Thursday, June 24, 2010

Finally, Some Topless Weather

This is NOT Blackdog's convertible.

Just when it seemed that the cold, gray, drizzly, grisly Winter II weather would never leave, summer checked in right on schedule on Monday, June 21. Temperatures have been in the 70s since then, and today is supposed to break 80 for the first time this year.

Monday also was the first day I went topless -- meaning not that I shed my upper garments and regaled Bend with the sight of my splendid abs and pecs, but that I got my convertible out of the garage, took the hard top off and drove around town.

I love to drive around in a convertible, feeling the breeze rippling through my thick, luxuriant, golden hair. But alas, topless days in Bend -- i.e., days in which it is comfortable to drive with the top down without wearing a coat, sweater or sou'wester -- are mighty few. I'd estimate there are maybe 40 or 50 of them per year.

Maybe next year I'll start a count. Meanwhile, I plan to enjoy the Bend summer -- described some years ago on another blog as "six weeks of sunshine and thunderstorms." (When we're lucky we get eight weeks.)


Anonymous said...

"( When we're lucky we get eight weeks. )"

LOL! Yep, and I'll be marking the days. Just got back from K' Falls and locals openly admitted it wasn't until "I" arrived the weather improved in the slightest!

Not to derail a thread too early, wondering how others may have felt about a scenario I encountered while there? For lack of a better term I guess I'll have to refer to it as "OR weather-related compounding health issues"?

Our shop sup. ( nicest guy "I" know ) is barely in his 30's. The pollen there is out of control and everyone seemed to be reaching for the Benadryl. He said ( after Winter II ) his allergies were SO bad, he sneezed SO hard he pinched a nerve in his back! Just one of those 'things'. It basically paralyzed the poor man. Leg went totally numb and he felt like he couldn't even put weight on it!

Well suffice to say, even though the weather has finally... improved ( for the 'better' ) for a change, he's totally incapable of even being able to 'walk' normally let alone work out or go jogging? ( And now... weight gain has begun to exact it's ugly toll! )

So here we have an otherwise perfectly healthy male barely out of his 20's, caught up in some form of 'escalation' he can't seem to get 'out' of? To be truthful, this is one of my great fears. How hard is it to imagine ( particularly in your 50's? ) an injury or condition that precludes you from getting the exercise you so desperately NEED even 'when' the weather turns nice here turning you into Meat Loaf? ( Have you SEEN that guy? ) Just curious to get others input on that.

blackdog said...

The pollen situation in Central Oregon is, indeed, terrible. (How plants in a semi-desert environment can produce such a variety and quantity of pollen is something I've never been able to figure out.) I had bad allergies and asthma living on the East Coast; when I moved to California they disappeared. But after living in Bend for about five years they came back worse than ever. I now have to take medications for allergies and asthma and also am getting allergy shots. (They seem to be effective, but they're spendy.)

The cold dry air also is brutal on the sinuses, as are the constant changes in temperature and barometric pressure.

"Health outdoor lifestyle"? Maybe for some -- but for a lot of people, being outdoors here makes them sick.

blackdog said...

PS: Best medication I've found for allergies is Astepro. It's a prescription antihistamine that's sprayed into the nose once a day.

OTC allergy medicines don't do shit.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting and I -never- would have imagined that in a million years? I 'understand' why KF would have pollen issues ( the lake, AG prod. etc. ) but BEND!? Sorry to hear you're having those kinds of issues.

To be fair, 'most' of the people on the Base are in great physical shape and... there really 'is' a culture of fitness and we're given time to work out, the Gym there is truly state of the art!

And that's just fine, but unlike other parts of the country ( Duluth, MN for instance? ) where nice days are a dime-a-dozen, what happens here in OR when even a minor health setback means you won't be enjoying that "Healthy outdoor lifestyle" and miss 'all' 6 weeks!? For 'me', it's not difficult to imagine your state of health going downhill quickly?

All you need do is see all the incredibly tan retirees in say Palm Springs where ( other than their knee brace ) seem totally healthy 'otherwise'?

blackdog said...

"For 'me', it's not difficult to imagine your state of health going downhill quickly?"

Cold weather is not healthy for older people, that's a fact. It's been well established by research that death rates for older people rise during winter and decline during warm weather. Not only is the cold itself stressful on the lungs, circulatory system, etc., but you have all those heart attacks from shoveling snow, falls on the ice that land Granny or Grandpa in the hospital with a hip fracture, etc.

It's for this reason, among others, that I don't see Central Oregon becoming a big retirement mecca. Folks who retire here either (a) choose it because it's cheap (living in a single-wide in LaPine with sewage backing up in the yard) or (b) have enough money to spend the winters somewhere warm (owning one place in Broken Top, another in Palm Springs).

Anonymous said...

"death rates for older people rise during winter"

And you know something..? I don't even need to see a link to an "AMA Study". I'm perfectly comfortable taking you at your word, after all, it just makes sense.

But even before any of us gets that far, you have to ask yourself just how willing are you to: A) Lead an almost completely austere lifestyle to offset the weather challenges we'll all likely encounter here? And B) Isn't it a hell of a lot more fun to hang out with your friends in Cabo slamming Corona's and 'not' worrying about how the ill-effects of foul weather are playing out against your overall health?

Why would anyone take offense to that? Be it doctor's orders or volition, suppose you're given 5 years to live? How do you choose to spend them? Assuming of course you'd be dead either way? Well, why WAIT to hear from an MD? Just a thought, btw Salem will be 65, 61, 58, 65 and 65 w/ Rain on Friday. Just lovely.

blackdog said...

"Isn't it a hell of a lot more fun to hang out with your friends in Cabo slamming Corona's"

Hell, that's a no-brainer (though I prefer Dos Equis or Pacifico to Corona).

Anonymous said...

"I prefer Dos Equis"

Clecer.., clever. Then again, what would you expect from The World's Most Interesting Man! ( God I wish they'd just finally give that guy his own movie deal and get it over with? )

Yeah, no brainer all the way. I have no doubt this won't be 'popular' but I 'can' see certain windows where having a timeshare or similar arrangement could make sense there. I don't belive I have any desire to 'own' property in MX necessarily and if you picked them up on the cheap from Ebay or sim. auction site, then I say the more time you can spend in the sun, more power to ya'!

Anonymous said...


In spite of a rather dire forecast, things here in Salem could certainly be worse? Yet... this is hardly the trajectory normal folks ( those that haven't been 'completely' beaten down by Oregon weather ) would hope for?

Blistering heat, and the assurance you could not only take the rag top out for a quick jaunt ( but acutally leave it -down- until further notice!? ) Not happening. Looks very day to day, if not hour by hour.

Which brings me to the main point: How many people do we know that have now... more or less given up on 'summer' altogether? And if not altogether, seem perfectly resigned to the fact it will be abbreviated at best? I... can think of several off the top of my head. Hmm..?