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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Haze

Portland, Oregon, Air Quality, Friday, August 4, 2017
Driving into Portland Tuesday I wished I had some sunglasses, it was awfully bright. This was kind of odd, because when the skies are blue, like they were then, I don't need sunglasses. It's when it's overcast that I want them. I suspect this is because when the skies are blue, only a small portion of the sunlight is getting scattered. Most of it follows a straight line from the sun to the ground. When the sky is overcast, all the light is getting scattered and so you get light going in all directions, which means there is more light heading for your eyes.

The sky was a little hazy, which was kind of odd. You don't usually get hazy blue skies. Blue skies are usually very clear.

Then I started hearing that the air quality in Portland was very poor due to smoke from forest fires that are raging in Canada. Huh, who'd a thunk it, blue skies and bad air? Yesterday the air quality in Portland was worse then it was in Beijing, China, which is reputed to have some of the worst air pollution in the world.

I went for a short walk just before noon and while the air seemed fine, by the time I got home I wasn't feeling all that great. Matter of fact, I felt pretty crummy all afternoon. By evening time I was thinking that perhaps my allergies were acting up, so I took a Zyrtec. It didn't help. Then I got a headache.

Woke up around 2 AM and the headache is worse. I'm thinking this headache is bad enough that it might call for Oxycodone, but I don't want to use narcotics if I don't need to, so I took a Naproxen. I waited an hour, but it didn't help, so I took an Oxy. It's been an hour and the headache has abated. I'm actually feeling a little loopy.

It's a little unnerving that something undetectable can have cause me so much trouble. If I hadn't heard the reports I would just suspect allergies, and maybe it is.

We also had a heat wave this week. It got up to 105 yesterday, which is exceptional for Portland. In preparation for running the A/C continuously, I cleaned the electrostatic air filter. Since then you can hear sparks cracking continuously. I presume it is electrocuting smoke particles. Cleaning the air filter was a fortuitous decision.

Previous post on the subject.


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