Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Seismic Activity...

Ok, clearly the photo to the left is a joke aimed at just how green life-long easterners such as myself are when it comes to earthquakes, but the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that rocked much of the east coast at approximately 1:52 pm this afternoon was most definitely a WTf moment. Any native of the east coast will quickly tell you - that's not something that happens here, so we're NOT at all used to such occurrences! To us, it was a very big deal indeed.

I can recall standing in front of my desk & looking down at the computer screen, when suddenly the floor beneath me began to shake slightly. Then the shaking got more & MORE intense - my 1st thoughts... "what the fuck is goin on!?!" Then shit started to fall off my desk - my next thoughts involved terrorism, specifically the possibility that the Washington, DC government building I work in had been bombed. "Now where did I put that gas mask?"

As the moments of uncertainly &then panic grew even longer, it finally hit me - I was standing in the middle of a God-damned earthquake! Then shouts were heard in the hallway instructing employees to immediately evacuate the building. Honestly, I was the last person who needed to hear that as I'd already had my phone, iPad & keys in-tow before racing across the hallway towards the stairwell, lol.

When I got outside the building, I encountered a sea of people, also spilling into the streets from nearby office buildings & shops. Each armed with a (non-working) cell phone attempting to place calls.

Thankfully, text messages & emails seemed to be getting to their intended recipients; without the cellular data signals we've grown so fond of, there would've been almost NO communication at all between most friends & loved ones across the region. So even though mobile telecommunication devices are often considered both a gift & a curse, I'm SO very glad to have 'em around!

From the reports I've gathered so far, the quake's epicenter was someplace outside of Richmond, VA (which is about 85 miles from DC) & was felt as far north as Toronto, Canada, as far south as Georgia & was about 3.7 miles deep. I'm hardly any scholar on seismic activity, but to me - that was fucking amazing. The undeniably brute force of nature can be so overwhelming to take-in at times.

The initial aftermath of the quake was reminiscent of the 9/11 attacks on the US. I can clearly recall the nonexistent cell phone service & overall lack-of knowledge regarding the events that had just taken place. Again, sirens blared non-stop, dazed & confused citizens aimlessly wandered the streets, it really was a pretty scary snap-shot of time in the nation's capital.

Shortly after the masses pieced together what just happened, then came the talks of after shocks, broken gas lines & cracked roadways/structures. At this point, my thoughts shifted to just how in the hell I would get home. I take the subway to work, so being stranded was not something I was looking forward to. Fortunately, the subway trains remained operational, but were only moving at 15mph.

But outside of an extremely long commute back to my car & then a rather erratic drive the rest of the way home, things for the most part seemed okay. At the time of this post no deaths or major injuries have been reported so I'm thankful for that. We took a punch from mother nature & survived the ordeal. At any rate, I guess those still awaiting the rapture, doomsday or whatever folks chose to call it, can get back on their respective soapboxes & start spreading the word once again - the end is coming, lol

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Day at the Beach...

A good friend & I took our annual trip to the beach over the weekend & we had a blast! Typically we hit Ocean City in Maryland, but this year we decided to hit Rehoboth Beach in Delaware - what a wonderful decision that was! The drive up was not unlike the drive to Ocean City, we took many of the same roads & the time it takes to get to either beach is about the same.

I'd been to Rehoboth Beach years back when I was a child, but I have very little memory of that ancient trip. I really enjoyed the area (Henlopen, DE) & the scenery we took-in as we made our way to the sand. It's a shame I don't go to the beach more often than I do, especially considering how much I love road trips. I'll have to try & go more often in the future.

I really liked the boardwalk at Rehoboth, there's alot to do on the beach & the bars, restaurants, stores & nightlife are pretty fun as well. Granted, it's not big city living or anything close to the sort, so the options are certainly more limited than what some might be used to, but you'll definitely find something to do as long as you're in good company.

It's always nice to get away from the bright urban lights & experience the small town life, even if only for a day or so. I often wonder what it would be like to live in a small town. I'm definitely not opposed to the idea & if I knew I could secure decent (local) employment, I'd be more than willing to relocate!

Alas, August signifies the beginning of the end, as far as summer goes, & since I don't anticipate any future trips this summer, I'm now shifting my focus towards the fall. I'd really like to go camping this fall, I've never been before. Perhaps I can convince a few good buddies to accompany me on an excursion in the woods somewhere before the weather gets cold...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Stinkin' Lincoln...

I got a bit impatient & bought a new car this weekend. Initially, my plan was get a new computer & 3D television before taking-on a new car note, but my previous vehicle registration was set to expire on August 31st & I was NOT about fork over $128 to the State of MD to renew my old registration for a minimum of 2 years when I'd only have the car for another 1-2 months, tops - that's just stupid, or at least I thought so, lol.

So I got my lazy ass up early Saturday morning & took a trip to Annapolis, I'd already been researching several vehicles over the past year so I knew exactly what I was looking for. It was just a matter of which dealership gave me the best deal & since July marks the end of the model year, I took advantage of some unexpected savings as well.

After spending much of the day on dealership row, I chose the Lincoln MKZ (the front runner among my list of cars to consider - the others I considered were the Infiniti G37, Acura TL, Buick Lacrosse & Dodge Challenger). After my research & test drives, I felt the MKZ gave me the best combination of luxury, sport & TECHNOLOGY :-D

I decided I wanted to buy American, making the TL a long-shot unless they threw some kind of crazy deal my way (they didn't). I'm too used to the convenience of sedans, so the 2-door Challenger was the next car I eliminated. The G37 cost far too
much after including certain options I couldn't live without & even though the Lacrosse was close to being my selection - Buicks still just screams 'old person' to me, so I passed, lol.

After a weekend of driving, I'm rather pleased with my decision. It looks nice, performs well on the road & has all the necessary (ok, maybe not so necessary, but desired) bells & whistles. It's actually my 1st new car, all of my previous vehicles have been used, so this purchase was long overdue, glad I took the initiative Saturday morning. Right now I'm calling her 'my cougar' - as a Lincoln, she's seasoned with a well-established reputation & definitely into younger men, lol...