What does an earthquake feel like?

I have lived in Southern California for over 25 years. I know what earthquakes feels like. For those of you who have never experienced an earthquake here is what an earthquake feels like.

Pretend there is a big thunderstorm in your area. Big, loud claps of thunder, thunder which shakes the room and the building you are in. You feel it. Boom. A large clap of thunder. BOOM! The big thunder clap shakes the room, the building, and vibrates the air and your body.

An earthquake feels the same way. Like a big clap of thunder. If you are indoors it shakes the room ... the building ... and you. Except, unlike thunder from the sky, an earthquake feels like UNDERGROUND thunder, thunder from under the ground. BOOM! A "BOOM" from below. Like a clap of thunder, an earthquake shakes the room, the building, and YOU.

Stronger earthquake = stronger longer "clap of underground thunder".

Now you know.

And, if you want to read a first-hand account of a major earthquake here is an excerpt from my book, "Stories Of A Lifetime".

WARNING: it's very scary!

Yes, California has earthquakes. We also get floods, droughts, wildfires, riots and assorted other plagues, both natural and man-made.

The earthquakes we do get (in Los Angeles) are mostly little shakers that you hardly notice or do get used to (you’ll have to take my word for it). Sometimes you get a lot of small or medium sized ones during a relatively short period of time, sometimes you don’t get any for years and years.

An earthquake is a very scary occurrence. However, while everyone is still waiting for the “big one” that will kill everybody, for hundreds of years Los Angeles residents have lived long and fruitful and happy lives without perishing in an earthquake, fire, flood or riot.

Earthquakes are fundamentally different than any other natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, etc. Other natural disasters you usually have some prior warning about. Earthquakes you don’t. And there is something prehistorically and fundamentally scary about the normally solid earth beneath your feet suddenly jolting and moving about on its own. Though it’s a natural phenomenon, an earthquake always feels so eerily unnatural.

On January 17, 1994, at 4:20 AM I was sound asleep. I vaguely heard the sliding glass patio door near the bed begin to mildly shake. Maybe a burglar? I thought. It kept shaking. Harder and harder. Then the whole room started to shake. It began to move. The room began to move! The bed was shaking violently, pieces of furniture were relocating themselves around the room. I heard crashing sounds from the kitchen and the bathroom. The entire building started to shake and groan.


I jumped up and opened the patio door so it wouldn’t break and shatter glass all over the floor. The lady I live with, my lifelong companion, Marilyn, jumped out of bed, still half-asleep. Second by second the shaking became stronger and stronger. Instinctively, I knew we were in trouble. Big trouble. The violent shaking went on and on. After about thirty seconds I knew that if it didn’t stop, if it went on for another ten or twenty seconds, the building would collapse … and we would be crushed to death.

For forty seconds (hold your breath for 40 seconds and see how long it feels) the strong shaking continued, stressing and straining everything to the breaking point.

Then, just as suddenly as it began, it stopped.

There was no electricity. No light. It was 4:30 in the morning and pitch black, adding to the disorientation and the fear. And, worst of all, no one knew what was coming next. Was this a precursor to an imminent, even bigger quake?

We had to get out of the building. Fast.

I grabbed a flashlight (which I always keep near the bed) and quickly surveyed the damage. I saw the destruction that the earthquake had wrought. Dishes had been ejected from the kitchen cabinets, the entire contents of the bathroom medicine cabinet had been forcibly strewn into the sink, onto the countertop and across the floor. The big heavy wooden canopy headboard, bolted to the wall at ceiling height, had come crashing down on the bed, where Marilyn’s head had been resting just minutes before.

We dressed hurriedly and left the building. We went to the adjacent parking lot and got into my jeep. A series of strong aftershocks rocked the jeep, the parking lot undulated in little waves. As a gray dawn made a hesitant appearance people started coming out of the buildings, still dressed in their nightclothes. Everyone was shook up, highly nervous and plenty scared. I turned the radio on in the jeep. Emergency newscasts gave us reports as they came in. This was a big quake. No surprise to us!

For several days following the initial quake many of us refused to go back into our apartments and slept on the floor of the nearby more sturdily constructed clubhouse instead. For a week after the quake, nervous as a cat, I slept with one arm around Marilyn and one eye open. For days and weeks and months afterward, the earth shook with aftershocks, some of them strong enough to be moderate earthquakes on their own!

In the San Fernando Valley, near where we live, many buildings completely collapsed. There were fatalities. One of the large concrete parking structures nearby was heavily damaged and was in danger of collapsing. My nerves were shot, and I too was in danger of collapsing!

The earthquake became known as the Northridge quake, named for the upscale community close to the epicenter. The quake was felt far and wide, as far as Las Vegas, some 200 miles away. The quake was officially calculated as a 6.9 (moderately strong) on the Richter Scale. But those of us who lived through it know it was a whole lot stronger than that!

You probably have to live here to fully understand this, but after a few months things got back to normal and, as usual, Southern Californians ignored the ever present threat of a killer quake and went about their sun-and-fun-filled lives.

So did I.

If you would like to read more amazing Stories Of A Lifetime click here

Centa Clause

Some Los Angeles politicians would like to raise the local sales tax, to pay for street and pothole repair that we taxpayers ALREADY PAID FOR.

This is crazy! Insane. Nuts. Where's the money set aside for that purpose? Did they spend it on something else? Did they waste it?

Waste money and raise taxes, that's what government does. Well, guess what? I've had enough! Haven't you? It's time for us voters and taxpayers in America to fight back!

From now on, any politician, anywhere, who says they want to raise taxes, any taxes, even one cent, shall be known as ...

Centa Clause

Here's a message for all local, state and federal politicians ...

Wanna be known as Centa Clause? No? Then


Pollution and Smoking

According to The New York Times "... air pollution claimed seven million lives around the world in 2012, according to figures released Tuesday by the World Health Organization ..."

According to the same organization, WHO, smoking was responsible for five million deaths worldwide in 2012.

7 million deaths versus 5 million deaths. Thus, air pollution is more deadly than smoking.

Air pollution can be caused by carbon dioxide (CO2), a byproduct of people breathing. According to the EPA, "Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities. In 2011, CO2 accounted for about 84% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities". CO2 causes air pollution.

Breathing causes air pollution.

Air pollution is more deadly than smoking. That being the case,

Before the government passes laws to ban smoking it should pass laws to ban breathing!

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the road to ruin

L.A. - A Third World City

Besides high unemployment, poor public education, the worst traffic congestion in the U.S.,and massive poverty, Los Angeles now has badly deteriorating streets. And potholes. Lots of potholes. Big potholes.

And the City of Los Angeles says it doesn't have the money to fix them.

Near where I live, on a major street leading to Warner Bros studios and the L.A. zoo, is a pothole. The city patched it months ago and the patch has collapsed, the pothole has reverted to it original size; about 1.5 feet wide and 6 inches deep. A road hazard. The pothole is getting bigger every day. Soon, it will be swallowing small children and pets.

I reported it to the city's Bureau of Street Services via email. I got a canned response thanking me and giving me a service request number. The service request number was 14,000,000+. 14 million plus! Does that mean there are 14 million pothole filling requests ahead of me?

Deteriorating roads and streets are an early sign of a crumbling civilization. L.A. is crumbling. The second largest city in America is fast becoming a third world city. The average extra cost of vehicle repair due to bad roads and streets in L.A. is $800 a year!

And now the City of Los Angeles wants to raise the already high sales tax to pay for fixing the streets! WTF? We ALREADY paid taxes to fix the streets. Where did the money go??? Meanwhile, sanitation collectors who work for the City of Los Angeles will earn $75,000 in 2014. Maybe L.A. should stop giving away TAXPAYER money for bloated salaries, benefits and pensions ... and fix the f-ing streets!

If this pothole problem continues, the next vehicle I buy may be a Sherman tank!

10 days later the pothole was filled. Seeing how the city of L.A. has an enormous bureaucracy I was amazed that it was fixed at all, let alone in 10 days. I guess you CAN fight city hall!

A pen and a phone

The pen is mightier than the sword

When Putin invaded Crimea why didn't Obama simply threaten to open up oil drilling land in the U.S. and threaten to DROWN Putin with cheap oil, putting Russia out of business. This could have been implemented by Obama, without Congress, with the stroke of his presidential pen.

Now, THAT would have been a cheap, fast and effective economic threat, a threat which could have prevented the Russian invasion and subsequent annexation from even happening. A cheap, fast and effective economic threat that could be carried out by a presidential pen and a presidential phone.

Screw diplomacy and appeasement and "leading from behind"! Any country that acts up or gets too far out of line should be threatened by the U.S., not with ineffective diplomatic sanctions, but with economic RUIN.

Obama has the most powerful pen on the planet, why doesn't he try using it for FREEDOM.

fourth hand smoke

Fourth Hand Smoke.
What Is It? Can It Kill You?

You’ve heard of second hand smoke. And by now you may even have heard of third hand smoke, which is hazardous cigarette smoke which, after it’s expelled into the air, lands on surfaces and stays there, causing a slow and agonizing death to everyone who enters or frequents the infected area.

Now, there is a newly discovered hazard of cigarette smoke. Fourth hand smoke. Fourth hand smoke? What is fourth hand smoke? Fourth hand smoke is an IMAGINARY smoking hazard. If anti-smoking zealots and government health officials simply THINK cigarette smoke is unhealthy and/or hazardous, then it is. It becomes immediate irrefutable scientific fact. It doesn’t matter what the science proves or does not prove, we all know that cigarette smoke is always deadly!

Smoking is the second leading cause of death, right after stupidity. Smoking kills! Every smoker, everywhere!

And now, for the first time, just hating the idea of smoking, and smokers, is enough. Now, just thinking that cigarette smoke is hateful and harmful is socially acceptable and politically correct, giving way to an official new and deadly smoking hazard, “fourth hand smoke”.

Want to light up? Don’t even THINK about it. If you even think about lighting up, in the minds of politicians and anti-smoking zealots, you will be creating fourth hand smoke. And you will be rightfully shunned in public, and taxed to death.

Stay tuned for fifth hand smoke. Fifth hand smoke? What's fifth hand smoke? Fifth hand smoke is the deadly smoking hazard that exists when somebody even KNOWS a smoker!