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a substitute blogumn by Michael Gutenplan

Hello all.  I know you were expecting to read a blog from our dear friend Ryan Dixon but even the greats have to take a break now and then, so just like Joan Rivers filled in for Johnny, I’ll be filling in (yet again) for Ryan this week. This will be a short article but something that I am very excited about…


… The Rain!

rainychristmasSouthern California is an amazing place for many reasons but for those of us from other parts of the country there is one thing that will always amaze us more than anything else… the weather, or should I say lack of weather.

For 10 months out of the year, when someone asks me what’s the weather’s like in LA I simply say “same old, same old- 75 and sunny.”  Don’t get me wrong! I ride a motorcycle and love the weather of LA, but sometimes I long for the smell that comes right after it rains on a hot summer night or the excitement of a giant snowstorm that causes everything to come to a standstill. So with the start of December, I am very excited, not about the holiday season but about what I like to call The Weather Season.

This past week was the first substantial rainfall of the season.  LA got a little over one inch of rain.  For those of you in just about any other part of the country, an inch of rain is nothing, but for the parched earth of the LA basin, an inch of rain is the equivalent of a monsoon or a giant blizzard.  All the LA news stations called it a “winter storm” and I’m pretty sure I saw people stocking up on provisions incase this was the beginning of the end of the world.  While an inch of rain in most parts of the world is a sprinkle in LA it results in mudslides, panics and fear… and I love every moment of it.  For two months of the year I get to enjoy a change in seasons.  The weather goes from perfect to slightly less than perfect… a little cold and rainy… and I get to laugh. Where else would the lead story on the news be a woman bundled up in a heavy down jacket with a hat and scarf saying that it is terrible and unacceptable that it is this cold… and it was 48 degrees! Boy oh boy do I love this time of year!!!!


Photo Credit: Holly Clark

Photo Credit: Holly Clark

As much as I love the rain and enjoy the cold weather there is one problem… and it’s a major problem.  People in Southern California have no clue how to drive if the weather is not perfect.  Usually people are just selfish drivers.  They do what they want, when they want.  I often see people driving in the right lane, cut across three lanes of traffic to make a left, never looking to see what other cars are doing- or if there are even other cars… oh, and the person driving is texting, cutting their nails and drinking their coffee all at the same time. I actually have seen people reading the newspaper while driving in traffic!

Anyway, when it rains people get a bit crazy. Instead of the usual crazy, no respect for your fellow driver driving, people in So. Cal tend to drive one of two ways.  As soon as the first drop hits the pavement people switch their foot from the gas to the break pedal and drive at stupidly low speeds.  I am all in favor of driving carefully when it is wet but there is a difference between driving carefully and being stupid and driving 10 miles an hour because the road is wet. The other side is the driver in the giant SUV who feels that the weather is an excuse to drive extra fast, putting us all at risk.

And just a slight tangent.  People, when you make a turn, you do not need to stop. You can keep driving as you make the turn. Drivers in So. Cal have a habit of starting to make a turn and then stopping in the middle of their turn.  I know it has nothing to do with driving in the rain but I had to let it out.

So there you have it. I love the rain, the weather and everything that comes with it… except for the drivers.  So stay warm, be safe and have a very, very happy holiday season- I mean a happy weather season!