Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Return of Dramatic Weather - and Oh! My Head!

This entry wll be more photo than essay, I''m afraid.  There's a scheduled AOL-J outage less than two hours from now, and I really need to wash my hair and get to bed at a decent hour tonight.  But I have a bunch of new pictures to show you.  As usual, the hard part will be in choosing which ones to use.

 Catalinas hidden by clouds, Tuesday 1 PM.

This was the scene near St. Michael's when I went to lunch around 1 PM today (Tuesday).  Only the tops of the Catalina Mountains could be seen above the cottony ribbon of cloud.  The monsoon had taken a week or two off from, um, monsooning, but as of this week it's back, with more "dramatic weather" as John calls it.

Catalinas hidden by clouds, Tuesday 1 PM.

Two minutes later, it was pretty much impossible to see the mountains at all.

The view from 22nd Street, about 1:20 PM.

Weather conditions change rapidly around here in the summer.  By the time I left Safeway with soup and a sandwich, the mountains were re-emerging.

The view from my street, about 1:25 PM.

They still looked pretty dramatic from my street, though.

That awful sign, made more dramatic by mountain and cloud.
By the time I started back from eating lunch at home, the clouds were starting to clear up, at least in the immediate vicinity of Mount Lemmon. There was enough of both cloud and mountain showing to make a dramatic backdrop for this decrepit old sign.  Poor old Oxford Plaza was once named the ugliest shopping center in Tucson.  Since then they've knocked down one end of the building (briefly revealing an old S&H Green Stamps sign) and built new stores at the other end of it.  Cory's Eastside Cafe, a neat old diner with not-so-good food, was knocked down a year or two ago, shortly after a Pizza Hut went up next to it. The part of the sign you can't read here used to say, "31 Merchants to Serve You."  It still pretty much says this, but I don't think the current layout could accommodate that many businesses.

After lunch, the clouds start to vanish.

By the time I reached the area around St. Michael's (yes, I work in that general vicinity), most of the clouds had vanished.  Wow, that was fast!

After work, the mountains are exceptionally clear.

When I left work, just past 5 PM, the mountains were exceptionally clear.  I could see green forest and residential foothills, and faulting and folding made more dramatic by late afternoon shadows.

Near St. Michael's, 5:15 PM.

A friend of mine reminds me that my "beloved monsoon," as she puts it, is more than the pleasure of dramatic views, needed rain and a break from the heat.  It can also mean treacherous driving.  You don't have to drive through a wash, thus running afoul of our famous "Stupid Motorist Law," to get into trouble during a flash flood.  My friend was driving during a big storm a few weeks ago, possibly the Friday one I wrote about, or the Tuesday one I photographed.  She's a safe and careful driver, but for some reason she had to drive in the curb lane.  One problem: no curb.  It was under water.  Unable to see it, she hit it and blew out a tire.  "Yes, I do blame the monsoon," she says.

A quick update before I get offline for the night.  Monday evening, after several large doses of ibuprofen and a slight reduction in stress at work, my back pain was much reduced.  I went to the gym for 25 minutes on the treadmill, and got away with it.

Tonight I had my first session with the new trainer.  He talked about breathing and nutrition, two subjects my previous trainer had neglected.  He had me on about five machines, a few of which were new to me.  During my second set on the first machine, I got a sudden, horrible headache, which faded somewhat when I finished the set.  Jeff had me drink a lot of water between sets, noting that it's easy to drink too little water on a humid day.  The water seemed to help, but I still have a headache now.  This has never happened to me before!  I hardly ever get headaches of any sort, and the ones I do get are typically gone in a couple of minutes. (Lucky, huh?)  But  this exercise-induced headache is totally new to me, and it's freaking me out a bit.  Nevertheless, I got through the session, followed by 30 minutes on the treadmill.  And yes, my back hurts right now.  So does my head.  Odd, that.



gaboatman said...

I hope the headache was an isolated occurance.  I would hope you can continue to exercise without this physical threat hanging in the balance.  Good luck with that.  

ryanagi said...

Of course the drama queen in me is thinking...stroke...aneurysm...  But as long as you can walk, talk clearly, lift your arms over your head, stand on one foot for 10 seconds, smile, and stick your tongue out straight... It was probably just a sudden increase in blood pressure. That can also be worrysome, but not as dramatic. ;-)

rap4143 said...

Karen you were checked out with a Dr. before starting your program? I know how frightening this must have been for you but it's probably an isolated occurance...hang in the gal!!!!

georgannawrt said...

Such gorgeous scenery you have, but you can keep the weather!  Please.  

cubsandcoffee said...

Wow.  Being from a mountain-less, palm tree-less area (Michigan) the area you've posted is gorgeous.  Monsoon or not!