Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hello? Anyone home?

Well, no. I'm on vacation at the moment, in Santa Barbara. One of the most notable things is the weather, which is darn near perfect year-round. Today it's a little foggy and 71, while yesterday (Ooh, temperature extremes!) it was probably up near 80. While this is a very welcome change from Colorado (where it's been in the low 90's) and AZ where it's about like you'd imagine, this small range of temps makes people's comfort zones more narrow. We saw some old friends of CB's yesterday, and the woman was remarking how it was so hot.

It's all relative, for sure, but I wouldn't mind logging some time here at some point, for the climate, if nothing else. It seems to calm everyone down in a general sort of way. Although there are other stressors like lots of people, housing prices (OMG) and traffic. Speaking of housing prices, a little cottage around here at the height of the boom went for about 700K. With the housing slump now you can get that 2 bed 1 bath house for a much more reasonable 600K. Ouch. At the other extremes, my sister-in-law Mary says how we can all congregate in northern MN when society breaks down, but I'm not sure I can hack the -40 degree winter nights.

The whale watching trip was incredible and I'll write about it more in the very near future. If you ever get the chance to go on the Condor Express out of Santa Barbara, do it. We were 26 (nautical) miles out and it didn't take forever to get to where the whales were. We saw between 10-20 blue whales and I was able to get a sense of their immense size. We saw two whales that had radio-telemetry tags on them, that had just been tagged that week by folks at Oregon State. We also saw close to 1000 common dolphin and a couple of Minke whales. Pelagic birds too.

Good stuff.

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Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.