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Updated: 09/27/04

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Monday, 27 September, 2004

Another week, another hurricane. Because I am an insurance geek, I was glued to the TV set watching the Weather Channel this weekend as Hurricane Jeanne huffed and puffed on Florida. I think this is what will be giving us rain later tonight. Or perhaps it's part of Ivan, the Energizer Bunny of Hurricanes, that popped the Panhandle, came up and wet all over Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and the Mid-Atlantic last weekend before breaking off, heading back down to take a rainy swipe at southern Florida on its way to making landfall again in Louisiana. Definitely the unwanted houseguest of the season.

But just to spice things up, I saw this story today:

Volcanic Unrest in Mount St. Helens Crater

SEATTLE - Seismologists believe there's an increased likelihood of a hazardous event at Mount St. Helens due to a strengthening series of earthquakes at the volcano.

"The key issue is a small explosion without warning. That would be the major event that we're worried about right now," said Willie Scott, a geologist with the USGS office in Vancouver.

Initially, hundreds of tiny earthquakes that began Thursday morning had slowly declined through Saturday. By Sunday, however, there had been more than 10 temblors of magnitude 2.0 to 2.8, the most in a 24-hour period since the last dome-building eruption in October 1986, Scott said.

The quakes have occurred at depths less than one mile below the lava dome within the mountain's crater. Some of the earthquakes suggest the involvement of pressurized fluids, such as water or steam, and perhaps magma.

"We haven't had a swarm of earthquakes at Mount St. Helens since 2001," state seismologist Tony Qamar said. "Clearly something new is happening."

I had no idea that earthquakes came in swarms. Now I have to wonder what a group of hurricanes is called, since we've had so many on such a short time frame. A swarm of earthquakes, a murder of crows, a ___________ of hurricanes. Hmmmm . . . while Google shows that both earthquakes and tornadoes come in swarms, hurricanes do not seem to be known for their collective qualities.

How about a "Rotation" of hurricanes? Or as they're now known in Florida, an "Unrelenting Sogginess" of hurricanes.

[And there's two more months to go in the season.]

Gary's dog, Spunky, came over to spend the weekend with us. He and Suki got along OK - she seemed much more interested in him that he was in her. She ate more of his food than he did too - pig cat. We went out to see a movie with Katie, Gary's daughter, on Saturday afternoon, and apparently he spent the time barking and scratching at the door, much to the joy of the neighbors.

It did go to show how much work having a dog in the city is. In and out and in and out. I've gotten spoiled with having a cat. We just got Suki a new automatic kittybox (since she killed the last one with her over-active bladder), but generally speaking they work very well. I wonder if anyone has managed to train a dog to use an automatic kitty box?

[Either a really small dog or a really large kitty box.]

A number for all of us to remember: 55170-054. Yes, folks, that's Martha Stewart's new federal prison ID number. They haven't decided if she'll be spending her time in the stir in Connecticut or Florida.

[Let's see . . . the next hurricane's name will start with an M, so perhaps Florida would be apropos.]

Quote du jour:

"What is not good for the swarm is not good for the bee."

-- Marcus Aurelius (AD 121 - 180) Roman emperor

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