SoCS — Outside Lands

06B71C58-6BFE-41DD-8342-6BF9F7B8E09A“Where is that music coming from?” Larry asked. Larry is an old college buddy of mine who lives in Chicago. He and his wife are our houseguests while visiting San Francisco for a week. Larry agreed to walk with me while last night while I took our dog out for her final walk of the day. It was about 9:15 p.m.

“That’s the Outside Lands Music Festival,” I said. “It’s an annual outdoor summer event at Golden Gate Park. It runs through Sunday night.”

“Wow,” Larry said. “And you can hear the music from there all the way over here?”

“We only live three blocks from Golden Gate Park, Larry,” I said, “so of course we can hear it from here.”

“Do you ever go and watch the performers?” Larry asked.

“We have gone a few times, but it’s kind of a zoo and the three-day pass is expensive,” I said, “so we’ll pick one night, and head over to the park with some folding chairs and a cooler and set up just outside the perimeter of the festival and listen to the performances. It’s almost as good as being near the performers, but it’s free. If you and Judy are up for it, we can do that tomorrow night.”

“Definitely,” Larry said.FF601F4E-3FEC-433E-9377-839108740C34

Written for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. Our challenge today is to “Start your post with the word ‘where’ and write whatever comes to you.”

Share Your World — In the Summertime

SYWIt’s Monday and that means it’s Share Your World time. Each week, Melanie, over at Sparks From a Combustible Mind, posts four or five questions that promote sharing a little bit about ourselves with each other. You should try it if you haven’t already done so.

Are you a summer person? A winter person? Or does one of the other seasons suit you best?

I’ve always been an autumn person. I love the clean, crisp, cool air of the autumn. And it just so happens that where I live, in San Francisco, there’s really little difference between seasons. Today’s high, for example, is expected to be around 60 degrees. Winters here are usually only 5-10 degrees cooler and are a little wetter than in the summer. But typically, the sunniest and warmest weather in San Francisco is in the autumn.

What is your favorite summer time clothing?

Due to what I said above, my wardrobe doesn’t change much with the seasons. And since I’m retired, it’s made up mostly of jeans, sport shirts, and sneakers.

Do you find yourself eating out more during the summer? Or making ‘cold food’ like salads and stuff you can heat in the microwave?

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, given that there’s not much of a difference in the seasons where I live, my eating habits don’t change all that much from one season to the next.

Do you like watermelon? What’s your favorite summertime treat?

Who doesn’t like watermelon? It’s sweet and refreshing.EE73C832-F3D6-4804-B45D-CA7AECBFD796

Are you thankful it’s finally (sorta) dry and warm?

It is drier here now than it is in the winter, which is considered to be our “rainy” season, but we still have fog nearly every day in the morning and at night in June and July, so I wouldn’t use the words “dry and warm” to describe summer’s in San Francisco.

Sorry I asked

It was one week ago today. My wife and I were walking our dog at around 9:30 in the morning. It was a gray, cloudy, windy day and it was around 51°F. I said to my wife, “It’s June, for crissake. When is it going to start feeling like summer?” Now I’m sorry I asked.

You may be aware that San Francisco is known for its cool summers. In fact, Mark Twain once asserted, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” It’s a damn shame Twain never actually said that, but that’s beside the point.

So what is my point? My point is that San Francisco is going through one of its rare, highly unusual heat waves. The forecast calls for temperatures to exceed 90 today. The headline on the local paper app on my iPhone informed me that:7C723919-EFDF-4C13-910F-5B32112782B5Isn’t that special? Then I looked at the weather app on my iPhone and saw this.CF6F97D2-94F7-418F-9010-D47B69370FA3Yikes! Damn you, climate change!

Like most San Francisco city dwellers, our house doesn’t have air conditioning. Why would we? San Francisco high temperatures rarely get out of the 70s even at the height of summer. So when temperatures get into the 90s, things can get uncomfortable. We do have some ceiling fans and one large portable fan, but all they do is circulate hot air.

I know. I’ll pretend I live almost anywhere else on the globe, where people use Celsius rather than Fahrenheit to measure the ambient temperatures. Perhaps if I just think in terms of Celsius, where 91°F equates to 32.8°C, it will seem cooler…or at least sound cooler.

V is for Vacant


I’ll be honest with you. I was having trouble coming up with a V-word for today’s A to Z Challenge post. I was going to use “vote” because I really think that the only way we’re going to get rid of Donald Trump is to vote him out of office next year. But I figured a whole host of people would have that same thought and would use the word “vote” today.

But then yesterday afternoon when I was walking my dog, I noticed that a house on my block that has been vacant for about two years continues to remain vacant. And then I remembered reading a headline from a few weeks ago in the local newspaper, which claimed that “an estimated 100,000 homes are sitting empty in the San Francisco Bay area.”

I also saw another statistic saying that there are more 30,000 vacant homes in the city of San Francisco alone. And that’s not just in the shitty parts of the city, either. There are around three or four properties that have been sitting vacant within blocks of where my wife and I live.

That’s when I decided that “vacant” would be my V-word.

Another article I recently read estimated that there are between 7,500 and 8,000 homeless people living in the city.

So I thought that if there are 30,000 vacant homes, some percentage of which must be fit for human habitation, and only around 8,000 homeless people, couldn’t we make a big dent in the city’s homelessness problem by housing many of the homeless in habitable, currently vacant houses?

Well, just a thought.

Previous A to Z Challenge 2019 posts:

Body Heat

4C3009FF-8542-444F-A8F6-95EF89511A19San Francisco has been unusually cool and wet this month. Daily high temperatures have sometimes not even reached the 50s and lows have occasionally dipped down to the upper 30s.

Yeah, yeah, I know. You folks in the Midwest and Northeast, with your polar vortexes and nor’easters and blizzards, are probably thinking I have a lot of nerve complaining about temperatures in the 40s and 50s. Fair enough. I get it. Please don’t hate me, okay?

One of the great things about living in San Francisco is the climate. It rarely gets into the 80s during the summer. In fact, we don’t even have air conditioning in our house. And in the winter, it almost never drops into the 30s. We do have a furnace, but hardly ever have to turn it on. If there’s a chill in the house, we fire up the gas fireplace for a little while to make it toasty.

Last night, when I went to bed, our bedroom felt a bit chillier than usual. I have this little ambient temperature gauge on the chest of drawers, and when I looked at it last night, it read 59.5°F.34A2E4F7-2E2F-40A4-87CC-28F3427F9358My wife was already in bed, so I joined her, pulled the quilt snuggly up to my neck, and went to sleep.

Now as everyone knows, temperatures usually reach their lowest just before dawn. That’s science. So I was kind of surprised when, at 6:30 this morning, I glanced at that temperature thingie and saw this:605BAD5B-BA95-47AE-A86D-A3326D3C6A8FThe ambient temperature in the bedroom was five degrees warmer than it was when I got in bed last night!

My wife was already in the kitchen when I joined her a few minutes later and I remarked that I was surprised at how much warmer our room was this morning than it was when I came to bed last night.

She looked at me and said, “Your body puts off a lot of heat at night and you sweat a lot. That’s why the sheets on your side of the bed are sort of yellowish.”

“Really?” I said.

“Yeah,” she said. “It’s your body heat. Either that or you’re incontinent.”