Monday, August 31, 2009

Earthquakes and Typhoons - Oh my!

Thanks to those of you who tried to contact us and make sure we were all fine with the recent earthquakes. The first one we felt was while we were all sitting at the Navy loaner table playing Uno (see previous entry) - it was Mitchell, Walker and Wrenn's first earthquake. It's been 20 years since I've felt one and honestly I could have waited another 20. They freak me out a bit. But the kids all thought it was cool and Jeff - God love him - could just not seem to help himself from popping up and rushing to the computer to the USGS website to find out where was the epicenter and what was it on the Richter scale. When he started to work on the "time/distance/depth/how long till we felt it" scenario I checked out ... is this what really smart people do for fun?! Uno's more my speed. Says a lot about our marriage I suppose - it's all about balance right? Just FYI friends and family, the next time you hear on the news that Tokyo has had another quake go to this website and you can find out more info - like how far the epicenter was from Yokosuka - it is truly amazing how quickly the information comes up on the site and yes, it is fun being married to someone who is just that darn smart.

The next earthquake was in the wee hours of the morning. Of course I was up - my internal clock has always gotten up with the sun and around here that's really, really early - Land of the Rising Sun and all that. So it sort of surprised the heck out of me when all our cell phones started to beep off - now that was freaky. I turned to Jeff and said what the heck is going on (or something close to that ... it's a family website after all). He grabbed his cell and said "earthquake." Sure enough just about that time the floor started rolling. Now I really don't care for those kind - at all. The shakers, they're o.k. - but the rollers, those are unnerving. So it turns out our cell phones have earthquake alarms on them - those darn Japanese are amazing! The alarms go off 10 seconds before the earthquake hits - honestly, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. There is something to be said about ignorance and bliss.

We had another smaller quake last week - since I get up so early my lucky husband gets to be enticed out of bed every morning with a cup of coffee in exchange for walking/exercising with me when the rest of the base is still asleep (that's not entirely true - there are plenty of active duty personnel out running the base). If the coffee doesn't do the trick then our faithful canine will - all I have to say is "walk" and she'll be in Jeff's face until he moves toward the caffeine. So we were out walking, and the alarms go off - let me tell you, when you are walking right next to Tokyo Bay, that's not exactly my spot of choice when that darn thing goes off (I mean wouldn't you be thinking large body of water + earthquake = tsunami?). We both looked at each other and I know we both thought "run for home?" but all was well, the kids never even felt it and I guess this is just part of life in Japan. Get a grip, on something, like a doorjam? A little bit of research on the web and I discovered that Japan has 1500 earthquakes a year, but luckily for us the area we live in only gets around 2 a year over 5.0 - I feel just so much better now. Right.

So in case you all are tracking a hurricane on that side of the world it is Typhoon season here in Japan. Yup, Typhoons, Earthquakes, Rainy Season ... now what did Jeff entice me here with? Oh I remember now ... something about Mikimoto pearls. As I keep telling him, they are getting bigger and longer with every trial and tribulation - the boys told him he'd better hurry up and buy them before they get any bigger or longer. So it's the first day of school here for us and I think great - yes, yes of course I will miss them - well, I probably would have missed them at some point today except that Walker called me at 11 and said they are releasing everyone from school early today because of Tropical Storm Krovanh and could I come and pick him and Mitchell up? So much for getting the rest of our household goods finally put away.

So we have Gale warnings and Jeff just called to say he'll be the on call doc tonight since he's the only one who lives on base in his dept and can get to the hospital within the 20 minute requirement in this weather. He muttered something about increased delivery's during low pressure systems ... add that to the fact that it's 10 months since the carrier GW arrived here and well, you do the math. They were already projecting record numbers of babies being born here in August/Sept so it could make for quite an interesting night for him.

Well no interesting photos this time around. Now that I've finally gotten the techno stuff worked out (I hope) I have several more posts coming. We got a new Cleary Bus - yes, it's Green like our Suburban. So more to come on driving in Japan "on the wrong side of the road" as well as our trip to the Mt. Fuji Fire Festival this week - keep checking back. Till next entry - Sayonara.

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