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7/29 Earthquake: Welcome to California


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Hey, Dude and TR, I hope you guys made it OK in the quake. The news is reporting that the epicenter was much closer to you guys out in the desert than it was to those of us near LA, and I was worried about you.

I had just gotten home earlier this morning, dead tired, and was... ah... in dispose when the tremors hit. Initially I thought, "man, I'm more tired than I thought," but was concerned when the house started making grinding noises and the neighbors' dogs started barking furiously.

Hope things didn't get "all shook up" at your place. As nerve-wracking as earthquakes can be, you guys are in a terrific building for it, since it's single-story. Most of the deaths in the last big one were in multiple-story buildings, particularly that apartment building that collapsed on Reseda in Northridge.

Anyway, rest assured that earthquakes are not that big a deal, and there's all kinds of natural disasters anywhere you go in the world. Having lived through the '94 quake, it'll take a lot worse to scare the crap outta me, that's for sure.

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Damn, Pecman, good catch!. I was so involved in saving my ass, I never even considered this might be a first for the interlopers out east. Shameful of me.

The epicenter was about 20 miles from me, and my house shook like a hula dancer with a bee in her behind. Thankfully, only for a few seconds. The radio reports said it lasted 30 seconds, but here it was only about 4, which was plenty long enough as this old hyouse might have danced off its foundations otherwise.

This was the strongest, most violent one I've felt in the 30 years I've lived here.

For four seconds.

But yes, an eye-witness report from the newcomers would be outstanding.

C

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I've only experienced an earthquake once, a weak one, but it was in a multiple story building, so it was still a bit scary. Anyway, I hope all of you living in the area are okay. :)

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Here in Adelaide we are in the Earthquake Zone of Australia.

My house is right on the fault-line.

We had an earthquake back in 1953 if I remember rightly. It was terrible, terribly weak!

Why can't we ever do anything right in this country? :lol:

Hope you are all safe over there. :hug:

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This was the strongest, most violent one I've felt in the 30 years I've lived here.

Whoa! Then you must have slept through the '94 quake. That one was rollercoaster-city.

Most quakes kind of have a slow ramp-up, side-to-side swaying and bumping, then a slow ramp down. the 1994 quake hit us like a motherf@ckin' bulldozer hit the house, just BAM! and then kept going up from there. This was the dreaded "up and down" earthquake, accompanied by a pounding noise that was sounded like the devil himself was having a temper tantrum. My partner and I had been wide awake, it was 4:30AM, and I was on the net and listening to Howard Stern on FM radio at the time.

Everything in my home office immediately fell off the shelves and crashed to the floor, and then the lights went out. The shaking went on for a good solid :45 seconds, maybe close to a minute. (We were later told that what we experienced was about a :30 second 7.1 earthquake, followed immediately by a shorter aftershock of slightly lesser magnitude.) Months later, we checked seismic maps, which revealed the Northridge earthquake had more than a dozen epicenters. I swear to god, one of them was directly under my house (or at least within a couple of blocks).

We got off pretty easy compared to a lot of people. We're lucky to live in a relatively-new house (19 years), so it's built to code and all that stuff. We had no running water for a week and no electricity for about 48 hours, and that was rough. (I can't imagine what New Orleans residents went through after Katrina.)

I'm philosophical about earthquakes because I'm fatalistic to the point that I believe when your number is up, your number is up. I've been through enough earthquakes at this point that they don't scare me anymore; they just annoy me. But I also lived through six major hurricanes when I was a kid growing up in Florida. Mother Nature has a bad habit of kicking you in the ass when you least expect it. All you can do is recover as best you can and get on with life.

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This was the strongest, most violent one I've felt in the 30 years I've lived here.
Whoa! Then you must have slept through the '94 quake. That one was rollercoaster-city.

It sounds to me like the '94 quake was centered in your back yard. It was a long, long way from me, and from what you describe, you enjoyed a certain degree of propinquity with that mother. That quake lasted longer than yesterday's, and rolled a bit more, but didn't have the intensity or violence of yesterday's. Not where I am, I mean. I'm only a few miles from Chino Hills, and a healthy distance from Northridge. Of course, it's also true I may have slept through some of that earlier one as I remember it being around 4 AM, a time I'm usually nodding.

Chino Hills is an area with a lot of horse properties, and the majority of its buildings, both residential and commerical, have been constructed since new building codes went into effect in 1997 as a direct result of the '94 quake, and because of that, the damage yesterday was really minimal.

C

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I have to wonder which is worse: hurricanes or earthquakes.

At least you have some warning with a hurricane. A quake just pops up out of the blue.

A quake is over pretty quick but a hurricane lingers until it blows through.

A hurricane has deadly storm surge but liquefaction sounds pretty scary too.

I'm glad things went well and apparently damage was relatively minor and casualties were light.

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I grew up in Southern California and had experienced many earthquakes as a youngster. I remember one such quake, or at least that was the first one that I realized was an earthquake. One night it happened. My brother and I shared a room. He had the top bunk, while I was below on the bottom. I think I was 8 years old and my brother was 7. It was early in the morning before the sun had risen when the bed started shaking, so much so that it woke me up. I was so mad at my brother as I thought that he was causing the shaking. I put my feet on the underside of his mattress springs and started kicking, yelling at him to quit shaking the bed. I don't remember what his exact words back to me were, but that when i became very frightened. He wasn't doing it. I didn't know what was.

My dad came into the room shortly after the shaking had stopped to see if we were okay. He had to explain to me what had happened.

I moved away from California, not returning for over 30 years. Being back there, I wanted to feel an earthquake again. That may sound mental of me, but I really did. I wanted to feel an earthquake again. It was into my fourth year on my return that I finally felt one. It was small, I could bearly feel it. As the ground was shaking, I kept thinking to myself, "Is that all there is?"

Richard

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As the ground was shaking, I kept thinking to myself, "Is that all there is?"It was into my fourth year on my return that I finally felt one. It was small, I could bearly feel it. As the ground was shaking, I kept thinking to myself, "Is that all there is?"

Yeah, you and Peggy Lee.

Trust me, you wouldn't be saying this if it were a 9.0 and your house was falling down on you.

The bad thing about quakes is not so much the quake itself. It's recovering from the aftermath of the quake. The 118 freeway near my house was shut down for almost a year, repairing pavement and overpasses, and there were at least a thousand buildings in my area that needed extensive reconstruction. That went on for months, even years. I remember a big medical office building on Reseda (down the street from the apartment house that famously collapsed and killed 30 or 40 people), and that office was closed and shuttered for ten years until they finally knocked it down.

There's another big 10-story Hollywood skyscraper at the famous Sunset & Vine (where cartoonist Chuck Jones used to have an office in the 1960s). That building got whacked so bad, they had to evict all the tenants and shut it down for repairs. Those repairs are still going on, and it's remained unoccupied for more than a decade.

BTW, note that the Seattle area and the midwest (particularly Missouri) are far overdue for earthquakes. The bad thing there is, if they ever get hit, it'll be far more devastating than it'll be in California, because our building codes are stricter, plus we're a little more used to it. But I have to admit, a 9.0+ would pretty much ruin anybody's day, anywhere on earth.

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We, the residents of Vancouver Island, northwest of Seattle Washington, have been told continually that we need to prepare for 'the big one'. The trouble is, nobody knows when it will come, and they keep upping the estimates of what you should have on hand to get by. At first it was 24 hours, then 72 hours, and not it is 3 WEEKS. That is probably more realistic than the previous guesses, but how the hell do you safely store enough water for a family for 3 weeks of drinking, cooking, and washing, not to mention bathroom duties? And that's only the water, and you need to think about food, medications, heating, shelter, etc. All this needs to be in a place that will not be under the quake collapsed buildings, and yet people who have put stuff in sheds and other 'safe' places have had them raided by thieves.

Unlike CA, we also have to deal with torrential rains (if it should hit in the winter) and possibly freezing temperatures. Frankly, I think maybe a good supply of painless suicide pills might be a better route. (Bad joke).

We have tried to get a program much like Neighborhood Watch going here, where each person in a small neighborhood helps out, but in 3 months I haven't been able to get more than 2 houses to sign up. Nobody believes or cares. Sigh.

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Hey, what do you mean, no torrential rains here? Why, I remember once, several years ago, that it rained hard for 25 minutes straight! No torrential rains indeed!

C

Torrential rains generally last 40 days and 39 nights. 40 days and 40 nights are considered as being more threatening, requiring accommodation on sea-worthy vessels with cabins containing double beds for two occupants. The deck-hands however may sleep with whoever they like. :lol:

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Hey, Dude and TR, I hope you guys made it OK in the quake. The news is reporting that the epicenter was much closer to you guys out in the desert than it was to those of us near LA, and I was worried about you.

Thanks for the worry but I was delirious with fever :w00t: and didn't even notice the quake. 5.8 wasn't it?

Over the weekend, I was bitten by one of only four North American spiders that can cause harm to a human (and only 60 of the resident thousand varieties that can even bite a human for you paranoid arachnophobes) and have just this morning recovered from the first-stage (intense fevered delirium)...to find my left left swollen, red and utterly useless. Attempts to use it generate screams of agony and I assure you, I have a high pain threshold.

:hug: These entertaining aspects of the spider bite will apparently last for two weeks.

This... condition will slow down my unpacking (duh) as well as my regular duties and, well, pretty much everything. I love arachnids but promise you that this incident (or anyhow, arachnids) will appear in more than upcoming Ground Zero Satire stories, it will creep into the AD Flash section if nowhere else here.

I feel a need to repay the...debt. :hehe:

:lol: TR

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Over the weekend, I was bitten by one of only four North American spiders that can cause harm to a human...

Jesus! That's awful. I consider myself a fairly macho guy, but spiders give me the willies. That's one of the reasons I keep my partner around: I make him go in and kill any spider within 50 feet of me. (I use the old Woody Allen line from Annie Hall: "There's a spider in there the size of a Buick!")

You got my sympathies. The desert is beautiful, and the air is great, but there are some nasties out there. When I visited my friend and his wife in Yucca Valley -- or as I call it, "Yuck, a Valley" -- last year, he walked me around the property, and there were scorpions skittering out of my way, snakes, gophers, you name it. I think I would have to live in a hermetically-sealed bubble if I were to live out there. Your place is a hundred times more urbanized than my friend's; he's about half a mile from Frank Sinatra's old hideaway in the area (now sadly unoccupied and deteriorating).

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Ah, the memories, TR!

When I moved to my current home, many year ago, I was standing in the street in front that first evening in the approaching twilight, speaking in the casually formal manner you tend to adopt when you first meet someone. My new neighbor on my left had just introduced himself, and we were chatting about the neighborhood, California in general, perhaps even the weather.

One of the things he said that took me aback that darkening evening, among several, was not to stick my hands into dark places when I was cleaning or rearranging things. I asked why not.

"Black widows," he replied, somewhat acerbically.

"Black widows?? Okay, I?ve never been the world?s greatest conversationalist, or the quickest on the uptake. But why was he talking about a deadly spider? Certainly there weren?t any of those around here. Were there?

?Black widows. You?ve seen them, haven?t you??

?Seen them?? Yeah, I was beginning to embarrass even me, sounding more like a three year old than an adult. ?No, I haven?t seen any. Ever. There aren?t really any of them around, are there??

?They?re all over. Come on, I?ll show you. Wait here a sec.?

So I stood there, thinking about coming on and waiting a sec, and he went into his house, to return momentarily with a large flashlight.

?Do you think we?ll actually be able to find any?? My innocence still appalls me.

?You?ll see.? And we walked into my back yard, if you can call a leveled but unplanted stretch of dirt a back yard.

Behind the house, the area was contained by peripheral walls, as so many Southern California properties are. The lots are small, and enclosed so if you?re out back while your neighbors are, it won?t seem you?re family has suddenly swelled by how many of theirs are outside, too. My neighbor walked over to the wall on our right, then shown the light on the base.

Along the base of the wall, about every eight feet, there was a very messy looking web, not the beautiful, intricate webs like Charlotte spun, with or without Wilbur?s name in them, but a cottony riot of small web pieces. The entire thing looked more like a clutter of something than a constructed web.

And at the bottom, against the wall itself, was an ugly spider with unusually long, thin black legs, perhaps the evilest thing I?d ever seen. It wasn?t very large, but to me, plenty large enough. The body was probably the size of a dime, but not that round. The legs?ugh, those legs!?made the thing about twice as big.

I was stunned. Here was a poisonous spider, something I?d never seen before, and she wasn?t alone. My back yard was full of them!

I was speechless, my neighbor matter of fact. Not gleeful at my stunned aspect, thankfully, but rather indifferent to it. ?Come on,? he said, leaving the critter be and walking down the wall, ?I?ll find one that?s turned over.? And we did.

Further down the wall, we located one that was in the web itself, and it was working with its stomach exposed to us. There was the red hourglass I?d read of, and it was very red indeed against the absolute black of the spider?s body, and large, covering the entire underside of the animal.

So, I had black widows in my yard. Tons of the things. Well, it seemed that way. I didn?t sleep all that well that night for some reason. I kept seeing those long, pointy, splayed legs in my visions. The first thing the next morning, I was on the phone to one of the many exterminating companies that exist in Los Angeles, companies that make a living ending that of black widows. They came out the same day with their sprays and powders. And that night, there weren?t any more webs along that wall.

But of course I?ve still found a few around, over the years. With and without their toxic residents. Even inside the house, though that?s rare. I no longer get cold chills when I see one. The spiders themselves still look the essence of evil to me, but I?ve found they?re not a bit aggressive with humans. They?d rather run than stay and bite. They like dark places. They just do their spiderish thing, laying in wait for smaller creatures to come calling, and while I kill one if I find it in my garage, or on my patio, if I now find one at the base of the wall a distance from the house, I leave it alone. It doesn?t hurt anyone.

Unless, of course, that someone reaches in to disturb it, or reaches unsuspectingly into a crevice or dark place where it and its brethren live.

Sorry, TR. I should have thought to tell you about those as well as the earthquakes.

Cole

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Oh OMG, TR. That is awful. I have a major phobia about spiders, but my brother doesn't, but of course that meant it was only a matter of time till he got bitten. I think he got one of the nasties too, the Brown Recluse, and sadly, the medics here were slow to respond appropriately. He ended up with gangrene around the wound, and had to have surgery to remove the tissue. Please make absolutely sure that they look after you properly.

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Sorry to hear of your spider adventures TR. :hug:

Here are a couple of our Aussie tourist attractions or deterrents, depending on your viewpoint.

First is my local redback spider often existing in the 1000s on suburban properties. We have some out in the back yard waiting for you.

250px-Redback_back_view.jpg

Redbacks are Australia's best-known spider. They appear in songs and even have a beer named after them.

About a dozen deaths are attributed to the redback before an anti-venom was developed.

More frightening is the Sydney Funnel Web spider. It is a large (6-7 cm), black, aggressive, ugly looking spider with massive fangs. These are large and powerful enough to easily penetrate a fingernail.

180px-Victorian_funnelweb.jpg

The male of Atrax robustus, the Sydney Funnel-web Spider, is probably responsible for all recorded deaths (13) and many medically serious bites. This remarkable spider has become a part of Sydney's folklore and, although no deaths have been recorded since the introduction of an antivenom in 1981, it remains an icon of fear and fascination for Sydneysiders.

There have been 26 recorded deaths in Australia in the last 100 years from spider bites.

Sleep well and sweet spidery dreams. :smile:

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Earthquakes and wildfires and spiders oh my!

And I thought the South was hazardous with twisters and hurricanes.

You Californians are a sturdy courageous bunch to put up with hordes of evil spiders.

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I have to wonder which is worse: hurricanes or earthquakes.

At least you have some warning with a hurricane. A quake just pops up out of the blue.

A quake is over pretty quick but a hurricane lingers until it blows through.

A hurricane has deadly storm surge but liquefaction sounds pretty scary too.

I'm glad things went well and apparently damage was relatively minor and casualties were light.

Having been through both, I pick Earthquake. A hurricane lasts for as many as 12 hours. You stress knowing it's coming, you stress though it, and it's not fun.

The Earthquake is scary to be sure. But you don't have days of stressing and even a long one is only a few minutes. I've been in two, one I was on BART near the Ashby station. And one in an apartment in El Cerrito :)

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...I was on BART near the Ashby station...

And let me tell you, you guys don't know squat about racoon love. :smile::hug::icon_twisted:

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