28 October 2003
Around 2:00 in the afternoon, we went out for a drive. The chair we got Matt for his birthday didn't assemble quite right, so we had to exchange it for another one. I took this photo with a flash because the nonflash version turned out nearly black. Check the rollover image for a look at Interstate 15. Yes, it's about 2:30 pm on Matt's birthday.
We learned that the particulate matter levels in our atmosphere today were about 700 micrograms per cubic meter. The normal level is around 25, and the "healthy" level is about 50 µg/m3. Today was far worse than yesterday. Despite these terribly unhealthy conditions, we drove around a bit anyway, finding that the smoke was thickest near our house and westward than anywhere else we drove, both north and south. It was nicest near the ocean in Cardiff. Matt chose a mexican restaurant in Rancho Bernardo for his birthday dinner. We were all pleased with the food and service, and glad to be out of the house a little.
Matt will not soon forget his 17th birthday, the smokiest day in San Diego history. We got him a new chair (where he'll surely spend 6-12 hours of each day from now on), a portable Yamaha keyboard (to fuel his piano interests), and a few other things.