Saturday, August 05, 2006

Newsflash! Playground slides get hot when the temperature rises!

The heat finally broke on Friday. I drove to work and it was 68 degrees outside. It was lovely. But for about a week there, which is one of the reasons why I was not writing here because I knew I would be absoloutely relentless in my maliciousness towards anyone whining, everyone went absolutely out of their minds. Everyone - especially the television newsblatherers.

We all know my disdain for the purely sensationalistic hyperbole that is the nightly local newscast... If it is possibly going to snow, they go into a frenzy and everyone runs to the store to buy up all the bread. Like it will never be made again!

With the heatwave that engulfed the country over the past few days, they really didn't have many visuals to show to illustrate the carnage that was befalling us. It isn't like you can use a ruler to stick in the snow on the side of the highway as the state snowplow crews go down I-93 through Andover.

So they went out and measured the temperature of the playground equpiment to see how hot that stuff gets. And they were... surprised!

If you read the quote to the left here, Dr. Deanna Lites of WHDH went out and did "unscientific tests" with a "non-contact thermometer" to find out what the surface temperature of playground equipment was. Her unscientific findings are listed to the side.

Well ain't that something.

Metal slides DO get really hot when the sun beats down on them or when the temperature rises. I think my back-end learned that in second grade (1972!) and the temperature was around 70 degrees.

So why were parents letting their children play at the playground! Well, look over there! It's the frog pond, filled with water and respite! And kids have boundless energy all day, so getting them out, even when it is like one million degrees, is sometimes the best thing ever. Run over there, jump in the pool, get out, run over to the swings (running over that cork ground cover, which could be natural dirt and grass but things just can't be natural anymore) and then play and come over here and get a drink and go over there and get in the pool.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Slides get hot. Wow. Please tell me something I don't already know.

Reporting news stories like this forces my snarkiness level right up off the charts.

This falls into the category of me being sick of the Weather Channel being my mommy and telling me what to do. I want the Weather Channel, the National Weather Service and the News to report what is going to happen with the weather. What's the temp going to be, when is it going to stop being ungodly hot...

I do not want the weather report to tell me to make sure I put on enough sunscreen, drink a lot of water, get to the senior center to take advantage of the air conditioning (which is set at 80, in a room filled with bodies that are putting off a lot of heat. I may as well sit at home and swelter in front of my own fan if that's what I have to look forward to)...

My friend Peter left a comment reminding my oh so often knowitallish self (heh), that others may not be as conscientious as I am and know what to do in the heat.

He's right you know. I do tend to be a big fat know it all.

A lot of people are indeed suffering from the temperature rise, and sometimes the government has to remind people what to do and where to go.

He is correct -- of course. But still. Where did the days go when the news was just reported.

When did the collective mentality whoosh straight into panty-bunching insanity?

Was the world like this pre-911? I seem to recall reporters always being slightly over the top, but it feels as if it has just reached a level of epidemic ridiculousness.

Peter pointed out that this was the first heat wave since 2002. But to be honest, it gets hot all the time in New England in July and August. New York too, Pennsylvania. Maryland. All over the place. It gets hot this time of year. "Heat Wave" or no wave.

Forecasters were screaming that it would be over 102 Oh My God! degrees on Wednesday and it ONLY got to 98! So the record didn't get broken! It was still hot.

It was hot at 92.

It is hot at 102.

It. Was. And. Always. Is. Hot. In. July. And. August.

Additionally infuriating to me is all the continuing babble about the Heat Index. Ooooooh! The Heat Index is going to be 109! Combine the humidity with the heat and do math and carry the one and divide by three percent and ... and... and oh my GOD we are going to broil like scallops.

It's all about what it is going to "feel like."

News flash - It's hot. It feels like hot. This is what 98 degrees FEELS LIKE. It doesn't FEEL LIKE 106 based on math. It. Feels. Hot.

99 here vs. 99 in Texas. It is still freaking HOT.

I am going to fall over with an aneuyrysm right now because of all of this. It makes my head explode.

It's hot. It was hot. It is hot. It is summer.

We look forward to this, remember that people. We whine all winter that it is cold. It is sleeting. It is snowing. Harvey, when is the sun coming out? Chikage, when will it stop raining! Kevin, you're so handsome and cute but please make it be warmer!

And when it gets over 80 everyone cries that it is too hot. It is heat indexy. The FEELS like is too brutal for us to deal with.

I hate New England.

I hate that no one can deal with the weather if it isn't between 72 and 78 with a very gentle sea breeze. Everything else is certifiably whinable.

And that makes for about 300 days of the year in my "non-scientific" guestimation.

So between all the frothing about the temperature and the word Hezbollah (I am weary of the whole Israel/Hezbollah/UN is going to issue a resolution that this better stop! garbage. Do Not Get Me Started On That.), between all that I've just turned off the TV and am playing hand-held Yahtzee and surfing flickr.

It is Saturday. I'm happy to have the day off and it is right where I like it temperature-wise. It isn't pouring. It isn't 178 degrees on the cork ground cover. It isn't snowing. It isn't too windy or not windy enough.

I can tell you what it FEELS LIKE.

It feels like geocaching.

More later.

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