How do you cope with heatwaves ... and it's your free thread
June 24, 2024 12:03 AM   Subscribe

It's getting dangerously, fatally, hotter. In Bamako, Athens, Santiago, Mexico City, Podgorica, Mecca, Rio de Janeiro, Paraburdoo, Delhi, Toronto, San Salvador, Beijing, Dubrovnik, Skikda, Rome, Cairo, Trenton, and many other places, 2024 temperatures are deadly and breaking records. What are your techniques, strategies, methods, neat tricks for dealing with the heat? Or just write about whatever is on your mind, in your heart, or on your plate, because this is your weekly free thread, fellow MeFites.
posted by Wordshore (159 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

blast glass animals
posted by HearHere at 12:14 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]

I was inspired to build a wearable AC unit. I spent several days looking at NASA designs and space suit systems.
I built this peltier water chilling unit that goes on my back and it hooks up to a vest with about 25 feet of tubing that I made. I built this to wear under a costume at a post apoc event where the heat can get over 100. Works well but feels weird , each battery gives me about 90 min of operation.
posted by boilermonster at 12:50 AM on June 24 [20 favorites]

Oh man, I hate heatwaves.

I survive through:


Drink lots of fluids.

Eat very little, or no, solid foods during the heat of the day (digestion takes blood away from your skin towards your stomach, you need that blood near your skin to stay cool)

Rest in bed, only get up to get drinks out of the fridge and go to the toilet.

Shower as often as I can, sweating only helps cool you if your skin is clean - a layer of dried sweat can make sweating less effective.

Don't go outside until 8pm or 9pm or 10pm when it starts to cool down.
posted by chariot pulled by cassowaries at 1:32 AM on June 24 [16 favorites]

I'm surprised you didn't mention the Greek islands, Wordshore, given the awful death there of Michael Mosley a few weeks ago and other tourists since. (Mosley was a beloved UK TV presenter of medical and health documentaries on the BBC and Channel 4, and promoter here of intermittent fasting. It was big news when he went missing and later when his body was found.)
posted by rory at 1:36 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]

I'm in Athens. AC. More AC. (sorry, environment! it's a vicious circle!) Big ass heavy duty standing fan. Lots of water. Salad for supper. Closed shutters. (accidentally typed "shitters," but yeah, that too, don't forget to close your shitters.)

Also, this post has been added to the sidebar and Best Of blog, because it's been a minute.
posted by taz at 1:47 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]

(D'oh, your Athens link covered it, Wordshore. Apologies. And sympathies to taz, and to all in affected regions. Meanwhile, Edinburgh faces a blistering 23°C today...)
posted by rory at 1:49 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]

I loathe hot days, anything over 23°C is as debilitating as having to be social (with more than one person). Fortunately where I live seldom exceeds that temp.

Inland NZ South Island summer temperatures are rising, and the fohn winds getting harsher (there's a small amount of research correlating a long term trend in rising ICU admissions on fohn days); occasionally I meet people who have moved nearer the coast.

Paradoxically one of my favourite places to travel is urban Los Angeles (where I eat almost nothing and drink like a camel), but in the main I've travelled only to cold places, N England, Scotland, .ch, Alaska.
posted by unearthed at 2:05 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]

I deal very badly with heat. You would have thought that this would have been bad news growing up in Hong Kong but no, the existence of airconditioning means you can take the heat in smaller 'doses' with breaks in between. Meanwhile here in the UK I am fucking dying because it's been 25 degrees for several days, and the night temperature hasn't fallen below 17 (you can add ten degrees to both measurements to get a hot period in HK) and there is no escape, it is constant, and the fucking heavy brick walls just soak up sunshine and keep the inside hotter than ambient for a lot of the night and morning.

(Similarly, cold sucked a lot more in HK, because on the rare occasion where you got maybe a week of 12 degrees, it would be 12 degrees everywhere, inside and out, and you would just be constantly cold. Negative degrees with houses built for at least a modicum of heat retention rather than draughts, and with central heating systems, much much easier to handle.)
posted by Dysk at 2:22 AM on June 24 [7 favorites]

It's not spacious, it's not modern, there's no room for washer AND dryer, there's no room for dishwasher, but by God, some architect in the 1930s knew how to build a house that conserves heat in the winter and coolness in the summer. (We don't have the whole house, just an apartment.) These very thick walls help so much. It's still fucking hot (35C outside as we speak, "real feel," 39), but so much better than what Dysk describes, with the walls retaining all the heat. But I would sell my soul for only 25C as a heat wave!

Oh, and I see it's getting hotter next week. *sob*
posted by taz at 2:47 AM on June 24 [9 favorites]

I’m back in the UK and although I miss Paris, I don’t miss my too hot apartment building that never recovered from all the heatwaves, and had a resting temperature of 22c. I brought my air conditioner with me, it’s cooler in my parents house in SE England but this week will heat up.
posted by ellieBOA at 3:26 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]

Also cpbc this is helpful, new info to me: Eat very little, or no, solid foods during the heat of the day (digestion takes blood away from your skin towards your stomach, you need that blood near your skin to stay cool)
posted by ellieBOA at 3:32 AM on June 24 [20 favorites]

aaah, ellieBOA, that's so interesting! I did not know that.
posted by taz at 3:46 AM on June 24

Dr. Bronner's peppermint liquid soap. That has so much peppermint oil in it that the menthol cools your skin (but would irritate sensitive bits, so keep it away from your junk). That, plus stripping my bed of all but a thin sheet, means I've been able to withstand things without an air conditioner. (Also, having the only brightest window in this apartment be a northern exposure really helps too.)

I'm also heading outside a lot more than usual - I figure I've got the time these days, I should take advantage of it. Sometimes I just go sit in the garden next door, sometimes I'm off on an adventure to one of Brooklyn's libraries.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:50 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]

I live in DC, mostly without AC (we have a couple of window units, but our house is a hundred years old with some large % of its original wiring, making running more than one and anything else dicey). Ceiling fans, shaded porch, lots of fluids, mainly. Dressing light, occasionally going to the pool or just putting the hose over my head while working on the yard.

I grew up in a house that was cooled to meat locker temperatures every single summer, and where the windows were never opened and hated it. I still mostly prefer this, and have found that – if you are in good health – there is a significant habituation aspect to AC reliance.
posted by ryanshepard at 3:57 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]

That has so much peppermint oil in it that the menthol cools your skin

I use cooling patches and sprays for migraines and joint pain, and they also help with overheating.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:13 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]

In other news....

I had a busy past few days (running around having fun on the solstice on Thursday, a photo club meeting and an attempt to see a play on Saturday, a thrift shop run yesterday, and daily job hunt actions) and another couple eventful days on the horizon (a free guided tour of the waterfront on Tuesday night, an exploration of a Brooklyn neighborhood the day after) -and so today I'm focusing on some much-needed domesticity. After a quick browse through the job boards and reaching back out to a couple of recruiters all "hey, just checking in what's up and reminding you I'm still here", I'm hitting up the laundromat, and then locking myself in the kitchen for some Food Processing.

Food Processing means: I received two ABSOLUTELY HUGE zucchini in the CSA box on Saturday, and there is likely no way I would be able to eat through both in a single week (especially since I already had one more modest-sized zucchini from last week, as well as one yellow summer squash- and oh, yeah, I got two more of those too). I also got a pound of fresh fava beans, a big bunch of scallions, a big bunch of kale and a big bunch of basil. I'm going to break out the big food processor (I have two in two different sizes) and shred at least one of the zucchini down - maybe half the other one too - and freeze it all for future muffins/zucchini bread usage. The kale's getting blanched and frozen too; I'm not really a kale salad person, and anyway I also get lettuce from the CSA too that needs to be used up first. The scallions are also getting chopped up and frozen. As for the basil....well, pesto is an obvious use, but I already have a pesto I made out of some garlic scapes from two weeks ago. I've got it in a vase on a windowsill, I'll see how well that keeps over the week.

Half the fava beans already got eaten in this amazing pasta dish with merguez sausage, and I have a lot of merguez leftover - and just found this recipe that uses merguez and zucchini. So that's likely going into this week's rotation. I think the other half the fava beans will go into a simple sort of crustless quiche thing because I can have that hot or cold.

And then there's also the fruit. I have raspberries, cherries, and currants, and may even have some last couple of strawberries lingering. I also have the space-age ice cream maker busted out. At some point I may make some kind of catch-all mixed-fruit sorbet or a frutti di bosco gelato. Although - I also have a recipe for an intriguing-sounding ice cream with coconut milk, pineapple juice, and....grated zucchini.

I'm not doing ALL of that today, mind you. I can only make one batch of ice cream a day, pretty much.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:20 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]

Toronto only gets a couple of 90°+ stretches per summer. I love them because I'm a ginger who's miserable at anything under 78°. I keep my apartment blinds closed during the day and my Seabreeze Turbo-Aire fan pointed at my WFH desk. Nighttime, I run a box fan in a window pointing outwards so it pulls the night air in from the window I sleep next to.
posted by brachiopod at 4:25 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]

I left work early on Friday because I got Covid and shingles vaccinations that morning and was feeling wiped out. Unwisely in a sense, because that meant I biked home at maximum sun time on the maximum-sun day of the year. I had some bike tan worked up from the summer so far, but it wasn’t enough. Although the sunburn pain only lasted about one day so I must have had almost enough tan for it.

I got the hobby project fully wired up and almost working end to end yesterday! Bus events are making it through, but there is a lot of noise. I might be able to dial things in by adjusting timing a bit, but probably I am going to have to ditch the breadboard and get PCBs manufactured. The development board GPIOs are 1.8V and I think there’s just not enough noise tolerance at that voltage to get away with breadboard techniques. Also some of the wires have to be really long to reach, which isn’t helping. I have an idea how to design the PCB to get everything packed together much more closely, by being able to mount the PCB directly on top of the dev board, right next to the connection points.
posted by notoriety public at 4:29 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]

the awful death there of Michael Mosley

This one was shocking to me--Mosley's introduction of intermittent fasting to the public, both through his own plan and his explaining Krista Varaday's work, opened up an important health strategy for a lot of people (including me!). I was listening to him not long ago, his "Just One Thing" program, and it was so simple and kind. More health communicators could take a page from his book. To find out about his death was heartbreaking.
posted by mittens at 4:57 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]

My refrigerator is full of chopped up watermelon, cold hardy salads for grazing and a little mango ice cream in the freezer. Some AC, lots of fans, trying to get up as early as possible to do as much as possible before the heat sets in.

Heatwave is harder on the dog than me - he wants to go out for his walks but immediately wilts, even after dark, poor guy. On Saturday night, I took him out at 9:00 pm and the heat index was still 99 F/ 37 C, blech.

Still, feeling very lucky to not be worse off. Stay hydrated and shaded, all.
posted by the primroses were over at 4:59 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]

Thanks to failing kidneys and dialysis, I get to spend 3 sessions (4 hours each) in a sub-70 degree room with 12-18 other p[ople doing the same thing. Afterwards, a little heat feels good. Otherwise, I stay inside a lot.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 5:04 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]

Just feels like summer to me. Hot. Humid.
I grew up in Maryland and am now in Delaware..this just feels like every other summer.
Maybe there’s data showing otherwise but I wouldn’t be able to tell.
(It’s possible a decade in Tucson rewired my concept of what ‘hot’ means.)
posted by chronkite at 5:05 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]

In Toronto it's going to be as hot today as it was yesterday but meantime a front moved in and blew all the humidity away so hopefully it will be a windows open day instead of closed like all last week. I can see the horizon over Lake Erie 38km away (given my height above it) so the air is relatively clean, too.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:12 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]

Iced coffee - cup of ice from ice machine, coffee, no milk. That, and a COVID haircut (shave all head hair).
posted by JoeXIII007 at 5:17 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]

We're under some kind of yellow heat alert here so, with reluctance, and despite the nights drawing in, I've decided to postpone microwaving and eating the first Christmas pudding of the season. It'll just be too heavy on the stomach, and the sugar rush won't help in this weather.

Instead, perhaps counter-intuitively, I'll be on soup a lot. Not "almost too hot to eat" soup, but vegetable soups cooled down. Hydration and not bulking out on solids - as chariot pulled by casseroles details above - is key. That, and altering my walking routes and times to paths with more tree shades, and to earlier and later in the day. Cricket will also only be watched from shaded seats and stands. Never liked direct sun, as my skin only has three colours: pasty white, burnt red, and freckle.

At least this summer I'll be in England so, unlike many summers ago when I lived in Iowa, there is no danger of being stuck in the beer refrigeration cool room of a smalltown store with Mike Huckabee again. God that was a low point in my American adventures.
posted by Wordshore at 5:28 AM on June 24 [11 favorites]

My upper Midwest town didn’t have the heat wave quite as bad, and it ended quickly, but I did spend some of it working outside. Little eirias had her first week of summer camp on my workplace’s campus, so I was on transport duty and I figured, might as well take the opportunity to work next to the lake. I took refuge in campus buildings after lunch, when the heat got oppressive. Brought my little Aranet with me and learned that the campus actually did upgrade their air handling massively — both buildings I hung out in had CO2 ppm indistinguishable from outside. These are not new buildings, to say the least, so I was impressed.

Our home is an older building too — it’ll hit its century mark in a couple years. Mr. eirias got tired of lugging window a/c units up and down the stairs, so a few years ago we bit the bullet and installed a ductless mini-split system. We’ve been ridiculously happy with this purchase. It was expensive to install but has not been that expensive to operate — if anything I think our electric bills have gone down in summers since. I was extremely embarrassed/amused to realize well after the fact that when people talk about “heat pumps” as energy efficient heating sources — they are talking about this same device. I mean, I knew these can also provide heat at least in the shoulder seasons, but we just weren’t thinking about that at install. So we’ve inadvertently been part of a green trend I guess. We’ve barely used them this summer though because until last week it was balmy and we could manage well with open windows. We normally get about ten days of spring weather, but this year we had three whole months. The first month of that felt like creepy climate change (April is still supposed to be intermittently snowy) but the second two months felt like a gift.

We went to see TMBG last night. Mr. eirias and I were trying to count the number of shows we’ve seen — something like ten or fifteen, probably. Two real highlights. One, they brought the horn section on this tour and so we got to hear songs like “Cloisonné” and “The Darlings of Lumberland.” Two, they played “Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love” backwards and then after an intermission rolled the video in reverse. An extremely fun gimmick.
posted by eirias at 5:30 AM on June 24 [15 favorites]

Also, it ain't near peak hot in Austin, TX. Around Aug-Sept will mark the start of the real misery, muthafuckin' unrelenting 110 degrees, day after day after day, while the Texas Power Grid shits the bed and Gov. Abbott decides he's fine with that, cos Republicans.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 5:31 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]

I grew up in Missouri without AC, enduring frequent heatwaves of over 100 F with 80% humidity. That was when I began to hate everything about summer except fresh homegrown tomatoes. That's also when I became mostly nocturnal...only doing outdoor stuff in the early morning or late evening.

I'm still a heat wimp, but now I live in the mountains of WNC, where a very hot day is 95 F, but most summer days are in the low to mid 80s.

Very spicy food and pools get me through.
posted by schyler523 at 5:43 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]

First summer after the installation of the heat pump. (I'm embarrassed to say that it took me many years to realize those things cool too -- I mean, they're called HEAT pumps, so why would they cool?) I wasn't real impressed with its heating this past winter, but I am definitely 5000 times more comfortable in the house this summer. Waiting, though, for the first massive spike in the electric bill . . . .
posted by JanetLand at 5:50 AM on June 24 [7 favorites]

Another Torontonian. I grew up in Northern Ontario, and I can remember summer trips to visit relatives in Toronto and being pummeled by the heat. But my careers took me here eventually.

How do we cope with the summer heat? First, I seem to have acclimatized a bit; I know what to expect, how to dress, etc. But mainly (don't hate us) we live a half-block from the lake, in a (now) well-insulated house that's shaded by mature trees in the afternoon. A commitment to a dilapidated house we made over 30 years ago that has worked out in several ways. I put in ceiling fans just about everywhere - 5 at last count - and a small window AC unit is sufficient to cool our bedroom in the evening. So we're pretty lucky here.

When the heat really kicks in, we do the usual stuff - do outside stuff in the early morning, then try to find relative cool under a fan, or in the basement, or in the shade, or by the lake. It's possible to wade or swim in the lake, if the beaches aren't closed due to e coli.

Sending cooling thoughts to those of you in hotter climes. I could not do those. I can put up with our winters here in return for our less stifling summers.
posted by Artful Codger at 5:50 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]

I wanted to do an obit post about Michael Mosley but felt like the manic UK coverage at the time was going so hard on the tragic drama line it would be hard to do justice to the range of interesting, thought provoking and habit changing work he'd done over his career.

His obituray in the Guardian.

His BBC Radio 4 podcast Just One Thing (on reread already mentioned by mittens) gives a nice inroad into the sort of areas he worked in, and also shows his enthusiasm and talent as a presenter.
posted by protorp at 5:50 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]

I grew up in South Florida near the ocean which basically means living in a kitchen sink sponge all the time. I remember some particularly miserable nights sleeping with a box fan at the head of the bed pointed towards me with a bed sheet taped to the fan frame, forming a tunnel that kept the moving air streaming along my body.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:00 AM on June 24 [9 favorites]

People complain about the cold. People complain about the heat. I have running water, air conditioning, fans and heat, so I consider myself lucky. I like the summer because I like seeing living plants and all the birds. Yes, the heat can get annoying, but complaining doesn't help.

I worked outside for three years and learned the way to dress for heat... quick drying fabrics, yoga-style headbands and a hat. Cold? Layers, beginning with quick dry and then lay on as much wool as you can afford.
posted by SoberHighland at 6:01 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]

I have returned from a parental-caretaking trip in the US. It's heartbreaking to see the decline between my mom's Dx in July 2023 to now. She sundowns in the morning and I lost it when she started haranguing my sister re: money--even though I know it's the disease talking and not her--so not my finest moment. (I apologized but oh man, it just set me off as my sister is the caregiver.)

I haven't been in the US for over a year and every time I cross the border, the US feels more strange to me. It is sensory overload with adverts and consumer variety; it is signs about open carry and how everywhere I went, there were always TVs on and the TVs were always turned to news channels. In short, exhausting.
posted by Kitteh at 6:06 AM on June 24 [13 favorites]

Temperatures in Georgia, USA right now are more typical of what we usually see in July and August--we set a couple of daily record highs last week. Our house is a simple brick box with wide eaves, clearly designed well for this weather. This is our first summer with our solar system, and it's been fascinating to watch the solar panels hit their maximum output and charge the battery; then the AC cuts on, requiring both solar and battery; then the AC cuts off and the battery charges again.

We keep the house at 76 F (around 24 C), and last night was the first night that the outdoor temperature never got below that, so the AC had to run all night, long after it had drained the battery. At least grid power is cheaper at 2 am.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:10 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]

I'm dealing with hot flashes and night sweats, so I have the AC lower than usual which I don't like because it makes going outside worse as I'm less acclimated to the heat. Blah either way.
posted by Art_Pot at 6:12 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]

We've been fortunate enough to have central AC for the last dozen or so years, so I think I have lost whatever heat-coping skills I used to have. I hope to not have to re-learn them, but my natural pessimism says it will eventually be necessary.

Last week, we spent several days in Maine helping to care for my mother, who had been in declining health for the last six months. On Monday, knowing the heat wave was on the way, we bought a standing AC unit to put in the room where her hospital bed had been placed. It definitely kept the room de-humidified and tolerably cool as the heat and humidity settled in. My mother did not wake up on Wednesday morning, and passed away very early Thursday morning. I am glad that her final hours were not spent suffering in the heat.
posted by briank at 6:14 AM on June 24 [35 favorites]

I'm still making sandwiches but I bake the bread now at 5 am before the day starts to warm.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:15 AM on June 24 [7 favorites]

Currently in DC, on the vacation mentioned last week. We've been spending as much time as possible indoors at various Smithsonian museums because, yeah, it's hot outside. Yesterday was Udvar-Hazy, where we randomly met another visitor, a 90 year old military vet who flew planes that were the same model as a couple of those on display. Moment of the trip so far.

Restaurant recs update:
Kramer's - delicious! We'll probably go back at least once more.
Teaism (DuPont Circle location) - wonderful! Best okonomiyaki I've had in the continental US.
Dolcezza (DuPont Circle location) - so good! Comparable to Salt & Straw on the West Coast, but for gelato.
Agora - tasty, and wonderful service! This was my mom's birthday dinner. She loved the baklava.

And one place we went to that wasn't recced: Capital Doner. A bit heavy, but quite yummy doner kebab sandwiches and plates. There were a few other quick bites grabbed near the museums, but nothing to write home about.
posted by May Kasahara at 6:15 AM on June 24 [7 favorites]

My grandmother in law ended up in the ICU in New Delhi. Suspected heart attack due to the heat. I am grateful for only being uncomfortable here in the US.
posted by roguewraith at 6:21 AM on June 24 [10 favorites]

I haven't been to DC in decades but I seem to recall the little Chinatown district had some excellent food. Easy walk north of the mall between H and I along 6th. Nice gateway too, IIRC.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:22 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]

briank: I am sorry for your loss.
posted by Wordshore at 6:23 AM on June 24 [15 favorites]

The family went to the New Jersey shore, where it was consistently ten degrees cooler than in Philadelphia; I have been going to this particular quiet little resort town for nearly 72 years, before anyone I knew had air conditioning. It was weird to be the grandmother in the family group, instead of the baby. The cognitive dissonance of being deeply nostalgic for a place when I was actually IN that place was remarkable.

I had to leave the air conditioning on (not very cold, mind you) for the cat. Every morning and evening, I received photos and videos from the cat sitter of him playing with toys, cuddling with the sitter, and generally being indulged. Now that I am home, I have been able to air out the house at night instead of leaving the AC on. I am working hard on not depending too much on air conditioning.
posted by Peach at 6:25 AM on June 24 [7 favorites]

My car once recorded an air temperature of 47°C (117°F) though the actual temperature by the official weather station at the airport was closer to 45°C, so this was only slightly exaggerated. (typically the temperature probe is in the driver side exterior mirror).

Then we drove home, and went for a nap without the need for any fan or AC, because apparently you only need to spend maybe 2% of the value of the build to get proper insulation that makes the occasional hot day trivial to deal with.

The government has been thinking of mandating proper insulation for all rental properties: seems like a drastic move, because the cost to retrofit is prohibitive. Homeowners wouldn't do it, but landlords would be forced to, and from a micro-economics point of view, the price of rental is already demand side driven, so this would have near-zero impact on rental pricing or supply. Even if the landlord exits the market due to the business being unprofitable, it just frees up a home for one renter to become a homeowner, so no impact on demand / supply numbers. And all new builds are mandated to meet NATHERS 7.0 anyway so this policy wouldn't even deter new build to rent supply.
posted by xdvesper at 6:29 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]

  • Blinds closed all day
  • Open the pilot house window to let excess heat out
  • I run, so pre-hydrating with Gatorade, and bringing my dorky hydration belt on all runs instead of just long ones
  • Window unit AC in my office during the day, HVAC at night - this heat is too strong for the window unit in our bedroom
  • General acclimation - the more I run in the heat, the less the heat bothers me
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:32 AM on June 24 [8 favorites]

Oh, also we just got a pergola for the roof, but it has been too hot to do the work to install it. We're getting a break from the heat today (only 83) so we're going to go hard on that tonight.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:33 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]

Speaking of the heat... it's been 92-94 degrees fahrenheit here.

I had made plans to begin sanding and refinishing the deck in the backyard Wednesday. Stupidly, I didn't change my plans with the heat wave forecast as I was distracted by work and shiny objects. I spent about 5+ hours Wednesday & Thursday, and another 3 hours Friday morning working on it but I got it done and I"m proud of it.

I may have acquired a mild case of heat exhaustion Friday morning, but it's done and after a day of rest and fluids I'm fine.

The thing that probably saved me from my folly is a silly old hat I wore that's much like this one that I just googled.

Don't be like me everyone... stay safe out there!
posted by digibri at 6:40 AM on June 24 [7 favorites]

Hey, it's a free thread, and for once I have a personal story that I might as well post here...

I got back yesterday from a couple of nights' camping with the kids on Scotland's west coast—the weather was a bit patchy (unhelpfully taking a turn for the better on the morning we left), but we still had a good time. Blackfaced sheep, beaches, dramatic countryside, midges. Not such a good time was the return trip. After a two-hour drive to Fort William, most of it on slow single-track roads, Google maps suggested that it would take 20-30 minutes longer to drive back to Edinburgh via Glencoe—the way we had driven out on Friday—than it would to cut northeast to Dalwhinnie and drive down the A9 from there. We were all pretty tired, so off we went to the A9.

At around 3.30, with about 1 hour 15 minutes to go, somewhere near the geographical centre of Scotland, we ran into a miles-long tailback that was going nowhere fast. Over the course of half an hour of standing still, we watched car after car turn off the A9 onto a cycle path running parallel with it to make their way south. The kids wanted me to follow them, but it seemed unwise—what if something went wrong on that as well? You might not even be able to turn around. Then a cop car came past, going from car to car to tell us that the A9 would be closed for several hours. (I later learned it was a three-car pile-up. Nasty. The A9 has only one lane each way for long stretches through the Cairngorms, which is how the whole road ends up getting blocked.)

The kids had school today and I had a 9am meeting, so staying somewhere local for the night wasn't an option. The options were:

1. Drive all the way back to Fort William (60-ish miles) and then return to Edinburgh via Glencoe (135 miles).

2. See 1. Well, technically there were other routes that were just as long or even longer...

So that's what we did. Instead of getting home around 4.30-5.00, we got home at 9pm, stopping on the way for dinner. I spent about nine hours driving when I'd expected to be driving for five. Absolutely shattered.

Nine p.m., by coincidence, was when they reopened the A9, so we'd have been back even later if we'd waited for that.

On the plus side, we got to see Glencoe driving west to east in the evening sunshine, which was as spectacular as always. But I spent the whole drive worried I'd crash too from being so knackered.
posted by rory at 6:49 AM on June 24 [17 favorites]

My husband was up doing electrical work in our attic, to prepare for the heat pump that's going in soon hopefully. The downside, having the attic door open during the day made the house so much hotter it was hard to believe. The upside, we discovered the roofers had put vents and a fan in when they put the new roof in, it just needed to be wired. Ran wire to the attic fan, and now the temperature actually drops in the house in the evening, instead of staying miserably hot and humid all through the night until morning. AWESOME. Can't wait until Central Air touches the rooms that we currently just keep closed (bathrooms and guest room), I'd be cool just leaving those rooms closed off but it gets SO HUMID as well as hot in there in the summer and we're at war with the previous owners' mold problem.
posted by subdee at 6:49 AM on June 24 [12 favorites]

Me on Saturday: Sure, it's hot, but that doesn't mean I can't exercise, just that I have to slow down. After all, it's only 99, not 100! Thus the leisurely 90 minute bike ride (at midday) and 45 minute slow jog (at night).

My fitness watch Sunday morning: What the hell did you do to yourself?
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 6:52 AM on June 24 [9 favorites]

Oh, I should mention that I'm in Philadelphia and it was 99 degrees on Saturday and 97 degrees yesterday.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:53 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]

My refrigerator is full of chopped up watermelon, cold hardy salads for grazing

Ooh! I have a recipe for a salad that USES watermelon! It's a good mix of watermelon, cucumber, grapes, and snap peas, all of which you can probably easily find right now and all of which are in season. They also add a little chopped mint and almonds, but I usually leave the almonds out. My garden plot snap peas are nearly ready to pick and I think I'll make that with them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:53 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]

Monitor the outdoor temperature closely, and the instant it gets hotter than indoors, close all doors and windows to keep the coolness inside. DO NOT fling the windows open to try to create a breeze. If it is hotter outside open windows will make the temperature in the house hotter.

Use curtains or reflectors to prevent the greenhouse effect when sun is hitting your windows.

Never run a fan unless someone is sitting directly in front of it. They produce a surprising amount of heat, which they spread through the room along with the cool breeze. It's no good testing to see how much heat it produces while it is on. If you turn off a fan you'll be able to perceive just how much heat because the motor section will warm up rapidly after it is turned off. A room where a fan has been running will be warmer than a room where there has been no fan.

If you have to cook, place a large pot of cold water on the burner, or in the oven as soon as you are done, so that the residual heat will warm the water to room temperature instead of warming up the room.

If you pour hot water down the drain, such as from washing dishes or draining macaroni, follow up by running cold water down after it.

Get a yoga pad or put a comforter on the floor and lie on that instead of the bed. It's almost always two or three degrees cooler, sometimes more.

The lower down you go in the house the cooler it usually is.

Dunk your head repeatedly. As soon as your hair is dry, you can dunk it again. If you go outside a cotton Tilley style hat can be worn wet, and re-wet repeatedly wherever there is a public washroom or drinking fountain. A lightweight cotton long sleeved shirt can also be wrung out in water and worn. If thermal shock troubles you and makes you cringe to put it on, use warm water to dampen it. It will cool down to a more moderate temperature almost instantly, so there is no point actually using icy water. If you are wearing a wet shirt indoors, put a garbage bag over the back of your desk chair to protect the upholstery. Damp hand towels can also be placed on your lap. A damp pashmina is also helpful. Flap damp clothing that has become warm from your body heat to make it cool again. Having damp hair/clothing/cloth is critical for people who don't sweat a lot.

If you don't sweat, and have access to a pool, swimming is a very good exercise. You can exercise strenuously enough to break into a sweat there without overheating, and this will encourage your sweat glands to produce. You can train yourself to sweat more by doing some serious swimming and will probably find after a week or three of regular swimming that you are getting damp armpits and creases at times when you aren't in the pool. However you have to stay in condition for it keep working.

Keep a small wet wrung out hand towel in a small insulated lunch cooler, along with ice packs. Use the towel to refresh yourself and then seal it up again quickly. It will stay icy for awhile.

Use a misting spray bottle to spritz yourself.

Cool down cats and dogs by wiping them with a damp towel until their fur is surface moist, and comb them frequently to remove any hair that they are shedding. They usually shed a lot when it is hot, and you will not only make them cooler by thinning their coat, but keep the hair from getting all over your home. They usually love this so much that they may come to you in hot weather to demand it.

Take a walk after dark if it cools down, and take a siesta midday. If it is much hotter during the day than it is at night, move your schedule as much as possible to an overnight one and sleep as much as you can during the day.

Walking slowly will sometimes cool you down more than sitting still because the envelope of heat that surrounds you can dissipate. If you just sit because it is too hot to move you may end up creating your own bubble of heat around you, as well as total inactivity being bad for you. Incorporating some gentle languid movement into the day will help prevent the stress on your body that comes from being immobile all day and then trying to do intensive cardio after it starts to cool off.

Cook ahead during the cooler part of the day, so that you have food you can eat cold. Rely heavily on bread, canned beans and precooked macaroni, cold meat, salad, cereal and milk, etc. all eaten cold. When you shop for groceries pick things that do not need to be heated up.

Open plan houses and apartments suck. A kitchen door will do a lot to prevent heat from spreading from the kitchen (with the heat producing appliances like your fridge and freezer) into the rest of the house. Often one side of the house is cooler in the morning and the other side cooler in the evening - shut doors between them if you can and move from one to the other.

If humidity is not too high, hang your laundry to dry as evaporation cools down the air. Tumble dry it on no heat before you hang it if wrinkles will be a problem.

Individual lunch box sized cold packs can be taken from the freezer, placed in a plastic sandwich bag to prevent condensation getting on everything and put into pockets or placed under your feet. If you keep a half dozen in the freezer you can cycle them through out the day so you always have something chill. Also apply on pulse points.

Loose cotton or linen sleepwear is usually the coolest thing you can wear.

When the temperature outside becomes lower than the temperature inside, open those doors and windows and set up a fan blowing the warm air in the house out the window on one side of the house, trying to create a cross draft to pull cool air in from the other side. That is almost always more effecting than placing a fan just inside the open window trying to draw the air from outside. You can swing the house door back and forth from almost closed to wide open, from one hand to another as you face it to also suck cooler air back into the house. Standing there swinging the door from hand to hand will fan the person doing it. Avoid using the knob when doing this. It's less efficient and can make the knob loose.

Plan your routes when outside to go through greener areas, especially those with shade trees. If walking zigzag from shady spot to shady spot and aim for as many trees as you can. It will be often be less heat stress to walk around a parking lot on grass with intermittent shade than walking diagonally across it. Walking on grass will be cooler and better for your feet. Concrete sidewalks are cooler than asphalt ones but grass is the best choice of all.

Wear sandals or bare feet unless you have to wear something substantial, keeping in mind that you probably have to protect you feet and legs from ticks if you walk on the grass. If you must wear heavy shoes and socks, take them off under your desk at work and carry a spare pare of socks to change into when the first pair are damp. You can often cool down a good bit by sitting on the edge of the bathtub and either running cold water on your feet, or filling the tub and wading in the cold water. Filling the bathtub with cold water will also help cool down the room as the water in the tub heats up.

Appliances that are producing a lot of heat, such as your freezer can be wiped down with a wet towel to cool them down. Keep your freezer full for it to be more efficient. If you don't have it entirely full of food and damp bed sheets, etc, fill up the remaining space with ice. Also, make sure the gaskets of appliances that produce cold are in good shape. You want it to run as little as possible.

If you are looking for an apartment or house in a climate that gets hot, look for high ceilings and windows that can be opened at the top. High ceilings make a huge difference as heat rises. This is why buildings that are properly designed to hold large numbers of people or animals have high ceilings. The lower the ceiling the hotter the room. Also look for open porches, full length balconies and breezeways on the outside of the house as they help make the inside of the house cooler, and often can provide an outdoor living area that is cooler than inside during some portion of the day.

When in serious trouble from the heat outside, look for shade to lie down in. The ground level in the shade is often significantly cooler than a couple of feet off the ground. Children fling themselves down on the grass in the shade instinctively, for a good reason. Lying down instead of sitting down can make a big difference.

Rock in the shade will sometimes retain overnight coolness for a long time and can be even cooler to lie on than grass.


Memorial for the pilgrims who died this year on hajj.
posted by Jane the Brown at 7:00 AM on June 24 [61 favorites]

We're working on getting the parents moved down here, and part of that's been getting them an apartment lined up. I spent the last week dealing with the power company. There was an issue with our initial application, which apparently broke the minds of everyone there. So I sent in the right document. Then they took a day to find it. Then they had to acknowledge that they had everything and could process the order. I'd get an automatic email when they were done. (Nope.) Oh hey, almost everything's set up. I can finish while we're on the phone. At least that's behind us now.
Weather wise, we were expecting horrible flooding. What we got was a couple hours of heavy rain. So that worked out well (for us). Most of the house is OK, temperature wise, but the den gets hot (it has way too many windows). The landlord's looking into adding insulation, but I don't know how much that'll help. We've been cranking the thermostat down at night, and up during the day, especially in the afternoon. We've also been keeping the doors open, and running the ceiling fans, which helps.
posted by Spike Glee at 7:02 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]

I bought a little single-story place last year with a 22-yr old air conditioning unit. And driving a 17-yr old vehicle. And I told everyone who would listen! - I hope I don't have to replace those at the same time. I didn't! It was nearly two weeks between them, this past month.

However, I have not conquered the humidity problem. The AC guy was great and fortunately the previous homeowner had replaced everything else right up to the AC unit, so it was less expensive than it might have been - and he told me it would suck up all the moisture.

It did suck up all the moisture and the humidity went down to low 40s. And then it went right back up to nearly 70. So, I may be posting an Ask for recs on a dehumidifier, as well as best strategies for the lower crawlspace that needs 1. replace insulation that has fallen off all the walls down there, and 2. some kind of moisture barrier for the gravel floor? I hung a couple DampRid bags (bathroom and laundry room, and they both filled in a matter of weeks). May need new fan in bathroom but need to clean it and find out. I have not historically been a DIY'er, but trying!
posted by Glinn at 7:04 AM on June 24 [7 favorites]

Because we have amazing timing we decided to move during the peak of the heatwave in Chicago. Index of 110 degrees F (that's 43 degrees C), moving into a place with no central air. Honestly while it sucked, and is a little?? surprising to have that kind of heat in June, it just feels like regular summer. I chatted with a friend in France who used to live here and she confirmed feeling both very American and very smug as everyone tried to cope with 22C/71F, which to us is still hoodie weather.

The ambient temp in my prior apartment was set, intentionally, to 24C, and it means my AC is running nonstop.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 7:15 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]

Up here in the far north central states it's a pretty normal summer so far -- dare I say, cooler than usual, far more days in the 60s and 70s, and we're expecting to only get to around 88°F/31°C as the high this week. Our heat is always humid, which can get miserable when it's above 90°, and we usually have several of those days every summer.

Tip if you've got central air conditioning: replace your furnace filter. even a little dust can limit flow and either restrict getting cold air to every room, or will make your furnace work harder and longer. Also, if you have some higher-number-MERV filter, that could also be holding back the air, go with a lower numbered filter and let the air flow.

Other stuff update: on Tuesday went to my the opening of the invitational art exhibition that my wife was included in -- she was a bit deflated because her piece was relegated to a room off to the side, not in the main gallery, but, hey, it was her Wonka Gold Ticket, as she described it, to artistic recognition to be invited in the first place.

I was talking to one of the curators about the serendipity of adhoc themes: the invitational involved being given subject matter, in this case absurdism, and you had to1 create a new work of art for the show. My wife took a dress form, added a coyote skull, doll hands, and (yes) a cast of my own buttocks to it; when we dropped it off, we were instructed to set it next to the other dress form that was artistically enhanced, and on leaving we saw someone had created a sculpture based on one of those educational torsos where you can take all the internal organs out. At the show, we saw at least two more sculptures made from found items, with a torso at the core of it. Somehow, for some reason, "headless torsos" were a serendipitous theme for this exhibit. The torso-missing-organs crowned by an artistic array of feathers won an award. The curator I was speaking to said that happens almost every call-for-submission exhibitions, something about them induces similar thoughts among the artists.

The opening was followed with a dinner for artists, board members, and guests; the next day was a luncheon for pretty much the same people, and we sat with some board members and some of the staff of the museum.

They always say work in the arts is about connections, and as we were talking with the museum staff and the topic of my film student status came up, at which point one of the staff mentioned she was on the board of a local community organization, who this coming Thursday is hosting a Longest Table event -- and they've been looking for someone to make a video of the event for their fundraising efforts, and would I be available?

I say, absolutely, let's do it -- and connections go both ways, and I don't have a good camera, so I reached out to my professor/friend/filmmaking-partner, who will get me a camera from school (against the rules, but I'm trustworthy), and one of the production assistants I worked with on his short film a few weeks ago will be available so she'll help with cameras, which then is her getting work in her field purely from, I just have to do the work and get the video made.

Also: it was a week or so ago, but I passed 10,000 updoots here on Metafilter, which puts me into rarefied company at that arbitrary indicator of site involvement!

1 My wife was also disappointed at the number of "made for this show" artworks dated 2022 and 2023 when the subject and theme wasn't announced until February 2024. Later, the head of the museum was chatting and threw some shade about how the awards were going to people who listened to the rules.
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:16 AM on June 24 [11 favorites]

The house we owned in Kitchener was built by sages in the 1920s, wise in the way of heating and cooling when AC didn't exist. Anyway here's how you cool a house.

In the morning, when the temperature outside starts to rise / the sun starts hitting the house: close the sun-side windows except for a small ventilation gap, like 1cm, and shut the heavy drapes. (You need drapes if you have sun hitting your windows. They insulate.)

On the highest floor of the house, open windows on the farthest side from the stairs. Put a box fan in the windows, blowing out. On the lowest floor, open windows on the cool/shady side of the house.

You want ot create a wind-tunnel going from the open windows on the lowest/coolest side of the house to the hottest/highest side. All other windows should be cracked at most.

If the cool side is properly shaded and vegetated (shrubberies), the air coming in will be delightful, and as it comes in will spread throughout the house as the upstairs windows exhaust interior hot air.

As it cools down outside in the evening you can open more windows but always keep the upstairs fans running to pull out residual heat.

Crossflow ventilation is good on one floor, but it's even better when you can use the height of a multi-storey house to take advantage of "hot air rises" to literally yoink cool air throughout your enormous house for the cost of running a small box fan.

(Never use a fan to push air in from outside if you can help it. Always push air out. That way the heat of the fan motor is exhausted, and every other open window is a source of incoming breeze.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:20 AM on June 24 [12 favorites]

Here in New England, I have Home Assistant running. It watches a thermometer in my WFH office, and when the thermometer hits 75F during the workday a small fan is automatically turned on.

When I entered the room this morning at 8:00, the fan was already running and the thermometer read 80F. I hate the summer.

I trimmed the rhododendrons yesterday, and even in the shade, the 90F heat & 78% humidity was punishing.

This is the future, isn't it? *wibble*
posted by wenestvedt at 7:21 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]

EmpressCallipygos : I can only make one batch of ice cream a day, pretty much.

Fucking casuals.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:23 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]

Wordshore: At least this summer I'll be in England so, unlike many summers ago when I lived in Iowa, there is no danger of being stuck in the beer refrigeration cool room of a smalltown store with Mike Huckabee again.

Wordshore, you are Bill Bryson and I claim my five pounds.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:26 AM on June 24 [18 favorites]

Fun fact: in the USA, heat kills more people than all other natural disasters combined.
posted by entropone at 7:27 AM on June 24 [11 favorites]

Yes, the heat can get annoying, but complaining doesn't help.

If you consider migraines and heat exhaustion "annoying" rather than "literally incapacitating," good for you.
posted by cooker girl at 7:30 AM on June 24 [12 favorites]

We're into siesta season in Texas. Get up early, do stuff before the heat, midday break, do stuff after the sun is mostly or completely down.

In personal news, I am having a second organ removed on Tuesday (gall bladder) and we were sideswiped by a hit-and-run driver on Saturday. Both Mr Epigrams and I are fine and the damage to the car appears to be cosmetic. Also there is weird family stuff that I cannot talk about in detail. If I hadn't lived this month and you told me about it, I'd think you were pulling my leg for internet kudos. If anybody knows which god or spirit I have offended, lmk please.

Stay cool (or warm if you're in the south) and well, fellow Mefites!
posted by gentlyepigrams at 7:32 AM on June 24 [16 favorites]

On the plus side, we got to see Glencoe

this episode of BBC's In Our Time provides a summary of the Massacre at Glencoe, well worth a listen
posted by elkevelvet at 7:36 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]

briank, so sorry for your loss.
posted by joannemerriam at 7:50 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]

I'm fortunate enough to have AC, and I also live in a heavily forested area so things tend to stay a few precious degrees cooler than elsewhere. But I still don't like walking outside and the air feeling like soup.

I'm sorry for your loss, briank. My family has been in the thick of elder care for a bit now, and I can understand being sad to lose a loved one, but also some small relief that they didn't have to go through a pending hardship.
posted by eekernohan at 7:54 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]

We had a few days in the 90s last week, bad enough that I had to run my window AC through the night, but it's dropped back to 70s and 80s, as per the usual in Western NY.

Meanwhile, update in eyeballs: the stuff picked up on the photos was not hard exudate (yay!) but...a really big cataract. There's another cataract at work in the left eye, but it's not very far advanced yet. So surgery it definitely is, at least on the right...
posted by thomas j wise at 7:55 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]

(You need drapes if you have sun hitting your windows. They insulate.)
seanmpuckett Do you have a rec for drapes? I did get "heavier" drapes than I originally had - supposedly insulating but still letting some light in, for my sliding glass door, but not sure they are doing as well as they might.

Tip if you've got central air conditioning: replace your furnace filter.
AzraelBrown, did! The first thing I figured out in my new place, - my (4ish yrs old) furnace is hanging sideways attached to the ceiling in a low ceiling crawlspace and for some reason, facing away from the ladder. Not ideal!
posted by Glinn at 7:57 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]

I remember visiting Toronto's Sick Kids hospital back in the early 1970s. There was no AC, just standing fans. Children with fevers had a small fan and a bowl of ice cubes on their beside tables.
posted by brachiopod at 7:57 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]

Another Philadelphian, and here in West Philly things got rather unpleasant in one way.

I tried the "take a cool shower" route before bed. The water was not cool and did not get colder. I went to the kitchen, pulled out the meat thermometer, opened the cold water tap, and put the probe in.

Friends, the cold water coming out of the faucet measured at 80 degrees.

So I had a warm shower and then had both the AC and our box fan on all night.
posted by mephron at 8:11 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]

I was fortunate to grow up in a dry, higher elevation place, one where mostly the houses didn't have AC at all as it wasn't necessary. Big ceiling fans, decks, but no air conditioning. Now, having moved into what constitutes civilization, I have a better idea of what I took for granted then.

If the only time it's under ninety degrees is 8:30 PM, there will be no busking happening. I worry sometimes about busking after dark by myself and starting at 8:30 feels bad.

There's a sight reading orchestra meeting later this summer and I'm so excited to get to participate in that. My sight reading is awful so this is excellent practice.
posted by wurl1tzer_c0 at 8:14 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]

How I’d like to be beating the heat is being down in Argentina or Chile right now at one of the ski resorts getting the most seasonal winter snow South America has had so far this century. My instagram is full of insane photos of South American ski resorts at the moment - some of whom were close to achieving regular season snow totals *before their official opening date*!

Which isn’t good as it indicates just how out of whack the climate is / and the back end of these seasons is often problematic with melt and flooding etc. But I hope skiers / boarders down there have a blast!
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:15 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]

"inflateabikini" kind of sneaks in with your name, inflatablekiwi
posted by elkevelvet at 8:17 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]

I pushed myself hard to get some garden things done last week, in the early hours when it was only in the high 70's here. Glad I got the supports and netting on the greens bed; glad I got things restaked, and a supply of topsoil to add to the mounds. But I learned, oh how I learned, that pushing myself until I'm exhausted and sore just delays getting anything else done the next day.
We inherited a very neglected pool and it's been an expensive and frustrating chore to get it into shape. Don't come for me because I said I have a pool: I have a large body of water that isn't clean enough to swim safely in, that needs more cleaning and chemicals and equipment, and a squirrel managed to drown itself in the pump intake. I tell myself that we've gotten rid of the dumbest squirrel in the neighborhood, but that poor creature. As far as we can tell, the pool was a watering hole for a couple of years before the house was sold, with animals walking out across the decaying pool cover to bathe or drink in the water collected on top.
Today is a good day to let go, get done what I can and enjoy whatever else, and tonight clean the pool with a hat on and have a nice cold slushy drink, and think about what my 62nd year might look like. I woke up in my own house today, which is still a miracle that I hope I'm not too old to enjoy.
posted by winesong at 8:22 AM on June 24 [9 favorites]

Glinn, specific recommendations for drapes? Not really. Heavy would be opaque, though, and hung on a separate rod from the light moderating curtains you seem to be describing. You can search for "insulating drapes" which is the right idea.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:25 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]

Oh if you are feeling guilty about energy usage w/ regard to AC: don't.

Heating during cold snaps actually uses more energy and more fossil fuels (especially in the Northeast where oil furnaces are still common).

But because of weird Puritan attitudes around just enduring heat, some people just don't turn on their AC, and sometimes die!

AC saves lives. Use your AC, stay alive.
posted by emjaybee at 8:26 AM on June 24 [18 favorites]

Heating during cold snaps actually uses more energy and more fossil fuels (especially in the Northeast where oil furnaces are still common).

This. Northeastern US cities are more energy efficient than the sunbelt due to density, but northeastern suburbs are generally less energy efficient. If the sunbelt was dense, then the energy costs would be pretty low overall.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:33 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]

Depending on humidity and the "wet bulb temperature," you can slip into heat shock when the air temperature is lower than your body temperature.

In extremely humid conditions your body cannot evaporate sweat to cool its own basal metabolic heat production (about 100 watts) and you'll slowly roast yourself. Even in the shade.

Here's a CBC article about it.

That's why AC is so critical during moist heat waves, because it not only cools the air, it removes excess humidity.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:35 AM on June 24 [8 favorites]

I grew up in hot and live in hot, so I'm used to it. I grew up without air conditioning and my home AC is useless (only cools the ceiling, no central) so I just keep the place dark and shady and use a fan and it's fine. Mostly the hottest I get is getting into a boiling hot car, but at least I've figured out how to put the AC on full blast in there. My one big tip is "don't sit/stand around under direct sunlight" because that's what'll get ya.

Little Mermaid went well. The musical director still has covid, so he spent the weekend masked and alone in the pit. Our other covid person recovered after 2 days(!) and was back on day 2. I'm told Sunday sold out, and people like it so far. I was glad to not be auditioning last night and chilled out on the patio, eating watermelon. I have been tired all week and slept 10 hours on the weekend and went to bed at 9:30 last night to sleep 9 hours. Much as I like to jump from one show to another, I may actually kinda enjoy the 4 week break I have between shows, or at least a few days of it before I go stir crazy. I'm going to try to take a tap class tonight at a new studio and see how that goes.

I did get to have one day of fun and shopping and hung out with a friend on Saturday, which I enjoyed. This is the friend that's going to that conference I went to that didn't go so well. I warned her in detail (said stuff like, "don't expect to have time to get back to your room and bring your snacks in your purse"), sent her my notes from it and warned her on stuff I knew she wouldn't like like the pushy sales and phone calls. She asked, "What am I supposed to do if my parents are dead?" and I was all, good point, they didn't address that one. She said she's talked to the leader of it and got on with her, so maybe she won't have the issues I did with mine? I guess we shall see.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:40 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]

I'm back home in northeastern Virginia (near Washington, DC) after a few weeks on the road (upstate New York; Montreal; London) and it's damned hot here. Temps lunge towards 100 F and humidity is in the 50s.

We've got central AC in the house, which is great for the basement (my office, kids' rooms) and the main floor, but doesn't quite cool off the upstairs (bedrooms). We've installed a battery of devices: fans, a swamp cooler, overhead fan.

The animals stick to the basement and ground floor. I walk the dog around 6 am and give the cats catio time right after, before the sun strikes that side of the house.

I'm not biking because it's too painful. I should get up earlier and hit the roads before dawn.
posted by doctornemo at 8:43 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]

Glinn: "blackout" drapes with a white backing are specifically advertised to protect against sunlight heating the house -- reflect as much as possible back out, don't let any light through. They tend to be a bit spendy; regular non-white-backed blackout shades still help, but the shades themselves get warm which can still transfer some heat inside.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:15 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]

Well first off I moved out of the midwest to Seattle a long time ago. Realize not a helpful answer. A long time ago, before we started heating up so much. First two houses didn't have AC. Fans and open upstairs windows did the trick, along with drapes and such.

Current house didn't have it, but we replaced the oil furnace with a heat pump. So now we have AC! Only use it 5 or 6 days a year. And a hot day here say 95 degrees, feels very different from 95 in Kansas City or Atlanta or Florida...
posted by Windopaene at 9:58 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]

I'm Scottish, and start to melt at around 25 °C, and it's around this time of year I begin to think that the move to Toronto wasn't a good one. But I get over it quickly because of all the critters here.

Today is my birthday. I'm of that age that magically enables junk mail about retirement plans and health stuff, and even enables me to slightly better parking, if I were so inclined. I have had a very enjoyable birthday tide: went up to Tiny Marsh on the weekend, and got to hang with a very chill muskrat for a while. I'm glad we got there early, as an attempt at an afternoon walk turned into an awful mosquito-fest. There may also have been Topper's Pizza (delicious, but the chain is one that you can only find outside Toronto) and an amazing dinner at Baran, a Turkish restaurant a little west of us. We're just back from visiting the turtles at the Evergreen Brickworks: they're really living their best life at the moment.

I'm also almost finished writing up a rather stupid concept for embedding sensor readings in transient wifi SSIDs. I'm amazed that it works, and fairly horrified that it shows my office is pretty much a steady 9 °C hotter than the basement
posted by scruss at 9:59 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]

I'm just so glad I decided to spend the money 2 years ago to put in a minisplit system.
posted by rhymedirective at 10:04 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]

Happy Birthday, scruss! 🥳🥳🥳🧁
posted by Glinn at 10:11 AM on June 24 [3 favorites]

on the one hand, NHL hockey is one of the contributing factors to this thread.. all the air travel, all those arenas, the fact there is still NHL hockey to be played days after the summer solstice, the fact there are league franchises in states like Florida and Nevada, etc.

on the other hand, Go Oilers. Game 7, puck drops at 18:00 MST. Previously
posted by elkevelvet at 10:12 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]

The only way I can actually deal with summer heat (and winter cold) in the Great Basin Desert is to actually go out into it every day. Easiest to go out early in the morning and try to last till temps hit at least 90, maybe a very short time at the 95-degree range. Periodically I go outside in the heat of the day for ten to fifteen minutes--enough to go from comfortably warm to sweat dripping, then back inside which actually feels freezing for about a half hour.

We rely on two big elm trees on the south side of the front, a couple fans, and one small window AC. I can only stay sitting at the computer in front of a blowing AC. What keeps the rest of the house comfortable, is too much cold air in here. Barefoot on the tile and wood floor helps, too.

There's an acclimation that happens if things don't go from 60 degrees to 100 practically overnight. This year has been weird, we had three winters and two short springs. The heat was late, but apparently looks to make up for it with misery. Who knows how long it will last? Two weeks ago we woke up to 36 degrees, two days ago it was 103.

Everything's ok as long as I don't forget I'm old and stay out like I used to. Soaked hair and underwear is a good, if disgusting, reminder. I hate hats and can never remember to drink enough water. Even worse than the heat is the glare. I never wore sunglasses, and forget them too frequently, and it's AWFUL!

With the exceptions of at least Mexico City and Paraburdoo the other areas have high humidity. Humidity is absolute misery as well as another killer.
posted by BlueHorse at 10:40 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]

Oh if you are feeling guilty about energy usage w/ regard to AC: don't.

Heating during cold snaps actually uses more energy and more fossil fuels (especially in the Northeast where oil furnaces are still common).

Heating may consume more fossil fuels because of the oil/gas being combusted in less efficient ways, but doesn't running air conditioning use more energy from the power grid?

My oil burner has a 200 watt electric motor for combustion plus another 200 watt electric motor for the blower. The smallest AC window units (~5000BTU) are between 400-600 watts. When I'm cooling I may be responsible for less overall fossil fuel consumption than when I'm heating, but I'm definitely using a lot more electricity than I would while heating and that could have impacts on the ability of the grid to produce and deliver that much energy.

I don't think it's as simple to say "Don't worry about energy usage when cooling because heating consumes much more energy". Heating uses energy in different ways which have different impacts.

AC saves lives. Use your AC, stay alive.

Yes. Use your AC. Don't die.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 10:46 AM on June 24

Never liked direct sun, as my skin only has three colours: pasty white, burnt red, and freckle.

I'm in the same camp, Wordshore. I often recall a George Carlin bit where he's reflecting on his Irish genetics: "At the beach, I don't try to tan. I just try to neutralize the blue."

Fortunately the PNW hasn't been too affected by the big heatwave in the eastern half of the country; we did have a few days in the upper 80s-low 90s (low 30s C), but the humidity was below 30% during the day.* July and August is when the heat tends to really crank up, and by a little more each year. Not looking forward to that. I mostly stay inside with the AC on the whole time and either reheat frozen leftovers from big-batch meals I manage to make on rare non-hot days or use the toaster oven to cook food.

Yesterday was beautiful though, in the low 70s (low 20s C)*, and I was able to leave the windows open overnight. The downside of that was a bout of insomnia kicked off around 3am with the help of an over-enthusiastic, persistent, and very loud bird, so I'm a little slow this morning.

* Lest you consider moving here, though, bear in mind that we pay for this lovely weather with long months of chilly rainy gloomy weather from Oct-May. Seriously, it's awful. Don't come here.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:51 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]

A big chunk of the energy consumed by my oil burner is transmitted to my location via a tanker trunk. My AC gets all of the energy it consumes from the power grid. I don't disagree that heating uses more fossil fuels overall, but could AC use more energy from the grid?

Here in the Northeast, I've never heard of rolling blackouts during the winter, and I've never heard the authorities ask people to lower their heaters to relieve pressure on the electrical grid when it's cold out.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 10:52 AM on June 24

could AC use more energy from the grid?

Even if it does, it's then just a matter of how green the grid is. Where I live, heat is hardly necessary at all so AC definitely uses more energy, but lots of buildings have PV arrays and I believe our power supply is getting more carbon-free over time.
posted by LionIndex at 11:03 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]

I'm also almost finished writing up a rather stupid concept for embedding sensor readings in transient wifi SSIDs.

Cooool. (Also into IoT - ESP8266s and ESP32s mostly). I use these guys. And happy birthday.
posted by Artful Codger at 12:11 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]

Here in the Northeast, I've never heard of rolling blackouts during the winter, and I've never heard the authorities ask people to lower their heaters to relieve pressure on the electrical grid when it's cold out.

This has more to do with that than individual energy use.

"The expansion of the South — the nation’s most populous region — accounted for 87% of the nation’s growth in 2023, as the region added over 1.4 million residents for a total population of 130,125,290" --> that's population growth just in the year 2023.
posted by The_Vegetables at 12:27 PM on June 24

I love the sun and being in it. I am fortunate to be able to control for how long, and have enough access to water and technology that I am not adversely impacted by it.

Unfortunately, we had to replace our furnace last year on an emergency schedule. I tried to get bids for heat pumps, but even getting bids was a 2-month wait, and likely another 2-3 months to get something installed. And that put us into Seattle winter. If something went wrong with getting things lined up, we would have been without heat during the winter, which was a non-starter. So we just went with generic furnace. So no AC. We are in the middle of a major electrical rewiring project, and are going to get power to the attic to run a house fan, which I think will work well for us.

This weekend was pretty gorgeous here, as Greg_Ace mentioned. I got to do yoga both days, and walked to/from (45 min each way), so lots of physical activity for me. I have discovered this new thing called podcasts, and have been enjoying How Did This Get Made and What Makes This Song Stink. They are exactly what I need. Mostly light and funny and fairly insubstantial.
posted by Gorgik at 12:49 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]

Get a heat pump that can do heating and cooling to minimise your energy use and remain comfortable year round.

WhatsApping with friends & colleagues at home in Cornwall, the UK heatwave hasn't made it there. 18C there. It's been 28C in Provence today, which has been nice.

Croatia - Italy is a bit dull, n'est ce pas?
posted by biffa at 1:07 PM on June 24

Oh wait.
posted by biffa at 1:14 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]

Stanczyk, your sandwiches, Wow! Maybe I'll head to Market Basket later; their steak sammiches are delish and not really spendy.

roguewraith, I hope your grandmother does okay.

briank, I'm glad you could be with her.
posted by theora55 at 1:26 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]

Now does anyone not have a yellow card?
posted by biffa at 1:54 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]

I use these guys.

Bosch sensors are neat, but they're not cheap, and a whole bunch of them use I2C clock stretching which some MCUs don't like at all. I like AHT2x sensors - the replacement for the dismal old DHT temp/humidity sensors - which are very cheap and are extremely reliable
posted by scruss at 1:58 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]

Sending continual healing vibes, gentlyepigrams. I'm sorry things are so rough.

Condolences for your mother, briank.

I understand that Austin summers are hotter than they used to be (as with everywhere), but I'm sticking with my gratitude that this year isn't like last year. I know the late-summer heat is coming, but we were already pegging 100s at this time a year ago. Our current run in the 90s is so pleasant by comparison.

I'm leaving for Provincetown on Friday for my first gaycation in literal decades with some long-ago East Coast pals. Very much looking forward to swimming in the harbor, cycling across the Cape, engaging in languorous afternoons of unabashed cruising, and seeing the unholy Dina Martina onstage again. I've had a pretty stressful run of years (since 2019, really), so I desperately need it.
posted by mykescipark at 2:00 PM on June 24 [8 favorites]

I'm fine in heat up to the mid 30s with high humidity and that is about as hot as it gets in Toronto so while I end up sweating a lot when I'm outside I can still just go about my day as normal. We're out of our heat-dome and the temps will be going into the low teens overnight this week so I'm probably going to have to go back to full sleeve tops for my way home from work.

We have AC at home but we have a lot of west-facing windows so even with that going at full power and the curtains lowered all it can really do is maintain indoor the temperature until night. So we all end up spending time in the backyard. Our basement is always cool in the summer but even though it's finished we never spend any time there.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:08 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]

AC and heat are both necessary resources. Keep the heat low, wear a sweater, add a blanket, etc. Keep the AC high, wear light clothing, drink cool water, use a fan pointed at you, etc. A heat pump is in my future, so I'll have AC at some point, but I have seldom wanted it in Maine. That's changing. I made a big pasta salad so I wouldn't have to cook. I spent the solstice lazing in front of a fan. Made lots of brownies Fri. evening, as well as a couple gallons of cold brew coffee, for a bake sale Saturday. I live across the road from a lake and swam with the dog. She went from lethargic to delighted zoomies when she got out of the water. Friday and beyond, lots of storms and rain. Maine had tornado watches, quite unusual.

I finished reading The Great Transition, Nick Fuller Googins. Speculative fiction, really good, a hopeful view of recovery from Climate Crisis. Given the global heat crisis, wildfires doubling globally, and all the other realities, it was a pleasure to imagine a future. The world-building for a future is a bit utopian and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Recommend. Author lives in Maine, might see if the library can get him to speak/ read.

I don't hate warm (80sF, 29C) sunny summer days. Maine has lots of big trees, so there's shade, usually a breeze. Lots of lakes and rivers, where swimming is pleasant, the north Atlantic, where the water is seldom warm enough for me to swim, but if you stand in it, maybe up to your calves, you cool off fast. Our weather patterns are changing a lot, Gulf of Maine is warming pretty fast, and we absolutely must effect change, now. Mainstream media now assumes Anthropogenic Warming/ Climate Change as a fact, but commenters are still deniers. Thanks for the post, Wordshore. Americans are so complacent and isolated. I re-posted your links on social media.
posted by theora55 at 2:08 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]

As a note, while it's certainly been quite hot in Mexico City the last month or two, the deaths due to the heat wave have not been here. We hit 36 degrees C (97 degrees F) for a couple of days a month or so back, which was (barely) a new record, but as far as I know no one has died from the heat here. We're at over 7000 feet, so the climate tends to be more moderate, and quite dry, which helps. Heat deaths have all happened in hotter, more humid states like Veracruz, Tabasco, and, above all, San Luis Potosí, which hit 55 degrees C (131F) in May.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:37 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]

So sorry for your loss, briank.

Happy Birthday, scruss!

Sending healing vibes, gentlyepigrams.
posted by ellieBOA at 2:42 PM on June 24 [4 favorites]

Ah! I've actually been waiting for the newest free thread for this!

A while back there was a Washington Post article about Leo, the Home Depot cat, and he got a MeFi post. This is just to bring to your attention that there is now a video report on Leo with footage of the intrepid employee in action. It didn't seem important enough to give its own FPP, but it seems just right for here!
posted by JHarris at 2:43 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]

Leo on nightly patrol!
posted by Glinn at 3:20 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]

Cheers to scruss and hugs to briank and gentlyepigrams.

So I didn't do QUITE as much Food Processing as I'd planned - the scallions got chopped and the zucchini got grated (I now have a HALF GALLON of grated zucchini in my freezer), but the basil can go hang for a few more days. I'll likely dip into the grated zucchini over the course of the week to make a zucchini bread (slices of which have been my breakfasts for the past few days) and a funky zucchini/coconut/pineapple ice cream.

Fortunately one thing I DID do was assess The State Of All The Fruit - the last two strawberries I had were too far gone and a couple cherries looked iffy, but fortunately even after picking out the bad raspberries I had just enough for this chocolate-and-raspberry ice cream I've made before and loved - and best of all, I had nearly all the other ingredients already. That is now hardening up in the freezer and will be gone within two days, most likely. Now I just have a couple small boxes of cherries and currants to deal with; I may just save the currants over to the weekend when I will likely get more berries of some kind, and then they'll all go into a mixed berry gelato (I may even pick some mulberries from a tree up the street, it's mulberry season here in NYC and they will help bulk out what's turning into a catch-all to use up fruit).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:46 PM on June 24 [4 favorites]

it has not been too bad where im at yet
van has reflectix inside to combat radiant heat
heat has already overwhelmed 12v fridge, food gone bad
housing authority dragging its feet but insisting i need to stay in town in case meeting or even yet more documentation is called-for
it all cost money i dont have
so... either I wil be living indoors like next month or back out to the backcountry
indoors seems increasingly unlikely, i feel like someone runnin out a clock until money gone and then "oh woops, no funds no apt, app canceled, try again & see you in another 4 years"
best case scenario is probly death by heatstroke
posted by Rev. Irreverent Revenant at 4:40 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]

I had a dream last night that MetaFilter's "rebuilding the site" turned out to be converting it from a weblog into "MetaFilter Mall," a physical mall with booths set up for posts and different storefronts for the different Metas, with all the MeFites walking around. I visited with my dad and was like "I didn't know THIS was what they meant by rebuilding the thing!" So I guess I have some subconscious anxiety about that? Even though I have full trust in the staff to make the best decisions, lol.

It was a weird dream.
posted by lianove3 at 7:44 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]

I’m sorry for your loss, briank.
posted by bunderful at 8:08 PM on June 24

So sorry, Edmonton. I was rooting for you.
posted by lock robster at 8:15 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]

I was rooting for Edmonton too, but Paul Maurice definitely deserves a Cup win, and Florida really played smart in game 7 tonight. I wonder if Conor has an undisclosed injury? He seemed ineffective the last 2 games.

It’s been mid-upper 90s here in central NC and no rain for a week, but almost everyone here has AC. My wife is at the hot flashes stage of life, so it’s 71 inside tonight and I’m up late eating cereal with flannel pj pants and a long sleeve sleep shirt over my tee and I’m still cold! During the hot part of the day I had a swim at the Y and it felt darn good.
posted by caviar2d2 at 10:17 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]

In two days my wife and I move from Toronto to Calgary. She landed a tenure-track position at UofC a couple of years ago, but at the time for a variety of reasons we decided it wouldn't be a good idea for me to immediately move out there with her. For the past two years we've been living apart and going back and forth, but last winter we decided that in the spring I would move out whether I had a job in hand or not. Well, now it's time and I don't have a job in hand and if I'm being honest I'm not real optimistic about my prospects of landing something good because career planning/job interviews/#HUSTLE are not my strong suit, so I'll just have to hope for the best.

I'm also moving across the country away from virtually all of my friends and family, so in a lot of ways this is going to be the hardest thing I've ever done. In terms of friends and family I've had a lot of time to process this move and I think I've reached the "acceptance" stage of what has been a process of grief and letting go. I've said my goodbyes to both the city and the people I love in Ontario, it's time to get on with it and I'm ready, mainly because I love the hell out of my wife and I'm tired of living apart from her.

I hate excessive heat and always have, and that's too bad for me because we've all got a steady diet of it lined up.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:38 AM on June 25 [13 favorites]

Had a multi-question DM from a relatively new MeFite about the Free Thread(s) and thought I'd put the reply here.

1. Do comments have to be about the topic e.g. this week, dealing with heatwaves?

No. They can be about anything at all which is going on in your life, your mind, your own world. It's a - truly - free thread. The topic is optional.

2. Can I make only one comment?

No; you can make more than one. Several MeFites make multiple comments in each free thread. You may have something happen several days after your first comment that you want to share, for example. Or you've thought of an answer, or another answer, to the optional topic.

3. I want to write about [sad personal event] but I'm afraid it'll be a downer in the thread.

It's fine; write it. You'll often get support from the community. Frequently, in these threads, MeFites write about the personal, such as relatives, friends, pets who are ill, or have just passed away.

tl;dr - don't overthink it, just write it.
posted by Wordshore at 6:25 AM on June 25 [16 favorites]

Good luck with the move Card Cheat. Life's too short to live apart from the one you love. Moving is disruptive, but your true friends will stay in touch, and you will make new ones.

Calgary is a dynamic place. Give it a chance, explore, meet your wife's new friends, find groups to join. Have a think about what work you'd really like to do, and the #HUSTLE will come.

Maybe bring some water.
posted by Artful Codger at 6:48 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]

“So, Ryvar, what’re you watching these days? Anything new you’re looking forward to?”
(Slightly embarrassed pause)
“Oh, y’know, nothing in particular…”

I am aware that Japanese culture has basically zero tolerance for drugs, including hallucinogens, which makes this all the more impressive. If it were an American animation team I would assume truly heroic quantities of LSD were involved.
posted by Ryvar at 7:12 AM on June 25 [5 favorites]

Coming up on 11 weeks of not having a job (it was my decision) and getting a little dispirited about the lack thereof but I continue to kick ass in grad school so my self-esteem is at an all-time high. Final paper proposal for one of my classes is due at the end of the week so I'm working on that.

Our (adult) children came for a quick visit over the weekend and I just like them SO MUCH. I wish they lived closer but I'm also so happy that they both follow their dreams and their hearts.

Looking forward to our July 4th tradition of attending the Very Best 4th of July Parade Ever, Anywhere, followed by spending the afternoon in the pool, and then a cookout with lifelong friends.
posted by cooker girl at 10:06 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]

well my previous comment was pretty doomy i guess, this morn i got move-in appt date from agency. still might lose out bc different factors but its possible i might be indoors a while

posted by Rev. Irreverent Revenant at 10:51 AM on June 25 [11 favorites]

Byproduct of the heat are the storms that often go with it, and the midwest had a doozy of a line pass overnight into this morning. Large GOES loop shows a fair amount of energy with I think an outflow band of clouds both ahead and behind the line.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 3:24 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]

I don’t know if anyone is still reading this, I haven’t kept up with this thread myself, but in case someone else can appreciate what happened to me today - I had made the following comment on a random FB page with a quote by David Suchet on the death of Poirot: “I have watched all the Poirot many times - except the final one. Just don’t want to watch the end.” And then David Suchet on FB hearted my comment. (Yes I understand it might not be him but I don’t care, I was slightly starstruck today.) Not sure if you can see it here.

I still haven’t watched the last one.
posted by Glinn at 7:30 PM on June 25 [9 favorites]

Oh my goodness, yes -- My first attempt with my new ice cream maker, coffee gelato, is a total win! I've got some olive oil sorbet pre-chilling in the fridge awaiting its turn in The Machine that I hope to get to before the end of the evening...I'm not as sure about this recipe. I found plenty of recipes for OO gelato (that includes milk/cream), not so much for sorbet (which doesn't include dairy; the recipe I chose uses only egg white), but we'll see how that goes.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:11 PM on June 25 [4 favorites]

The olive oil sorbet may have worked, I'll see what I think after it spends a night in the freezer.

But I had to go back and get another couple spoonfuls of the coffee gelato before I toddled off to bed! Mmmmm.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:31 PM on June 25 [1 favorite]

apropos of absolutely nothing, recently looking at a chart of the North Sea, it occurred to me that the damn thing almost a perfect square: UK to the West, Denmark to the East, Germany/Netherlands to the South... and the top is open, but still.

apropos of sorbets, even more recently I stumbled across a recipe for olive-oil caramel: it involves mixing olive-oil and maple syrup, then mixing them really, really well. I haven't tried it yet. I think I'm a little afraid.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:54 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]

The Gel'O Cooling Pad is the best cooling pad I've used, and I've tried a bunch of them. They're only about $25, they're definitely cooler than ambient temperature (though only good up to about 85 or 90F), and if they get warm, they go back to cool. Mine have lasted for years.

I'm not finding direct sales from Human Creations, the company that makes them, so I wonder if the company in shutting down.

I'm seeing a lot of cooling pillows for sale now, but I don't know how good they are.

Frogg Togg's Chilly Pad is a big flat sponge that's good for cooling. There's probably a limit to how much humidity it's useful in, but below that, they're nice.

I have no financial connection to either of the products.

Philadelphia has weirdly gotten less humid for the past few years. I have no idea why.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 12:27 AM on June 26 [3 favorites]

Rev. Irreverent Revenant all peripheral extensions crossed in the hope that things work out for you.
posted by dutchrick at 2:18 AM on June 26 [3 favorites]

I was going to go off on a grand adventure to Bay Ridge today, hitting up two libraries situated at either end of a 30-block segment of the main drag and eating my way through the restaurants and little shops in between.

It's slated to be hot again, and the humidity is going to go up and my allergies are acting up. And so I am going to stay home and do jack shit. (Next Wednesday the forecast is a little friendlier so I'll try again then, it'll also be the day before July 4th and there probably won't be much in the way of job hunting to do anyway.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:45 AM on June 26 [4 favorites]

Greg_Ace, I would be grateful to hear your results, and any recipe links that you can recommend. We make a LOT of ice cream here at chez enestvedt, and expanding our repertoire to include gelato would be very exciting.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:00 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]

Well somehow (I think) I've made it through the SIXTH round of layoffs in the past SEVEN MONTHS at my job. Who knew a desk job could feel so much like Fury Road.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 9:09 AM on June 26 [8 favorites]

The olive oil sorbet mostly worked; after an overnight freeze it's still a bit soft and you have to eat a small serving quickly before it turns to liquid. I'll try it as a gelato next time, which I assume would set up harder. Taste-wise though, with a little smoked Maldon sea salt sprinkled on top it's *chef's kiss*! I'm about to try some with a bit of aged balsamic vinegar drizzled on...

wenestvedt, as far as links there's an absolute ton of them online. There's a base recipe (NOTE: That's probably good for a 2qt maker, you may need to reduce the milk and cream by half for a 1qt maker), and then it's just a matter of adding what you want to use for flavoring. Here's a few flavors I found intriguing or adventurous; try searching "[flavor of choice] gelato" or "[flavor] sorbet" and click a few links to see what looks good:

olive oil
aged balsamic (or w/strawberry)
honey and (lemon, lemon and whiskey, ricotta, mascarpone, roasted or black garlic, ...)
pine nut
caramelized banana
more ideas

chocolate (I find adding a little instant espresso powder kicks up the chocolate flavor)
lemon / orange / mixed citrus
mixed berry
red wine
strawberry lemonade
ginger and (lemon, lime, orange, pear, lemongrass, carrot, ...)
caramel lime
Meyer lemon
pickled ginger (esp. good after a salmon entree)
lemon basil
matcha green tea
more ideas
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:40 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]

Greg_Ace, I think it was only a week ago that you were asking for ice cream recipe book recommendations - it looks like you've been delving into research!

I can add that Jeni's Ice Cream Book is becoming another go-to for me. Her flavors are a little on the "foodie-hipster" side, but they're still damn good. I've made her backyard mint ice cream - it's a subtler mint flavor, since it uses only fresh mint leaves and no mint extract. But the mint definitely is there, and it was surprisingly refreshing.

Oh - and this sorbet using cantaloupe and lemon verbena is A. MAZE. ING.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:52 AM on June 26 [3 favorites]

Oh - and speaking of sorbets...

In 2016 I went on a trip to Paris, and took a day trip to Giverny. I wandered over to a little cafe while I was there, and somehow managed to time things so I'd missed the lunch seating. However, I could still have a snack or coffee. One of the things they had on the menu was a sort of sundae - "trois fruits rouges", or "three red fruits," which was one scoop each of raspberry, cherry, and red currant sorbet, with a little whipped cream. For some reason whipped cream and sorbet didn't "go together" in my head, but I tried it anyway, parking myself in a twee little cafe table on the sidewalk and watching the world go by. It was one of those magically perfect afternoons weatherwise, it was a weekend so people were all in good moods, and I swear that at one point the ghost of Edouard Monet wandered past and nodded hello to me. (Or an old dude who looked a lot like him, anyway.)

I have been trying to figure out how to recreate that here in New York. You need a crapton of each fruit to make a batch of sorbet. I may just combine all three fruits into one and make a sort of mixed fruit thing and be done with it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:58 AM on June 26 [4 favorites]

it looks like you've been delving into research!

With an enthusiasm bordering on the obsessive, yes. This is all your fault! :D

I've made her backyard mint ice cream

Oh man, that reminds me! The previous place I lived had lemon thyme growing in the front yard; it smelled so wonderful and I bet that would be a fantastic sorbet ingredient. No idea where I could get my hands on any now though.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:07 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]

My motto is "Move Fast and Make Things"
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:08 AM on June 26 [3 favorites]

Lemon thyme makes an amazing snaps as well. Just let a decent handful infuse in a bottle of clear spirit (e.g. vodka) for a couple of weeks with a half teaspoon of sugar.
posted by Dysk at 10:38 AM on June 26 [2 favorites]

This brown sugar bourbon cherry ice cream is on the menu this weekend. And cherries are 2 bucks a pound at a local store. Mmmmmm cherries....
posted by kathrynm at 10:53 AM on June 26 [3 favorites]

Oh man, that reminds me! The previous place I lived had lemon thyme growing in the front yard; it smelled so wonderful and I bet that would be a fantastic sorbet ingredient. No idea where I could get my hands on any now though.

I've got lemon thyme growing in my front yard. If you're in the area (Toronto) you're free to stop by and get some. It's a pretty easy plant to grow and quite tough, I don't think I've done anything for it besides weeding since I planted mine, so if you have some green space give it a shot.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:21 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]

I'm in Oregon, so thanks but I can probably find a closer source. ;) Growing my own is out for a number of reasons, not least of which is my thumb's so brown I could kill an artificial plant.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:24 PM on June 26 [1 favorite]

Tonight's goal was mixed berry sorbet - berries, water, sugar, and some lemon juice/zest, how hard could it be? The answer: not very hard at all! At lunch I made the simple syrup and set it to chill in the fridge, juiced/zested a lemon, and pulled about 4 cups of frozen blueberries/blackberries/raspberries* into a colander to mostly thaw. After work I mixed them all together and blasted them with an immersion blender, then I pushed them through a sieve to remove seeds and pulp...honestly that was the hardest part. Then into the machine they went. Came out great, although next time I might try it with half as much water and sugar to see if I can make the finished product a bit brighter and more intensely flavored...but even so I'm happy with the result. I'm also planning to make chocolate gelato and lemon sorbet.

I'm not gobbling all this up, by the way!! I've got company coming weekend after next so I want to be able to offer an assortment. Whatever's left after that will languish in the freezer for a few weeks as I slowly work my way through it all.

*I unexpectedly stumbled across a big-ass (3 lb!) frozen bag of them at the grocery store the other day and thought, hmmm...
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:31 PM on June 26 [2 favorites]

That mixed-berry thing is 100% exactly what I am going to be doing to sort of recreate the trois fruits rouges this weekend, actually! It will also use up CSA fruit - I got a half pint each of cherries and red currants this weekend, and that's not quite enough to do anything with the red currants and so I'm saving them for this Saturday when I get even more fruit (which maybe more currants and cherries, or may be some other random berry). I'll pick up maybe another punnet or two from the farmer's market as well, and if I'm still short there's a raspberry bush in our community garden and a mulberry tree a block away I'll go harvest from.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:24 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]

I'm into my job search now and I gotta be real honest: my dream is still to find something I would be good at and enjoy doing for a company I can respect, but I am now willing to consider being overpaid to do some bullshit by a chaotic corporate shitshow too disorganized to accurately assess my performance and too scattered to put their hands too much on my day-to-day.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:44 AM on June 27 [10 favorites]

That little heatwave is thankfully over, here in rural Worcestershire. I think we topped out somewhere around 29C/84F yesterday, but the hottest it got today was 22C/72F. It looks like we have at least a week around that, which is fine; every day without another heatwave is another day where the sun is fractionally lower, the shadows fractionally longer, and the time the sun is over the horizon fractionally shorter.

Tomorrow is also the start of "tombola season" here, where fayres and fairs and fetes take places in various places most weekends, eventually giving way to harvest festivals and autumnal shows, then 18 weeks from today: Halloween.
posted by Wordshore at 1:17 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]

I can smell the first faint whiffs of Pumpkin Spice already.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:47 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]

posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:07 PM on June 27 [2 favorites]

During my most recent vision checkup I asked for a script to get readers. I had a pair of old frames with me. The optometrist asked me how far away I wanted to be from the book. I mimed holding a book and and said "this far".

Dude got the script dead on. I'm still in the "wear for short periods of time" stage, but screens and pages are CLEAR again and I'm not struggling any longer. As much as I like my progressives (and I have a super funky pair of frames that people other than my spouse love), I'm finding the readers so much easier.

Surprised kiddo with sushi tonight. They asked why. Because I wanted to spoil, that's why.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 3:07 PM on June 27 [4 favorites]

Tomorrow is also the start of "tombola season" here, where fayres and fairs and fetes take places in various places most weekends

Haha Wordshore I’m going to my first fete in a while tomorrow, excited for a bake and a plant!
posted by ellieBOA at 3:36 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]

So I'm doing okay (a very, very promising lead on a temp gig that potentially could go perm and it would be great if it did), but there's been some family news that's not my place to elaborate on (everyone's still alive, but it was dicey for a bit) and the debate was yesterday. So I am doubling down on Ice Cream Experimentation, especially now that my roommate's out of the house for the next 3 weeks or so and I can make messes and hide evidence of mistakes; and hoo boy, do I ever need ice cream these days.

I hit up a different supermarket during a grocery run and noticed they had these micro-mini marshmallows, and I realized that would be perfect for ice cream applications. I'm lukewarm on marshmallows, but this may be a fun way to play around with them; I'm planning to pick some up with some Spanish peanuts to try making Rocky Road. Any extras can get turned into additional sundae toppings.

There's also a couple ice cream blogs I've found, and one had an intriguing sounding sorbet recipe inspired by the classic "Shirley Temple" mocktail. And that's not the only soda-inspired sorbet I've noticed - I checked the Big Gay Ice Cream Book out of the library yesterday and they have a recipe for Mountain Dew sorbet, which sounds just trashy enough that I have to try it.

The food Youtubers over at Jolly tried some ice cream from a place that sounds like the London answer to Van Leeuwen; they periodically make stunt flavors, some of which actually sounded intriguing - like Jaffa Cake ice cream. And honestly, that sounded easiest to recreate - a chocolate-orange ice cream base, with some chopped-up Jaffa Cakes thrown in. I found a recipe for a chocolate-orange ice cream with chocolate chips and I'm just going to swap the chips out for chopped Jaffa Cake.

And finally - every so often I want to play around with making something inspired by the Provencal Calisson candy. I've looked into some kind of almond cake with chopped bits of candied melon and orange; the candied melon was too tough to track down. about a calisson ice cream? Maybe using fresh melon for the base flavor, with bits of chopped Jordan almond and candied orange peel?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:23 AM on June 28 [4 favorites]

Oh - and I'm also exploring sundae applications, especially since there is a rogue store-bought pint of vanilla that's been lurking in the fridge a while and is taking up valuable Freezer Real Estate. I may get a couple of rogue bottles of Jarritos from the corner bodega and just make ice cream sodas to kill that off; either that or I'll take one of the bananas if my roommate gives those to me from his stash and do a bananas Foster kind of thing.

Then there has to be some coffee ice cream, so I can make a Café liégeois (since I will also be making up some cold brew).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:51 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]

This evening I'm making chocolate gelato, I prepped the ingredients at lunch.* This is an experiment, I want to see how it comes out when using less sugar than called for, so that the result is less cloyingly sweet. If it turns out not sweet enough, apparently I can let it melt, add more sugar to it, and re-churn it.

I think I'm going to melt/re-churn the mixed berry sorbet I made, since it set up completely solid. It's sweet enough, so I don't want to add more sugar, but I may try adding some gelatin or whipped egg white to help the sorbet stay a little softer in the freezer. This is why I'm going nuts a week or two ahead of when guests will be here, to give me time to try to fix my mistakes! My tasty, delicious mistakes...

*Have I mentioned lately how grateful I am to be able to work from home?
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:46 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]

Mod note: [Added Jane the Brown's tips to the sidebar and Best Of blog!]
posted by taz (staff) at 12:26 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]

I just installed a fliegengitterkatzenklappe, my current favourite German word.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:43 AM on June 29 [2 favorites]

This gelato challenge may be of interest.
posted by yyz at 7:33 AM on June 29

Went to the church fete, got a plant!
posted by ellieBOA at 9:56 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]

This gelato challenge may be of interest.

I got diabetes just reading about it!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:05 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]

Two reminders:
1) The Barnes and Noble 50% off Criterion sale is on!
2) We just spoke about Criterion's recent attempts to correct the extreme whiteness of their Blu Ray catalog, so encourage that new direction with your dollars
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:00 PM on June 29

just installed a fliegengitterkatzenklappe, my current favourite German word.

What a glorious word.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:24 PM on June 29 [1 favorite]

This gelato challenge may be of interest.

....So, this kind of reminds me of how I started making ice cream in the first place.

So back in 1990 or '91, possibly '92, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream held a nationwide contest to celebrate its Vermonster sundae. Basically - if you were able to finish off a Vermonster at a Ben and Jerry's shop, either all on your own or as part of a team, you got to add your name into a drawing at that shop. The winner at each shop got a basket of Ben and Jerry's merchandise and some other Vermont food products, and each shop's winner also got entered into a drawing for the grand prize - a flight to Vermont and a tour of the Ben and Jerry's factory.

I was in college then and there was a scoop shop two blocks from my dorm. My buddies and I in the dorm all decided to give it a go - there were six of us, and we figured that would let us easily get through a Vermonster. As we head to the shop, we even talked about maybe going out for tacos afterward.

....The link above tells you exactly what is in a Vermonster. They bring it to you in a bucket. It took us an hour and a half - one of us tapped out after only 30 minutes, another one 15 minutes after that, and a third soon after. Towards the end, me and the only two other eaters were pouring shots of water into the dregs of melted ice cream left so it would thin it out and we could drink the damn stuff. But we finished it, and all six of us each put our names in the drawing before plodding back to the dorm. We did not go out for tacos - we didn't even have the energy to go up to anyone's room. We staggered to a side room in the first floor lounge and all six of us sat there staring at the walls for the next few hours having a very rambling conversation.

....But then when they held the drawing a few weeks later - I won! I got a big apple basket filled with a tin of soda crackers, some cheddar cheese, a package of maple sugar candy, a jar of salsa (?), and - a Ben and Jerry's t-shirt, baseball cap, and travel mug, a jar of their hot fudge sauce, and a copy of their recipe book. I saved up for my first ice cream maker and kept myself in Cherry Garcia for a good long while. (I still have the apple basket - it's holding some knitting supplies.) However, another one of us managed to make off with the bucket they used for our Vermonster - she used it to store rice in her pantry for years after.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:24 PM on June 29 [3 favorites]

Today I made red wine sorbet (roughly equal parts cabernet and simple syrup, plus a shot of lime juice). It's more liquidy than I'd prefer coming out of the machine, hopefully a stint in the freezer will firm it up a bit...the alcohol should help keep it from freezing solid. Tastes amazing though! While I was at it I made cold brew concentrate for another try at coffee gelato, this time with a little more coffee in it - I'll finish that process this evening or tomorrow.

I also juiced 8 lemons - about a cup and a half of juice - for lemon ginger sorbet. That'll go in the fridge for now; I'm waiting for powdered xanthan gum to arrive, which will keep the finished product from freezing too hard. In fact I'm going to start over on mixed berry sorbet with the xanthan gum as well (the gelatin didn't work out great).

Other than that I've spent the weekend pecking away at some smaller housekeeping tasks, and a little model painting in between.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:55 PM on June 30

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