Good morning and greetings, warm weather fans. Well, who doesn’t love summer weather in January? According to Diana Ross, so far this month we’ve had no wind, no rain nor winter’s cold. And you readers know I need to follow the sun wherever it leads, because ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough and ain’t no river wide enough to keep me from writing my weekly declaration of codependence.
So how dry has it been here on the central coast? Well, as they say in Rick Perry country, it’s been so dry the trees are bribing the dogs. Not a drop of rain has fallen in the month of January, although rumor has it that both some moisture and the NFC championship game between the Giants and 49ers are headed our way this week.
Well, thanks to some research by Jennifer Pasko of the Sentinel, here’s some facts about our lack of precipitation on the central coast.
Folks weren’t exactly dodging the rain drops last month either, as according to the National Weather Service and the banana palms in my back yard, it was Santa Cruz’s second driest December on record. These recordings date back to 1893, right around the birth of John McCain, the man who had the vision and foreskin, er foresight to bring the world Sarah Palin.
A total of 0.13 inches of rain fell from the sky in December, as compared to almost 10 inches that dropped in 2010. Up the coast in the Bay Area, they have been keeping rainfall records that go back to the Gold Rush, which is coincidentally the last time the Oakland A’s made a good trade. For 49er fans in San Francisco, who are still rejoicing today, it was the third driest December since 1849, when chow fun was first spotted in the city’s finer Chinese dining establishments.
Until then it was just lo mein and chow mein, but then the floodgates opened and all kinds of appetizers like crab rangoon and shrimp rolls broke loose. In the two drier Decembers, not a drop of rain fell, which would indicate the fog was also out to lunch, which comes with egg drop soup, steamed rice, crispy egg roll and a fortune cookie.
Moving along, in the midwest and Great Plains, the first week of 2012 brought temperatures nearly 40 degrees higher than average. Thermometers were busier than my two TiVo recording systems as 473 high temperature records were set on January 6. As Brad Johnson at Think Progress Green put it, “Fueled by billions of tons of greenhouse pollution, a surge of record warmth flooded the United States, shattering records and CDs from southern California to North Dakota.” Meanwhile, it was 10 degrees in New York that same week, but Derek Jeter was in Paris with Minka Kelly so there was no need to worry.
Every major city in North and South Dakota set records for the date, of which many were shattered by sixteen degrees of Kevin Bacon or more. To put it in perspective, on this balmy January day, it was four degrees warmer in Rapid City, South Dakota than it was in Miami, Florida. Holy Dwyane Wade, Batman.
Now I admit I’ve never been to this midwest tropical paradise known as the Dakotas in January, but I know what it’s like sitting in a meat locker watching the golf channel. The ground is normally more frozen than Joan River’s smile. Believe me, there’s a reason they call it the Badlands.
This same record heat produced the first 60° temperatures ever recorded in Minnesota during the first week of January. We’re talking about an area colder than Mrs. Herman Cain after hubby arrived home from his failed presidential wanderings. Things got so bad in Viking country that they had to cancel a midnight snowshoe hike because there was no snow. I hate when that happens.
But according to Brad Johnson, there is a downside to this heat wave that has me crying and tearing me apart. Although schoolchildren are dancing in the streets, this breakdown of normal seasons threatens serious economic disruption. The total lack of snowcover in the Dakotas means that wildland fires are much more likely and the seasonally cold air following this surge of heat will severely damage the winter crops that are usually protected by at least 3 inches of snow at this time of year.
And then there is the cancellation of one of my favorite fall shows, “Prime Suspect” on NBC. Sure, the program’s name was misleading, but I love the cast, starring Maria Bello as Detective Jane Timini. Actually, this has nothing to do with the heat wave, I just wanted to rant a little bit.
For today’s photo sweepstakes, we are journeying back to the last images recorded before my camera lens decided to take a sabbatical, which would be the morning of December 29th. And it was a sunrise that I won’t soon forget, as it was low tide and I wanted to capture as much of the brilliant reflection from the clouds as possible, because that’s the way I egg roll.
In my effort to get total reflection, I edged out into the water, and before you could say, “Remember the Titanic,” a wave hit me. As I backstroked towards dry land, my zoom lens dove out of my pocket and went for a swim. “No, no, no.” But it was yes, yes, yes, as it turns out, lenses and salt water really don’t mix. Thus, another memorable chapter in the annals of Sunrise Santa Cruz was in the books. Or should I say the Pacific?
On to some fresh late night. “Congratulations to Mitt Romney. He won the New Hampshire primary last night. See, this is proof that even the multimillionaire son of a multimillionaire can beat the odds and run for president of the United States.” –Jay Leno “Seventy-six percent of people polled thought that Mitt was short for mittens. I’d vote for him if his name was Mittens Romney. Other nations would fear us for being so adorable.” –Craig Ferguson “I’m having trouble warming up to Mitt Romney. He looks like the guy in the restaurant that comes to your table to make sure everything’s all right.” –David Letterman
“Fidel Castro posted a blog entry this week titled ‘The Best President.’ Castro thinks a robot would do a better job than President Obama. And if Mitt Romney wins, that could happen.” –Jimmy Kimmel “With all due respect, Castro, we tried the robot thing here in California. And it didn’t work out. I came up with a great slogan for Romney. “It’s time to Mitt or get off the pot.” –Jimmy Kimmel
“During the debates I drank a shot every time I heard the word ‘contraception.’ I was more wasted than a contribution to Jon Huntsman.” –Stephen Colbert “Jon Huntsman is surging in New Hampshire. And it lasts longer than four hours, he’d better call a doctor.” –David Letterman “During the GOP debate on Saturday night, Jon Huntsman spoke Chinese. Not to be outdone during the debate, Newt Gingrich ate Chinese.” –Conan O’Brien
“You know the difference between Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Tim Tebow? When God tells Tim Tebow to run, he wins. “Even though Rick Perry came in fifth, he is not quitting. He said it’s on to South Carolina. And then today, he said, ‘Which way is that?’” –Jay Leno “Presidential candidate Rick Santorum is under fire for a remark he made in Iowa about black people. The remark has sparked outrage among Iowa’s black community, otherwise known as Steve.” –Conan O’Brien
David Letterman’s “Top Five Ways Kim Jong Un Celebrated His Birthday”
5. Enjoyed ice cream made by Kim Jong Ben and Kim Jong Jerry
4. After seeing how good Charles Barkley looks, joined Weight Watchers
3. Nice quiet dinner with a few close human shields
2. Treated himself to a deep-tissue jowl massage
1. Executed his pastry chef for using those trick birthday candles
So another weekend of NFL playoffs is now history. I hope you caught the Saints-49ers game on Saturday, as the end of that contest was as fantabulous as it gets. And on Sunday, it was a New York Giants shocker as they upset Aaron Rodgers and the Super Bowl champion Packers in a game that if I didn’t see it, I wouldn’t have believed it. Unlike courtroom proceedings, the Giant’s defense never rested.
So enjoy Dr. King’s birthday and perhaps take a moment to reflect on the greatness, vision and courage of this man. We’ll catch you coming up huge in the biggest game of your life. Aloha, mahalo and later, Alex Smith fans.