Saturday, July 24, 2004

My first "official" Quake!

Got woken up this morning by my first "official" earthquake. It happened around 5:55; a 4.3 quake that was centered 4.7-miles SSE of Carpenteria. A sharp and persistent jolt that lasted for about a minute or so. After living in California for almost 10 years, I have now been officially "baptized" a true Californian! I feel so honored.

Now, I have experienced the occasional tremor in the past. But this was different. My first experience (apparently) occurred in the summer of '89 - two months before the "big one" that hit San Francisco. I was in SF at the time on my first vacation to California. A friend and I were spending nine days up and down the CA coast, and we weren't even a full two days into our trip when a pre-cursor quake broached the mid-night calm while we slept in the hotel room.

Problem is, I didn't remember a darn thing (hence the "apparently"). My friend, meanwhile, was shaken out of bed, freaked out, and yelled, "what's happening?" He later told me (begrudgingly) that I calmly turned in bed and said, "It's just an earthquake. No big deal," and went right back to sleep. I don't know why, but my friend was not comforted by this. But, since I don't remember experiencing that quake... well, that just doesn't quite count.

A few months ago there was a 6.5 that hit the Paso Robles area on the Central Coast. I was working near the San Fernando Valley area at the time, and only felt a slight queaziness in my stomach as my computer monitor swayed ever-so-slightly left to right. Nope! Too far away to have any real effect. That didn't count either.

And anything under a 3.0 ain't even worth mentioning. I've had cars and trucks driving over my parking lot's speedbump outside my bedroom window that cause more rumbles than a so-called "2.4 tremor."

So, this morning... finally... something strong enough and close enough to initiate me into legitimate California citizenship. I shall accept it with pride!

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