30 July, 2009

That's What I'm Talking About

Record-setting/breaking heat in the Northwest! Who'da thunk it?! 103° (f) at SeaTac Airport? Wow! Seattle set the record for the hottest day in the city's history. Get this, 104° (f) at the Olympia Regional Airport.

I mean, we're used to it down here (more or less) but, for an area where 70° (f) is considered very warm and comfortable, y'all must be feeling like broiling chickens.

I remember many moons ago, during the summer of 1981, I had been in Olympia doing my professional internship at the then Washington State Department of Emergency Services (DES), and the temperature was right around 103° (f). I don't recall ever having weather that warm in the many years following that that we lived in Olympia.

Dianna had taken the Greyhound bus from Cheney to Olympia to visit me for the weekend since I was completing my internship and would be heading back to Cheney for the start of school. She had stayed in Cheney to work and keep our home during the summer.

We went to a picnic at one of the many lakes in the Olympia area, at the home of a DES employee, Joel Aggergaard (who later became a very, very good friend before his untimely death a few years ago due to an unusual recurrence of Hodgkins Disease). For a picnic, it was sweltering - even with a lake and all that.

Later that afternoon, Dianna and I left the party to begin driving back to Cheney (about a 5-hour drive across the state). No air-conditioning in our 1970 Big Bad Orange AMC Gremlin. A couple of hours later we topped Snoqualmie Pass and the temperature became manageable. But, by then, I think we had flooded the interior of the car with sweat!

At least down here, we have the humidity to help lubricate everything in the heat.

Anyway, we know how you are all suffering up there. My advice... Keep the beer cold. If you can't catch the M's at the Safe, at least turn on the telly and watch them while having the fan blow directly on you.

This too shall pass. Cooler, more humane temps will return.

12 comments:

  1. Well, we're getting ready to experience the long, hot days of August in South Carolina. Every day in the high 80's or mid 90's and you can cut the humidity with a knife.

    We went walking this am (notice I said WE, Karol started last week) and when we got back I used up an entire paper towel just drying the back of my neck and head!!! And that was before 6 am!!

    Anyway, wish you well with keeping the pool and Barbie busy -- you know, the old "somebody has to do it" while I keep working. By the way, way off subject, did or didn't Barry Bowen get Knighted last year? I though that I heard that?

    Julian

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  2. Hi Julian,
    I just got back from walkies with the girls and I could wring a bucketful out of my t-shirt.
    I do believe it's now Sir Barry. I'm pretty sure his name was on the last Honours List.
    Give the beer a higher tone, you know.
    Cheers,
    Dave

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  3. You drove a Gremlin and are willing to say so? Was your other car a Pacer? :-)

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  4. Ooh - Perry, You really know how to hurt a guy. In its day (1970), it was pretty sporty. Gremlins had just come on the market that year. I saw it in Life magazine when we were in Da Nang, so when I was home on leave I decided to stop at the AMC dealer to take a look. I was actually on my way to the VW dealer to buy a van.

    They had this big bad orange (that was actually the color name) number with black interior sitting in the showroom. They didn't even have a demo to drive.

    I bought it and drove it home. Had to pay extra for the glovebox door - it was an option. I paid $2400 brand new with a trade-in of a '65 Valiant convertible.

    I drove it for almost 14 years (about $171 a year). Typical AMC product - it would either run forever or be a lemon to beat 'em all. It took minimal maintenance, which back then was a miracle itself. We did have to replace clutches every couple of years - got to be pretty good at that.

    Years later, Gremlins did look pretty ugly, but Pacers were even more of an abomination. I haven't seen either in probably 15-20 years.

    Might as well admit that we traded it in on a Plymouth Horizon - a true POS if there ever was one.

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  5. I forgot to mention, I finally did get my VW van. We traded the Horizon in on a '78 VW Vanagon Westfalia Camper. Diesel job. Went through hell trying to find a decent mechanic. Once we solved that, it was a jewel. Simply amazing how much stuff you could cram inside, even when it was already full of camping gear. We swapped it off to my Father-in-law who still drives it! BTW - It's license plate was BEDBUG!

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  6. But, here's what I really wanted: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYKd1OGLWrc).
    Thanks to Jim Voris for sending me the video. - d

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  7. What was wrong with the '65 Valiant convertible? We still see a few of those here in SoCal.
    An old girlfriend's dad drove a green Gremlin, but orange? That must have been a sight to see. Did you have your beard at that point in time? I could see you riding around in an old V-dub, just not the Gremlin.
    And a sporty Gremlin (sporty and Gremlin in the same sentence?) probably couldn't beat my sporty Pinto. :-)

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  8. Hah, got ya' beat. I popped up outa my Submarine and bought a 1970 Orange AMX. That turned out to be a heck of a car ($4,500)! Traded in a 350 Yamaha motorcycle on it. I kept it until 1975, got married and traded it in on a 4 door Toyota SR-5. (Didn't win anymore races from the stoplights.)

    I broke up with a girl and went out at 3 am on the Virgina Beach Expressway and got it up to 145 mph.. Kid you not -- and with hydraulic lifters. That will probably be the only car I ever had that came with a Hurst Shifter and would get rubber in every gear. Amazing that I lived through that period!!!

    Julian

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  9. I had a used light green Gremlin in the late 1970's. I loved it because when the battery died I could get it push started. I still remember the smell of burning clutch.

    We had some real summer heat here in Alberta last week and it was really nice.

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  10. Perry - What was wrong with the '65 Valiant? I loved it, but on a trip from San Diego to Colorado Springs, I put a whole case of oil into it. I figured that was the time to trade.
    Beard off and on then.
    A Pinto??? Explode on contact! And you razzed me for my Gremlin? Sporty Pintos and sporty Gremlins... Coupla' guys at the high end of the hip-meter if there ever were.
    Cheers,
    Dave

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  11. Julian - Wow! As I recall, they were set up hot right out of the box. 145 mph - Can't imagine. I made it to 110 once in high school riding with a friend in his car. Scared me to death!
    We managed to survive in spite of ourselves. I'll have a Belikin to celebrate that!
    Cheers,
    Dave

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  12. Hi Vivien - Green Gremlin. Regardless of the color, they were kinda cool cars at the time. Had a lot of shoulder and leg room too.
    Oh yeh, I remember the burning clutch smell - several times. Must have been something endemic with Gremlins and their clutches.
    Weather seems to have been kind of squirrelly all over up there lately.
    Cheers,
    Dave

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