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Bloviating Zeppelin: Fire

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fire


I called in to Jenn's Jungle Republic Radio show Monday afternoon. Her blog is here.

She is in the midst of a remarkable Southern California fire -- actually, 8 or more fires. Complicated, of course, by the horrendous Santa Ana winds.

It made me reflect on any number of issues I'd encountered a few years ago, and that I must consider every year.

I chose, in 1993, to leave the flatlands of Fornicalia and seek environs into the higher Sierra Nevada mountains, at around 4,000 feet. I had survived a divorce and, following a late night murder adjacent my house, involving drugs, I concluded that I didn't want much more to do with civlization. I trundled up I-80 to the point where I could afford a house funded by the proceeds of my prior home's sale. If I couldn't have the square footage, then at least I could have the distance from the barbarians at my own personal gate.

The first day in my house was the evening of July 4th, 1993. I had only enough time to assemble the bed my great-grandfather hand-built in 1899 and nothing else. Everything else lay scattered about the patio, the interior, the U-Haul truck.

Since then, I've come to appreciate the difference between living in an urban environment, and an environment that was much more and much less.

Yes, I am not living in an area where everyone rests asshole-to-elbow. And I am not under a focused government that wants to license all of your cats, for Christ's sake. And places cameras at every fucking intersection in order to make more cash. And has the almost daily crack of gunfire, the hourly ring of reverberating sirens from cops and fire personnel. And the consistent droning of blades from cop helos over crime scenes.

Where I am, I know the PostMaster. I know everyone running the local store -- and the local hotel. I could have credit, if I wanted, at my store. I have but to ask for a thing and he will order it. When packages get delivered, I find them on my deck, undisturbed, and I know they will arrive safely. The property above me has horses; I can occasionally hear them whinny in the night. I can hear Union Pacific trains run downhill under dynamic braking; and then UP trains struggling uphill in Run 8.

But there are downsides as well. I am connected to the internet via a dial-up modem. My life won't get any better than that. I've been posting on BZ via a dial-up for years now.

And then there is fire.

I live not far from a major roadway: Interstate 80. And also a major transcontinental railroad: Union Pacific's Number One and Number Two tracks from San Francisco. Which is also shared by daily Amtrak runs; #5 westbound, and #6, eastbound.

I've had fires started by assholes throwing their cigarettes from railway cars.

I had a local fire started by some idiot flatlander who parked their car over some pine needles. Which then cooked their propane tank. Which then released, which then shot flames some 250 feet over the local pines.

It made me evaluate then and every season: what is valuable, what can be left behind.

I would ask to all of you: if you only had 5 minutes, what would you take out of your home?


BZ

11 Comments:

Blogger Dee said...

Yah, I was thinking today about what I could get in my car quickly if I had to leave my house cause of a fire like this.

Mon Oct 22, 07:42:00 PM PDT  
Blogger TexasFred said...

Personal papers box, it's ALWAYS ready to go...

Any clothing I could grab, the guns, the CPU the old woman and tote that ass...

Everything else is insured and CAN be replaced...

Mon Oct 22, 10:26:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Ranando said...

My wife, pets and me, everything else is material, not important in the over-all picture of life.

My family has always had a beach house in Malibu, all the way back to my Grandparents.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

Tue Oct 23, 01:55:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I hope none of you ever find yourselves in that kind of spot; it's absolutely mind boggling.

BZ

Tue Oct 23, 11:50:00 AM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

My lady, my cats, the strongbox.

The rest can go. I do need a large variety of medications, for simple survival, but immediate and emergency survival does not require them so long as the rest of civilization is still up and running more or less. Mind you the old #1 catastrophe on my list is relatively non-survivable for individuals and the species as a whole would be touch 'n go.

Of course seeing the fire last night and that it was 'uncontained' I did quip that it was, indeed contained.... can't cross the ocean! Any fire that gets to a long shoreline is immediately at least 50% contained, its the onshore parts you have to worry about.

Mostly I haven't paid much attention to things the last week or so... been a bit busy.

Tue Oct 23, 12:03:00 PM PDT  
Blogger shoprat said...

Wherever you live you face unique problems and threats, but I'd rather face nature than some humans any day. I have little to lose but would hate to lose it.

Yet it should remind people that life is more than possessions.

Tue Oct 23, 04:29:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Ranando said...

BZ,

Growing up in Southern California I've been through it many, many, many, many, many, many times.

I was raised with a plan to get out and fast. I've lost horses and mules twice due to fires but never a house, smoke damage yes.

We're being told that once again our property in Malibu is just fine, good news. We stayed away and let the firefighters do their jobs and they did them well and are still hard at it. Tomorrow I'm going up to check things out, I'm sure everything will be fine.

Tue Oct 23, 05:07:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Spent some time as a kid jumping out of airplanes onto fires. Since then, I have avoided them. What would I take? My lovely wife, then anything else handy. The stuff I really treasure is mostly in file cabinets filled with paper, and I have learned recently that you can't take that (or much else) with you.

Wed Oct 24, 06:10:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Dee said...

That poster reminds me of my Dad since he worked for the National Forest Service as a civil engineer until he retired. He used to bring Smoky the Bear coloring pictures home for us to color when I was little.

Wed Oct 24, 10:18:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bushwack said...

Well as of now in Riverside, we are just smoked in, it makes for great sunsets, but the ash is terrible.. the winds have died down and now we wait for word that the fires are out, or contained...

Then in about a month, we will be hearing about mansions falling off cliffs from mud slides.... Life in Cali.

When Santa Ana's blow it brings out the morons, our car was stolen Sunday, Robbery's increase, and shootings/stabbings get more frequent.

The question of what I'd take:
We have always had an evac. plan.
After our trip to NOLA after Katrina, we came home and changed the way we lived...
Learning the lessons of disaster preparedness.
We have all of our important papers photocopied and they are in two locals one copy on each coast. Our family and pets first, Firearms and ammo and a few irreplaceable items are easily picked up and we are out...

Wed Oct 24, 12:15:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous WMD_maker said...

I take the dogs first. With 2 pitbulls and a Husky I dont really NEED the guns but the dogs dont listen real well once they get going, and they are a pack, they dont do much individually. Then the guns and the paperwork, its not that there isnt proof of ownership or insurance somewhere else it just makes thing SOOOO much easier.

Wed Oct 24, 02:01:00 PM PDT  

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