Monday, October 13, 2008

Red Flag Warning Issued For Region
10-13-2008 5:10 AM
(San Diego, CA) -- A Red Flag Warning has been issued for San Diego County. According to the National Weather Service the warning will continue until 6 p.m. tomorrow evening. We can expect Northeast winds from 20 to 30 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 60 miles per hour below passes and canyons.

But I'm not finished yet! I worked late on Friday, for we had all heard the warnings, and everything needed to be screwed down (in my case, screwed up) so that it wouldn't blow away over the weekend. I've got more screwing up to do, alas, and this patio cover seems to defy all patio cover logic, and there is such a thing, as it snakes around the building and aluma-proofs the sun. What shade! It's a beauty, really, but I can't exactly take credit for it. Before the house burned down, the family had taken several pictures of (for insurance purposes, I reckon) and they wanted exactly the same thing. Seems they started with a simple rectangle cover years ago, and then added on, and then built on top of that, and then wrapped it around the kitchen, and so forth, so that it eventually had the metallurgic properties and design parameters of the Temple of Gozer and could be used from time to time as a pan-dimensional transmitter. Original planners and builders were switched mid-job, evidently, so that -like the masons- one was not aware of what the other was doing. They used differing sizes of lattice, for example, and I bumped everything up to the same size on this one. Then, of course, there were slightly different measurements on the roofline. (The homeowner was aghast! astonished! that this could happen, since the house was built on the same footprint. He didn't believe me. He ran and checked the other homes in the neighborhood and then got back to me. I was right. Wow.)

I have the photos of the original on my computer. I've been clicking and zooming to see where the joints are and count the number of rafters and so forth. I printed a bunch out, and from time to time I climb down off the ladder and hold up the photo to see if it looks right. The General Contractor came by -he's rebuilding eight or ten houses on the street- and noticed what I was doing. I attempted to joke about it before he could get one in: "This is the way you did it with the homes, right?" He just nodded and answered his cel phone. Maybe he did.

Well, the homes look great! And this big beautiful Spanish Brown beast is halfway done (waiting on a few additional parts) and all just in time for this year's season of Santa Anas. We shall see. Keep the hoses handy.

I got everything screwed up enough that I could go out and have a proper weekend and get sick. Actually, the sickness came after the fun part (about 3AM Saturday night) so it wasn't half bad. Or it was. Or whatever. We went to the Bates Nut Farm (!) and whether that is a wry allusion to the Hitchcock classic or actually a nut farm owned by farmer Bates, I'm not sure we'll ever know. (Yes we will know. Perhaps the movie itself is referencing the old Bates Farm out in Valley Center? That, I'm not sure we'll ever know.) It was beautiful, though, pumpkins as far as the eye could see. A feast for the camera! The Little Ditchman ran screaming "Ohmygosh! Ohmygosh!" at the sight of them, and then couldn't be stopped. She ran off spirited, deep into the pumpkin patch, leaving all the families behind. Not sure what she was searching for, but her eyes were big and bright and she had an acres-wide smile so you do what any good Dad does: don't lose sight of her when you let her go. (Bad Dad actually made an appearance, too, when he inadvertently knocked the Little Ditchman's pumpkin ice cream cone yum-side down into the dirt. I was selfishly checking out some crafty wine corks, of all things, and then swung around to catch up, knocking the creamy bliss to Cry Land. Good Dad showed up and saved the day by purchasing another. All but the two parties involved were amused.)

We were joined by Mr. and Mrs. DawgRun (who brought the baby DawgRun and the dawg) and a few other friends and spent a nice fall day in SoCal farmland. This group of friends would be welcome at any old nut farm, I think, (institutional or otherwise) but it was fun to join up with these guys on this land in the outlying hills of San Diego County, out beyond the oaks. I don't think people realize we actually have Nature here in Southern California, but it's true. We do. (Where do you think all those avocados come from, anyway?) So, it was a generously beautiful weekend out at the Nut Farm, and feeling the beginnings of Autumn briskness under clear blue skies, we loaded up the strollers and went home for a good game of "Keep Or Delete" on AppleTV. Results: Keep all. (Memories included.)