Earthquakes: Still better than crappy weather

RealWeather-NonChronI was born and raised in California. I’ve lived through my fair share of earthquakes both large and small…mostly small. Still, after living in the Midwest for almost a year and a half, I prefer to take my chances with an earthquake rather than a blizzard or thunderstorm. Why? Because in the scheme of things big, disruptive earthquakes are a rarity.

Note: Earthquakes DO NOT HAVE SEASONS

Sure this list of earthquakes on the Sacramento Bee’s website looks frighteningly long, but most of those quakes no one even remembers. A 3.0 quake is not historic. It’s a tiny earth fart. An earthquake off the coast is almost like it didn’t happen.

Dumb lists aside, a decent size quake only happens once every 25 to 50 years or so in an area that causes fatalities or even a decent amount of damage. By damage I don’t mean bottles knocked to the ground off shelves, I mean structural integrity of roads and bridges compromised.

In fact, with the advent of stricter building codes, advances in engineering methods, and better preparedness, an earthquake under 6.0 is really not a big deal.

Most of the preparedness is common sense. Don’t hang anything over your bed. Don’t hang anything over where you might be sitting or laying down. Have fresh batteries in your home in case the power goes out. Make sure bookcases are either secured to the wall or if they fall over aren’t going to smash you. Some people will even install baby locks on upper cabinets not because they have little ones, but because they know the doors will stay closed when the shaking starts. I’ve even seen special shelf liner that is supposed to help keep glassware from being knocked over.

Growing up, any time there was a minor earthquake, the local media would remind everyone what to do in case a big one hit. I used to think it was dumb to constantly remind everyone how to be safe whenever a 3.0 shook some random town in the middle of the coastal range, but after reading my Facebook feed this morning after the Napa quake, I now understand why they do it.

Many people move to California and don’t know what to do in the event of an earthquake. They didn’t grow up with the knowledge pounded into their brains like I did. I take this knowledge for granted, but I’m glad that I know it. Why? Because of this knowledge, earthquakes don’t scare me as much as having to drive on icy roads with a bunch of idiots. That happens every freaking year for months at a time!

Show off your #NewCarFace to cars.com #ad

New Car Face Cars.com Logo

This post is sponsored by cars.com.

Shopping for a new car, it can be a challenge…OK, it’s a royal pain in the butt sometimes, but cars are necessary to most people and their livelihoods. I’m in the market for a new car, but how did I decide which one?

Last time I bought a car, I admit that I did it based solely on looks. Much like relationships based on the same reasoning, it was a bad idea. My Beetle is temperamental at best. However, I still have strong feelings for my car. I do love it. This is what my #NewCarFace looked like when I bought it. It was love at first drive.

Cars.com promotion #NewCarFace

Now, it’s 12 years later and my life has drastically changed. I need a vehicle that can handle the polar vortex that likes to hang out in Minnesota during the winter. Not to mention the potholes in the spring and summer that look like someone took a jackhammer to each and every street in the Twin Cities.

Older and wiser, I know to do more research when new car shopping. I need to dig beyond what the thing looks like. cars.com is a great place to compare makes and models, learn about gas mileage and what’s in stock at your local dealer.

Also, cars.com, known for taking the drama out of car shopping, is giving people a chance to win up to $25,000 to pay off their car loans.  All you have to do is show cars.com your new car face. See my picture above?  That’s the type of photo you need to enter the cars.com contest. You need to be in the photo with a car. It can be your current car or a car you’d like to have some day, but a car needs to be in the photo and so do you. And of course the cars.com folks want to

newcarfaceShareImage[1]

There are three ways to enter, but you can only have one entry in total. Got it?

On the  Twitter: Tweet a photo of your new car and a happy new car face. Use #newcarface and mention @carsdotcom in your tweet.

OR

On the Instagram: Upload a photo of your new car and a happy new car face. Use #newcarface and mention @carsdotcom in your comment.

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On the Facebook: Post a photo of your new car and a happy new car face on the Cars.com Facebook wall (as a new post). Be sure to use #newcarface for your entry to be valid.

Legal stuff you should know:

  • Participants can only submit 1 entry during the promotional period
  • Encourage readers to visit http://bit.ly/1pLUGey for more examples of #newcarface entries, additional contest details and rules.
  • Open to legal US residents (excluding MD, NJ and TN), 18+ who hold (or whose immediate family member holds) a qualifying vehicle loan or lease. Begins 7/29/14 at 8:00:00 am CST and ends 1/2/15 at 12:00:00 pm CST. Prize value up to $25,000. Subject to the Official Rules at http://bit.ly/1pLUGey. See Official Rules for full details, including eligibility criteria and qualifying vehicle restrictions. Sponsor: Cars.com, a division of Classified Ventures, LLC.
  • Please do not include any personal information, like your license plate number.
  • A “New Car” is considered a new or used car bought or leased on or after 1/1/2012.

Minnesota State Fair 2014: More fun than you can handle

Minnesota State Fair 2014It’s that time of year again! The Minnesota State Fair 2014 runs from August 21st through Labor Day Weekend. I couldn’t be more excited to experience the Great Minnesota Get Together again.

OK, yes. I hate crowds, but I seem to be able to handle my crowd-phobia fairly well at the Minnesota State Fair. There’s so much to see and so much to do to distract me from my fears, plus there’s plenty of booze.

Minnesotans take their State Fair seriously and for good reason. It’s pro-level state fairing. It’s like no other state or county fair I’ve been to, but then again, I’ve only been to a few. Texas might rival it, but I’ll bet not many other states even come close. Continue reading