Sunday May 31st, 1980, a day that will live in Infamy. This video explains why. Its by the Smithsonian Institute. Its nice and scientific. Educational. Fascinating. Nerdy.
It's like reading a text book.
But wait..... you might ask "you weren't even born until 1981, how could some thing that happened before you were even born be a greatest influence of the last 40 years?"
I am deathly afraid of Volcanoes. Have been ever since I saw an episode of Nova or some other show on PBS about volcanoes. Then in Kindergarten I learned about Mt. St. Helens and that it was in the same state I lived in. To this day I am pretty spooked by Volcanoes. Just watching this next video kind of freaks me out. Seriously.
So yes I have a legit phobia of Volcanoes and I have lived the majority of my life in the Pacifc Rim "Ring of Fire." The whole Cascade Mountain range, Mt Hood, Mt Rainier, MT Adams, Glacier Peak, one day will all get lit up like Bottle Rockets. Seattle is going to make the legend of Atlantis sound like a description of seasonal coastal flooding. And where I live is actually a lava flow plain. I literally live in the Shadow of the Mountain. I am about 50 miles away exactly.
This is pretty much the view from the Hill a mile down the street from my home.....
If not for my totally rational and realistic expectation of danger when exploring the thin layers of the earth's crust, I very well might be a geologist today. I could be a "Rock Doc" petroleum engineer, scouring the plant for the very best spots in nature to blight with industry. But thanks to Mt. St. Helens I could never bring myself to "Dig igneous rock." (That was a dad joke and a geology joke all in one. I am sure you are laughing on the inside).
It turns out the timing of the Eruption of Mt. St. Helens is also quite interesting.
When I began doing this 40 for 40, I had to count backwards 40 weeks from my birth day of March 22nd and it turns out that June 21st was my first post on BGTM, exactly 40 weeks from my upcoming 40th birthday. This was exactly 3 weeks after the 40th anniversary of Mt. St. Helens historic eruption.
This is interesting when you consider that the typical description for the time interval of human gestation is 9 months. But this is a bit of a misnomer. The more accurate time interval used by obstetricians is actually 40 weeks gestation. This is how a pregnant woman's "Due date" is estimated. So in a weird and obscenely awkward way doing this 40 for 40 countdown caused me to inadvertently stumble upon the approximate date for my conception. Something I had never even contemplated before except to note to all my friends that also have March birthday's that "Yeah its not surprising our parents took summer vacations."
But it gets even more interesting when you consider that I was actually born about 2 weeks late (What can I say I've always been a late bloomer). So that would push the estimated date of my conception back to around June 7th 1980.
And when I talked to my wife about the due dates for my sons when she was pregnant, she kept telling me that because she knew her ovulation date she knew the due date was a week off, because they can very within a 5-7 days margin given a typical ovulation cycle. So that would push back my estimated date of conception to the very beginning of June 1980, just days after the monumental blast from the Mt. St. Helens eruption reigned fear, and blanketed ash upon the city of Yakima due east of the Mountain, causing state of emergency closures and forcing residents to take refuge in doors from the hellish condition for days.
And it gets extremely interesting when you consider my parents lived in Yakima at that time.
Stuck at home with Mt. St. Helens providing them a front row seat in the existential theater from which to observe the precariousness of life.
Well there you have it. Mt. St. Helens may be the single greatest influence of my life.
I am deathly afraid of volcanoes even to this day,
I expect it will be the source of my ultimate demise.
And it was the impetus for my creation.
That's right, I owe it my life, but it's just going to kill me.
What could be more influential than that?
Upon further review I may have gotten my dates wrong.
May 18th 1980 was the date of the Eruption.
I might be dyslexic. I’m definitely half blinded with my lazy eye and all. I got the 18 transposed and naturally May 81st made no sense. So I assumed it was May 31.
I’m still scared of Volcanoes!