05:02:17 am on
Tuesday 20 Aug 2019

Heat Wave 2019
Matt Seinberg


We're having a heat wave,
A tropical heat wave,
The temperature's rising,
It isn't surprising ….
(“Heat Wave,” lyrics by Irving Berlin, used out of context.)

It was bound to happen during this rather mild summer, which seems as if it just started. It didn't just happen; the build-up was slow and steady. People were complaining that it was too mild and there was too much rain.

► Temperature tops 90 degrees; humidity maximum.

Now, we are now in the middle of our first summer heat wave of 2019. It started last Friday, with temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It's supposed to be like this until next Monday or Tuesday.

A heat wave happens when there are three or more days with temps over 90 degrees. Now that we are well into the summer, I'm sure this heat wave won't be the last one. Climate change is definitely here to stay.

My wife and I went to the beach this past Tuesday; it was hot. The worst part was not being able to go into the water because there was so much seaweed on the beach, with more washing ashore with every wave. This surely has something to do with climate change.

A seaweed covering is not something I like. It's slimy and icky. I wanted to cool off in the water, but it was nearly impossible. The people that were in the water were coming out covered in green slime. Yuck.

I went back to my Margaritaville beach chair, slathered on more SPF 50 sunscreen and drank cold water. Even with the fifty on, I managed to get a little red in some spots. For some reason, I don't get an all over burn or tan.

I get splotchy on my chest and stomach. It looks ridiculous, although my face, arms and legs got some colour. When I got home, I put on a great deal of lotion with aloe.

The lotion helped and I didn't have much pain from those red spots. My belly button got red. It looks like a cameo of a Joshua tree; well, a Joshua tree that's upside down.

On Friday, the first official day of the heat wave, I had one errand to do at BJ's Wholesale Club. After that, I went home, had lunch and did my regular Friday chores. What are those you may ask; laundry; balance the chequebook and shred lots of old papers. Yes, my life is exciting.

► Installing railings on front steps.

I had been getting some estimates to put a railing down the front step. The prices, quoted, were ridiculous, absolutely. One estimate was $1200 for two sides; another estimate was for $590 for one side. Are you kidding me?

One of my co-workers just a railing put up; she told me what company shed used and I called. I left a message for a call back to set up an appointment. No one called back, so my co-worker made the appointment for me.

Unfortunately, I needed a Tuesday or Friday and somehow the appointment was for a Thursday. My friend called to change the appointment to a Friday.

The sales representative showed up early. He gave me a price of $600 for both sides. I asked, if I gave them cash, could he do better? That dropped the price to $500. I told him I'd talk it over with my wife and call him back the next day.

I call him the next day, Saturday. We scheduled the installation for the following Friday. Yes, the day the heat wave would start.

Around 2 pm, three workers came to install a railing on the front steps. I've wanted to do this for quite a while. With dad living with us now, it seemed the right time.

The workers had all the PVC pieces needed, except for the wrong vertical posts. Our other ones are 4" X 4," and they had 5" X 5." They called the boss, who had them dropped off.

I gave the workers a pitcher of ice water and some cups; then, let them get to work. By 4 pm they were done and it looks great.

► Heat stroke comes on quickly.

In a heat wave, stay in an air-condition area, a mall or movie theatre if you don’t have air conditioning at home. Drink plenty of water and don't exert yourself if you go outside. Heat stroke can set in very quickly.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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