Two Thirds Of The Fox Family Felt The Quake

FireShot-Screen-Capture-#002---'Google-Maps'---www_google_com_maps_@34_134916,-118_48597,3a,75y,27_3h,90t_data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1smimYdJKZc1uXvgSr660hcg!2e0There was an earthquake this morning. It came at 6:25:36 AM PDT. Helaine felt it. Stef felt it. Geoff slept!

It’s the first time in my life I can look at an epicenter and say, “I know where that is.” The plots put it just off Sepulveda, on the Valley side of Mullholland, overlooking Sherman Oaks and Encino in a beautiful area of expensive homes.

Helaine was awake. She knew what it was immediately and noted the time.

“The bed shook and the before it stopped shaking stuff started shaking on your nightstand.”

That’s at a distance of 53 miles.

Up in Hollywood and 45 miles closer to the epicenter, Stef was answering Roxie’s call for food. As they sat on the bed her ci15476961_ciim_geobuilding started to sway like one of those air powered attention getters that sit outside stores&#185.

Buildings are supposed to sway. It’s sway or snap! All modern buildings here are designed that way. That’s why a 4.4 quake did virtually no damage.

In the ’94 Northridge quake there were reports of liquefaction, where the ground temporarily acts like a liquid. None today. No major landslides either. That’s a big worry in areas that have had recent fires.

Earthquakes are a way of life in California. We live over a subduction zone. There is a constant buildup of pressure as the Earth’s crust bends, then breaks. The mythical “big one” will unleash hundreds, maybe thousands, of times the energy this little shake produced.

There are limits to our preparation.

&#185 – The closest I can find to their actual name is “wacky inflatable flailing arm advertising men.”

My Night At Ralphs

Helaine is past the mid-point of an awful chest cold. For the last few days she’s sounded like geese heading south.

Then the nose part kicked in.

Between sneezing and coughing she pulled a muscle in her back!

I’m trying to be a helpful husband. I brought home dinner–cheesesteaks&#185. First, though, a quick trip to Ralphs.

Ralphs is a SoCal supermarket chain. It was founded in the 1870s by George Ralphs. It’s owned by Kroger’s now. It’s as SoCal as Cincinnati allows.

Talk about stranger in a strange land! Here I was, adjacent to 15 aisles of “I’m lost.” Could I have trained for this?

The sign above one aisle promised cookies AND gourmet cookies. Ralphs, you had me at cookies.

It was all coming back to me.

I walked past an end cap display of Oreos. Oreos! Why must we start with the hard stuff?

I remembered why the market was such a dangerous place. The force drawing me toward the Oreos was incredible. I fought back.

Helaine wanted minced garlic. Where?

I walked from produce to deli and back again. Nothing.

Finally I walked to the front and asked a bagger. She didn’t know.

She asked the girl on her register. Zip again.

The women running the next register said she thought it was on the table with the tomatoes.

Uh, no.

My guess is there’s no minced garlic at Ralphs. Or, if there is, it’s with the cards and magazines.

I never did find it. Helaine told me to just pick up a fresh garlic. That’s right. I called her from Ralphs… twice.

Milk, half-and-half, breadcrumbs (plain), an onion. My route followed no pattern. I did not have a qualifying time at Ralphs! Could I be more husbandy?

Usually I do the self checkout. Not tonight. With garlic, onions and some bananas in my basket I needed a pro to scan me through. I gave her my Ralph’s card.

I’m not sure why I have one. I don’t know exactly what it does. No one’s ever shown me my balance and I’ve never asked.

Helaine said Ralphs should hire personal shoppers for when guys like me to come. She wasn’t even there, but she knew.

&#185 – Real Philly cheesteaks, with real Amoroso rolls! Sweet.

It’s Fantasy Season

Make no mistake about it. I will embarrass myself.

It’s Fantasy Football season. Count me in! I did this a bunch of times back at the old place. Now there’s a new group with whom I can embarrass myself!

Make no mistake about it. I will embarrass myself.

To understand Fantasy Football you’ve got to forget football is a team sport. Each player is split out as an individual and his stats establish your score.

“It’s sports betting,” says Helaine.

How can she say that about my team, The Incontinent Poodles?

Actually she’s got a point. You don’t care if the team on the field wins or loses as long as your players (often playing against each other in real life) do well. That subtracts from the purity of the game… though maybe it’s a little late to worry about purity in sports.

I’ve already downloaded a “draft kit” to help me better understand my options. It’s 79 pages long. This is serious stuff. I guess what I’m saying is, beyond a few superstars I don’t know too much!

My work league’s draft is being held Sunday in Windsor. I’ll probably just line up my choices beforehand and let the computer act as my surrogate. Windsor’s a long drive on Sunday morning.

I look forward to this every year. It’s likely everyone else in the league will know more than me. No one will have a better time.

She’s Helaine’s Child

When she lived here Stef needed a map to find the kitchen. It’s been established beyond a reasonable doubt she didn’t know where the sink or dishwasher were nor the purpose of either.

My phone rang as I was leaving the station tonight. It was Stef with cookies baking in the oven. Roxie was supervising.

When she lived here Stef needed a map to find the kitchen. It’s been established beyond a reasonable doubt she didn’t know where the sink or dishwasher were nor the purpose of either.

That was then, this is now.

She’s seeing people tomorrow night. Tonight it’s bake to impress.

Butter cookies with raspberry jam centers were rising in her kitchen at the base of the Hollywood Hills. She will impress! Even I was tempted to drive to Hollywood Blvd. for a taste!

It’s interesting to see how as Stef gets older traits from Helaine and me (mostly Helaine), well hidden during the tumult of her teen years, are beginning to show.

Sorry Stef, you’re powerless to stop this. They’re in full bloom now. Baking cookies is something you do because it was something Helaine did. You’re Helaine’s child! Nothing wrong with that.

At one point the timer on her oven began to beep. This is intense work performed with surgical precision. The cookies needed her attention. Stef removed the baking tin. The clock continued to wail.

“Hey, MacGyver, defuse the bomb,” I begged hoping she’d silence this ‘successfully designed to annoy’ noise.

We spent most of my ride home chatting as she baked batch-after-batch and Roxie looked on.

“Roxie’s not sure what’s going on,” Stef said.

No, Roxie knows. I’d be attentive around that scent too!

It’s a good night to be a dad. It’s a good night to be Geoff.

Whomever gets those cookies had better appreciate them.

Lebowski Influence: The Foxes Go Bowling!

This was my poorest bowling experience since I was a little kid! When your wife offers encouragement that it’s still possible for you to break 100 you know things are bad!

Helaine and I might not have found “The Big Lebowski” the best movie we’d ever seen, but it did leave an impression! That’s why Helaine’s New Years Eve afternoon question seemed reasonable.

“Want to go bowling?”

The Foxes come well prepared. We each have a bag, ball and shoes! In the garage since our last bowling foray they were covered with whatever it is that makes a garage so esthetically unique.

Helaine in her role as family archivist noted it had been a year and a half since we last bowled. In that time the lanes closest to us had closed. Off to Google for helping finding a place.

I’m sure this is my screw-up, but 600 South Colony somehow became 800 North Colony when I entered it into MapQuest4Mobil on my iPhone. That brought us to stores and people, but no bowling alley.

I asked the guy moving shopping carts toward the grocery if he knew where it was.

“You know where the tattoo place is?” he asked.

I said yes though the answer was no. We drove toward the presumed location.

This was my poorest bowling experience since I was a little kid! When your wife offers encouragement that it’s still possible for you to break 100 you know things are bad!

On the other hand the company was spectacular. I had a great time being with Helaine.

She beat me three-for-three!

Maybe I’ll Wait To Post

“You’d better get ready now,” she said. I am blessed with “Early Warning Pinpoint Wife.”

I wanted to post something this morning… OK, this afternoon. I wasn’t up this morning but you get the idea.

Then before I could fire up the blog Helaine pointed me to the radar. “You’d better get ready now,” she said. I am blessed with “Early Warning Pinpoint Wife.”

So a real post later. Right now my hands are full with radar returns in hot colors. This is a worrisome weather scenario.