The Central Valley is a strange place. It is that neverland of California that never appears in Hollywood movies, unless of course it can be disguised as the Sahara Desert or an obscure feature on the landscape of Hell.

I had the (mis)fortune to visit a friend there during my vacation. I found a strange sight, of which a few of you may have heard tell: the Western strip mall.

At one such place in the fertile valley stands a Starbucks, directly across from the Western Warehouse. And there, in their leather hats, snakeskin boots, silver-buckled belts, chaps and faded denim, cowboys sit and drink their Frappucinos.

Perhaps it’s not such an unhappy place after all.

Monday’s Forecast: Back to reality.