This and That - While Loving Air Conditioning

Funny - I just got an email from a friend who lives in the Phoenix area, telling me he feels sorry for me. Why? Because the Northwest is getting hit by heat the likes that has never been recorded. Oh, and he'd like me to note it's supposed to be 114 in his fair town today.

And he feels sorry for Portland?!

Well, there is no other way to put - it sucks in Portland right now.

Monday was 103 - broke the record for that date.

Monday's overnight low was 74 - broke the all-time record for any date.

Tuesday was 106 - broke the record for that date (was "only" 101).

Tuesday night's overnight low was projected to be 75 - yep, another record. (Apparently it only got to 71...oh well.)

Today (Wed) was originally projected to be 108, but has dropped to 107. 107 would break the record for the date, but 108 would be the hottest Portland temperature ever recorded. (The actual temp only reached 106 - how sad! I have to deal with this hell and we don't even get an all-time record for it?! Hell, 107 was the day's record, so we hit 106 and got nothing but misery...)

If current models hold true Portland will be over 90 degrees through Monday or Tuesday, which would be a string of nine or 10 straight days. Only once in recorded history has Portland had a string of eight such days.

And in other news, it was 126 in my attic yesterday. I think that's a record - though I might have to update that this evening based on today's heat.

I think it's safe to say I'm happy the air conditioning was fixed last week. Even though it is functioning perfectly now, it's just too damn hot. I was getting worried when my downstairs was 78 last evening (instead of the set temp of 74), but the cold air was blowing. It's just too damn hot outside for the air conditioner to keep up. Thankfully once the sun went down the temperature inside the house started to decrease as well. At 9pm last night it was 87 upstairs in the office. Fun times.

I'm blowing the max AC in my car on the way to work. At 7am. That's insane.

My mother-in-law is staying with us through this heat wave because her house doesn't have air conditioning. She went home to water some plants last evening and her thermostat registered 88 - on the lower floor of the house.

Yep, it's a scorcher. In the words of the weatherman: "This will be the kind of heat wave you tell your grandkids about."

Well, I won't be telling MY grandkids...I think you need kids for that to happen, if I remember correctly. I could be the old guy telling someone else's random kids at the park...but that probably has no good outcome. Plus, what kids care about weather anyway?!

There is one good thing about being stuck at home because walking outside - even to the car - has me dripping sweat off the end of my nose, and that's getting caught up on my favorite kind of pursuits. That's right, the sedentary kind!

What I'm Reading: Just finished up Bill Bryson's The Mother Tongue. While to most people a history of the English language and how it got that way doesn't seem that exciting, it was actually really interesting to find out how words came to be, and how they morphed over the years. Plus, Bryson can make just about anything interesting, and he can make the normally interesting hilarious. If you have never read him before, check out A Walk in the Woods or The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. Or any of his other books - you can't go wrong.

Next up is Anthony Bourdain's A Cook's Tour - based around his first television series on The Food Network. Two chapters in and I'm loving, just like all his other books. Interestingly enough, I never saw this show but it apparently has no life at all on DVD, possibly because of how much he disparages the Food Network. No Reservations - one of the best shows on TV - is all over the place, but not A Cook's Tour. If you like Bourdain's show you must read Kitchen Confidential.

Oh, and after that, who knows? I have some newer books I'm on the waitlist for at the library, plus the 50 or so of my own books I haven't read yet.

What I'm Watching: We watched Revolutionary Road on Blu-Ray last week, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett. It was a pretty well done movie - the acting was good - but I just didn't find the story all that enthralling. Horribly depressing yes, and I can see the pathos in the characters, but that doesn't mean the story is automatically a must-watch. The movie we watched before that was The Reader, a movie that was acted just as well but the story was more compelling. Yes, apparently it was a Kate Winslett phase.

Netflix has since sent us The Watchmen, but we haven't carved out 3+ hours to watch it yet.

On TV we are watching the aformentioned No Reservations and America's Got Talent, plus Mental and Better Off Ted. Superstars - lame but oddly compelling - and the Terrell Owens Show are being grabbed by the DVR as well.

Maybe by the end of the summer we'll get to some of the HBO shows we have on DVD...The Wire? Entourage? The Sopranos? Have Season 1 of all of them (and Season 2 of The Wire), we just haven't gotten to them yet.

Maybe I need to take a vacation to catch up. :)

We also tried a couple of food places last weekend, neither of which merit their own post. We drove west out Baseline Road towards Hillsboro from a place we stop at regularly - more on the Mutt at some later date - and found a coffee place called Insomnia and a pizza place called La Bella Vita.

Insomnia was fine - got a mocha, my staple - but nothing special. They serve Sleepy Monk Coffee, which can be found in Cannon Beach, OR, and they do a decent job of it - it's just not special enough for me to go out of my way for it. Also, we picked up a cookie as well, one of the fresh baked goods they carry (from a local place whose name escapes me now). It was, well, not that great. Wifey can do a better job with her eyes closed.

At La Bella Vita we picked up a personal sized BBQ chicken pizza. It was mid afternoon on a hot day, but it was also completely dead. I mean completely - as in no one else in the place. I think our purchase barely justified paying the two employees working for the time it took our pizza to cook. If you click on the link you can see users on Yelp loved the place, but we weren't that sold. The crust was good - nice taste, good thickness - but it wasn't better than Pizza Schmizza, another local chain. The toppings were solid, but it wasn't as good as Pizzicato. Both of those places are closer to my house, so you can see where I'm going with this. Plus, neither of those places get better than three stars our of five for me, so that must mean La Bella Vita gets a max of two.

And yes, you should get a taste of what comes out of the home oven - we actually made pizza on Monday, and it was roughly a hundred times better with homemade crust, high quality meats and cheeses, and fresh veggies.

So if you happen to be driving by and need pizza or coffee these two places aren't terrible, but there is little reason to make a special trip.


  1. Read "Watchmen"... the book is deep and very entertaining... As for "Revolutionary Road," THAT book sucked bigtime. Sooooo boring. The movie was alright but I felt like everyone seriously overacted. The neighbor's crazy son was awesome, though...

  2. I'm two people back on the waitlist for Watchment at the library...and still haven't got to the movie yet. Maybe I'll do both back to back...