Dog days…. have found us. Dog days have tracked us down (to borrow from Jim [Morrison]). The term is usually used to refer to the hottest, most sultry days of summer and here in north Texas, we are right smack dab in them. The car becomes a pizza oven in as little as 15 minutes out in the sun and with temperatures expected to reach 110 degrees today (again) and the next few days, there’s the possibility of rolling blackouts during the hottest part of the afternoons (let’s hope not). Still no rain… the drought continues. At least we’re not in the horse latitudes…
I’ve mentioned the relentless heat in a few of my previous blogs and I really hate to belabor this subject – promise this will be the last time I bring it up – but it has become so pervasive on a daily basis and it’s what most everybody is talking about here wherever you go, now that the debt ceiling crisis has been ‘averted’ temporarily (for the more adventurous readers, I’ll refer you to James Howard Kunstler’s blog on what the debt crisis ‘solution’ might actually signify – hint: you won’t hear this on the mainstream media).
It seems that summer, not content with keeping us on slow simmer in the low 100s, has decided to “take it to the next level”. So if the heat has become unbearable where you are, how are you staying cool?
I come not to praise summer, but to bury it !
In the sphere of Nights on Venus, it’s business as usual more or less – working on new material (continuously), writing that new topical “hit” single, “Jesus, Please Don’t Let the Power Grid Go Down“; beginning work on the new NoV website, no upcoming gigs in the near future (probably 2012), and ongoing marketing efforts and projects in support of the debut album.
What follows then is not so much of a rant or complaining about the heat – just some final musings about it for the season (with a month-and-a-half left to go). It should already be obvious from reading this blog that I don’t like the heat; animals, birds, pets (and hopefully yours are inside) don’t like it; my car, 10 years old now, doesn’t care much for it either (I imagine).
You can’t do anything about the heat – it is what it is – but it has spurred a few changes in the everyday routine. For instance, I only go outside in the early mornings and after sundown now to avoid the hottest part of the afternoons (which prompted one friend to say that I had become a quasi-vampire, which I suppose would be like the Diet Coke of vampires, in which case I’ll only quasi-bite – all theoretically speaking of course).
For some odd reason, this album has been on my mind this week…
Need something cool to listen to (when not listening to Nights on Venus of course)? Try the B-52’s “Girl From Ipanema Goes to Greenland“…
Also, it’s amazing how relatively ‘cool’ 98 degrees feels at 10:00 at night after a day of ‘hot and sunny’ and these triple-digit temperatures. And that started me wondering about why people settled here in the first place (as in why here, why?) – how all these towns came into being in the 19th century (or early 20th), because they sure as hell didn’t have any A/C (or ceiling fans from Home Depot) that we’ve come to rely on.
A few conclusions I reached:…
a) Most of these towns in places like Texas and Oklahoma, must have been settled in the fall, winter, or early spring and they had no earthly idea of the impending broiling hell called ‘summer’ hurtling straight toward them in May and June, which would last through September.
b) If the settlers did come through here during the summer, did they just get exhausted beyond all common sense and reason in those covered wagons et al., and having lost a few more people along the way and unwilling to go any further, finally give up and say, “OK, we’re done”…?
c) It must have been at least a little more temperate in these areas back in the 19th century. Since our cities of concrete, steel, and glass with asphalt roads and man-made lakes, etc. become “heat islands” and there was nothing like that back then, it had to have been at least a little cooler… (global warming hadn’t been “invented” yet).
And, d) It seems clear that those settlers were much heartier folks than we are. Going “19th century” and camping out/backpacking might give you a little taste of roughing it, but there’s no way I would voluntarily do either one when it’s as hot as it is now.
Whether any of that was actually the case – except for d) – who knows. Just some revisionist ponderings on an evening when it’s still 105 degrees after the sun has gone down (still too hot). Tomorrow, more of the same. By Thursday next week it cools down, finally… back to 102.