Summer's Dog Days Can Make You Cranky
According to Wikipedia, "Dog Days" are the hottest and most sultry days of summer, falling between July and early September.
The Romans associated the hot weather with the star Sirius, also known as the "Dog Star," because it is the brightest star in the constellation.
The Old Farmer's Almanac lists the traditional timing of the Dog Days as the 40 days beginning July 3 and ending Aug. 11, and the 1552 version of The Book of Common Prayer cites Dog Daies (sic) beginning on July 6 and ending on Aug. 17.
This trivial information really lacks value in the 95-plus-degree days we have been experiencing lately, when our air conditioners were beating the heat down to tolerable levels. Those outside, including workers and golfers, needed mops to wipe sweaty faces and bodies. Pool enthusiasts just took a dip.
But summer here means heat. We knew that when we moved here, and locals knew it intrinsically. Pinehurst would have become a resort a lot sooner if air conditioning had been invented earlier. Hot weather is good for us. It melts the achiness in our bones and serves to relax us in our various pursuits.
I think Southern accents were developed because of heat. "Y'all" didn't come from laziness, it came from an attempt to abbreviate a normal "You all" in colder weather. Heat makes you want to be ultra-efficient without losing the meaning. (I admit that there are a lot more Southern words and sayings having nothing to do with heat.)
I love the hot weather (and abhor temperatures below 40 degrees), but sometimes elevated temps can trigger irritability and a temper that coincides with the heat. Such as LeBron James taking a whole hour on television to tell everyone on whose basketball team he is going to play. This makes me mad because I don't give a hoot about him, basketball or the millions of dollars he is going to earn.
President Obama continues to make my blood boil. He never gets down to business because he's traveling all the time. Did he really need to conduct town meetings in Racine and Kansas City to talk about the economy? His frequent but fruitless trips to the Gulf were just photo ops, and his trip to Vegas to help Comrade Reid stinks. When is this man going to quit campaigning and run our country?
Suing Arizona for its new immigration law is preposterous. I hope Gov. Jan Brewer countersues because of our government's failure to protect our borders, including Arizona. Another state abutting Mexico is another financial train wreck largely due to illegals.
California Gov. Schwarzenegger is also taking drastic measures to save his state by reducing state employee salaries, which is OK as long as he, too, takes a pay cut.
World Cup soccer this summer has been reasonably entertaining, but several stupid and erroneous calls by referees have diminished interest on the part of apathetic viewers.
(If you think soccer is boring, try watching cricket. I watched a match at London's Oval several years ago, and it took all day for me to learn the game and for it to be completed, including "tea time." I remember there are nine ways to go out, and one of the positions is "Silly Mid Off.")
Hot weather is good for creaky bones and muscles, and I, for one, enjoy this, as my right knee is basically bone on bone. This condition, thankfully, will be relieved in a few days with a replacement.
Even in the heat, there always seems to be a breeze somewhere.
Andy Thomas lives in Pinehurst. Contact him at email@example.com.
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