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October 28, 2003

Hell Continues

When dawn broke, the sky was cleaner looking for a short time and I was beginning to think that they were being overcautious cancelling classes today. Then, later in the morning, the sky turned back to that same dirty Dijon mustard color and got darker as the afternoon progressed.

Pat Cegelka, a colleague from Special Ed, called to ask for the phone numbers of mutual friends who aren't listed. Why spend today updating her address book? Because she's lost everything. Her house was in Scripps Ranch and she was out of town when it burned to the ground, so she didn't have a chance to save anything.

Some of my pre-service students are blogging their experiences. Melissa Fink was evacuated from Scripps Ranch but her house was saved. A lot of her friends weren't so lucky.

The daughter of one of our friends (born on the same day in the same hospital as Alex) performs in an Irish dancing group. When she went on stage in Balboa Park on Sunday, the show began with the announcement that one of the other kids in the group was caught by the fire in her car trying to escape.

You get numb after awhile. You either want to know everything that's happening or you throw yourself into other work and try to tune it out. The TV is on all day, and last night I dusted off my scanner and started listening to that as well. I went out for the first time since Sunday to pick up a cable for it at Radio Shack. Here's the ash piled up on my car.



And while there I chatted with the people picketing in front of Vons. I think this one picture sums up the kind of week we're having.



Then I drove around towards the hills in Mission Gorge trying to get a look at the burned parts we see from our kitchen. The air was too thick from the fires now burning out in Julian for me to see anything. Meanwhile, on local AM talk radio, our former mayor Roger Hedgecock was in in full throttle hate mode, blaming fire officials and lame duck Gray Davis for not getting the waterbombing planes here soon enough. With typical Republican selfishness, he's gone ballistic about the fact that our fire equipment went north to help with the LA fires and wasn't instantly available when things started here. The fire's still going and he's already looking for scapegoats while his braindead callers were dittoing his every half-truth. I'm not listening to AM radio for awhile. Guess we're all in a testy mood.