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First Earthquakes since I moved home!

Early this afternoon, my building shook as if it was right next to a busy highway and a convoy of several big trucks roared past. That was my first actual earthquake since coming home to San Francisco. It was over in less than a minute. I didn't even have time to get up and run to stand in the doorway, which is what we used to do for earthquakes back when I was here before in 78-80.

Another one came along in the evening, sometime after the sun went down. I didn't notice the time. The second was a little lighter, like they were smaller trucks or the highway wasn't as close to the building. At that point I decided to do a little preparation.

I put Ari's harness on him and put a tag on his harness made with a Sharpie on some masking tape with my name, his name and my phone number. I got his carrier out of the closet and set his leash out handy. I packed up my messenger bag with my netbook, a few art supplies and the bag with all my medical and social services records in it. I made sure I had my usual supplies in my vest since I'd slither into that if I had to evacuate.

So if there is actually an earthquake serious enough that we have to evacuate this building, it would take only moments to clip the leash on the cat, grab the bag and vest and footwear and head down dragging an unhappy cat or stuffing him into the bag for easier carrying. I could grab all that on my way out the door given my speed and not be appreciably slowed down - given my actual speed. I wouldn't have to find any of those important things or try to carry an unharnessed, unlabeled cat without his carrier.

The current advice for earthquakes is "get out of the building and away from it." But there are a lot of stairs between me and the ground floor. I would not be able to get out easily or fast. I could not make it down all those stairs in the one minute a typical earthquake lasts. What I'm trusting most as I did before is the age of this building.

I think it's stood solid through all of the Big Ones. I trust the turn of 20th century buildings because they were built a lot more solid than more recent ones. I trust the most recent buildings too because the city instituted new standards of earthquake safety in buildings around from the point the Transamerica Pyramid went up. What I think of as the most dangerous ones are the "modern" ones from in between - the milk crate skyscrapers and box shaped ones that had flimsier construction and lower building codes.

I got a look at the construction diagrams for the painted ladies, my ex used to be into architecture as a hobby so we got this book on how they were built with a lot of historical blueprints in them. I was stunned by the differences in everything from thickness of boards and number of studs to the extra braces and supports in everything. It wasn't just the decorative ornate architectural details. A lot of those structures were stronger inside too than the styles that came after them.

Everywhere I've ever lived has its own flavor of natural disasters. Here in my home it's earthquakes. New Orleans had hurricanes. Blizzards slammed Colorado and the East and the Midwest and tornadoe warnings in Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas and even New York were a frustrating drill. It's like getting hit by a car, but less likely. You can take precautions and lower your chances but ultimately if you have bad luck, you have bad luck.

Ari got very scared after I took out the carrier and put his harness on and packed the messenger bag with my emergency stuff. He might have gotten confused about whether we're Moving. But he relaxed eventually.

In an attempt to control the roaches, I've started feeding him on his request and putting his food bowl away after he's eaten. I'm not leaving it out for them any more. I'm not paying to free feed roaches and attract them to this room. Instead, I'm making war with boric acid and the good old stomping boot, something no roach is immune to. I think their numbers should go down in a few days with the new cleanup and the recent pest control, but they're moving around a lot because they got disturbed. That happened after the last pest control visit too, they get stirred up by it.
Explore-Oil-Pastels-With-Robert-Sloan.com Articles at eHow.com, ETSY shop, My Bonanzle Booth, deviantART gallery, SFFmuse and look for art by robertsloan2art on eBay. Listed on Art Blogs 4 U
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Interesting art blog: Patrick's Art Blog focused on realism!
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Robert A. Sloan, author of Raven Dance

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