May 17, 2009

Shaken, not stirred

I'm writing this because there's a good chance* my East Coast peeps will be awake before me tomorrow and there's also a good chance that while I'm still asleep with my cell phone off, one or more of those peeps will see news reports about an earthquake in Los Angeles. And they will wonder whether it did enough damage to prevent me from - at long last - adding something interesting or amusing to this blog.

On the contrary, mon frere: After a long blogging dry spell, the damn thing might have been just the tonic I needed to get me to swing back into action. (To the extent that typing messages that 10 people will ever read qualifies as "action.")

So, just to get the Q&A out of the way: Yep, I felt the quake. The floor shook for what felt like three or four seconds - enough time for me to remember that I should probably get underneath the desk I'm sitting in front of, but not enough time for me to actually do it. It was strong enough to freak me out a little bit, but not serious enough to rattle dishes or knock stuff off of walls. As of right now, it's being reported as a 5.0, which makes it the second biggest one I've felt so far.

Oh, also the U.S. Geological Survey web site says it took place about five miles from where I'm sitting.

Which I really don't like that much.

Anyway, how about a map? Here's how it looked on the USGS site shortly after the shaking was done:

I think the red makes it look a little more dramatic than it actually was - the colors just correspond to how recently the quake took place, though. It's the (huge!) size of the box that shows the relative strength of the quake compared with other recent ones in our area.

And now that I look at the map: Good lord, there have been a lot of earthquakes around here lately.

This is also a good excuse to tell you a short but touching** story about my family. When I first told my parents that I was planning to move to California and how happy I was about it, I knew they would share my excitement. Indeed, the first words out of my mother's mouth were these: "They have earthquakes there."

* a 100 percent chance, to be exact
** or whatever the opposite of touching is

7 comments:

Daddy Geek Boy said...

I learned tonight that my study (hastily converted garage, that was converted by the previous owner) is the WORST place to be in an earthquake. It apparently magnifies the intensity of the quake the way the grand canyon magnifies an echo.

Your escalator operator said...

DGB - In that case, I'm very glad that your garage is not in Lenox, where it was centered. Hope everyone at Casa DGB is OK.

Escalator Groupie said...

So interesting that both you and inveterate blog reader TK chose to use the word "peeps" within the same 24-hour period...

bugs said...

Yes, we know about the quake. Yes, the first thing out of your mother's mouth to me this a.m. was "did you hear about the earthquake in L.A.?" Yes, you should move back east. Yes, we worry, but clearly you're taking every precaution necessary during these difficult earth-moving times...

Your escalator operator said...

EG - Yes, it is definitely catching on among the terminally unhip. Do you think she secretly read the blog and stole my lingo?

B - Thank you for your concern. Did I mention how great the weather is here?

bugs said...

no - you did not mention how GREAT the weather is there in this earthquake blog. funny how that must have slipped your mind.

Laura said...

I could go for a very minor earthquake that I could actually feel. Everything in this area has been so small I've slept right through it.

Of course, I can likely sleep through anything.