I also moved to Hollywood, which is an experience in itself. Mojave was what it was, and in some ways the iso/desolation was breathtaking. I also dominated the b'ball and the flatball field, competition not being quite as stiff out there.
My views on this great nation and others like have changed little. I'm a little more cautiously optimistic about the collapse of Western society than I was in January, but a little more pessimistic about the likelihood of a seventies-style economic malaise that seems to be entwining itself into every aspect of our lives. The scarceness of jobs is not going away any time soon, certainly not here in Los Angeles. But the good news is that I think we have reached a breaking point with a lot of Americans, where the government is pushing up against its glass ceiling. Certainly demographics are helpful in some ways here; while we all want our entitlements, we also get more fiscally conservative as we grow older. Ignore Europe if you're means-testing that last statement. Forecast for the year - my favorite government takes hold in November - split houses of congress with slim majorities, and an effectively lame-duck president. A state of California that whose creditors are screaming louder that its special interests. And hopefully a couple/few successful launches. That government is best which governs the least.