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August 4, 2011 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Hooray for extreme heat advisory!

Summer heat must be like childbirth: pain off the charts, but people somehow forget all that once it’s done. Only memories of the good parts. So here’s a cheer for all the awesome things resulting from extreme heat advisories.

Summer heat brings: Instant hot water! No matter what faucet, tap, or spout, only hot water comes out. The hot water heater gets a rest.

Summer joy: the neighbor’s cat prefers to stay inside. So for a while, it’ll be great not tripping over it going out our front door. An added plus, the cat uses their indoor litter box instead of our backyard flowerbed.

Summer smiles: the dog doesn’t like to take long walks – too hot on paws. A quick dash out, pause, and a race back inside flopping in a heap on cool kitchen tile. Dog cabin fever does periodically set in? No problem. Dog loves to give himself a backyard bath: a short soak in metal tub of water with smug muzzle resting on rim.

Summer energy smart: Texas Public Utilities Commission benevolently forbids energy companies to disconnect electricity from anyone in counties under extreme heat advisories. Although recently it has been revealed that some funds designated for energy cost assistance programs have been held hostage, the extreme heat has jarred the PUC and other agencies to provide emergency assistance to pay sky-rocketing electric bills. It’s too deadly hot not to use the AC.(click for NBC Today Show video of dangers of extreme heat)

Summer games really a pain: High school football practice now at night or before dawn in some cases. Still hot at 87-91 degrees, but at least an acknowledgement that heat is hazardous to kids. If that Prestonwood football coach (video report) hadn’t died from heat in Plano, there might not have been any change. Parents are hesitant to complain, but practice in this heat is nuts – even if the coaches explain they are taking precautions. Football coaches are worried though about their football fields’ grass.(video) OK. The ground bakes as hard as concrete, and everyone wants kids to play safely – even if there is water rationing. High school football is a favorite sport and popular entertainment. But it’s really really hot. A kid trying to impress a coach and earn a starting position may not want to admit he’s not feeling right. So parents, coaches, adults: common sense? Oh, right. The first game is just in a couple of weeks. Football. Texas. It’s complicated.

Summer wins! Extreme heat means visitors tend to make their stays short. Others in town to check things out before moving, may get discouraged and leave never to return. There’s a lot of out-of-state plates around right now…many cars with the windows rolled down, no auto AC. Can’t do that in Texas. While there’s lots of high quality shopping and eating out is varied and delightful, people are pretty much stuck inside – like during the frigid winter up north. Normally the AC chills just fine. Even the zoo has 13 air-conditioned buildings. But if there’s a threat of rolling blackouts, newcomers tend to get nervous. You have to be hardy and have nerves of steel (mainly for driving the frantic jammed roadways).

It’s summer. It’s dry. It’s hot. There’s an extreme heat advisory. So? Despite the TV whining reports, the lack of rain, and the intensity of heat are not all that unusual. Just get out the ice, and think cool thoughts. Try remembering that six months ago it was 23 degrees with a high of 31 – and ice all over the roads. The heat wave won’t last – maybe just until Halloween, as usual!

UPDATE: City of Houston program provides free air conditioner units for needed Houston residents 62 yrs or older. Call 2.1.1 United Way Helpline. Thanks to the Carpenters Union for providing installation of AC units for this program and to Reliant Energy for donating AC units. Thanks guys!

Chillin’ for a while longer

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

One Comment

  1. philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 6 2011 2:52 pm

    People who have grown up with AC just aren’t used to the heat like they used to be.
    Interesting comments from: Gene Stallings, a member of Bryant’s 1954 Texas A&M team, Hall of Fame coaching career at Texas A&M and Alabama.
    “The old Aggies, fortunately, had acclimation on their side, Stallings said.
    “Things weren’t air-conditioned then,” he said. “We worked in the oil fields during the summer, and it wasn’t like you would go from air-conditioned car and to air-conditioned building and then go out on the playing field.” Read more from


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