Just got back from spending 10 days on winter break in southern California. The weather was reasonably good, the traffic was horrifically bad for the most part, and I had a good time but I'm glad to be home in Portland. While I was down there, though, I started thinking about how the change in California's license plates maybe says something about the fortunes of the state.
I remember when this used to be the standard California license plate:
I liked it a lot! Palm trees, the ocean, and a bright yellow sun. It captured the essence of the state -- well, of southern California, anyway. But I suppose the fact that the sun was setting was something of a harbinger for the state's fiscal calamities.
This is what California's standard license plate looks like now:
Hmm. That's pretty boring. No palm trees. No ocean. No sun. Nothing at all. It's as if the state either ran out of creativity, or ran out of money to afford paint to liven up the license plates!