Sunday, October 21, 2007

At Last An Excuse

We've got steady 30-35mph winds here at the Dawg Pound with gusts to 55-60mph. We lost a cabana (~$300) to wind but no big damage of threat of fire yet.

Malibu (Rockwell Research/Pepperdine) is burning and spotting, jumping PCH no hope for containment. Another small fire in Chatsworth and a forest fire in Castaic.

It will be interesting to see if this is the straw on the back of recession and inflation fears.

Update: "The Castle" is no more. Mixed feelings. Go to Curbed LA for background.


FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

First and Murst loozerz!!!


On a more serious note, I live in downtown Orlando, as you know.
I have experienced 6 or 7 hurricanes in my lifetime, so far.
I am sorry that this is happening to
you and your town today.
Keep your head down and Be safe.

Lou Minatti said...

Stay safe at Camp Dawg, Dawg!

Rob Dawg said...

Thanks for your concern. We have a bunch of things going for us and aren't going to be in any danger. The county is very diligent about defensible space so we just don't have any fire fuel near the house. The golf course is green and wet. And lastly the fires are stll very far away.

I've been through a few hurricanes as well. You can't run from those. But funny that you mention them. It seems to me that the huge bump in your regions' insurance rates was the tipping point that sent your housing market on its downward path. I expect these fires will have a similar effect on the high end segment of the market that is exposed to these fires.

The "red flag" high wind warning is extended through Tuesday with single digit (daytime) humidity. This is a long way from over. Stay tuned.

FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

Yea, who says Florida does not have any seasons.
We have hurricane season, fire season and peak tourist season.
Been there done that too, my rental house burned down last July.
Give me a good ol' hurricane over a fire any day.
Anyway, and yes, that was the local tipping point for people leaving Florida due to high cost housing. The home owners insurance bubbles.

FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

@ dawg,
From Drudge, is this your area?

Santa Ana winds are sweeping the region


Malibu Wildfire Burns More Than 500 Acres
PCH Closed, Pepperdine Students Evacuated

Pleather Murse said...

Watching it on the news right now.

Malibu Presbyterian Church a total loss; the recently remodelled animal hospital on fire but don't know much more. A lot of people in the hills trying to get their horses out. Some resident interviewed by one station complained at not seeing any fire trucks in her neighborhood, says people smelled smoke around midnight last night but nothing was done.

Pleather Murse said...

Update -- it did just jump to the beach side of PCH. Power is out at Pepperdine. They're covering it live on three local stations at the moment.

Rob Dawg said...

Yes, I am in the middle of this Santa Ana* wind event. The Malibu fires are 20-25 miles to the southeast and pose not pesonal threat. The big fire is Castaic 60 miles to the northeast which is where the wind is coming from and is causing the thin smoke in my valley.

* Santa Ana is a misnomer. It was originally called Santana Wind spanish for "devil."

Debbie said...

Oh man, this fire is weird for me. I'm living here in Holland, but grew up in LA. (BTW, Dawg, went to UCSB and lived in the hills of Ventura for a little bit...) Anyway, it's like having a family member sick and being unable to do bupkiss. I hope you and yours continue to fare well and best wishes to all my So Cal homefries.

sk said...

Everytime I read of these late fall wildfires in the LA area I'm reminded of being stuck, due to the traffic gridlock, in the Jessie Cates bar/restaurant in Thousand Oaks in late fall 1994. The TV showed LA "ringed with fire" and I remarked on this to the man sitting next to me in the bar , saying, NOW I see where Jim Morrison got his line for "LA Woman" from. We talked about rock music a little and since he seemed to know a LOT about it, I asked him how come and he mentioned Iron ButterFly as the group, which didn't ring any bell with me ( they, like Heart, never really made it in the UK where my musical education comes from ); Then we talked about computing and algorithms, and Turing machines and I mentioned my now-forgotten contributions to 4GL computing( The Last One was a notable competitor ) ( jeez how naive ) from 1982 and we had a great drunken and amusing time; until we tottered off to our respective homes.

A few months later I saw the "Missing" flyers..


Akubi said...

We lived in Malibu when I was a baby/toddler (essentially, before I can remember much). When we were in the area many years later, my mom thought she'd show me the house and the street it was on didn't even exist. She couldn't recognize anything. Apparently the whole area must have been completely devastated by a fire.

The Castle is architectural abomination. As Edgar would say, good riddance

Lost Cause said...

Sorry about your cabana. You know you are living the good life when that is a disaster.

Ogg the Caveman said...

In related news, the Seattle TV news stations are as sensationalistic as ever. For those not in the know, Seattle gets storms with winds in the 60 MPH range on an annual basis. My mom's comment on the "storm" referenced by that link was something like "It was kind of windy yesterday."

Lou Minatti said...

I'm watching it live:

Lots of expensive mcmansions going up in flames.

BJ said...

I have more mixed feeling on the Malibu Castle. I have more ire for the builders of tract McMansions than for the builder of the Malibu Castle. I also have more ire against the numb-nuts that throw lit cigarettes out the window when driving(see note). The Malibu Castle was set back from other places, not packed cheek to jowl. Its difference gave it character. It also means that people generally have strong feelings pro or con.

I guess the best way to judge ones feelings would be to consider what you would build there if you had unlimited funds and resources.. and realize everyones tastes are different.

On a separate note, it looks like the Malibu Castle was built using faux stone walls (split/cut stone applied to 'stick/plywood' walls). Once fire gets within one of these walls.. it all over. The stone applied to the outside concentrates the heat within the wall (keeps the heat in).

NOTE: I was driving a safe distance behind one such cigarette throwing numb-nut.. they threw the cigarette out their drivers side window, it hit the freeway, the air draft from his car picked it up and it flew in my window(not fully open) and nailed me on the face. Took all my restraint to prevent me from putting the hammer down and flattening the SOB with my 4x4. I may still have the piece of paper that I wrote his license plate number down on.

Bilgeman said...


Just to make us feel better, toss your lawn sprinkler up on the roof and hose the place down, willya?

The Chalet Bilge is also in a very flammable area,(although quite beautiful, the Shenandoah this time of year), so brush fires are always in the back of my mind.

And...not that I'm pointing fingers or anything, but have all realtors' and homebuilders' whereabouts been alibied for the time frame that the fires started?

Yeah, I know, but hey, I just THINK that way...and someone's gotta think "outta the box", right?

Lou Minatti said...

And...not that I'm pointing fingers or anything, but have all realtors' and homebuilders' whereabouts been alibied for the time frame that the fires started?

Too soon. The later part of Q1 2008.

Akubi said...

I also find McMansions architecturally offensive. However, one would assume a person with a shitload of money would have "details guys/gals" to assist them through their bad taste (faux stone says it all). I'm glad the people inside escaped without harm.
As far as unlimited funds and resources, Hearst Castle looks pretty amazing in comparison (at least he utilized original works).
While I don't have a particular structural belief system, some structures work well in context and some don't.
In the U.S. poor taste is generally shared among all classes.

BJ said...


one would assume a person with a shitload of money would have "details guys/gals" to assist them through their bad taste (faux stone says it all).

You have to remember that the Malibu Castle was built during the Disco Era, when cars had vinyl "Landau" tops (tastes always change). It may have been the 'details' guy's idea back then! You would also be surprised at how many buildings use faux stone these days. It is a lot easier to build and you don't have the earthquake certification nightmare you would have for stone/river-rock construction. As for poor taste.. it is shared everywhere. But then someones kitsch is another persons diamond. It all comes down to personal taste (which continually changes).

I usually found that the more vociferous people are just envious and would have built something far worse if they had the opportunity. With the Malibu Castle, it is set far enough away from everyone else, that having to fit in with neighbors is not really required.

I usually give more credit to those who are more individual and independent that those that just go along to fit in. With the 'go-alongs', there is no risk, no originality, ... just nothing.. vacuum. Just like the media was going along with the National Association of Realtors during the crazy house price days. Just like the stock advisers during the dot-com era.

I may not like the architecture, but I can appreciate the difference from what everyone else was building in that area.

The_Scum said...

Yeah, this comment will be seen by many as in poor taste...yet I make it anyway.

"It will be interesting to see if this is the straw on the back of recession and inflation fears."...Mr. Cote.

HAH hHaAHhah...fat chance. Yet another fire destroying overpriced shit boxes in Klownifornia...just like EVERY year. The rest of the country just doesn't give a craptacular shit about a few California fires. You choose to live there you deal with the consequences.

I hope yours and your loved ones are all okay (yes I do have personal empathy even while questioning mob pity seeking).

There are some areas of the country that don't burn up every year. Of course they might not meet your 'lifestyle' needs.

Good luck with the insurance companies.

w said...

and I thought Santa Ana just meant "over-priced tinder box".

Etymology from Wikipedia:

Wind patterns in the western United States result in the Santa Anas.Santa Ana winds may get their name from the Santa Ana Mountains in Orange County, the Santa Ana River or Santa Ana Canyon, along which the winds are particularly strong. There are also claims that the original form is Santana winds, from the Spanish vientos de Sanatanas ("winds of Satan", Sanatanas being a rarer form of SatanĂ¡s), and that this in turn is a translation of a native name in some unspecified language

Peripheral Visionary said...

I will join The_Scum in shameless internets trolling and say that this is what happens when you make stupid development decisions. Look at the old, traditional communities in the West, and you will find small, compact towns of homes in brick, stone, and adobe, surrounded by large irrigated fields; not just pleasant places to live, but very protected from wildfires.

But now we have development spread across the hills and up into the mountains, timber homes built right up into the trees, and hundreds of years of history of wildfires, and people look astonished and surprised and hurt and confused when their beloved second vacation home burns to the ground.

The good news is that in the West--as opposed to many other areas--Mother Nature will clean up development that should never have happened. The bad news is that in the process we will have blaring sirens and people weeping in front of cameras and politicians promising to "do something" and, worst of all, firefighters who are injured or who die protecting overpriced vacation homes.

I don't wish anybody any harm, and on the contrary, hope everyone stays safely out of the way. But the way that you make sure that more people aren't hurt or lose their possessions to a wildfire is by putting natural disaster mitigation as the first priority in development. Unfortunately, that's often the very last priority in development. It's extremely unfortunate that it takes insurance companies charging rates that are exhorbitant (but realistic, in a sense) to limit development because politicians are too timid to protect people from their own worst tendencies.