the earth moved for us

I know I am about two weeks late in posting this, but at least I am posting?

All right, August 29 there was an earthquake somewhere around Chino Hills? 5.4, according to the USGS page on the quake. I’d heard numbers from 5.8 to 5.2, but I guess it’s settled down to 5.4 finally. Felt all the way to southern San Diego county (because it’s sandy there).

Where was I? With my family and Noelle’s family (sans her dad) in Anaheim, standing outside our hotel, just starting our 3-day vacation to Disneyland. Bwahahar!

Yes, we live in Southern California, what the heck do we need three days at Disneyland for? Well my brother, the one who recently has really fallen in love with Disney, never really went to Disneyland when he was a kid. Whereas I went quite often with my Girl Scout troop with our cookie sales money, and thusly got sick of it. (Mum said that it was much more crowded in the 90s, aka the Eisner years.) But now that my brother is working full-time, he has money to drag us all to Disneyland. *grin*

We didn’t just go on most of the rides there, but we looked through stores, caught some shows, and just generally took in the Disney atmosphere.

But before we got to that, we experienced an earthquake! This was the first time for everyone (I think?) that we felt an earthquake while outside. We were standing on the sidewalk, just talking about I have no idea what, when I felt this weird boom underneath my feet.

For a second I thought we were standing on a metal plate over some electrical works or something. But no, it was solid concrete on solid ground next to solid asphalt on solid ground. I automatically asked, “What was that?” and then the ground started moving sideways. :o I put my hand on my dad’s shoulder because I thought I might fall over, or maybe it was just for security, haha.

My mom asked, “Is that an earthquake?” and my dad said yeah, look at the windows of the hotel rattling. Then we noticed some hotel guests on the first floor standing outside their room.

Then it was all over, and everyone talked about what they thought and blah blah blah. Hidek and my dad tried using their cell phones, but they didn’t work. :( Worked about an hour later though.

All in all, best ride of the day! (This entry is very long and Mythbusters is on in a short while anyway, so … hopefully I’ll write up our Disneyland trip. :x)


Today, I mounted a really tiny litho plate on a 20-year-old Apollo/Didde all by myself! And I didn’t lose any fingers or break the press! Go me!

In WordPress news … native tagging support? Does this mean all the work I put into tagging my entries with that plug-in (too lazy to look up and link) was a waste? (Too lazy to go read about WordPress 2.3 any further. I should have been in bed two hours ago anyway.)

audio and heat (not necessarily together)

Follow-up on previous post: went to car stereo store, got a Panasonic CQ-C3405U (that’s what the guy said to put in there) and managed to get my CDs back, all for $170 and some change. woot. It took only 45 minutes too. Take that, Carmax service shop!

Of course, the cons: no cassette player (used only to listen to mp3 player though), only one CD slot player, no bass/midrange/treble control on the panel, doesn’t switch from FM to AM and back (goes through FM1 band, FM2, FM3, then AM band), and it’s not part of the manufactured car. Pro(s?): auxilary jack! XD The system is made for iPod, which I will never own as long as Creative is in business (and offers a fairly good product), but I guess I’ll get over it.

I don’t really like not being able to switch from CD player to radio, and have the CD player pause while I’m listening to the radio (getting traffic reports from 980 and 1070). (Or, I’m not quite sure, maybe the new CD player does pause, I wasn’t really paying attention…) Mostly by CD player I mean my music. With my old system I had to go to my mp3 player (i.e., reach down and fumble around for the pause button) then switch to the radio, and I accepted that and didn’t listen to my mp3 player often (didn’t hurt that it’s only a 1 gig Zen Nano *grin*). But now, since I’ve got only one slot for CDs, I decided I should (finally) move over to mp3 player.

It’s sort of a trade-off. I’ve got two different modes of driving/music-listening: driving to work during the summer, about an hour-long trip (no need for more than one CD), with frequent switching over to radio; and then there’s driving to school (from L.A.), just straight four CDs in a row three hours of non-stop music. Driving to school isn’t too much of a change, I just have to set up my mp3 playlist before leaving, instead of gathering CDs and loading them in the car. But driving to work … gah, I hate the instances where I have to fiddle around with things just to not miss the traffic report or a bit of the music I’m listening to.

(Funny thing happened on the way home today. I turned on the radio and plugged in my mp3 player but didn’t turn it on because it turns off after a minute or so anyway…. So ten minutes into my drive, while on the 101 going 65–70ish I turn on my music, and a couple minutes later I realize that I wasn’t really paying attention to traffic around me; I didn’t recognize any of the cars around me, just the van [far ahead] in front of me, and I couldn’t recall driving past all the offramps to near the point where I have to start moving over. hahaha!)

One last thing I’m not particularly happy with: the new system seems to up the treble more than I like. :( As I said before, there’s no bass/midrange/treble control on the panel like there was with the Dodge system, and it really really spoiled me I see. Now I can only adjust the bass and the treble. Ouch. I’ve got the bass and treble lowered, but while listening to my Anastasia soundtrack (CD) I could hear the highs, which hurt my ears. Then today, listening to Aly & AJ’s Insomniatic on my mp3 player the same thing happened, only moreso (hadn’t noticed while listening to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Gorillaz, or The Used, hah). I turned down the treble from −6db to −12db where it was comfortable-ish to my ears, but the music sounded flat and besides there were still some semi-highs hurting my ears, so I changed it back. (Later at a long red light I went into the mp3 player’s settings and lowered the highest frequency.)

Now if I had a midrange control, I could simply increase that and be perfectly happy. But no! N says audio companies must think we’re idiots or something, because a lot of stereo systems don’t come with equalizers. Mum’s system has an equalizer, but the ones N look at have only a control for the bass and treble (like my car!). *twitch* That’s like … the one thing that makes buying audio bearable for me. Buy something I find decent, then adjust the hell out of the equalizer. Grar.

(Ack, why do I always end up typing way more than I plan?)

The very last, very minor annoyance I have: the knob. It’s shorter, making it harder for my long-nailed fingers to get a grip on it XD and it’s made out of metal which honestly I would never think would be a drawback, but in the valley where it gets to 110° … say hi to little burns on my fingers.

Today my car read the temperature at 113°, at 3:30 in the afternoon. That wasn’t really so bad. The bad thing was being in an office where for some reason the air-conditioning wasn’t going below 85°. (Yeah, it’s taking 115° air from outdoors and lowering it 30°, and I’m complaining because it won’t go down another 10°.) I never thought 85° was sweltering, but apparently it is. I found it really hard to concentrate on my work (updating my boss’ website, woo) and sat there thinking about the old “Japan Dresses Down” article, wondering how they could possible work in an environment that warm. Like, do accountants make a number of mistakes? Because I found myself making mistakes today … forgetting an " for one. o.O

Later in the car I heard on the radio that power companies were asking people to turn off their thermostats and conserve electricity. I know a lot of places were only in the 80s today (this house, for example, and us with no air conditioning, oh me oh my how do we survive in such primitive circumstances?), but still, sitting in a hot car in 110° … that bit of advice drove me a tad crazy. I’ve always thought people should keep their A/Cs at 78 at the lowest … but sitting in an office where the thermostat was set to 72 and I was sweating just sitting at a computer, I don’t know, I guess I have to rethink that.

Also, I felt more guilty than usual running my A/C in the car today. haha. It’s one of the hottest days this week and I’m trying to keep from getting dehydrated, and I turn my A/C down to the lowest setting (on max A/C though) which I never do because the lowest setting is pretty weak. Heck I even opened my window at Santa Monica Blvd. just to see if I could withstand the 85° heat. (The answer was no.)

Then again, I could have lessened my use of gasoline by not gunning the engine driving around slow cars. But gahhh, semis going up the pass at 50 mph … *dies*

earthquake? what earthquake?

I still love this site: Recent Earthquakes in California and Nevada. It’s a bookmark that has followed me from my Internet Explorer “favorites” days, and the only .gov site I visit. XD; I also like reporting my experience of the latest earthquake in my area.

But this time I can’t! *weep* I didn’t wake up when the Chatsworth quake happened. Arrrgh.

My boss said he felt it, Mum, my brothers, say they felt it. My brothers didn’t even wake up during the Northridge quake!

Grrr, how could I not have felt it??

the Arm Saga

Don’t feel like doing other stuff I should be doing for school. XD;

This is about my current bout with tendonitis/tennis elbow/stupid arms.

Let’s go back to the first weekend in the quarter. I’d gone back home (driven three hours) for Easter on Saturday. After dinner I played the Wii with cousins and bros, WarioWare and then Wii Sports. I could tell when swinging the bat in baseball and throwing the ball in bowling that my elbows were complaining; they felt sort of like my arms could be torn off, or that there was no strength in my elbows. But I kept playing because, hey, I’ve never had problems before, right?

(From maybe 2001 on I’ve had instances where my elbows would hurt while using the computer. I would just adjust my position or try not to rely on my arms so much. If my arms ever hurt when not on the computer, I just slept with them in a relaxed position, maybe 160° angle, and they would be fine the next day.)

Sunday night I drove back to school, three hours.

Monday morning I woke up, went to class fine. This class, though, was in the PC lab, where the drawers (??) that the mouse and keyboard sit on tend to roll back under the table on their own. So number one I might not have been sitting in the best position, and number two mostly I was using my right arm to hold down/out the drawer. That was the last straw and my elbow began aching in class. The rest of the day it hurt, and I tried not to overuse it. Tried not to use it at all but that wasn’t possible.

Monday night I kept waking up in pain, because I’d washed my face and applied all the facial products, yes using my right arm. Tuesday morning I was a bit better, but not by much.

From then I’ve just been keeping my right arm out of commission as much as possible. I try not to lean my head on my right hand while in class/in front of the computer. My dishwashing ability has gone down; I scrub less so I have to spend longer time going over the same thing. In labs I have to use the mouse with my left hand, and try to keep my right hand in my lap, relaxed. Also don’t use my right arm when I drive. I managed twice so far to drive home and back at 70 mph using mostly only my left arm. XD; My right arm I use more as dead weight to make right turns easier on my left arm, which can start to hurt while driving.

Even though I’m getting used to driving one-handed, I still don’t like to do it. I feel most secure with my hands at 10 and 2. Or probably more like 9 and 3. (I will ignore that article in Westways or whatever it was that suggested 8 and four to avoid getting wrists broken when the airbag deploys. If I were to encounter an accident I would rather have better control of my car and have more of a chance of avoiding collision than having less room to make quick movements resulting in a more likely impact and save just my arms from getting hurt.)

This whole thing has made me think a lot. I can’t play the Wii. ;-; I can barely play video games with a regular controller: I need a pillow to rest my arm on and have to remember to keep the elbow relaxed. Do I have to think of another career if my arm doesn’t get better? Should I get into a different line of work regardless? How the heck do you rest something that you end up using a durn lot more than you thought?

I have to be more careful from now on. Even though I’m not right now. My elbow is complaining but I’m ignoring it because I’m too lazy to pull the laptop closer, pull the chair under the desk more, raise the chair higher, sit with better posture.

I know I’m going to be using the computer a lot in my career, so all my arm use quota will be used up then. So what else can I do? I mean, can I go swimming? Just barely one hour of playing the Wii, six hours of driving, half an hour keeping my arm firm to hold out the drawer, has rendered my arm useless for the past seven weeks. Is a job worth that?

Will I even be able to work this summer? (I will probably just have to use my left hand with the mouse.)