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Saturday, October 27, 2007
This Fire Is Outta Control, I'm Gonna Burn This City

Normally it takes me a little bit of searching to find my title tracks for each post but in this case there was a wealth of options. Here are some of the other contenders:

Through Fire and Flames:

Ring of Fire:

My Ass is on Fire:

Jump in the Fire:

Burning Down The House:

and many more.

So yes. As I spoke of briefly in my last post, we've had a hell of a week. The dry conditions and Santa Ana winds here in San Diego were the right ingredients for what the Governator cleverly called "a perfect firestorm". Evacuations were going on all over the county (some mandatory, some voluntary) and most of us were either displaced or were on the verge of displaced. Many, many people lost their homes. A few lives were lost.

I have to say that the emergency services really seemed to have their act together. Agencies appeared to be well organized, well prepared, and given the scope of this disaster...things seemed to go pretty smoothly. I think there were quite a few houses that were saved this year that would have been lost in the last round of wildfires.

One thing I would be critical of however is the television news coverage of the event. It may come as a surprise to some, but the news coverage tended to be more sensational rather than informative. Most of the news coverage consisted of having people call in live. The graphics on the screen would display the name and location of the caller along with a little "LIVE: BREAKING NEWS" icon in the corner. Meanwhile the actual imagery would all be pre-recorded video from all over the county. So you would look up and see "LIVE: FROM SAN MARCOS" but the video would be 12 hours old from Poway. Really responsible fucking journalism.

My other "favorite" moments of the TV news coverage involved one of the local channels and their "on the scene" reporter. Basically they had this guy running around along-side actual fire fighters and trying to interview them while they were busy...you know...saving homes and lives and shit. Unreal. The guy would seriously run up to some dude in a mask, holding a fire hose and ask shit like, "How difficult is it to fight this fire that has been 0% contained for three days now?" The firefighter would just sorta grunt in disbelief and run off to some new disaster.

Another interesting side-effect from all this was watching how local kids reacted to it. A couple of families who got forced to evacuate ended up at my dad's place down the street. One family had a couple of boys. I don't have a lot of experience with kids, but I can guess what happens to them when they are forced out of their homes and get couped up inside for three days.

They go crazy.

For the few hours I was at my dads house I became a living jungle gym. It's kinda fun for a while but kids with that kinda energy have a lot of momentum and are pretty much impossible to slow down once you get 'em going.

I also saw a number of families at the supermarket. All their kids were going bonkers as well. It just made me realize how much energy it must take to be a parent and that I had better get started soon if I ever expect to have enough "exuberance" to keep up with any kids of my own.

Anyway. Most of the area seems to be safe now. Life is returning to normal for a lot of us. Other people are less fortunate and have a long road ahead of them. I can't imagine it's very fun to rebuild your house and deal with insurance companies. My heart goes out to those families. Help out if you can!

Here are my pictures from the whole week:

Out of the Wastelands

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Just a quick note to let anyone who might be concerned that I am ok. So far no one in my area has had to be evacuated. For the moment we are not in danger.

fire in the sky


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