24 May, 2010

What I Did...

...when I was supposed to be working on a post about geology.

No, really, I meant to do the first of many posts about the geology I saw whilst visiting eastern Washington.  But I woke up with this sudden urge to weed through my books for tomes no longer of use which can be traded for fresh meat at Powell's Books in Portland, and that led to a complete rearrangement of my shelves.  This, my darlings, is no small task in this household.  It took hours.

Then I decided the house needed to be cleaned.  The fact that I practically had to excavate to get to the kitchen counters and that the carpet was covered with little black patches of cat hair that caused it to resemble a spotted leopard made cleaning an obvious necessity.

More hours spent doing that, and by the end of it all, my body ached worse than it did after climbing steep, rocky hills in eastern Washington in the blazing heat.  So I took a nap.  Afterward, I started watching Carmen while I regained consciousness.  I didn't know opera was still allowed to extol the virtues of cigarettes, but special dispensation is apparently given to the classics.

There's only so much opera on teevee I can take in a night, so I've switched to 10 Things You Didn't Know About Earthquakes.  One thing I surely never knew about earthquakes was that one of their causes is the melting of ice sheets.  Normally, the ground rebounds slowly and gradually from all that weight (the technical term is isostatic rebound, for those who, like me, take pleasure in knowing such things).  But in some cases, the sudden release of pressure causes earthquakes along weak zones in the crust, and you get things like the Parve Fault in Sweden, which was a helluva big earthquake in its day - probably around magnitude 8.6 or so.  That certainly made my eyes pop.  And, it turns out, it has some relevance to my own dear Puget Sound.

Before I go to bed, I'm probably going to cut all of the nice pictures of Mount St. Helens out of a ridiculous creationist book about same that I picked up off the clearance shelves at Half-Price Books by mistake.  It's amusing to flip through, watching them desperately try to use a volcanic eruption to prove that the earth really truly is only 6,000 years old.  And the pictures are lovely, so now that I'm done laughing at their inane pseudo-geology, it's time for the old snippety-snip.  At least then the book will have been of some good use.

None of this has helped me actually write the damned geology post I meant to write today, and tomorrow's doubtful since I'll be off playing with fossils at the Burke Museum.  But we shall see.

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