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Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Okay, well that was fun. I was just settling in to watch Rock Star: Supernova (or as I like to call it, the Brooke Burke Show) when the floor started moving beneath my feet. “I think we’re having an earthquake,” say I to myself. (Thank you, Captain Obvious.)

I rolled along for ten seconds or so and then thought, “Maybe I should find a doorway to stand in, like they taught us in school.” Apparently, according to the latest research, standing in a doorway isn’t all that safe, but I wasn’t about to go outside and stand under a giant oak tree. I walked toward the nearest doorway, which led to my bedroom, and watched as the blinds on my bedroom window swayed lazily (but dramatically) back and forth.

It was over fairly quickly, and while I waited for the first aftershock I took stock. Then I called Mom, who lives on the ninth floor of her building and would have probably felt it more strongly than I did here on the ground. Oh boy was I ever right about that. She shook for at least thirty seconds, according to her estimate.

The local radio stations are useless in situations like this, because they’re all programmed in distant lands like Los Angeles and New York. I checked some of the local news sites and finally found a preliminary guess that we had a 4.4 temblor centered 3 miles west of Glen Ellen, which puts it about 9 miles east of Santa Rosa. Well, that’s significant, but it’s still considered a “light” earthquake and unlikely to cause damage. (Except to a person’s state of mind, of course.)

Tammy phoned about half an hour after the quake to let me know that they were okay, even though their house is closer to the epicenter than mine. She was putting the boys to bed at the time it hit, and she told D.J. to stop shaking the bed. “Mom! It’s not me!” he said. Poor kid. The oldest always gets blamed for everything.

I’m about as frightened of earthquakes as I am of airplane flights. In other words, not much, but I still don’t like them and I’m relieved when they’re over. And while I wouldn’t sign up for one voluntarily, I’ve been through enough to know that we’re probably going to get past them a move on with our lives.

30 July 2006

Aiden climbs onto the bleachers behind David.

There is constant seismic activity all over the Bay Area all the time, and most of it goes unnoticed, so this one was significant enough to make my heart pump a little faster, but that’s about it. As you know, I was in the Big One (that they’re still telling us wasn’t the Big One, but you coulda fooled me) in 1989, so I tend to pooh-pooh a little 4.4 like this one. It beats a hurricane or a tornado any day, that’s for sure. Most of the time, anyway.

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How can a team that has lost nine games in a row still be entertaining? Take a look at what Steve Finley did in the third inning today. He legged out a hustle double, then scored from second on an infield hit to give his team the lead. That’s the kind of hustle you’d expect from a younger player, hungry to make a name for himself, not a 41-year-old 18-year veteran playing for his seventh different major league team. On the strength of four RBIs from Moises Alou (on a single, double and home run) the Giants went on to take an 8-3 lead into the ninth inning and barely managed to hold on to break the streak with an 8-6 win over the Nationals.

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One year ago: Contract
"No one was maimed or otherwise traumatized, so I guess it was a successful evening. And, as I said, it only lasted an hour."

Two years ago: Pitch
"It turned out the flickering wasn't a promise, but a taunt."

Three years ago: Shut In
"It doesn't really matter if it's the gardener, the pope, Oprah or Dr. Phil. What if I suddenly took a notion to start dancing around the room?"

Four years ago: Haunted
"The movie had some nice moments, and an eerily romantic feel to it, and some spectacular scenery. Maybe that should be enough, but to me it all added up to a lightweight flick without much substance or any compelling reason to watch."

Five years ago: Farce
"If it isn't as precise as a finely tuned instrument it could easily turn into a cacophonous mess."

Six years ago: Borrowed Time
"He's a licensed guru, or something like that."

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