One Voice

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It’s summer now, but not summer forever

It’s August, and it’s very hot and humid here in Georgia.

It doesn’t bother me, though, because for the first time in 22 summers, I am living through a summer that is going to end.

Mike, isn’t that a little bit of an exaggeration? Summers in California don’t last forever.

No, they just seem to. You cannot imagine how frustrating it is to someone who loves the changing seasons to go outside in the middle of December and find that it’s 90 degrees outside.

By that same token, you cannot imagine how wonderful it was for me last December to play 18 holes of golf here at Sun City Peachtree when it was 28 degrees outside. I was the only person on the entire course, and I was too bundled up to score well, but it was so much fun to feel cold.

SCP in December.

In winter, the Bermuda grass is anything but green. When they told me how beautiful it would be in summertime, it was almost impossible to believe. But now, whenever I’m out on the course, or just when I drive down Spring Forest past the first and ninth holes, the course is the most gorgeous shade of green you could ever imagine.

And me? As much as I like it, I’m looking forward to seeing the green disappear for the winter.

I’m looking forward to the fall, too. For the first time since the ’80s, I’m back in a part of the country where college football really matters. Folks around here are already talking about the Dawgs (Georgia), the National Champion Auburn Eagles, ‘Bama and all the other big programs.

We didn’t get here last year until just about the end of the season, and most of the excitement for Georgia schools was pretty well past. But what’s great about football Saturdays in the fall is that sometimes they’re chilly.

This might seem like a strange post for the first week in August. Earlier this week, I shot a 39 on the front nine and was only two over par on the back nine when I decided to call it a day because of the heat. I was on track to shoot a 78 or 79, but I play often enough that I could walk away and not feel bad about it.

Anyway, summer will be over before I know it.


posted by Mike in Georgia,golf,Happiness and have No Comments

Who would have expected snow days in Georgia?

I-285 is just, well, stopped.

I remember when I lived in Colorado for two winters in the 1980s, I used to be amused by some of the storm reports we would get.

I lived about an hour north of Denver, and we would hear on the Denver stations that Interstate 70 was closed from “Gun Club Road to the Kansas border.” If I remember correctly, that’s more than 100 miles of interstate highway on relatively flat land that was just, well, closed.

That made sense to me, because the amount of snow involved might be 12 inches, 24 inches or even more.

I saw a little of the same thing when I lived in Reno for two years, especially when it meant climbing into the mountains on I-80 and crossing the Sierra Nevadas at Truckee. The cool thing about Truckee, Calif., was that it was the same general area where the Donner party had been trapped during the winter of 1846-47.

But you expect snow to be a factor when you live at altitude, and those four winters for me were spent about 4,500 feet above sea level.

You don’t expect a tiny little snowstorm — 4-7 inches up in Atlanta and maybe 1-2 inches here in Griffin — to bring everything to a standstill. Jeez, we haven’t even had mail delivery the last two days. UPS and Fed Ex aren’t getting through either.

It isn’t so much the snow. It’s that most of the streets and roads that aren’t main highways are completely covered with ice. You see, as far south as Georgia, cities and towns don’t invest all that much money in snow plows. I remember reading online today that the city of Atlanta has eight.

With temperatures not expected to get much above freezing until Friday, we could be in for a couple more really slow days.

I really don’t mind.

I’m just glad this won’t be happening every winter.

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posted by Mike in Georgia and have No Comments

It may not be summer, but it’s hot hot hot

So much for a mild summer.

My final summer in California was one of the mildest on record, but as often happens here in the Southland, the weather doesn’t get really nasty until it’s technically autumn.

Hot hot hot

The temperature today in Los Angeles — nearly a week into autumn — was at least 113 degrees.

I say at least because the official thermometer at USC peaked at 113 degrees and then stopped working.

It wasn’t the hottest day ever in Southern California. A few years back when I was working in Ontario, our temperature got up to 117, and the all-time record for the region was set at Woodland Hills in July 2006 when the mercury hit 119.

But 113 with four days left in September?

Damn, that’s nasty.

I am so ready for Georgia.

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posted by Mike in California and have No Comments

It’s really hot, so why is the water so cold?

If this isn’t the strangest summer here in Southern California …

Surf City

I went to Surf City today without my board, figuring I would get back to the beach and get a little bit familiar with the ocean again before going back with my board the first part of next week.

It has been really hot here the last two or three days after what I’m told was a very mild summer up till now. We don’t use air conditioning, and it still seems too warm to sleep really well until 3 or 4 a.m. Yesterday we went out to Empire Lakes to play golf and it must have been 100 degrees.

So today I figured I would go down and do my walking at Huntington Beach. Just before I left, Nicole suggested I might as well take my swimsuit. I agreed, and when I got there, I changed into my suit and went onto the beach.

When I went into the water, I got a nasty shock.

It was cold.

Damned cold.

If the water is this cold in the middle of August — and it was pretty cold two weeks ago in La Jolla too — I have a feeling I really am going to have to invest in a wet suit before I get serious about moving further along in my surfing.

Yes, it is a strange summer.

posted by Mike in California,Happiness,surfing and have No Comments

In SoCal, a stranger in a strange land

In some parts of the country, the leaves have already fallen off the trees.

Other places have already had their first snowstorms, and it’s obvious that winter is on the way.

Here in Southern California, we made our concession to autumn by setting our clocks back an hour when we got up this morning. Then we “enjoyed” a November day with temperatures in the low 90s. Welcome to Los Angeles, where summer never really ends.

Stranger in a strange land

Stranger in a strange land

I don’t remember exactly when I took this picture. I think it was two years ago, maybe three, but there was something extremely odd about seeing Santa Claus walking down the beach just north of Malibu while some folks — not pictured here — surfing and swimming.

Some people like the fact that we probably have 275-300 days a year that would qualify at least as “warm,” but my favorite season of the year was always autumn and that’s a season that barely exists south of Morro Bay. Changing leaves? Not many. Those palm trees hold onto their leaves. Chilly nights? Maybe a few, but nothing like the wonderful late summer evenings I remember from back East that told you fall was coming.

I’ve lived here for nearly 20 years, and I can honestly say I’m about paradised out. I suppose it has a little more variety to it than San Diego, where it’s 75 and sunny nearly every day, but I remember Colorado and its weather fondly. Hot summers, cold winters and springs and falls that sort of split the difference.

I remember covering a college baseball doubleheader in Greeley in late February and I’m pretty sure the temperature never got above 35 degrees. I remember waking up the day after Christmas 1987 having to drive all the way to Sioux Falls, S.D., and finding a foot of snow on the ground and more on the way.

Whoever said variety is the spice of life certainly never meant that to refer to the Southern California weather.

Will I miss the beaches? Probably, although I’m still hoping to learn to surf before we leave for new surroundings sometime next year.

Will I miss the mild winters? I don’t know. Ask me when it’s 25 degrees out and sleeting.

I know one thing. I won’t miss 90-degree November days.

There’s something very wrong about that.

Somebody call Al Gore.

posted by Mike in Ranting and have No Comments
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