Tokyo Earthquake and Nuclear Meltdown Experience

Well, I recently got back from Tokyo. I was planning to continue my writing (at night) and work with a friend to do a software start-up (in Tokyo) during the day. I got to Tokyo late on a Tuesday and then on Friday, well, let's just say the world shook beneath my feet. I literally ran out of a building that was shaking and making popping sounds. I have to admit, most of the Japanese rushed out while I ran. I've never experienced an earthquake like this one, and I was told by some elderly Japanese that they never saw one like this either. A group of about a thousand of us assembled in a somewhat open area in Shinjuku Japan (trying to stay away from the tall buildings). This is a business area of Tokyo. We waited to see if any buildings would fall, and although a they wavered back and forth, none in our area fell (the earthquake seemed to be close to 3 minutes with lots of aftershocks). I was almost as surprised of the buildings not falling as I was of the earthquake. It was all sort of surreal. Then I had to figure out how to walk home as the trains and subways were completely down. It took almost 4 hours to walk home. On the way home it was strange, as there are 30 million people living all around in Tokyo. I was amazed at how polite and organized people were in their trek home. The streets were filled with people, and it reminded me of something out of saw War of the Worlds, but no panic. I never thought I would be a character in such as story as I usually just write this crazy stuff. I saw on a TV that tsunami's were coming and I was relieved in discovering I was many miles away from the ocean...then it occurred to me that my wife was visiting her parents, and they lived less than a mile from the ocean. Fortunately they live in Hokkaido and the geology kind of protects them. They had a minor tsunami that I was told missed their home by less than 100 yards, and the water was real low. They probably only had a foot or so tsunami while others got blasted with 30 to 70 walls of water. I stayed until I read that radiation levels had jumped to maybe 20 to 40 times background radiation. No I know I got more radiation flying to Japan and from a cigar I smoked, but at least those are my choices. I didn't like the fact that information was slow and I had no real clue as to what would happen with the reactors, so I flew to see my wife in Hokkaido. I hung out there for another week in relative peace. (I was waking up a good 3 to 5 times a night for smaller quakes, and our super market had shut down, water was disappearing, shelves getting bare for milk, bread). I wasn't sure where things were going so putting more distance between me and the broken nuclear reactors seemed like a good idea...although I think our planes route was over the Fukushima reactors...I heard we flew around the radiation, but somehow I find that hard to believe. In any case, I arrived glowing with excitement in Hokkaido and didn't trigger any Geiger counters...or there weren't any Geiger counters, don't recall, but I did make it to Hokkaido. I had a wonderful time eating great sushi and going out with my wife in the town. I found most people not that concerned about the reactors. I get the feeling people in Hokkaido think they are almost part of another country. I had planned to go back to San Diego with my wife, but she stressed that she was safe and wanted me to get to San Diego, get an apartment (and of course a day job) and then she would return. She's enjoying her time in Hokkaido and would rather stay there than our small mountain granny flat. Now, I admit I am not happy about this but I believe people should be free, and I am working on getting the apartment and job. I am hoping to have her back within the next two weeks. I know this sounds crazy but the Japanese are much more calm about the situation than I think any American could ever be. I tried to explain to her the dangers of radiation (as she's not that technical) and almost lectured her on the risk. She was stubborn and wanted to wait a few weeks while I get us settled in California. Although I have to admit, when my wife said California would get more radiation than Hokkaido. On my way to the airport I did some wind pattern analysis done by NASA and she was correct...Hokkaido looked fine for the next couple of weeks but California would get hit. I boarded the plane I realized that my wife might actually be smarter than I am. By the time I get the apartment the radiation here will have died down !! Here's a link to a TV interview I did with San Diego 6: I'll also add a line that I love from Dr. Strangelove regarding Nuclear Combat Major T. J. "King" Kong: Well, boys, I reckon this is it -- nuclear combat toe to toe with the Rooskies. Now look, boys, I ain't much of a hand at makin' speeches, but I got a pretty fair idea that something doggone important is goin' on back there. And I got a fair idea the kinda personal emotions that some of you fellas may be thinkin'. Heck, I reckon you wouldn't even be human bein's if you didn't have some pretty strong personal feelin's about nuclear combat. I want you to remember one thing, the folks back home is a-countin' on you and by golly, we ain't about to let 'em down. I tell you something else, if this thing turns out to be half as important as I figure it just might be, I'd say that you're all in line for some important promotions and personal citations when this thing's over with. That goes for ever' last one of you regardless of your race, color or your creed. Now let's get this thing on the hump -- we got some flyin' to do. Dr. Strangelove  
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