Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rant #566: Shakin' All Over

Did you feel it too?

If you lived on the East Coast, from Virginia all the way up to New England, you probably felt a shaking sensation at 1:51 p.m., because we had an extremely rare earthquake in this part of the U.S.

It reached anywhere from 5.8 to 6.0 on whatever scale they are using now, and while it was mild, you would think that the world was ending based on some of the news reports I heard.

Sure, the shaking came unexpectedly, but it really unnerved some people.

I was typing something on my computer at work, and all of a sudden, I felt a tremor. It was like I had vertigo for a second, as I couldn't position myself correctly as I was typing. And my computer was shaking pretty good.

But then it was all over. I doubt it even lasted a minute.

The New York Metropolitan Area wasn't really hit too hard, although many office buildings had workers file into the street--which I heard is the absolutely wrong procedure, as you are supposed to stay where you are, whether in the street or inside. I don't know if this is true or not, but this was part of the hysteria surrounding what happened yesterday.

I know that the Pentagon was emptied, just in case this was an act of terrorism and not an act of Mother Nature.

Anyway, it was over and done with pretty quickly, and that's all anybody was talking about, including me.

Heck, it was my first earthquake.

I have been in some hurricanes. The most recent one was in 2004.

My family and I were vacationing in Orlando, Fla., and lo and behold, Charley was headed straight for downtown Orlando, which is about 20 minutes away from where we were.

Orlando got hit hard, and we got hit, too.

I remember how it turned the blackest black I have ever seen outside right before Charley hit. We lost all power, and I was using a portable TV as a beacon to see where I was going.

My son--who, appropriately, turned 16 yesterday--was little then, and I think he slept in the same room as my wife. I know that that night, I slept on the couch.

The next morning, we saw all the damage, mainly uprooted trees. I remember being on line in a Burger King--the first fast food restaurant in the vicinity that reopened--and talking with other East Coasters who were on vacation about how Floridians panicked due to Charley, and laughing about it.

Well, now I know how East Coasters, in general, panic about an earthquake.

I am sure Californians are laughing at us. They probably get 10 of these types of things a year, and they are used to it.

But, I guess for one moment, I must have been puzzled myself.

What was happening?

But what else can you say about it? We have now had an earthquake in New York City.

What's next--a tidal wave?

With Hurricane Irene on the horizon for this weekend, who knows ...

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