The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Weather or Not?


I am a trans-continental guy. That is, I have lived on both coasts of the US for lengthy periods in my life. I spent 20 plus years in southern California and the rest on the east coast in three different states (New York, Virginia, and Florida).

There has always seemed to be a kind of rivalry between west and east coast. I first became personally aware of it when I was 18 and got into surfing. California surfers did not think much of Florida, or east coast in general, surf. Whereas Florida surfers were both defensive and envious of California surf. I later learned there were advantages and disadvantages to each, of course.

Weather is another, more prevalent, point of contention. Especially between Floridians and southern Californians. While in Boot Camp, my company was about half Californians and have everywhere else. I was the only Floridian. Weather came up often.

Southern Californians seemed to assume they have warm weather. Well, they do have a very moderate climate. I once described San Diego to some friends in Virginia as "air conditioned". Which is true only if you limit it to a strip along te coast about 5 miles wide. It rarely got very hot or very cold. I have to admit, it was the most pleasant climate I have ever lived in. I also decribed it as "boring" but more on that later.

I recall Jay Leno being interviewed once on some talk show about his coming to Los Angeles to host the Tonight Show. He was asked about how he liked living in southern California. He said the usual pleasantries about how nice it was and how exciting Los Angeles is and all that. And then he said something along the lines of:

"We have some things here that are different than the east. We have droughts and fires, mud slides when it rains, and earthquakes. Yet, when you ask someone why they live in California they always answer 'the weather!' "

Which brings me to the point. Whenever I discussed Florida vs California with a Californian, their concern was always about hurricanes. They didn't like the idea of them. They seemed to be afraid of them. Terrible storms that blew roofs off houses and tore down trees. My counter was always that they weren't all that bad, that houses were built to withstand them, and you got warnings. That seemed better than earthquakes. Yet, earthquakes didn't bother them nearly as much. And their counter arguments were much like mine except for the warning part. Plus they argued that earthquakes that caused any significant damage were pretty rare.

After mulling over each other's arguments regarding environmental anomolies, the conversation would turn to the tornados of the midwest, blizzards and icestorms of the much of the northern half of the country, the dry blistering heat of the desert states, and so on.

After having experienced much of that weather at one time or another (I have missed, thankfully, experiencing any tornados), I came to the conclusion that we are amazingly adaptable creatures. We grow used to our immediate environment and accept its hazards easily. In fact, we seem to be proud of them in some ways.

Oh, I promised to explain that "boring" remark about San Diego, didn't I? You see, San Diego doesn't get a lot of thunderstorms. Almost none, it seemed to me. I like thunderstorms. I like the smell in the air before they break, I like the crack of lightning, I like the rumble of the thunder. And, above all, I like the freshness after they have passed. I never realized how much I liked them until I spent a few years in San Diego and then returned to south Florida.

What about yours? Have you ever considered moving to another climate, a different environment simply to escape the one you are living in?

6 comments:

King of New York Hacks said...

I have been to San Diego , and get the Cali weather love. However I lived in Southern Florida for 5 years and loved the weather there, a short thunderstorm daily is good for the soul. Now, surfing is mostly boring in Florida, except when those hurricanes start rolling in , the surfers are in the water hanging 10 Cali style. Now I'm a New Yorker born and bred, love the seasons,the climate, and Rockaway Beach has some of the best surfing in the country. So all in all, New York wins me over.

The Logistician said...

Nice piece. Every place has its issues. I agree with you regarding the actual temperature, or lack of real heat, in Los Angeles. I would have preferred it warmer and more humid. Many forget that Los Angeles is a semi-arid / desert area. Once when a buddy of mine came to Los Angeles and looked around, he noted that it was greener than he had ever seen it. That winter, we had unusually heavy rainfall. I realized that Los Angeles generally has hazy green vegetation, with lots of smog particulates on the leaves. It takes a good rinsing to brighten it up and make it look truly lush and green.

San Diego, to me, always seemed 8 degrees cooler, and a little breezy, and definitely clearer. San Francisco, to the surprise of many, always was 55 - 60 degree. Now that's air conditioning.

Michael said...

Hong Kong tends to be chilly and dry in the winter, hot and humid in the spring and fall, sizzling sunny in the summer. I can't wait to move to Canada or the UK, mainly because I'll finally experience what it's like to have snow in the winter.

...Not that I haven't seen snow before.

Later on in my life, though, I would really love to live in New York or California for a couple of years. I love beaches, so Florida and California (and Hawaii) are definitely somewhere on my life's journey.

The hurricanes, earthquakes, mud slides, droughts, blizzards and sand storms sort of... excite me, you know? Hong Kong is rather boring and predictable. I don't know, maybe I'm just weird for wanting to experience chaos.

Michael.

Douglas said...

Hack, there are some very good surfing spots in Florida. Ask anyone about "Sharkpit" or Satellite Beach. But the summer rarely has good surf there, it's only in the winter. Unless, like you say, the hurricanes come in and they are in the right position.

Log, LA got hot, especially during Santa Anas. Or temperature inversions. And, of course, the smog would be so bad you had to chew the air before it was soft enough to breathe. But almost always cool at night... unlike the southeastern US.

Michael, the US is a large country with a diverse climate. Canada gets too cold for me though I'd love to see it in the summer. Florida's best weather is in the early Spring and late Fall.

MilesPerHour said...

After 37 years in the north with the snow I moved to the south. They will have to drag me kicking and screaming to anyplace that it snows.

Douglas said...

Hack, there are some very good surfing spots in Florida. Ask anyone about "Sharkpit" or Satellite Beach. But the summer rarely has good surf there, it's only in the winter. Unless, like you say, the hurricanes come in and they are in the right position.

Log, LA got hot, especially during Santa Anas. Or temperature inversions. And, of course, the smog would be so bad you had to chew the air before it was soft enough to breathe. But almost always cool at night... unlike the southeastern US.

Michael, the US is a large country with a diverse climate. Canada gets too cold for me though I'd love to see it in the summer. Florida's best weather is in the early Spring and late Fall.