Saturday, June 20, 2009


“’s hot in here.  ‘s damn hot.  Too damn Hot.”---spoof interview with Abner V. McCall, President of Baylor University, on KWBU ca. 1975.

“Remember, son, Hell and Houston both begin with a ‘H’”---Original settler of Harrisburg, writing to his son back East.

While the rest of the country enjoys early spring conditions, tornadoes, storms, blizzards, and other signs of the apocalypse, we here in south Texas appear to have already been thrown into the pit with Lucifer.

It may be 95 at that nice grassy field out at the airport (near the nice cooling waters of the swamp), but in West Houston, my (carefully placed in the shade) thermometers are saying it’s 100 degrees at 7:00 pm.  My air conditioner (a nearly-new, highly efficient Goodman, made with Texas Pride in Houston by Houstonians) has been running continuously since I got home at 11:00 am (I was in Dallas yesterday and drove in this morning; I had the a/c in my car on “Lo-Lo-Lo-Recirc-Max Fan” all the way). I went to the Galleria earlier this afternoon; the car thermo showed “104”.

My yard is crispy; I’m going to water after the sun goes down at 9.  It’s also overgrown and going to seed; you don’t dare cut it short, because the moisture will evaporate faster.  My pine tree is shedding needles so fast it looks like a blizzard of brown.  Fortunately, my knockout roses (named Tschep, Eibner, and Bigham; there are those reading this who will understand that reference…) seem to LOVE the heat, growing and blooming their Razorback Red blossoms profusely.  Everything else is looking parched, despite all the –expensive- water I’m pouring daily.

I have the obligatory soaker hoses around my foundation, watering every night for half an hour.  Yep, here in good ol Tejas, we water our houses.  The soil is clay; if you don’t water, it pulls away from the foundation, leading the foundation to shift, then crack.  A cracked slab = major costly repair and a negative on selling your house.  Our houses “float” on the ground.  If you keep the soil moist around the foundation, and the foundation was poured correctly, you will –most likely- avoid a foundation repair company’s visit, work, and bill.  Oh, and of course there’s the fact that, when they do your repair, they have to tear up the floors inside to do it.  You then get all-new flooring, too….

I’ll worry about the Reliant bill and the City of Houston water bill later….

Speaking of the water department, our main is broken; water is bubbling up through the cracks in the street (two houses down from mine) and running into the storm drains.  All that lovely H20 down the drain when it could be going on my yard.  My neighbour across the street (a petroleum engineer) has rigged a sump pump to pump the water directly to his sprinkler.  $97.  I would do it, but they’ll come fix the main as soon as I do and it would be my luck that the store wouldn’t take the pump back. 

It’s been over 95 degrees now for 14 consecutive days, with no rain in the forecast and no relief in sight.  NOAA reports that the temps will go to triple digits (air temp at the aforementioned nice grassy field) next week, with heat indices well over 110.  Aforementioned City of Houston Water Department assures us that there is plenty of water in Lake Houston and Lake Conroe, but I can’t imagine they’ll let us water our yards too much longer if this drought continues.

The setting of sprinklers does provide certain advantages.  When it’s 100 degrees, a little sprinkle on YOU is a nice thing.

I love my office; I share air conditioning with the server room.  You can hang meat in there.  I love it.

Sigh.  I don’t know if it’s really hotter, or if it’s just the fact that I’m older, but the heat this year seems much worse.

But, the burgers have just come off the grill.  The lettuce is crisp and cool; the tomatoes, fresh off the vine, are “real”, juicy and cool and delicious, crusted with salt.  The sweet iced tea with its sprig of crushed mint is causing the glass to sweat.  There’s ice cream for dessert.

Y’all come on, now, wash up.  Supper’s ready.


  1. Your knockout roses are well-named! I love it.

  2. My friend Fred says: "Hell is as hot as Houston, but not as humid."

  3. Dinner sounds delicious. It was 101 with 100% humidity in Savannah this weekend. We sweated buckets.

  4. Thanks for the comment!

    We've been back in the states since June 2nd and have only had three days without rain. And it's cool. I know the heat is miserable but I'd love just a little right about now. Or at least some sunshine.

    Enjoy your week!