About the Author:

With a career that has spanned advertising, production, technical services, and project management, Michael is able to articulate the wide range skills and professions that make the Internet work. This eclectic understanding and his desire to shine the light on those hiding behind techno babble has brought success to a wide range of projects.

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Past Postings:

New York, New York

Made it to SXSW in Austin

Good Morning America, now Go Fight Traffic

More surreality in Portland

Irish Music in Oregon City

Landing on an Aircraft Carrier

Got Curry? And some bizarre art?

Random Music and Random Life in Portland

To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump

Flight Simulator

Cold night, hot fire, happy cat

Walking to work in the snow

A window into Moreland of the Past

Big and Little Beirut

Reflections on my DC Trip

Born Again American

The wall of pissing

National Treasure/National Archives

My trip to DC so far

Everyone is insane

Getting ready for DC

The Very Model of a Modern Major General

Race to Witch Mountain

Christmas Fire

CAT Scan!

Follow up to the shoulder injury

Ironic Injury

On the Santa Monica Pier

Oil prices and birdsong

Watching Starship Troopers AGAIN!

You can't build life

Accidentally Drunk in Portland

Al Gore the Winner

Intelligent life is out there (but itís bugger all down here on earth)

Aussie Rules Football

Trip to Nostalgia Land

I am such an idiot

Long day of travel

Miami -- as far from Portland as you can go in the US

I'm fascinated with modern plumbing

Leaving Seattle (or why you should keep your ticket close)

On the Rails

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Christmas Fire
2008-12-26 21:12:33

We woke up to the sound of the smoke alarm. My first thought was, "Damn it, why does that thing have to go off in the middle of the night?" I got up, staggered to the top of the stairs where the smoke detector is, and smelled smoke. Not nice, wood smoke from the fireplace, mind you, but a nasty plastic smoke.

Rushing downstairs I saw flames erupting from the top of the stereo cabinet. It wasn't burning electronics, however, but a pillar candle we missed blowing out after Christmas night. Some Christmas beads had wound their way into the glass vase that the candle was in, and thick black smoke was billowing above some really impressive flames.

Fortunately the vase was intact, and I was able to rush to the kitchen, grab a dinner plate and put it on top of the opening, effectively snuffing the flames. This left me just having to deal with a living room full of thick, toxic smoke; opening the front door and a side window reminded me that it was about 30 degrees Fahrenheit out.

I kept reminding myself, while shivering and spinning a towel like a fan to move the smoke, that this could have been a lot worse. Had the glass cracked, the flames would have engulfed the wood furniture it was on, or the flames could have ignited the lampshade that was just a few inches away, and that in turn could have caught the painting on fire above that, and then the whole house could have been burning by the time I got down there.

When we got up this morning it was like pure evil had settled in the living room. There was this pitch black soot on most of the surfaces, and it had formed black webs on the ceiling and light fixtures. You had to be careful to lightly dust it away with a dry paper towel so it wouldn't smear all over the place. Markie and I both had black under our noses, and I wonder what kind of nasty cancer we're both going to die of from inhaling this stuff.

With a combination of dry wiping, vacuuming and wet wiping, it seems to be pretty much cleaned up. There's still a sent of melted plastic in the air, but I'm hoping that the smell will be overwhelmed when I roast the goose tomorrow for a belated Christmas dinner.

I don't have to belabor the moral of the story, but it's nice to know 2008 is almost over -- it's been a bumpy ride.

: Re: Christmas Fire
2008-12-28 10:10:56

Good GOD. Are the kitties OK? Are *you* OK? How's the shoulder?

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