The sky tumbling down

Nothing like a good earthquake to put everything into perspective.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to wake up in Japan this morning.  What’s the Japanese word for WTF?

They said you couldn’t out drive it or out run it.  It came so quickly that there was nothing you could do.  I can’t imagine.  Japan has the world’s most state of the art earthquake warning system.  It measures p-waves and sends out a computer generated alarm when a certain pattern is recognized.  P-waves are followed by s-waves.   S-waves will kick your ass.  The alarm came out 30 seconds before all hell let loose.  The bullet trains come to a stop.  The message comes out on tv, radio and cell phones.  Power plants have a fail safe they move to, some shut down.  And then all hell broke loose.

It’s always been a source of curiousity to me that every now and then the earth will rise up like a rodeo bull and try to buck us off.  She threw a lot of us off on Friday.  They are saying that 300-400 bodies washed up on shore this morning.  Here’s a country that’s used to the earth moving.  They have the most advanced seismic building techniques in the world.  And they don’t have some jackass Congressman telling them they can’t spend money on that.  That saved a lot of people in the big cities.

The next morning instead of gouging each other for batteries and flashlights, the stores were giving them away.  Evidence that we are not the best country in the world.  I know what happened in San Francisco in 1989.  We are just Rovian for saying it over and over again until most believe it to be true.   We have the capacity to be but we aren’t.

There’s something to be learned from this little tiny ancient country.  Yeah, we kicked their ass 60 years ago.  Yeah we helped them get off their knees.  Yeah, they did a really good job of putting everything back together.  And they live under some of the most stressful circumstances in the world.  Earthquakes are a daily occurrence there.  Wonder why their interior design is minimalist?  Less shit to pick up.

The earth just swallowed up half of that house.  Look at the road on the second story.  My neighborhood is a lot like what people think neighborhoods should be.  We all come out and chat with each other.  We all know each other.  It’s a nice friendly place.  We lean on our rural mailboxes and chit chat.  We help each other out.  That’s what we do.  Everybody would like a neighborhood like that.  I have one.  I was talking with one of the guys yesterday about the earthquake.  He says “Imagine, your roofline is 12-14 feet high.  We’re at about 15 feet elevation.  That wave was 27 feet”.  That wave would have sunk San Francisco and probably would have gone all the way to the Caldecott tunnel.   Yesterday’s wave went 6 miles inland in Japan.  It hit in one of the places where they weren’t finished building the seawall.  Here is yesterday’s wave arriving in Emeryville.

The other side of the freaking planet. He’s a commercial fisherman and he told me that what they do in this situation is take all the boats about a mile off shore if they have time.  His boat was at Moss Landing.  I presume he’ll go check on it later today.

OK, that was a softball.  Old girl’s still got it.

OK, I could have used this one.

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