Ohman's blog: California state government fixes the heat wave!

Published: Sunday, Jul. 14, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3E

The Bee's editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman writes whatever is on his mind. Read the entire blog at www.sacbee.com/ohman.

Having just recently concluded my first stretch of 100- degree-plus weather in Sacramento, people have asked me how I've been holding up. Being from Portland, Ore., this kind of heat is a rumor. In fact, I would say that the typical summer temperature in Portland is 66, a number that is just warm enough to make you sweat in a fleece, but makes you cold if you don't have fleece.

My former life as a kicky Minnesotan didn't really expose me to 115-degree heat, either, but I certainly have nostalgic memories of boyhood spent in temperatures 145 degrees cooler.

That thing about your tongue sticking to cold metal? That's true. I did it once. I put my tongue on my Sears telescope while trying to see Comet Kohoutek in 1973 (remember that?).

It still kind of hurts.

So now that I've been baptized in this Sacramento convection oven, I discovered that my house has a thermostat that creates the illusion that I have air conditioning, but I actually don't. I looked.

Heat in Sacramento is a given, of course, and people have their own strategies for coping. Interestingly, this is the first time in my life I have been living in a house with a swimming pool and it was simply too hot to use it. This goes double for my (very used, broken-down) convertible, which rarely has the roof taken down because of my fear of any coloration (I am from Minnesota and enjoy the melanin levels of your typical Norwegian-Swedish-Danish-Irish-neurotic).

My dad used to say that everyone talks about the weather and no one ever does anything about it. Well, let's say we aren't undergoverned here in Sacramento, and my question is this:

Why don't they do something about the weather? They've done something about everything else.

My understanding is that the state of California is, in fact, about to do the following about the weather:

Gov. Jerry Brown: will issue statement saying we are soft and weak, and that high temperatures cleanse the bodies of impure thoughts and deeds.

California Legislature: will introduce AB 564, a bill to mandate that "average daytime temperatures may not rise above 80 degrees or below 79 degrees, and that any variation above or below the mean will result in an extra $160 in per diem."

Reach Jack Ohman at johman@sacbee.com.

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