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Saturday, February 27, 2010

waiting for the Hawaii tsunami that wasn't

What we find is that rumors are their own kind of natural disaster. A siren at dawn. Loudspeakers on a truck. A sea of people moving this way and that, taking orders--buy 7 days of food and water, stay in your hotel... It's also true that this is a drill for The Next One. My problem with that? It's the third such drill this year in Hawaii. And I wonder what the experts knew and when they really knew it.

For instance, the local Star Bulletin led with a front page story on Tourism Returns to Hawaii, and buried the AP report on the tsunami on Page 5. This in Hawaii, where a similar Chile quake in 1960 devastated the islands? If it were truly news, and the Star Bulletin truly a newspaper, wouldn't that be on the cover?

My green author and blogging wife, Mindy Pennybacker, put some of these thoughts up on Huffington Post and drew a sharp series of "how dare you" comments. Yet we were in New York City on 9/11 and know people who lived that day because they disregarded those very pompous experts who like to believe they have the right to herd us like sheep.

running to higher ground TSUNAMI

Last view of Kapiolani Park in Honolulu empty as a police cruiser warns of a tsunami wave. Gotta run to high ground now. Aloha!~

TSUNAMI civil defense radar on Diamond Head

Back from a walk around Diamond Head. The civil defense mobile radar is in place. The sea has filled with boats, as owners and sailors are taking them out to be safe. An unusual sight, like Dunkirk on a sunny day. The farmers market at KCC was open, so I bought 3 papaya, choy sum, manoa lettuce and 3 organic chocolate bars. I credit my emergency ration response to Do One Green Thing, the new book by Mindy Pennybacker. And, yes, that's my plug for the day!

TSUNAMI VIDEO we go down to the sea to see

Here is our walk from the house to the beach this morning at 6:30. The sirens went off. The emergency trucks came by telling us it's a mandatory evac. We talk with neighbors about where to go (up the volcano on foot). Got water. Got Spam. Here comes the next siren, much louder.

With the wave now expected to arrive at 11 am we have a few hours. How to spend them? I think we may go for a walk around Diamond Head, stretch out. Cell phones are out, the evacuation zone maps online are crashed. Gonna see how long the Internet holds up.

This is when ham radio suddenly becomes relevant again.

TSUNAMI will head straight up our street in 5 hours

Here's Coconut Avenue, looking up at Diamond Head from the beach access. Which also will be the tsunami access in 5 hours. Think of this as a "before" shot.

TSUNAMI as economic opportunity? who's making money?

Lot's wife looked back. Should I?

Or should I just keep blogging?

This is a job opportunity, right? The new economy would call this an example of Shumpeter's "creative destruction" - and I'm going to be there to cash in on the ground floor. I bet a lot of fish will be left high and dry when the suckout comes. Probably find some spare change.

In the meantime, the merchants are opening up ahead of time for those early bird specials.

TSUNAMI PATH to our house: no picnic

This lovely scene may shortly witness untold destruction: Le'ahi Beach Park, South Shore Oahu, under the Diamond Head volcano. The predicted 12 foot tsunami will come rolling up here in approximately 5 and a half hours. We live 300 yards inland, at the end of the street. Photo: Don Wallace

TSUNAMI still no daylight doing preparedness drills

Filling the bathtub and looking out to sea in the dark.

Charging the cell phone, the Canon PowerShot and the Sony DV-mini-cam (professional quality).

We have matches, bbq propane. Canned food and drink. A bottle of Laphroaig.

The announcers saying lines are forming at gas stations, stores. Tourists will go to higher floors of hotels, third floor and up. Buses are coming.

A 12 foot wave is coming. That is going to be HUGE. It's serious.

Our Filipino tenant came up to warn us. He got a call from his grandmother in Manila, where his family was dislocated by the cyclone flooding and he lost his grandfather. We'll keep an eye on him, and he'll keep an eye on us.

TSUNAMI 5:17 am the experts already sent their families away?

Hmmm. On the tube here the experts let slip their families evacuated hours ago. That should tell us something.

We're at the end of Coconut Avenue, where it runs straight from the ocean up to our stairs. About a quarter mile from the surf break known as...wait for it... Suicide's.

So far we're holding. They're saying add water for 7 days. Food. Oops. Better get busy!

p.s. mayor hanneman is unavailable, on a junket to the Mainland. thank heavens we don't have to listen to a politician

TSUNAMI the bulldog knew at time of quake

Marley the neighbor's bulldog went missing right around the time of the Chile quake. No birds chirping, though. The popular indicators of a major event like tsunami, quake seem to be missing - except for the newscasters sternly warning us to not go swimming.

Still, a big one coming. Our third this year. Can't remember even one in the last 33 years. That says something, according to Pat Robertson. I think it's because we haven't passed comprehensive health care with a public option.

TSUNAMI 4:55 am report Hawaii

ONLY 2 CANS OF SPAM??? What kind of emergency is this that they ration fried processed meat byproducts? Only in Hawaii. 4:51 am Tsunami Time.

TSUNAMI coming here

We're up at 3:30 am in Honolulu getting word. Sirens at 6 am. We will probably be forced to evacuate, and the road below us forms a highway to our doorstep on the slopes of the volcano. I've got an urge to just climb up Diamond Head and film it. Mindy is deciding whether or not to surf it. Kidding.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Amazon wants to control all content? Bad news for all of us

Once again, Amazon still won't sell any books from Macmillan, even though it says it will. With the e-book a reality and this one company, Amazon, controlling 75% of online sales, book pubishing is heading down the road music industry took after Ticketmaster gained control of all concert venues. It's not a free market ...if one company owns it. Especially when the day is approaching when a post like mine will result in my books disappearing from Amazon as well.