Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I've felt  at least three earthquakes, but the one today is the only one I knew was an earthquake as it happened.  My chair began shaking rhythmically. I stood up, felt nothing, sat down, the chair was still shaking. I was pretty sure it was an earthquake. I tried not to  think much of it. My wind chimes didn't  jangle. Nothing fell off shelves. Jersey  gets localized quakes in the ancient faults that  don't get reported in the news for a few hours.  But then the guy on the talk radio station said, "Did anyone of you feel that earthquake?" So I knew they felt it in downtown Manhattan. Meanwhile, I was trying to call the landlord on behalf of an old lady downstairs with a leak in her wall, no doubt the result of shoddy repairs by the  unlicensed plumbers the landlord uses, & the cellphone screen said, "emergency calls only." So I turned to newsradio & discovered it  was all through the region, centered in Virginia.   Turned on the TV, but that coverage was already tedious - a mild shaking with no damage is a lot of New Yorkers on the street saying, "I was  at _____ doing_____when I felt it. "

Except for some airport delays & evacuations & temporarily closed tunnels,  this earthquake is an east coast novelty, even humorous news.  Californians scratch their heads.

Want something to worry about? Right now Jersey is smack in the middle of the path for Hurricane Irene on the five day  storm track cone.

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There was a bit over at Daily Kos that was funnier than shit, especially the tag line: "And Roger? If you are this freaked out over a 5.9, don't ever visit California." Actually, we barely yawn over a 5.9. This is the land of the big ones (well, insofar as the U.S. is concerned). I've been through the Sylmar quake in the 1970's, the Northridge quake in the 1990's, and few others that have names like the Whittier quake, etc. that were all over 6.5 in magnitude. Those suckers can give your heart a little extra ticking. The Northridge one was the worst for me. It knocked over my refrigerator (spilling out red kool-aid all over the floor), all the bookshelves fell over, and of course, power went out immediately, so all this was happening in the dark. I definitely thought I was not going to survive that one.
Earthquakes travel farther east of the Rockies. For millions of people from Atlanta to Canada, this was the first earthquake we experienced & knew what it was.
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