– Apparently, all I need to do to get the cat to lie down and chill or go to sleep over the course of a long-distance car trip, in lieu of screaming until his lungs and my ears bleed, is to play death metal very loudly. Given that the original ideal was simply to drown him out, a very acceptable outcome.
– The National Guard has sworn to ensure that no looting happens in Los Alamos during the fire the way it did in New Orleans during Katrina. If they claim credit for this failing to happen, it will be only somewhat less audacious than the Army Corps of Engineers claiming credit for Los Alamos also having failed to flood.
– Painted on the White Rock white rock, unofficial community graffiti post: “We <3 LAFD”
– Town meeting #1. State of emergency, among those present are the state governor, fire chief and assorted senior regional wildfire officers. Tensions and stakes are high. First question from the floor, from a worried community:
“How can I donate to the Red Cross?”
– A compressor bearing in one of our two vehicles is on the verge of blowing, therefore I dared not run the air conditioning. As a result I have a rather distinctive left-sided sunburn.
– Town meeting #2, same cast of characters. Middle of question and answer time. Upon explanation that regardless of how bad the smoke down in White Rock is (at the moment, not that bad), it is five times worse in Los Alamos, questioner refuses to stand down until he receives an answer to “How smoky?” stated in parts per million.
– The cool, wild, vegetal smell of a thunderstorm in the high desert is such a relief from hot, heavy smoke that it is worth keeping the windows down as you drive along even if you are getting wet. At least until the apocalyptic hailstorm starts.
– Seen somewhere along the highway in southern CO: roadkilled but very intact dead badger. Request to pull over and harvest the skull and hide submitted and denied due to being too bloated.
– Seen directly next to a dirt road near $landing zone: four mule bucks in velvet ranging from “spike” to “monster with a chandelier on its head”. Rocks thrown, bucks reluctantly mosey away. Odds all four will develop advanced ninjitsu skills and possibly Army Ranger-level technology and tactics by November first: one.
– Leaving guardian-breed dogs locked in a mudroom with a window to the outside when four seasonally stupid bucks are in the area is a bad idea. Let the guard dogs be with the family and everything will be much more peaceful. Aside: Home Depot is surprisingly unfriendly to carrying replacement parts for modular homes these days.
– Seen somewhere along the highway near the CO-NM border: freshly roadkilled, not bloated, bear. Request to harvest the skull and hide denied due to lack of winch or come-along on the truck, plus traffic.
– Whiz-bang smartphone with reasonable plan purchased with an eye to coordination in just such events: obtained and running before evac. Whiz-bang smartphone: signal-less and dead by 100 miles outside of $landing zone due to phone plan’s assumption of urban-ish and relatively mountain-free residence. New nickname for phone: Fucking Useless Toy, or FUT.