The first meteor shower of 2012 is likely to be a good one. The Quadrantids are a reliable shower, producing 60-120 ZHR, one to two meteors per minute. The Quadrantids are named for the obsolete constellation Quadrans Muralis, now part of the constellation Boötes.
For viewers in the mid-Pacific the peak will arrive early on the morning of January 4th. The radiant rises around 2am, creating a pre-dawn event. Set the alarm clocks early for this one. While the predicted peak is January 4, 07:20 UT (January 3, 21:20 HST) the show should be quite decent for hours either side of this time. Unlike other showers where activity can occur for days or even weeks, the Quadrantids have a sharp peak, activity falls off rapidly on the preceding and following nights.
The Moon is still a few days short of full, allowing several dark hours before dawn for meteor watching. Moonset will occur about the same time the radiant rises, about 2am, giving observers about three hours of good dark skies to enjoy the event.
Watching meteors requires no more equipment than your eyes and a dark sky, and can be enjoyable for just about anyone. Set the alarm clock, this one should be worth the early morning wake-up.