Calistoga/Santa Rosa Firestorm 2017 (Part 3)

“Guess we don’t have to worry about that water leak over the dining hall any more…”

“The poison oak problem on some of the hiking trails has also been greatly reduced.”

You better be able to laugh the tears or you’re not going to make it.



Calistoga/Santa Rosa Firestorm 2017 (Part 2)


Next to a nuclear explosion, there is no more lethal killing force on earth than a big forest fire. The most violent are called “blowups” because they are capable of exploding. Just how they perform such a terrifying feat remains a mystery, but fire behavior experts think it has something to do with a convergence of weather patterns and hurricane force winds big fires often generate.

Fanned by such fearsome winds, flames become blast furnaces, then the furnaces explode. Trees that are not incinerated where they stand are often sucked from the ground and tossed hundreds of feet into the air. Only a handful of firefighters have survived a blowup, but from their accounts we know that blowups can outrun birds in flight, melt soil, boil stream water, crack open boulders, detonate old, pitch-filled trees like sticks of dynamite and incinerate entire mountainsides in seconds. Mercifully, most who fall before them suffocate before fire consumes their bodies”

Jim PetersenOctober 4, 2014   Evergreen Magazine


As my brother-in-law had described to me regarding the firestorm of 1964, when what they thought that the was exploding cases of dynamite that they used in that day in certain work on the ranch. These were actually sap-rich trees as they entered a furnace that was likely in excess of 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.


Example of those caught in a firestorm…


Maclean: “Dr. Hawkins, the physician who went in with the rescue crew the night the men were burned told me that, after the bodies had fallen, most of them had risen again, taken a few steps, and fallen again, this final time like pilgrims in prayer. When the fire struck their bodies, it blew their watches away. The two hands on a recovered watch had melted together at about four minutes to six. For them, that may be taken as the end of time.”

Jim PetersenOctober 4, 2014   Evergreen Magazine


Starting 7am Monday my email/Facebook/text/phone was ringing off the hooks from those in firestorm and those who wanted to know about those in firestorm.


The firestorm came in so quickly, most people got out with at most the clothes on the back.

Within 8 hours 40,000 acres had burned.

Not just the areas of forestry, but deeply into cities such as Santa Rosa.

The firestorm was fuel by 50-70 mph winds.

In Southern California these are the “Santa Anna” winds.

In Northern California these are called the “Diablo” winds.

I have been here all my life.

I have never experienced winds like this inland.

Frankly, other than the “News” reporting right now…

I had never the name of such winds.

I guess they hadn’t visited us for a while…

Perhaps not since 1964.

There was a sense of surreality.

At a minimum unreality.

People I talked to from Santa Rosa could not comprehend what had happened to them in eight hours.

Whereas I, 110 miles away in the Silicon Valley was mortified, some of people spoke nonchalantly or matter-of-factly as everything they owned had been burned to the ground.


I’d seen this before.

People were going into a form of “shock.”


They needed to rest and believe a message of “even keel”, so they could take next steps and steps that would be necessary shortly in next few days.


God was needed in this situation. Yes. God. If you have a problem with that GO FUCK YOURSELF.



Firestorms are among nature’s most violent and unpredictable phenomena. Tornado-force winds sweep superhot flames of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius (1,800 degrees Fahrenheit) through buildings and forests alike. Victims often suffocate before they can flee and entire towns can be obliterated.

Read more



When my sister called me Monday night well after a hyper-emotional day for both of us she started off calm, matter-of-factly. Shock.


Then she described as my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew had decided to “ride” out the firestorm.

(I believe I described what that might entail above.)


She described when we lost all contact with them early Monday morning…


She started to cry softly over the phone.


At that moment of “lost” morning she got down on her knees and started to pray.


On her hands and knees and started to pray.


Now she was crying louder on the phone.


Then she was on her hands, knees, and face crying that morning.


Then she stopped praying.


She stopped praying.


She stopped praying.


She stopped praying and started to beg.


She started to beg God.


She begged God.


Please God. Do not let our sister perish in a way described above.


She begged hard and cried hard that morning.


She was crying uncontrollably now on the phone.


My hand was over the mouth piece, so she could not hear my uncontrollable crying.


After listening, when it was my turn to talk about next steps, I tried not to let my tone-of-voice break.


I needed to be “even keel.”


So, my one sister survived the firestorm…


The fires continue to spread to large areas, which were subsequently evacuated.


Early Wednesday morning the “Diablo” winds are expected to return.


Perhaps, with some mercy at 30-40 mph.


But that is definite going to push these fires.


For us, now is a time for God.


If you don’t believe in God…


Stay the FUCK out of the way.


Because these are people who will be acting as if driven by God.


Been up 40 hours straight and I’m starting to get “cranky.”


115,000 acres gone in 36 hours.


God is indeed needed.


Everyone is hunkered-down, bunkered-down.


And dug in with a defensive position.


For the next round.



Lot’s of burnt kitties up our way.

Please help.

the other side


there are some people

you will encounter in life

who should both fear

and not fear

for they have already lived

a full life beyond most standards

and should have been dead

perhaps 20 years past

so, they have also already died once

they are like a prisoner on death row

in their own life

they have nothing to lose

treat them as such

for although on earth

they live on the other side

how I envy them

if you are an honest and good person

you have nothing to fear

if you are not

God has placed them in a unique position

to enforce God’s rule of law

without consequences

because they have already died once

and cleared God’s security check

on the other side

When I Found God in Godzilla



Sometimes you need a sunshine optimist.

Or a scapegoat.

Or an indecisive decision maker.

Or a forgetful professor.

Or a go-to-person.

I can never tell which.

That’s too many choices, so I usually just go with the scapegoat.

Or no. The indecisive decision maker.

Or no. The chicken trainer.

Looks like I left him off the list.

Guess I shouldn’t have had the forgetful professor put the list together.

He hates chickens.

He has what you would call an anti-chicken bias.

He teaches at the Chicken University.

I still don’t know how he got tenure.

It’s like the disappointment you feel

when you lose at a game of paintball.

Because your paintball gun jammed.

Because you were using real bullets.

Sometimes it’s right there in front of you.

Like when I found God in Godzilla.

I hear God talking to me


I hear God talking to me

in the whisper between the leaves

in the wind

Leaves: This was a God damn private conversation.

How about you mind your own business A-hole.


I hear God talking to me in the babbling brook.

Brooke: I wasn’t babbling!

But maybe you did hear God talking to you as I’ll repeat.

Where are my God damn panties!

Find them and take me to breakfast!!!


I hear God talking to me…

God: Hey, I wasn’t talking to you.

I was talking Brooke.

Here’s your panties.

Brooke: Good. Let’s go to IHOP!!!


My Shark Bitey


Me: Love boat karaoke. SS Minnow-style little buddy.

Judge: So, you admit to being naked in that night club?

Me: Sideways Sponge Bob Dali Lama.

DA: So everybody had a tattoo but you?

Me: Don’t tread on me. Hula hoop orgy. Ed Sullivan.

Ex-President Obama: So, you’re saying a Henna hair dye would cover up the white?

Me: Lefty-loosey. Righty-tighty.

Good God all mighty.

Might makes right…

Kiss the snake good nighty.

Nighty-night. Nighty.

Meet my shark his name’s Bitey

Obama: So, they would have that color at Walmart?

That is righty.


Uncle Matt KIA

I’ve spent my entire life sharpening my bullets
like row upon row upon row of metal teeth
that are shed when the shark is biting
riding the night sky lightening
lighting the night sky writing
God’s hand is forced
to sign his own name

regarding all unsettled business
the Devil’s keeping score
and I will see you when I see you

God is riding shotgun
I’m riding God’s shotgun


Bitey: Besides eating fish, seals, and humans I like cheese.

The Miracle Duck



Everybody came from miles around to see the “miracle duck.”

He quacked and quacked and quacked some more.

Then everyone exclaimed excitedly:

”Oh my God, a duck that quacks!

It’s a miracle!”


A duck quacking.

That’s a miracle?

Well, I guess it doesn’t take much

to be considered a miracle now a days.


Then I started my lonely walk home

past the haunted cemetery.

The wind howled through the dead trees.

I could feel the bitter cold of death in my joints now.

It was at that moment that I understood my own mortality.

That my life on this earth was slipping away a year at a time

each year faster than the last.


Then I felt a cold hand upon my shoulder!

Without looking back I exclaimed: “Oh, my God, a duck with a hand!”

“It’s a miracle!”


Bay Area band signed to Lars of Metallica’s record label.

Excellent band early 2000’s.