Depending on your coffee load, you may (or may not) remember my mentioning last week that I had the “earthquake tireds.”

For whatever reason, I am one of those people who is very sensitive to earthquakes in advance.

I get terribly tired and all I want to do is go back to bed and sleep. Which is precisely what I did for a couple of hours Tuesday of last week.

Then I waited.

Usually a quake comes by within 72-hours, or so.

Not that it’s a bad thing, either, although admittedly, it’s not a terribly useful thing, either.

Maybe somewhere in the Ure family eons back there was a propensity to sleep before things got all haired and exciting. Or, maybe it’s just a misplaced effort to sleep through disaster.

Tuesday nothing happened.

Wednesday nothing happened.

But then we get to the odd part of the story on Thursday.

About 5:30 PM, Elaine and I hit the screen porch with a couple of adult beverages and Zeus the Cat.

Panama and Elaine had filled up the hummingbird feeder and there was the hummingbird version of the Battle of London being fought in the air around the feeder. At one point I counted 10 of them. More posturing and bluffing than any 10 senators, too. Quite the show.

So as we are sitting there, all of a sudden there was a short, sharp jolt.

“That was an earthquake,” I announced.

I then went into the kitchen and noted the time. It was 6:07 PM by now.

Going outside, I excused myself for a few minutes – convinced this was my ‘big earthquake” I thought surely there would be breaking news any second.

And I waited.

And waited…

Finally – and this is what gets odd – the news crossed on the USGS website that there had been a small quake in the hinterlands of Oklahoma.

M2.7 – 19km E of Waukomis, Oklahoma.

I tried to send them a note under the “I felt it” but I guess they either turn that off or auto expire the form after while.

Still, very interesting an several counts.

One is we live on the north side of a major petroleum formation/salt dome here north of Palestine, Texas. I don’t know if this would have anything to do with what we felt this one.

Second thing is the time: Looks like what we felt was 2-3 minutes after the time on the event on the USGS equipment. That would sort of suggest that whatever we felt went 100-200 miles per hour to get here.

It was noticeable, but not the kind of thing we would have paid any attention to if we were inside the house. We would have figured the A/C just went on, off, or whatever.

But when you’re outside, it’s really amazing how much more “in touch” you are with nature and the kind of things that you can pick up on.

In ancient China, the royal Court had a series of earthquake detectors that could pick up events like this at great distance. They used (going from memory here) a series of 8-12 marbles which we very delicately balanced, such that even the slightest ground movement would kick off the marbles from the direction of the quake.

By having two such observatories 50-100 miles apart, an approximate direction of a distant quake could be measured. Basic simple triangulation.

In those days, it would sometimes get the report a week or two before reports from distant provinces arrived.

In our case, no biggie, but certainly one of those “Aha!” moments as it went by.

Still don’t know if that’s what set of the “earthquake tireds” but there’s the data, and we did feel a quake here, small or not.

If we ever move, we will not be selecting a homestead on the side of a salt dome/petroleum formation, by the way.

Climate Change and Travel

I mentioned last week that we might begin to see some cruise ship bargains as people are slowly wakening to the idea that Zika virus could be a real problem in the US.

This weekend saw more ground spraying in South Florida. And there are starting to be jitters about what that might do to tourism.

Just so you’re aware, September and October are generally “soft” travel times anyway: The kiddies are back in school (looking for purple unicorns or whatever) and the alleged grown-ups are back at work, or if retired, we are just coming into the time of year when even the snowbirds don’t have an incentive to get out and travel much.

We’ve been eyeing a cruise down the Eastern Caribbean…and if you’re interested in us putting together an UrbanSurvival/Peoplenomics cruise, drop something onto the comment side.

On other travel adventures, we have been eyeing a trip down to Louisiana to check things out – over flight in the air machine. I noticed last week when I topped off that the fuel price was down to $3.95 for AvGas. And some of the places around us – Rusk (*KRFI) for example – was showing fuel priced at $3.19 for self-serve.

If the weather is good this weekend, we might try a run up to visit the Landry’s in Oklahoma although fuel up there was $3.87 this weekend.

And we also have a trip out West in our sights since the summer has turned decidedly chilly in the Phoenix area. The summer Monsoon Season had dropped temps to the very low 100’s which (going my memory here) is about 10-degrees cooler than normal.

The old used airplane is still less than half the price of a new car and goes more than twice as fast. Plus, insurance is still just $552 per year and that’s with million dollar liability. Try getting that on a car.

If we slow down (to 110 MPH or so) the old Beech will turn in a so-so 8 gallons per hour. Almost 14 miles per gallon. Drops down to about 12 MPH going faster.

Then there’s the travel impact of local weather. 7-inches of rain have landed at the ranch in the time since we got home from our road trip. Nothing compared to things over in the parishes, but enough to cause an explosion in grass growth. We may need a machete to get the mail, or bush hog our way out and hope we can still pick up a trail on the way back. (Yes, Texas people embellish things, but just a bit.)

That will mean large herds of cattle around here and up north of us. And that means for the next year, or two, we should continue to see reasonable beef prices.

The way I have it figured (and I got up early to work this all through…):

The Monsoons came through strong this year.

That grows the grass.

The grass grows the cattle.

The cattle fart.

That causes more climate change.

That in turn (or turd) causes more climate scares.

And that, my friend, is why I am trying to do my part to fight climate change by pricing steak and eggs into two breakfasts per week.

Why, turning over and becoming an environmentalist (which we are by virtual of running a tree farm and operating a “solar powered” website and all) may not be such a bad thing after all.

Tell Al Gore, if you see him, the prime rib’s on us.

We environmentally sensible people have to stick together, you know. Maybe I could set up a global bullshit exchange…I know we’d have a lot to talk about.

Did I tell you I have plans for ethanol-added wine?

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

Decline, Rally, Holiday
Sunday Schooling: The Mush-head American’s Prez Primer