June 23, 2010: Reunited with the Family

Today I just worked from dad’s house on his computer in the office.  It was a very quiet day after so much excitement the last several days.

We did drive over to Geneseo for a late breakfast or early lunch at the Omega Grill.  Vicki, the owner, is in Greece for her wedding that is coming up in about a week so we did not get to see her.  There are two pictures of Liesl up on the milk cooler.  I got the Swiss patty melt with the veggie patty which I love there.  This is the only place that I can get anything like this.

After lunch we swung into Tim Hortons to grab some coffee, both ready made as well as grounds so that we can make coffee at the house.  We each got a donut as well.  I love Tim Horton’s donuts but after having lived in Texas for several months now they just don’t compare to what we can get down there.  I’ve become quite spoiled with Round Rock donuts and have little interest in eating any others.

Our big excitement this afternoon came in the middle of the afternoon when I was sitting at dad’s desk and he was working on the laptop desk and suddenly I could hear some serious creaking in the walls.  It sounded like a raccoon was trapped in the wall and wanted to get out.  Then the desktop started swaying and the monitors were moving back and forth.  It went on for so long that we were able to talk about it and look outside for large machinery to attempt to figure out what was happening.  It didn’t take long for us to guess that it was an earthquake.  We’ve had them before here but never this strong.  This was very, very noticeable and it probably lasted for about forty seconds.

The news, of course, cannot get earthquake data that quickly so I went straight to Twitter and, within seconds, had tons of information from people all over the northeast United States and Canada talking about the quake.  People were reporting having felt it from Michigan and Ohio up to Montreal.  Ever since that incident with the fake shooter and RIT and the complete lack of news coming from official channels I have learned that Twitter is the best resource for up-to-the-minute news reporting, especially on natural disasters like this.  Twitter worked awesomely today.

It was not long at all before the USGS had posted information on the quake.  It was epicentered just a little bit north northeast of Ottawa on the Quebec side of the line and had been a 5.5 on the Richter Scale.  Reports of people who had felt it were coming in from all over both countries including New Jersey, Thunder Bay and Long Island later on.  This is one of the biggest quakes to hit this part of the continent in a very long time.  One area registered aftershocks every few minutes for almost another hour.

I called Dominica and Francesca who were out shopping but they did not feel anything.  Dominica’s father’s office (or one of them) in Utica or Rome had some structural damage and had to evacuate the building until a structural engineer could verify the solidity of the structure.  So the quake was stronger than you might think.  Lots of office workers in Ottawa and Toronto evacuated their buildings and I saw a video of fish tank water splashing out from someone in Ottawa on YouTube.  They sure got it a lot more powerfully than we did.

My family in Ohio even called to see if we had felt it.  So the Canton Akron Metro area felt it enough to notice and feel that they needed to call to see where all it could be felt.  This was impressively big.  This is one of those events that people from here will mention over and over for years to come.  I’m very glad that I got to be here for it rather than just hearing about it on the news from Texas.

After work this evening, dad and I drove over to Livonia to Eric and Amanda’s house.  We dropped off four computers, a hard drive and a Windows XP installation CD.  That is a bit of stuff that needed to be moved and is now out of the way at dad’s house.  Less to worry about and their house was roughly on our way so that worked out pretty well.

From Livonia we drove straight out to Frankfort.  We did stop at McDonald’s in Canandaigua, up by the Thruway, to grab a quick dinner while we were on the road.  I have had more McDonald’s in the last several days than I have likely had it since moving to Texas!  I’m going to be all set with Mickey D’s fare for quite a while, I believe.

It was around ten when we got to the Tocco’s in Frankfort.  Liesl was so excited to see me when I came in the door that she tried to jump up and down and ended up just squatting on the floor and almost falling over!

Dominica loaded up dad’s car with he luggage and Liesl just clung to me while we sat on the couch in the living room.  She was not going to let go of me at all.  We were only at the Tocco’s for around fifteen minutes or maybe twenty.  Not much time at all.  We are all very tired and are looking forward to getting home and getting to bed.

I drove most of the way back from Frankfort.  Dad had driven to Canandaigua and I drove out the rest of the way east.  I drove back to Avon and had dad take over, after having gotten in a short nap, to drive the rest of the way home as I was completely exhausted and could not drive any further.

It was around one thirty when we managed to get home and get off to bed.  Very late but it is great to have my family back again.  Dominica and Liesl slept in the guest bedroom while Oreo came in to the television room with me and slept on the mattress on the floor.

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