I've returned to Dallas after my month-long visit in Anchorage.
I'm now making the adjustment to the mind-bending three-hour time change. Traveling East is a bear. In the old days, the switch was even more radical -- a four-hour change -- but Alaska actually was forced to change its time zone, permanently, in order to extend its business hours with the East Coast and elsewhere.
I now also have to reset my super-sensitive circadian rhythms which are largely light-based. Those 19.5 hours of daylight in Anchorage were a bit manic -- you tend to stay up waaaaaayyy too late, because -- hey, it's still light outside. The old Alaskan joke is, "Oh, don't go home yet, it's hardly dark."
I've swapped pleasant 70-degree highs for 100-degrees scorchers in only eight short hours of near-miraculous air travel. Then there's the freefall in overall air quality -- towards the end of my visit I was roughed up by a tree pollen explosion in Anchorage, but in Dallas, aside from my year-round pollen, grass, and mold allergies, there's also the added cascade of air pollution from cars and trucks, massive "Orange Alert" loads of ozone, and of course -- the aforementioned source of this debilitating ozone overload -- the oppressive, hot, humid air.
To sum it up -- in the Summer, Dallas is filled with hot poisoned air. If the city ever rations its artificial, air-conditioning life-support system, I will be forced to abandon this Smogalopolis posthaste.
Each time I return from Alaska to Dallas, I re-evalulate my lifestyle here. It's a ritual -- my own personal period of New Year's-styled resolutions.
Yes, once again, it's really time to grow and get my s*** together.