The Maryland summer is hotter than Satan’s armpit

I’d love to live somewhere where the temperature didn’t get higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Does such a place even exist?

Why do I live somewhere that gets so unbearably hot? I’ve lived here in Maryland for 22 years. Summers in western Maryland are sweltering. It’ a point of fact I’m more than acutely aware of, yet I choose to live here.

I don’t get it. I don’t like being hot. If I had to make a choice between extreme hot or extreme cold, I’d gladly take the extreme cold. With that said, I’ve lived most of my life in places that got ridiculously hot.

I grew up in the California Mojave desert. It routinely got over 100 in the summer. Later, when I joined the Air Force, I spent a year in Biloxi, Mississippi for training. In the 1988 movie Biloxi Blues, Matthew Broderick’s character accurately described Biloxi as being “Africa hot.”

I’ve never been to Africa, but I’ve experienced a summer in Biloxi. I don’t recommend it.

I followed up my stay in Mississippi with three years in the Philippines.

3rd CRS dormitory, Clark Air Base, Philippines (photo: Tim Tuttle)
3rd CRS dormitory, Clark Air Base, Philippines (photo: Tim Tuttle)

There were two seasons in the Philippines, the wet season and the dry season. Both were sweltering. One just had a lot more rain than the other.

I then spent another two years on the island of Guam. The weather was a lot like the Phillippines, hot and muggy. One of the officers in my squadron died from heat stroke while jogging.

After Guam, I spent four years in upstate New York. Although it got extremely cold in the winter, the summers were brutal.

It's more hot than Satan's armpit - Bent Corner
Feels hotter than Satan’s armpit

I then got out of the Air Force and moved to Maryland for a job. I’ve been here ever since. Unlike the other hot places I’ve lived, I chose to live here in Maryland, where the summers are Satan’s armpit hot.

I wish I lived somewhere that remained cool year round. I’d love to live somewhere where the temperature didn’t get higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Does such a place even exist?

Showing police the middle finger is free speech

The United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit has handed down a ruling that protects the act of flipping off police as constitutionally protected free speech. So not only did the founding fathers want us to be able to own AK-47’s and M-16’s, they also wanted us to be able to flip off the police. Who knew?

The guys who wrote the Constitution were a wacky bunch of guys.

The case that prompted this ruling involved John Swartz, a New York man arrested in 2006 for flipping off a cop using a radar gun at an upstate New York intersection. The police followed the car Swartz was a passenger in and after questioning him, arrested him for disorderly conduct. The charge was later dropped. Swartz then filed a civil rights lawsuit.

Personally, I think flipping the bird to anyone with a gun is a really bad idea, but that’s just me.

The truth about cold weather football

They show the temperature was zero degrees with a wind chill of minus-32. I remember it being minus-40, but maybe it’s warmed up 8 degrees since then.

I was reading about today’s NFC Championship game between the New York football Giants and the Green Bay Packers. The article mentioned it might turn out to be the coldest game played in NFL history. They say the temperature in Green Bay will be a balmy 3 degrees tonight at the 5:30 PM CST kickoff.

I’ve never been to Green Bay, but I did once watch a football game in the brutal cold. On January 15, 1994, I went to Orchard Park, New York to watch the Los Angeles Raiders lose to the Buffalo Bills 29-23.

Back in my Air Force Days

I was in the Air Force and stationed at Griffiss Air Force Base located in upstate New York. ESPN shows it was the 3rd coldest game played in NFL history. They show the temperature was zero degrees with a windchill of minus-32. I remember it being minus-40, but maybe it’s warmed up 8 degrees since then.

It wasn’t just cold, it was alien planet cold.

The worse part about watching a football game in the brutal cold is sitting in one spot for hours at a time, not moving. You are just sitting there. No matter how much you bundle up, you are going to get cold. The number of layers of clothing you put on only helps to delay the inevitable.

You will get cold and once you do, it’s impossible to get warm.

We had seats on the two-yard line, 13 rows up from the field. I remember things sounding different in the cold. The Raiders moved the ball and scored a touchdown. They then attempted an extra point. When the kicker’s foot hit the ball, it made a bizarre sound. It didn’t sound right. It didn’t sound like a shoe making contact with a leather football. The ball failed to go through the uprights and instead bounced off the crossbar. It sounded like a cannonball hitting the metal crossbar.

Buffalo Bills fans are stupid

I remember a Bills fan sitting in the end zone seating taking off his clothing from the waist up. His bare, pale flesh was exposed to the elements. Security grabbed him and took him off somewhere. I guess he wanted to get on TV. I don’t know if he got on TV, but his stupid stunt earned him a permanent spot in my personal memory banks.

Looking back at this photo, I wonder how many of these Bills fans are still alive and how many died in horrific snowmobile accidents.

I went to the game bundled in layers of clothing:

  • Los Angeles Raiders Starter pullover jacket
  • Air Force extreme weather parka
  • Sweatpants and long underwear under my pants
  • Air Force issued cold weather mummy sleeping bag

I’m glad I did. That said, it took me about three days to get warm.

The ironic thing about that game was how it contrasted with the prior Raiders game I attended. It was at the Los Angeles Colosseum where they lost to the visiting Cleveland Browns. I think it was the last road game the Browns ever won. The temperature on the field was 100 degrees and I walked away with a nasty sunburn.

Even though the Raiders lost the game, I was glad I went. It turned out to be Howie Long’s final game. He was always my favorite player.