Earthquake Today

The building started shaking pretty good just a few minutes ago, and it lasted well over 20 seconds. After 15 seconds or so, I started wondering how long it would last. I started considering getting in a “triangle of life” position. It gradually subsided. The epicenter was over 50 miles away, and the magnitude 5.6; that was an interesting experience.

UPDATE: It was actually 5.8 magnitude, closer to Chino Hills.

UPDATE 2: LA Times has it at 5.4 magnitude.

Puzzling Over the Esoteric Meanings Behind This Spam Email…

Perhaps the Universe is trying to communicate something to me…but what?!?

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Madge Bellamy <>
Date: Sat, Jul 26, 2008 at 2:24 AM
Subject: inferring collapsible
To: ccorning

clamber whitehead workpiece

universe headmaster wisdom? wyner, jesus universe.
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whitehead kennan workpiece blythe phalanx.

seventeenth culture.

Random Photo Essay

This week I ordered and received a new camera to replace the one I lost back in March when I was suffering through the PCS, which seems like a good enough reason to blog all the crappy cell-phone pictures I took when visiting home for a few weeks that month to recover.

First of all, there was the fantastic meal Yuka prepared on one of my first days back. It was rather tasty.


I actually snapped this one before leaving LA. Who doesn’t love a parking tard?

Almost got between the lines. Better luck next time!

Okay, this was in LA too. And I actually snapped this one with the new camera. I’ll get back to the crappy cell phone pics, I promise…but it just tickled me to see someone with an In-n-Out sticker on their vehicle, along with an “I’d Rather Be Running” license plate frame.

Mixed messages...

Here is the $5 Metro day pass I bought one day when I wasn’t driving. I really wanted to do a blog entry, potentially even including video, about my frustrations with mass transit in LA, but it just didn’t happen. There is just too much to say, and I wasn’t really well enough to keep my focus strictly on the topic at hand, so I got overwhelmed each time I tried to do it. Long story short, it took me about 5 hours to travel 15 miles in one of the most densely populated cities in North America. Something seems very wrong about that.

The following are just pics of things I noticed about CUMTD that would be nice to see in Los Angeles:

route schedules posted at bus stops

even better: electronically updated status reports at the bus stop

I won’t even get started about how far I was able to travel with little delay or difficulty on public transportation in Japan. It’ll be a while before that sort of thing works its way across the Pacific.

Something else I would like to see in Los Angeles: Jimmy John’s! A friend years ago told me that the owner had been accused of being either racist or sexist, but I don’t know enough about that to comment. I worked as a delivery driver for them for about a year and became hopelessly addicted to their “subs so fast you’ll freak.”

for you philosophers: tasting is believing

always plenty of staff on hand to get things done quickly; so quickly, in fact, you might go crazy

I freaked

mmm mmm good - #10 with dijon

And for those who have problems losing the remote, just get one that couldn’t possibly fit between the couch cushions.

you can control the universe with this thing

Finally, considering that I haven’t posted a video blog in ages, I decided to try to use my built-in webcam today to make another breakfast video. Here’s my disappointment when I realized that the video hadn’t been recording:

South Korean Fan Death

(photo uploaded to Wikipedia by Megaptera; used via Creative Commons license)

Many thanks to my friend Brian for warning me about South Korean Fan Death. God only knows how many times I have very narrowly escaped those hungry jaws of death that circulate air through my hot bedroom on summer nights. Just think, if I had closed my window before going to sleep, I wouldn’t be here posting this today! I count myself blessed. Shudder to think of the horrible deaths others have endured when their friendly household fan “chops up all the oxygen particles in the air leaving none to breathe”—how horrible!

The good news is: there’s hope. Tell your family, your friends, and your neighbors. Shout it from the rooftops. The fans must be stopped! (only right before you go to sleep)

Stuart Davis at the Knitting Factory Hollywood, Saturday 5 July 2008

It comes as a disappointment to me that I’ll be out of town when Stu (warning: page plays music; adjust volume accordingly) does a show at the Knitting Factory. For one, I’ve never been to that venue, but would love to support it after reading about its possible closure. But the other reason is that I’ve been a long-time Stuart Davis fan.

I was first turned on to the “post-apocalyptic” folk rocker in about 2000. His song “Only Changing Drugs,” a lighthearted lampoon of alchol/drug-abuse treatment, has a special place in my heart, as someone who has grown up around 12-step programs. I’ve heard it said that his songs are all about “God, sex, and death.” His views on things seem to come from some sort of Buddhist mysticism, which can make for interesting and fantastical song lyrics, but is no less hokey than any other religious dogma, imho. His twisted sense of humor and sometimes raunchy sexual themes balance things out nicely (the first time I heard his music, it was a song about hooking up with a woman in a mermaid costume).

Stuart’s been around a while and has put out about a dozen albums which can be purchased at his website. “Already Free,” a single from his latest album “Something Simple,” was featured on the Drillbit Taylor soundtrack.

I have seen Stu play live over a dozen times, usually in a coffee shop in the Quad Cities. For all but one of those shows, Stuart performed solo and put on a rather impressive one-man show. At the most recent show I attended, he had a full band, which was quite a different experience for me. But it’s a good time, and hey, it’s the Knitting Factory.

Masters of Our Destiny…

Yuka received her diploma today! Congratulations! Tomorrow, she’ll arrive for her summer break. Tomorrow I will also register for my fall courses at CSUN. I was considering doubling up on core requirement courses, but I think I’ll need to keep it interesting by taking a fiction writing class along with one of the required courses. Counting this Fall, it’s only four more semesters until I get a slip of paper like Yuka’s. Of course, by then she should have her PhD. Perhaps I’ll never catch up 🙁 Not that it would matter much, considering that PhDs in my field, in general, probably earn salaries on par with Masters of her field. That’s why I call her my Sugar Mama.

Anyway, we’ll be off to Northern California this weekend to visit my brother and his family for the 4th of July. Then we’ll enjoy the rest of Yuka’s visit here in So-Cal, perhaps visiting various points of interest, if possible. We’ll be sure to take pictures of it all for your viewing pleasure.