Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Band of Bloggers

I just received this from a producer over at the History Channel

BAND OF BLOGGERS on the History Channel on Friday, 11/9, at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT; with an encore presentation on Monday, 11/12 at 6 PM ET/3 PM PT. Check out this very special hour and support our troops! You won't be sorry.

And what the History Channel Website says;

Explore the impact of blogging as a new medium for immediate and raw information. In the midst of modern day combat examine the unfiltered and raw evolution of military blogs and bloggers. Listen as soldiers who during their recent Iraq deployments reflect on the important connection they had with their blogging and how the band of military bloggers has revolutionized the way we understand combat. Experience firsthand, unfiltered accounts of the pain, the hardship, and even the simple beauty found in Iraq; stories that often go unseen in the media's coverage of the war.

I did an interview and I gave them some of my video footage. Check it out if you're around, hopefully I don't sound too dorky.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Maybe the tide has turned?

Over the last 3 days, half a million people have moved out of their homes and headed for the beaches (and stadiums and hotels and friends couches). And so far the count of deaths is only 5 which is absolutely amazing, only one person from the fire (I think that number is going to go up as they search houses though). According to Cal Fire, 276,823 acres and 1300 homes of San Diego county have gone up in smoke since Sunday morning.

The powers that be lifted the ban on Scripps Ranch and I found my house was none the worse for wear and not a piece of scorched earth in sight (view blocked out by all of those big dry trees) and the sky was almost clear. I was actually prepared to lose everything to the fire, had good insurance, everything was packed and had a plan of attack of what I was going to do when it was all over (no I wasn't thinking big TV thoughts!) but it only seems like disasters only happen to you when you’re not prepared. I know a lot of people out there are hurting right now.

Being the cheap guy that I am, I think insurance is a waste of money till there’s a huge fire coming down my street. Believe me, in SoCal, it’s not a waste of money and I know if I didn’t have it, my house would be a gray cloud floating around on the Santa Anna winds out into the ocean. That’s just how my luck is.

It’s still not over but I think the worst might be behind us as the winds die down. While this could have been a madhouse, it seemed like the entire city pulled together to help each other out. I’ve always complained about how it seemed like a lot of folk out here didn’t know their neighbors but I can’t say that anymore. I'm impressed with all of the footage of fire fighters going into peoples houses getting out their belongings and the police that have been patrolling the roads, even though we are in the middle of a huge disaster, we're still keeping the rule of law. There isn't footage flying all over the internet of people looting buildings. Great job guys, this chaotic evolution went off like a well oiled machine.

I’m looking at the KPBS map and they’re saying that the Witch Fire (the one closest to me) is only 1 percent contained. Hopefully that doesn't flare up in the middle of the night.

Looking for information?
City of San Diego Offical Website has the latest offical updates (I can pay my parking ticket there too? Neat!)
You can find a list of San Diego houses destroyed by the fire here
And the Rancho Santa Fe homes here
Sign on San Diego Blog has hourly updates.
2-1-1 San Diego has some good info (if outdated but does have phone numbers)

Here’s a list of places to go to volunteer or give money

San Diego Red Cross
San Diego Volunteer
San Diego Food Bank

I wish you all the best, I'm going to try getting some shut eye in case I get pulled out to do craziness in the middle of the night. Take care all!

Map of the San Diego Fire

(I had to take the regular map down because it was locking up the blog)

View Larger Map

(Thanks KPBS for putting this map together, it's the best one on the net)

Stayed the night in the comfy suburban, when I was in Iraq, I missed sleeping in the beast. The fire isn't to my place yet (I think) but it is on two sides.

Work, came in and made a lot of phone calls to make sure everyone is alright, so far no one has lost their place yet but we do have a couple of people stuck on the other side of the fire line. Still getting the records ready for the inspection that's going on next week of my unit. The team musters again at 1.

If you're have to leave your house, don't forget your cell phone charger and your laptop, this is where you wished you had a car cell phone charger too (I do). Think about where you're going to be sleeping tonight or today, sunscreen and make sure you have plenty of drinking water.

Stats so far? 300,000 people homeless, 700 homes plus homes burned and 245,000 acres up in smoke in just 3 days. The Cedar fire had only 50,000 people evacuated but unlike that fire which had 22 deaths, we've only had one death so far. It looks like it might be slowing down a bit but that could all change.

Some other bloggers I know out here FBL is feeling the heat, some houses in her area have gone up, I know Lex has a house someplace out here too. Dagoddess's family all had to move, she might have lost her last place which isn't to bad since she doesn't live there anymore.

Some other fire post can be found at Cat Dirt Sez, The Moderate Voice, Howling Point and Criticalmas. Blatantly stolen from the San Diego Blog :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Update on the fire

Since I really don’t have anywhere to go and nothing to do, I have volunteered to take part in a rescue recovery team, I’ll be working the ambulances with some other corpsman doing whatever they want us to do. No word on my house yet but I see the sky glowing over there, hopefully it’s just streetlights shining in the smoke if not, then guess, I’ll have to start going over my insurance policy. Don't worry about me, lots of people have it much worse, I have places to stay, was planning on thinning down my load, might shed some tears over the books but it will give me a reason to start my collection again.

The team is on standby right now and I’m staying on base for the next few days with a cell phone next to my ear. No hero stuff yet but who knows what tonight and the next few days will bring, when I get back to my own internet, I’ll post the pictures from the Navy Ball.

Here’s pictures from my trip to Disneyland on Friday with my niece and Kevin the foreign exchange student. Well I'm going to go catch some shuteye while I can.

San Diego Fires

First off I’m safe and sound but can’t say the same for the rest of the area. I live over by Poway and according to this headline “Witch Fire roars across Poway, Rancho Bernardo” with hundreds of structures destroyed and so far, 250 thousand people evacuated and that number has probably gone up.

I got home last night and packed up all of the important things in my life, you know, clothes that I actually wear, my laptop, external hard drives, pictures, digital cameras, uniforms and shoes and went to bed and coughed all throughout the smoky night.

This morning with red blurry eyes, I woke up to a Mars like sky
smoke was everywhere and it felt like I had smoked 3 packs of cigarettes and I don’t even smoke anymore. But being an ex-smoker, I was probably better prepared for it then the average folk.

You can get fresh updates at the, KPBS, San Diego County Emergency Homepage and an excellent map of the fire here. Google News is worth a look if the other sites have been clogged from time to time.

I’m listening to the radio and it says that they’re even evacuating parts of Solana Beach, the fire has jumped the border into Mexico, sounds like they’re evacuating just about everything north of the 56 and east of the 5. Thats a huge area and his fire is moving fast.

Oh man, now they’re evacuating my neighborhood too.

Here’s the quote;

“10-22-07 2:11 p.m. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for Scripps Ranch south of Scripps Parkway, north of MCAS Miramar, west of Hwy 67 and east of Interstate15”

Fallbrook is under mandatory evacuation orders now too, telling people to go though Camp Pendleton to the Orange County Beaches because the 15 is closed. The main evacuation point for San Diego is Qualcomm Stadium, Del Mar Fair Grounds is full and they've filled up the 1800 horse stalls already. Military personal who are evacuating should contact a military housing facility for lodging, if you leave a comment, I can send you the email on that.

My house is located in an oasis of dry eucalyptus trees stretching as far as eye can see (not far because there are so many trees).

Glad I grabbed my guinea pig Daisy, even though she’s a loud and smelly little beast, she’s been my companion while I was lonely and I would miss her. Everything else at my house can be replaced (I have renters insurance which I feel no guilt about using). Trying to look at the bright side of things, at least I won’t have to move everything into storage in a couple of weeks when I move out of housing.

Well I was planning on starting with a clean slate in life after my wife left, guess it might be even cleaner then I thought. My life is beginning to sound like a sad contry song, lost my wife, my dog and maybe soon my house at least I have my laptop and guinea pig.

Friday, October 12, 2007

MCAS Miramar Airshow

Being a medical dude, one thing all of us get stuck doing is working the airshow. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, on Friday and Sunday usually 0530 till 1600 (5:30AM till 4PM) and Saturday 0530 till 2200 (5:30AM till 10 at night, bleh).

This year being a first class I got pulled for other duties, namely cooking hotdogs at a hotdog stand. We had lots of volunteers this year from all sorts of different medical commands so a lot of the senior enlisted are being pulled to run fund raising booths.

Today wasn’t quite so busy as tomorrow is going to be and I’ve posted a bunch of pictures HERE. If you’re at the airshow, look for me at a hot dog booth across from the F-35. I’m off to get some rest, have a good weekend.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Arizona trip with my Cali family

My half sister might be relocating in Arizona so we went out there so I could show them around the area. If anything, I do know all of the secret spots, might as well share them with the fam.

One of our stops was on the way home to the sand dunes at Glamis, something you don’t see everyday, here’s the video I took.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Watching Pushing Daisies

You probably don’t know who Bryan Fuller is but he’s the guy who has been the brain behind some of my favorite shows of all time, Heroes, Dead like Me and Wonderfalls. And with Pushing Daisies, he doesn’t disappoint.

It lays out a little bit like the movie Real Big Fish, the characters are colorful and larger then life. The story circles around this guy named Ned who owns a pie place called The Pie Hole, Ned’s not like the rest of us. He has the gift of life, he touches anything dead and it comes back to life, if they stay alive for over a minute someone else drops dead and if he touches them again they die and he can’t bring them back.

I would like to say this is different then anything else you’ve seen before but it’s not, if you’ve watched anything by Bryan, it’s all alike. Genius that is, watch it, it doesn’t disappoint.

Next is Bionic Woman

Zuning out

In honor of picking up first class (and finally getting paid for it), I finally got a video MP3 player. had Microsoft Zunes on sale for 149, I’m sort of an apple phobic, a couple of years ago, I plugged an external hard drive into a Mac to share some of my music with one of my guys and it reformatted it. When I plugged it back into my laptop all it read was a big 0.

I got back all of my music but had small playlists on one gig MP3 players, just waiting for the proper deal and it came.

First thoughts? I can put the WMV’s I made on it and the picture quality is amazing, haven’t used the WiFi functions though, have to find someone else that has a Zune. It did come with a 14 day pass to the Zune Marketplace of which I’ve taken full advantage off. It has a solid heavy feel to it, it’s covered with a clear plastic lining that looks rather tough and the buttons are easy to use even when you have a covering over it. One complaint I have is that it slows my computer to a crawl when it’s synchronizing, the laptop is almost two years old (HP Pavilion dv5000 with a gig of RAM) but it still does the job. I wish you could delete songs while using the Zune when it’s not docked, I’ve loaded 5000 or so songs on there and some of it is just crap. It would be nice to have a trash button.

It’s leaps and bounds over anything I have owned before and much less touchy then the Ipods that I used, road trips are going to be great! Well I got to strap it on and get back to cleaning, have a great weekend everyone.