instructions from the boss to also not die, but when he showed up in his salt-encrusted hat we gave him a tank of ice water and turned the hose on him and sat him down until his cells reinflated. As for his boss’s instructions, it looked like it could have gone either way.
One friend up north reported that it had gotten up to 110 in her house when all the AC crashed the power grid. This is what I’m talking about: we’ve lost our skills. Hell, on our hottest day even the upstairs never got above 98. We exhaust all the air we can overnight and then button up the place tighter than Mitch McConnell’s asshole. Sunday night I opened all the windows and pointed the fans out and took a cold shower and went straight to bed soaking wet with another fan on me, and I slept very much like the dead.
Part of the skills involve being able to tolerate a much wider range of temperatures than most of us have come to expect. We’ve become a shorts-in-the-winter and sweaters-in-the-summer kind of people, and we have nowhere to go when the system breaks down, which it is going to do.
The newspaper helpfully provided some tips for surviving extreme heat. For instance, it is suggested that you wear loose clothing to bed. Check! I’ve been wearing the very same suit to bed since I was fourteen (don’t tell Mom), and it’s gotten plenty loose. Portions of it are slouched up against other portions of it. At this point the underboobular area is my primary repository for perspiration but I have auxiliary folds in the back for off-site storage. I’m all set.
Here are my tips: sure, it’s tempting to open some veins to let the heat out but be advised the relief is short-lived because the blood evaporates so quickly. So if you try this hack, you’re going to want to really go for it. Similarly, you could stretch out in a kiddie pool, but remember you can drown in as little as four inches of water, so be sure to put in at least six to be on the safe side.
Better yet is to go to the source of the problem and eliminate Republicans. They’ve signed off on this entire debacle. As long as their preferred solution to the climate catastrophe is to make fun of Greta Thunberg, it will be crucial for us to take them out of circulation altogether. The liberal-softie way would be to vote them all out, but if they’re bent on stealing an election, which seems to be their plan, stronger measures must be taken. To that end, please note that a shot through the heart is not recommended; the target is far too small and the bullet is likely to exit harmlessly straight through the spinal tapioca. Much better is to aim for the head, and possibly take out Trump’s ass at the same time.
Wait! Am I inciting my followers to murder Republicans? Ha ha! Of course not! I’m kidding! Stand by.
In other news that should surprise no one, an enormous comet is heading our way. They’re made of ice. I can’t wait.
A You-Tuber that I follow who runs a farm in VA and advocates a return to a simple life (A Return to Simplicity, Angie Campbell) has said much the same thing. People have become soft. Not just physically soft (she has neighbors who run farm stands who won't go outside if it's above 80. These are freakin' farmers, and they are not old either.) but mentally lazy as well. She talks about Tik-Tok and how it is geared to people with attention spans too short for You Tube. People must be entertained every second and cannot just be quiet with their selves from time to time. And never mind actually reading a BOOK.
I would add to this that people have become emotionally soft. By soft, I don't mean empathic. Oh, no. Quite the contrary. People are offended because you dared to express an opinion that is different than theirs. People throw the word "trigger" around just because you're talking about a concept that they find repulsive (like rape or genocide.) Yeah, these concepts ARE repulsive. Which is why they should be talked about, not swept under the rug.
The trouble with being soft is that, as you point out, things are inevitably going to go tits up in a while. What will people do when there is no AC or heat, no smart phone reception — in short, if/when the grid goes down. I'm not a a "hardy" person by a long shot. But I do know how to grow food, can it, cook it, and build a decent fire using scavenged wood in either the wood stove or the smoker. We're not really prepping for the Apocalypse, but we do believe in having enough supplies just in case we have to go without for a while. (And yes, booze is one of the things we make sure to have enough of.)
The comet sounds like a good thing to me, too. I've always envied the dinosaurs their asteroid. I don't want to see the end coming, but unfortunately, I do. But very few other people seem to.
Well we're definitely supposed to have enough put by to last us a month or so on account of the big earthquake they've promised us, and I certainly do have that amount of food, but I don't know if I can get to it if my house pancakes. I can't seem to get around to that readiness thing. Maybe tomorrow.
The Revolution will not be televised?
Well, there's ALWAYS cell phone video.
Heat makes me severely unwell – and I don't mean the sort of heat you have been enduring. I do have (and am very thankful for) an evaporative cooler.
And yes I am soft.
I'm with you. This totally sucks.
I'm in the same camp with Elephant's Child; the level of heat you've had out there would make me literally quite ill so I'm not willing to harshly judge anyone with A/C. But we continue to work on our recycling skills and no food waste and not using too much water, so doing what we can and always trying to do better. Unlike Mitch, et al. Standing by on that front. The cat looks done.
You know, Tater did fine. She looooves heat. But my judgment isn't about using AC, it's about becoming dependent on something that uses that much energy. Most people aren't prudent about it. BTW I'm a total water hog…
I am soft. I have never been able to tolerate heat. I used to pass out on the playground on hot days in elementary school. My AC died earlier this week and my pulse was pounding in my head when it got to 82. Mercifully the repairman came and added whatever they use in place of Freon these days. I expected I will need to immigrate to northern Canada soon. Being in New Hampshire no longer is cool enough.
Don't forget water and fans! Don't die!
Only dogs can hear Mitch McConnell fart.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
Marie R. Northern Canada is scorching! Phoenix was cooler this past week! It was 121 F in the village of Lytton for three days running earlier in the week and then it burned to the ground. Well, it would, wouldn't it? Lytton's not "that much northern" of course, being just about 50 degrees latitude, but it gets damn cold in the winter. About the same latitude as us, northwest of Calgary, and we were 98-102. That was hot enough for me. One more day and I'd have been a guest of the Alberta's Universally Accessible Health Care System, because I too do not do well in the heat anymore. My muscles get weak and my heart staggers around like the guy who wandered in off the street and discovered the open bar at your nephew's Bar Mitzah. We do not have AC. We didn't have AC when I was a kid in the Dark Ages either. If we wanted to be cool we ran around under the sprinkler. Now I'm too weak to get in the shower, let alone out in the yard. Besides, the neighbours would probably have called the RCMP if I had stood under the sprinkler dressed the way I was (not) the whole three days it was hot. Neighbour: "The crazy woman next door is standing buck naked under the hose…" RCMP:"Eh, half the people in town are standing buck naked under their hoses. My partner and I are taking turns under ours. You got any law enforcement problems?"
Murr, *brilliant*. How you can make misery funny is beyond me but you aced it. Thumbs up!
I am sorry for your suffering! Gad. This is awful. You aren't supposed to NEED AC.
Well, not up the Fraser, like Lytton!Since you (probably) have USA status, try Alaska.
I am yet another who does not thermoregulate well. On top of that, the thigh-high support hose makes it worse. I can tolerate a moderate amount of heat if the air is kept moving, but if not, I get genuinely claustrophobic (even if I'm in a gymnasium, where the walls are quite far away), and I have not yet found out what happens after that. And my wife's bandages, always present on one leg, make it worse for her, and her chronic rare autoimmune condition does not help either. Call us soft if you will, but extreme heat will kill some much sooner than it will kill others. I'm with Elephant's Child, Vicki and Marie!
Thigh high hose?
I believe the death count is up to 94 in Oregon so far. It's serious.
Yeah, my doc said so, for swollen feet and ankles. It works, but getting them on is a wrestling match, and they tend to roll at the top. I tried pantyhose support stockings to avoid that last thing, but couldn't even get them on.
We have an ice-comet heading our way? Maybe I should watch the news instead of half-listening only.
I had to giggle at your "nippy" 98.
I have to say I wouldn't be complaining about my pool being too warm unless it was actually simmering, I'd just be glad I had a pool to jump in and out of in between sitting by the fans. And who wants to be below 80F? That's a perfectly reasonable temperature to me. (27C)
I believe they say it will be in the vicinity on Jan. 8, 2031, but I might be remembering that wrong.
The last few years they've had to haul in snow to start the Iditarod in Alaska.
Revisiting this for a moment, I feel as though your well made point and humorous report got derailed in the commentary on how "soft" humans have become- as though we should just toughen up and get on with it, not relying on AC, furnaces, technology, etc. In fact, the climate is becoming too hot for humans, thanks to self-indulgence and big money, at the same time that people have increasing biological issues in their immune systems that make it tougher to withstand these higher temps. And, we are living longer, migrating further and exposing ourselves to more variants so there are bound to be more failures in our chassis. Saying we all need to just toughen up and start doing without is like saying we need to set all the animals in zoos loose. That ship has sailed. Your point, that to go on in denial is insane and largely Republican and money focused, is right on target. We all need to stop and change course to the best of our abilities. Also your noting that it is too damn hot is well taken. https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/19/eaaw1838
I believe what's coming is beyond our ability to adapt. If I left the impression that we just needed to toughen up, I apologize. I see the AC issue as one more example of How We Got Here. The modern insistence on a small range of comfort (I am not referring to people with medical problems that require it) has put an enormous amount of carbon in the atmosphere. If we were planning for the future we'd be building underground rooms wherever possible and designing our homes differently. We might also consider using our AC sparingly and in just one or two rooms. Etc.
I wish I could remember which scientist I had read that said that global warming was beyond our ability to repair two decades ago. All this talk about doing something is too little, too late. I think that "those in the know" are not telling us because they know the panic that would ensue. So they talk about little shit that we can do because it makes us feel that maybe… just maybe… we can do something to ensure our survival. But it's all just theater. It's depressing, but death sentences generally are.
In the mid-20th Century, all efforts, worldwide, to develop relatively safe nuclear power were abandoned in favor of uranium and plutonium power, because those fit will into nuclear weapons programs. Had that not happened, we would by now have a well-developed thorium-reactor nuclear power plant industry with lots of nuclear power plants, there would be less air pollution and thus less global warming, and the use of AC's would not be as urgent, and their power draw would not be a problem. Like the lichens that are the first living things to grow on cooled bare lava-rocks but eventually break up the rock so they can't live on it anymore, our species is a textbook case of ecological succession. But of course there'll be nobody left to write or read the textbooks…
Yabut…no nuclear power EVER until we figure out how to store the waste safely. For forever. (I don't expect that to happen soon.)
One of the advantages of thorium-based nuclear power (q.v.) is a MUCH shorter half-life, so "forever" would cease to be an issue.
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This sounds like spam, Murr. Or, goddess forfend, a bug…
Isn't that exactly the same spam you had to delete a few days ago? (It looks similar, but I confess I did not memorize it…)
You know it's either this one or the boomer-hating one; they're endlessly recycled. I think I'll leave this one up for now because I honestly do not believe there are any regular Murrmurrs readers interested in contacting a spell caster.