NorCal Freezepops

If you live anywhere in northern California then you know just how flippin' cold its been. Here's the local forecast for Watsonville, CA and this isn't the bottom of the chill. It was damned cold this weekend. So bad that I walked around the back yard yesterday morning taking temperature readings with my infrared thermometer (why yes, I am a geek, why do you ask?). The coldest reading I got was 22 degrees Fahrenheit off a metal bucket we try to use for Nande's water but Graydon just dumps it out most of the time.

It was cold enough to warrant pulling the space heater that drives the electric meter into overdrive. But with floors at a rather chilly 58 degrees, it was necessary to maintain any level of comfort in the house.

I know I shouldn't complain because the Midwest was getting crushed with another nasty winter storm and all we were having was a cold snap. But its hard to not complain when its all you know, ya know? I mean, I can't complain about what its like in Chicago because I'm not there so I have to complain about what its like here since this is where I am. Did that make sense?

And, as it seems like it happens everyday now, another day, another stabbing. This time two people have been hospitalized by more of Watsonville's idiot youth brigade. I may have to start counting all of the stabbings they report in the paper. Its mind boggling how many there are, really. Last week, five teenagers in a Lexus drove up to Santa Cruz to go find some new meat to stab. They asked some guy out walking with his girlfriend where "the party" was and he said he didn't know, so they got out and stabbed in the neck. Nice, eh?

Of course, most of the stabbing is gang related but not always. Sometimes its just some bored teenagers with nothing better to do than to go out and look for trouble. I was thinking about this the other day and I've got a theory. You see, the town where I live is very agricultural, its the strawberry capital of the universe and there are five or six other fruit/vegetable capitals within a half hour's drive. A very fertile area. Twenty years ago, there were alot more farms and the land wasn't worth even a tenth as much as it is today.

Alot of people had a lot of acres back then and they've suddenly found themselves rather wealthy. These newly rich families generally have kids and, though they have the cash, they don't generally end up going on to college after completing high school. Since they have money, they don't have to work and they end up wasting their time looking for stuff to do. And gangs are something to do and they make you feel tough and cool and important even though a gang is really just a bunch of kids trying to show each other how tough and crazy they are.

Combine no need to work with the generalized angst of being a teen and you end up with idiot stabbers in expensive cars. Its a great mix. It also helps explain the complete lack of manners and the generalized attitude of "fuck off and die" that I feel most of the time I'm there.

Have I mentioned recently how much I dislike the current town I live in? Probably won't be the last time until we are able to sell and relocate to a neighborhood where people aren't quite so openly rude and abrasive to one another.

And the cold really doesn't help people be nicer at all.

But at least we had some good football all weekend, that helps to make everything better.