Sunday, November 16, 2008


We've received a slew of emails and phone calls asking whether we have been impacted by the massive fires around Los Angeles. The answer is NO, for which we are extremely grateful.

I didn't take this photo, but found it by searching the web. It was taken by Chris Mesaros, identified as an amateur photographer, who put several photos on Flickr. Since I couldn't find a prohibition against sharing this with you all, I snagged it (thanks, Chris!).

This looks much like the pictures we have seen on TV for the past 24 hours - roaring flames, lots of smoke, homes consumed. As I write this, a firefighting plane is flying over our heads, one of several I have seen this morning.

We are completely safe, about 40 miles east of the "Triangle Complex" fire (Corona, Yorba Linda and Brea), which is the most destructive at the moment. Because we are east of the fires, we don't see or smell smoke, as the winds are blowing east to west. From Scoopy, we have no clue that a major disaster is underway, but to the west of the fires it is a different story. The Pasadena marathon was cancelled due to the terrible air quality, freeways are shut down, residents are being told to stay inside, out of the smoke.

About the time the fire was getting started yesterday, Odel and I decided to do our part to support the pathetic economy: we went shopping. November is our usual shopping month - we hit the familiar stores while we are in Sacramento for our usual month-long visit, replacing our faded, year-old wardrobe with clothing we aren't embarassed to wear in an urban environment.

This year, here in Loma Linda, we don't know where to shop, so took the advice of another PBT patient and visited the Desert Hills Premium Outlet Mall, 30 minutes east of here. WOW - that's what we have to say!

We split up, and I started in one of the least "high-end" of the stores, Eddie Bauer, where I tried on two items: a shirt and JEANS. I HATE shopping for jeans. Guess what? They were a perfect fit! I still can't believe it. I bought both pieces, and went on to other successes (a jacket and a wallet). Meanwhile, Odel bought 3 pair of pants, 4 new (golf) shirts, a golf sweater and a wallet; this on top of new gym gear he bought on Thursday. If you see an improvement in the economy this month, we're doing our part.

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