July 25th, 2016


Helter Swelter

Ten o'clock is gone and it's still unpleasantly warm outside. Not even the slight breeze that stirs now and then is much help. It's likely to be hours before it gets cool enough that I can turn off the air conditioner and get the windows open. It's supposed to get down to 68 tonight, but then starting tomorrow we get a string of very hot days and warm nights that won't go below 70 until next Saturday. It's going to be the most miserable week in a long time, and I hope it gets better after that.

All day today I saw a heavy haze over the valley, and even here the air seemed less than clear. I thought it might be smoke from some new fire, but when I checked the fire web site there were none near enough to be causing that haze. I remember decades ago the San Joaquin Valley was usually hazy like that, and it was because of the smog but also because that hot, dusty place had always inclined toward haziness. Driving north, once one passed Sacramento the air invariably cleared up.

Now the Sacramento Valley is getting as bad as the San Joaquin used to be. The place has indeed grown, but still isn't as busy and populous as the San Joaquin Valley was thirty or forty years ago. I'm thinking it must be at least partly the result of a climate shift. The place certainly feels more like the San Joaquin of decades past than it does the Sacramento I recall from that era. Now it's starting to look like it, too. I might as well be in Fresno in 1966 as here today. At least the food was better in Fresno.

I'm going to stop grousing now and go eat something. Something stovetop, of course, since I ate an uncooked sandwich last night and won't want another until tomorrow. I'm now wishing I'd bought a watermelon this week. Maybe I can get a nephew to drop one off for me. Oh, summer.