Dealing with the heat | Notes on the Valley | Monith Ilavarasan | |

Local Blogs

Notes on the Valley

By Monith Ilavarasan

E-mail Monith Ilavarasan

About this blog: My parents, brother, and I moved to Pleasanton when I was in the seventh grade. I then graduated from Amador Valley High School, went to college at UC Davis and started out a career in tech. After several years working in large co...  (More)

View all posts from Monith Ilavarasan

Dealing with the heat

Uploaded: Jul 19, 2023
Before diving into this week’s topic, I want to quickly call out a serendipitous news event that happened shortly after my last post. I wrote about how otters are some of the cutest animals to exist, but I forgot to mention how badass they are.

Last week footage began circulating of an otter stealing surfboards, taking them for a joyride, and then chewing them up after they were done. One particular otter, named “Otter 841” has a penchant of climbing onto a surfboard she likes, sinking her teeth in, and shaking it until the surfer has no choice but to leave the board. She then climbs on top and goes for a ride.

She has gone on to smartly avoid any and all capture attempts by coast officials. She leverages the low visibility murky waters as well as a sixth sense for capture nets to continue living free.

I do love to surf but I have no choice but to cheer her on as she protects her home. Maybe next time I’m in Santa Cruz she can climb up on my board and we can figure out a way to enjoy the waves together.

If you weren’t down in Santa Cruz getting your board stolen, you likely noticed the heat wave over the past week. Over the weekend in Pleasanton we cracked a 100 degrees in the afternoon on both days.

This summer has been a weird one, with long stretches of beautiful cooler weather interrupted by smaller periods of extreme heat. The Tri-Valley is definitely in a better spot than cities closer to or in the central valley.

As the East Bay Times reports Brentwood in far east Contra Costa County was the hottest place in the region Sunday afternoon, with temperatures reaching 106 degrees at 3:15 p.m. after soaring to 105 on Saturday.

My parents journeyed to Tracy for a friend reunion and found themselves in a clubhouse with no air conditioning. They managed to survive by sweating and guzzling down iced punch for three hours straight.

The Central Valley had areas expected to reach 110 degrees Sunday, but that was nice and cool compared with Death Valley. Insane tourists drove into a furnace in anticipation of witnessing 131 degree temperature for the first time in Earth’s recorded history.

Fortunately for them the temperature in Death Valley hovered around 128 degrees with partly cloudy skies.

Although I prefer heat to cold I always scramble to find something to do when the temperature breaches a hundred degrees. After working a long week indoors in front of a computer, the weekend is my opportunity to spend it outside as possible. It’s always sad to sit at home with the blinds pulled tight under artificial lighting while the sun shines outside.

After spending a few summers in India as a kid I followed some best practices on how to stay cool that worked well for me. As we experience longer and more severe heat waves, stay safe and remember the following:

1. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Avoid sugary drinks, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages as they can dehydrate your body. I do a very bad job of this and make margaritas every time it’s hot outside and I’m stuck at home.

2. Stay Indoors: If possible, stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This weekend to pass the time I made sure to get my outside time in the early morning while the weather was still beautiful. I extended my weekday alarm clock to the weekend so I could get a few rounds of walking outside the neighborhood before I started melting.

3. Create a Cool Environment: Even if it makes you feel like a vampire, close curtains or blinds to block out the sun's heat.

4. Use Sun Protection: When outside listen to the corny commencement speech written by Mary Schmich and apply sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and lightweight, breathable clothing that covers your skin.

5. Stay Cool with Cold Compresses: I wrap a wet bandana around my head when it gets super warm so I look like a biker that just got out of the shower. Use cool towels, ice packs, or take cool showers to lower your body temperature and provide relief from the heat.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


There are no comments yet for this post

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.



Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Common Ground
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 1,272 views

Eating retro with TV dinners
By Deborah Grossman | 5 comments | 1,107 views

Labor unions win big in Sacramento
By Tim Hunt | 5 comments | 1,016 views