Escaping Fire – And Reigniting Old Projects

It’s been more than two years I think since I last wrote anything on here. There are many reasons for this. Some of them are related to live in the USA, and some of them are related to the things that have been going on in my private life.

There’s been a lot of…. STUFF… I’m not going to go into them in detail, but when the tiny G4 Mac Mini that this website is built on decided to take a dump in 2018, I tried to fix it one afternoon, decided that no, it needed more time and energy from me in order to be functional… and I promptly put it in a cupboard.

Since then, we purchased a house. One of our children turned 18, and the other one 17. And then COVID-19 came along. And it’s kind of had a pretty major impact on how life works. I mean, we’re all wearing masks, although maybe not quite as cute as my custom ones from Berrymeat.

Just wear a freaking mask, okay?

My third studio – one we took over in August 2019 – became a place we couldn’t easily go to. My employee and I started working from home to minimize our risk of both catching and spreading COVID. My wife started working from home, and my daughter started doing school from home.

And there we sat. From March all the way through until last week. We had a flow going, and then the fires came.

For those who don’t know (I have no ungodly concept of how you don’t know), the whole of the U.S. west coast is on fire right now. Super-dry conditions and incredible heat — followed by a late summer wind storm that gave the fires a +6 d20 speed boost and a +8 d6 damage — kinda gave fire a reason to ravage, and ravage it did.

People have lost their lives. People have lost their homes. And my sister-in-law and her family found themselves evacuated from the shadow of one of the largest fires currently raging.

This week, we managed to find space for them at the house by putting a queen sized bed into the family room, moving things around, and keeping everyone fed, watered, and most importantly, out of the smoke. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before, and I doubt I will again. It is… honestly… the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. The sky is permanently dark with an ominous red tinge. Cars have layers of snow ash on them, and going outside becomes even more of a hassle than it was pre-COVID

I consider myself incredibly lucky. Our 1/3 of an acre plot in the foothills of the east side of the Coastal Range was not affected. Our chickens, while stressed by all of the extra smoke in the air, are doing just fine. And one of them (Margret) is already laying.

The air is still thick. There are still fires raging. But tomorrow and Tuesday it may finally rain, which would most certainly reduce our risk.

With all of this going on, and so many people in the house (and me in need of some quiet time that’s not work), I dug out the old G4 Mac Mini. And I’ve got it working again.

So hi! It’s nice to be back.