Friday, January 09, 2009

Weekend Assignment #250: Hot or Cold?

This business of coming up with Weekend Assignment topics seems to get harder every week. But here's what I've got for you this time:

Weekend Assignment #250: We're getting into the coldest time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, so I expect things are getting a mite chilly in some places. If you had to pick one or the other, would you rather be too cold in the winter, or too hot in the summer?

Extra Credit:
How has the weather been so far this season, compared to past years?

Here's mine.

post-Christmas hail storm, 2008
From the Picasa album Tucson Weather

Here is what my car looked like the night after Christmas, as it was getting hailed on. Tucson seems to get more hail than snow in the city, but not much of either. Whole years go by in which the only snow I see is a trace (or a little more than a trace) on the mountains that surround the city. Even that is usually gone in less than a day.

About as cold and snowy as Tucson gets - January 22, 2007.

And that's pretty much the way I like it. After all, there's a reason I live in Tucson. We're here specifically because we drove around the country in 1986, "looking for someplace where it wasn't winter." There are a few days each year - well, most years - when the temperature gets down around freezing at some point overnight. But it's rare for us to see under 50 degrees in the daytime. I'll admit that sometimes I root for a few hours of snow in the city, but I never again want to live where 11 degrees in the daytime is a plausible temperature.

Winter in Manlius, NY, 1971

I grew up in Manlius, NY, after all, where it wasn't as cold as Minnesota or Alaska, on average, but it wasn't exactly balmy in winter, either. I've told the story about the time when I was in elementary school, and the principal declared an "outside noon hour" the day after it got down to -23 degrees F. We were required to wear skirts or dresses in those days, so we froze our little legs off outside! Over the years I've come to wonder whether I got that temperature wrong or misremembered, and maybe it was only -23 with the windchill factored in. But I went to the NOAA pages for Syracuse just now, and it seems we've hit the anniversary of the day in 1968 when the low was -22. I was 11 years old. If that's not the specific day I'm remembering, it's close enough to corroborate its likelihood.

105 on May 19th, 2008 - our anniversary.

Of course we pay for warm Tucson winters with some fairly substantial heat in the summer. I won't claim that I like 105 degrees F, but overall I tolerate it better than 5 degrees F. Best of all would be to have lots of air conditioning and cool drinks in the summer, lots or heat and warm clothing in the winter. But if I have to choose, I find that nearly 30 years after leaving the Syracuse area, I still have no great longing to return to winter weather - except to visit, maybe for a day, to see if it's as miserable as I remember it being.

And what's the winter been like so far here? No snow, but there was that hail, and overall it's mostly been colder than average. But believe me, I'm not complaining!

So what is your stand on being hot vs. being cold? Tell us about it in your blog, with a link back to this entry, and leave a link to your entry in the comments below. I'll be back in a week to post the results. Meanwhile...

For Weekend Assignment #249: Looking Back at 2009, I asked you to write about 2009 as if you had just lived through it. Here are excerpts from your responses:

Julie said...

This was the year the social networks exploded on me. After being buried under a virtual avalanche of Twitter spam, Facebook pokes, and invitations to put my photos in every obscure Flickr group known to humankind, I pulled the plug

Florinda said...

Change may have come to America in 2008, but we didn't really see it do very much until the year just ended. And of course, it hasn't happened fast enough for some people, nor has it always been the specific kind of change that people wanted to see, but one thing that doesn't seem to change is that it's impossible to make everyone happy all the time. But reports that the end of the world was imminent after November 4, 2008 - most of which came from my uncle via e-mail - turned out to be overstated, as they usually are, thank goodness. (I almost said "end of civilization" instead of "end of the world" in that sentence, but sometimes it feels like "civilization" has been on leave of absence for quite a while already...)

Mike said...

First off, I want to say thank you to everybody who voted for me in the special election for Barack Obama's senate seat. I figured I was the only one without some ties to the corruption that has been basically running our state for years, so I thought I might have a chance. Of course, because of said corruption, it was impossible for me to win; but, hey, I got some votes. Thanks!

That's it for now! As cold as it may get this week, I hope you'll crawl out from under the covers long enough to tell us your temperature preference for this Weekend Assignment. A reminder: I'm still running low on ideas here, so I still need your input, more desperately with each passing week. What would you like to see as a Weekend Assignment topic? Email me your suggestions (mavarin at If I use your topic you'll get full credit and my undying thanks.



Laura said...

Florinda said...

Here's mine.

barrettmanor said...

Finally getting caught up. Better late, I guess!

Mike said...

It took me a little bit to figure out what I like best. I seem to be on the same page as you.

My post is here.