Ah, the joys of...
... you thought I was going to say last minute Christmas shopping, didn't you? Ha ha. Had you fooled.
It's the joys of being blissfully unaware of the world. The joys of sitting through a 3 1/2 hour long movie, feeling a slight rocking about a half hour in and thinking that it was just one of those small Silly-Con Valley quakes... waiting in great anticipation of the end, crying through the closing credits, and going through the rest of your day until... WHAM! Something hits you upside the head and says, Hey, remember that rocking you felt? It *was* an earthquake.
A 6.5 magnitude earthquake to be exact.
No, not a 6.5 where it was just down the street, or in your hometown, but one that was felt quite significantly about 120 miles down the coast, but still managed to rock people from Los Angeles to San Francisco. That's quite a reach.
A 6.5 where a 150 year old clock tower was felled.
A 6.5 that ended the lives of two people who probably didn't know what hit them (sadly, I think it was the aforementioned clock tower that hit them).
Earthhquakes are natural occurances. They happen all the time 'round where I live. Most of the time you don't feel them because they're so amazingly small.
Then there are those that roll your chair across your office while you're on a phone call with someone on another coast...
Or the ones that have you bouncing out of bed at 10pm at night when you're nodding off reading Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night"...
Or the one that hits when you're on the third story of a 4 story building that hasn't been reinforced since it was built in 1929, and you're knocked on your face... and then repeatedly knocked around for the rest of the night...
Yup. I felt earthquakes in all those ways, and more. I'm hypersensitive to them. Basically, they freak me out. Badly. And so I sat watching the movie ('Return of the King' for those who really want to know) in the theatre, and I felt rocking. I thought it was me being engrossed in the movie, but whispering invaded my consciousness, and I pointed out the movement to DH. He looked up at the dome of the theatre, and I startled, thinking that if it got any stronger that was going to be it. And then I fell back into Middle-Earth, and forgot, until I got that whack across the head (figuratively) that told me this wasn't your garden variety earthquake.
I understand that they're a necessary part of nature to relieve pressure on the seismic plates that make up the grounds under that which we live. And if occasional pressure isn't let off (in the form of little quakes) then something more massive and destructive is going to hit and take California into the ocean. OK, maybe that's a little melodramatic... but it certainly could cause some massive destruction in a very populous area of the state.
*For the uneducated, the three largest faultlines in California are the San Andreas Fault, which runs under a great part of Northern California along highway 280 (through the South Bay and Peninsula - San Jose, Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Francisco); The Loma Prieta which is actually part of the San Andreas - this is the region of Santa Cruz and south Santa Clara; and the Hayward fault, which runs through the East and North Bays (which covers cities such as Hayward, Oakland, Berkeley, Vallejo, and Napa). There is also the Green Valley and Calavaras faults, but you don't hear much about them, and that may not be a good thing - the less you 'hear' on a faultline, the more likely it's building up pressure.*
Now, some of you out there may think that California falling into the ocean might not be such a bad thing, but considering that I live in California, and I'm relatively near to the coast, I don't agree...
...besides, if it did, you wouldn't have this blog to read anymore. Then again, you might not consider *that* such a bad thing either, but if that is the case, then why do you keep coming back for more?