Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Weather Hits Southern California

We don't get much weather here. Earlier this week we got what called "scattered showers," which meant the sky dripped just enough to dampen the streets and require the windshield wipers to be set on "intermittent." Today, though, is another story altogether.

At work, one of the people my group works closely with is here from the Chicago area, where she lives. I asked her if our weather is better than at home, and she thought for a moment and said no. At the end of November, Chicago has nicer weather than Southern California.

We have wind. Cold wind.

This morning, because it was really cold last night when I took my little dog Abby out for her bedtime sprinkle, I checked the weather. It said it was 40° (feels like 36°), but I took a chance and didn't wear my heavy coat, since it's supposed to get up to the mid-60s today. I didn't look at the wind speed, which has kicked up here at work. Officially we have winds at 17mph, gusting to 24mph, but when the wind blows between the buildings it tends to pick up speed.

I walked over to Quiznos to get a salad from the cranky people who run the place (no use complaining to the owners--they are the owners). The decorative fountain between all the buildings was shut off (several months ago, they didn't notice when the wind started, and the fountain soaked quite a few people who were walking beside it, so now they're extra-careful). I had to hold my jacket closed under my chin to try to protect myself while I'm recovering from the last of a chest cold that hit me the morning I left for Indianapolis. The wind was blowing from the northeast. That usually means it's a Santa Ana, and that usually means the wind is warm--a hot, dry blast of air from the desert. But there's no heat today.

After I got my salad I headed back to work, the wind at my back this time. The gusts shoved me so I had to catch myself. Then they filled up my Quiznos bag like a parachute that threatened to tow me away. It was invigorating! Adventure in the parking lot...

But it doesn't make for a good hair day, unless you're a Marine or you shave your head. They've already issued strong wind warnings:


But they should have included the extreme hazard to men with combovers.


It's Thursday afternoon, and the cold wind has died down to a cool breeze. There's tree shrapnel everywhere. Leaves. Twigs. Branch chunks, and even some small whole branches ripped off the trees by the winds.

The pansies have keeled over and wilted, and only a few of the hardiest are still able to show a semblance of their happy faces. It's sad, but the destruction won't last long. No doubt tomorrow will bring a clean-up crew and maybe even a new batch of flowers for the planter-triangles.

Such is life. Destruction is followed by rebuilding. And that's followed by dread of more destruction. Or maybe by ignorant bliss.

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