05 July 2007

I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore...

It's 0945 local time as I start typing this post. Big Bubba has a time/temp bug on his computer that indicates it has just reached 100 degrees outside. It was 114 when we landed last evening at 1830 hours. Sara Jean is a sun worshipper and asked about going to the pool... my reply was to ask, "how long do you think you could sit in the sun when it's already 100 degrees outside?" If Big Bubba had an egg in his fridge, I'd go out on the sidewalk and see if I could successfully do one sunny-side-up for ya!

Now, help me with a mystery, please-
With the two hour time-change, our bodies were gently saying "hey, it's midnight!" when we finally hit the sack at 10 PM local last night. I was hoping for something like 12 hours of blissful, uninterrupted sleep. Desi the Dachshund was overjoyed that Mom and Pop were in for a visit, so he spent the night with us making sure Sara Jean and I didn't get too close to one another. Coupled with the natural "bein' in a different bed, different pillow, different noises" situation insured that sleep would be fitful at best. So when 8 O'Clock rolled around and we all began to have our eyes half-open, why was it deemed that the 60 year old, nearly retired old fart should be the one to take the dog out for his morning constitutional? Why can't the much younger, much better looking female half of the partnership get her beautiful hindside outta bed, leash up the dog, and parade down the street smelling every tree and light post until we get our "business" done, while the crusty old aviator smiles, turns over, and catches another 20 winks or so?
No, that ain't the way it works.
And the excuse of course- "I don't want anyone seein' me lookin' like this!"

Odd... this assumes I want anyone seein' me with "pillow hair" and what feel like little gold nuggets trapped in the corners of my eyes! I leashed Desi up, and we staggered down the stairs and down the sidewalk, sniffin' every bush, trash can, and car tire along the way... (not me, the dog!)

I don't know what catches your eye, but one of the things I have always keyed on is license plates. There's something about seeing a license plate from someplace far away that stirs something in me. After Desi had his business taken care of, we walked the circle that the parking lot makes here at Big Bubba's apartment complex, and I noticed the plate shown above. I can't make out the name of the State/Province, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the Country since I'm now in a State that shares a border with Mexico. Still, I don't see a tag like that often, and it made me wonder... the owner of the truck is someone that is willing to announce to the world that he is from Mexico... wonder what kind of business he is conducting here in Mesa?
It'd be interesting to hear.

Back to the heat...
I had an MSN Instant Message chat with Ole Prairie Dog this morning, and we discussed the heat here, comparing it to what we dealt with in Viet Nam and what the kids in Iraq are exposed to. In Viet Nam, most of us had no air conditioning, so we went to bed in 90 degree temps with the humidity also 'way up on the scale. I can remember frequently waking up with my sheets soaked from my perspiration... solid sleep there also came at a premium.
But the heat here is more like the heat our troops are suffering with in Iraq, and those that are having to Patrol are out in it while wearing helmet, protective body armor, and where there is a suspected threat, gas mask, gloves, etc..
Just walking the dog this morning was uncomfortable. I know there is a certain amount of acclimatization the body can do to its' environment, and I'm glad our guys in Iraq probably have access to air conditioning and plenty of water... but bein' here in Mesa is a reminder... a real slap in the face... keep 'em in your prayers, folks!

More from Mesa later.

A couple quickie updates at 1 PM:
110 degrees... When we got home from the airport, Big Bubba's Caddy made sounds like the coolant was boiling away, but there was no sign of steam. The car idles at about 2000 RPM when it is at operating temperature, and there is no way to get it to idle slower. The trim around the trunk lock fell off last week. The car has 180,000 miles on it... nearly half of that put on by a young male driver.

Since Big Bubba is trading cars today I didn't want to drive this poor lame Caddy any more than is absolutely necessary. So at Noon Sara Jean and I walked 15 minutes over to our favorite Mexican Restaurant here... "Chevy's". Fifteen minutes is about all I'd like to spend in this kind of heat... by the time we got to the restaurant our hearts were pounding and our feet were sending an S.O.S.. We ate a great meal, then forced a lot of water on ourselves in order to make the return trip to the apartment.

As a military officer, since 1967, I have had access to an insurance/financial services company called USAA. That company now has extended services to dependents, and Big Bubba has his renters and car insurance with them. When he started considering the purchase of a car I suggested he call USAA and check on the rate on a car loan. He did, and found their rates to be highly competitive. This morning there was a knock at the door. Opening the door I found a man from DHL Express on the other side with a special delivery envelope from USAA. I signed for the delivery and opened the envelope to find a blank check inside which can be filled out for any amount up to $48,000 toward the purchase of any automobile! That, folks, amazes me!

One more observation about the heat-
The birds aren't flying. We walked beneath several trees along our way to eat, and noticed Pigeons, Doves, and some kind of Blackbird were perfectly willing to stay roosted in the trees, even though we were passing at what would normally be "spook" distance for them. Smart!

Again, there may be more coming later.

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