Tuesday, July 9, 2013


That title, of course, is a blatant theft from Stevie Ray Vaughn, a pretty valued musician around my friends and peers here in Texas, but it is hot.

It is not as hot as hell, however, and some parts of the past few days have been downright tolerable.

We've had a smidgen of rain and are on watering restrictions and the like, although in my part of Texas it's not so bad but the further west and northwest you go the more the effects of this drought can be seen.

It's looking to be a replay of the highly miserable summer of 2011, but knock on wood, we're not steadily up in the triple digits, although we've had more than a few days where we were hitting three digits.

Some thirty years ago, Mr. California, a former roommate of mine and his girlfriend and wife to be, had that itch to move to Cal-i-forn-i-yeh and did move to San Diego back in '83 or so. They moved there from all of our native Houston to escape the heat and humidity Houston is known for. For at least two months of the year, Houston is like the planet Creamatoria in Vin Diesel's Chronicles of Riddick movie. It's like a million degrees outside. Oppressively hot and very humid. For the two months on either side of that hellish period, it can be tolerable but is often not.

Swamp city, Mr. California used to call it. 

It's pertinent to note that Mr. California, had been touting the great benefits of California living for years and how we were fools not to come along with him to the West Coast. 

Mr. California was unbearable on this subject at times.

His childhood friend Smitty, also a friend of mine and later a roommate and close friend of mine for all these intervening years now, considered the option and we even made a few exploratory trips to LA and San Diego. We actively sought work, Smitty with the LAPD and me at law firms and seeking transfer to a LA law school.

But I digress. So my roommate Mr. California and his gal moved to San Diego and about a week after they got there, they were in the midst of a horrid and long lasting heatwave. I recall his answering machine message that summer, for those of you old enough to know what a pre-voice mail answering machine is, was  something to this effect:

"Hi. This is Mr. California and his gal. We're not available to come to the phone during the daytime hours. We're hiding in the shadows, where the temperature is lowest, right at about 100 degrees. We wait until darkness falls before leaving the shadows, when the heat goes down, before we can return phone calls".

We found this especially funny because Mr. California had rented a condo with no A/C upon landing in San Diego. We'd been hearing him proclaim for years that "...in California you don't need air conditioning." We did feel sorry for his gal.

I'm reminded of that message when it gets searingly hot outside.

The story has a very happy ending. They lasted a few years in California, then went north to Oregon then Washington state and then ended up in North Carolina. They are still married with two great sons. Mr. California and his wife are both employed in a field of speciality of nursing that pays really large dollars. So they've always done well, and their specialty and service thirty years ago under legendary Houston heart docs like Cooley and DeBakey means they don't have to look real hard for a great job where ever they go. 

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