a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Today in California

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Today in California

SUMMARY: Tidbits and updates of a random nature.

By late yesterday afternoon, the clouds had largely cleared away in my area, treating me to a hopeful sunset marked only by one stubborn phalanx of clouds hovering in the west.

To the east, I finally caught a glimpse of Mt. Hamilton, which has been rumored to be ensnowed for the last couple of weeks, as the sky faded through pale pink, to purple, to night.

But it was short-lived; although not rainy today in my part of the bay area, I haven't seen a molecule of sunlight all day. And it has dropped once again to temperatures reminding us that it's a straight shot down the pacific coast from Alaska to California; was still hovering around 39 when I popped Tika into the car this morning and not much warmer now. It smells like impending snow to me, but that just might be my nostrils freezing.

Even the joggers--usually clad in running shorts in the least clement weather--were out in gloves and hats today. I wasn't even sure that Californians even OWNED gloves and hats. I know for sure that no one outside of the rural counties possesses anything like galoshes or rubbers (for shoes, come on now).

In any case, what I'm trying to say is that I'm NOT going to sleep in the back of my van this weekend in this weather, even with two layers of down and a couple of 45-pound furred heat engines. Guess I need to call the hotel(s). There goes another $100.

On my drive, I passed a truck for the Pet Butler--"picking up where your dog left off"--I'd say "only in California" but apparently not.

Filled up the tank in my Toyota Sienna today at $3.09/gallon--not bad; the cheapest it's been since mid-October, when it surged suddenly from the $2.90 range well up into the $3-plus stratosphere. Good thing I get 23 mpg. Wish I got better. Good thing I telecommute. (Definition: "Blog all day and then work at night, cursing about not having worked during the day.")

Last month's PG&E bill was miserable, too--$350! And I use compact fluorescents; the furnace is on a set-back thermostat and isn't even on most of the day or night and is set for 66 from 6:30-10 in the morning and 6:30-10 at night. So I bumped it down to 65 and changed the 10:00s to 9:45s. AND I turned off my hot tub. We're talking real hardship, here; I mean, this IS California.

But then I also bought this little beauty that I've had my eye on for a while--only $18 plus postage on ebay, new. Have already started plugging things into it to see how many kwh they suck out of the grid. I'm hoping that I'll learn something new by doing this and can save myself even more.

Or else maybe it'll get warm again.

Meanwhile, of course, we'll have to satisfy our longing for summer with:

Mr. Chia Head!

His hair is light-starved, so I set him with his back to the window this morning, ergo on Day 7 he now sports that back-swept Isadora Duncan look, except without the bulging eyes and protruding tongue--oh, well, without the tongue, anyway.


  1. Lucky you! I've been looking at that EXACT product (Kill-A-Watt), but couldn't justify the cost (it would take quite a few kw to make back the price tag). Maybe I should look on ebay too!