Thursday, August 25, 2011


Frightened D.C.ers Needing Solace and Comforting

The Epicenter of the Massive Conspiracy

Tuesday morning at approximately 10:51AM, my time (PST), which is the only time that matters, the mischievous residents of the former gold mining town, Mineral, Virginia (population 424 as of 2000), decided to cause some trouble.
How they did it is still unknown (probably by the use of "Fracking," techniques (, however the fact remains that approximately 5 miles south, southwest of the town, and about 3.7 miles underneath the ground, those rascals got an old geological fault line created several hundred million years ago during the formation of the Appalachian Mountains, to shift around a little for about 20 to 30 seconds.
Now the dirt on the East coast of the United States is a lot older than the rest of the country. I don't know why. It just is. And the dirt on the east coast tends to be stuck together. Now when the earth shifts around, that movement is transmitted over a large area, in the form of what some would call an earthquake. As it turns out, a 5.8 earthquake on the Richter Magnitude Scale, which is a pretty big quake, a little less powerful than a 5.9 earthquake, and much more powerful than a 5.7, most assuredly. The Richter people describe this magnitude quake as "moderate." They also describe a moderate quake as: "Can cause major damage to poorly constructed buildings over small regions. At most slight damage to well-designed buildings." They claim that this type of event is actually a natural occurrence that should be expected to happen every 800 years or so.
They were certainly correct about the amount of damage which was a result of the quake. Below is a picture representative of the comprehensive damage sustained during the mighty trembler:

It would seem that the prank backfired on the people of Mineral, Virginia, as they seemed to have received the brunt of the physical realities of making the earth move back and forth so close to where they live. Around the town masonry crumbled, cracks ran down walls, windows shattered, and chimneys crumbled. The town actually sustained some serious damage, which of course is unfortunate to say the least. However, there were no reports of physical injuries to the town's citizens, which is the most important thing.
But due to that old dirt, and the ability of the earthquake's shock waves being transmitted long distances, the quake was felt quite aways away (as opposed to the younger dirt we have here in Los Angeles, for instance, which does not transmit these types of shocks very well, resulting in much fiercer tremors in a more localized area, which causes more damage to property and people).
And people on the East coast of the United States are not used to this type of behavior from their dirt... to say the least.
I'm told that reports of tremors came from as far north as Sudbury, Ontario, which is way up in Canada, a whole different country (so this quake could be considered by some as an act of war), and as far south as Alabama.
Thousands of innocent folks poured out of offices and other buildings after experiencing the unfamiliar shocks in Washington D.C. (picture above) requiring solace and comforting. The Pentagon, White House, and the Capital building were evacuated. The Holland tunnel under the Hudson River in New York City, which links New York and New Jersey, was closed. The city's skyscrapers shifted from side to side (which is exactly what they're supposed to do in such instances.
Here are two examples of the national media's coverage of the unusual event:
The quake was of such a magnitude that my lovely ex-case manager, Erin, was aware of it before I could dutifully report it to her in my daily Email briefing concerning current events (either that, or her family in New Jersey told her about it). This was her response when I did let her know of it: "I heard!!! So Odd!!!"
Odd Indeed! The ways of the planet are strange and marvelous.
There were a few instances of actual damage other than lawn furniture displacement reported. The Washington Monument was closed yesterday as inspectors inspected cracks in the structure way up at the top. The National Cathedral in D.C. had several pinnacles in one of it's towers either crack or brake off (which indicates the structure needs refurbishing, and why does the U.S. have a National Cathedral anyway... a clear violation of the separation of church and state!).
MSNBC commentator and host of "Hardball," Chris Matthews, was so scared by the quake that he ran off into the night and a substitute host had to take over his duties. He hasn't been heard from since.
Two nuclear reactors at the North Anna power station, which is very close to the epicenter of the quake at Mineral, were automatically taken off line during the quake, as a safety precaution. This of course proves how dependable and secure nuclear power is, and more plants of this nature should be built near existing fault lines to meet the nation's growing energy needs immediately if not sooner.
It is interesting to note that the earthquake occurred within House Majority Leader, Eric Canter's home district. It is also interesting that Rep. Cantor has voted to cut funds for natural disaster preparedness, such as the budgets for United States Geological Survey (which is the nation's agency responsible for dealing with earthquakes), the National Weather Service (who needs to know about the stinking weather anyhow... just look out the freaking window, for Christ's sake!), and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Don't need to worry about tsunami's in the U.S., this isn't freaking Indonesia!).
According to Roger West of the Richmond, VA Examiner: "Government officials predict the closure of as many as 12 NOAA offices - which provide warning services for 30 million Americans. The national weather service budget would be cut by $126 million over the next six months with furloughs at 22 forecast offices. -and shorter work weeks for the storm prediction center and the national hurricane center shall be expected.
Where are we going as a country? Last week the president of the NWS union said 'that if those cuts go through, there will be furloughs at both of the tsunami warning centers that protect the whole country.' The president also said, 'there is a very heightened risk of life if these cuts go through.'"
"What if we where to experience a disaster like Japan? How prepared are we in our country?"
Mr. Cantor, currently you have Hurricane Irene headed your way. How would you know about that, and make vital preparations for it's arrival if there were no agencies as those you and your Republican/Tea Bagger buddies would like to cut funding for. Are the Koch brothers going to warn you? I don't think so.
I first heard about the quake upon returning from my weekly yoga class, around 11:15, or so. Like my lovely ex-case manager I am also aware of the infrequency of events such as this on the East coast of the country (the last big quake in the East, with a magnitude of 5.8, was in 1944 in Massena, N.Y). I said to myself, "Wow... an earthquake in New York," then took a nice shower to remove my yoga sweat.
When I returned to my television they were still reporting on this itty bitty 5.8 earthquake, and how people there were so not used to such things. It was reported that many in New York City especially, were reminded of of the attacks of 9/11, and for a moment thought that was happening again.
I don't blame them.
And I have to admit that we here on the West coast experience them so frequently, even more powerful and deadly ones, that we tend to take them in stride (which could either be a good or bad thing, depending on the circumstances).
I've gone through many such instances of sudden shifting of the earth, and just don't care about them anymore. The earth will do what it will whether I like it or not. So I thumb my nose at them with haughty disdain.
When I was fifteen, on February 9th, of 1971, I remember waking up because my bed was shaking back and forth violently. My little dachshund, Buttons, was sleeping inbetween my outstretched legs as was her custom. She woke up to.
"Earthquake," I said to Buttons, then we both went back to sleep.
A lot of people reacted differently. My psychotic step father at the time, Norman, abandoned his family and ran from our house naked.
That quake was 6.6 on the Richter Scale. It caused a whole bunch of damage and 65 people died because of it. My family and I had to evacuate our home for three days because the Lower Van Norman Dam was damaged and a breech thought possible. We lived under that dam, and we were told that if it did break there would have been 5 feet of water where our living room used to be.
But I for one will never, ever, make fun of the over reactions of those of the East coast of this wonderful country, despite the title of this post. We are all Americans, brothers and sisters. I can't imagine how I would react to an oncoming hurricane, such as the one currently creeping toward the Carolinas (move to California), and as a nation we certainly share the sorrow and pain experienced by those in New York City on September 11th, 2001, as the tenth anniversary of that tragic event draws near.
No one can ridicule that.
We are reminded how those in the East react to our reaction on the rare occasions that snow actually hits the ground somewhere in Southern California.
Yes indeed, we do remember.
Maybe the Evangelist Pat Robertson sums up our collective feelings toward the reaction of those on the East coast, as reported in the Borowitz Report:
“God looks at people who get their panties in a twist after a little shaking, and He says to Himself, ‘Wow, that’s really kind of gay,’” he said.
In the meantime, the FBI has arrested the entire population of Mineral (babies too) and are in the process of interrogating the instigators. Republicans in Congress insist they all be shipped to Guantanamo Bay as Enemy Pranksters... forthwith.

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