A quick morning expedition…

Okay, I spent yesterday hiding from the sun and the heat, slowly unpacking and de-stressing and generally evaluating what I’ve gotten myself into. By noon two things were clear: It was too damned hot to do anything outdoors beyond the stark minimum, and if I had to stay in this house 24/7 for three weeks I would be painting the walls in bodily fluids long before the end.

I live in the high desert at about 6000 ft and sure, between Spring and Monsoon it gets hot. But this is down in the valley where for reasons I never satisfactorily understood they chose to put this city, and it’s hot. Being desert it does cool off a bit when the sun goes down: Being low desert with all that burden of atmosphere it does not do so to the extent to which I’m acclimated.

The friends for whom I’m house-sitting left a bicycle with a lock and a grocery basket, and there’s plenty of shopping not very far away. The closest, fortunately, is a smallish Wally World a mile and a half away, and even though I haven’t ridden a bicycle in 10 years and that wasn’t a great success I knew I could do a 3 mile round trip on pavement for staple supplies without problem as long as I wasn’t prostrated by the heat. That meant first thing in the morning, and the WW was both the most practical first stop and the best choice for a test destination. Almost certain to be open early – as far as I know they basically never close, but I’ve lived alone for a long time and don’t know everything I need to.

Everything went perfectly well and I was home before seven, sweat-soaked but victorious. A few small caveats: I learned something else my torn rotator cuff doesn’t like to do, and Torso Boy freaked all the way out in my absence and pissed all over the floor. But fortunately the lion’s share of the floor is tiled and he had the decency to avoid the carpeted rooms, and also one advantage of a small dog is a small bladder, so that was a simple fix*.

Now I’ve showered and changed – I should check the water heater capacity because I truly may just move into the shower for the duration – and I’m looking around and wondering how to spend this day more profitably than I spent yesterday.

* He’s kind of stressed out, though, and it doesn’t help that I think the hot asphalt and all this gravel hurt his paws yesterday. I let him out first thing this morning, making the mistake of using the front door because it’s closest to our bedroom. He immediately saw a man walking two large dogs, bayed (yipped) his absurdly ineffectual challenge and got so worked up that in hindsight I don’t actually think he took advantage of his morning pee before I left.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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11 Responses to A quick morning expedition…

  1. Mike says:

    Joel, I’m just trying to picture you on a bicycle… and, it’s not working.

    Too bad that the people you are house sitting for don’t have an e-bike or a moped. With one of those contraptions, the area where you could go would have been vastly increased.

  2. Ben says:

    I assume that you have AC? If so, that’s part of the battle, but what does Joel do to keep from going stir crazy? You may have to go nocturnal for the duration.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Maybe this is your call to write your next book.

  4. anonymous says:

    When our central air A/C recently went legs up, I chose to shelter in place so that A/C tech would not be delayed at all. I probably took at least eight or nine cold showers just to cool off, also wetting shirt and walking about in swim trunks during heat of day. I survived but I was a bit grumpy to say the least.

  5. Ben says:

    I don’t totally trust my central AC, so I always keep at least one window shaker around. (Just like when I lived in the frozen north I always had a portable heater “just in case”) Also, small window units are best for power failures because they can be powered by a portable generator.

  6. terrapod says:

    Pedaling with one prosthetic foot must be a challenge, hope the tennis shoes stay glued to the pedals. Then again, thinking of the surface temps of the blacktop, your shoes may melt and adhere even better.

    As to TB, how large is the basket on the bike and is it on the front? Maybe a ride around the block in the basket will cure him of wanting to go with you on the next outing 😉

    Alternately, does your benefactor have a cage and would TB be accustomed to such? This cuts down on wayward puddles..

    Presuming you are in the valley of the sun, I find there is almost no point in trying to walk or pedal anywhere, things of interest are always miles away and the A/C in the car is a lifesaver, literally. I recommend you make a list of places to visit, such as Harbor Freight for tools, car parts stores and so on. Drive out to one each day to break the cabin fever.

    Carry on.

  7. Joel says:

    If I lived around here I’d definitely want a backup A/C. And maybe a backup backup A/C. And a matching array of generators…

    Seriously I don’t fully understand why anyone would want to live around here, except for hermits more far-gone than your humble blogger. And yet this is where they chose to plop a big city, and I truly don’t understand it.

    I actually did have the adhesive on a pair of shoes come apart in heat, but I was in Saudi at the time. This place doesn’t always miss that mark for discomfort, but that’s not the league we’re playing in at the moment. Shorter version: It’s hot but it’s not Saudi hot.

    TB is small by LB standards, but far too big for a bicycle basket. Also I expect far too set in his opinions of what ought to be.

    And I need to bicycle because I don’t have a driver’s license. There is a car available for emergency use but I would never presume to use it casually.

  8. terrapod says:

    Yikes! No license, why one would think you were a desert hermit hiding from a bounty hunter, or something….

    Just curious, you are in the big city for several weeks, chock full of license issuing offices. If you once had one, could you not just walk in with it and ask to renew? I mean, there are whole CITIES full of old folks there and most of them drive sort of well into their 80’s (ask me how I know this, crunchy lesson in 1978 – Sun City West near Glendale). You being young and all, they will probably issue it out of gratitude in dealing with a younger person! Of course it is catch 22, as you can’t drive to the bureau legally, hmm, there must be a solution, maybe a friend or Uber over there?

  9. Mark Matis says:

    I would bet that hive has bus service…

  10. Mike says:

    Joel, you are right about a moped, but as for an e-bike…

    In Arizona, a motorized electric or gas-powered bicycle or tricycle is one that:

    Has a “helper motor” with an engine displacement of 48 cc or fewer.
    Could be self-propelled.
    Goes less than 20 mph.

    You do not need:

    A driver’s license or specific credential to operate these vehicles.
    To title or register these vehicles.


  11. Joel says:

    Yeah, I know that. In fact I bought a cheap little bike motor and put it on an old bicycle. That experiment lasted about a month. It became a race as to whether the drive gear would be worn smooth before or after the centrifugal clutch completely burned out.

    The one I had worked great on flat pavement or reasonable grades but was completely overwhelmed by even moderate hills – to say nothing of what happens when a bicycle’s front wheel hits soft sand at 15 mph.

    I’d kind of like to try an e-bike, to be honest – but I wouldn’t ever want to buy one, and I’m not at all convinced it would work in my terrain.

To the stake with the heretic!