Tuesday, November 8. 2011
Felt an earthquake last night. I suppose I've gone through similar events in the past but never noticed before. But there I was, looking squarely at the monitor screen while the house rumbled in the background. I looked around for confirmation: soon found a page that the USGS -- you know, the much loathed, ever wasteful federal government, although for anyone who's read as many John McPhee books as I have they may be your favorite corner of the behemoth -- listing every M1.0+ earthquake in the US (plus a few, it turns out, in Mexico, and probably Canada too) that's occurred in the last seven days. My event wasn't there at first, but a few minutes later it popped up: Magnitude 4.7, depth 5 km, distance 9 km from Prague, OK (44 miles due east of Oklahoma City), 08:46:57 PM local time. The map showed 28 earthquake events in that area over the last 7 days: the largest a M5.6 on Sunday which I hadn't noticed but other people had -- probably why I was conscious of the possibility. California hands will scoff, of course -- judging from the 7-day report Alaskans even more so. Wichita wasn't listed in the distances table, but we're about 180 miles away. At that distance the rumbling lasted about 10 seconds and didn't manage to relocate even one CD. Indeed, the house shook less than it did when the USAF -- a part of the aforementioned federal behemoth that I'm much less fond of than the USGS, in part for this very reason -- buzzed the neighborhood with a low-altitude B-2 flyover (accompanied with a tornado-like roar).
Rained all day yesterday -- officially 1.75 inches, leaving us still officially droughtstruck, 9.5 inches down for the year -- with high winds stripping yellow leaves from the trees and occasional raptures of thunder. Same system produced a tornado in Oklahoma -- something rare (but not unheard of) for this time of year. This at least felt familiar, like a Boston nor'easter except coming from the southwest. Rain has continued into today, turning to snow in western Kansas and eastern Colorado. I hoped to build a ramp for the new shed this week, and start painting it. Maybe toward the end of the week, assuming I can find some way to get the lumber home. (My usual help isn't; seems like everyone has troubles right now.) Did manage to caulk a bit before the storm -- felt good both to get that much done and to get away from everything else.
Got up this morning to face a pile of mail giving me more tasks to do on top of things I'm already way behind on -- some already irate over my non-responsiveness. (Probably not as irate as I am over cases where I'm waiting for some direction.) Also happens to be a day when I have unfinished library books due, another reminder of my inability to keep up. And, not atypicaly, I'm playing a record have no real interest in hearing much less writing about. I feel like I've descended into some weird reality where the earth moves faster than people. Maybe even more purposefully.
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