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"Indeed, the rage of theorists to make constitutions a vehicle for the conveyance of their own crude, and visionary aphorisms of government, requires to be guarded against with the most unceasing vigilance."
     -- Joseph Story
     Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States
     Book III, § 1857.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Some fire blogging, just because, well, I'm here, and I can.

The Jones family lives in the Northwest corner of Los Angeles, near the Ventura County line. There are rocky hills to the West and North, between us and Simi Valley. On the basis of the view from our front yard, I'd guess that the other sides of those hills are pretty well blackened, now, but it looks like the fire itself is out -- for now, at least. It is, as I start writing this, about 4:30 in the afternoon, but it looks more like 6:30; one can no longer discern the sun through the clouds of smoke, and there is a light but steady drizzle of ash over the neighborhood, but the smoke is dingy white, not dark, and the ash is white, so there's nothing to worry about right now. I think I caught a glimpse a couple hours ago, while the fire was still going, of some flames shooting up behind the ridge to our North, but I'm not sure.

It's been a really fun day. My wife's tripwires went off when she was dropping off our son at school; she talked to some other parents who had been advised to prepare for evacuation. Also, we live in a neighborhood with only one entrance, and it's just South of a fire station that became a command post for today's efforts, so the way in is blocked off and only residents are permitted in, and she had to show ID in order to get back home. To cap everything off, when she went to pick our son up from school, she talked to yet more parents who had been ordered to evacuate, who were picking up their children in trucks jammed with whatever they could grab. So she's been in disaster preparedness mode all day.

She had bought a fire safe years ago, and it just sat in the garage gathering dust all those years; a nice big chunk of today was spent running through all our records for critical documents and finally putting them in the safe. All day long she has been announcing that she was going to pack up clothes just in case we had to leave, but each time something else would come up to distract her; it hasn't happened yet. The biggest indicator of her state of mind, though, is the TV in the kitchen; it usually runs Home and Garden Television (I thoroughly detest that channel) all through her waking hours, but today it was glued to the news.

-- posted by Clayton 10/27/2003 05:33:00 PM

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