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so that when I do now(), it will show the current California time?

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Please edit your question to detail which OS your server runs. –  jscott Mar 22 '10 at 15:43
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

NOW() returns the current time and timezone as currently understood by the server. If it is not returning the current time in PST, it will be the server that needs changed not MySQL.

MySQL Documentation

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