Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An Eventful March... so far

Ay, the ides of March have come and they haven't gone... Or something like that. What a turbulent month March is proving to be on the other side of the Pacific Ocean!

No other folks are as prepared for the worst as the Japanese were, but there really is only so much you can do when Mother Nature throws a 9.0 earthquake towing a giant tsunami your way.... especially when 'your way' is home to a whole lot of nuclear power plants! I hope they'll manage to somehow cool those exploding nuclear reactors down and stop the radiation leak soon.... even though I wonder how that can happen.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ben Farone)
I've been following the news via CNN, BBC, Deutsche Welle, Al Jazeera English, and a few other channels, of course, and I really admire the Japanese for how they are handling themselves through out this crisis. Clean up efforts are immediately underway and the quake/tsunami victims seem quite bent on what need to be done rather than to just wail for help and feel sorry for themselves like many other folks would tend to do. Folks in wiped out area who no longer have basic supplies are even standing in line at stores and shelters, orderly waiting their turn. Yes, one would hope that people always behave like that in the face of such devastating crisis, but I distinctly remember many other episodes in very recent memory elsewhere where this did not happen. So there... kudos to the Japanese people and wishing them a speedy recovery!

For those of us who dislike being a helpless spectator to such a scale of misfortune, though, we can help by donating to legitimate relief organizations like these:

Text REDCROSS or 90999 to make $10 donation by text message. 

Global Giving (www.globalgiving.org): Text JAPAN or 50555 to donate $10

Salvation Army (donate.salvationarmyusa.org): Toll free: 800-SAL-ARMY, Text QUAKE or 80888 to donate $10 

Save the Children: Emergency Relief for Japan Quake (www.savethechildren.org/japanquake): Toll free: 800-728-3843, Text JAPAN or 20222 to donate.

World Vision (www.worldvision.org): Toll Free: 888-56-CHILD Text 4JAPAN to 20222 to donate $10

 On my front I just got back home from another 10 days working trip. I did manage to drop in at the San Diego Zoo the weekend before last and had a fun ride on the Skyfari...

It was really cool looking at the various zoo facilities and animals from overhead. The California Tower at the Museum of Man dominated the skyline, of course, and it was a bit surreal watching a few commercial planes flying by below the tower's spike on their way to Lindberg Field Airport.

And I got to spend more time with Coconut the English bulldog puppy. He naps a lot, and picks up tricks really quickly during training sessions. His face doesn't allow him to smile much, but he says plenty with his eyes (and the way he looks at you sideways... The dog has a diva-worthy attitude!). Girls go wild over him, I think mostly because of his kabuki-ish black natural eye-liner and his 'Oh yes, you love me!' operating motto. The brainy pooch saw me coming down the stair with my suitcase yesterday morning and proceeded to attack my shoelaces - he was determined to not let me put my shoes on (and then be able to leave)! 

Didn't get much writing done while I was gone, though I did get to interview Eimear Noone, the fascinating Irish composer/conductor who is hosting 'This Is Ireland' St Patrick's Day celebration at UCLA's Royce Hall this Thursday. 

Now... I'm taking the day off and hope to read a few more chapters of Azar Narfisi' Reading Lolita In Iran...


Anna said...

Hello Smorgy,

2011 seems to be shaping up into the year of natural disasters. It's hard to believe that such things could happen to Japan, but there is only so much that people can prepare.

Glad to read that things are going swimmingly for you in San Diego though.

Sorry that you haven't heard much from me lately. I posted you a letter via snail mail yesterday. I suspect the postcard I sent last month has gone to postcard heaven or something. I hope that you are having a pleasant start to Spring.

Best regards and wishes from olde Melbourne town,


aeao said...

it is avery good

رئيس التحرير said...


Smorg said...

Coo-ee Anna!

Thanks for stopping by! Don't remember if I had emailed yet, but I did receive a letter before I left for another 15 days work trip. Thanks a lot! :oD Hope things are improving in Australia and that the ginger cat is keeping you well looked after. ;o)

It's been a bit rainy here, but I think we're in for a sunny stretch now. My boss' bulldog tried to double-size himself and is still as hyper as a kangaroo (though he has chewed off all of his sharp baby teeth, so he is a lot safer to hang with). :oD

Best wishes from California!