Below at the bottom of this article is a graphical map of San Jose’s Halloween Eve earthquake. The epicenter of the quake is the red star in the center.

It happened a little after 8 p.m. while I was in class in law school (right arrow). The classroom was in a basement of a mid-rise building in downtown San Jose. As first there was a low rumbling… for about 5 seconds. It felt like a freight train going by.

Then BAM.. it was like someone took the floor and started shaking it up and down real hard and very fast. If you’ve ever driven your car into a ditch before – that’s how it felt. That lasted for about 5 or 6 more seconds.

Then it started to subside in a rolling fashion. That felt like the room was on a boat in heavy seas. It kinda made you queasy. During this part, I got up and headed for the door. That rolling lasted for a few more seconds and finally tapered off.

As you read this, a “few seconds” may not seem like much, but when adrenaline kicks in 10-15 seconds can feel like a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time.

Meanwhile…

Where my home is in Mountain View (Left Arrow), the shaking was much less severe. My husband and our pets rode out the rumbles like seasoned veterans.

Me, being an Indiana boy, I think I handled the situation – which was the strongest earthquake I lived through – fine. But it did make enough of an impression on me that I decided to write about it here. (And make a map to boot.)

After a 10-minute break, my class resumed and Judge Ware, continued his lecture as if nothing happened. But with the student turmoil, he ended class early since many of the students were freaking out about being in a trapped basement if a bigger quake hit.

October 30 Earthquake

I used to think that Barak Obama was a breath of fresh air; an answer to the same “politics as usual,” that has plagued presidential races during the entirety of my lifetime.

When I first heard him speak, he came across as a smart, principled guy with new ideas and a post-civil rights viewpoint where all people truly do deserve to be treated equally despite their color/gender/creed or sexual orientation.

But that changed. In recent days, Mr. Obama has decided that in order to “win” in South Carolina in the upcoming presidential primary, he needs to give over his stage to a man named Donnie McClurkin. Donnie is one of those idiots who talks about homosexuality as being a choice – like when you go car shopping and you get to choose between a pink or a blue car.

Mr. McClurin’s message includes such past gems as calling homosexuality a “curse” and claiming that gay people are “trying to kill our children.”

I don’t care how religious you claim to be – that ain’t how it works. Holding on tight to a Bible does not give you the right to be stupid with impunity. 

Mr. Obama says he does not agree with McClurkin’s views. If that is so, then why has Obama invited McClurkin to appear – with Obama’s blessing – at an official campaign event?

The answer is simple – Barak Obama will say anything to get a vote. Case in point: at a debate on gay issues earlier this year, Obama went out of his way to support gay and lesbian people.

Now in South Carolina, it appears that he is going out of his way to support a notorious anti-gay fundamentalist – while pretending to hold his nose in disgust at McClurkin’s ideas. The only problem is that Obama *invited* McClurkin to appear at his event in the first place.

I used to see Obama as a bright hope in the Democratic Party. Now all I see a pandering idiot who will blatantly tell anyone what he thinks they want to hear in order to get a vote.

That’s hypocrisy. It’s also politics as usual.

The weirdest part is that with this move, Obama is associating himself with such hateful anti-gay vitriol that even the current crop of “I’m more conservative than thou” Republicans won’t touch.

I’m voting for anybody but Obama.

Dear Mr. Obama,

I used to think you were a breath of fresh air in the Democratic party.

But recently you have chosen to associate yourself in this campaign with a man called Donnie McClurkin. As you know, this man absurdly claims that gay people are “cursed” and “trying to kill our children.”

You used to be able to take the high moral ground when compared to other politicians.

Now with this weird obsession you have in keeping McClurkin as part of your campaign, you’ve tainted yourself with pandering to the anti-gay crowd. But you say you do not agree with his views. If so, why is he still appearing in your official events and on your stage?

By simultaneously pretending to hold your nose as McClurkin is climbing onto your stage at your invitation to address your crowds, I realize you truly are a run-of-the-mill politician who will set aside principles in order to pander for votes.

You may yet win South Carolina, but you’ve lost my respect.