Enlarge / Steve Ballmer and my buddies Jason and Matt. Matt doesn’t really have anything to do with this story, but he was in the picture with Jason so he gets to be in the intro image too. (credit: Aurich Lawson)
June 29, 2007 is hot.

Texas hot.
I’m hunched beneath an ugly orange awning that features the blue Death Star logo, getting what shade I can out of the thing as it flaps limply in a breeze hot and damp as dog’s breath.

Behind my back is the cool glass of a store window, on which you can still see the fading outline of recently removed “CINGULAR STORE” vinyl banners.
It’s not quite 90F—that’s about 32C for you Celsius fans—but the 90 percent humidity robs the shade of almost all of its comfort.

The world is a slowly baking convection oven and the glass I’m leaning on is the only nice thing in it.
A friendly lady from the cosmetics store next door is making the rounds again with bottles of water from a wicker basket, along with coupons for mascara. Her mascara looks solid in spite of the dripping humidity, so I take a coupon.
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