This Blog is on Fire

fire

It was another scorcher here in Dallas today.

When I was driving home from work today I kept nervously eyeing the temperature readout to see what it would get to.  It started out at 102 F (39 C) when I started the car, which was the leftover readout from when I’d dashed out earlier in the day at noon for lunch.

As the minutes ticked by on my drive home, it crept ever upwards.

106 (40).

108 (42).

Then I got distracted by navigating through rush hour traffic and forgot to look at the readout for awhile.  After about 20 minutes I glanced at it again and … are you ready for this?

It stood steady at 113 F (45 C).

I’d like to say I was surprised, but I was expecting it.

Why was I not surprised?

Because, when I stepped into the parking lot as I was leaving work, it was like opening up the door to a blast furnace.

People have often asked me what summer feels like here in Dallas.

Well, you know how it feels when you open up the oven to check on the cookies you’re baking?  That rush of heat that washes over your face and hands and arms?

It feels a lot like that.

Except YOU are the cookie.

And that burning aroma you smell is the soles of your shoes on the concrete of the parking lot.

It is so hot that it actually feels like your skin is crackling.

That is caused by the temperature sensors in your skin being overloaded and randomly firing (or misfiring).  That is where the term “prickly heat” comes from.  Your skin feels like something prickly is touching it.

It is hard to breathe in 113 F heat.

You become absolutely knackered after walking 30 or 40 yards across a parking lot to your car.

Getting into your car after it has been sitting in this heat for hours and hours is like slipping into a brick pizza oven and trying to get comfortable.  Last summer I put an oven thermometer in my car and would look at it when I would come out after work.  It was not unusual for it to read 150 to 165 degrees (65 to 74 C).  That will literally take your breath away.

Imagine the joy of settling down onto black leather or vinyl seats in such heat.

Imagine the warm, toasty feel of wrapping your hands around the black, hard plastic steering wheel.

Imagine grabbing the chrome gear shift.

Imagine the breathtaking lack of oxygen in a such a place.

That, my friends, is what it is like in Texas in the summer.

Don’t you wish you were here?

Well, if you do decide to visit, you might want to pack some asbestos undies.

46 comments

    • Ha ha! You’re right. If we’re not in the middle of a drought, we’re being washed away by floods. Whoever coined the phrase “It never rains, but it pours” was probably from Dallas.

      I was in Oregon once a long time ago and I thought it was absolutely gorgeous. First and only time I ever saw a triple rainbow. Of course, I was on the western edge not far from the coast. I understand the eastern side of Oregon is a lot like west Texas.

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      • I was born and raised in Northern Washington not far from Canada. Been living in Eugene since 1994. Oregon and Washington are identical. The west is full of trees. Lots and lots of green. The further you travel east the less it becomes. When you hit the eastern edge it is no mans land.

        The next time you come out head to the Oregon coast. Be sure to wear a winter jacket even if its July.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Texas is kind of the opposite. It starts off lush and green in the east, and the further west you go, the more hellish it becomes.

          I have never been to Eugene, but was in Corvallis for a few days. I don’t remember much about it, but I remember just being blown away at how green and beautiful everything was. I’d like to make it back to OR someday, and if I do, I’ll bring a jacket. 🙂

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  1. The hottest day I experienced was in Syracuse NY, we went shopping there one summer and we could literally smell the garbage baking outside the mall. The temperature with the humidity was 50 Celsius. Stay cool! 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember the first time I landed in Houston in July. It was dark, no tunnels, just steps down to the tarmac. At the open entrance to the steps it was like a hot wet blanket hit me in the face. Years later I drove a Hyundai there. If you wanted to slow down you turned on the AC. Getting all dressed up for your job and then sweltering till work. Of course parking, all of a sudden it was getting cool. Yup, I empathize.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! And Houston is even worse than most places in Texas because of their unbearable humidity.

      I remember one time flying back to Dallas from a business trip I was on. It was about early May and the temperature was beginning to be summer-like. As we deplaned and walked up the extendable tunnel towards the gate, the woman walking in front of me asked her boyfriend, “Why do they have the heaters on?” (meaning in the tunnel) I just chuckled and said, “They’re not running the heaters. That’s just the outside temperature here”. She was absolutely flabbergasted. I felt like saying, “Welcome to Texas!”

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  3. For poops and giggles,(and I had nothing better to do) watched a Youtube video of a Dallas landscaping co. (Eclipse Lawn Care). They pulled the ‘where’s the blinker fluid reservoir’ under the hood trick on someone. heh heh – flummoxed me for a minute there too. Everyone knows it’s in the trunk.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hear ya! It was 106 or so around here yesterday, and won’t be any less until sometime next week. I was fixing supper and looked out the kitchen window to the house across the alley. There was a grackle bird hot-footing it across the roof to get into the shade of the chimney. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bird move so fast when not flying. Funny to see, but not for the bird’s scorching hot feet, I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, even 90 can be hot if you’re not acclimated to it. But 113 is just plain ridiculous! I like to think I’m acclimated to the Dallas weather, but I guess I’m not.

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    • Yeah, going barefoot outside here is considered a sign of insanity.

      On an unrelated note, I used to have a friend who always referred to Garland as “The Land of the Gar”. He seemed to find that quite amusing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Biff, thanks for helping me resist the impulse to visit Dallas in July. I wonder if I should go instead to Anchorage, before the whole of the planet becomes a hothouse. On a positive note, my test failures at Cold temps will be a thing of the past..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dallas is a lovely place to visit between the months of September and May. But avoid it at all costs from June through August!

      Yes, isn’t it funny how most things fail at cold rather than hot? You’d think it’d be the other way around. That being said, I’d rather troubleshoot a cold failure than a hot one. I remember one time having to troubleshoot an equipment failure in a walk-in thermal chamber at 70 C. It was NOT fun! All the cables were as limp as over-cooked spaghetti. And so was I, come to think of it. If I had a nickle for every time I’d burned the *&@( out of myself by touching something metal in that darned temperature chamber, I might be able to buy myself a tall, frosty mug of something cold.

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  6. Sounds like where I live: Adelaide, South Australia. Those temps are relatively normal for here – and not as bad as other places in the state. Of course, we’re in winter at the moment, but the memory of summer is always there, always waiting … because we know it intimately.
    The first year I moved here, we have 17 days (or something ridiculous like that) of temps over 42 degrees.
    it’s not nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Actually, this is sort of the way it’s ‘sposed to be. I will say the heat here’s worse than in the country — too much concrete. It doesn’t cool down in the evening like it does away from the heat islands. I amuse myself sometimes by reading accounts of the early settlers about conditions here; they didn’t like the heat any more than we do, and they didn’t have AC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, you’re absolutely right! I honestly can’t imagine how people survived in this heat without air conditioning. But I guess they just didn’t know any better and so to them it was just the way it was.

      I didn’t have air conditioning growing up, and I survived 1980 (the hottest summer on record, I believe) when temperatures were over 100 every day for something like 45 straight days. with many days getting up to about 117. So, by that standard, this summer is laughably mild. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, I only thought it was hot here. We’re getting your heat this weekend — the high pressure’s moving south. High temps’ll be between 99 to 104 degrees and heat indices between 102 to 111. Yee-haw!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ugh! Sorry to hear that! Maybe this heat wave will break for us all soon. They are saying that a “cold” front will be moving through next week and will plunge temperatures down into the upper 90s. I’ll take it!

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