The Maryland summer is hotter than Satan’s armpit

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.

Rick Olney 1954 – 2012

Rick Olney 1954 - 2012
Rick Olney 1954 – 2012

Comic book convention promoter Rick Olney has passed away. He was 58.

To say Olney was somewhat controversial in the world of comic book fandom is perhaps an understand. He had run-ins with a good many comic book professionals over money, none more public than that with comic book writer Gail Simone. It was the basis of a gigantic message board thread over at Comic Book Resources. At last count, the thread had over 53,000 posts.

Personally, I took an interest in stories about Olney because I used to live near his area of operations, Herkimer County in upstate New York. Back in the early 90’s I was stationed at Griffiss Air Force Base located in nearby Rome, New York. It’s where I was reintroduced to the medium of comic books. There was a comic book shop in one of the malls and I happened to see a poster of Spawn #1 in the window. I couldn’t believe how great the artwork was. ¬†I went into that mall comic book shop and bought a couple comics. The following week, I went back and bought more. The week after that, I went back and repeated the process.

Olney is survived by a wife and five children.