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Thread: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

  1. #1
    Registered User Erin M's Avatar
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    Default To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Hello Mando Gang,

    I just wanted to say that, if you're on the west coast and if there's any chance of fires getting near you, please act now to get things ready to leave. Get all your important documents and belongings together NOW, not later. You won't have time later.

    If you're in a high-risk area and have somewhere safe to stay, it might be a good idea to leave before any official evacuations are issued. I've seen so many news reports of people waiting until they're officially evacuated, and then they're stuck on clogged roads and can't go anywhere. It's better to err on the side of caution.

    Fire-fighting resources are stretched thin, so they may not be able to be there when the fire is coming close to you. At least one member of this forum has been directly affected by the fire situation and tragically lost his home and tools. Please be safe and smart - we've had enough tragedy already this year.

    Stay safe
    "Flow, river flow. Let your waters wash down, take me from this road, to some other town." - Roger McGuinn

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  3. #2

    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Every year we have a version of this discussion, it seems. Just like the yearly flooding of the Mississippi river in certain areas and regular hurricane activity in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida......even with adequate warning, people choose not to evacuate for whatever reason. I can still picture my late father yelling at the tv "why don't those people move???? They go through this every year!!!" Stacking those dang sandbags along the river....That was 30 years ago....

    People smarter and more informed than me can't seem to figure out the psychology in place. For some, it is financial -- they simply can't afford to relocate and stay in hotels and buy food. For others, it is a primal need to "defend" ones property. It seems the fire (hurricane, flooding, etc.) is less of a threat than someone looting your stuff while you are gone, at least to some people's thinking.

    A couple years ago a cafe member had all his stuff packed in his car, the fire was less than 2 miles away, and he was on this forum hourly telling us about it. I said you need to run dude, but again there is a psychology in place that I can't understand. He felt he was in control of things. Logic would say you can't outrun it, if you wait too late. Also, if the road ahead becomes blocked, then, again, you're screwed.........but, people ALWAYS seem to want to wait it out for some reason.

    Like I say, at the risk of being disrespectful, didn't we just have this conversation last year?

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  5. #3
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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Annual warnings about life safety doesn’t seem to much to me. Some people find it hard to determine risk.
    Play it like you mean it

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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by Erin M View Post
    I just wanted to say that, if you're on the west coast and if there's any chance of fires getting near you, please act now to get things ready to leave. Get all your important documents and belongings together NOW, not later. You won't have time later.
    The big game changers here have been the dry lightning, the stronger winds, and the trees that are drier than usual from the many drought years over the past decade. Multiple fires have become major within minutes as they were blowin’ in the wind, which also was sending embers of ignition out beyond the fire line.

    For those of us with multiple instruments, that preparation also includes deciding now which one(s) you’ll be able to take. I wouldn’t want to be doing that with only minutes to spare. That process gave me a good reminder of how fortunate I am to have more than I can take.
    still trying to turn dreams into memories

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  9. #5

    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Erin - Thank you for the reminder. I live in Sonoma County where I have many friends and clients who lost everything except the clothes they were wearing. Many are alive through shear luck. We were surrounded, but fortunate. A few observations: first and foremost, your stuff is no good to you if you’re dead. Your heirs may be appreciative, but they would rather have you. Leave. Your stuff is just not that important. Second, I think people become emotionally attached to things because of the fond memories. One friend’s biggest regret was the loss of his mother’s Beatles albums. It wasn’t that he couldn’t buy replacement records or listen to the same songs. It was the covers with those familiar creases and the crackle pops that were in the same places every time. Can’t replace that. He still has his fond memories listening with his mom, and no one else down the road would likely ever share the same attachment. The memories made them special to him. My suggestion is first to make sure you have adequate insurance. I just finished Insurance For Dummies. Nowhere near as good as Don Julin’s counterpart, but great information and an easy read. Next, memories are important. Upload photos to the cloud or download to a drive and leave it at a safe location - preferably in a very different location. I found a service that digitized all my photos, including very old photos, movies and audios. They did a fantastic job and they offered additional services such as restoring old photos to better than the original. Everything is now on the cloud and on my office computer. I can reprint any photo any time. Scan all important documents in the same fashion. Finally stuff is stuff and they’re making more every day. If you have an emotional attachment you can’t bear to break, then it needs to go with you, but no matter what, insure and keep yourself and your loved ones safe. This is a great community.

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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Don't leave out arson which is the case with the Almeda fire in Talent/Phoenix, Oregon a scant few miles from my place. We are still on evacuation alert , though at level 1 currently.


    Grab the pets, passport, cash, and get the heck out. Forget "stuff" to include instruments. If you have something of great value, in my opinion it should be elsewhere more secure than your residence.

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  13. #7
    Registered User Erin M's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post

    ...

    Like I say, at the risk of being disrespectful, didn't we just have this conversation last year?
    No disrepect taken; you make many valid points. It boggles my mind too that people will keep returning to and rebuilding in high-risk areas. I'm still new to this forum and wasn't aware this was a regular topic. But this year has been a precedent-setting year for wildfires - it's encroaching on areas that were never considered high risk before. But... if even one person sees this thread and heeds the advice and doesn't foolishly hang around trying to defend their home or save all their stuff, but gets to safety, then it's worth it. Like I said: this year has been tragic enough.
    "Flow, river flow. Let your waters wash down, take me from this road, to some other town." - Roger McGuinn

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  15. #8
    Registered User Erin M's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hildreth View Post
    Don't leave out arson which is the case with the Almeda fire in Talent/Phoenix, Oregon a scant few miles from my place. We are still on evacuation alert , though at level 1 currently.


    Grab the pets, passport, cash, and get the heck out. Forget "stuff" to include instruments. If you have something of great value, in my opinion it should be elsewhere more secure than your residence.
    I hope they nail whoever started it... nail them to the nearest fence post and let the buzzards have at 'em.

    The Holiday Farm fire scares the heck out of me... it's already affected people I know in Marcola (they're safe and out of there), but it's edging dangerously close to Eugene/Springfield area.


    Update: I hadn't heard, but they do have a suspect in custody. He was on probation for meth possession... go figure.
    Last edited by Erin M; Sep-12-2020 at 6:34pm.
    "Flow, river flow. Let your waters wash down, take me from this road, to some other town." - Roger McGuinn

  16. #9
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    The Alameda fire, which started in Ashland, is 'under investigation' as a body was found near the suspected origin.

    Authorities did arrest an arson suspect for a second fire that was started in Phoenix, eight miles away.
    Play it like you mean it

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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    The arsonist was seen starting the fire in Phoenix (north of Talent) as the Almeda fire was coming north to Phoenix.. he accelerated the tragedy. He is under arrest.
    Yes, a body was found near the origin of the fire in Ashland. To date, connection unknown.
    Yesterday some rat bag, homeless cretin started a fire in a tree on the main drag of Riverside in Medford, just north of the Talent/Phoenix fire. He was arrested on the spot and identified by several witnesses. Riverside is also the Pacific Highway or Old 99 where most of the destruction was in Talent and Phoenix.

    I am up on a hill side a couple miles north and west of the conflagration.(Jacksonville). . It is choking up here but still safe as the winds have not come up today. Everyone up here ( on the Wells Fargo Hill) are concerned as getting out is a one exit affair and the road out is one direction only to avoid the Almeda fire. The road out is Old Stage road and the northern border of the level 3 evacuation zone. And, no entry going east, so west only and that is 2 lane and congested.

    In the last three days we have taken 28 fifty five gallon black plastic bags of pine needles and blown debris off our roof and property.. most as a result of the winds that made the Almeda fire so destructive. The County dump was closed on the second run of 16 bags, all due to bad air quality. My truck sits in the driveway waiting for the dump to open.

    My nephew lost the house and 2 cars and all household goods but he and family got out just in time in the Talent disaster.

  18. #11
    not a donut Kevin Winn's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Yes, there are a lot of un-founded rumors about arsonists, virtually all of which have been declared bunk by local and federal authorities.

    Please, folks, get the facts.

    Man, does this year suck.....
    "Keep your hat on, we may end up miles from here..." - Kurt Vonnegut

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  20. #12
    MandolaViola bratsche's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Every year we have a version of this discussion, it seems. Just like the yearly flooding of the Mississippi river in certain areas and regular hurricane activity in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida......even with adequate warning, people choose not to evacuate for whatever reason. I can still picture my late father yelling at the tv "why don't those people move???? They go through this every year!!!" Stacking those dang sandbags along the river....That was 30 years ago....

    People smarter and more informed than me can't seem to figure out the psychology in place. For some, it is financial -- they simply can't afford to relocate and stay in hotels and buy food. For others, it is a primal need to "defend" ones property. It seems the fire (hurricane, flooding, etc.) is less of a threat than someone looting your stuff while you are gone, at least to some people's thinking.
    My heart goes out to the people on the west coast and the nightmare they're experiencing. How horrendous! With due respect, though, I don't think you should put hurricanes in the same category. Fire has to be the absolute worst, bar none. Having lived through being in the path of 6 hurricanes, but not in a flood zone, it never even crossed my mind to get out of Dodge (for different reasons than any you mentioned). However, I shudder to even imagine being faced with the imminent threat of my neighborhood burning down! That's in a whole other league, IMO.

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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    I was born in Oregon and lived there for the first 30 years of my life. I have family there, I have friends there, I have friends that lost relatives. My sister has been chased out of her house twice now by fires. I say all of that to put things in context. I do care what happens there but lets not get into our personal feelings about the people involved. If we're going to do that my suggestion is that there are a whole lot of places on the Internet to have that discussion. Carry on.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  23. #14
    Registered User Murphy Slaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    I can still picture my late father yelling at the tv "why don't those people move???? They go through this every year!!!" Stacking those dang sandbags along the river....That was 30 years ago....
    My Mother in law calls Lake Charles, Louisiana "God's Country" She's been without power for 17 days now. I left there about 16 years ago, which was several major hurricanes ago.

    California has Earthquakes, fires, closed beaches, mudslides, droughts, floods, power outages and stuff I probably don't even know about.

    It's boring here...
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  24. #15

    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Thanks very much guys!
    -now when I look at this mandolin all I can think about is giant tidal waves.
    Bad day!
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  25. #16
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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy Slaw View Post
    California has Earthquakes, fires, closed beaches, mudslides, droughts, floods, power outages and stuff I probably don't even know about.
    In my part of the state, I’d add temperatures usually under 90 and humidity usually under 60, the ocean 30 minutes away and the mountains three hours away, majestic (when not on fire) redwood trees, outstanding coffee and wine, tremendous food of numerous cultures, and two music stores (Gryphon and Sylvan) with great mandolin selections. Unfortunately, you’re right about everything that you included on your list, but most wouldn’t have been true last century.

    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy Slaw View Post
    It's boring here...
    I went to grad school at the U of I, which I loved! The first time I went to the market, I was taken aback by the grocery bags, which had tornado preparation advice/guidelines printed on them. My roommates, who were born and raised in Illinois, found that very funny. Tornadoes were no big deal to them, and they couldn’t understand why I would be so afraid of them when I came from a land of earthquakes. 😃
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  26. #17

    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    It's boring here...
    You apparently got lucky and were not in the direct path of the Derecho windstorm August 10th. We had an hour of category 3 hurricane force winds with about 15 minutes or so notice. It went across most of Iowa and into Illinois then continued with less force across Indiana and into Ohio. The whole thing was 40 miles wide and about three or four hundred miles long though the worst was about 15 miles wide and 200 miles or so long.

    No one is immune to that kind of stuff. It is absolutely sad for the fire victims.

  27. #18

    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    I lived in the Bay Area during the Oakland hills fires. One big issue there was traffic getting out. The narrow winding hillside roads rapidly became congested with the smoke. It doesn’t matter how familiar you are if the car in front is lost. Three years ago I woke up at 4am with the north sky and south sky both burning bright orange - the entire horizons. I didn’t know how far away the fires were and I wasn’t going to wait to see which got there first. I got my wife and dog, fortunately I had started gathering pictures to send to get digitized, so I grabbed that box, some instruments and headed off. As I was going through the house wondering what to take, I realized that I had a lot of fairly valuable stuff that I likely would not replace if it were destroyed. Fortunately, our house was spared. The number one economic issue for fire victims in our area was inadequate insurance. Many people got insurance when they bought their house. In the meantime, housing prices skyrocketed, as did the cost of building a new home, especially when an entire community is trying to rebuild at the same time and competing for resources- materials and labor. Many people had enough to pay off their mortgage and were left with bare land and no resources to rebuild. Those with adequate insurance came out OK. As for me, I checked my insurance, became a power seller on eBay getting rid of stuff I don’t need, and digitized photos and such. Now my check list is pretty simple - wife, dog, go. Instruments if I have time. Of course I would check my wonderful neighbors before heading out. Mother Nature rules the entire planet, all you can do is prepare as best you can. Having said that, I would also mention that the community support during our disaster was overwhelming. We had police and firefighters from places I have never heard of who came to our smoke filled town to help. I have always appreciated those who choose to rush into harms way to help others, but the kindness and humanity I witnessed during that time is something that will live with me forever. Sure there are some dirtbags out there, but for every one there are many more good hearted souls who will risk everything to help a stranger. I know this to be true. Please be safe and well.

  28. #19
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    My experience has been that we learn to tolerate, even accept, the climatic conditions where we've lived for extended periods. Here in Rochester we expect about 100 inches of snow every year, common to NY cities in the lee of the Great Lakes. Now, that's not generally life-threatening, unless you are an over-enthusiastic shoveler with a compromised ticker, or an incautious motorist (or encounter an incautious motorist). We expect a certain number of annual "snow days" when things are pretty much shut down, and other days when commuting or doing errands -- or going to and from music gigs -- can be pretty hair-raising.

    But if the climate scientists are right, we can expect things to get worse: more fires, more hurricanes, more tornadoes and other windstorms. Should be a gradual, rather than imminent, phenomenon, but the overall direction of weather is probably toward the worse.

    In the army at Ft. Riley KS, summer of '67, we had a tornado warning every day, and thunderstorms of epic proportions. To a kid from the East, it seemed pretty threatening; the local residents took it in stride. Doubt Californians are "taking the fires in stride," but they've surely had experience with widespread wildfires over the past few years.
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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    My heart goes out to those near the fires. I know what it's like to insist on staying, because I once stupidly decided to ride out a hurricane, so long that I finally had to swim out. So yes, please stay way ahead of things and evacuate, if possible, well before they announce it's required!

    Another serious concern is the smoke. I am over a hundred miles from the nearest fire, but here in the northwest corner of Oregon, it looks like a foggy day in London. The air quality is poor, and the visibility is so low, the ships on the Columbia River are using their fog horns. Indoor air filters are not optional, but most people don't have them -- so expect the health crisis to go far beyond those close to the fires. The entire west coast (not just the Pacific Northwest) is smokey, with "hazardous" conditions (according to the Air Quality Index) reported in many locations from San Diego to Seattle. ("Hazardous" is the worst category, above "very unhealthy.") It seems the weather conditions are keeping the smoke in, and it's a couple more days before we're expecting it to lift.

    One tip: air conditioners (including those in your car), set to recirculate, are pretty effective at clearing the air. Stay safe, everyone. We'll get through this. Actually, I'm looking forward to the day this whole thing is over, and we can get out and play music again!
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  30. #21
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by August Watters View Post
    My heart goes out to those near the fires. I know what it's like to insist on staying, because I once stupidly decided to ride out a hurricane, so long that I finally had to swim out. So yes, please stay way ahead of things and evacuate, if possible, well before they announce it's required!!
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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Quote Originally Posted by August Watters View Post
    ...Another serious concern is the smoke. I am over a hundred miles from the nearest fire, but here in the northwest corner of Oregon, it looks like a foggy day in London...
    Smoke's hit the East Coast, a high thin haze, supposedly around 20,000 feet in the air. Reports that it's reached Europe today.
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  32. #23
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Thankfully I'm by the beach - so the danger is much lower. But two of my very good friends who live more inland had their house burn down a couple years ago while they were sleeping. They luckily got up and out in time, but lost nearly everything they owned. The fire was a freak accident and the true cause was not determined.
    The FD stated it was likely caused by a combination of dryness around the area and potentially the spark of something like the AC turning on or similar.

    Never a bad idea to have all your valuables that you cannot part with either ready to go or in a fire / flood proof box.
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    Default Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    I am in Jacksonville, Jackson County in So Oregon. It is choking here. Hard to describe.
    Then I drove ( the back way up 238) to Grants Pass this afternoon. Worse.. because the Happy Camp fire and the Talent and Phoenix Almeda Fire smoke have joined. It is horrific. You must wear a mask even in your vehicle.

    This is nuts.

    We have two seasons in So Oregon in my 22 years experience here:

    6 months of gray drizzle and 6 months of fire and smoke.

    North Central Nevada ( I lived there or some time many years ago) is lookin' really good.

    I seem to recall a "movie" where the principal character was a criminal who said something like..
    never own anything you can't pack into your car in less than 15 minutes.

  34. #25
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Exclamation Re: To Cafe Members on the US West Coast

    Far north-west Oregon , was smoky here due to light winds out of the east, then fog rolled in from the sea.

    Reminiscent of the Victorian 'pea soup' .. water vapor @ dew point with a carbon ash center to cling to..
    Decreasing visibility .. Shipping on the river uses the fog horns..


    Old town made out of Timber from the forests around it, burned down, in large areas, in 1922..

    (Reports are: sparks from downed power lines, like in California last year, started some of the fires, at the base of the Cascades..)



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