Montecito fire  (click to enlarge)
Montecito fire (click to enlarge)

The fire in Santa Barbara/Montecito is finally pretty much controlled.  You can see from the photo I took above the giant scar the fire left on the hillside. Within this scar are over 100 houses burned to the ground. Our house is just to the right of where this picture ends.  As it turned out, we weren’t in any danger, but we didn’t know it when this all started.  The winds were howling with gusts of up to 70 miles per hour and driving the fire in our direction.  Suddenly, for whatever meteorological reason, the winds quit.  The fire then became terrain driven, which means basically that it started burning upward.  Which was fortunate for us and Oprah, since we both live sideways from the fire and not above it.
We have moved all our stuff back into the house and now have to get it back where it belongs.  And I’ve got to tend to this blog and get all the comments up.  But, now we have to leave to get down to LA for a screening of the movie FatHead.  We won’t get back until late tonight.
Tomorrow – Sunday – we’ve got a pretty full schedule as well.  Plus, on Sunday night we have a family birthday party for MD.  Her actual birthday and party were scheduled for last night, but we postponed it due to fleeing from the fire.
By first thing Monday morning, I’ll have Gary’s responses to the questions posted.  Thanks for hanging in there with us through all this.


  1. I’m glad everything is ok!
    We had something similar happen to us in 2000 with many houses only a few miles away burning to the ground. Once you realize how close you came to losing everything, it can take a while to regroup emotionally.
    If you haven’t already, don’t forget to archive important items. We made a room-to-room video of our house, including a spoken description of all valuables, for insurance purposes. Also made copies of important photos, computer files, etc. Of course, all of this is now stored off-premises.
    We also learned that even the best homeowner’s insurance no longer covers what you might think. It’s a good time to review.
    Best wishes.
    The homeowner’s insurance review is definitely on our agenda after this.

  2. So good to hear the crisis is over! Don’t know how you do it, year after year!!
    Looking forward to a review of the movie! Looking forward to seeing it!
    How do I do what year after year? Escape from fires?

  3. Good to know things are relatively back to normal.
    FatHead screening??? That’s gotta be GREAT news. Been patiently waiting for more info about the movie for more than a year now. Any good news from Tom?
    The movie in its final rendition is great. The good news from Tom is that FatHead has a distributor, something the vast majority of indy films don’t have. Marketing of it will start in earnest after the first of the year. It should be available for purchase as a DVD then.

  4. i am so glad to hear that you are ok! i was stuck on the 10th floor of a burning apartment building many years ago and fire has really terrified me ever since. a big happy bday to md!!
    I passed along your BD wishes to the bride, who is sitting here next to me reading the paper about all the lost homes.

  5. Relieved to hear you’re safe, also.
    I’d love to see “FatHead” in its entirety. I couldn’t find any info on the website about screenings. I hope they update it… and/or release a web version of it.
    Thanks. FatHead will be available after the first of the year. Great flick, too. Tom and team did a bang up job. Lot’s of Gary Taubes in the final version.

  6. By the way, I hope Fathead makes a splash in the news.
    Or will it be ignored like all the other “fad diet” propaganda?
    The former, I hope.

  7. Dr. Eades
    Will this be out in mainstream theaters? I hope so. I hope it gets more attention than the misleading and farcical “Super- Size Me” movie.
    Mainstream attention to this will let the public know just how bad they were conned by Ancel Keys and cholesterol theory proponents everywhere.
    Hey Razwell–
    Good to hear from you.
    Tom has a distributor working on selling it to either TV or the mainstream theaters. It certainly lays waste to Keys and his theories.

  8. Just went though the videos on the Fat Head website. Can’t wait to see it in it’s entirety. I wish they hadn’t posed you and Mary in the same chair. It looked quite artificial.
    It was the chair in our library. We took turns being interviewed there.

  9. Hi Dr Mike! Happy Bday to your better half so to speak! Glad you guys are back home and your house was not damaged! i have a question for you as always. i recently read a book by Dr Brantley called ” The Cure” . He is a bit orthodox when it comes to food and health. He recommends eating tons of vegetables along with moderate meat and fish consumption. But here is the trick. Dr Brantley recommends eating meat and fish almost raw and organic off course. Here is what he said quote ” Eating a well done steak may be more more dangerous then smoking! One pound of charcoaled broiled steak has as much benzopyrene as in the smoke of 30 cigarettes. Is that true, what do you think? He recommends eating sashimi a lot and 50 to 75 % diet should be raw to eascape cancer and cardiovascular diseases. i saw him on lots of talk shows lately, and intresting enouph he does advocates high fat, low carb diet, but mostly hlightly seared meats, tons of raw vegs, and bunch of organic nuts and seeds. Cant wait for your comment! Love you and your work! thanks!
    His diet, as you describe it, doesn’t sound that bad. But I’m not familiar with it, so I can’t comment intelligently.

  10. That’s a great picture. I know exactly where you shot it, I lived in the harbor for years, out at the end of Marina One.
    I’m now living up on San Juan Island in the Pacific Northwest, across from Victoria. We just couldn’t handle the fires anymore. We had the boat in the harbor and a mobile home down in Paradise Cove in Malibu, and each year we dreaded waiting until the rains came, and lately they haven’t been coming much at all.
    Santa Barbara and Montecito are beautiful places, though. And you can’t beat the weather, and the very special mix of people. I’m glad to hear you made it through this round of fires okay. Another friend of ours up on one of the ridges dodged a bullet as well. Some of his neighbors weren’t so lucky, however.
    Next time you go into Brophy’s, say hi to Ara for us!
    When we first moved to Santa Barbara part time, we lived on a sailboat in Marina One. We were probably neighbors. When did you live there? We were there from Nov 1999 until about Oct 2001.

  11. Lol, I was writing when my husband screamed on top of his lungs lets go giants. He is the biggest giants fan in the world. He is a football fanatic! He hugged, put me in the air and kissed me passionly. So I got excited and wrote “‘lets go giants” Not every time my husband puts me in his big hands, picjs me up and kisses me. So it was a spur of the moment comment, sorry Dr Mike! But what do you think of his statement that eating meat well done is more dangerous then smoking? Is it true that well cooked meat has more benzopyrene then 30 cigarettes? Have you come across any such conclusions from any research?
    Well cooked meat probably has more benzopyrene than rare meat, and maybe even more than 30 cigarettes, but does that mean anything? I doubt it.

  12. This is in reply to Katya. I used this link:
    I read the material outlining his “Cure” and when I got to the part where he defines constipation as fewer than two to three bowel movements a day, I said bye bye Brantley.
    I’m 75, healthy, and I’m a once-a-day girl. My mother lived to be a lucid and beautiful 96 and she also visited the smallest room in the house once a day.
    It’s possible that Brantley’s other ideas are useful and helpful but he lost me in the bathroom.

  13. >>You can see from the photo I took above the giant scar the fire left on the hillside.
    Hmm… Admittedly I’m daft, so tell me which part of the hillside is the ‘scar’? Is it the large horizontal bare part of the hillside? It doesn’t seem blackened as is typical. The entire background certainly looks smoky/hazy but the photo is not as clear as the foreground, so I’m not sure what the scar looks like.
    It’s hard to get the past the beauty of the foreground.
    Happy BDay MD! You don’t look a day over .
    The scar is the big, grayish-looking area that extends from one side of the photo to the other. It is the range of hills in the middle between that last range and the front one with all the houses on it. The middle range used to have houses on it, too, but they are all burned now. There weren’t as many houses as on the front range of hills, but there were plenty.

  14. That should have said “You don’t look a day over (age minus 10).” But I used angle-brackets which caused great gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair within the blog software.
    Sometimes I hate this blogging software. It causes plenty of teeth-gnashing on this end, too.

  15. Hi Dr. Mike,
    We’re very glad to hear that you all are OK.
    We could see the smoke on the horizon, but got
    distracted a couple of days later when the Sylmar
    fire broke out (it’s about 4 miles from where we live).
    Fire season sure keeps us on our toes, doesn’t it?
    It does, indeed.

  16. “When we first moved to Santa Barbara part time, we lived on a sailboat in Marina One. We were probably neighbors. When did you live there? We were there from Nov 1999 until about Oct 2001.”
    I think I probably started there just after you left. I was on N-finger, first in the middle, and then all the way out at the very end, just across from the breakwater. Of course, that also meant I was just across from the foghorn, which made things interesting on foggy nights. But apparently you can accommodate to anything! It was wonderful to sleep out there, though, when all you could hear was the waves and the sea lions. Where were you? Is the boat you were living on still there?
    We were on S-finger. No, the boat isn’t still there. We sold it to a guy who moved it to Ventura. It was a 44 ft Nauticat, a motor sailor.
    We both loved sleeping aboard with the gentle rocking and the waves slapping the boat. What we didn’t love was using the marina restrooms and showers. Nor did we love schlepping our stuff the half mile each way back and forth from boat to car.

  17. On Saturday, both my sisters and their families had to be evacuated from Yorba Linda. Luckily, neither’s house got touched. One sister though, lives on a huge hillside where two streets above her, the entire street of houses went up, and two streets below her the embers randomly chose four or five houses to burn down. My sister was very fortunate.
    Spent Sunday with my father…. in Diamond Bar.
    Got stuck by the road closure of Diamond Bar Blvd, and couldn’t do any shopping for household things. I had shopped for food really early, so I baked chicken leg quarters, pressure cooked six pounds of chili, and finished off with pork chops and mushrooms in a port sauce. At least I got to feed my dad and friend, who was stuck with us. Fortunately the canyon fires were all to the west of my dad’s house, with the winds blowing westward and away from us. My family members were very lucky.
    Hey LC–
    Good to hear from you. I’m glad you and the fam made it through the ordeal. That’s what you get for going inland. You should’ve stayed there in Long Beach nearer the coast. Of course, I’m a half mile away from the coast and I was almost in trouble.

  18. Wow I didn’t know you guys lived on a boat! I have a 48ft Chris Craft Roamer. I have an apartment for the winter and plan to stay on it during the summer. Its a blast.
    BTW glad to hear ya’ll made it ok.
    When did you get a 48ft Chris Craft? Has your dad been on it yet? Where do you keep it docked?

  19. I just got her last summer and I love it! Dad was on it before I bought it, but he hasn’t been back down here since I finished my interior refit (wow mahogany isn’t cheap). I’ve got her docked at the Little Rock Yacht Club. Boating is a real addiction, and I’m definitely hooked.
    It’s an expensive addiction, that’s for sure. Have fun with it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *