This past week leading into the weekend was interesting indeed.
Due to the smoke and fallout from the Napa fires engulfing the San Francisco atmosphere, classes - and therefore work - at State got cancelled from Thursday evening on until Monday morning. Due to my peculiar work schedule, it meant I only worked three hours on Thursday, and had the entire Friday off.
It couldn't be helped, the air quality in the latter parts of the week was awful. I've been to China and even then it's comparable only on the worse days. The city was covered in a fog of dust, turning the midday sunshine into an amber orange you'd only find during sunset hours. Upon opening my front door, it smelled as if the entire city was having an outdoor bbq. On my commute I catch a glimpse of the new Salesforce Tower, and with each passing day last week it kept disappearing into a thicker and thicker smog. On Friday the building vanished entirely.
Air quality didn't get better until Sunday. Naturally, I stayed indoors for the whole duration, less a few hours to run some errands.
In that time I managed to finish the third volume of 'The Last Lion', the biography of Sir Winston Churchill. Some 3,000 pages later, I don't think I shall endeavor to read another biography of that length. Not to say it was a bore; Churchill was a great man who led his country - and the world - through a time of unprecedented evil. Due to his circumstance of having been aristocratically born at the end of the Victorian era, living through the two World Wars, and witnessing the twilight of imperial Britain, Churchill is a unique character positing a fascinating study of the period.
Conditions are much improved today, and good news up north the fires are for the most part contained. By the end of this week normal skies ought to resume for us San Franciscans.