The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Calm Before the Storm

Film poster for Earthquake (film) - Copyright ...
Film poster for Earthquake (film) - Copyright 1974, Universal Pictures (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

          This past Friday night my wife and I were sitting peacefully in our living room watching a movie when suddenly we were jolted out of our cinematic fantasy world by a 5.1 earthquake with an epicenter of about ten miles from where we live.  I didn't immediately realize what was happening, but my wife, who is like a human earthquake sensor, scrambled out of her place on the couch and I was soon behind her.

          Where we were going I don't know, except to be away from the cabinets that could potentially fall on us.  As we stood in the middle of the floor, the ground rumbling beneath us, I heard a shattering of glass from the kitchen and the thump of something upstairs falling to the floor.  Fortunately the house remained intact and soon all was calm.  I put the movie on pause in order to assess the damage and see what they were saying on TV.

          The broken glass was in a cheap picture frame that fell off the wall.  Upstairs a few knickknacks were knocked over and a small box had fallen to the floor.  Otherwise all was well.  We were safe and the city was not a disaster area.  There was of course the possibility that what we had felt was merely the precursor to something larger still to come.

          With a bit of jittered nerves we resumed watching the movie since it was only twenty minutes from the end.   It was a pretty lousy movie anyway.  The Wolf of Wall Street was up for a few Oscars so we had decided to order it from Netflix.  My wife and I both like Leo Dicaprio and as always I felt he did a superb acting job in this film, but the character he played and the movie in general was morally bankrupt with no redeeming values whatsoever.  With Hollywood turning out garbage such as this film maybe an earthquake is what this town needs as a wake up call.

          As we returned to the news reports after the film was over, there was all of this mention of being prepared for "the big one"--having a emergency plan in place and supplies in readiness.  I've been hearing this since I moved to the Los Angeles area and have yet to make any preparations.  They can't predict when any "big one" is going to come if ever.   And when it happens it will come as a big surprise.  For some people no amount of advance preparation will make any difference whatsoever.

          Sometimes people will talk about earthquake weather.  Just like I've heard people talk about tornado weather back east.  There are many differences of opinion about what the weather is like before some major disaster.  The term I've most often heard cited is "the calm before the storm".  Perhaps there is a calm period before a storm, but mostly I think it's a matter of illusion.  One minute you're peacefully eating breakfast at the kitchen table and then without warning an airliner crashes in your neighborhood and all the houses are immediately destroyed or on fire.

          Dramatic I know, but nothing like hyperbole to make a point.  Then again I think I might be missing the real point I want to make and that is today is the last day before the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge of 2014 begins.  Some of you might be ready and blissfully enjoying a calm before the storm.  Good for you.
 
        I suspect there are many like me whose blogworld is already shaking as we frantically try to get ready for the month to come.  Are you trying to write posts in these final hours?   Are you trying to square things away in your life so you'll have more free time for blogging in April?  Yeah, that's me.  No earthquake supplies, no storm cellar--just waiting for the big one to come and hoping I'm not sitting on the epicenter.

        But that is such as it is.  Today I ramble.  Tomorrow I begin the greatest blog event of them all.

        In my first A to Z post I will be incorporating another Battle of the Bands.   This may be unfamiliar to some of you.  You'll just have to come back to find out what it's all about.   Those who know about the Battle of the Bands will know what's coming.   Let me dazzle you all with my deft handling of the two blogging events smoothly melded together into one coherently themed post.   Well, it may not be earth-shaking, but it's not going to be The Wolf of Wall Street either.

           Have you ever been jolted out of a peaceful circumstance to be thrown into turmoil?    If you saw The Wolf of Wall Street what did you think of it?   Are you all ready for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge?

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47 comments:

  1. I did see that movie and really enjoyed it!! Not sure what definition of 'Ready" you are looking for but I have a couple of drafts written ready to go but something tells me it will become a night before kind of thing!!

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  2. Haven't seen it yet, but I still want to see it.
    Saw that you guys had a couple earthquakes. Always unnerving. Don't think the weather has anything to do with one though.
    Posts are written and formatted, photos sized and ready - bring on the Challenge!

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  3. Have fun with the A to Z this year.

    I've never been through an earthquake. Good to hear yours wasn't major.

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  4. I'm really pumped for this year's challenge. I'm writing the posts with my boyfriend, The Biker Chef. We have week one already done. It's a delicious journey. Glad you survived the earthquake and nothing important was damaged. That is the thing with natural disasters, they don't give us much warning.
    Play off the Page

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  5. I added you on GFC also I am so excited to try the A to Z April Challenge and I'm still scrambling with my posts... there is definitely no calm before my storm. Am glad that the Earthquake wasn't too serious for you!

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  6. Gosh, glad that all is ok at your end. Be safe.

    Yes, my world is getting ready to rock and roll, too. I have just made last minute shift in direction. God alone knows, what lies ahead.

    But as they say, Que sera sera....

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  7. I've felt two earthquake tremors since I moved to Vancouver, Lee. One was at work and I was on the 11th flr of a 21 flr building. The building was earthquake resistant and made to flex. We felt the rock and roll of the quake's tremors. A scary experience.
    I'm ready for the A to Z, but all posts aren't yet scheduled.

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  8. Zita -- Procrastinator like me?

    Alex-- But you have a staff of clones.

    L.Diane -- I guess the biggest fear of an earthquake like we had on Friday is that it's a precursor to a bigger on to come.

    Mary -- Life is full of surprises, but some are not really needed. Good luck with the Challenge.

    Nats -- Thanks for adding to my follower list.

    BG -- Yes Que sera sera!

    DG -- I don't care how earthquake resistant a big building would be, I wouldn't want to be in one if the shaking started.

    Lee

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  9. I'll probably still see it out of curiosity, but I figured it wasn't as good as everyone was making it out to be. Also, I've never been in an earthquake, but I have ridden in a really crappy car with blown shocks, so... similar?

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  10. Glad you're okay. My sister in Fullerton was shaken up too and is still talking about the aftershocks. I even ran and we were watching TV way over here in the Temecula Valley.

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  11. I like how you compare an earthquake to the A to Z. Yeah, it does feel something like that come to think of it. You just don't realize it until you are in the middle of the alphabet (the epicenter) and the ground is falling away beneath you. Out of time, out of energy, out of good comments. Basically, out of your mind. Or maybe that is just me.

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  12. Friday's quakes were my first (we felt a little one before dinner and then really felt the other one as our food was trying to settle)! And I don't know which surprised me more - the quakes or the fact that I had give very little thought to earthquakes and being prepared since moving here just a few months ago.

    Being unprepared is just not like me! But there I stood, in the middle of the room, clinging to my toddler and telling him everything will be OK with absolutely no idea what I should be doing!

    I'm so thankful that wasn't the Big One!

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  13. Beer -- An earthquake is a unique experience that varies according to a number of factors. Some are like a semi truck driving past on the highway behind my house. You might feel it getting near, then you get the real impact as it passes and finally with heightened awareness you feel it as it goes away. Other quakes are more like the semi running into the back of my house--abrupt and scary.

    Desert -- Fullerton is even closer to the epicenter than we are.

    Robin -- A to Z had to be a theme for today and the earthquake was on my mind--the two just naturally seemed to go together.

    C Hill - You sound like us. After the scare wanes we forget about the possibility of a quake until the next one comes. I think it's the way most people are.

    Lee

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  14. I am glad that Britain only gets small earthquakes, and they are not common. . . . .

    Good luck with both earthquakes and the A to Z

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  15. Living in the Northeast, I've only felt earthquake tremors a few times, not an actual, full-on, California-style earthquake. We often get the tail-end of hurricanes too, but primarily in the form of heavy wind and rain. The closest we got to a real hurricane was when Hurricane Bob trashed Cape Cod when I was a preteen. They were still feeling the devastation when my family came for our vacation shortly thereafter, and we didn't have lights for awhile in our hotel.

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  16. Although we do have a tremor or two from time to time, it's tornadoes and high winds we take notice of.

    See you at the A-Z.

    T

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  17. Haven't been through an earthquake but I did survive a category 5 hurricane. After that I'm much more into preparedness.

    I have absolutely no interest in that movie since it represents everything I see as wrong in business.

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  18. In 2006, a 6.7 earthquake in Hawaii jolted me awake! There is a calm before the storm when a tsunami hits and that is always cause for us to stay alert.

    I am ready for the 2014 A to Z Challenge and look forward to reading many fabulous posts over the next 26 of 30 days!

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  19. Where do you live in CA? I heard there was a quake up northern CA. We have not had one for about 2 years, and it was a big BOOM!

    Should I or shouldn't I comment back to people on my blog?

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  20. Glad you are safe and the damage was minimal! Enjoy A-Z. I will have fun cheering from the sidelines and reading lots of awesome posts.

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  21. HI
    I'm really looking forward to reading your blog and to taking part in the A to Z challenge - I've been blogging for a while but telling no-one about it until I find my feet so this will be a good opportunity to try things out :)
    Fil

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  22. Rob -- I've never considered Britain and earthquakes in the same sentence.

    Carrie-Anne-- Then again you have lots of snow.

    Teresa -- You get more tornadoes where you are than we get earthquakes.

    Steven -- One of the biggest problems with the Wolf movie is that it portrays the corrupt high-roller investors as something good and regular hard-working people as something to be ashamed of being.

    Gail -- A tsunami would definitely be a scary event to be a part of.

    Susan K-- I'm next to Whittier about 10 miles from downtown L.A. If you're referring to responding back to the visitors who leave comments, I always encourage that. Do what you always do if you're doing it right and I think you are.

    Lee

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  23. Liza -- Safe for now.

    Fil --Don't keep the blogging a secret any more!

    Lee

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  24. Thought about you over the weekend when I heard about the earthquake. I have experienced a few (not in your usual places) in the Caribbean it rocks and rolls quite a bit. Not a pleasant experience, but then I've never been in a 'big one'. I have experienced hurricanes and tornados, another non-exicitng natural disaster.

    Not joining in on the A to Z, sorry, but once was enough for me. Have fun, I'll be lurking and I WILL be back and posting BOTB.

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  25. Speaking of weather, when I was a kid, there was a big tornado that touched down in Bossier. Prior to the tornado, the weather was unlike anything I have ever experienced, before or after. It was weird. Eerie, even. I didn't know that it was saying, "There's about to be a tornado," but, evidently, it was.

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  26. I'm glad to hear that you are both ok and that you were able to go back to the crumby movie. I've yet to see it but the previews, of course, made the movie look awesome. Looking forward to your post for the A to Z Challenge!

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  27. All he best for the A-Z challenge.. :)

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  28. Faraway -- See you at the next Battle (tomorrow!)

    Andrew - I used to hear people in Indiana and other places talk about "Tornado Weather" a lot. It makes a lot more sense than "Earthquake weather".

    Princess - Most previews make a movie look like it's gonna be awesome but I guess that's what they're supposed to do.

    Rubina -- Thanks!

    Lee

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  29. Glad you were OK. I have felt trembles twice in Ontario and once in NC. That was enough thank you.

    I'm all set to go tomorrow, in fact my blog is already posted. As the father of the A to Z I am surprised you aren't more prepared. Oh well. Mind you I keep feeling I should be writing a blog and for the next month, I already have.

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  30. Happy you didn't have much damage. My cousin lives in California and was talking about the "earthquake weather" which I'd never heard of.

    Ready - sort of - for the challenge after sitting on the fence for weeks about joining.

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  31. I was in San Francisco 2.5 months when Loma Prieta hit, and it was a very hot, still day in mid October. But I was in a large quake up in Washington State too, also a 6.9, and it was a cool, cloudy day at the end of Feb. I did make a quake kit, which was a duffle bag stuffed with clothes, undies and toiletries.

    I remember that Earthquake movie, presented in 'sense-around'. lol Ah the 70s disaster movies.

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  32. Having been born and raised in L.A., I have been through a number of earthquakes. That last one you had really wasn't very big, but all of them can unnerve a person if they're not used to them.

    Yeah, I'd say there are two types: the shakers and the rollers. The shakers are scarier, but the rollers are stranger.

    Looking forward to tomorrow's BOTB. I have a strange one I've just put together.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  33. Jo -- The best laid plans as the saying goes. Yes, you'd think I'd be better prepared for A to Z at least.

    Li -- About time you got off that fence.

    JoJo - I still enjoy disaster movies, but I don't want to be in a real disaster.

    StMc -- I probably should have used a song like "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On". I be around tomorrow to check out your match up.

    Lee


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  34. Yeah, that was quite a quake. I'm glad your damage wasn't any worse.

    Seems like the teens (well, certain teens) seem to like The Wolf of Wall Street. That pretty much told me to stay away.

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  35. I wish I could feel some calm but it's my first A to Z and I am freaking out! I've been crazy busy this month b/c my wife got a job (she was unemployed from Jan 2013 till about 5 minutes after i signed up for A to Z.) So I'm still scrambling to finish all my posts today... which was also Opening Day and the series finale of How I Met Your Mother! :-/

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  36. Scary about the earthquake: loved your take on it being what Hollywood needs as a wake up call! Lol. Looking forward to your Battle of the Bands. Have no idea what that's going to be about but I'm a music freak so will be coming back tomorrow to find out! This is my first A-Z Challenge and I didn't do a theme. My posts are just going to be all over the place. Will have to see how it goes. Drop by once in awhile --or more-- and let me know your thoughts. In any event, it's going to be fun! Have a great month Lee!

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  37. The A-Z storm has already started here in India, and we're enjoying it so far! Looking forward to the storm reaching your part of the world!!

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  38. I remember the earthquakes well - one thing I really don't miss about living in CA. I survived the 7.+ one that shut down the World Series...so glad I didn't rent that place in Santa Cruz mountains just a couple of months before it hit. I also remember a 7.+ one in Southern CA in 1992 - hubby was best man in a wedding for that one, and there was a psychic fair in the hotel where we stayed. Needless to say, I don't put much faith in psychics, especially after that.

    All this to say, the A - Z Challenge is earth shattering this year! 2044+ sign-ups and counting! We've got the best team, and you are a wonderful leader, Lee! Here goes nothing!!!

    Teresa

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  39. Oh my word!

    I'm glad you're alright and totally relieved that I don't live in an extreme-weather area.

    I'm so looking forward to another month of visiting through A-Z. See you tomorrow...

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  40. It sure has been rumbling here. I think today was the first without any quakers. Looking forward to the A-Z and having some fun with it!
    Life's Ride In Between

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  41. What a great example! I'm actually doing 2 different challenges, one as community organizer / contributor and one on my own. The one I'm doing alone is all scheduled and ready to go so I can concentrate on visiting others. We'll see if there end up being "storms" along the way, like loosing all my formatting 2 days before the challenge and having to switch platforms at the last minute! Yeah, let's hope that wasn't the pre-curser of "the big one." You've got me a little nervous now... Looking forward to reading your "Battle of the Bands" either way!

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  42. Have not seen the movie, not sure I will, thanks for the review. I have been through several such shakers and they are no fun, but what can you do?
    Ready, set, go - or I mean already gone!

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  43. Liz -- Not a movie I'd recommend for teens or adults or anyone for that matter.

    Chris -- Yeah, I'm freaking out too--in a stupid calm sort of way.

    Angels-- The Battles of the Bands are some of my favorite posts.

    Pro --I've already some of the posts from Indian bloggers.

    Teresa -- I was here for the 92 quake and that was really a scary one. Thanks for your kind words. I agree about the Team -- a great bunch in 2014.

    Fe -- Tomorrow is today already in some parts of the world. A to Z is a 24 hour affair!

    KT -- I hope the quakes are dissipating. Don't need anymore.

    Mom - Nothing like stacking one challenge on another to make things more interesting.

    Yolanda -- When the Earth wants to move who can stop it?

    Lee

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  44. Hi Arlee,
    This is a good reminder,
    And the other side of that world
    its already April 1st arrived and there we go :-)
    Have a wonderful time ahead,
    Don't worry about the surroundings, Earthquakes may come and go LOL
    Nice thoughts Arlee
    Keep posting
    Best
    Phil

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  45. I study weather, write about weather, have experienced every weather even you can imagine including tornadoes and gustnadoes and freezing frost, but some natural events that seem so common to others have never happened to me, such as an earthquake. I have no idea how I would react. I would probably move! I like the comparison of the earthquake to starting the challenge. I'm excited to be here again and looking forward to meeting new people!

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  46. PV -- You're right, an earthquake doesn't last long.

    Darla- At least we get weather forecast that give a reasonable prediction of what to expect. An earthquake just happens without much warning.

    Lee

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  47. Hey Mr. Alphabet dude,

    I know you had a bit of shaking happening. The after shocks must have been a bit worrying.

    And yes, we have earthquakes in Britain. A lot of folks are all shook up over your amazing alphabet challenge.

    I hope you realise that my human and I have done a lot a work in the background the last few years for those who were struggling with the challenge. We tried to make those who felt really stressed to just take it easy and remember it's not a contest. We don't get much recognition for what we do. However, that's okay because we do it ever so discreetly.

    Have fun with the alphabet, my human friend.

    Penny, the pawsitive host of the Alphabark Challenge, 2014!

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If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee