never forget

California Destroyed By Blustery Day

Gonna have to fly over this a couple more times ....Back when California used to have the nation’s top public schools (instead of the worst) and biggest state park system (instead of locked-gate meth-lab forests) along with lots of good-paying jobs and an entire population of fit, beautiful, tattoo-free people who spent all their time at the uncrowded beaches talking about philosophy or whatever, the “trade off” was that California also had terrible natural disasters. It was the kind of thing that kept a certain demographic (really scared Indiana people, say) from moving out West. “Sounds great,” they’d say, “but I heard there was an earthquake about 10 years ago that killed twenty people, so I’m staying put, where I’ll probably freeze to death in the outhouse tomorrow and never be found.”) Anyway, now the disasters have moved elsewhere. Oklahoma and Virginia get all the earthquakes now, the wildfires went to Texas, New York City attracts all the hurricanes (and asshole mayors), and Californians are reduced to crying about a windy day.

It was quite breezy last night:

Some of the worst winds in years blasted the West overnight, knocking down trees and power lines in California and toppling trucks and forcing some schools to close as gusts reached 102 mph in Utah. The winds left hundreds of thousands of people without power, mainly in California, darkening streets and traffic lights as commuters made their way into work.

“It was a terrifying ride for me, coming here in pitch dark … and watching motorists take no notice of lights being out,” said Bob Spencer, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

Maybe they still managed to turn on their cars’ headlights, Bob! Also, “Utah” is not in California. Yet. But what about the wildfires maybe escaping from Texas and coming back west?

The high winds, combined with low humidity in the mountain regions, will create conditions conductive to fire, the weather service advised.

“If a fire were to get going, there’s very little that would hold it back,” meteorologist Carol Smith.

At least it’s cool and cloudy, Carol! (With a chance of showers tomorrow.)

When the going gets tough, the tough get their boards.After a brief power outage at Los Angeles International Airport, impatient travelers were put on buses and sent out to the secondary airports at the edge of the megalopolis. But by the time one busload of passengers had been driven the hundred miles to Ontario airport, the crisis was over and the bus turned around (in rush hour traffic) to return to LAX. But by then, their plane had flown to Ontario, and … oh for god’s sake.

Meanwhile, some 300,000 households in “the Southland” are without power, because the utility companies still haven’t figured out that intense Santa Ana winds blast into the Los Angeles basin every single year without fail.

On Twitter, meanwhile, everybody is whining about how their cars got crushed by fallen trees. Think of the trees, you selfish jerks.

About the author

A writer and editor of this website from 2006 to early 2012, Ken Layne is occassionally seen on Twitter and writes small books and is already haunting you from beyond (your) grave.

View all articles by Ken Layne
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    1. memzilla

      Another extreme, yet effective Rethuglican solution to illegal immigration? I don't suppose Herman Cain is in town with shovels and alligators, is he?

      1. Barb

        Herman Cain would go anywhere and do anything to keep from doing the one thing he has yet to do…face his wife after that affair story broke.

    2. L188188

      How wonderful! Perhaps you can sell a photo of your state to US Magazine showing off your "snow bump".

    3. Indiepalin

      Yeah. I drove back to SF at lunch and nearly got blown off the road. Those fucking hay trucks north of Bernalillo….

    4. comrad_darkness

      I thought your post said "guts up to 70MPH" and I was thinking, man, I've had some Montezuma's revenge before, but not like that.

  1. LettucePrey

    Um, excuuuse me, but I do believe we are only 49th ahead of Mississippi in every category, ever. Except serial killers.. then we're tied with Iowa for #1. And something something Messicans, also.

    1. Nothingisamiss

      You think you are such hot shit, Lettuce, but Georgia's fixin' to pass the same low down dirty Messican legislation that y'all did.

  2. chascates

    I moved from the Panhandle of Texas to Austin 30 years ago to escape the winds and then moved 50 miles northeast of Austin onto a farm 5 months ago which has even worse winds than the Panhandle.
    I now want to move to the Oregon coast but inland to escape the winds.

    1. 4TheTurnstiles

      Inland from the Oregon Coast? Nothing there but dairy cattle and meth-addled offspring of former loggers. Avoid. Unless you like to get shot while scavenging for mushrooms.

      1. BigDumbRedDog

        Agree. Outside of Portland and a few okay college towns, Oregon is to be avoided at all costs. Even Eastern Oregon is better, basically because absolutely no one lives there.

    2. BaldarTFlagass

      Oh, the realtor didn't tell you that the Greater Waco-Temple-Bryan/College Station Metroplex totally blows?

    3. BerkeleyBear

      Well, Portland is about an hour, hour and a half from the coast (depending on traffic and whether you start in the burbs or downtown). But it gets gray here, and from what I can tell so far stays that way for 6-8 months. And the cold, while not upper MW levels, is enough to make people from Texas feel more than a little chilly.

      1. tessiee

        My standard description of Portland weather:
        The good news is that we have very mild winters.
        The bad news is that they don't end until the Fourth of July.

    4. comrad_darkness

      Look on the bright side . . . um, let's see that would be …
      oh, another 5-10 years home windmills will probably be cost effective.

  3. Native_of_SL_UT

    Here in Utah the big story is the wind, Oh and the guy who got shot in the ass by his dog while duck hunting.

    1. Generation[redacted]

      He's normally a very well behaved dog. In fact, he just graduated from the Dick Cheney Obedience School.

    2. Chichikovovich

      As the newspaper adage says:
      Man shoots dog? Not a story.
      Dog shoots man? Now there's a story.

  4. memzilla

    The winds left hundreds of thousands of people without power…

    The Rethuglicans are called "The Winds" now? Sounds about right.

  5. SheriffRoscoe

    I keep hearing about the winds here in California. Well I just came in from putting up Christmas Holiday lights on my house, and it wasn't all that bad. I've had stronger wind gusts come out my ass, in fact. What the hell?

    1. KeepFnThatChicken

      OT, but I am always fascinated by how prescient Bill Hicks is, despite being dead these 17 years. Your Ambrose Bierce quote, though, is just as stunning in its prophecy… especially since he was a journalist back in them Civil War days.

    2. Ken Layne

      The only cactus you'll see around here is about three feet tall at best, the cholla. There is a hint in the kind of large plant life you'll find in this ecoregion, in the name "Joshua Tree."

      1. OneYieldRegular

        My hiking partner down there in the desert last week found out the hard way about cholla cactus by hanging onto one to keep from falling. She came out of the encounter looking like Sissy Spacek in the prom scene from "Carrie."

  6. bumfug

    The real disaster is the power outage causing gro-lites to go dark and the hydroponic water pumps to stop working, threatening the one industry that still functions here in SoCal.

    1. Biff

      Good lord, I've endured two infestations of grasshoppers in the desert, both times while riding my motorcycle. The highway gets too slippery to ride on, and the state had to send snowplows to clear the roads and spread cinders for traction. Stench, also.

    1. Master Janitor V572

      Are people who dare to go out on the streets wearing knee-high boots and hoodies? That's what they do in San Diego in the "winter."

      1. ShitFilledExistence

        Ha ha–yes. And on our now seemingly annual day of rain, people drive 2 mph. I miss "real" east coast weather… I was just visiting extended family for Thanksgiving in upstate NY and the chilly breeze off Irondequoit Bay was totally invigorating. Then too quickly, I was back on a plane to Shitsville.

  7. SayItWithWookies

    Drivers in California don't stop when they're tooling around at night and they don't see a traffic signal? Please send those nice people to Virginia, 'cause I've been stuck behind idiots on the interstate who seem to hit the brakes every fucking time they don't see a traffic signal.

      1. MilwaukeeKent

        You don't need them, you already know you're turning. — and you know that now those same idiots are driving around armed.

        1. poncho_pilot

          i try not to think about them being armed. the signs up at every bar i've been to keep reminding me about that shit.

  8. skoalrebel

    It's the fuckin' illegals [spit] The giant sucking sound that ol' Ross Perot talked about has become a big ass blow from Mexico. [spit]. I'm gonna write a protest song about it, called "Big Ass Blow from Mexico."

  9. poncho_pilot

    this was always my favorite time of the year…now i'm in Wisconsin and i have yet to see snow this year.

      1. poncho_pilot

        oh? i just checked and we might get snow tonight. i'm glad i didn't look into snow removal as a seasonal job this year.

        of course, in two months i'll be bitching about the snow…but this year i won't be trying to push a truck uphill in the middle of a snow storm.

    1. Negropolis

      Curse you. We got 10 inches on the other side of the lake the other day. Fucking Lake Effect snow. How does it work? We know all too well how it works.

  10. CommieLibunatic

    I heard a guy on NPR earlier calling about the wind damage. Hilariously enough, the caller was listening to the show on a crank-powered radio he got from a fund drive since the power was out.

    Also, too, people seem to forget we live in an arid climate here. Go to some place like Crystal Cove in the dry season, see what it was like here before settlement, and it'll all make sense.

    1. Ken Layne

      That is my favorite place on the SoCal coast. (Much of Camp Pendleton is just like this. When the Marines are finally kicked out, by the anarchist commune that will retake California in 2012, Pendleton is going to be the finest beachfront state park in the world.)

      1. Jukesgrrl

        You're presupposing the 99% will win the war. If the 1% does, Camp Pendleton will be the new San Diego Airport, with very special provisions for landing private jets and a section to hide the drones that will be attacking the hobo camps.

      2. CindynEncinitas

        I used to study at Crystal Cove when I was going to UCI. Fed the squirrels my leftover croissants. Anyway, it's going to take a very, very long time to get all the ordnance out of the ground at Camp Pendelton so, thankfully, it's probably always going to be the 17-mile barrier San Diegans need to feel safe from the horrors of "L.A." L.A. being the entire world north of Camp Pendelton.

  11. Mumbletypeg

    Meanwhile as I listened to NPR driving back from lunch break, the top-o'-the-hours news briefing included updates on Hillz' diplomatic exchange in Burma, voter turnout in Egypt, and capped off with a weird bit about a nervy dry spell occupying Switzerland, to the chagrin of ski bunnies everywhere.
    Just another reason to put my old ski mask to a better use, I'd guess; lemme think…

  12. Guppy

    "Maybe they still managed to turn on their cars’ headlights, Bob!"

    Or maybe he was talking about traffic signals.

  13. Goonemeritus

    Rochester NY lacks even Southern California’s sense of proportion. People think I’m making this up but we get drive time sunny condition warnings in the winter. I guess the feeling is that an unexpected sighting of the sun anytime between Halloween and Mothers day might terrify the natives.

    1. Negropolis

      Whenever I get depressed over a particular stretch of winter snow here in Michigan, I always think of Buffalo and Rochester, and then I quit my fucking pity party, for once. Either that, or I remember the poor folks up in Marquette. Those are some brave souls, up there. When they talk about "snow drift", you ain't seen nothing until an interstate becomes a canyon because the snow banks are so high.

    1. BaldarTFlagass

      Actually, we've been doing something about the weather for the last 150-200 years, but nobody wants to talk about it. Or even admit it.

  14. Master Janitor V572

    One sure sign of advancing age is an excessive interest in the weather, and bitter complaints about the inaccuracy of forecasts. Just sayin, Ken.

    1. Native_of_SL_UT

      A friend of mine went to Wyoming once to visit his sister. He crashed an ATV into a tree. His sister was pissed he crashed into the states only tree.

  15. Mumbletypeg

    Sometimes you're better off flat
    There's a gale in the air and it's blown off your hat
    It's nature gone mad; too unstable'
    Kicking down chairs and knocking down tables
    In a bistro/ In a West Coast town
    Call the police/ There's an anomaly around
    Ripping 'round/ overground
    Terrorizing drivers in a West Coast town ♪ ♫

  16. coolhandnuke

    Despite the gale force winds battering the region, the California Surfing Association still held their Ministry of Silly Surfing Walks competition.

  17. Nopantsmcgee

    I'm a backwoods dumbass hick that lives in Michigan, Ken, and our outhouses are heated, TYVM

    And I think Michigan has some other features that the desert states will figure out and pine for eventually.

    1. Negropolis

      All our waters are belong to us! You'll get a drink when you pry it from our cold, quenching, teeming waters.

  18. Joshua Norton

    I live up on breezy (usually) Twin Peaks in San Francisco and hung my outside garlands, wreaths and lights over the weekend and they're still all there in good condition.

    And they'd damn well better stay that way if the weather gods know what's good for them!!!1!11!!

    1. SorosBot

      Twin Peaks isn't in San Francisco; it's in Northern Washington, near the Canadian border and somewhere near the mysterious Black Lodge out in the woods.

  19. Terry

    "Back when California used to have the nation’s top public schools (instead of the worst) and biggest state park system (instead of locked-gate meth-lab forests) along with lots of good-paying jobs and an entire population of fit, beautiful, tattoo-free people who spent all their time at the uncrowded beaches talking about philosophy or whatever,…"

    Remember that California's problems aren't just from the economic down turn. They have done some truly crazy things with their property taxes, among other things.

  20. Joshua Norton

    "the utility companies still haven’t figured out that intense Santa Ana winds blast into the Los Angeles basin every single year without fail."

    There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge. ”

    —Raymond Chandler, "Red Wind"

    Best. Description. Evah!

  21. L188188

    Have you noticed how there is one or another weather or environmental event about every 2 weeks lately that is described as "the worst in years" or "a 100 year event"? When they come as regularly as they seem to be, not only must we get ready for our post-apocalyptic hell but we must also reset the odometers on our descriptive phrases.. what a hassle.

  22. OneYieldRegular

    Did the Desert Hills outlet mall blow apart? That would be a sure sign of God's existence.

  23. Extemporanus

    California's terrible natural disasters are the main reason why this really scared Indiana person manifested their destiny out West in the first place.

    If I'm to die a horrible death, I'd much rather it be whilst fuckin' models on the edge of a continent than suckin' on chili dogs outside the Tastee Freez.

  24. comrad_darkness

    It's cold enough here in my shack I have to wear a sweater.

    I sound like Pete Hoekstra . . . Let's see, now I know what the Donner Party went through…

  25. Callyson

    My dog freaked out over the wind, so I did not sleep well last night, otherwise not a big deal except for tree branches. But it must suck much to be a homeless Angeleno right now…

  26. JackObin

    Actually, and ironically, California was destroyed by two horrible actors. One Ronnie Raygun, and one Austrian whose name I can't spell.

  27. fletc3her

    Wait until the environmentalists reveal that all those "wind farms" are actually giant fans. We'll see how windy it is then. We'll just see.

  28. ShaveTheWhales

    It's a bit windy here near Yosemite, too. I'd say gusting to 40 or 50 mph. Strangely, we haven't had a power outage y

  29. ttommyunger

    My wife read this article and sniffed: " California? Wind? They ought to try sharing a bed with ttommy!" Hint- Her favorite song is: "He is the Wind Beneath My Sheets."

  30. Wonderthing

    I was going to count all the "California blows" comments or variations thereon but I can't count to infinity.

  31. datateday

    George W. Bush must be sad that he's no longer presiding over all of the destruction. Maybe he can live through Jeb Bush when it's his turn to reign?!?

  32. DesertDingo

    Hey, for serious, the big pile of crap I had in my front yard is now spread all over the entire yard. We could be without internet or power at home for days and I'm stuck here at the office debating whether to drive to a dark house and eat the chocolate ice cream that risks thawing in the freezer.

  33. tessiee

    Is idiot boy bush cowering in his seat because he's looking out the window at a gremlin perched on the wing?

  34. Negropolis

    Indiana Libel!

    I can't believe I said that. While it may be the Mississippi of the Great Lakes, the New Jersey of Chicago, what it doesn't have to worry about is being torn bodily assunder by the movement of the earth any time soon.

  35. HobbesEvilTwin

    Give 'em a break, Layne: no one could have anticipated that the Santa Ana winds would knock down power lines. Just ask Condi.

  36. Limeylizzie

    I was flying into LAX in crazy high winds yesterday, I was making audible whimpering noises as we were landing, and not in a good way.

  37. LetUsBray

    In LA everyone knows that too, but they also think they're being all clever by sneaking through behind the car ahead of them taking its turn. Or that car, plus the clever sneak behind it.

  38. poncho_pilot

    isn't Houston at like 15 degree slope above sea level or something? when i lived north of Houston several years ago there was some massive flooding one year. also the biggest pothole i have ever seen. it looked someone fired a cruise missile at Westheimer.

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