Hot? Ha!

“It’s been so hot the past few weeks with 90 degree temps …” wrote this blogger.

I woulda spit out my coffee laughing if I’d been drinking any. I wasn’t so laughing alone had to suffice.

Here in Phoenix, AZ, today’s high is 99 F. (37.2 C). A refreshing 99.

A cool blip in a month where daily highs will hover around 105 (40.5 C).

That’s just the beginning! It’ll grow even hotter — brutally so, fatally so — come July and August.

Tell that to the blogger in North Carolina who wrote that 90-degree temps are hot!

I’ve lived all about in all sorts of climates. Dry and temperate. Dry and furnace-y. Cold and dry. Cold and damp (NEVER AGAIN!). Hot and humid.

In environments with snow. Droughts. Monsoons. Tsunami. Tornadoes. Earthquakes. Seasonal fires. Wild winds.

Have not lived in a place of extremes, like northern Alaska or Antartica but between them I’ve struck a “happy” medium of variety.

So I’m qualified more ‘n’ most to articulate what’s hot and what ain’t.

Temps in the 90s: Not hot! Some folks need to get out more! Explore the world. Live elsewhere. Be elsewhere. Gain perspective. Variety’s the spice of life, they say.

It’s more than that.

Variety is gemstones to wisdom.

The gemstones may be rough. Sharp-edged. Uneven. Need polishing, kind attention and tending to, like a plant. Be cultivated individually until collectively they shine in radiant wisdom.

At the end of the day — and that is written into the fate of each of us! — to become wise is an achievement.

So when I meet my Maker and am asked: “Did you experience life vast and wide and far” I can respond with a resounding YES!!!!

“Good job, child,” he’ll say. “Excellent work.

“Now tell me, how’s the weather down there on Earth?”

+ + +

afterword: and guess what! I’ll be able to answer that question from the highest authority! Cool! Which, for the record, cool is 90 degrees. just sayin’ … 🙂




Resurrections aren’t only for Jesus

Video killed the radio star.

Those catchy lyrics (from the Buggles’ 1979 hit) have been looping inside my head the past two days.

Ever since water killed my radio.

Read the rest of the story.

Monday night I had a nightmare (heavy-duty, recurring for 45 years). While trying to escape, I flew, while sleeping, like a bat outta hell outta bed and knocked over a vase of flowers on the nightstand.

Water spilled everywhere. Fortunately it narrowly missed the cell phone.

Unfortunately, it pooled onto my clock radio.

It died — coincidentally as I was about to in my nightmare.

Though it still powered on, the front displayed no time, only “id” and the audio was pure buzzy static.

Genuinely sad. I’ve had that RCA clock radio for eons.

We’ve got history — to say the least! It’s moved with me across thousands and thousands of miles, across many state lines, across the years.

In those innumerable relocations– guessestimated 25– that radio’s always the last thing packed.

Pulling its plug signals pulling the plug on the residential space and place of the moment. Likewise, the radio’s among the first to go live in a new space (and thus is always packed into a box or bag easily identified).

Am I dating myself or what?! No millennial super-glued to a cell phone could possibly imagine or comprehend the significance of a clock radio. But here it is.

So when display and audio blipped out late that night, I mournfully set the RCA in the kitchen with a threadbare hope it might dry out and return to life. A day passed. No sign of resurrection.

I nearly took it to the dumpster — ONLY because I’m a passionate, disciplined anti-clutter nazi — but couldn’t quite bring myself to do it. Couldn’t quite part with it just yet. Couldn’t say goodbye just now.

So it sat unobtrusively on the microwave — a little longer than my anti-clutter nazi would like — as I undertook the necessary, unwelcomed and sad task of researching a replacement online.

A replacement, I knew, of comparatively cheap quality and none of the charms of my old friend the radio.

Two days later, while this morning’s coffee brews, emerges evidence that Jesus alone wasn’t resurrected.

I plug it in. Expecting still life repeated and sad confirmation that I need to let it go.

Suddenly, the old familiar 12:00 — the default time — flashes in green!!! And the audio {push a button, can it be?!} works!!!

Sprung back to life, as if nothing happened!

Joy! Genuine happiness.

I’d been trying to recall when I bought that radio … where I was living. Spaces and places are my life’s timestamps. I cannot. It was that. long. ago.

So I dated the model online. Made in 1992. That humble RCA radio is some 25 years old!

Turns out this”vintage” unit can even be found on ebay for not a small sum … there’s even a youtube vid!

They don’t make ’em like they used to. How true the adage.

I could not be happier at the RCA’s resurrection!

It is now back in its place, with its time reset, on the nightstand. Next to the desk lamp that I’ve also had for eons. Should you surmise that the Disposable Mindset is not mine, you’d be most correct.

Video may have killed the radio star. But water did not kill my radio.

And because that outstandingly durable and humble unit, with its push buttons and dials — nothing digitized here — deserves air time … sing hello to my regal RCA:


My RCA (model RP-3651B) : Still life 😦


Old-school buttons ‘n’ sliders ‘n’ dials, oh my!


Back home alive and well

I sure stepped in it! (a cool story)

I don’t believe that ghosts exist.

I know they do.

And oh have I got stories galore!

But the cold spot in my studio isn’t ghostly.

Identifying its source would sooner require a surveyor than a spiritualist.

It’s turning hot (and hotter and hotter …) in Phoenix, Arizona. Residents in my apartment complex are already using their air conditioners (since April actually).

The loud annoying groans of machinery tell me so. 🙂

My flooring’s that plank vinyl that’s become so popular.

(Edit. note: So. Much. Better than carpet! Nicer to look at, way easier to keep clean and maintain and more hygienic than carpet with the crap that builds up, especially in motels, apartment complexes with revolving tenants, etc.)

I’m always barefoot. Wearing shoes in the house always felt sacrilegious to me — long before I lived in Japan. And dirtying, which my clean-freak nature does not enjoy.

About 10 days ago, I was passing by the bathroom vanity and was stopped dead — no pun intended.

“What’s THIS?!” asked my soles — again, no pun intended.

A giant cold spot is what!

I stepped about, measuring this new treasure — that definitely wasn’t there before.

Based on its location and size, it’s connected to the air conditioner in apartment 222 below.

The mat points to roughly the heart of the chill, by the vanity and closet door:


Its spread and temp somewhat fluctuate, giving rise — again, no pun intended, ghosts … rising — to the deduction that these are defined by air-con use.

Incidentally, sole-ful investigations throughout the studio reveal no other chill spots, making this phenomenon doubly auspicious.

So pleasant is my mini-fridge for feet on the floor that I relocated the mat.

Seems like a weird thing to get excited about … a cold spot on a floor!

And perhaps anywhere else, it wouldn’t have made the blog!

But in the Valley of the Sun — aka Phoenix — cool is revered like you wouldn’t believe!

I’m quite certain that that spot is related to mechanics, not spirits who have passed over.

However, if it persists into winter, I’ll be forced to re-evaluate … and consider the possibility that I’ve got a spirited roommate … one who isn’t paying his/her share of the rent.

So if you’re from “Ghost Hunters,” the TV show, hold off. Any phone calls would be premature.

Big splash restoreth my Zen-ny world

It’s baaaaack!

It’d gone down the drain. For a couple weeks it sat barren and silent. I wasn’t sure it’d return.

But maintenance brought it back! Just this morning.

And just yesterday I’d broached the matter while paying rent at the management office!

I’d sincerely missed it. The relaxing sound 24/7. Indeed a refreshing sound — and sight. ‘Twas what sold me on my little rental studio in fact.

I balked when at initial viewing management considered moving me down a couple apartments since a dishwasher was missing from my (future) unit.

“Don’t care about the dishwasher,” I’d said. “I’m a waterbaby.”

What won me over:


The long shot:


The water fountain … 3 floors below from my front door.

The motor died a slow and noisy death over a couple weeks. Every day the water shot up a little lower than before. Every day the motor groaned and spewed a bit louder than before.

Finally the thing died — or was switched off.

No more water flow.

No more soothing music to my ears.

No more water period. It evaporated damn fast in this dry Phoenix heat.

When I asked a maintenance man who happened to come yesterday to patch a ceiling leak whether the fountain was gonna be fixed, he said yes. “They’re letting it completely dry out so they can wash the green algae off the stones.”

“What?!” {eye roll.}  “Some algae’s normal. That’s not the problem, it’s the motor.”

Whatever. Only reporting.

But as I mentioned, I did inquire while paying rent yesterday. She wasn’t too impressed by the algae claim but did affirm it’s gonna get fixed (eventually).

Soon as I opened my curtains this morning, I heard that sweet sweet sound. Truly music to my Piscean water-baby ears!

The fountain’s back! (Granted, the stoney bed’s not nearly as full as it was and needs replenishment. Time’ll tell whether that’ll happen.)

Nobody loves or needs the sound of moving water than I!

This is doubly so in these dry desert conditions. The song of tumbling spraying water just outside my studio helps keep me sane in a climate where I don’t belong.

“Fish outta water …” never truer!

Water is my Zen and Zen is water.

The fountain makes me certain that this particular studio space was meant for me. Makes me feel that someone(s) up there was watching over and protecting me during an arduous search for my own space in February.

So all’s well in my lil’ world today.

Well, not really. Things just feel better with water in motion.

A big wave of gratitude to whomever(s) got it going. Thank you!

Merci, Mother Nature!

A pleasant surprise awaited me when I got up today.

My thermostat read 82 degrees (27.7 C).

Amazing relief compared to the 95 in my little studio just the other day!

Phoenix, Arizona, is getting a break from burgeoning heat — why, just 4 days ago, we officially tapped into the triple digits of 100 (37.7)! — due to a weak cold front sweeping the nation.

Some states are getting snow, rain.

Phoenix ain’t so lucky. Our luck rests in relief from heat. We’ll take it!

Today’s forecast says a high of 84 (28.8 C), low of 63 (17.2 C). Verrrry comfortable! Course the cooldown won’t last.

However, the difference between 84 (28.8) and 100 (37.7) is remarkable — the dry heat notwithstanding.

That’s the big line in Arizona. “But it’s a dry heat!” True enough. Images like these abound on postcards, souvenirs, etc.

Miniscule humidity most of the time. You bake. You fry. You run, you crawl toward any place cooler — or the illusion of cooler. Shade, for example.

Public air-conditioning is ubiquitous in Phoenix. Has to be. More than half the population would flee otherwise!

Anyways, today’s cooler temp brings with it a slight breeze. Whoooo-hooooo! My two windows don’t open wide enough to bring it on  — and in!

I’ve been feeling oppressed by the heat … while fully realizing that 100 (37.7) ain’t nuthin’ compared to what’s ahead in July, August.

We got 118, 120 degrees (47.7, 48.8 C) to look forward to (cough cough}.

Say it ain’t so!

Oh it be so!

So fucking hot.

So as I luxuriate in today’s comfy cooldown, I can’t help but be disturbed by something.

At 11:34 a.m., the outdoor temp is 76 (24.4 C). In my little studio, it’s 80 (26.6 C).

Can you say heat trap? Does not bode well for what’s ahead.

Which is why I’m in the business of fans. Portable powerful fans. Researching fans like never before! Like my life depended on it!

All too soon, it shall.

But today, we’ve got relief, merci mother nature! Daresay it’s even better than an icy gin ‘n’ tonic.

Making good with my modem

You’ve not seen the light ’til you’ve had this modem.

Got this Motorola modem when I moved into my little studio in February.

It’s been in two spots as things morph in my new space. Where it can be placed is limited as there are only two cable outlets.

In actuality, the modem can go only around the patio door/kitchen — as Cox cable informed me that that yeah, they can activate the second outlet (thereby affording me more options)  … for some $60 and a visit from a tech! GRRRRR! No f-ing way!

So near the patio door / kitchen the modem remains.

This modem’s been driving me bonkers! Here’s why.


them’s one holey Motorola mother!

Holey-moley! Lookit them thar holes!

Bright blue light POURS forth like water through, well, fittingly, a sieve.  You can’t tell from that pic but believe me, at night, looks like half a police car in here!


This modem’s mucked up my sleep BIG TIME.

I’ve shrouded the darn thing every night — a fine line since it really needs ventilation, this thing operates hot — then every morning removed coverings to avoid overheating.

Pain in the ass and STILL the blue light bled through.

Then the other day, I was in the kitchen, unofficially meditating on my modem, and inspiration struck.

The cupboard above the fridge!

The modem, router, surge protector, wires … the whole unslightly shebang could go there!

Plus it’d be protected. Never liked electronics by the screened patio door with the Arizona winds, dirt, dust and most of all gusty monsoons in summer.



What’s behind cupboard number 1?


Electronics get a private suite

Not so high speed.

Those two thick cords make it impossible to close the cupboard door.  It’s ajar about 2 inches (5 cm) along three sides.

I went to bed all optimistic about problem solved and promised sleep.

Not so high speed.

As I drifted off, sorta, I was disturbed by something all aglow in the kitchen. As if a UFO was hovering.

I turned my head, focused my bleary vision.

It’s the damn modem!!!

Blue light seeping through the narrow gaps and flooding a quarter of my kitchen!


So in those wee hours I pulled out the step stool and McGyvered a light barrier  — a dishtowel.

A Band-Aid solution.

Today comes a blackout curtain for the electronics suite. Probably cardboard, cut to size, covered with blackout fabric to go inside the cupboard.

More than two months it’s been, my modem ‘n’ I duking this out. We have got to make good.

Don’t misunderstand. It’s a fine device that delivers the Internet into my little studio.

But the amount of blue light is UN-REAL.

Even a UFO is more subtle.

Perhaps when I’m done with this holey modem, I’ll set it outside, still plugged in, to signal a landing strip for aircraft.

Or aliens. Whichever.

Begone gross grungy guest!

I’ve got a houseguest.

Arrived through the patio screen door that I left open briefly yesterday. My bad.

He’s made himself quite at home. Flits about as he wishes.

Displays no intention of leaving. He’s in fact downright rude about it. Laughs in my face while evading my attempts at his departure.

Rude. Annoying. Doesn’t leave me alone but won’t get out. A true pain-in-the-ass guest.

The housefly.

What is a fly’s lifespan? This I ask myself while my morning coffee brews. He tries to hone in on my ritual. He’s discovered perched alongside the kitchen sink. Smirking, challenging “swat me if you can.” 

Unprepared for his haughty arrival, I lock my sight onto his position and standing still stretch ninja-like for the nearest weapon for a swatdown: a folded moist used sheet of paper towel.

Not exactly a B2 bomber.

Aim. Arm raised.



Miss him by 2 hairs. Quick clever bastard.

He’s somewhere here.

Probably hanging out in a corner plotting his next step in a Strategy of Annoyance. Smacking his gross grimy chops over potential of water or food.

He won’t get any. Or precious little.

See, my houseguest picked the wrong girl to tangle with. I am a CLEAN freak of the highest order. Every inch of my studio apartment, from floor to ceiling, is spotless. All the time.

Even the kitchen sink’s usually wiped dry — to deter cockroaches.

They’re due any day amid this fast-warming Arizona climate and abundant goodies in this massive apartment complex. Heck, dumpsters alone offer more bountiful feasts than even armies of cockroaches could finish off.

There’s an image to wash from the brain.

A fly’s lifespan is about a month, according to google.

It’s commonly said a fly lives only 24 hours inside a residence.

Total bullshit!

He could stick around for 2 weeks, depending on conditions.

Odds of that are damn low for my houseguest in my extreme cleanliness and orderliness. Good old-fashioned German genes to the hilt!

Arizona flies are known for being plentiful, tough, aggressive. Would hafta be in this rugged brutal climate.

I’m just as tough, no, tougher.

What my guest failed to take into account is my ability to construct an arsenal. A fly-swatter, spray, a strip, for starters.

Even a Ziplock baggie containing water and several pennies hanging above an entry’s supposed to repel the dirty bastards. May give that a go outta simple scientific curiosity.

Regardless, the fate of my gross grungy houseguest is sealed. He’ll leave by force of nature or my hand.

And in less than the proverbial three days in which guests, like fish, begin to smell — thanks Benjamin Franklin for that contribution to mankind.

Moral of the story: Leave a screen door opened for no longer than necessary. Arizona flies are strong, speedy and resilient. Like the gunslingers of the old Wild West.

Bang bang bye bye fly!