Well, Virginia was beautiful yesterday, a sunny day getting things up to perhaps 64 degrees, but man, today I’m feeling it’s got just nothing on California, which my wife and I had just returned from. ALL of our Christmas vacation there was filled with sunny days, and the last one got up into the high seventies on the beach, where it looked like a summer day, except for the wetsuits.

You spend too much time w/ conservative punditry, and you sometimes get the impression that California is a basket-case, and governance and budget-wise it is, but it’s still functioning, and that’s enough, IMO, to make it pretty great. I love driving those freeways, and there’s not as much traffic as people say. Most of my family members and friends are doing okay enough in the extra-tough economic situation out there, and some are thriving.

I was too lazy/sleepy on New Year’s Eve to get out to see the very California low-fi hippie rock band the the Growlers , but the cultural highlight of my trip was seeing an exhibition by the realist landscape painter William Glenn Crooks , a sun-worshipper in the best sense of the word, with paintings of the San Diego back-country that feel just absolutely right to those who have been there.

Besides, no mere rock band could top the experience of listening to one of my favorite surfy rock and roll bands, the too-awesome for words Fireballs , as we sped with the windows down along highway 101 passing one beach after another. Ahhh . . . you can face my sand-dusted front porch towards the California Sun.

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