September 6th, 2020

caillebotte_man at his window

Reset Twelve, Sultry Day One

Friday was hot, but Saturday, holy crap. By three o'clock in the afternoon I could sit in the back yard for three minutes doing nothing more strenuous than breathing, and inside three minutes I would be exhausted. Invariably I would stagger back indoors to enjoy the conditioned air. Half an hour later the 78 degrees would be feeling too warm, and I'd go back out and sit in the appalling heat for another three minutes, so that when I came back in it would feel cool by contrast for a while. And so the day passed. I suppose the next three days will have to pass pretty much the same way. I pity the bears. Because their food is so scarce in winter they must hibernate during the cool season, and then take their massive, hairy bodies out into the heat to be fed. Nature is even crueler to bears than it is to us.

A high of 109 is expected here tomorrow, and 108 on Monday. Happy Labor Day. After that we go back down into the nineties for the subsequent two weeks. So far we haven't had any power outages here, though rotating blackouts will be imposed if demand for electricity gets too high over the next few days. Sometimes it feels like this summer will never end.

The established fires are still being gradually brought under control, and Saturday brought quite a few flights of firefighting aircraft over my neighborhood. The worst fire news came from Fresno County, where a fire that got started late Friday exploded overnight and has now burned 36,000 acres. Upwards of 150 people were trapped in a popular recreation area called Mammoth Pool, and several suffered burn injuries. Many of the trapped campers and backpackers had to be airlifted out by helicopter when the only paved road providing access to the area was blocked by the flames. So far I haven't heard any reports of anyone missing in the area, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were. This is not a great time to be going camping in California. It may never be a great time again.

As I suspected might be the case, Imperial County has accelerated its rate of coronavirus infections more rapidly than Butte-hole County, knocking us back down into third place statewide. Still, we managed over 400 new infections, which is about 20% of our grand total for the entire pandemic, over the last seven days. Perhaps when the weather cools down enough that I can go walking to the nearby stores again, which seems likely not to be until October at the earliest, I'll be able to use the corpses lying in the streets as steppingstones if it should turn rainy. Unless, of course, I'm one of those corpses myself. Well, I should know within thirteen days, since I was last out on Friday and probably won't be having any actual human contact for quite some time.

Tonight I intend to use the air conditioner to knock the temperature down to around 72 before I go to sleep, to get a head start against the day's heat, and then reset the thermostat to 78. There won't be any open windows or unasited fan usage tonight. I hope I don't fall asleep before resetting the thermostat, though. Leaving it at 72 for several hours could be quite expensive. I'd be bound to reach the costlier second tier of electricity usage.

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