Well, after I posted that bit yesterday about what I'm clicking on, I heard from a few people who know me well. I'm busted.
What about the online shopping? What about Facebook, Mob Wars, Bubble Shooter?? These are some of my all time favorites. You know, the first place you go when you log on. The producer of our 6am hour Amee Moir is one of those people who insisted I tell the truth about what I'm clicking on, then confessed that she's obsessed with this stupid-funny cat game (the yarn ball part in particular) which you really have to play with the sound up. (Since it's sponsored by Meow Mix, I suspect the cat usually comes out pretty well)
So I'm watching Robert Kovacik's liveshot this morning on the Great Southern California Shake Out, and he's talking about this interactive earthquake game that simulates an earthquake and lets you get points for clicking on and properly securing the stuff around your house. (I particularly like the option of "rope and Krazy glue" to tie down your TV! )
Realistically, are we really going to putty down every picture frame and vase in our house, all the time? How do you dust around that stuff? I think most of us kind of decide what's going to be collateral damage, and the best plan is to have a pair of rubber-soled slippers and a flashlight by the bed to navigate all the broken glass from it. But the big stuff is important.
The Shake Out reminds me of the Chino Hills earthquake we had a few months ago. Chris and I were on the air doing the 11am newscast when the studio started shaking. I was in the middle of reading a medical story and remember looking around and seeing things sort of swaying ... but thinking, well, we're either right on top of about a magnitude 2.5, or there's a bigger earthquake somewhere else. Chris and I and the people in our booth sort of figured it out at the same time: it was a rocking motion that got a little bit bigger then tapered off, which told me that it was probably pretty big somewhere -- but not here.
We took some heat, Chris and I, for not diving under the set and therefore not setting a good example. Our boss Bob Long credited us for "keeping our cool on the air" in that situation, and I felt better about the criticism when I heard earthquake guru Dr. Lucy Jones interviewed later that day. She said she was just at the point of looking around and thinking, "hmmm, maybe I should get under this desk?" when the earthquake was over.
Had we jumped under the set, we would likely have become YouTube sensations like our predecessors Kent Shocknek (who earned the nickname "Aftershocknek" and Christopher Nance during a 1987 Whittier aftershock. They were made fun of and goofed on for weeks, even years. I even had a teeny tiny role in a movie that lampooned that moment years later, Volcano, where you see me and KTTV's sports anchor Rick Garcia climbing back out from under a news set after a major earthquake. You can see it about :12 into the trailer.!
I don't think it was a silly thing to do at all. Have you seen the lights that hang right over our heads on those news sets? And every earthquake is different, depending on its frequency and depth and distance and probably about a million other factors that I'm not qualified to talk about. When it's a gigantic jolt right off the bat, you know you had better take a dive and hold on.
My guess is, that when you're on the air and it's time to dive under the desk, you kind of know it. Sitting here at my desk upstairs in the newsroom, I'm cowering underneath it before you even have time to yell "EARTHQUAKE!" But on a news set, I think you have a little bit of a responsibility not to panic people as well. But believe me, when a big one hits, if it's while I'm on the air? Get ready to post us on YouTube. And laugh and laugh and laugh when you see us re-emerge with our eyes as big as saucers!