I think they are calling it the Inglewood/Hawthorne or the Lennox Quake. It happened last night about 8:45 while we were watching America's Funniest Videos. I could hear and feel it coming and was on my feet in a half second after it was clear that some real shaking was going on. I grabbed my daughter and my wife and pulled them towards the back door after something crashed off of a shelf.
I had to do some quick calculations and guess which way glass might be flying if we were outside rather than inside as I paused in the doorframe. But even as I could hear car alarms going off and see powerlines swaying, I sensed that it was just about over. So I didn't worry about glass. Everybody was fine although my daughter was still cowering a bit. Five seconds after the first aftershock I headed to the computer and began recon.
Flap was the first one to Twitter. He must have been sitting at the terminal when it happened. I first tried for CalTech but could only get to the front page of their website. Slashdotted. Twitter was alive so I sent several messages. My youngest daughter was en route from her best friend's house. She had just sent me an SMS two minutes before the quake asking about who was the artist who recorded 'Man in the Box'. Sent back 'Alice in Chains' and then 'OK?' almost back to back. Her SMS didn't get back to me until she was already home. 'Did you feel the earthquake'.
I didn't even bother trying to use the phone for voice. I figured everything was tied up and so as I sent my fifth tweet, there were voices in the house confirming that suspicion. Facebook seemed to be alive - several message were coming through, Twitter style, from local friends. My brother Doc finally got a text message through. I tried to send a reply but it wouldn't go. There was nothing at Google News yet, but the TV news guys were breaking a story.
LAX area they said. It felt to me like a 5.5 but it was very short. So 5 sounded reasonable. I got to the USGS and filled out a questionnaire for their records. Their site said 5.0. Next I decided to check my XBox Live buddies. One out in Fontana felt it and kept right on playing Guitar Hero. FB friends from San Diego chimed in. Lots of people who never felt one spoke up. This one was really very short which was surprising given the joltiness of the big jolt. It wasn't a surprising earthquake, there was a good number of seconds of twitching before the big shake slammed home, but then it was over. Still, I figured aftershocks would be coming. I felt two.
Some of our paintings were all crooked. I never figured out what fell down off which shelf. But everything was pretty much back to normal within half an hour. And that's the way it was.