Geoff Gilbert's Blog: There's Something Cold, Something New

Sunset on West Cliff Drive
Sunset on West Cliff Drive

--by Geoff Gilbert

Good morning and greetings, December fans. Well, there was a bit of a change in the weather last week, as the temperature dropped below freezing. How cold was it? I spent most of last week walking around with a toaster in my shorts.

Now I don't want to say that it's cold in my house, but I actually go outside to warm up. It's an igloo with central heating. The furnace barely makes a dent in heating the frozen tundra which is our downstairs. It was so cold last week that I had to salt the hallway. I shouldn't be able to hear my breath.

The fun continued. When I turned on the shower I got hail. My daughter's new rabbit tried to hop in bed with me. I had to put on skates to go to the bathroom at night. I tried to take the garbage out but it didn't want to go.

When I came downstairs Thursday morning, I looked at the thermometer and it read "ouch." If that thermometer had been an inch longer I might have frozen to death. I turned on my computer to check the local temperature and it was 26 degrees. That's a bit cool for a Mediterranean climate. I looked outside and saw Smoky the Bear grab a box of matches and run shivering into the woods. The mailman came by, I told him to watch out for polar bears.

I got in my car and started it by yelling "mush." I would have been better off driving a zamboni. It was so cold I chipped my tooth on some soup. So I headed over to Starbucks where they wear serving coffee on a stick. The line was too long, so I drove over to Costco, where kids were fighting for turns on the rotisserie.

There was a politician standing out in front of the store who actually had his hand in his own pocket. The store was crowded and pickpockets were sticking their hands in stranger's pockets just to keep warm. After I left the store I saw a hitchhiker holding a picture of his thumb and a sign that read, "Anywhere above 40 degrees." Yes, the morning was a bit chilly.

So how cold was it last Wednesday? Well, icy air sweeping down from the arctic helped Oakland set a new record low of 33 degrees. San Jose and San Francisco tied their low record marks for the day at 29 and 40 degrees. It was 16 degrees in Morgan Hill and inside our home high school basketball star Morgan Green was writing in a flannel notebook. The National Weather Service said there was a chance of snow flurries in my kitchen.

On the national weather front, it was 15 degrees below zero at the Denver Airport on Thursday morning. The jet stream was pulling air into Colorado from Siberia, making it nice and toasty for Denver Bronco fans. Maybe they should weatherstrip the Canadian border. And if you're keeping a weather map at home, the record low temperature for the Rocky Mountain state is -61 °F, set back in 1985 in northwestern Colorado. I believe Snapple and Peyton Manning freezes at that temperature.

My morning walks along West Cliff were exhilarating, as the skies were clear, the air cold and crisp and my epidermis frozen. With the skies being absent of clouds and drones, I spent time analyzing the early season play of the Warriors' Steph Curry and his backcourt mate, Klay Thompson, not be to confused with Nucky Thompson, who seemed at odds with himself in the excellent season four finale of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire."

So for today's photo ensemble, we are heading back to warmer times and November 26. This day started out in spectacular fashion, with a world class sunrise that I featured in last week's post. As the day moved along glorious clouds remained in the sky, so it appeared there would be some commotion down along the ocean.

The sky turned beautiful colors at sunset, but the most amazing part was the pelican action. As I stood on the cliffs along West Cliff Drive at Stockton Avenue, thousands and thousands of pelicans were in transit heading north. As I turned and looked south, I could see them coming in endless waves against the gray sky. Glory, glory, hallelujah.

But as they passed and I looked north, their formations blended into the multi-colored sky, which was turning various shades of exotica. This was a magical time, as the pelican migration was in full force while the sky was blowing up. Not a bad way to spend a Tuesday evening.

To check out these photos, click on http://www.SunriseSantaCruz.com/blog


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