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For years I have been fascinated with the story of a goldfish that survived the April 29th, 1965 Puget Sound earthquake. This was a strong quake that one of my parents remembers vividly. They were just kids when it happened, and as a kid I remember marveling over their description of the strong jolts, groceries toppling, and the pavement in the parking lot of a Pierce County grocery store rising and falling in waves.

HistoryLink’s Alan Stein wrote a piece on this nearly 20 years ago which is posted below (click to see the explanatory newspaper photo). Given the local connection to Juanita Beach, and the fact that Wednesday is the 55th anniversary of the earthquake and the goldfish’s improbable survival, I’ve wanted to make this into a local festival. I asked around. No bites. And that was before COVID-19 reared its ugly head.

At minimum, I wanted to put this logo, with its upside down fish bowl, on t-shirts and bumper stickers. Kirkland needs to celebrate its history more as its high density development is swallowing up the past. We see cars with odes to Wall Drug, the world’s largest ball of string, and the Mystery Spot, so why not our Juanita Beach goldfish? Why not make this a thing? It’s especially salient with the renovations going on at the park right now. Much of the park is being completely redesigned.

If you live or work anywhere near Kirkland, raise a glass to the Pepple goldfish this Wednesday, April 29th, then turn it upside down quickly and see if you can get a seal. We really should celebrate something this memorable, this miraculous, this bizarre… especially at a time when we all need a really good party.


Goldfish survives bizarre earthquake experience on April 29, 1965.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 3/01/2001
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3037

On April 29, 1965, a goldfish owned by Juanita resident Howard Pepple survives a strange experience. The glass bowl containing the fish flips off a 4-foot 8-inch bookcase, overturns, and lands on the floor upsidedown, forming a seal. When Mr. Pepple returns home, he finds the fish swimming complacently in its overturned domicile.

A Fish Story

Pepple, a caretaker at Juanita Beach Park, lived in an apartment above the park’s concession stand with his wife and fish. No one was home during the quake except the fish, so two hours after the temblor Mr. Pepple returned to assess any damage that may have occurred to their dwelling and possessions.

The object most out of place was the fishbowl. When the Pepples had left in the morning it had been sitting on a shelf, more than four feet above the floor. It was now lying upside down at ground level. Examining it further, Mr Pepple saw water inside. The fish swam within, oblivious to its current predicament.

Flipper

Investigators surmised that during the quake, the shelf swayed, and the bowl was knocked from its perch. It flipped end over end as it fell to the tiled floor. The soft tile, similar to lineoleum, softened the blow, and the mouth of the bowl landed perfectly flush with the floor. A seal formed which kept water (and fish) inside. Rocks which had been on the bottom of the glass domicile were on the floor, still within the fishbowl.

The local newspaper was alerted to this bizarre event and photos were taken. Pepple then inverted the bowl, returned it and its resident back to the shelf, and things returned back to normal in the Pepple household. All was well again in Juanita.


Sources: “Juanita Goldfish Swims After Quake Flips Bowl,” East Side Journal May 6, 1965, p. 1.


©2020 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com except HistoryLink article, which is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution.

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From the Israeli Philharmonic

During a Passover Seder, four questions are asked:

On all other nights, we eat chametz (leavened foods) and matzah. Why on this night, only matzah?

On all other nights, we eat all vegetables. Why, on this night, maror (bitter herbs)?

On all other nights, we don’t dip even once. Why on this night do we dip twice?

On all other nights, we eat either sitting upright or reclining. Why on this night do we all recline?

This year, some say that a fifth question has been added:

On all other years, we observe Passover with friends and family. How is this year different than other years?

An astute teacher pointed out that this is the first Passover… since the very first Passover… that observers are shut in. Israel, specifically, is on lockdown. Another said we are literally believing that, as on the first Passover, the destroyer will pass over our houses.

Many Christians believe in “pleading the blood,” meaning that they pray in the power of the One who shed His blood for humanity, and therefore are standing upon that power tonight. They believe that He sets us free and we are slaves to our selfish nature no more. On the first Passover, blood was literally painted on the doorposts of the Israelites so that they were saved from the plague. Soon after, they were able to flee Egypt.

Are these mere fairy tales? Or are these concepts of infinite importance as our entire planet is in the throes of a plague? Some may reject and denigrate those with faith, but many others are looking to God for deliverance at this time. Increasing numbers of people are finding divine meaning in this pandemic, recognizing it as a grand reset. This may be a reset of our priorities, of our values, of how we spend our time and with whom. Many are discovering new talents and new strengths, including new ways to generate income.

As we celebrate this strange social distancing Passover, expect miracles. Mankind is working hard to end this plague and we should. That work combined with sincere faith, which activates that wonder-working power, is going to overcome this alien invader. We will come out stronger– spiritually stronger, economically stronger, stronger in our relationships with others.

The night may be dark and the aether laden with risk. However, as the people of the cross like to say this week, it’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming. חג שמח!


©2020 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Israel-based band Miqedem has released Psalm 23 – Quarantine Version. Turning on closed captioning (CC) will display the lyrics. I’ve had the privilege of hearing Miqedem live, and their wide-ranging talents and technical skill are the real deal. Their members come from several different countries and they play instruments from many countries.

Please enjoy this message of hope. Many are praying Psalm 91 over our families and nations right now, and some good old Psalm 23 just adds to the attitude of gratitude and belief in divine intervention– miracles. As Adrian Rogers said, prayer can do anything God can do, and God can do anything.

As we head towards Passover and Resurrection Day in this month of Nisan– the month of miracles– let’s expect awe-inspiring, natural law-busting, depression and sickness-disrupting, cry of victory-inducing, earth-shaking, unprecedented favor no matter what our circumstances.

Pray as if everything depended upon God and work as if everything depended upon man.

Francis Cardinal Spellman

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Keeping your sense of humor is important in such times, yes? Oh yes. This is why one Alfred Matthew Yankovic’s insights and creativity are so necessary right now. I was nodding off last night when I happened to turn on the second video and then almost fell off the furniture laughing.

Please do not taking the gargling suggestion in this PSA seriously

Dark humor is sometimes criticized as inappropriate, especially during crises. But as the Washington Post just said, where there’s humor, there’s hope. We all know that it’s critical to practice social distancing and wash our hands right now (believe me, you WILL wash your hands after watching the second video!). We all know people who are suffering and many are going out of their way to help them.

As we come together and find ways to assist our friends and neighbors, dark humor is one way we connect. It brings us together regardless of our politics and religion. It’s a coping mechanism. It’s a relief valve. This type of humor is particularly prevalent among essential personnel in public service. Given the demands of those jobs and the sometimes gruesome, graphic nature of the work, it’s natural to seek levity from within the gravity. Dark humor has been utilized this way for hundreds if not thousands of years, especially in the days before running water and antibiotics.

Image result for coronavirus memes

Laughing about the precautions we have to take, the nationwide disappearance of toilet paper, and the black market activity is better than panicking or going medieval on others. Already there have been upticks in incidences of domestic violence while people are forced to stay home, which is a great reason to have the National Domestic Violence Hotline number handy, 1-800-799-7233. This is one page keeping tabs on the rise in DV during quarantine.

These are strange times, times in which a Wiggles song could save an entire species. Did you know that 30 percent of Americans don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom? Did you know that there are bathrooms in grocery stores and people squeeze the avocados to select the most suitable candidate after using the bathroom? Can it not be deduced, then, that 30 percent of avocados… you see where this is going. In a slight modification of the old Sunday School song, wash your hands, all you people.

uncaptioned
From Forbes

The rise of zombie shopping is real. I saw this near Seattle the other night. A woman with a mask was erratically pushing an overflowing cart around the grocery store, sweeping quantities of canned goods off of the shelves into the cart with one arm. Her eyes were fixed. She had no situational awareness and almost ran into me about four times. It’s possible that she was ill and anxiety is a literal hell of a struggle for many people. I pray that she finds peace, support, love. This fear and oblivion, however legitimate, has created safety and supply issues for the rest of us as people become more desperate.

Disaster psychology has long fascinated me. I have been greatly concerned about how the Seattle area will respond in a crisis because it has become so politically polarized. It’s a fair question to ask if people of all walks will be able to work together when the going gets tough. We’re doing well enough, although a power outage or earthquake would push people over the edge. Three days without water will motivate humans to kill other humans.

Image result for coronavirus meme
From Patch.com Texas

I’ve seen some beautiful acts so far, like people organizing to help the elderly and healthcare providers. In the era of the Seattle Freeze, some are talking to each other more and saying hi. I’ve also seen the ugly side, people yelling at cashiers for “not doing enough to keep the store shelves stocked” and pushing in front of others to grab large quantities of coveted groceries. I said it in another post, that this is the first time in my life I felt myself verging on orange while walking to the cash register with a 12-pack of toilet paper.

https://i0.wp.com/www.theorganicprepper.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Coopers-Colors-Awareness-Chart.png?ssl=1

I was asked today if everyone around here is dressing like they’re in Mad Max yet. I had to admit that I’ve been wearing my most outlandish socks to work since we locked our doors to the public. Maybe I’ll break out the motorcycle jacket and spiked choker next week. Here again… humor is helping us navigate this temporary journey through the Straits of Messina. Humor is what’s helping people give us new and exciting strategies to foam up our phalanges.

coronavirus meme

A great many people are struggling with the closure of restaurants, gyms, salons, and the usual gathering places right now. Social distancing– staying six feet away among other things– is hard for those who like close personal contact. But some introverts, who may not frequent such places anyway and don’t like being touched except by their inner circle, are enjoying the break. Yes, there are many other stressors, but you’re less likely to have someone you hardly know reach for your shoulders to massage them as if that somehow equates to “hello.”

Image result for toilet paper vending machine
From 7newscom.au

Some locals are struggling with boredom since entertainment venues are closed, but if you’re into history or genealogy, there is no such thing. You always have a stack of projects on the coffee table, mysteries to solve, projects to research, and four lifetimes isn’t nearly enough to accomplish it all. So having meetings and events cancelled disrupts our routine, yet it can also be precious time to indulge our passions. Or stand in a forest. Or make phone calls to the older people we can’t go see. It’s time we can use for the greater good, to spread knowledge and caring.

Image result for valentines day 2020 mask

When this meme was circulating on Valentine’s Day, we didn’t know that a month later eco-friendly shopping bags would be banned from stores, individually wrapped white plastic forks would reappear, and we’d be giving up church for Lent. The other day I was pondering how dating works right now… amongst those who care about social distancing, anyway. My thought pattern veered this direction:

Swipe right.

“Hi! I can’t see the rest of your face because of that mask, but you have beautiful eyes. Would you like to go… go… out for coffee see a movie go swing dancing grab a beer meet up at the waterfront?”

Boy and girl arrive at waterfront. They maintain a ten-foot distance as they decide how to approach each other, awkwardly shifting weight from one foot to the other. They eventually sit down on either side of a public bench.

“So… what’s new this week?” she asks, realizing how ridiculous the question sounds given the radical shift in societal norms.

“Well,” he says, “I found some dish soap and crackers that’ll last me for a while, so that’s good. I took my dog to the park and not many people were there.”

“Great,” she giggles. “Now I know who to go to when I need some crackers for my soup.”

An uncomfortable silence ensues as she wonders how he’d look with a proper haircut. He’d like to slide closer, but she could be a carrier. She’s also a teacher. She wouldn’t mind being able to look him in the eyes a bit more to gauge his sincerity. But he said something about working in the medical supply field

Obviously mating rituals vary based upon the individual, and SNL has already portrayed what a sappy soap opera looks like with modern precautions. Some may skip the pomp and pageantry of modern dating and simply say, “You got groceries to find for grandma? Let’s do it.” Married people may either be reminded what annoys them about each other so much or discover strengths they didn’t know their partner had. They may find new ways to connect or realize that they don’t interface so well at prolonged close range. (3/22/20: Aish.com has published these tips on making marriage work during this time.)

Relationships during emergencies may either become very complicated or very practical. You find out what people are made of at times like this. You learn if the object of your desire really is the person you want to kick it with during the apocalypse. Will they stand by you as everything else falls apart or are they primarily focused on their own well-being? Do they accept you at your most unkempt and vulnerable? Do they engage in honest communication and mutually problem solve or just freak out? I hope this time serves as a litmus test for those who haven’t gotten hitched yet.

From Diply.com

There will likely be a Christmastime baby boom this year and a rise in the divorce rate is also predicted. We live in a weird paradox where we’re expected to stay close together at home but far apart in public at the same time. Its effect on human relationships is intriguing. I am both perplexed and fascinated by people tending to stay at a reasonable distance while shopping but then clumping up in the checkout line. I don’t like when someone’s breathing on my neck in the checkout line anyway, so– bonus!– feel even more comfortable asking for a little space now. (Yeah, you, Whole Foods guy with the pile of various flavors of plantain chips.)

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From Distractify

This too shall pass. It is absolutely serious and tragic. We should be doing everything we can to protect the vulnerable and society as a whole. This is a brilliant opportunity to extend charity to others and to get things done in general, so don’t waste it. Find new ways to love people and learn things. It’s possible that Someone larger than ourselves has called a time out, a reset, so that we can take stock of what and who is truly important in our lives.

Image result for coronavirus meme
From Mama’s Geeky

Despite the lack of social distancing in this video, this renowned youth choir nails it– don’t panic, we’ve got this! By the grace of God and His mercy, we’ve got this.

DO look for the humor in all things no matter how dark the night. Laugh! I could and might write another post on the importance of prayer at this time and gearing up for more serious emergencies. As someone with food allergies whose groceries are limited to begin with, I know what it’s like to have to hunt for groceries at times, even more so now. A strong faith and a wild sense of humor can really take the edge off, though. You can find joy in the chaos and peace in the storm.

Image result for coronavirus meme

We are laughing in the face of something that’s deadly serious– and that’s healthy. We can work hard to protect ourselves and others, risk our own safety in jobs that serve others, and still laugh. We can avoid cruel jokes about individuals and still guffaw at memes poking fun at the strange things humans do in general. We can still have empathy and marvel over the lemming-like mentalities we can get caught up in. Ultimately, we’re laughing at ourselves.

Vampire cough, people!

It really is times like these…

If you’re robbing a bank and your pants fall down, I think it’s okay to laugh and to let the hostages laugh too, because, come on, life is funny.

Jack Handey

P.S. The captions are supposed to be centered… yet a technical issue is foiling some of the justification and fonts. See, life is funny…


©2020 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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Wow. Check out this powerful post from The Irish Aesthete, one of my all-time favorite blogs. Author Robert O’Byrne quotes an excerpt from the prayer known as St. Patrick’s Breastplate, otherwise known as the Lúireach Phádraig or Faeth Fiada.

The photography and thoughts on The Irish Aesthete are impeccably researched and brilliant. O’Byrne has done his entire country a service by meticulously documenting the condition of countless historic properties, many of which lie in ruin. His zeal for heritage conservation has always inspired me. His attention to detail is phenomenal.

Because of his blog post, I looked up the full text of this prayer:

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.
I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.
I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.
I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

Because I enjoy hearing hymns and prayers in my ancestors’ mother tongues, I wondered what this sounds like in Irish.

St. Patrick, by the way, was not Irish. His native language would have been Cornish, Breton, Welsh, or Cumbric as he was taken to Ireland from Brittania as a slave. He later returned to Ireland to spread Christianity. There is speculation that the patron saint of Ireland was a Welshman (Cymru am byth!). The original color associated with him is blue, but here in America, we unabashedly parade in all things green.

It seems quite unreal that the Seattle area won’t be able to gather at the usual spots for St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow as restaurants, bars, and most social gathering places are closed by order of the governor. Gatherings of more than 50 are prohibited. But by all means, celebrate wherever you find yourself. About 33 million Americans claim Irish heritage, yet we like to say that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. The more the merrier.

Here’s a little something to get you started from a Celtic punk band from Sweden fronted by an Irishman (!). Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!

From the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Cabo Roig, Spain Facebook page

©2020 H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com. All articles/posts on this blog are copyrighted original material that may not be reproduced in part or whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from H. Hiatt/wildninjablog.com.

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