Fire and Halloween

Yesterday—Thursday—Brother Steve wrote:

The evacuation was lifted at 10 this morning, and they started letting people drive up the grade around 12, and I got in the line around 12:30….it was a long line….you had to have an I.D. that said "Escondido"….if it said Valley Center or anything else, they turned you around.  But everything is fine here, and I’ll go back to work tomarrow….what a week!

The grade to which he refers is a steep grade that runs up to Valley Center.  Apparently they were checking ID for two reasons: to keep out looters (if you can believe) and also to make sure people were going into areas that had been cleared for re-habitation.  Apparently there were concerns about fallen power lines and exposed gas lines….

Today—Friday—Brother Steve writes:

The evacuation is lifted, but the roads are closed again….if you go down into town, you can’t get back….there are boulders in the road, and they have to inspect any bridges….so it looks like another vacation day for me….I’m not going to go down to work this afternoon if they won’t let me come back home at night….some people have been using the Jeep trails, but they are more familiar with them than I am….no smoke here, clear, calm, and cool right now….but Paradise Mt. is still closed, it’s still burning somewhere between Hellhole and Mesa Grande….

So while the fire danger is abating, things down in San Diego are quite a mess.  I have had a couple of students not show for my classes this week; I expect they were down in SD when the bad fires hit and got stuck there.  I know for a fact that one student was heading down that way Friday a week ago.


The air here, while much, much clearer, is still not completely clear from dust from the windstorm and smoke from the inland blaze that is now I believe contained.  More than the usual numbers of students were hacking up a storm.  Also they were pretty de-energized, especially my three o’clock class, making it a pretty hard row to hoe yesterday.


This weekend the big Halloween bash occurs in the student ghetto of Isla Vista.  A decade or so ago, this bash was nationally famous; people actually drove from out of state to participate in rampant drunkenness and drink sodden casual sex.  Over 60,000 people were in IV one year; fights broke out, along with other rampant rowdiness.


The next year they clamped down.  I happened to be in IV the Friday before the start of “festivities” and saw this most amazing line of cop cars pulling into the area, along with police on horseback and riot vehicles.  Man, it was sort of scary.


This year, in addition to the massive police buildup, they are outlawing parking on the residential streets within walking distance of IV.  I don’t think this is legal frankly; but they are doing it anyway.  As one drives towards campus, there stands one of those mobile flashing signs reading:  OBEY ALL LAWS! MAXIMUM ENFORCEMENT!


Next week will be impossible; 80% of the students will still be wasted from hangovers on Tuesday. Many students will also contract veneral diseases and be arrested for such things as public drunkenness and urinating in public. Some of the students sitting in my class will be fresh out of jail.


1. dusty red sundown from dirt and smoke

2. sundown on sand

3. sundown with nearly invisible dophin fin

4. tiny sundown

5. moonrise over golf course 

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