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October 26, 2007

"Helluva job, Holden."

George, Arnold--and WAC?--tour Rancho Bernardo. Here (San Diego Union-Tribune), here (NPR), and here (AP).

Yesterday, they let people back into my neighborhood of Bernardo Heights in "upscale" Rancho Bernardo. Our own mask-clad and normally patrician Holden Oliver was kind to get his hands dirty last night by helping to return my rescued animals (including my demented cat J.D.) to the house and by cleaning up some of the soot in the rooms where windows had been cracked. Holden's no man of the people. And, while athletic, he generally shuns menial labor and the outdoors. He once told Julie McGuire that his idea of camping is "when room service at the Hay-Adams is late". But he loves hanging around Republicans--and this

week RB has even more serious "R"s than usual, a lot of them wandering around outside in RB. Holden had been working up north when the fires became unruly. Even that work stopped for a while. So he goes to San Diego, which many people are still avoiding or trying to escape. Maybe he wants to change the Constitution, and then run Arnold for something different, and national, in 2012.

Holden can adopt an observer's role in all this and even blog about it--but I can't. I live there. Someone called earlier today and said that they were finding charred bodies and skeletons at some of the burned RB house sites, and that the electricity in RB just went out. I don't even know whether this stuff is true; I have been busy on the other end of America, and I haven't watched or read much news. I'll do my own tour and assessment tomorrow when I return to RB. Not really sure what to expect. I'm a Midwest-East Coast boy. I am relatively new to SoCal, to the fires, earthquakes, bobcats, coyotes and strange reptiles, to the inland mountain wilderness that surrounds my house, to secretaries and receptionists who forget to come in on their first day on the job, to UCLA Law grads who think that 8 to 6 is a "really heinously brutal day, partner-dude". When people here talk about "energy consultants", they may not be referring to experts in fossil fuels, coal, oil or natural gas.

On every front, California has always been the World Headquarters of Surprise--good, bad, useful and lame.

Updated at 12:15 EST.

Posted by JD Hull at October 26, 2007 11:59 PM


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