So we're in San Diego, it's fall of 2007. The Santa Ana winds are kicking up and they're bringing one terrible awful firestorm down on San Diego County. Sunday night of that week, the hotels on Hotel Circle are filling up with people from Poway and points east. Sometime on Sunday night or Monday morning, they evacuate darn near everyone in the northern part of San Diego County.
So I roll into work (I'm a postdoc) on Monday morning and there's no one there. It's dead silent. The dry ice guy (who I almost never talk to, because he's all iPodded up) and I chat, and he's sayin' "Dude, I'm outta here and heading home after this delivery." After a while, I decide, you know what? Nobody's here, it smells like smoke in the lab, I'm heading home. Later that day, I call the main line at work, and they tell me that everything's closed for the day. The day after, they announce that because of the lack of emergency resources (all the fire guys are in east county), there will be NO bench chemistry and work is closed for the week.
Here's my thinking: "Man, I'm going to miss a whole week of bench time. You know what? I'll bet those boys and girls down at TSRI are still workin' in the lab." I drive to work that Tuesday, pick up my books, head home and start reading.
Later, I have a chance to interact with a postdoc from TSRI. "Hey, did you guys work during the fires?", I ask. The postdoc nods.