Ah, but what should intrude late Tuesday night as relieved blatherers poured colourful liquids down their throats at the excellent Chef Rick's restaurant in suburban Santa Maria. A tsunami warning, that's what. Debate raged over whether or not we should shift our expense account backsides from eatery to uplink and so inform a waiting world that California could be the next Aceh. Yes, said one, the first tsunami warning since the Boxing Day tragedy in Asia is worth our time. No, chorused many others, unwilling to abandon what we thought was hard-earned wine. In the end, it was decided that only wet feet would dislodge us from the groaning board. That night, the space between the toes of hacks' remained dry and decidedly not brackish.
I admit to regretting early rants about how moved I'd been by human suffering in South and South East Asia and wondering if some gods somewhere hadn't heeded by empty plea. Thank you, thank you, thank you.