All posts by anniebah

1945 & 2016 Minimum and Maximum Temperatures in Tucson

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After analyzing Tucson temperatures for 1942 and comparing them to 2016, I thought I’d try another year to see if 1945 was an anomaly. So, I  went back to  wunderground.com for 1945 temperatures. The mean temperature is also available from the website, but I didn’t include it because  a human being doesn’t experience an average temperature. We feel the heat or cold minute by minute, not in 24 hour averages. Also, the mean seems to be calculated as the average of the low and high temperature and not the average of the temperature of each hour during the 24 hours period.

The temperature for 2016 is subtracted from the 1945 temperature. A positive number indicates that it was warmer in 1945 than in 2016. A negative number, obviously, means that it was warmer in 2016 than 1945.

At the bottom of the table are the summed differences for all 12 months. As you can see, the summed difference of the minimum temperature between 1945 and 2016 on the first day of every month was 14 degrees. In other words, it was slightly warmer (or less cold) during the winter months in 1945. The summed difference of the maximum temperature between 1945 and 2016 was larger — 29 degrees. Surprisingly, on the first day of each month for 1945 and 2016, the maximum temperature for 1942 was higher than the maximum temperature for 2016, but the difference between the two years was smaller than between 1942 and 2016.

Again, this is not a commentary on climate change which deals in averages, this is just how a Tucsonan would experience the weather at two points during the first day of each month in 1945 and 2016.

 

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1942 & 2016 Minimum and Maximum Temperatures in Tucson

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The oldest year available with daily minimum and maximum temperatures in wunderground.com was 1942. The mean temperature is also available from the website, but I didn’t include it because  a human being doesn’t experience an average temperature. We feel the heat or cold minute by minute, not in 24 hour averages.

The temperature for 1942 is subtracted from the 2016 temperature. A positive number indicates that it was warmer in 1942 than in 2016. A negative number, obviously, means that it was warmer in 2016 than 1942.

At the bottom of the table are the summed differences for all 12 months. As you can see, the summed difference of the minimum temperature between 1942 and 2016 on the first day of every month was only eight degrees. It was slightly warmer (or less cold) during the winter months in 1942. The summed difference of the maximum temperature between 1942 and 2016 was larger — 56 degrees. Surprisingly, on the first day of each month for 1942 and 2016, the maximum temperature for 1942 was higher than the maximum temperature for 2016.

Again, this is not a commentary on climate change which deals in averages, this is just how a Tucsonan would experience the weather at two points during the first day of each month in 1942 and 2016.

I also analyzed the minimum and maximum temperatures of 1945 and 2016. I’ll post that soon.

Is it getting hotter in Tucson?

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I’ve lived in good climate, and it bores the hell out of me.
I like weather rather than climate.

John Steinbeck 1902-1968

I was curious about how much hotter it is in Tucson now than it used to be, so I pulled together historical temperatures from http://www.wunderground.com.

We know Mother Nature’s seasonal calendar, but it’s doubtful that Mother Nature knows our Gregorian calendar, so I thought it wouldn’t make any difference which day of the month I chose to analyze.

Before going on, I should say that I’m neither a Holocaust nor a
Climate Change denier.

It is my impression that climate change science focuses on monthly, seasonal, and yearly temperature averages, in addition to other data, such as storm strength and storm damage. Because we experience weather one day at a time, however, rather than in monthly or seasonal averages, I thought it would be interesting to see how the temperatures for a single day per month in 1942 compare to the same day each month in 2016. Using the minimum and maximum temperature would give us a sense of the range of temperatures on a given day.

Hitting the dusty trail, part two

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That’s me on Tom, the chestnut horse, on a trail through the Saguaro National Forest on the east side of Tucson. The mountains in the distance are either Santa Catalina or Rincon Mountains.

It was so much fun to be out in the desert when the cacti were blooming, including huge, old saguaros.

After a couple of hours in the saddle, I was sun and wind worn and I thought my legs would never go back together again!

One can get in a car and see what man has made. One must get on a horse to see what God has made.

Anon

Tucson in bloom


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“What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well…”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry 1900-1944

 

In April, I made a weeklong visit to Tucson to look at houses, ride horseback through the desert, and walk and drive all over to see what I could see.

Here’s what I noticed about older homes in mid-town Tucson – they are attractive and charming in so many ways. Also, they often have a step somewhere on the first floor. Sometimes it’s a step down to the living room, sometimes, it’s a step down to the Arizona room. What I learned is, if there is a step, I will either trip over it or go flying off of it thinking the floor was flat there.

I often was very impressed with the charm of a house until I got to the kitchen. I’m not fussy about kitchens, I don’t care if they have granite countertops, for example, but there are kitchens in older homes in mid-town that make me wonder what the builder was thinking.

The upshot of the visit was that I found a house that did not have a step up or down inside the house and it had a “normal” kitchen. “I’ll take it!”

Hitting the dusty trail…

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For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.

Robert Louis Stevenson 1850-1894

 

Part of my Tucson dreams includes buying a small travel trailer and hitting the road for months or a year. I love this old Airstream! It’s already owned by someone and it is very small and has wonderful features, like those riveted curves and the curved tiny roof over the door.

The newer Airstreams are elegant and wonderful in their own way as you can see in the photo below.

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There are blessings in the desert…

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If you don’t die of thirst, there are blessings in the desert. You can be pulled into limitlessness, which we all yearn for, or you can do the beauty of minutiae, the scrimshaw of tiny and precise. The sky is your ocean, and the crystal silence will uplift you like great gospel music, or Neil Young.

Anne Lamott 1954-

I went to Tucson for a few days to look around and I couldn’t take my eyes off the sky and the landscape. The scale of the mountains that surround Tucson make the city look like a Monopoly game board.

On Sunday, I was able to attend some open houses in the foothills and they were nice places with privacy and great views. I prefer to be close to my neighbors, so closer to town will be better for me.

It was a great experience being in Tucson and I look forward to the day when I move there, but I don’t have a clear idea about when that will be or what section of Tucson is right for me.

Selling my home…

When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.
Thornton Wilder – 1897-1975

In 2008, I bought a fixer upper and have been fixing it up ever since. Wanting to know what needs to be done to make the house sell for the best price, I contacted a local real estate agent who sends monthly postcards listing houses sold and their prices.

He said that I should complete the renovation because people want a house to be turnkey ready for them. Then I read an article about selling a fixer upper and it advised pricing the house right for a buyer who wants to put the finishing touches on the house, including doing the kitchen renovation to suit the buyer’s tastes.

I have a friend who sells real estate two hours from here and she concurs with the other realtor’s recommendations. She thinks wood flooring, granite countertops, and white cabinets and gray base cabinets are the way to go. That is what I’ll do.

The work on the house has chiefly included raising the floor of a room so it’s level with the first floor and not 4 feet below the first floor, insulation, new windows, siding, and wiring. There is still a lot to do to the house to make it a renovated house and not a somewhat fixer upper. The kitchen and a bathroom upstairs still have to be renovated top to bottom. Windows and siding on the back of the house have to be installed. The whole inside of the house has to be painted, and most of the floors on the first floor have to be refinished or replaced.

Yikes! There’s a lot of work to do in the next year or so.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Attributed by some to Mark Twain – 1835-1910

Clearing the top tube…

You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you’re down there.
George Burns – 1896-1996

 

With my interest in bicycling renewed, I took a look at my older road bike. This bike seemed like a good item to sell on eBay and I learned that a local bike store would pack and mail it for me, for a fee, of course. Last weekend, I took the bike outside to wash it before I took photos of it for my future eBay posting. As I washed every inch of the bike, I fell in love with it all over again. It’s a Terry Classic — a glorious road bike designed for women by Georgena Terry, a mechanical engineer and avid cyclist. This particular model in this particular size, perfectly fits me.

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It’s such a beautiful bike and so much fun to ride that I thought I really should keep it. I’d only get a few hundred dollars for it and I can go back to riding it once I completely regain my confidence on my hybrid.

Then, I started to get on the bike and realized I couldn’t get my leg over the seat or the top tube. Gad, my hips were too stiff from sitting at a desk for years. I realized that I had aged out of this type of bike and thought that I might as well sell it.

Back inside, I decided to consult Google. I searched, “Can’t swing leg over bike” and discovered that quite a few people have the same problem. Then I found exercises for loosening hip muscles at 12 Hip-Opening Yoga Poses and decided to give that a try. So far, I’ve only tried the Reclined Bound Angle Pose, and already I can feel some slight improvement in my hip flexibility.

Conventional wisdom for many years has been Use It or Lose It, but researchers are finding that even the elderly can make improvements in their strength and flexibility if they work at it. I resolve to work at it.

Postscript —

In the end, I decided to sell my Terry bike on eBay.  I was sorry to see it go, but it seemed to be the right thing to do. I’m thinking of buying a Tern folding bike to take on road trips. ☺️

Bike Riding:The Realities

She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life.
Susan B. Anthony – 1820-1906

When I moved to a new town in late 2008, I found the hills and valleys around town were just too steep for me to enjoy a bike ride. I road my bike on vacations, but that didn’t amount to much riding time. With thoughts of an active retirement in Tucson in my head, I drove around my small town last week and found some streets with more gentle slopes that I felt I could handle uphill and downhill on my 8-speed hybrid.

I discovered that going back to cycling after a long time away was not so easy. We’ve all heard that you never forget how to ride a bike and scientists have apparently proved this, according to this article in Medicine & Health/Neuroscience.

What people don’t forget is how to balance and pedal. You can, in fact, forget how to start and stop.

After finding my bright green T-shirt, water bottle, helmet, and iPhone (in case I got lost), I went out for my first ride in years and discovered that I couldn’t remember how to start. Did I put my foot on the top pedal and push off? Or was it the bottom pedal that I started on?

Settling on putting one foot on the bottom pedal and pushing with my other foot until I was going fast enough that I wouldn’t fall over, I was finally up and pedaling. Fifteen minutes later, I was exhausted. My legs were achy and trembling and sweat was pouring down my face. Not discouraged, I went out the next day and found it a little easier going and rode for a half hour before finally getting off the bike and pushing it off up last hill. There’s a long way to go to become the confident, strong bike rider I was as a child, if that’s even possible.

The best part of riding a bike, to me, is feeling the breeze on my skin on a hot day. It’s no wonder that a dog likes to stick his head out of a car window to feel the wind in this face!

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