July 05, 2012Excessive heat warning remains in effect until 11 pm EDT Sunday...Location...Most of the piedmont.
* High temperatures...100 To 105 degrees Saturday and Sunday. Heat index values up to 111.
Precautionary/preparedness actions... A prolonged period of dangerously hot weather is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will create a situation in which heat illnesses are possible. Drink plenty of water...Stay in an air conditioned room...Stay out of the sunshine...And check up on relatives and neighbors.
– Accuweather.com, Saturday, June 30, 2012
I hate to say I told you so – but, hey, I told you so.
About six months ago, in the middle of January, when everyone was walking around so happy about the fact that every day was a perfect balmy 78 degrees, I told everyone who commented on the great weather: "Oh yeah, well you can bet the farm that we're going to pay for it this summer – you're not going to be so happy about it when it's 130 degrees in August."
And they were always, like, "Hey, don't be such a Debbie Downer – it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile."
But now, here it is just at the start of July, and it's too hot to even go outside and get in your car to go buy an ice cream cone. The other day, I was talking to a guy who said his kids had been at the pool all day, and I said, "Wow, that's certainly the place to be today," and he said, "Not really," and I asked him, "What do you mean – not really?"
He said his kids had called and said the pool water was so hot it was too uncomfortable to get in.
Listen, in this current RealFeel temperature of 110, even my house isn't cooling like it should, so it's too hot right now to even write a real column since all I do is walk around in a daze all day long teetering on the verge of a massive heat stroke.
Throw on top of that the fact that we also have a short week to turn in stories, thanks to Independence Day, and all of that adds up to the reason that I just want to say a few things this week and get out of town – this year to Grandfather Mountain where it should be a little cooler at least …
Hey, I came up with an idea of a sweeping grandiose goal for Guilford County government. I'm calling for county commissioners, the county manager and other county administrators to strive to work together toward this massive achievement for Guilford County later this summer. I definitely think we should give it a try. We could all use a lofty goal, a target – something to shoot for that calls for grand ambition.
Here's my idea. You know how, when it comes to Guilford County government, we've had at least one giant new scandal every month since October 2010? And, for that matter, sometimes we've even managed to have three or four giant county scandals a month?
Well, by my calculations, that means Guilford County government has had a string of scandals for 20 months in a row.
That has to be some kind of world record. I guess that's what they mean when they say that there's no rest for the wicked.
Anyway, that gave me the idea to come up with something lofty to shoot for – kind of like how Kennedy called for a man on the moon by the end of that decade. Only, the moon shot may have been a little easier than what I'm proposing.
I'm suggesting that, here in Guilford County, we make August of this year an historic month for our county.
Here is my radical high-bar proposal: That we make August 2012 a completely scandal-free month for Guilford County government.
That's right, I said it: I'm proposing the unimaginable.
Now, before you get all crazy on me and say that it's clearly impossible under our current county government, let me remind you that they also said it was impossible to put a man on the moon, and they also said it was impossible to achieve peace in the Middle East by invading it, though that last one might not be a very good example for me to use right here.
Anyway, I picked August because many top county officials will be on vacation much of that month.
Also, a lot of reporters will be on vacation for much of August – so, even if there is a scandal, there will be less chance for people to find out about it. So I'm just saying, not that it will be easy, but it is doable.
So, Guilford County leadership, how about it? One month, that's all I'm asking.
Certainly, there's not any graft, thievery, cronyism or corruption that can't wait one month. On Saturday, Sept. 1, you can go straight back to your usual ways of bilking the taxpayers, handing out favors to friends and on and on …
Come on, everyone reading this: Won't you help make August Guilford County Scandal-Free Month? If it's a success, maybe we can even make it an annual thing.
Speaking of Guilford County, the county has a solid waste recycling mascot named PETE, and the big news this week is that PETE may have undergone a sex change operation.
PETE is a talking plastic bottle with a face and hands, and he has always seemed to be unquestionably male – not to mention that PETE is unmistakably a boy's name.
However, the other night, at a meeting of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, the board heard a report on the county's solid waste efforts from Susan Heim, who heads up those efforts for the county. Heim was expounding on the increasing popularity of PETE and his demand at kids functions and other events. Then came the statement that threw me.
"He has become quite the little media diva," Heim told the board.
She didn't go into any more detail than that, but it sounded strange to me that he could be a diva if he was still a he. So I looked it up. The two main definitions for "diva" that I found are:
1. A famous female opera singer
2. A female singer who has enjoyed great popular success
So, I'm still looking into the matter, but PETE may now be a female solid waste management mascot – not to mention a singer as well. Not that there's anything wrong with any of that.
There has been a great deal of confusion over the impending zombie apocalypse, and not just about whether to capitalize it or not. The medical examiner in Florida revealed this week that lab tests only detected marijuana in the system of the Florida man who was shot while chewing off another man's face. The authorities have ruled out any other street drugs – "including the components typically found in the stimulants known as bath salts."
So, after all that commotion, it turns out that it wasn't bath salts after all.
This week a report from the Associated Press shed some light on the situation. Here you go; I've added the italics …
"There has been much speculation about what drugs, if any, would lead to the bizarre behavior that authorities said Rudy Eugene exhibited before and during the gruesome attack that left the other man horribly disfigured. A Miami police union official had suggested that Eugene, who was shot and killed by an officer, was probably under the influence of bath salts.
"The Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner said in a news release that the toxicology detected marijuana, but it didn't find any other street drugs, alcohol or prescription drugs. Eugene also tested negative for adulterants commonly mixed with street drugs."
So that's good news and that's bad news.
The good news is that now everyone can go back to taking baths to their heart's content, and, when they're soaking in a nice refreshing bath, they can use bath salts without having to worry about getting out, toweling off and then feasting feverishly on the flesh of the living.
So, whether you use bath salts to exfoliate, to soften your skin, to add essential minerals or merely to emerge from your bath refreshed, revitalized and relaxed, go ahead and do so without fear.
The bad news is that, since the guy was only on weed, it means the attack was really just a severe case of the munchies.
Listen, if you are one of those who partakes of the evil weed – or, as it's sometimes known these days, Mary Jane, Ganja, Aunt Mary, Chronic, Cheeba or the Jolly Green – well, please, for the sake of everyone, just satisfy your munchies the way people have always done: Call out for pizza.
Remember, no matter how stoned you are, there is never any reason to eat another human being. If you find your craving for flesh becomes overwhelming, then try the meat lover's pizza and perhaps that will take care of it. I think the meat lover's pizza may even be on special right now.
I came up with a catchy public health slogan for the public information campaign. If you are with the CDC or if you are one of the other government people dealing with this problem, you have my permission to use it free of charge. Here you go:
If you say yes to cannabis, just say no to cannibalism.
OK, one last thing, speaking of the zombie apocalypse.
Charles Eugene, the brother of the man gunned down, said his family doesn't plan to pursue any legal action against the police for shooting his brother – who's now frequently referred to as the "Miami zombie."
His brother said the police used the force they felt was necessary – even though he and other family members thought it seemed excessive. He said the family just wanted to put the matter behind them. The AP report said, of the brother, "He said that Eugene has been buried."
Buried? A zombie? I don't know if they've seen the same shows and movies I have, but if you simply take a zombie and bury him, it's a pretty good bet that that's not the last time you'll have to deal with him.
Buried? Sure he is – but for how long?
For how long?