11 hours later and I’m in my office — on the second floor, which is suddenly scary. Let me get some coffee and I’ll be right back.
So, let’s see. I think I slept a total of 2 hours last night, laying in bed fully dressed just in case I had to evacuate. I lay there looking around the room running scenarios in my head: what if that armoire fell over? If the ceiling fan fell, would it miss me on the left side of the bed? What kind of Halloween costume could I make to reference the earthquake?
When I opened my closet this morning I discovered a bunch of stuff that had fallen or been knocked over. Hardly a cause for alarm. It’s still dark here, so I haven’t had a chance to really look around; but when I started to pull out of the driveway I saw something in the glare of the headlights. I got out to inspect it and discovered a crack in the stucco on the side of my house. Again, not much to be concerned about. Now that I replay the event in my head (where I can only assume it is now permanently etched) I realize that my little wood-frame bungalow was built really well. As I walk across the hardwood floors, I now recognize the squeaking sounds I heard last night when the floors expanded and contracted. The stucco is designed to crack, it’s bearing the forces of the quake and the important thing is that the foundation is still solid and the wood bends as needed.
I was really disappointed in the media and the phone companies, both of whom we naturally turn to in an emergency. I had trouble with my land line phone as well as my mobile phone. Well done, AT&T. I predict this will be today’s big story, how the communications system in San Jose failed.
The media — local and national — was asleep on the job. None of the TV stations here cut away from such important programming as “The Biggest Loser” to cover the story; except KRON, which is not affiliated with a network these days. They provided blanket coverage, and while there was little to say for a while, at least it was someone to talk to. Or listen to, as the case may be.
If anyone asks, my Halloween costume is “sleep-deprived earthquake survivor.”
10:00am. Finally starting to crash, so I went home to get some sleep. In the light of day I did a quick inspection and discovered cracks in the plaster around most of the windows and vents on the outside of the house; in addition, one of the piers under the house (the house is pier/post construction but only about a foot off the ground) is halfway undermined, it looks like a small — like, 6 inch — landslide under it. All in all, not a lot to worry about.
Off to sleep, finally…