July 15, 2005

Are you into comparative heat?

Texans are:
I think that the heat in Texas is like playing baseball with a father who burns in fastballs that sting your hands, making you proud you can take it; and the heat back East is like a mother who makes you wear too much clothing.


Ravi said...

Huh? I'm from back east, now living in Texas, and I find that "observation" totally irrelevant. Says more about Texan self-image than anything.

mcg said...

Ravi: you mean he was trying to be relevant? I didn't get that. I thought he was rambling.

As for this: "Says more about Texan self-image than anything." I must respond: well, duh! :) But at the same time, I don't share his take on it.

I will be moving to Austin in 2006, having left there for California in 1990. When I arrived here people would say "you're from Texas, you must be used to this kind of heat." The truth was, I wasn't: I was used to climate control. For me, Texas heat was something to be avoided or managed, not something to get used to. There I gladly paid astronomical electric bills to keep my AC running, and headed to the pool or the mall or somesuch when I didn't want to sit around the house. Here, in contrast, I don't even have AC in my house. If I could rent it for a week a year or so, that would probably be ideal.

Bruce Hayden said...

I was frankly surprised that I gladly moved from Austin to Phoenix in the late 1990s. Phoenix had days in the 120s some summers, and routinely had a bunch in the 110s every summer. But that, to me, was much preferable to the heat and humidity of Austin - even if it rarely hits 100 there.

But when you live in Austin, you hear, that if you think it is hot and humid there, you should try Houstin, and then those in Houstin say the same about New Orleans.

Me, I will stick to Colorado if I have the choice. Today, in Denver, they are moaning of the heat wave with temps as high as 94 - and about as dry as Phoenix. Gets any worse, you go to the mountains for awhile, where at our place there, a hot day is 80, and the big problem is that it is too dry for many.

MGO said...

On the topic of Texas weather, a comment from a friend on her blog/journal:

Summary: Texas weather is crazy like that aunt no one likes to talk to.

Seems about right to me.

Freeman Hunt said...

What I don't like about the heat out East is that people seem to be in denial about it. So many places don't have air conditioning. "Well, we never bothered. Certainly isn't usually hot like this." Yet it's hot every year.

Finn Kristiansen said...

I left New Jersey for Arizona a few years back. N.J was a mix of humidity and heat, but at least broken up by occasional rain, clouds, breezes and sudden temperature fluxes.

This week in Phoenix it has approached 114 degrees, and the only thing worse than standing waiting for the bus in such heat, is having the air conditioning on the bus overwhelmed by body effluvia.

Every so often (pratically weekly) some hiking enthusiast rolls down one of the low mountains, having passed out, and without cell phone, water or cohorts on hand. Helicopters come and save them, and they make the local news. I think these are the same people that say things like, "It's dry heat," as though Arizona dry heat might be different from, say, oven dry heat.

At least other locales have the possibility and joy of rain, storm and hurricane. We have monsoons here that consist of like, well, usually nothing...some dust and dirt.

katiebakes said...

Have never been to Texas and can therefore not comment on that part of the description.

However, I can say that while reading the "back east" part of the comparison, the first word that sprang to my mind -- mother with the too-heavy jacket -- was ... opressive.

And, let's be honest ... that is the most apt word there is to describe the heat on the east coast during the dog days of summer.

Am I wrong?

Hoots said...

Something is wrong in my head.
I have read twice through Richard Lawrence Cohen's poignant account of visiting his mother in a Connecticut nursing home. Seems to me comments about weather are non sequitur.
I guess I'm missing something.

Years ago I tried to persuade a young, hip subordinate to give me lessons in how to be cool. All he told me was "Eat more chicken." I'm probably never gonna be cool.

knoxgirl said...



Bruce Hayden said...

Actually, worse than either Austin or Phoenix for me was the five years I spent in the D.C. area. The first summer (1976 - which meant I got to see the Bicentennial celebration from the Mall) was without air conditioning. I would go to bed somewhere around midnight, but not be able to fall asleep because of the heat and humidity until two or three in the morning, when it finally cooled off.

Luckily, in both Austin and Phoenix, I had air conditioning. And, even better, in Austin, we had covered parking. So, I could go from my air conditioned house and garage, in my air conditioned car, to work. Then, I could get in my relatively cool air conditioned car and drive home at night. Not bad, but highly artificial.

Bruce Hayden said...

In response to Finn in Phoenix, I see the difference in that, at least for me, if you are in the shade in Phoenix, even at 114, it isn't that bad. But shade is essentially irrelevant if you have high humidity.

That said, those who have been in Phoenix for a long time bemoan that it is quite a bit more humid - not surprising if you fly over the city and see all those pools, lawns, and palm trees. Plus, of course, asphault doesn't help either.

Indeed, I have friends in Carefree not too far north of town (but 1,500 feet higher - about where Las Vegas is), and it is much more tolerable there. But they don't have the lawns or nearly as much asphault up there.

Finally, as to monsoons, at least this summer, they really do exist. Erstwhile girlfriend has lived in PHX for 20+ years, and before that, Las Vegas. Up until last summer, she wsa pretty oblivious to monsoons. But two years ago, she was in a car accident, and, as a result, has a lot of metal now permanently installed in her back. And she can definately feel the monsoons now, that a mere two years ago, she would not even have noticed. This year and last, she was pretty well laid up throughout the monsoons.

Finally, it is funny, all those people who get stuck climbing the "mountains" in town (I now live in CO, with a little different definition of the term), without water or cell phones. Some even die. Tragic (even had a death or two), but still good entertainment.

The question I always ask is, don't they ever watch the news themselves? And if they do, are they just oblivious? Or brain dead?

Bruce Hayden said...

Back to Austin for a minute. For me, far worse than the heat and humidity were the fire ants. The three years I was in one house, I had a running war with them every summer. I would spend the entire summer tying to kill of the myriad mounds that I would invariably have, only to have them suddenly reappear.

Luckily, I don't garden. My brother down there, who does, has been stung multiple times. Nasty critters.

mcg said...

Oh, yes, fire ants, one thing I am not looking forward to upon my return. Watch your step, I say!