Earthquake Virgins


Hey, in case you hadn’t heard, there was a reasonably sized earthquake yesterday centered somewhere in Virginia. And how did I find out about it?

Twitter, of course.

During my regular perusing of Twitter via my TweetCaster app, I came across several tweets from a friend of mine who lives on DC and my first impression was, “Really? An earthquake? Out there? Huh.”

My second thought was to find out if all of my peeps on the east coast were doing fine and the confirmed via Twitter that everything was hunky-dory. One said the following:

@aeromat Safe and sound in Southern Jersey. If we’re going to get CA #earthquakes I demand getting SoCal weather, too. And palm trees.

Fortunately, they were all okay with nothing major to report.

Now I know those of you on the east coast are catching Hell from us over here in California because, well, that’s the fun of living out here: the element of surprise by the sudden shifting of tectonic plates. Earthquakes can and do happen at any time and we are always at the ready in case one happens to hit.

With all that said, I don’t think it’s fair to go on criticizing them for their reactions which, from what I’d read on Facebook and Twitter, were definitely not recommended during an earthquake. Those ranged from running outside, calling 911 (since there’s absolutely nothing they can do about it), or just general panicking.

It’s just not fair because, to be quite honest, us Californians wouldn’t know what to do during a tornado should a bigger one hit over here. I say “bigger” because we did have a small one run through the neighborhood years ago.

And just in case you’re wondering, here’s a brief breakdown of what goes through the mind of a native Californian during an earthquake.

The Shaking Begins. You’re not really sure if it’s an earthquake. It could be the chair you’re sitting on, a passing truck, whatever. Maybe you farted. Maybe the cat’s running through the house with a brick in his mouth. Whatever the case, you never at first think it’s an earthquake.

The Shaking Gets Stronger. Yeah, it’s an earthquake alright. At this point you start to determine the magnitude, what kind it was (and there are differences, believe me), where it was centered, and how long it will last. And in this day and age, you grab your nearest mobile device and start posting on social networks or, in my case, even blog about it.

The Shaking Gets Even Stronger. A few seconds into it, you begin to realize that it’s stronger than you had originally thought and you should probably get off the sofa and stand in the doorway but the sofa is so comfortable and the nearest doorway is maybe 10 feet away. Too much effort. You resume current activities – on the sofa.

You’re Over It. As the shaking begins to subside, you begin to rate the earthquake on your own personal scale of “Meh” to “Yeah, that was a good one, alright.” Then it’s time to tour your estate and check for any damage, like you know, how much water the birdbath lost.

And that’s pretty much how we handle them.

So to all of you out there on the east coast who managed to get your proverbial earthquake you-know-whats, you-know-whatted yesterday, I’ll go easy on you and just ask a few questions.

How was it? What did you think? What was going through your mind when all that weird shaking started? Did you panic like a sissy girl?

Feel free to leave your comments. I won’t pick on you too much 🙂


5.0 on the Richter scale. Developing…

More info here:

UPDATE: Other than some calming the frazzled nerves of a 5-year-old boy who is now asleep, nothing major to report here from Long Beach. A few things fell off the shelves and everything else seems to be okay.

Unlike others that might roll in and then start shaking, this one came on strong because it was centered in Hawthorne, CA. That’s about 20 miles from here so yeah, it didn’t take long for it to hit us. Pretty much felt like we were hamsters being shaken in a cage by an evil kid. And strangely enough, I can hear the Disneyland fireworks as I type. This is odd because whenever there’s any kind major event such as this, the park is evacuated. My brother says it’s no fun telling people they have to leave after they’ve spent hundreds of dollars on tickets but hey, Mother Nature doesn’t give refunds.

That’s about it. Gotta go see if there’s any exterior damage. Here’s hoping the shaking’s done for the night!

BREAKING NEWS: Earthquake!

Reports are it was a 5.8. Some offices evacuated. Everything fine for now. No damage.

UPDATE 12:18 p.m.: Here’s a link to the story with stats and exact location. I was on lunch when I started to hear and feel some rumbling. Knowing we’re on the second floor and that the floors will make this same sound if you walk heavily, I kept on eating.

Then the blinds began to sway. The rumbling got louder and stronger. And I kept on eating. (You get used to these things in California.)

When it got even stronger I thought I’d better get my walk in before the place fell down on top of me. So entered the stairway and was met by a group that was vacating their office. I joined them on the walk down.

In the end, we’re all okay here in southern California. But it turns out Verizon is having some problems because I can’t make calls right now (UPDATE: All better now). It’s probably because idiots like me are using their valuable resources to post “live-on-the-scene” blog entries… 🙂

And now that it’s over, LET THE NEWS MEDIA HYSTERIA BEGIN!

UPDATE 9:10 p.m.: I have given NowPublic permission to use the image you see above along with the text I entered on Flickr. You can see it here!

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