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Daddyjt

What I’ve learned living in California for a couple months.

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First, the disclaimers - this is NOT a commentary on any one individual, nor is it a political discussion. This is simply a summation of my experience “living with the enemy” (JK).  It’s just a collection of thoughts, and how my mind has been changed a bit. 

 

As many of you know, my new job has me working away from home for 6-16 weeks at a time, with no trips home, and no days off. Hotel living, rental cars, and eating out - what I thought was the ideal life when I was in my ‘20s.  My, how little I knew...

 

My first assignment sent me straight into the “belly of the beast” - California.  A little history: As most of you also know, I’m fairly (sic) conservative, and have lived most of my life in the wide-open spaces of Montana and Utah.  I have always viewed California as the embodiment of everything that’s wrong with the country, So when I learned I would be living there for 4 months, I was less than pleased. 

 

The first thing I noticed (right away) is just how expensive it is to live here - as I type this, gas is between $3.59 and $4.29 a gallon, depending on where you buy and how you pay. Ouch. $2.39 back home in UT.  Oh, and if you’re going between greater LA and SF, fill up before you leave. Gas on I-5 between the two cities is the highest in the state. Hotels are expensive, rental cars are expensive, food (except produce and dairy) is expensive - I have a new level of respect for people that reside here.  About the only thing I’ve found that cheap is liquor - cheapest I’ve ever seen....

 

The second thing I realized right away, is that I drive like a jackass. Seriously, the drivers here are very polite. I’ve driven extensively in UT, MT, ID, CO, WA, NV, WY, AZ, OR, and now CA.  California has BY FAR, to most polite drivers. They do not speed up to cut you off when your lane ends, they don’t fight you when you’re trying to merge onto the freeway, and they readily let you out into traffic from parking lots. I’m going to get eaten alive when I return home. This is NOT a commentary on traffic, for that...

 

Traffic. Yea. You all as my witness, I will NEVER complain about traffic again. EVER. There is no “rush hour” here - it’s jammed up all day, every day.  I’ve hit traffic at 6am, and 10pm - it doesn’t matter. I can’t tell you how demoralizing it is to put an address into your gps and see “37 miles, 2 hours 20 minutes”. Really??  Yup. This HAS lead me to see a lot more of the state and cities, as I’ll almost always take the “avoids traffic” option on the gps, as I’d rather drive a bit longer time-wise and actually be MOVING, vs a slightly quicker trip that has me in stop and go traffic. Surface streets offer a way more engaging view. A word on gps - I’d be LOST over here without it. Greater LA has over forty (40) freeways/highways. Literally. Even with gps, a full-time navigator would be a welcome addition.

 

One of the biggest sacrifices for me over here has been the fact that I am un-armed.  I’m an avid shooter, CCW permit holder, and I take self defense seriously.  I always have a firearm in my vehicle back home, However, I am NOT dumb enough to carry in CA.  Even with that, I’ve only felt unsafe in two areas over here - Inglewood and Compton. 

 

My favorite areas here thus far have been Carlsbad (everything a beach town should be), Sunnyvale (South Bay), and pretty much the entire San Joaquin Valley (Bakersfield north to Fresno - probably because it’s so rural, lol).  Oh, and of course Tim’s house - it was great getting together with @PhilDent , and we’ll be doing it a couple more times before I leave (I hope - Tim won’t answer the phone, since the Silver 9t amps showed up...)

 

So to summarize this blather, California isn’t the devil I always thought it was. I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I have had to live amongst the people here, experience the culture, and broaden my mind and understanding. 

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23 minutes ago, Daddyjt said:

Even with gps, a full-time navigator would be a welcome addition.

For me when visiting southern California gps AND a navigator and I still get lost. But I get pissed at our rush 15 min. where i actually have to slow down to the speed limit .....

Thanks Mark good read 😀 

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California, jagged coast and sandy beach, giant primordial forest, alpine wilderness, high desert, southwest desert, grassy plains, scrub country, rolling hills, mesas and canyons, badlands, salt flats, skyscrapers and quaint little towns, cowboys, Indians, rednecks, gays and anything else you can think of. Oh yes, and palm trees. 

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4 hours ago, Daddyjt said:

(I hope - Tim won’t answer the phone, since the Silver 9t amps showed up...)

Was I that obvious?  After I auditioned the Silver 9t amps, I did secretly wonder if there was a possibility that you might forget where I live. 😉

Seriously, I'm looking forward to your next visit. Last time we focused mainly on multi-channel content. This time I'd like to focus on Stereo music. Using a BillD C-1 I'd like to do an amp shoot-out with my M500tmkii's, TFM-45 and your Silver 9t monoblocks, paired with the NHT 2.5i speakers and listen for the winning combination. 

Also, the wifey and I would love to fix you a home cooked meal this time. 

Great write-up on California. I'm glad that it wasn't as evil as you anticipated.  I enjoyed reading your observations.

Now I've got to get back to listening to the Silver 9ts. I've been averaging about 2 hours a night. |-|

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8 hours ago, Daddyjt said:

My favorite areas here thus far have been Carlsbad (everything a beach town should be), Sunnyvale (South Bay)

Thanks for the nice write up. During the 2000-2010 decade, I spent significant time in Carlsbad/Encinitas as well as Sunnyvale. Carlsbad is a wonderful area with the ocean and laid back lifestyle. Curious what you like about Sunnyvale? Maybe that's where Tim lives? To me there's nothing there except technology companies ..... maybe I didn't explore enough?

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Lived in Sunnyvale for 40 years.  Witnessed a LOT of changes.  Great city, close to everything.  Now in Scottsdale for 2 years.  A few observations.

 

- I believe there are two kinds of drivers in California.  The polite, careful driver and the dead driver.  Natural selection at work.

- They are nuts in Scottsdale.  Speeding.  Cutting you off.  Passing on the right.  Often in Bentleys, Ferraris, and McLarens.  Red lights?  Just a suggestion.  

- Horrific, deadly crashes are weekly occurrences.  Speed, left turns and red lights are the root cause.  Nobody bothers to enforce the laws.

- Everybody moans about the Scottsdale rush hour.  More like the rush minute.

- Living in CA for so long I became color blind.  Honestly didn't notice what color anybody was.  Seems strange here with almost no colored faces.

 

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@Daddyjt, I wish the body were capable of the nomadic life for longer. I loved that lifestyle, on a global scale, for a couple decades. The internal mind's drive to see and experience other's cultures runs deep - the body seems to grow weary, and unable to keep up.  Your observation of things/people in CA reminds me of the revelation of people and places I visited in China, Korea and the Middle East.  Revelations you can't get from watching TV, or listening to politicians.

 

I lived in Marin for 16 years (North end of the Golden Gate Bridge). All the press we see in the other 49 states (yes, I'm generalizing to make my point..., sorry), and even the rhetoric of politicians about "Californians" is mostly wrong.  My kids were born at Marin General and were baptized and went to Sunday school in our Lutheran Church there.  The roots of conservatives run deep - you just don't hear about it in the news.  The street I lived on had 80% WWII veterans, or next-gen after - we still keep in touch.  The "real people" lay low and exist, the "wild and crazy" get written up about in the press creating the wrong impression.  Just sayin' my experience in CA was all good. 

 

Have to have my head examined on why I moved back to where I grew up in IL..., where the governors go to jail for corruption, and get commuted sentences, and show no humility or remorse for crime... - yea, I'm ready to move!

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Great read Mark! I've had the pleasure of driving across your beautiful country a few times and agree that Californian drivers are among the most polite! Actually, outside of New York City most American drivers have been pretty good.

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19 hours ago, jeffs said:

...Curious what you like about Sunnyvale? Maybe that's where Tim lives? To me there's nothing there except technology companies ..... maybe I didn't explore enough?

 

I like Sunnyvale because it’s sort of an “oasis” in the Bay Area. It has everything that I need, but it’s a nice break from the big city experience. It also happens to be pretty centrally located between the four stores I’m overseeing in the Bay Area (San Mateo, Milpitas, Pleasanton, and Walnut Creek).  Now if I could only find that “oasis” in the LA area... Pasadena is the closest thing I’ve found down there...

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19 hours ago, Daddyjt said:

 

... Pasadena is the closest thing I’ve found down there...

Thanks for the props to my home town.

 

I traveled extensively for the first decade of my career, much of it international.  I slowly realized that I live in the best country in the world, and in a particularly nice part of that country.  Yes, the cost of living is high.  Yes, the traffic sucks big time.  But that is just a consequence of a great amount of people that want to live here.

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Another interesting thing that people notice when they come here is they will ask how far it is to get somewhere. People here will not answer with a distance, but with a time duration.  Distance is useless; if you need to go over the pass on the 405, those 5 miles will usually take 1/2 hour even late at night.

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I too, grew up in a small town environment, i.e. Wyoming. At 28, I was forced by the company to move to Tucson, AZ. Now it wasn't bad, mind you, but there are places that I'd rather be. I did learn just how narrow minded I was though. 17 years later, I moved to a small mining town near the border of Mexico. Sounds quaint, doesn't it? The first year there were 9 extremely vicious murders. The town was beyond liberal, but I knew that I was there, Not to change the town, but to survive, and learn the little beauty that was left. In short, I still dream about that little town in a good way. This year, I plan to visit it again after 15 years away. 

 Whatever we think is right hasn't always been the truth. It is changed by the perspective that we move to, and not the perspective that we came from.

 

 I am glad that you have the opportunity to see this perspective. It will stay with you forever.

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I've found that most places that you view as "the enemy" as you put it, take on a very different perspective when the view is from the inside.  We can come to adapt a lot more readily than we think.  Most people have a very proper penchant for finding the good in places and especially people.

 

I'm about as resistant to moving or changing as you can get (I can easily aspire to becoming a hermit - curling up in my home with the music on, and a cat on my lap, and never looking out the window has tremendous appeal), but I've found that getting pushed out of my comfort zone has the same effect as Mark experienced.  Glad to see you got to see the other side for a bit.  That will have a lasting, positive effect on you, and your whole family.  We should all be so lucky to have such opportunities.  🙂

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Ive lived in ca my whole life. Very different today than it was growing up. I’m convinced it is the worst place in the nation to live. The people are disgusting, rude, stupid, they drive like shit. The cost of living and fuel is outrageous and there are few old fasion type people here. Our government is corrupt and tax the shit out of us. I can go on for hours. 

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Posted (edited)
On 2/21/2020 at 12:58 AM, PMAT said:

California, jagged coast and sandy beach, giant primordial forest, alpine wilderness, high desert, southwest desert, grassy plains, scrub country, rolling hills, mesas and canyons, badlands, salt flats, skyscrapers and quaint little towns, cowboys, Indians, rednecks, gays and anything else you can think of. Oh yes, and palm trees. 

Sounds great .... except for the 45 million people.

I enjoyed living in CA in the mid-to-late '80s. Yes, traffic was bad even then, but I enjoyed the experience as a relatively young man. I visited for 4 months in Burbank, 3 years ago (for physical therapy.) I wouldn't want to live there today.

 

Like Aj and others, I also was a nomad for years, living in hotels, eating in restaurants, and enjoyed it immensely. Even today I long to go to Australia again and camp my way from coast to coast, and winery to winery.  The weather and scenery of CA without the crowds.

Edited by iamjohngalt
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Wopalop420 said:

Ive lived in ca my whole life. Very different today than it was growing up. I’m convinced it is the worst place in the nation to live. The people are disgusting, rude, stupid, they drive like shit. The cost of living and fuel is outrageous and there are few old fasion type people here. Our government is corrupt and tax the shit out of us. I can go on for hours. 

 

One would wonder why you stay?  I am the last person that would defend the political leanings of California government officials, however there is still plenty of good about the state. I found most of the people pleasant, and based on my (somewhat) extensive driving experience, I found the drivers quite good, as a whole.

Edited by Daddyjt
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6 hours ago, Daddyjt said:

I found most of the people pleasant, and based on my (somewhat) extensive driving experience, I found the drivers quite good, as a whole.

 

My experience travelling in California was very similar to yours Mark. I was there in 2002, riding a Harley, and I drove through Los Angeles County at rush hour. It never occurred to me that I could "ride the stripe," but even so, traffic was slow, but steady, and I was never cut off, overlooked, flipped off, and I never had the urge to flip someone off. It was like they were practicing for 'social-distancing' 18 years in advance. It was quite a pleasant change from riding here in SW MO.

 

Kansas City and Dallas-Fort Worth on the other hand, prolly Washington DC too...

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When dealing with people, I subscribe to the concept of Hanlon’s Razor.

 

to paraphrase Tim Ferris...

“Hanlon’s Razor states that we should not attribute to malice that which is more easily explained by stupidity, or incompetence. In a complex world, this principle helps us avoid extreme paranoia and ideology (often very hard to escape from); by not generally assuming that bad results are the fault of a bad actor (although they can be) it is more likely that a mistake has been made.”

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