I had actually forgotten today was Halloween until I was driving through campus and an Oompa Loompa walked in front of my car. Now normally I don’t start hallucinating Oompa Loompas until well after noon, so that threw me. You would think I’d recall what day it is since I spent last night in possibly the lamest haunted house in the long, sad history of lame haunted houses. Fearplex. They called it Fearplex. Basically it consisted of me leading a congo line of my wife, my step-daughter, and several of her friends at shuffle speed through a maze of dark rooms where people would pop out and I’d advise them to try the redhead at the back of the line because my wife is probably the most nervous haunted house goer ever. She screamed in line when someone tried to give her a flyer. However, the planning of the house was so poor that we were continually getting lost and having to ask the ghouls for directions which ruins some of the atmosphere. I WILL EAT YOUR FACE AND FEED YOUR ENTRAILS TO MY….oh take the second left and loop around the headless babies….BABOONS OF DOOM!!!
The smoke having finally cleared from sunny California skies, it is now time for TRIPSANITY ’07! This Sunday I will be embarking on an eight-day trip spanning the country. Sunday I fly from Cali to Salt Lake City to Washington DC, where I will be attending a conference of research administrators. This will basically consist of me staring blankly at various speakers and trying to locate printed material that I can read later for understanding. I have several friends in the DC area and it will be quite nice to see them (plus this looks like an annual thing so I’ll be back). On Wednesday, when the conference ends at noon….is when it begins. My brother, who “works” (the quotes are required because he is not only a banker…but a banker who examines other bankers so I’ll let you guess his hours) for the Federal Reserve in Richmond, will drive up to DC, pick me up and our goal is to see all of New England before my return flight on Sunday night. But, Dave, you say in a concerned and vaguely annoying voice, isn’t New England NOWHERE near DC? Yes. You are correct. This would stop sane people. Yaeger men are not sane. Wednesday we’re driving from DC to Boston. Thursday we’re taking it further north and camping in Maine. Yes I will bond with nature in Maine in November. I expect “damp” and “cold” will be words that I shall use to describe the experience. From Maine, we travel to South Royalton, Vermont to see my broham Rob who I have not seen since being paroled with my master’s degree from JMU. Wow, Dave, that seems like a lot. You must be done. NO NO NO I scream at you in a slightly disturbing falsetto, THE MADNESS CONTINUES! From there we head to Philadelphia, PA to spend Saturday night with my cousin, who I have not been able to see in ten years…..also he has a Wii…..the two things are LINKED I tell you! Quality family time (at this point probably fueled by a combination of caffeine pills and meth) will continue until I am dropped at Dulles Airport in DC for my Sunday night home via Atlanta to Ontario, where my wife will take my remains home for burial. For review: the madness will be hitting California, Utah, DC, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Georgia in 8 days. BOO YEAH! 14 states and a district! Bring on the tripsanity!
As of this morning, the two fires that were closest to us have been contained. The fire the most directly threatens us now is the Slide Fire, which is completely out of control and burning its way through Arrowhead and Running Springs and advancing on Highland. However, that’s about 23 miles away and that’s a heck of a lot easier to fathom than a fire being closer then my Walmart. I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers, but there’s a lot of people out here in a world of hurt who could use them more so keep thinking of them. Still extremely smoky, but the wind has died down. I am currently not on fire. Further updates as flammability warrants.
Just drove through Del Taco for lunch and as I had my window down, ash was wafting into my car like snow flurries. 500,000 evacuees so far. There’s only one major fire in my area, but it’s the only one they haven’t even begun to contain.
My backyard has a very nice view of the San Bernadino Mountains, which is normally a tranquil scene. Currently it looks like Mordor. Wildfires in the mountains continue to rage. The most tangible effect for me is the air quality, which is somewhat akin to standing directly your bbq if say you were cooking….forests. House smells like smoke, dogs smell like smoke, I smell like smoke. It’s smoky is what I’m trying to convey.