Earth Moving Event!

I hate cardio. With a passion. Just the idea of running a marathon makes bile squirm up my throat.

"Hey, Jimmy, let's swim for an hour at the pool."

I'll hang out in the pool for several hours. But actually do laps? Yuck.

So while I was plodding on the treadmill at the gym, I gazed up at the TV screen and saw a hole in the corner of a building. When the news camera panned down to a pile of rubble, it passed over a crowd of reporters covering the incident. Over the hum of dozens of treadmills, countless feet plodding, I heard the words drone and damage.

Oh, shit, I thought. Another terrorist attack. How'd they, whoever they were, get a drone? How'd they get so close to a US city and fire a rocket? Did they turn several of our military personnel into their cause like in Homeland?

Then I saw Earthquake in Napa Valley scroll across the screen. The quake was an estimated 6.0 magnitude.


No one died.

Excuse me?

No dogs died.


Millions of dollars in property damage.


I experienced the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, 6.9 in magnitude. That was a freakin' quake. And the damage it did along with the casualties was big news because the media loves to report on everything bad.

And living through several earthquakes sorta made me numb to the idea of earthquakes, so seeing how the media made such a big deal of this made me laugh a little. My mind started to go on automatic:

"Hi, I'm Karen in studio to report on the earthquake in Napa Valley. We just saw a drone helicopter fly by the corner of a building where there's a large hole resulting from the quake. We go to Bob on the scene. Bob, can you tell us what happened?"

"Well, Karen." The sound of a helicopter buzzes above. "The earth quaked."

"Thank you, Bob. Can you tell us why?"

"Karen, I'm not clear on the science behind it."

"Neither am I, which is why I asked."

"I don't think the earth was scared. Maybe it was cold and it shivered."

"If we can pan over to the hole..." The cameraman shoots the hole. "...we can see the hole in the corner of the building. Right, Bob?"

A Hole

Bob pauses for a moment. "Yes, Karen."

"Can we pan over to the pile of rubble?" The cameraman lowers his camera to a mound of bricks. "What can you tell us about that?"

Bob scratches his temple. "Well, Karen, it's a pile o'bricks...from above."

A pile of bricks

A pile of bricks

"The bricks came from the hole?"

"No. From the corner of the building. Karen."

"Good reporting, Bob. What should we do to prepare for such an event?"

"Think warm thoughts? I'm not sure what you're asking, Karen."

"What can we as citizens of this You Ess of Ay do to prepare for an earthquake, Bob?"

"I don't think the Earth is going to tell us it's cold."

"Good information, Bob. Are there any warning signs that a quake is coming?"

"If I knew that, you'd think I'd be a reporter?"

"Good insight, Bobby. With so many affected by this earth-shattering event, what can we do after an earthquake. Seeing all that damage can be pretty damaging."

"I suggest picking things up if things have been knocked off your shelf. Leaving things on the floor can be a health hazard. I'd also suggest repairing the damage. Then it won't be damaged anymore."


"But is that it?"

Bob crinkles his brow. "Uh...maybe we can then...I don't our lives..."

"Good advice. Thank you, Bob. We'll return to the scene once we find someone who's been killed by this quake. Otherwise, we'll show you more depressing news, and then show a commercial of a drug that purports to cure depression, tell you the severe side effects of the drug that is usually more depressing, and where to get the drug."