Reub's journey

13 March 2011

Inside on a rainy day

I have just finished reading about the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan and now I'm pondering the fragility of the house I live in, atop an enormous subduction zone in Oregon. It's only a matter of time before a strong earthquake hits us, so we know we have to do a little work on our 1970s-era house, which is basically held together by toothpicks: it has to be strong enough so that it collapses slowly, giving us enough time to run outside before everything goes down. With an earthquake of that magnitude, nature will have its way.

It has been raining an awful lot lately, but who can complain about that, really? We live in a temperate rain forest and that is what we get. I try not to think too hard about the fact that we live on top of the Cascadian fault line, which will also likely have its consequences. Well yes, we need to reinforce the structure of our house, that we can do.

Meanwhile, I do marvel at the rain.

It's a great excuse to stay inside, with a blanket, a cup of tea, a warm dog next to me, a fire in the wood stove, and a book to read.

Oh, and also a sunny video from Greece, 1961, to cheer me up.


  1. The earthquake scared me too, at a very profound level. I think my brainstem in some way registered the shift all the way from the other side of the earth.

    Glad you had a fire, and dogs, and books and Greece. Sending loving thoughts your way.

  2. My first thoughts were of Ben and Chrystal's friends in Japan. But Alissa, EJ and Lucy were with them over the weekend and so far the news is good. Horrible pictures from there.So sad for so many people.

  3. "It has been raining an awful lot lately, but who can complain about that, really?"

    I'll give you one guess, and I'll bet you get it right.

    I took out earthquake insurance two days before Japan was hit, and I heard on the radio today that only 15% of Oregonians have it. Well, if I lived in Prineville or Burns, I wouldn't have it either, but here in the Valley?! It costs me about another $250 per year for insurance, but with THE BIG ONE 60 years overdue, I'll sleep better having it. By the way, earthquake insurance doesn't cover flood damage that was caused by a quake, so if the dams all burst, and wash my flattened house away. I'm SOL.

  4. Hey Reya! The devastation created by this earthquake really got my attention, and it did occur to me-eerily-that what you have been writing about for awhile now seems to apply here: epic change, unrest, and uncertainty. No wonder you are a shaman.

    Merry: When I first heard about what happened I looked at a map to see if it included Fukuoka, but the south island was completely spared. Still. What a disaster for Japan.

    Snow: Ha! I always forget that someone from Oregon might actually read this stuff. I hope all this rain we're getting is snow in the Cascades, because that's where we're heading next week for a few days.
    I'm a little surprised that you were able to get earthquake insurance; our insurance company stopped offering it a couple of years ago. (State Farm) That alone tells me the chances are good for an earthquake, sometime soon.

  5. I should think it's raining in the mountains. I keep up with these things because Peggy is a skier, and I've noticed that it has to be at least in the mid-forties in the Valley for it be snowing on the passes.

    Our insurance is through the AARP sponsored Hartford program. Rate-wise, I don't think it can be beaten, and I have tried.

    I don't know if you're read much about areas of subduction, but the reason that continental plates always override oceanic plates in a convergence zone is because the former is granitic and the latter is basaltic, and basalt is simply heavier, so the continental plate goes over the top of it.

    I heard today that the quake expected off the Oregon coast is supposed to be a 9.7 as opposed to the 9.0 that hit Japan. I don't know how this number was determined, but i do know that the Japanese quake was much more severe than expected, which is why they have three nuke plants that are, shall we say, having issues... Let's hope the quake prognosticators in California will have done a better job of prognosticating when the nuclear plant that's atop the San Andrea fault gets hit.


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