I was driving along the coast road, north to Mountain View, CA (a trip of about 8 hours driving time) I decided to break it into two parts, and stay over at Ragged Point, about halfway up the coast. It is of one of my favorite places on the planet.
Video of the surf and rocks, looking south from my room at Ragged Point, CA, which is about 12 miles north of San Simeon (Hearst Castle), and just south of Big Sur. It's a great place for peace and solitude and the sounds of the surf.
There are no phones in the rooms, but there is wireless.
Just outside my room, there is a path of about 15 feet, then the low chain link fence right at the very edge of the cliff. I balanced my camcorder on the top of this fence, and let it capture a few moments of paradise. I figured it would be good material for those meditative times back at Mikie's Fun House, in Del Mar, CA.
I put this video on the internet and The Public Domain as a gift to all who may find this clip, and also find a moment of tranquility.
There may be more Ragged Point video clips coming soon. To find them, search YouTube for "Ragged Point FastMikie"
Two hours after the order to prepare for it, the call came from the police that Del Mar residents must evacuate.
I chose to stay.
I drove to the top of Torrey Pines hill. No fires visible anywhere. Light winds. Looked ok to me.
It was more than personal laziness. The 90+ year old woman next door had no place to go. She has trouble breathing. And since I kinda adopted her as my new mom, I didn't want to take her out into the smoky night, and subject her to living in some shelter, so I decided to hunker down here, and wait for it to get more urgent, or for the threat to subside.
We got lucky. The call came around noon the next day that it was ok to return to our homes in Del Mar.
A lot of SoCal is still burning, so I have my Go-bags still packed and sitting by the door...
All afternoon I've been watching the fire on TV, feeling certain that my home is safe.
A few minutes after sunset, the phone rings: "This is the San Diego Sheriff's Department, with a message to all Del Mar residents to be prepared to evacuate... and drive north to El Toro Marine base in Orange County..."
"Be Prepared to Evacuate" (always good advice)
Before this fire's first spark, several months ago, in fact, I began disaster preparedness planning. I have 3 bags already packed, with clothes, provisions, emergency equipment, supplies, communications equipment, and more...
But even with such focused planning, I'm realizing that the plan is missing some essentials. And there needs to be a "Fast List" which is stuff you grab when you need to get out NOW.
It's an interesting exercise. What do you take when everything else may vaporize? What do you need to survive when your home, and even your community, and the homes of your friends and family, are gone?
For the last 24 hours fire has raged through the hills east of San Diego, and they are already calling this the worst fire in San Diego history. A quarter of a million people have evacuated.
Now the smoke in the air is thick, and ash is accumulating on the balcony.
Solana Beach, the town just north of here, has told selected residents to prepare to evacuate.
Winds are strong and gusting, blowing the fire this way, and the forecast conditions are more of the same for at least another day, maybe two.
All my windows are closed, but still the air inside is bad enough to irritate my eyes. Light smoke is coming in under the front door, so I blocked the space with a towel, and that seemed to help.
I have a couple of breathing masks, and gave one to my next door neighbor, a 90+ year old saint of a woman, who has trouble breathing, and she will be my personal responsibility to help her get to safety if things get to that point.
I've taken a video of all my stuff inside Mikie's Fun House, for insurance purposes, just in case.
And I have bags packed with essentials, ready to evacuate if/when the call comes.
My children are safe.
We are lucky. Many have lost their homes, and worse.
After a week or so of pool vacation a big change I have noticed is that I'm getting a lot of stuff done.
In just the last couple of days I have re-wired the desk computer system (that big wad of wires under the desk) dealt with iPod "touch" service issues (several hours on the phone, and more off the phone) major improvements to the computer systems eliminating some software and hardware and other simplifications, redesigned the vestibule area new layout for desk area, new furniture ordered for both areas, an update to the draft of the pool book a couple of walks to the beach, car wash, visited friends, entertained friends at the Fun House, enjoyed several meals at local spots, (actually ventured out in public!) read a couple of books, and the list goes on...
All these things would have gone undone if I were still shooting some serious pool.
Serious pool requires serious Time. Pool is a demanding mate.
But I'm on pool vacation, and looking forward to all the stuff I'll do...