Saturday, June 30, 2007


Can't sleep. Up again at 4:55. It's all so wonderfully quite. No sounds anywhere.

It rained hard yesterday evening and into the night. I vaguely remember waking briefly because of a thunder clap. The rain poured. It came in sheets and sheets of gushing water. It sounded like we were sleeping under a waterfall. And yet there is something soothing about the steady rain crashing atop the roof outside.

Last night I was in the shop building a frame rack for a friend. It was raining so hard it was difficult to hear my table saw. I opened the garage door and watched the water fall outside. The rainwater from the roof gushed out the downspouts. My driveway became the sluices for the downpour. The plants seemed happy. It's been hot here.

Spoke to a work associate earlier this week. He was calling into a conference from Pakistan. We asked how the weather was in Pakistan. Says it was it was cold there. I didn't know Pakistan got cold. "How cold?" I asked.

"Oh" he said "it's down to 70 right now."

"70? Cold? What was the temperature earlier then?" I pressed.

"It was 120 degrees at noon."

I can't even fathom 120 degrees. You might as well climb into an oven. Wait, you wouldn't need an oven. Just put your eggs out on the sidewalk. In three minutes they'd be done.

One hundred and twenty degrees? Is it possible to get that hot here on earth? Where is Pakistan anyway? Maybe that's not a place here on earth. Maybe it's on Venus? That planet gets pretty hot. Yeah, that must be it.

In 120 degree temperatures I can't imagine walking around much. Most of the folks would most likely melt if exposed to those temperatures for any length of time. I visualize a Far Side comic of melted people in the streets. Just faces staring up at you as you walk by.

I remember as a kid driving through Bakersfield California in an old Buick. No air conditioning in those days. It was so hot the air pressed in on my lungs, intent on suffocating me. There was no breeze. Even the air passing by the window outside felt like a blast furnace. I couldn't get any cooler putting my head out the window. I just risked singeing my eyebrows in the heat.

The old Buick had a bench seat. That was before bucket seats were popular. The good news was that you could fit an entire family in the front. That bad news was we did AND it was 110 degrees. Did I mention that it was hot?

For some reason our family of four was stuffed in the front driving through Bakersfield in 110 degree temperatures. There was another family in the back. We had it good in the front. There was four of us. They had six!

And that's all I know about Bakersfield. That's all I know about heat. That's all I know about anything.

So where was I? Oh, yeah. It's dark out. All's quite in the house. There's a few birds now waking up. Some are chirping in the backyard.

It's 6:07. Eric's alarm went off. The day has started. Time to make the coffee.

No vacation goes unpunished. -Karl A. Hakkarainen