Saturday, December 26, 2009

LAX 2 RDM After Xmas

Mrs Elliott and I got back from SoCal last night. The flight from LAX to RDM was not promised to be able to land due to the fog. They said that it might have to pull up and head to Eugene, and if Eugene was also socked in, then to Portland. We were offered a direct flight to Portland as an alternative.

Neither option looked very promising in terms of getting home easily, quickly, and inexpensively. We decided to take our chances and stuck to the flight as booked, and by the time the plane got to Redmond, the the fog had obligingly lifted off the ground sufficiently high that the pilot could see the landing markers and land the crate.

At LAX a child was made unhappy by her mother's decision to return to their Los Angeles home rather than try to fly to Grandma's house in Bend for Christmas. Another couple were distressed that their holiday plans had been cut short due to burst water pipes in their Bend home, and that they would be delayed getting back. A few chose the sure bet of Portland.

Anyway, when we got back, we found that Santa had brought Mrs Elliott a pair of cross-country skis and ski poles. He also managed to find some elves (at the Wagner Mall) to patch up her old favorite pair of Uggs.

I got some nice Orvis wool sweaters ("for your Friday nights out," suggests Mrs. Claus) and a swell bedside clock that projects the time and inside and outside temperatures onto the ceiling. It also sets itself, having a tiny radio receiver inside that picks up time signals that originate from a highly-accurate cesium clock located in a secure government facility at an undisclosed location. If I ever find that thing blinking 12:00 then I reckon I have more important things to worry about than what time it is.

Looking at the hoar frost on the trees outside the window right now, I'm thankful I live in such a beautiful place (click on the picture to see a larger view - taken from Galveston bridge over Deschutes river, it's a color picture).

L.A. was crowded, noisy, dirty, and not attractive. The receptionist at the hotel apologized for the cold weather. It was about 68 degrees. There's a reason they make Santa-themed tropical shirts.


  1. Okay, the frost on the trees is pretty, but the endless grayness gets damn depressing.

    You say you don't like the weather in SoCal because it's monotonous. I'd rather have 12 months a year of monotonous good weather than eight months a year of monotonous shitty weather.

  2. See

  3. Yeah, that's the coastal fog phenomenon typical of most of California. My wife and I experienced it when we lived in the Bay Area. It almost always would burn off before noon, except right at the coast. And the further inland you'd go the less of it you'd get.

    Also, it wasn't cold.

    No comparison with Bend's prolonged inversion/freezing fog episodes. I guess the closest thing California has to them is the notorious Sacramento winter tule fog.

  4. Right -- we did live on the coast and the heavy marine layer* frequently persisted 24 hours a day for weeks on end with no break. It may be warm relative to here, but it's damp: tools rusted, everything exposed stayed pretty much wet all the time; and, unlike the scene outside our window right now, with its snow-dusted trees looking sublimely pale and delicate like a platinum print from days gone by, SoCal stucco and chainlink fences just look gloomy and grimy under the coastal muck.

    You can compensate for cold with clothing. Nothing can be done about wet and ugly.
    *Bonus joke: What do you call an overweight Oceanside hooker? A heavy marine layer.

    (Oceanside, Calif., is just outside the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.)

  5. "the heavy marine layer* frequently persisted 24 hours a day for weeks on end with no break."

    Yeah, that would be hard to take. I remember reading that in the old days residents of Mendocino (or those who could afford it) used to spend the summers inland to escape the perpetual fog.

    Of course the Oregon coast is foggy for long stretches too. The Lewis & Clark expedition spent a winter camped in Astoria and almost went crazy because of the unending fog and drizzle.

    "You can compensate for cold with clothing."

    You can ENDURE the cold with heavy clothing but you can't really "compensate" for it. No amount of clothing provides sunshine.

    "Nothing can be done about wet and ugly."

    We get wet and ugly here too. It's called "spring."


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