Thursday, July 26, 2018


When I was a kid in Third Grade I lived in the Mojave Desert of California. In the summer it was always hot..... lots of hot. We did not have any nanny on TV or the radio telling us the heat index. In those days, hot was the key word, and we did not want to hear a higher number under cover of some math story problem telling us another index.

Later in life I lived in Africa, in Tanzania, and when it was hot, it was simply hot. We walked a bit slower, we drank plenty of water, and we sweat a lot. The breeze cooled us. There were no air conditioners. My Dad's pick up truck had a Crank 60 air conditioner. You cranked the window down and drove 60 MPH.

When my wife and I lived in the Mojave Desert years later, on the highway from LA to Las Vegas, it was often way over 100 F. We had a "swamp cooler" which ran by evaporation. It worked great unless the Pacific wind brought us high humidity. We learned that we could wander about outdoors and still get some work done.

I recall stopping to eat and for gas in Indio, California, and in Yuma. When I was a kid those people had no air conditioning, and 120 F. was normal there. The people had the complexion of tanned leather, but they looked healthy and happy.

When we lived in southeastern Arizona, where I had my piano tuning business, I drove thousands of miles to my customers. I knew every shade tree in that part of Arizona where I could park, throw the doors open, and eat my lunch. The breeze was hot, but any breeze at 115 F. feels good. My customers virtually all lived by the ethic that anyone nearby needed a drink of
water, and in this way we all kept each other hydrated. The ranch people all put jugs of water on the wall around their yard for illegals because some of them died every year from thirst as they tried to walk across the desert. We all kept water in the car trunk in case we stalled and had to walk to help. We kept a revolver on hand also to dispatch snakes and varmints.

Why did people long ago live in the heat and not complain or struggle with it?

Answer: It is all in your mind. If you walk out the door with the attitude that you survived this last year, and you will survive it again, the heat quickly fades as an issue. You learn to walk slow, and you walk from shade to shade if you have trees. Farmers in the High Desert learn to get out to their fields at 5 AM, and they go back inside at 11 AM. Then, after supper, they go back out and work from 8 PM to Midnight. They take a mid day nap to keep up on sleep.

If you learn to live with the heat and let it have its way, you will be happy, and you will not need the weather man to tell you that you are miserable. You will not need to be nagged to drink water. It will become a way of life. The problem today is that people survive by being nagged non-stop. We are nagged by Facebook, Microsoft, the Government, our health insurance company, NBC, CBS, CNN, and nearly everyone we meet during the summer. In fact, we are nagged about something all year long.

Will the culture ever return to the day when people developed instincts to survive without having a perpetual nanny app on their cell phone beeping them?

Will we ever again spend a whole day of our life without hearing that the sky is falling?

I do not respond well to this new culture. I do as I jolly well please, and the nanny republic can go to blazes. If I bump my head on a low beam, or if I stand in a patch of stinging ants and get bit badly, I demand the luxury of blaming myself. I do not need some do-gooder trying to help me blame YOU for Global Warming or the collapse of the economy.

As the saying goes, "Stuff happens." If you caused it, take responsibility, and keep moving.