1999 August 17

My first quake

The Bay was shaken gently by a 5.0 earthquake today, round about 5:30 or 6 pm, apparently centred somewhere up in Marin. According to the radios, no damage reported except for one listener had a figurine fall off her shelf.

What it felt like at Stanford was sort of like being beside a railway track when a lone locomotive goes by, except not so loud. There was faint rumble and things swayed back and forth once, and that was about it. They had been doing work on the roof right above my office earlier in the day (washing gutters and such), and at first I thought they'd come back and were dragging something heavy around up there -- but then I heard people down the hall calling ``earthquake!''

Was cool, in a sort of perverse way I guess.

. . .

Sunday I spent the afternoon volunteering at Plugged In, a community ``technology access center'' for East Palo Alto -- it's only five blocks from my apt, so it was pretty easy to go over. I made a couple signs and spent a while doing some miscellaneous cleaning up, and then a guy brought in a few old computers for donation. I got involved in tearing them down and checking them over, and spent a couple hours talking old hardware with another volunteer there and a few kids who were hanging around. Fun afternoon -- I'm going to have to do that more often.

Probably I should take my old IIsi over there, too. It's older than any of the machines they took in as donations while I was there (though, I suspect, more functional). I can't really see anyone giving me money for anything but the monitor these days, but still, it's hard to part with.

. . .

Saw the most extraordinary woman this morning. She was wearing purple, collar to toe. Purple dress, purple stockings, purple shoes, all solid colours, no patterns, all the same shade of Crayola purple. I have no idea how she managed it.

I didn't see her fingernails, but if they weren't purple too I'll be quite disappointed.

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