How are things out west?

My wife is off on an adventure in the Pacific Northwest. She’s staying in northern Idaho this weekend, then crossing Washington state towards Portland, and then coming back home through Montana. She has a keen sense of timing, I guess.

Looking forward to the smoldering looks when this smoking hot woman gets home again! I’ll have a bucket of water waiting at the front door.


  1. blf says

    I’ll have a bucket of water waiting at the front door.

    Marshmallows and skewers are another option, depending on her sense of humour — but hide the baseball bat, as a precaution…

  2. wcorvi says

    Hope she’ll be out here on the 21st to catch the total solar eclipse. You should come too.

  3. says

    Some cosmic joker scheduled the eclipse for the first week of classes, so nope, I won’t be there. I’ll be hunched over books and papers, looking down.

  4. blf says

    On the other hand, I suppose you could use it as biology lesson — dragon eating the sun and all that…

    The digestive processes of a space-faring flying lizard has to involve some interesting biology.

  5. blf says

    Matt G@5: I know baseball games are getting slower / longer, but I don’t think they are quite that slow / long, yet…

    (Poopyhead does, though, sort-of look like the kind of chap you might find on a village cricket green.)

    Probably safest to hide all bats, clubs, and similar instruments of skull rhythm.

  6. Just an Organic Regular Expression says

    Spent a couple days this week in the San Juan Islands, under the pall of smoke from B.C. fires. Mount Baker invisible from the Anacortes ferry terminal, although it usually dominates the Eastern view. Mount Rainier invisible from SeaTac. Sun a tangerine globe from 4pm on.

  7. psanity says

    Please tell her to breathe carefully, especially in western Montana. There is a useful website that keeps track of hourly particulate levels. I am pretty much glued to it during fire season, which is getting to be “anytime it’s not actively snowing.”

    There’s also a guide to judging air quality by visibility that is extremely helpful, especially if you’re traveling or working outdoors. To anyone affected by wildfire smoke, please watch your exposure. Adverse affects are cumulative. This has been a Public Service Message.

    (Sorry to be didactic, but I’m in this mode after spending all week convincing my youthful co-workers to pay attention and know where the masks are.)

  8. jrkrideau says

    Uh, classes start in August? I live in Canada where classes start in roughly the first week of September and end at the last week of April.

    August !! Quelle horreur.

  9. rabbitbrush says

    It is as bad as it looks. I heard a pulmonologist say, during one of these increasingly frequent hazardous smoke events, “If you can see the air, you shouldn’t breathe it.”

    Either stay inside, with the air conditioner on recirculate, or, if you must be outside, wear N95 particulate mask. It’s weird to see brain-dead runners and small-assed, lycra-assed bicyclists zip around without breathing protection…when you can’t even see across the river. Oy.

  10. robro says

    The region is also experiencing a heat wave. I read last night that Seattle authorities have closed the 100-year-old University Bridge to spray water on it because of concerns that the heat would damage the structure.

    There was discussion among my friends last night of flights out of Phoenix cancelled because of extreme heat. Apparently airplanes have a temperature limitation. Who knew that the airline industry could be affected by global warming? Oh wait, here’s a Business Insider article from 2013 about a similar situation in Phoenix.

    Also, according to a friend whose daughter lives in Portland: they are expecting very heavy congestion in the area of totality. Small towns are going into emergency mode because they don’t have the resources to deal with the expected influx of traffic.

  11. chris says

    The air quality improved a little bit in Seattle. This morning some of the haze was actual clouds clouds. But the sun is still a weird color.

    As far as the eclipse goes, we will get 80% coverage, and we are not venturing down into Oregon. Instead I’ll try a pinhole view, and later in the afternoon our family will be gathering at the Seattle Municipal Court to watch younger son get married to a lovely young woman, and then to dinner with our newly expanded family.

  12. blf says

    robro@13, Whilst there is indeed an environmental, including temperature, safe operating envelope for aerocraft (and many other things), the big(? main?) problem with high temperatures is lower air density: The runways need to be longer (and not melted, as has sometimes happened), and since the aerocraft’s climb rate is lower, obstacles like mountains in the area which are normally not a problem can suddenly be a hazard.

  13. anchor says

    PZ – man, that’s a shame! You just can’t miss a total eclipse. It’s the most amazing thing you will ever see in the sky. ;(

  14. birgerjohansson says

    To make the northwest situation perfect, you need a volcanic eruption, Eyafjallajökul- styre.

  15. kupo says

    It’s sunny today. I can tell because there’s an orange-ish light cast on the ground. The sky is white, as if it’s overcast, but it’s not clouds. I’m in one of the less affected areas, too. It’s terrible how many homes are being lost. :(

  16. Matt G says


    I was referring to your shameful misspelling of the word humor. You betray yourself as a denizen of the Commonwealth. American English is ascending. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.

  17. PDX_Greg says

    It kills me that even local institutions in Portland did not schedule around the eclipse. Even in Portland, the local community college is having classes on the day of the eclipse — how could they be so short-sighted? My son took a CC class for high school credit this summer so he can fulfill be more ready for an IB test next spring, and he is suposed to be in class August 21st! Luckily, he talked to his instructor and was told he can do that day’s lesson online.
    Never miss standing in the moon’s full shadow. Perhaps I should be grateful that many are disinterested, as the road and lodging situation around here is predicted to be very grim, but I would much rather be stuck in a far longer traffic jam with people who appreciate the rare-in-our-lifetimes opportunity that reality is setting up for us than to realize how many just don’t care. Totality rocks!