Time and Heat

In the ten days since I last posted, I’ve been discovering all sorts of new and interesting ways to test my body’s ability to deal with heat. Marcia and I spent five days in Las Vegas last week, including both the Fourth of July and “07/07/07,” the busiest day in Vegas history according to the newspapers out there. (The lucky day corresponded with the World Series of Poker, no less, so the amateur and professional gamblers were out in force). While there, the air temperature hit a whopping 118 degrees Fahrenheit, which made even the desert-hardened locals grumble. I have felt hot air in the desert before, but nothing like this: it is amazing once you get above about 110 degrees how much of a difference even one additional degree makes. Your skin felt like you were getting a deep sunburn, even when you were in the shade. A half-mile walk from our hotel to a friend’s condo was enervating . . . the air heat being magnified by the reflected heat off the buildings and asphalt along the strip. Our flight out of Vegas was a real heat-influenced trip, as airplanes don’t lift as quickly in thin, hot air, meaning we had a long, long roll down the runway, followed by a long, slow climb into the air, roiling with thermals and turbulence.

 We figured Albany would be balmy by comparison, but then discovered that mid-90s feel pretty rotten too, when coupled with high humidity. To top it all off, we lost power overnight (again!) in the storm earlier this week, so spent a hot and sticky evening at home, unable to comfortably even open the windows, due to neighbors with roaring generators. I give them an A for planning, but a D for community spirit. Tuesday morning (still no power), I arose, drove to work in the Berkshires (equally hot), then drove back to Hudson to catch the Amtrak into New York City for a two day training session. Unfortunately, our train was hours late due to power outages back up the line and heat-related speed restrictions. I guess in the same way that airplanes have to compensate, trains have to slow down to deal with over-heated rails. Manhattan was a stewy miasma when we arrived, though I am grateful that my hotel room (where I type) has good, solid air conditioning and high quality, high pressure shower. Those factors make many other unpleasantries better.

 Day one of training behind me, I’ll be heading out soon to find a cool (both temperature-wise and cache-wise) place to eat dinner. Last night, I actually had a delicious pollo enchilada con mole. A good mole sauce also mitigates many ills. Let’s see if I can’t find something tonight to do the same. At least it’s raining out now, so I’m hoping this is the end of my ten day high temperature test trial. I’m ready for some crisp, autumn air at this point!

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