Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I Felt That

Sometimes too much information about something you are powerless to change only succeeds in causing total paralysis. Take for instance, the Terror Alerts--the nursery-school color coded system of threat. I love it when Homeland Security tell us they've heard "chatter" and the threat level is red but unfortunately they don't know where or when the incident will happen. But make no mistake, it will happen. Please go about your business though. And don't forget to shop! If we don't shop, the terrorists have won. It's no wonder the entire country needs Ambien to sleep and Xanax to make it through the day.

Remember back during the World Wars, everyone was supposed to conserve during wartime? Folks grew Victory Gardens and stuff like gas and sugar was rationed. There was a commonly accepted idea that if the country was spending boatloads of money to fund a war then spending in other areas should be curtailed. This idea strikes us now as sweetly antiquated, like rotary phones and milk delivery. Now it's just spend spend spend and let future generations deal with the fallout. Who cares, we'll be dead by then! (Though not soon enough for some of us. Ahem.) If wartime rationing was in place today, I'd bet my life that public support for the war would have evaporated the very first time a Hummer owner realized his weekly gas coupon only permitted six blocks of travel. Instead, public support for W is at a head-scratchingly high 30 something percent. Check out Hendrik Hertzberg's weekly column in The New Yorker. He's a big fan of this current administration, though also quite willing to take the Democrats to task as needed.

What I really wanted to share is that I felt my very first earthquake in the Bay Area yesterday! The neighborhood I have lived in for most of the time is on a big slab of bedrock, which absorbs the shaking. This is safer than the Marina district which is formed on landfill. So basically during the next big quake the land under these very expensive houses is going to liquefy and fall down into the water. I actually felt the shaking while I was writing this blog yesterday and so I checked the US Geological Survey website to see if that's what it was. It was! There was a 3.7 magnitude quake 4 miles southeast of Moraga, which is very close to where I live. Moraga is the home of St Mary's College, which some of you may remember was where Diane Whipple, the woman that was killed by two 120 pound Presa Canario dogs in the hallway of her SF apartment building, worked as a lacrosse coach. By the way while I was doing a quick search for the correct spelling of Presa Canario I got a link to God Hates Fags, which reminded us that Diane has "been in Hell for 1881 days" for being a "filthy dyke who died for her sins." Ah, family values. So loving and accepting ... just like Jesus.

Anyhoo, what was so crazy and nervewracking about the USGS site was seeing just how darn many earthquakes happen everyday. There were 13 more earthquakes near Moraga in addition to the one I felt. And not just in California--there were quakes in New Jersey yesterday, too. I kid you not, look it up if you don't believe me look it up. Luckily I do have some earthquake supplies ready: water, canned food, cat food and medicine. But what worries me ... and I try not to think about it too much is ... what if there is an earthquake while I'm on the bridge? The 1989 Loma Prieta quake, 7.1 magnitude, caused 67 deaths, some on the collapsed portions of the Bay Bridge. The Bay Bridge is definitely seismically unsound, so much so that it is being rebuilt instead of being repaired. But it won't be ready until like 2067 so I guess until then we're just keeping our fingers crossed and tossing back the Xanax.

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