Into the Blast Furnace.

The light - not the heat

The light - not the heat

It is so hot. I remember talking to people that moved to Dallas from Cleveland. I said, “Summers in Dallas are like winters in Cleveland – you can’t be outside for an extended time. You have to live running from one air-conditioned space to another.”

That understates it. You can, in cold weather, always dress for it, put on layers, preparation. In the heat, naked is as good as it gets, and that isn’t enough.

I am so tired of the droning of the air conditioner – the feeling of artificial, fake, conditioned air against my skin. It is painful, it pricks.

When I was younger I had a muffle furnace in my laboratory. Actually, over a period of years, I had a series of muffle furnaces. A muffle furnace is used to get something, usually a crucible containing some substance you are interested in, very, very hot. They are a little ceramic cave, with squiqqles of electric heating wires running all around. A heavy door swings down over the front, allowing you to lift and peek if you want. This is a door to hell. The inside glows like Hawaiian lava – then it gets even hotter. White hot.

Sometimes, whatever you have in the crucible explodes. A little. This makes the door swing out and a puff of superheated smoke jumps out. The door clangs shut. Any muffle furnace worth its salt will have a stained front, paint smoked by escaping violence from the reactions within.

I feel like that all the time.



6 responses to “Into the Blast Furnace.

  1. I liked this post because it reminds me of why I love living in upstate New York…after moving from Houston a few years back. You are so right about clothing. Actually, once used to the extreme cold, you dress for it and it’s tollerable…well, to me. The heat of Texas was always stiffling. It was like having a stream of heat poured down your throat in the summer. I simply couldn’t keep cool. Now, I open the windows and turn on the fan to hear the soothing noises that relax me at night. We have no air conditioner and for about three or four nights a year, we miss it but the rest of the time, we manage nicely. There’s lots of things I miss about living in Dallas and Houston but not the heat.

  2. Pingback: The best-laid schemes | Bill Chance

  3. Bill !!

    Thought U were dead or emigrated to Panama?

    Then Mary recently mentioned contact thru linked in or something?

    Anyway…… good to see the Daily Epiphany is back up after hiatus.

    Summers are great here (Penn), but,winters are sometimes nasty with a combo of refrozen snow, ice, and extra heavy application of road salt.

    Gary P

  4. Gary, great to hear from you! I found Mary on facebook – I use that to keep tabs on the kids and my friends from high school.

    As you know, the summers are as nasty here as always. At least I’m inside at work most of the time, but it gets claustrophobic.

    It feels weird to be writing online again after so long (I had to quit when the kids were in high school – now that they are off, they don’t care) I had forgotten how much work this is.

    How is everything? Do you get any backpacking in any more? I’m beginning to feel the pull of Big Bend again, may try to get out there this winter sometime.


    • I still do backpacking……gotten into the lightweight minimalist version, but not extreme. Lately I’ve been to Grand Gulch Utah, Death Valley, Adirondacks, and of course the Appalachia trail is only 10 miles from the house.

      Yeah I want to return to the Bend sometime. I did in 2007 (or 06?) and had a rather frighting encounter with a panther killing a deer at Boot Canyon spring (remember this spot?)….and I got crummy pics to prove it! I was quite rattled during and after the whole episode.

      Well hang in there until oh about mid October and things will cool off for you.

      I can handle a few days of extreme heat (like 112F Death Valley), but week after week of over 100F just seems to cook me slowly from the inside out.


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