Trina Machacek: Temperature competition
September 8, 2018
Let's face it: The world is competition based. If you say you are not competitive, I won't believe you. Because I'd bet a caramel coated cupcake that if the guy next to you said he was less competitive than you, you might just say, bet you're not. Which proves my point!
This is just human nature. But there is one competition I get a kick out of whether it be winter, spring, summer or fall. That is the temperature competition. Here is some of what I see and they all make me smile. Well, except for one …
Fall is in the air all across the country. Evenings are cooling and mornings are, too. This brings about the early morning temperature contest. One will say it got down to 41 and the next guy will pipe up with, "had 38," and the race is on to see who gets the first freeze at 32. I love this. I have this with my brother, who lives in Ely, notably one of the coldest places I have ever lived! So, OK, I cannot tell a lie — I may fib on the temperature occasionally. But he still wins or loses depending on how you perceive it.
Spring isn't so much the temperature as it is the amount of moisture, if and when we get any. Here the rain is often measured in hundredths of an inch. I use to have a rain gauge, but it sat out in the dry parch-ridden sun for so long that the numbers baked off it. Now I just go out after a rain shower and see how much is in the empty feed bowl that I have for my outside cats. If there is enough water to make a ripple, I say we have had, like, a quarter of an inch. That is equal to twenty five hundredths. But a quarter of an inch makes it sound like much more. When it has been dry for a long time and it barely rains something measurable, I have heard and used the measurement of "The Nevada Six Inch Rain." It rains six inches between drops!
Summer is the temperature season. How hot it gets is up for grabs. If a report of 96 comes into earshot, so does a 98 and then of course it is up for grabs to be the first 100 in the mix. That 100 mark is monumental no matter where you live. I enjoy the excited weather reporter who has a map of temperatures splayed across the screen and is so enthralled at the likelihood of somewhere, someplace and at some precise time when a temperature will reach 100.
Well, then it's a race to see where and who gets above and how far above 100. Of course Las Vegas and Death Valley and sometimes Needles, California, are all in the running. Like it's a badge of honor to know that somewhere it got to 106, but just down the road it seems it will hit 107 — and a half! I was going to say, "Very cool," but that doesn't' fit here, does it?
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OK, so this last one is the one I do not like. At all! The "How cold did you have at your place last night?" question of winter. This, I can absolutely say without reservation or shyness, is the worst of all the temperature competition seasons. When it gets below 32, aka freezing, it is freezing. Water freezes. Each breath you take freezes. It doesn't have to get to minus 43 for me to know it is cold. That same weather guy who just a few short weeks ago reported on the 100s now takes just as much pleasure in telling me that 40 miles north of nowhere it got down to 67 below zero. Not only that, but to add insult to injury he will also tell me that in heat-ridden Las Vegas it was a mild 67 above. I don't need the fact tossed at me that I live in an ice cube in the winter followed by the fact that there are people living in the banana belt still wearing shorts and T-shirts while I am dressed in so many layers I look like the Michelin Man! Now that is not cool. Yes, it fits here better!
Snow angles are on the horizon and sunburns are in the rearview, so get out there and do whatever you need to do to have the most accurate and easy to read, from inside your house while you are in your easy chair, thermometer firmly attached to your window frame.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Share with her at email@example.com. Really!