Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lileks posted the above image a week or so ago. I just felt it was too precious not to repost, especially in light of this recent news item. What can one say about the unnatural event of giant squid beaching themselves in Southern California? Sell your stock, ditch your job, give away all your possessions -the End is coming! Where are our leaders?!

Also on the news this morning, a 7.3 earthquake in the South Pacific spurred a tsunami warning in New Zealand. It reminded me that THE BIG ONE IS COMING! Do we need reminding? I was reminded of it last week when I saw something in the news about an increase in earth tremors being a harbinger of a coming tectonic event. I mentioned it to my wife, and we laughed. We grew up in Southern California, and all our lives they have told us this. All our lives: the Big One is coming...

Oh but it is! Meanwhile: hurricanes, wildfires, mortgage crisis... So, why the obsession with the big earthquake? Not sure. But I think it has to do with its intrinsic unpredictable and unmanageable qualities, which make it altogether more compelling. After all, you can run from a hurricane or a fire. Where do you run from an earthquake? Yes, to a doorway -that proverbial, 8 inch-wide transition space, built to withstand and protect from the downward force of the crumbling building above. Emergency planners make it sound like in the case of a devastating earthquake, the metropolis will be reduced to a landscape of still-standing doors, all of them leading nowhere. The doorway. What a terrific metaphor. You can't run from an earthquake.

Oh, but it's Wednesday. I'm building a beautiful aluminum cover today, reinforced with a 2x8 ledger attachment, made of real wood. The customer demanded it, as he felt that the whole thing wasn't going to be strong enough. Also used: a steel insert for the aluminum. More reinforcement. Then he was concerned about the strength of the columns supporting it all, so we showed him the specs that say the columns are strong enough to hold up the whole damn house. I think it satisfied him. Anyway, so much for the rust-proof, termite-proof qualities of our product, but if there's an earthquake: everyone outside and under the aluminum patio cover!