Monday, April 5, 2010

Earthquake! or Did The Earth Move for You, Too?

Yesterday's earthquake arrived at 3:38 .m. which is what the face on our grandfather clock read an hour later. Must have been an east/west rather than north/south because the latter would have kept the pendulum moving.

I was downstairs in the office, typing away. It was so mild that I didn't even catch on for a second or two. "Perhaps I'm imagining this?" I thought. Then I got it and shouted to Richie, upstairs, "Earthquake! Roller! Turn on the radio and see where the epicenter is!" (Standard Operating Policy in So. Calif.)

Rollers vs. shakers: Rollers used to make all of the secretaries on the 18th floor of the Century City building feel slightly ... nauseous. Shakers: Northridge! That one was so fierce and so long running that I broke my own rule and got out of bed (earthquakes generally last 25 to 30 seconds) -- I'd remembered the light fixture overhead. Earthquakes here most often come in the wee hours of the morning -- 4 a.m. comes to mind.

"My first earthquake?" she asked coyly. It was in 1964. I'd moved here from Kansas City (Tornadoes A Specialty!) and New York (fanny pinches in crowded elevators R Us!) I was about to get into the tub when I decided to have a last-minute pee. That's when the earthquake hit. I thought, "Great! They'll find me here, buck naked, butt down, stuck in the toilet. Why did I move here again?" Happily that didn't happen.

My brother-in-law, Charlie, has a theory about earthquakes and their prevalance right now. He believes that our Earth was once a solid-core ball. But digging for coal and other minerals plus all the oil that's been sucked out have left only a brittle shell -- which is breaking up.

What the hell; he may well be right. Someone (not me) should go ask Al Gore, inventor of the internet and now, he may think, God's vice president in charge of nature aka global warming.

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