Dangerous Heatwave Alert

Dangerous HEAT — like over 100° and then some — is expected this weekend throughout much of the United States, especially the East Coast, Andrew Freedman reports in The Washington Post. It will be an extended heatwave, possibly of historic magnitude, that’s my interpretation. Google the Capital Weather Gang. Turn on your TV. Bring in the pets.

The heat will be made worse by very high humidity left over from the hurricane that moved north from the Gulf of Mexico a few days ago.

Extremely high heat is a most dangerous weather condition, according to Freedman.

Everyone should make sure their air-conditioning is working, and that includes New England. Have extra water. That’s according to me.

ELDERLY PEOPLE who do not have air conditioning should make plans to shelter in a safe, air-conditioned place for the weekend, or longer. Pack your bag and go to a relative’s or a friend’s house. Don’t wait. Do it sooner rather than later. Today or Thursday would be a good time to go. Don’t forget your toothbrush and your prescriptions. I’m not an expert, and I don’t want to be alarmist, that’s simply my opinion.

I imagine that every big city will open heat shelters, but I don’t know if they will act quickly enough or have adequate space for everyone.

My personal suggestion for dogs and cats: It would be nice if you can take them with you, but it’s probably not critical. I think they will survive OK. Just leave them several large bowls of water and let them go down in the basement, if you can. They can go hungry for a while, but they need water.

Pray that the power companies are prepared, and the electric grid is secure. Demand overload and power failure could easily turn into emergency. Widespread and extended power outages could become disasters.

This is not science fiction, or apocalyptic fiction, or any kind of fiction. It’s news. It’s what we can expect in the future. The future begins this weekend.

— John

January Is Time To Make Motel Reservations At The Beach

OCEAN CITY SAND DUNE Photo by John Hayden


On these first days of January, phones are ringing off the hook at beach motels, according to my business contacts in Ocean City, Maryland.

It happens every year.

You might or might not be surprised to know that some travelers have favorite rooms at favorite vacation spots. Savvy vacationers jump on the phone in January to make sure they get their favorite room for the exact dates they want in July and August. Wait too long, and the rooms with the best views and amenities might be gone.

For some folks who honeymooned at the beach, it’s a matter of sentimental attachment. Same thing for couples who conceived a child while on vacation.

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Summer Of The Knife

Sixty-five years on Earth, and I’d never had reason to look with concern at the sharp end of a knife. A revolver was pulled on me once, and pointed straight at my chest at point-blank range. That was a long, long time ago. But never a knife. Not until last week.

It was a Sunday evening at the beach motel. I approached a large group of loud twenty-somethings. My intent was to politely suggest that they turn down the noise. It took maybe two minutes to climb one flight of steps and walk down one wing of the motel. In that time, the group dispersed. Three young, white males remained to confront me.     Continue reading

Summer Of Discontent And Division



This is the summer of discontent and division in America. We’re fractured by class, race, gender, age, and politics.

Yes, I’ve written about divisions before, at least once or twice. Consider this a seasonal update.

stock mktAs U.S. stock markets set new records, people who don’t own stocks are being squeezed and crushed. Recession may be over, technically, but only now are Americans feeling the wrenching pain from the economic dislocation of the past decade.

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Midsummer Postcard From The Beach Motel


Here we are, the middle of July, and I haven’t posted in nearly a month. It’s one of my longest lapses since I began blogging in 2007. (“Work In Progress” is of more recent vintage, started in 2009.) Why is the summer rushing by so quickly? I haven’t been on summer vacation; I’ve been working at the beach motel. And I’ve been distracted by all the uncertainties associated with being on the cusp of “retirement.” Thanks to all who are following along and wondering patiently what’s become of me. I will resume regular posting soon, friends. Whether I can shed any light on the state of my own life or anything else in the world remains to be seen.  — John

The Present Moment Does Not Linger

Summertime, and the living is easy.

Unless you live and work at the beach. Then it’s a busy and sometimes stressful time. Work, sleep, eat, repeat.

If you’re a farmer, you might say, “Make hay while the sun shines.”

If you’re a baseball player, you might say, “It’s a long season, and you’ve got to trust it.”

I suppose we all might say, along with ‘Crash’ Davis, the perennial minor league slugger in “Bull Durham:”

“Some days you win, some days you lose, and some days it  rains.”

Or, as the part-owner of a boardwalk 5-and-10-cent store told me more than 30 years ago: “You can make money in Ocean City, if you know what you’re doing.” Not that I paid much attention to making money, then or now.

These photos of a lifeguard stand on the beach catch the sunlight fading into dusk, along with the cloud shapes in the sky, which never remain the same for more than a minute. Let the record show that the photos were shot four days after the Solstice, in the Sixth Month of the Twelfth Year in the First Century of the Third Millennium, AD. Not that it matters.

In June of 2012, I began my 65th year, Continue reading

A good post for Fourth of July. Reminds me that life is GOOD! Sometimes I need reminding. All work and no play is a bad bargain. — John

Overexposed + Underdeveloped

by Tiffani “Living La Vida Bathing Suit” Michele

Dear, sweet, delusional, and incorrect Erika really threw down the gauntlet yesterday when she blogged “I Hate Summer“. Haterz gonna hate, I know, but she left me no choice but to retaliate with my own post, “I Love Summer” to show her the errors of her ways. Because really, I read her words in shock and awe, shaking my head and mouthing the words “nooooooo!” while raising my fists into the air like a supplicant for correct seasonal priorities. It’s nothing personal, I suppose, and nothing that can’t be fixed over a late night of beer drinking and shots of whiskey. But still. I was offended. Hating Summer?! What?! Who could possibly?! Can you even say those words together?!

I love Summer so much I want to get drunk off vodka infused watermelon, and fondle and caress it and maybe…

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Hot, Noisy, Crowded.

“Starve the Beast.” I’ve been meaning to write that post for about two months. I think “Starve the Beast” is central to understanding America’s present “debt crisis.”

But just this minute, we have a Summer Weekend.  The town is infested with Junebugs, stuck in a heat wave (on the way to a drought). And we have THE AIR SHOW, the car show, a couple of youth sports tournaments. A steaming, noisy, crowded, drunken melting pot, plus cars, bicycles, motorcycles, scooters. What more could you want?

Think before you speak. Wag more, bark less.  — John