My personal “idea operating temp” varies a few degrees, depending on the kind of work being done.

For most consulting, writing, study, and thinking 68F  is about right.  Provided there’s a long-sleeved shirt.  Otherwise, 72F is acceptable.

Real construction (framing, hanging sheetrock, roofing, decking, and such is best done around 55-65F,

Gardening is best done at 75, or lower.  50F is a good temp for soil-breaking with a front-tine tiller, but up to 60F with the rear-tine variety that won’t smash you to smithereens.

Point is, I like comfort when working and this summer I have been very good about NOT doing much outside until the past week.

Elaine was playing with the cat, or some-such – and noticed some rot on a deck I’d built 8 or 9 years back, so this weekend was spent tearing off the rotten (and even remotely suspicious parts.  The good news about the deck was that it all went together with 3” construction screws and the special screws for treated decking were used.  So it was disassembly rather than blasting caps.

Later on this week, the repair wood will be delivered.  The decking itself will be #1 20-foot treated 2 by 6s.  These cost a fortune, but like a boat, if a deck isn’t maintained, rot is just a fact of life.

The heat’s been the main thing, though.  Not the work.

I do fine up until about 85F but by then, the glasses start coming off at impossibly bad moments.  Most of the past week, that working temp threshold has been sailing by at about 10 AM, or so.  Sunday was typical:  Start working at 6 AM and call it quits about 10:15 and hit the shower.

East Texas temps, despite what the climate alarmists may say, had a pretty typical “hot part” to summer this year.  A handful of days over 100 but mostly just bumping up against 98 or 99 and enough humidity to be sticky.  Not like out in the Phoenix area.

Thursday of this week should be special:  It may not even bust 90.

Around the country, one of the most interesting weather stories comes from the Alaska Dispatch News which noted a couple of weeks back:

As of Wednesday, Anchorage had seen 32 days this season with official temperatures 70 degrees and higher, putting this season fourth in the number of 70-degree-and-warmer days since recordkeeping began in April 1952.

That doesn’t sound like the climate-driven end of the world, somehow.  Still, credit where due:  It has been hot (*or what passes for hot to weather wimps) in San Francisco.  And even Phoenix tied an old high record over the weekend.  117F is warm, I don’t care who you area.

Still, there are cool spots, too.  Like Bangor Maine where they just had the chilliest July ever along with coldest year-to-date

Then there was a super cold front that brought temps in Idaho down within spitting range of freezing.

I mention all of this to underscores that many of the records are falling 11 or 12 years after old ones.. And this leads Ures truly to wonder aloud if the El Nino/La Nina cycle is hyperextending?

It might be interesting to watch the scientific press once the information gets collected.

But the calendar is what matters most now:  Historically, the odds of busting 100 are going down by the day.  And when we get back from our cruise, in mid September, we may be down to reasonable outdoor working weather, again.

Elaine’s Articulation Award

She said something I never heard before, but then again, I suffer from male pattern deafness.  I just can’t seem to hear certain phrases  like “don’t let the cat….” or another one is “Take the….”

The reason for the award is she said – as I was offering to double the size of the deck that needs rework – “Don’t make the house any bigger – it’s too much to take care of now…

Huh?   Well, as you can imagined, this was a terrible shock.  I could have sworn that women (*and men) both liked big houses.  Maybe once upon a time, but that’s done.

When we first moved here, the original square footage of the place was 1568 for the house  and 220 square feet of deck.  The shop space was 12 X 24.  The rest was an open RV cover pole building.

So I sat back and run out the numbers.  The house is only a little bigger at 1,833.

The decks have grown, too: 484 square feet.

Panama’s apartment is 528 SF, the shop is now 800 SF and my office is another 288.

While this has all been sort of necessary, so we have a place for everything and everything in its place (except my stuff), from Elaine’s perspective, we’ve gone from 1,788 SF that she dealt with to 2,287.

To her way of thinking, that’s an increase 28% increase is square footage, and as she notes that all has to be maintained.

Honestly, I’d never looked at it that way, before.  But, when you do, all of a sudden the whole minimalist thing and micro housing movement makes sense.

It’s gotten me back to thinking small again.  So the next house we will move into, now that we’re both waking up to how fighting 30-acres away from Ma Nature is a big slice of work, even with power equipment, will be a half acre and more than likely 1,200 sf  2 bedrooms and 2 baths, one of which (*like here) will be a big walk-in shower.  And all on one level.

Means less of everything, too.  Not just cleaning time, but smaller furniture bill, no room for knickknacks and all that.

Even things like the second bathroom are in the discussion.  No waiting is nice, but it means two shower/tub cleanings per day instead of one.  We do our own but, gee, every other day would be nice…and that is exactly her point.

This explains why the McMansion deal is insane…I’d just never heard it so clearly articulated before.  More house is more work…check.  No more rooms or additions, then.

Been  an  interesting slide to watch tastes change during life.  From starched shirts to golf shirts to T’s…all part of the same “no time” continuum.

Googling the Frontrunners

Good Trends is a marvelous way of looking at life.

Saves all that damn thinking time – and more:  It saves time-wasting political discussions.

Simply put in the candidates name of the poll leaders and presto!


It is important to note, though, that the election is still more than a year away and this is “anything can happen” land.

With that, another hit of coffee and then a look at markets.

Write when you break-even,


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