Archive for January, 2010

Stop with the soggyfest already!! grrr…


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I had a visit from Tripod last night

I had a very short dream last night. In it, Tripod suddenly appeared next to me, looking happy, wanting to be petted. I petted him and then turned to another person in the room.

“Can you see Tripod?” I asked.

“Yes, I see him,” the person said, and came over to pet him. Then I turned to another person in the room.

“Can you see Tripod?”

“Yes, I see him,” the person said, and came over to pet him. We all stood and petted him for a minute, and then the dream ended.

I think I watched too many episodes of Medium.

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Our January earthquake

I live on shaky ground, as they say around these parts. Every few years, we get an earthquake large enough to do some real damage. Our subduction zone has the potential to deliver a 9.2 earthquake that shakes for a long time, but we’ve been lucky so far.  Most of what keeps us safe though isn’t luck, but some of the toughest building codes in the world (yes, Sarah, you moron, there really is a purpose to building codes other than frivolous government interference). Haiti doesn’t have our building codes or the infrastructure to retrofit older buildings that are not up to code. If they did, they would not have had such widespread devastation and loss of life due to a 7.0 quake. In 1992, we had 3 strong earthquakes in 24 hours:  7.1, 6.6, 6.7.  There were 98 injuries, no fatalities, and only about 70 million dollars damage. That was in spite of the fact that the earthquakes uplifted part of our coastline about a meter.

Our earthquake on January 10 of this year was a 6.5 (earthquake magnitude numbers are not linear, so the 7.0 in Haiti was significantly stronger). It was very close to Eureka (the town 7 miles south of where I live), and the worst of the damage was in Eureka, near the waterfront. There was one serious injury (a woman fell and broke her hip) and numerous minor injuries from people being hit with ceiling tiles or falling down. People were literally knocked off their feet. Much of the area was without power for several hours at least (we were without power for 4 hours, so we had to put my mom on her portable oxygen tanks). There was no tsunami, because it was a strike-slip earthquake (horizontal movement instead of up or down). The governor was in town on Thursday to assess the damage and declare an emergency. Damage in the county is estimated at 42 million dollars.

Like I said, we were both lucky and prepared, but the damage was small-scale impressive. Several old buildings in Eureka had to be condemned. What follows is a sample of some of the damage. Most of the pictures were taken in Eureka, but some of them are taken south of Eureka, at Humboldt Hill, Fields Landing, and Ferndale.  Ferndale has many old buildings and was one of the towns that sustained the most damage in the 1992 earthquakes.

Old Town Bar and Grill, also known as the Lazio’s Building. Slated to be torn down due to damage. Located in Old Town Eureka near the waterfront.

Pile of bricks and roof debris from same building.

Cracks near the front of the building.

Broken windows, Old Town.

Cracked window, Old Town.

Foundation shifted and settled, Old Town.

Badly damaged building in Old Town. “X” crack is a classic indication that damage is not superficial and cosmetic, but structural.

Crack in same building.

Uh huh. Same building.

A better look at the “X” crack.

Back to the Lazio’s Building.

Chimney fell three stories. Old Town.

Entire structure shifted, bulged, and cracked.

Artist studio on third floor had complete damage, everything broken, serious structural damage. Old Town.

Avalon Restaurant in Old Town.

Closer look.

Another old building in Old Town. Sidewalk shifted and cracked as well as the building.

Not just broken windows. Look closely at vertical supports. Note that the first floor support leans a bit to the left, whereas the second floor support leans in the opposite direction.

Continuation of sidewalk crack from a previous picture. Old Town.

Eureka Theater marquee badly damaged, but this beloved historical building apparently didn’t suffer any serious structural damage. Downtown, south of Old Town.

Vertical crack, Old Town.

Crack, Old Town.

Broken windows, Old Town.

Building shifted, sheared. Nail actually backed out of its hole.

Location of previous picture.

Lloyd Building. Cracked bricks. Repair is under way.

Failed chimney in west Eureka, south of Old Town.

Same area, south of Old Town. California Street. This area was hard hit in 1992. Lots of old Victorian houses. Old Town sits on fill (very bad). This area sits on old terrace deposits (not as bad as fill, but not bedrock).

This house was the most badly damaged. It was on a raised stilt-like foundation and slid off.

Another chimney bites the dust. Very few brick chimneys left in the area.

Broken water main, on Wabash, south of Old Town.

The Bayshore Mall was hit pretty hard. It is an old mall, near the bay, southwest of Old Town. Lots of falling ceiling tiles inside, damaged entryways, and buckled, cracked parking lot.

Bayshore Mall parking lot.


Damaged entryway.

Same entryway.

Same entryway.

Cracked street in Fields Landing, south of Eureka.

Old cracks from 1992 quake were reopened and extended. Fields Landing.

Fields Landing. House rotated clockwise off its foundation.

Abandoned gas station at the base of Humboldt Hill, south of Eureka.

Next day, back to Old Town. Newer bank building.

Same building.

More damage in the part of Eureka that sits on terrace deposits.

Ferndale Museum.

Ferndale post office had serious structural damage.

Broken windows, Ferndale.

More broken windows, Ferndale.

Historic Ferndale Cemetary sustained quite a bit of damage.

Note the clockwise rotation of upper part of grave monument.

Another monument rotated.

Cracks in the mud along the Eel River, near Ferndale.

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For the last couple of years, I have been telling my husband that I want a real honeymoon in Mexico for our 5th anniversary (I’ve been married three times and never had a honeymoon). Last year I went from politely asking to brooking no opposition, as being a stay-at-home caretaker continues to suck the vitality out of me.

This morning I took a long walk and thought about what is really important to me. I decided to propose a trade for one big-ticket item that means the world to me (honeymoon in Mexico) for something that means even more. I want land. MY land. THIS year. Not a distant goal. Not a “we’ll keep saving toward it” goal. NOW. MY LAND. So I told my husband I’d be willing to go for a straight-across trade: forever give up the honeymoon in exchange for a down-payment on a piece of land THIS year. After some hemming and hawing and jockeying for room, he agreed to make this our goal for this year.

He is in the process of opening a savings account at our local credit union, to position us for getting a loan. All I did was rename it to the LAND LOAN ACCOUNT. We had already decided to tell all family and friends that we want NO “things” for birthdays, Christmas, etc., but just wanted donations to our honeymoon fund. Now it has become the land fund.

I am turning 55 this year. I don’t want to wait until I am 65, all parentals dead, decrepit, and given up on dreams to go looking for land. I have been a renter since I was  18 years old. I want something to look forward to. I want some goddamn fucking roots. I want oak trees and pine trees.  Steve wants to sit outside naked. I want to hear birds, not cars. I want to grow stuff and raise animals.

I want  10-50 acres in the woods, where I can spend the rest of my years clearing brush, putting in a well, building fences, and spending my summers setting up an organic farm, hideaway, retirement home, and hopefully a small animal rescue sanctuary. When Steve finally retires, I want a place we can be happy and healthy and productive. A quiet place for soul nurturing and naked gardening.

For future birthdays and Christmas, I plan to hand out deposit slips to the savings account. Land.

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I see many Palinbots wandering among the progressive blogs that take dear Sarah to task for her falsehoods, her vindictiveness, her stupidity, her pursuit of money and fame. They pop in and make stupid comments about how Queen Sarah will rule the world, and how all liberals are afraid of her. Like Sarah, they refuse to answer direct questions, except with platitudes and word salad. They alternately threaten and insult, in a most predictable way. One of the most common spews they vomit into comment sections across the Internet (they must spend many hours a day keeping track of all those progressive sites) is about how liberals are afraid of Sarah.

If Sarah was locked in a room alone with a lone liberal (without her Blackberry of course), who do you think would be afraid? When she ran out of commonsense nonsense rapidly delivered in a screechy, Red Bull voice, would she finally realize that she was alone, with no help, no props, no cameras, no exit? Would she finally realize that she could not overwhelm the other occupant of the room with blithering idiocy, chest thrusting, lies, alternate reality, finger-pointing, and bumpit magic? Not intellectually. She would finally wear down emotionally, clawing at the walls and her made-up face when she realized that there was no friend, no ally, no servant, no doormat to save her. She would crumple in the corner, picking at her jacket, mumbling under her breath, gnawing on her fingernails. She would begin to hum and rock, and pet her Naughty Monkeys. She would recite the names of her children over and over. She would begin to bat at phantoms, and stutter out half-phrases.

Anybody who is really observant has picked up on one crucial fact about Sarah. She is never alone, can’t be alone, can’t function without an entourage of enablers and her Blackberry. She has assembled an army of idiots, ever at the ready to do her bidding. Call and threaten people? They are on it! harass a judge? You betcha! Wander the progressive blogs, leaving ignorant trails of tripe in their wake? Absolutely, also, too! Sarah herself has a very limited vocabulary, as anyone who has suffered through her “talking points” has realized. She NEEDS her army. They can produce a much larger volume of ignorant, badly spelled, poorly constructed talking points than she can.

Back to the fear factor. Are sensible people afraid of Sarah? Alone, no. But with her ignorant minions she is a force for evil, a Red Bull juggernaut, filled with the fervor of psychotic braindeadness, swarming over the land, like orcs bred in dark places. Am I afraid of poisonous snakes? Sure, in a common-sense sort of way. Do I base my daily life decisions on a healthy fear of sharp-fanged poisonous snakes? You’ve got to be kidding. The clown trumps the snake. The snake retreats under the rock, leaving the clown standing alone, make-up running, bumpit cockeyed, Blackberry stained with skinny mocha (unpaid-for of course).

Go for it, Sarah! While we all have that little niggling fear of the boogeyman, we are smart enough, and strong enough, to realize that the boogeyman is just a seriously dysfunctional whackjob living in a delusional reality. Hey Bots! Your zippers are down and your cars have tickets on them. Better get back to the real world and deal with actual reality. Too much time in PalinLand will suck out the few brain cells you have left. You won’t even be able to figure out how to order pizza if you stay too long.

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More semi-random pictures

I haven’t been in a blogging mood, so here are more pictures from my archives.

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For my son, from the archives

Nehemiah Owen McKinsey

Born January 7, 1978
Died May 11, 2009

It is only because of our misunderstanding that we think the person we love no longer exists after they “pass away.” This is because we are attached to one of the forms, one of the many manifestations of that person. The person we love is still there. He is around us, within us, and smiling at us.
~~~~~~Thich Nhat Hanh

This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies all manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide and seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave goodbye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We will always be meeting again at the true source, always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.
~~~~~~ Sutra “Given to the Dying” from the Anguttara Nikaya

And at the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
~~~~~~T.S. Eliot

Just as a mother would protect with her life her own son, her only son, so one should cultivate an unbounded mind towards all beings and loving kindness towards all the world.
~~~~~~Thich Nhat Hanh

I am not a bit tamed….I am untranslatable
I depart as air….I shake my locks at the runaway sun.
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your bootsoles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.
~~~~~~~~~~~Walt Whitman

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