Good morning and greetings, change of season fans. Well, the weather was simply delightful for the first week of summer, with temperatures in the high 70′s and the fog at a minimum. Unfortunately, there is no precipitation in the forseeable horizon, as we are in the midst of a severe drought, with 2103 being the driest year in California history.
Now contrast this historic lack of precipitation to what happened in Minnesota last week, in the land of Kevin Love and a 1,000 Laker fans. Folks in the twin cities experienced severe weather with record rainfall, as the rivers were raging while people were being flash flooded out of the better homes and gardens. In the words of writer Jarod Kintz, “I love it when the streets near my house get flooded, because it’s the only time I can go out and walk my fish. ”
Meanwhile, here on the Central Coast, we’re as dry as my mother-in law’s brisket, while throughout the midwest people are doing the backstroke in their living rooms, as they are dealing with the worst flooding in decades.
It’s not that I would mind boaters canoeing through my bedroom. Hey, I’d like fly fishing from my dining room table, but these extreme summer storms are no joke.
The Mississippi River was at its highest level in 15 years, totally bloated by the torrential amounts of rainfall, as Minnesotans are experiencing their wettest summer on record.
Fortunately, late in the week, the river crested, according to four out of five dentists who recommend Crest for their patients in the Twin Cities area.
Now on to the nuttiest meteorlogical story of the week. Sean O’Connor is one lucky man. Last week, the Georgia resident was about to rake up some leaves in his driveway when a bolt of lightning struck him in his right leg’s steel-toed boot.
A few minutes later he picked himself up off the ground. He had a taste of blood in his mouth and he realized his leg hair was singed. Or as the Bowery Boys’ Slip Mahoney might have put it, “Sometimes bread cast out over the water comes back as burnt toast.
Sean then looked across the driveway and saw that his boots were no longer on his feet and that one of them was smoldering. He then realized he’d been hit by lightning and had taken up smoking.
He quickly headed over to the emergency room, where doctors didn’t initially buy his story. “At first they didn’t believe me, but when I showed them the singed hair on my legs and the boots they all wanted to shake my hand,” said O’Connor. “They said they’d never met someone who lived after being struck by lightning.” The doctors then pooled their money and had Sean go buy them lottery tickets.
An electrocardiogram scan later revealed that O’Connor had an irregular heart rate, a condition associated with lightning strikes. About 71% of all people struck by lightning survive, but often suffer from severe burns, personality changes, insomnia, impaired hearing, constant pain and a craving for rocky road ice cream.
Bottom line, Sean says he’s okay but from now on he’s going to stick to wearing sandals.
According to the National Weather Service, the chances of being struck by lightning or getting an Anthem Blue Cross representative on the phone are one in a million.
Florida is the deadliest spot, as there are twice as many lightning casualties than in any other state. Most lightning deaths and injuries occur during the summer months, when people are involved with activities like boating, swimming, bullfighting, bicycling, golfing, knife juggling, jogging, walking, cliff diving, hiking, camping, and trolling for great white sharks.
So take heed, as the Fourth of July is historically one of the most deadly times of the year for lightning strikes. I’ll close with the thoughts of Dirty Harry, former Carmel Mayor Clint Eastwood, who once remarked, ““They say all marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning.” When it comes to lightning, you’ve gotta ask yourself this question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk?
Last week in our photo department I featured two sunrises. Well, this week I am once again featuring the buy one get one free photo experience, but from the sunset files.
Both sunsets were shot from the cliffs above Stockton Avenue. The first displayed some unusual cloud formations, as the zoom lens captured different shades of the yellow and rust colored clouds.
The second sunset highlighted the sun filtering through the clouds and shining through onto the Pacific waters. Two nights, two different experiences along the edge of the continent.
On to some late night humor. “The World Cup has an official song. The official anthem is ‘We Will Find a Way.’ It narrowly beat out the other contender, ‘I Feel Someone’s Teeth in My Shoulder.’ At the World Cup, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez bit a player from Italy’s team. It’s the third time he’s done it. The last time he bit a Chinese player and then claimed he was hungry an hour later.” –Conan O’Brien
“The next opponent for the U.S. will be Belgium. The Belgians are favored over the U.S. But so far, the Belgians have been cagey about saying if they think they’ll win. That’s right, the Belgians are waffling. A big movie opened today. “Jersey Boys.” I It’s about the hot musical group all the kids love — Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. To be honest, I don’t know how well “Jersey Boys” is going to do. People in Los Angeles can’t relate to a movie about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Because people here have no idea what a season is.” – Craig Ferguson
So June is just about history. You may have noticed a new blog format last week. Credit goes to my webmaster and recent UCSC college graduate Kevin Deutsch, who majored in mathematics and received a masters degree in teaching me how to post my blog.
We’ll catch you turning in 40 in your final year and storied career with the Bronx Bombers. Aloha, mahalo and later, Derek Jeter fans.