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-8C on the way to work today. It’s getting colder! Hard to believe it was in the teens (C) last week. I like the Celsius scale.  I think this year I am going to try to internalize it, so I can walk outside and say — this feels like 10C (50F), or 20C (68F), or 30C (86F). It’ll help if I ever move to Canada. I still have trouble, though, thinking of kilometers as anything more than second-hand miles.

The metric system was the favorite target of the right-wings in the 70s (the 21s in Celsius years) when Jimmy Carter thought it would be a cool idea if the US used the same scale of measurement as the rest of the world. People were in an uproar. They didn’t want to be forced to buy 0.4545 (repeating) kilograms of hamburger! They would need a calculator to go to the store! How could hens lay 1.2 eggs!?! It was against nature.

So we ended up with 2 liter bottles of soda and not much else. Well, since it’s expensive to make cars for the American market ONE way and for everyone else another, that all changed too (but shhhh!). Nonetheless, it’s thanks to cars and the 10mm box wrench Dad gave me once that I know how big a centimeter is without using the 10cm = 4in formula.

It’s Feb 29th today (Feb -1.666 in Celsius days), the leap day. It is 24 years ago to the day that Li and I left New England for California. We spent the first night at the Marin County home of Jo and Charlie Kellner, a couple we had met via a role-playing game on an old timesharing system called Compuserve. The transition from cold, drab, winter New Hampshire to the warm, idyllic fantasy land of Marin County was breathtaking. In the morning fighting cold winter traffic to Logan Airport. In the evening, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge with the windows open.

The next day we drove down to Monterey to begin our new lives. A place even MORE beautiful than Marin County. Don’t let people visit Northern California in the winter if you expect them to come back to New England. We didn’t. Even now, Li refuses to return, even though all her family is here. It’s just too hard to return to New England weather. People in California asked me how I could leave San Diego (warm and sunny and full of flowers at this very moment; the grass really is greener) for New England? People in New England ask how I could leave San Diego for New England?

It just feels more like home. Though I have been seeing some jobs in Los Gatos… that’s a ritzy community at the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Jose on Highway 17, Allyson’s favorite road. It was guaranteed to make her carsick. We used to stop at the very top to let her catch her breath. One one side, a fruit stand. On the other, the Cloud 9 restaurant, supposedly where Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak got the name for his startup that made universal remote controls.

Last week we had some good 10C days, and I thought spring had finally come., but New England still had some surprises for us. More on that later.



  1. Well, the benefit to having a cold winter is you appreciate the warm spring and summer all the more. And once you are tired of feeling hot from the summer heat – fall comes to cool you off with the crisp air. Winter has it’s moments of being good – though days like this make those things hard to remember. lol

  2. Well I wouldn’t mind the cold as much as I mind the summer, definitely. I’m sure I would hate it, but 3-4 months of freezing temps is not as bad as 7-8 months of sweltering misery. There are no seasons in southern California, just a climate: hot, dry and expensive!

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