Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Location: United States

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"I haven't had this much fun since my dad wore his rude t-shirt to parent-teacher night!" - Red Green, The Red Green Show

This is what "down" looks like in Denali National Park. Down is not our friend in this context, given that there's gravity and everything.

So the weather here in Houston is listed as ‘subtropical’ in Wikipedia. I’m not sure about the accuracy of that statement, since for a few months I was listed in Wikipedia as “noted Fairbanks author” and was on the list of websites that pulled an April Fools Day joke. I was the one who wrote both entries, so I know it to be true. All that means that there’s some other yahoo out there who thought Houston was ‘subtropical.’

So far in December, there hasn’t been a hint of snow. Not a bit! I’m beginning to believe all this global warming stuff. The palm trees are still green, and so are most of the lawns. Oh, wait, that’s the way it’s supposed to look in Houston in December. My mistake.

It is, however, like we’ve had the good fortune to have two Fairbanks-style summers back to back, though people down here don’t see it that way. An example:

The Mrs. was picking The Boy up at the local school, and a Para (para what, exactly? I hear the word para and I think, “paramedic” or “paranormal”, both of which are either federally required or federally prohibited from schools under No Child Left Edumacated, I forget which) walked The Boy to the car. As The Boy was buckling his seatbelt, the Para said:

“Now you be sure to bring a big, thick jacket tomorrow – it will be colder.”

As The Mrs. related it, the Para was staring straight at her, as if The Mrs. had just qualified for the coveted “Uncaring Evil Barhopping Trollop Mother of the Year Award” (note – The Mrs. was edged out by Britney Spears for that one).

The Mrs. controlled her “righteous Mommy fury” gene and refrained from pointing toward the front of the car at the Alaska license plate, and then indicating that the Para might want to understand that the average person can walk about in mildly chilly (0ºF, or -273.15ºC) for over an hour and have no lasting ill effects and that she should keep her yob shut when it came to being the jacket-police.

That would have been sooooooo surreal, getting a call from the principal’s office saying that The Mrs. had been naughty, and that she was in detention. If she thought she was in trouble then, well, just wait ‘til she got home! The Mrs. would give herself quite the earful, and then probably send herself to her room, where The Mrs. would be suitably punished by having a nice hot bath while reading a murder mystery and generally escaping the mayhem and smells created by Pugsley, The Boy, and I.

We did finally take The Boy and Pugsley to the beach at Galveston. I think The Boy was mystified when he saw the sea shells, thinking them to be some sort of rock. Things don’t live in water, do they? Pugsley was cute as he waded in the surf. The cross-current would come up at an angle to the beach, making his nineteen-month-old brain compute that though he felt like he was walking on level ground, his visual processing center indicated he was walking sideways up a hill. The end result was a toddler who lurched and lumbered in the sand to the point where he wouldn’t walk straight, and, in fact, did several face plants in the sand.

Is it mean of me to take that kind of delight from the situation? Nah. He’ll probably kick the walker out from under me when I’m older and senile, just because I won’t remember it and will fall for it every time.

The Boy got bored quickly with the water and started to attempt to scam some young ladies who were hanging out near the water.

As it is, I think this reaction to mild temperatures is my first real clue about Houston. If people bundle up in parkas, mittens, and scarves when it’s 40ºF out, that must mean something. I’m afraid that something is that it’s hot enough in Houston during the summer to melt eyebrows.


Blogger SusanE said...

I hate to break it to you but by next winter you'll be pulling out those parkas for 40 degs. Here I am currently visiting Arizona, I've been here 4 weeks and it feels cold at that temperature. Thank heavens we head north in two days.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Jacie Wiggs said...

John, I think in the summer time we will refer to you as 'Baked Alaska', ha! What the hell are you doing in Houston? I went home in September, read some of your posts in October and then got really confused and now 'Life in Alaska' is 'Baking in Houston', What the?

3:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is going to be more fun than I thought! I can't wait for more tales of "lower-48ers" sticking their nose in your business.

5:22 AM  
Blogger Coldfoot said...

Just wait until they start complaining about the mosquitos.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Sweet Yet Sassy said...

You will definitely have baking eyebrows to say the least.

Being used to -120 degree winters will be an adjustment to the +120 degree summers!

9:48 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

I haven't been boycotting the blog. I have snuck in and snuck out. Bit busy for the holidays.
I was tagged.
So I am tagging you.
Come by and see the tag meme of
6 weird things about me.

6:36 PM  
Blogger shawnkielty said...

Lord save us, John Wilder has been released from the wilderness.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Tex,

As with my move to the communist state, you should have an easier time joining the polar bear club in Houston. I am waiting for Jan 1st at halftime of whatever bowl game I can get and then I will run out jump in the pool to get my official T shirt. I'm crazy enough now that I am even considering turning off the pool heater, that water could be as low as 55 degrees (I sit here shivering at the thought!).

Let me know if you get into the club.

7:56 PM  
Blogger John said...

Arizona . . . you mean the cold place.

Probably so. It's December and I'm baked down here. I had to turn on the defogger in the car today to get rid of the steam. Oh, my.

More to come. MUCH more to come. Many noses in my business.

In the airport the other day and saw an Alaska mosquito T-shirt. Thought of this comment. They know nothing.

Yeah, it's a change. But you know what? A guy like me can handle anything, as long as there's cold beer. And air conditioning. And, well, other cold stuff. Like ice.

Thank Heavens for electricity.

be there soon. My weirdest thing? Hmmm, I can't do only six.

Time has come for the Wrath of John to be visited upon the world. Or, at least, his spawn.

No window is safe.

I have been in a pool in December. An unheated pool. That would be known as ice in my former locale. Things change.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

For some reason Google won't let me add a comment under the Dec 19 post, so I'll add it here.

I'll make a pity book buy just because of the "rave review" (OK so it's not exactly the New York Times Book Review or Oprah's Book Club, but who cares) - really it's because the author married one of the few people who know "Klaatu Verata Nictu."

Now that the Mrs has finished her book, does she want to write some more? Uh, I do need someone to help me with a blog...

4:02 PM  

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