Go West, life is peaceful there

I moved to California, so I guess it’s time to admit that I’m not a Connecticut music blog any more, and no matter how much I like and miss Connecticut musicians, my mission has diverged from theirs.

“MIssion” — that’s a California joke. We have a lot of missions, see–

When I was packing up, one of my friends was all “oh, you can go sit on the beach every morning,” but my California is not surf-and-sand California. My California is the agricultural heart of the West, thanks to an irrigation canal system that was installed shortly before WWI. The canal system provides water for the fields, electricity for the people, and a nightmare-inducing green animal decades before the Duolingo Owl. Splasher the Safety Frog says “DON’T swim in canals!”

There’s a Rilke quote that goes the rounds — The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange — and while Rilke has a point, this place was making itself plenty strange without my intervention.

  • On one corner, you’ll have almond orchards… opposite, a band of grocery delivery robots will be gathered on the sidewalk, waiting for the light to change.
  • Two different people have already told me about the guy who makes adult pleasure aids from exotic woods. I was not in an adult store; this was just ordinary conversation of the “oh yeah, Bob has a hobby” sort.
  • There is a castle in Turlock. It is not an event venue. Someone just felt like turning their house into a castle.
  • If a road is named for a place, it does not go to that place. The sole exception I’ve found is Escalon-Belota Road, but it might not count since Belota has vanished. I’m still irked by Post Office Road, which has no entrance to retail parking at the post office.
  • Belota is one of many Places of Dubious Existence on Central Valley maps. If we’re going somewhere and Dad is driving, I read him what little is known about these former places.

Nobody has yet been able to find me an example of the custom-painted fiberglass cows that were a booster thing a decade or so back, but I have hopes. We’ve gone to a lot of festivals and flea markets, which I’m likely going to tell you about, but putting my fingers on the keyboard to say well, this different person is now who I am was heavier lifting than I’d expected.

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