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Too Warm to Bake a Cake [Jun. 28th, 2017|09:43 pm]
Now that my journal is sixteen years old I guess it will be wanting to get a license to drive. It seems like a waste to me, especially considering the cost of insurance these days, as there's really nowhere to go around here, but you know kids. They are no good at all at delaying gratification. For example, you wouldn't believe how much this journal drinks already. Sometimes it's so blurry I can barely read it, and I certainly don't have to tell any of its readers how incoherent it gets, or how foolish. I guess all I can do is hope that it cuts down on the drinking once it starts driving. Otherwise there's bound to be slaughter all over the information superhighway.

I associate the launching of the journal with the scent of jasmine, which was very strong the year I began it. But the recent heat wave decimated the jasmine this year, and there are hardly any living blossoms left on the hedge. I have to get pretty close to it to smell anything, and when I do get close the decaying odor of the dead blossoms tends to overpower the pleasant fragrance of the few that are living. But then the skunks have been so active this year that it is their odor that dominates the nights. Tonight, happily, has been an exception, the warm air thus far being skunkless. It carries mostly the scent of dry grass.

That grass is going to be getting dryer still, as is everything else. The temperatures are rising again, and starting tomorrow the days will be in the nineties again for the foreseeable future. But at least the nights are not expected to get into the seventies again just yet. We're also lucky that there haven't been any fires yet this year. With all the plant growth the rainy winter generated, there's surely an abundance of fuel out there, so any fires that may get started are apt to be fierce and enduring. I'd just as soon not breathe smoky air for weeks on end, especially in hot weather, so I hope our luck holds.

Dinner remains uncooked. I just don't get very hungry until the house gets down to seventy degrees or so. I'll probably
just make a package of ramen later. It doesn't require much heat to cook, which will be a big plus tonight. Plus it soils only one small pot, one bowl, and a fork and a spoon. Not washing a lot of dishes is another thing I like in summer. It leaves me more time to sit on the porch in the cooling air and smell what's left of the jasmine.
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Older [Jun. 27th, 2017|11:10 pm]
Those solicitation robocalls are getting creepier. This evening I got one from a conversational robot with a female human name (which I've forgotten) that started out by telling me that it was glad I had answered my phone myself, because "...I'm tired of talking to machines." Oh, the audacity! I chose to answer its questions (this robot was soliciting for a chartable donation) by repeating the same sentence in a robotic monotone: "I'm sorry I don't have anything to spare right now."

The robot went through its list of questions in its cheerful, lilting voice, and finally, having failed at its task, thanked me for my time and hung up. I think maybe next I get one of those calls time I'll say (in robotic monotone, of course) something like "I'd be glad to contribute in exchange for sex with a hot cyborg." But I should probably consult an attorney first. Can one be arrested for propositioning a robocall machine?

Today was about as warm as yesterday, but the house remained much cooler thanks to last nights chilly low. I'll be able to repeat this feat tonight and tomorrow, but after that it's going to start heating up again. It's apt to get unpleasant over the weekend, with both days and nights getting wormer, but after that is too far off to predict accurately. Maybe we'll get lucky again and not have another heat wave like the recent one.

Oh, and tomorrow is my journalversary. If I recall correctly, it was very early in the morning of the 28th— maybe two or three AM— that I set this thing up. I'm not sure I'll be awake at that hour tomorrow, as I'm ready to nod off right now, having been awake since eight o'clock this morning. But next time I post, the journal will be sweet sixteen. I hope Woody Allen doesn't find it!
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Forgetful [Jun. 26th, 2017|10:56 pm]
My memory has gotten useless. This evening I went looking for a 12-pack of flashlight batteries I bought some time ago, but I can't find them. Worse than that, this is the second time I've lost them. When I first bought them I had just put my last pair into my flashlight, but was surprised that they were the last pair, as I was sure I had a fresh six pack of them. Because I couldn't find the six pack, the next time I went shopping I bought the twelve pack.

Then when the batteries in the flashlight got low I went looking for the twelve pack I'd recently bought and couldn't find it. I looked everywhere I might have put it, but no luck. So the next week I bought another six pack. Then I recall some time later opening the closet and seeing the twelve pack. But I decided to use up the newer six pack first. The last pair from that pack are in my flashlight now, and getting dim, so I went to the closet to get the twelve pack and it isn't there. What the hell did I do with it? Again I've looked everywhere, but no luck.

It's like I forgot to change the batteries in my brain.


As bad as my brain has gotten, my Internet connection is even less reliable. It's been flaking out on me again tonight. Maybe it just hasn't cooled off enough to suit it, though it's mere 70 degrees outside right now. It's heading down to 59, the forecast says. Luxury! I'm going to leave the windows open all night, and I hope I get to shiver before morning. It's going to be 85 again tomorrow. I can live with that, as long as the nights are cool.

Alas, the jasmine flowers couldn't live with the recent heat. Most of them have turned brown, and have taken on the sickly smell they get at that stage. The scented nights didn't last very long this year. The sourgrass by the front porch has all turned brown, too. The yard is littered with dead oak leaves, also killed by the heat. Normal June temperatures may be back, but spring has withered away.

But now I must take the wheelie bins out. Trash pickup early tomorrow morning. With luck I'll sleep through it, under a blanket.
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Less Than Swelter [Jun. 25th, 2017|08:56 pm]
Yesterday I lost track of everything and ended up not posting an entry and not realizing it until well after midnight. Of course I blame the heat. Today wasn't actually cool but it was less hot than any recent day. In fact it was moderate enough that I was able to go shopping after all. I didn't buy much, being very low on ready cash this late in the month. Fortunately, one store was sold out of an item I really wanted but couldn't afford, so I got a rain check and will be able to buy it when I have money next month.

Even better, it's supposed to drop into the mid-sixties tonight. It's pretty uncomfortable in here right now, but the windows are open and I can feel the cool night air coming in. It won't get really chilly outside until near dawn, and the house probably won't cool off completely until tomorrow night, but I am anticipating th possibility of actually getting some sleep tonight. This heat wave has left me totally exhausted.

This is not a very interesting entry, but it's a wonder I've survived to write anything at all.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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Helter Swelter VII [Jun. 23rd, 2017|10:25 pm]
My tentative plan for going shopping early in the morning today didn't work out. Most likely I won't be going until Monday, which is the soonest the forecast predicts a day with a high in the mere eighties. Sunday night is supposed to get fairly cool, too, so I ought to be able to get some decent sleep. Last night I only managed about two hours, then I cat napped at various times today, but this week has left me near total exhaustion. It has definitely left a lot of fuzz in my brain.

Tonight isn't expected to be as bad as last night, though tomorrow will be about the same as today. Summer is like three days old and I'm totally ready for it to be over.

I feel another catnap coming on. I'd better take advantage of it.
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Helter Swelter VI [Jun. 22nd, 2017|10:09 pm]
After the last week I will never trust the sun again.
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Helter Swelter V [Jun. 21st, 2017|09:54 pm]
It was another torrid day, but tomorrow and Saturday are both supposed to be worse. Temperatures in the long range forecast keep getting revised upward, both for daytime highs and nocturnal lows. The predictions a few days out are based on historic temperatures, which have been lower than this year's. It's been a long time since spring has ended and summer begun with so much intense heat here. It makes me fear that the entire summer could be like this, the promise of cooling constantly receding. That's one of the reasons I haven't fired up th air conditioner yet. In the back of my mind is the thought that I might need it far more in July and August, and I need to save on the electricity now so I can use it later.

I'm not sure what day I'll get to go shopping this week. They all promise to be awful. If I could rely on my sleep schedule I'd try to arrange an early morning trip, before the day gets too hot. There isn't much on sale at either store, but the few items that are good bargains are very good indeed, so I'd hate to miss them. It's probably a good thing there aren't more of them, though, as the larder-raiding nephew didn't come across with any money after all, so I'm really short and will have to do triage on the list again. I'll try to cut mostly the stuff he would be most likely to take.

The house is currently hideous, and while the outside isn't much better at least there is a bit of breeze so I can get some evaporative cooling. I've probably downed close to a gallon of liquids today. I'd probably have downed more but the nephew visited the kitchen this afternoon and took every last ice cube I had for his tea. After that I pretty much confined myself to room-temperature water. I didn't want to strain the refrigerator by taking more stuff out of it. If it breaks down I won't be able to afford a replacement anytime soon.

The Internet connection did most of its acting up around midday today. I don't know why, but it's been pretty reliable this evening. I'm going to give the computer a rest anyway. It's much too, too hot to stay indoors any longer. I'm going outside where it's merely much too hot.
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Helter Swelter IV [Jun. 20th, 2017|02:58 pm]
My Internets connection has been utter crap today. Nothing to do with the Internet itself, I think, but with that AT&T cable from my house to the utility pole. The one the squirrels like to munch. The heat probably has something to do with it, too. It's miserable, but the web site is saying the high has not yet been reached. It's only 95 degrees, heading for 103. But maybe we'll get lucky and they'll have to lower the estimate.

At least today is the summer solstice, so the weather has sort of an excuse for being so obnoxious. AT&T has no excuse, though. They've known for a long time that the cable needs to be replaced, but they haven't done it. I hope they get around to it before I die of heat stroke.

I'm going to post this as soon as the Internet reconnects, and then go watch television. No troubles with the Comcast cable yet. I wonder why the squirrels don't eat that cable?
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Helter Swelter III [Jun. 19th, 2017|09:49 pm]
Too hot to sleep. Too hot to cook. Too hot to eat, anyway, and I've downed gallons of liquids, so eating might be dangerous. A malted would be nice, but I don't feel like making one. Maybe if I don't pass out I'll microwave some popcorn later tonight. Thursday is now predicted to be the hottest upcoming day, at 106 degrees. Somebody kill me now.

Too hot for Internet. I'm going outside where it's a mere 84 degrees. It's 86 in the house. With luck it'll get down to 80 in here before dawn. But I'm too stubborn to give in to the siren call of the air conditioner. It just wants to take my money and give it to the utility company. I've never trusted that machine. I'm sure it's in league with the international bankers syndicate.

Outside now, where the crickets' song will soothe my brain.
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Helter Swelter II [Jun. 18th, 2017|08:14 pm]
The sky has that vague haze that California sky frequently gets in very hot weather. The sky above is powdery blue with a hint of gray in it, but in the distance, as the evening light slants lower, it turns brighter and whiter. It lends the distance a mysterious allure, but is is a distance that is unapproachable. It always recedes when you move toward it. Rather like California itself, it is a promise that is never fulfilled.

The house is now near 85 degrees, but I have not yet turned on the air conditioner. I know that, if I turn it on now, I'll have to leave it on for the next several days, and it will run far too frequently. It is likely to be two or three o'clock in the morning before it is cooler outdoors than it is in here, though I might open the windows sooner, just to get the air stirring a bit so I will feel cooler even though I'm not.

Lately the skunks have been around every night. Distant skunk smell that lasts a short while is not offensive to me. Rather it is an interesting break from nocturnal monotony. But the recent skunks have been nearby, and their odor has lasted for hours. I suppose it is just as well I won't be able to open the windows for a long time yet tonight. Enduring both heat and strong skunk odor is like being crushed between rocks.

Last night it was difficult to sleep, and today it has been difficult to stay awake. As I recall from other very hot times, it gets more difficult to endure the longer it continues. When the world has a fever I have its fever dreams. The dismal forecast has extended the heat another day. My next opportunity to be cool without artificial assistance, or without going far from this place, will be early in the morning a week from tomorrow. This will probably turn out to be another lie. The fever is telling me there is no end to this heat wave, no escape from this place.

My brain is fried.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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