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Monday, November 17, 2008

I must have been sleeping like a rock

4.1 Earthquake northern S.D. County

When we first moved to California in the summer of 1970 I found it hard to adjust to the different seasons.

I had always lived back east where there were 4 distinct seasons, but here in Southern California that all changes.  We have: Drought, fire, monsoon, mudslide, and earthquake..  Fire is far the most frightening, as you can be taken unawares and lose everything in minutes.   Last year a co-worker of mine's neighborhood was evacuated middle of gthe night with almost zero notice with reverse 911 calls.  [This is a relatively new system where the emergency service calls *you* to tell you to get out if a bad fire breaks out.)  

 About 2 months afer coming to California there was a bad fire that broke out not too far from Chatsworth in the San Fernando Valley where we lived then.  I missed it, the family being in Las Vegas for a bottler's convention my dad went to.  I missed all the "drama" - but you could smell smoke for days.  Then in following Feb. there was a huge 6.1 about 6 miles from where we lived.  Hospital wing collapsed.  Once again I "missed it" we being in Vegas again for another convention.  We drove home that day, expecting to find some damage to our house.  Nada.  About a foot of water spashed from the pool, an overturned water cooler in the kitchen, and a top row of books from one of my bookcases which was tightly packed "jumped" onto the floor, in a neat row. That was it.  I was secretly disappointed I missed the "big one" that all my new friends at school eperienced.  My parents were somewhat amused that I had slept through a few fairly good aftershock for 4 and up that night.  For a week or two afterwards, however, I was introduced to a new sport common in souther California called "quess the magnitude."  What you do is wait until it's over and then say "4.5" and someone else says: "no way, 4.7 and no less."  Then you wait 10 minutes for CalTech to get its act together and say "SEE I TOLD you...."

Truth be told I'm kinda bummed I "missed" the quake this morning!  Those in the 4 point ranger are "Hey theres"  Same sensation you feel just before the first drop on a rollercoaster.  Giddy anticipation.

If you want to avoid all this, apparently the deal is:  Live in Vegas.  You can only lose your shirt.


The Digital Hairshirt said...


HA! Coming from the "sticks" of te Bronx, I too find funny the game of "Guess-the-Magnitude", which is also accompanied by "Guess-the-Epicenter."

Of course, the winner must be decided by whatever is the final word from Dr. Lucy Jones of Caltech, right? She IS the ultimate authority when it comes to quakes in the Southland.

gemoftheocean said...

And let's not forget the 3rd game.
"Homever jumps under the table first is a big chicken and whomever is the last to look unfazed wins the award as Mr./Miss/Mrs Cool" -- disaster preparedness drills notwithstanding. "WhatareyaJoey, somekinda TOURIST or somethin'?"

Adrienne said...

We live in an area that has almost zero drama when it comes to weather. A snowy winter doesn't count!

Therese said...

I don't think I would like to live there.

You are very brave. So brave I have awarded you.

See my blog for details.


gemoftheocean said...

Adrienne!!! You could have water pipes break and be stranded in a blizzard for days a la Lucy, Fred, Ricky and Ethel in the Alps!!

Terese: What are you talking about?! You could round a corner and smack in to a gang, gaggle, troup, nest, swarm, flock, whatever word you use for bunch of kangaroos! ?You can have one as a hood ornament in seconds.

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