Monday, January 16, 2017

I Can Feel It Coming in the Air Tonight...

What is it with the song titles in my BLOGS these days?

Imagine it’s 79 AD. You live in a bustling city by the sea. An important tourist and commercial city. A center of commerce, art, shipping, manufacturing and culture. Life is good. You wake every morning after the previous night’s debauchery and rise to a nutritious and delicious breakfast then bathe and dress for the day. You make your way to your place of business, but, something is amiss.

There is the unfamiliar odor of rotten eggs in the air and it seems that there is a light snow falling. The minor earthquakes that you have been experiencing for the last couple of months seem to have suddenly abated. "What the hell is going on?" runs through your mind at 500 miles per hour. Almost as fast as the choking and deadly pyroclastic flow that is coming from the mountain next to your beautiful city is moving. The deadly cloud is made up of rock, volcanic ash, miscellaneous debris and poisonous gasses. All at over five hundred degrees fahrenheit (500°f). It is streaking towards the city, YOUR CITY, at 600 miles per hour killing, incinerating and burying everything in it’s path at the speed of a jet airliner.

Of course you die. You are instantly killed right were you are standing. That mysterious and fine “snow” that you witnessed falling in the 70° weather was actually volcanic ash. Not ash really, but razor sharp microscopic particles of glass-like rock dust that shredded the inside of your lungs with every breath you tried to take. The snow continues to fall and there is the silence of a grave yard decending upon the city that you once called home. Mt. Vesuvius was a beautiful neighbor. Your home had a magnificent view of it’s gorgeous snow covered peaks. The orange and red hues that covered the mountain when the sun set were breathtaking. Almost as breathtaking as the ash in your lungs that killed you. The same ash that has now has entombed you right where you collapsed. “Maybe somebody will discover my body buried under this twelve to twenty feet of ask/rock in two thousand years” is something that might have run through your mind. It’s doubtful though.

Why the hell would I type this today? Pretty simple really. I just got back from a one day trip to Seattle Washington. 

WHERE THE SAME THING IS GOING TO HAPPEN ONE OF THESE DAYS! (read it again and again until it sinks in)

Yes Seattle, That bustling city. Home of Amazon, Boeing, Starbucks, and the 12th Man (which they stole from Texas A&M) You see, Seattle and Tacoma are sitting at the base of Mt. Rainier. A Volcano that the locals will say is extinct and the geologists say is active or dormant at the very least. The geologists even say it has a high potential for eruption. The same category Mt. St Helens is in presently. The mountain was once a beautiful cone shaped beast resembling Mt. Fuji in Japan, until it exploded. And what an explosion it was! Probably about the size of Mt. St. Helens in May of 1980. The resulting structure has reformed somewhat. The classical Mt. Fuji shape is gone and what is left is an active, growing pile of steaming rubble covered in snow three miles high. The structure of the mountain has grown weaker with it’s swelling and pulsing. The snow load on the peak is incredible due to it’s fourteen thousand foot plus (14,000'+) summit. Every now and then you can see steam actually rising from the “Vents” in the mountain. It is a modern day cataclysmic time bomb. A disaster of biblical proportions waiting to happen, again.

Pompeii had a population of about eleven thousand (11,000) people in 79 AD. 

There are over seven hundred thousand (700,000) residents in Seattle. Tacoma has about two hundred fifty thousand (250,00).

In Summary:

There are close to a million people living a few miles from an active and unstable volcano in the pacific northwest. This is a vital and vibrant metropolitan area in the most technologically advanced country the world has ever seen. When I asked a local riding on the light rail train to the airport about it, her reply was “But it is so pretty”.

Hey wait a minute, Isn’t That where Microsoft has it’s headquarters?

Who would have thought that a five hundred degree (500°) pyroclastic cloud killing and burning everything in it’s path would have a silver lining?

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