Friday, June 15, 2012

Monsoon Season is Officially Here!

Monsoon 2012 officially starts today in the Valley of the Sun! Woohoo! The downside is that we'll be creeping up to 112 degrees this coming week with no rain in the forecast. But it's a dry heat, right? My snarky answer to that is, "So's my oven."

We might be waiting a while for rain, but we have no end of deadly heat . Yes, it's beautiful, and yes we do go hiking and biking in the summer. But there are rules. And you thought graduation meant no more rules. Silly you. But seriously, if you venture out in the heat, please remember a few things that just might save your life. Natives and long-term residents might know this stuff, but newbies may not. And a refresher never hurt anyone.

1. Try to keep outdoor activities to the early morning or evening hours when the sun isn't so intense. This goes for dogs, too. Imagine wearing a fur coat out in this heat. I personally prefer a nice cool swim or a trip to the local ice-skating rink.
2. Stay hydrated. Take lots of water. And drink it. Yeah, that sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people forget.
3. Use sufficient sunblock and reapply it every 2 hours. If you're fair-skinned like I am, you'll need at least 30 or 50 SPF. If you're dark-skinned, you might be able to skip this step, depending on how much melanin you have.
4. Wear a hat. It might not make you look cool, but it may help keep you alive.
5. Don't hike trails that are too difficult for you, especially in the heat.
6. Take a cell phone. No, not for yapping with your peeps. It's for emergencies, silly.
7. Be aware of your surroundings. Nothing ruins a beautiful hike like a rattlesnake bite, a scorpion sting, or a broken bone.
8. If you're driving during a monsoon, don't cross barriers or washes. Besides getting stranded and ruining your car, you'll get a nice bill from authorities who have to rescue your butt. It's called the "Stupid Motorist Law". Yep, it's a real law and it's enforced.
9. Don't go outside to take photos of that awesome lightning. You might just find yourself on the other end of several thousand volts. It'll be really hard to work that camera when you're dead.
10. Stay off the golf courses during a monsoon. It's just as hard to swing a club when you're dead as it is to use a camera. See #9 for further details.

I really don't want to see my peeps or readers on the 6 o'clock news, so stay safe out there this summer. Better yet, stay inside and read a book.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

You Know You're a Desert Dweller When...

Summer solstice is a week away and I’m feeling a little goofy from the heat, so I thought I’d share a little Arizona desert fun with you.

You know you’re a desert dweller when…

  1. You keep a pair of oven mitts in your car for summer driving.
  2. A summer cold front means the temperature will drop below 110 degrees and it’s time to fire up the barby!
  3. When house hunting, you ask, “How big a pool does it have?”
  4. You pause during your walk to let a scorpion cross the sidewalk in front of you.
  5. A run to the corner store in summer means taking a water bottle for the ½ mile drive and the a/c finally cools off the car just as you park.
  6. A ten foot scrawny tree equals – shade, baby!
  7. You drive around a parking lot for fifteen minutes in summer just to get a spot under a ten foot scrawny tree. Score!
  8. Dressing up in summer means choosing what color shorts to wear with which pair of sandals.
  9. You own more sandals than any other type of shoes.
  10. The first crash of monsoon thunder sends you scrambling to the window with excitement and high-fiving your office buds.
  11. Summer betting involves how far away the lightening is and which golf course it just struck.
  12. You pass three golf courses on your five mile drive from home to work.
  13. Driving the freeway safely involves physics equations and a heck of lot of luck.
  14. The phrase “Snowbirds are back in town” sends you into a panic because you’ll have to allow an extra fifteen minutes to get anywhere until summer arrives again.
  15. You see a cloud in the sky and wonder if it’s monsoon season.
  16. You have at least three bottles of sun screen near the door year round.
  17. Winter means you get to use the 30 spf sunscreen instead of the 50.
  18. You see someone without sunglasses and know they’re from out of town.
  19. You hear someone pronounce saguaro with the g sound and know they’re from out of town.
  20. The temperature drops below 75 degrees and you get excited because it’s jacket weather.

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