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steve2470 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:26 PM
Original message
13 People Die of Heat-Related Illness in Phoenix as High Temps Soar
http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGBFCLEVDBE.html


PHOENIX (AP) - A blistering heat wave is being blamed for the deaths of at least 13 people in Phoenix, prompting officials to ask for donations of ice and water bottles for those sweltering without air conditioning.

Eleven of the victims since Saturday were homeless, and the other two were elderly women, including one whose home cooling system wasn't on, police said Wednesday.

By comparison, the Arizona Department of Health Services documented 34 heat-related deaths among all Arizona residents last year. The number of illegal immigrants killed by heat-related illnesses while trying to cross the desert are counted separately.

Phoenix has endured above-average temperatures every day since June 29, with a peak of 111 degrees on Tuesday, and a high of 108 was forecast Wednesday. Even during the coolest part of the day, the mercury descended only to 89 Wednesday morning, and some mornings haven't gone lower than 91.






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getmeouttahere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
1. I understand if you're poor and can't afford to move away...
but seriously people, why would you choose to live there??? I'm really looking for answers to that question. Is it THAT important for you to be in the sun every day???
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. The summers used to be shorter, and cooler.
Personally, I moved out here for love. But I have grown to appreciate the climate. It's pretty darn nice most of the year. Dry and sunny. Very few bugs. Mountain country all around, if you want cooler weather.

Like a lot of such places, it's becoming a victim of it's own success. More and more crowded, built-up, polluted, etc. I've talked with a few old-timers who say the summers are longer and hotter than they used to be. One guy was going to move away, said it just wasn't that pleasant any more. I haven't been around long enough to compare it to anything.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. It used to rain there.
In late summer, monsoons would roll in from across the desert, nearly always prefaced by a wicked dust storm. I used to love roller skating in the dust storms.

Now the rain clouds just bypass Phoenix or disappear altogether.

It's too damn hot there even for the monsoons.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Yeah, I think we've developed a serious urban heat-island effect.
We've had a few "storms" blow through the last week, but almost no actual rain, just wind.
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
31. I just looked up Phoenix avg temps and it is 107 for this time of yr.
So why are people dying? Is it that it isn't cooling off as much at night?
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #31
41. Most (all?) were without A/C, for one reason or another.
transients, or elderly who's A/C wasn't on.

According to the local weather, the historic average for the month of july is 104, whereas this month (so far) it's been 111.

And yes, the nighttime lows are worse, if anything. Historically, it's around 78, but this month they've been around 90. At 8pm yesterday, the temp was still 108. That's after sunset.

It's also the duration. An occasional day or two in the 110s isn't too unusual, but this has been going on for well over a week now.

Some people die from the heat every year out here, but obviously a heat-wave like this tends to cause clusters of deaths.
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Dora Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. I was born there.
I lived there for 27 years. My mother still lives there, but she hated the Iowa winters and has sworn she will never be cold again.

Phoenix was originally a resort town for hollywood types in the early 20th century. It was also a haven for those with TB who moved there for its dry air. Cotton and citrus grew well in the Valley of the Sun. I also remember some sheep ranches, though those are long gone.

This is a terrible generalization, but I think that most people live there now because they lack imagination. There are others who live there because they want the anonymity that living in a sprawling metroplex can bring. Others like the geography - drive just one hour north of Phoenix and you're in piney forests.

Other than my mom and the rest of my family, I miss the mountains the most.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. A lot of people really don't like cold and cloudy weather.
I'm not one of those people, I was always perfectly happy to live in Ann Arbor, and not see the sun for a month at a time.

But a lot of people don't seem to handle dark and cold that well, psychologically as much as anything else.

Now that I've lived here a few years, my tolerance for cold is beginning to slip too :-) I've actually found myself feeling more or less comfortable on a 100-degree day. Never would have predicted that.
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getmeouttahere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. Interesting....
I'm a weirdo, I love San Fran's weather (I swear they have their own weather system) and love that we have the marine layer in the mornings so much here (L.A. beach cities).
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Oh yes, SF has a freakish meso-climate. Beautiful, but freakish.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
53. I lived there for 5 years in the '60's
and I remember it being so hot at night..no reprieve.

It was a little town(relatively speaking) back then and loads of fun..glad I didn't stick around for the influx of millions.
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katty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:37 PM
Response to Reply #1
39. Phoenix as close to living on the Sun for humans...even dry heat
can cause insanity and stroke
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MisterP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
2. will the fiends at the WaPo mock the Arizonans like they did with the
French after a few thousand died in '03?
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getmeouttahere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. At least in France...
it's an exception for them to have extreme heat. In Phoenix it's just hotter.

C'mon, DUers in Phoenix, weigh in. I have a friend who lived there a few years ago who says that she knew so many people that did almost nothing outdoors after 9am for about 7 months or more of the year. What is your experience?
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nothingshocksmeanymore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Nah...it's only REALLY hot from about the end of May to September
around 4 months....and the worst part is the heat of the day between 1 and 4 pm
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getmeouttahere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Maybe I'm not the person to comment on this....
because for me, 80 is hot. But that's why I live near the ocean.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. You'd be surprised how nice 80 feels, with 10% humidity.
Even a 90-degree day is pretty pleasant.
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getmeouttahere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Yeah, but we don't really have humidity here either....
at least not like back east or the midwest...and where I grew up in Oregon, we had zero humidity, unless of course it's raining.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. Yeah, I think I'd love the north-west.
So far, I've never been able to convince my wife to move there. She's cloud-phobic.
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getmeouttahere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #20
44. Well, hope you can get her over that...
cloud-phobia! That's one I haven't heard. Funny. Some people really need that sunshine.
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dbonds Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. I agree.
I moved from Orlando. I'll take 116 in vegas any day over Orlando's 93 and 100% humidity.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. seven months sounds like overkill.
For us, it's more like 4: June thru Sept. Although May and October are sort of wild-cards, at least in these modern times.

Not that different than the 4-month winters I used to live thru in the northeast, that occasionally were more like 6 months :-)
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getmeouttahere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. I have friends in Montreal and Fredericton...
and also having traveled to MTL many times on business and pleasure, and I would say that 5 months is realistic - November to April, the thaw seems to come in mid-April or before, and although October is cool, I haven't seen snow except maybe in late October.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Not always just snow, just cold/rain/dark
I'm sure it all depends a lot on location, and of course personality. I grew up in western new york, and never minded the cold and dark, but I swear, 9/10 of people I knew all dreamed of moving to the south-west. I never understood what their issue was, although now that I've lived here I think I can at least understand where they were coming from.
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dbonds Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
6. 116 here in vegas.
But it is okay, the feels like is 110.

Broke a record set in 1959 for the longest consecutive days above 115.

It wasn't this hot last summer, but the heat is not the problem to me, it is the ozone the heat brings up from the desert. No energy, itchy skin, feel fuzzy headed, sleeping a lot.
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Patty Diana Donating Member (555 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
19. I'm here and the temperature on the outside thermometer hit 122
at 2 PM on Monday. God is it ever hot, and to make matters worse the humidity is up_like the wind chill, but in the desert. I'm from Connecticut, moved here in 78 to escape abusive husband---to this day I still can't deal with this heat. It takes your breath away, blinds you, messes up your electrolytes____it's just plain awful.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:57 PM
Original message
Don't you love that feeling of your eyeballs cooking?
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Tesha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
22. There are places on Earth where life is purely maintained...
There are places on Earth where life is purely maintained entirely
by artificial means supported by huge imports of energy and water.
Many of the population centers of the west fall into this category.

It will be interesting to see how many of them are abandoned in the
coming years as the water and energy both run out. Phoenix, Vegas, and
to some degree L.A. are all in that class of places.

Time for everyone to re-read The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk.

Tesha
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Patty Diana Donating Member (555 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. Look as the Iraqis__they've been there forever and dealt with
the heat before AC was invented, hell for electricity was invented, before the wheel was invented. I keep hearing you'll get used to it___never gonna happen. Every year the AC goes on sooner March this year and runs longer, last year I couldn't turn it off till early November_Global Warming anyone. Damn Hot here. I keep the AC at 85_I'm not rich enough to run it any lower
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theHandpuppet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #22
32. Yes, the desert communities with swimming pools, lawns and golf courses
Frankly, I find that bizarre, not to mention one of the biggest wastes of resources on the planet (particularly water). But it won't last much longer. I think Gaia has had just about enough of our wastefulness and mucking up.

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AzDar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
23. It is hotter than Hades.... I originally moved here in '84 to attend ASU;
my older sister attended, and I'd come out to visit on spring break
from Cincinnati, and I swear, I thought it was Paradise!
The summers DO seem to be getting hotter..(global warming, anyone?)
but the beauty of the state and the amazing weather the rest of the year make them bearable.
My 9-year-old starts school again next week, and I am sooooo grateful;
I have completely run out of creative things to do indoors!
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delete_bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
24. sad, 11 of those who died were homeless
I read elsewhere on DU that $4 billion, an amount not that different than what has been "lost" in Iraq, would take care of the homeless problem.

WWJD?
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Neshanic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
25. In defense of Phoenix.
I have lived here for 27 years. Not for lack of imagination, and not because I am entering the George Hamilton Tan Pro Invitational.

Being the first to grouse about this place, there are the things that make it bearable. Just as people have to endure snow for a season, we have to endure our summer. There are four distinct seasons, two dry, two wet; a dry period between approximately May through mid-July, the summer Monsoon, mid-July through the end of September, the dry period between the end of September till the winter rains in November and that lasts till the end of March.

That gives us approximately Mid September to early May of weather that can only be described as perfect. The winter rains are quick moving sytems digging south that hit low and fast from the Pacific, and so it is not a week of rain, but may a day ot two. The rest is like the most perfect day in the East.

Yes it's insanely hot. No, it's not a dry heat that you can deal with. No the air conditiong never goes off and the windows are never opened. But between October and May, gentle breezes blow though your house at perfect temperatures, and it's really worth it.

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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. And there's always the mountains, in the summer.
Or the winter too, for that matter!
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Patty Diana Donating Member (555 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. You only need two kinds of clothes here__VERY VERY HOT
and Regular_I don't own any warm clothing anymore, don't need it. I question all that rain you're talking about___the last 3 years we've had a drought and the monsoons never really came. Not like before when all the streets flooded
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. I'm sorry to tell you
that it's not a drought, per se, it's the end of a very wet period in history. Climatologically, the 20th century was the wettest (most wet?) period of time in a millenia in the South West. We planned based on freakish weather patterns. Bad luck for us all.
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pfitz59 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
28. My (very) pregnant daughter lives in Scottsdale.....
Moved in with us (Seattle) to have baby. (Due any day.) Phoenix is great in the winter, but summers are unbearable.
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shanti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
30. it was 109 here in sacramento
last sunday. totally miserable! those temps literally make me SICK. thank god for ac!
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phusion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:04 PM
Response to Original message
33. I was in Yuma Monday - it hit 119
Thankfully I'm back home in Albuquerque where it's only 100 today...
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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. But it's a DRY heat
bah....it's damn HOT at that temp.
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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
35. if you need AC to stay alive, life is unsustainable
las vegas, phoenix; enjoy these last few years before the climate change really kicks in & the oil disappears.

you better begin to figure out how to retrofit your sprawl to function without AC, or you are 100% fucked.

start hoarding now.
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theHandpuppet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #35
40. Yet they would seem the best places for solar power development
If there was a concerted effort NOW to create the necessary infrastructure, places such as Phoenix, Tucson and Las Vegas (just to name a few) could prepare for what's to come. But greed and short-sightedness overwhelm any practical concerns.

Truly, for all the bitching around here about the wastefulness of SUVS (and I'm admittedly one of the gripers), the energy (and water) needed to sustain the artifical environs of these ever-growing desert metropolises is a crime against the planet.

Certainly, preparations should have been made long ago and any number of ways, including via architectural design and engineering solutions. But when people insist on recreating New England in the deserts of California, Arizona and Nevada, then they (and we all) will reap what they have sown.

Of course, on the upside, there will soon be a lot of property for sale -- CHEAP -- in America's desertlands. Bring your own ice.
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getmeouttahere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #40
46. Funny you mention solar....
an organization called Environment California is trying to get the Calif legislature to pass something called million solar homes initiative or something like that. I just became a member so I don't have details, but it sounds great and it sounds like something Arizona should be doing as well.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #35
42. If you need heat in winter to stay alive, life is also unsustainable
I think the union of those two sets is close to everybody :-)
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flannelmouth Donating Member (27 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #35
51. if you need HEAT to stay alive, life is unsustainable
minneapolis, chicago; enjoy these last few years etc. etc.
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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. not the same thing
#1, the vast majority of people in northern climes can PUT ON A WOOL SWEATER and long johns to survive through the winter.

we have this fight in my office all the time: look, YOU can put on a sweater & make yourself warmer. i, on the other hand, may not remove all my clothing to cool myself. therefore, allow me to open the window & make it cooler in here. god dammit.

119 degrees without a method of escaping the heat is a death sentence for some, as recent events prove. AC dependent sprawl will no longer function as acceptable shelter at some point in america's future. power is not infinite. phoenix & las vegas have a reckoning coming that minnesota does not.
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Miss Chybil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
37. There are vacant school buildings downtown that could have been
renovated and used years ago for homeless shelters. This is a shame. I wonder why the churches aren't opening their air-conditioned doors? A lot of homeless used to commit crimes this time of year, just so they could go to jail. I don't know if they do it so much anymore, now Arpaio has built tent city - jail is outside. Of course, if you do something bad enough you could get stuck in a swamp-cooled cell.

It's cool today... 100 degrees fahrenheit. Thank God.
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Ezlivin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
38. Blame Mr. Carrier
If Willis Haviland Carrier hadn't invented air conditioning, most people would not even consider living in the South or Southwest.

But, hey, I'm not complaining. As a paraplegic I am absolutely wed to modern technology to live. It would be 99 in my house right now if it weren't for the cool air pouring out of the ductwork. Ah, Summer in Texas!
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #38
43. True, without A/C, the southwest as we know it wouldn't exist.
I bet it would have 1/10 the population, if that.
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Ezlivin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. Neat! Can we pick the 10 percent that remains?
It'd be nice to cull the herd of these pesky Repubs.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
47. Phoenecians need emergency rations of these
Frozen chocolate-dipped key lime pie slices on a stick!



http://www.kwkl.com/KeyLimePieBars.asp
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wli Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
48. I can't handle heat or cold
Looks like if the BFEE doesn't execute me for being "insufficiently pro-war" I'll be dead from heat stroke soon enough.
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Rainscents Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
49. Here in greater Seattle area (Everett), I live close to sounds and summer
temps of average is 77F and very cool at night (high 50's to low 60's). Most of the summer, no air condition is needed. I sleep with blankets and quilt at night.
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SiouxJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
50. I was down there last night and it was 100 degrees at midnight!
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 05:03 PM by SiouxJ
I went to a concert and wanted to cool off outside after it. What a surprise when I walked outside and it was hotter outside than in. Normally the monsoon rain would have cooled it off by that time of night but there was no shower yesterday; hopefully they'll get one down there today.
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