Archive for February, 2010

No more earthquakes…

by , posted on Thursday, February 11th, 2010 at 8:56 am

to distract me, so now I am back to studying my Hultgren. Could be boring, after yesterday’s excitement, if it weren’t for some of the stuff that actually comes out of Hultgren’s mouth. Really, Hultgren? You actually said that? Details to follow…


History of Earthquakes In Northern Illinois

by , posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 at 11:38 am

So I just got done reassuring a friend that this was no doubt a freak incident and then I found this on the USGS website.

1909 Jun 26 14:42 5.1M Intensity VII
Aurora, Illinois ( 41.6N 88.1W )
This earthquake has been related to the La Salle anticline in the Illinois Basin. Many chimneys fell, a stove overturned, and gas line connections broke at Aurora, west of Chicago. Several chimneys were downed at Forreston, Naperville, Streator, Triumph, and Troy Grove, and one fell at Waukegan. Brick walls cracked at Bloomington, and sidewalks cracked and many chimneys were damaged at Freeport. At Platteville, Wis., about 130 km northwest of Chicago, an old building was cracked; houses were jostled out of plumb at Beloit, Wis., about 240 km northwest of Chicago. Felt from Missouri to Michigan and Minnesota to Indiana.

and this

1912 Jan 2 16:21 4.5M Intensity VI
Near Aurora, Freeport, Morris, and Yorkville, Illinois? ( 41.5N 88.5W )
The highest intensity was reported at those towns in Kane, Stephenson, Grundy, and Kendall Counties, respectively. Slight damage to chimneys was reported at Batavia and Geneva, Ill., north of Aurora, in Kane County. Two distinct shocks were observed at some places. The stronger shock also was felt in parts of Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky (Fulton County), and Wisconsin.

Thos are both pretty damned close right here. The USGS calls the 1909 quake perhaps the strongest to ever occur in Illinois. Leaving me to wonder why I know quite a bit about the New Madrid fault, but have never heard of the LaSalle anticline in the Illinois Basin.


Illinois Earthquake

by , posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 at 6:00 am

Not of the political variety. An actual earthquake. Something one just does not expect in Northern Illinois.

I was awake – went to sleep at a freakishly early hour last night, and woke up at about 3:45, and was at my computer, checking in on a few sites and on my e-mail, trying to decide whether to try to go back to sleep, glanced at the clock and it said 3:59 a.m. and thought, yeah, I really should try to go back to sleep, then BAM!

Really. BAM! Felt like the building was exploding – my first reaction was that the roof had collapsed under snow, but then the shaking continued, and I was just ready to go outside and see if the roof had collapsed or if something in the building exploded when my daughter called from Geneva – it woke her and the hubby and kids up.

My dog is still shaken, she’s right at my heel if I so much as go in the kitchen to make coffee.

USGS is saying epicenter four miles east of Sycamore, and since I’m in St. Charles, that’s pretty damned close.

UPDATE: Google map from USGS pinpointing epicenter, which I’d say offhand would most probably be in a cornfield, but yes, very near St. Charles.


Woah, Dillard

by , posted on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 11:27 pm

The Trib has Dillard ahead in the Repub Governor primary. I know Dillard. Shared an office building with his state senator’s in-district office, Rep Patti Bellock’s office (trivia, Patti is a Comisky, and her office is chock full of White Sox memorabilia), and the local Chamber – that was it, not a terribly big building. So not many of us in there. Once I watched Dillard and staff do a stellar job of manoevering every which way through the state legislature on an issue I was quite familiar with. He’s well-liked, well-respected, and well-connected.

Update: Brady pulls ahead of Dillard. Still a ridiculously tight race, but then so is the Quinn/Hynes matchup

For Quinn’s sake, I fear Dillard.


Baby Boy Hastert is losing

by , posted on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Not the best of news for Foster, since the same factor making Ethan lose (overall disgust with Daddy and Daddy’s friends gushing ridiculous amounts of cash in an attemt to purchase for Baby Boy the equivalent of a title of nobility) would have doubly ensured his loss in the general.

Along those same lines, too bad for Dems that Giannoulias-the-annointed is continuing to remain rather smugly ahead of Hoffman. The Repubs are gonna shred Alexi to teeny tiny pieces, then bury him in his own dirt, come the general.

While I’m by no means a fan of choosing to vote based on electibility issues any reasonable analysis demands they be looked at, and at this point it seems next-to-certain that Dems will lose Obama’s former Senate seat. That they may possibly watch Hastert’s former seat – a seat I think would have remained safe for Foster if he was running against Baby Boy – flip back in the Repub column as well makes this suddenly a race to watch.


Speaking of Apathy…

by , posted on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I got a phone call about the importance of health care legislation from Organizing for America yesterday morning. Now, I’ve quite recently ranted about both phone calls from OFA and health care reform, so I was prepared to lambast the poor volunteer, as soon as she had finished with her request.

But then she did finish her request, which was, specifically: “Will you call your representative and speak to him about the importance of health care reform in whatever direction you think that should take from here?”


So instead of tearing into her I said yes. Although, to be brutally blunt about it it my idea of where health care reform – in it’s present form – should go is some sunshine free area of someone or the other’s anatomy, I didn’t see anything in the volunteer from OFA’s request that would do anything but encourage me to express exactly that.

Which is exactly my point: Way to display clarity of message and leadership on an issue, guys. Although who “guys” are is also in question. Is this the administration? Or is this the DNC? Or is it all of the above?

This strikes me as a clear signal that the administration is taking charge by expanding it’s brialliantly executed circle jerk of a sort of vaguely expressed hopiness that we can somehow achieve real reform, without rocking any important contributor boats, all the way down to the rank and file.

But at least we have Obama’s Awesome On-Line Organizing Community to join the circle jerk, eh?

I’m positively tingling with enthusiasm. And hopiness.


Primary Day

by , posted on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010 at 3:10 pm

A day or so before registration closed for the primary a woman came in to the library where I work part-time to change the address on her voter registration. Process completed, she thanked me and said: “we just moved, but this has to be the most important primary ever so I had to make absolutely sure I got my address changed in time.”

She walked away and a co-worker, who I happen to know is a pretty active Dem, said: “Huh, guess she must be a Republican.”

I couldn’t really disagree with her and still can’t, as I am neither feeling, nor seeing, anything like enthusiasm from most Dems of my acquaintance.

I could be wrong though. Lack of real enthusiasm on my part for any of the candidate offerings could just be lack of effort on my part toi dig for information sufficient to get me excited. But then again I could argue that a failure to get through to me – not so hard to do as getting through to the average voter since lots of local party insiders know exactly where to find me – indicates a failure to, er, do the job.

Anyway, I did vote, of course. I took care to wait until after 9:00 a.m. to avoid any crowds. While I wouldn’t say I ran into “crowds” I was surprised to find more than half a dozen – perhaps seven or eight – other voters there. And that’s not counting poll workers, actual pollwatchers (not so common in this neck of the woods even in generals) and the press taking photos.

Still, early reports are that turnout is low.

Back later with results. Not the least factor in my lack of excitement is the fact that I bet I could post them now with little fear the voters will have proved me wrong when the last vote is counted.