Posted: Oct 31, 2007 1:46 PM

From Los Gatos, California

* From the San Jose Mercury News:

A 5.6 magnitude earthquake centered near Alum Rock in San Jose struck at 8:04 tonight.

* Well, guess who was sitting at dinner at 8:04 pm and felt, as the song goes, "the earth move under my feet?"

* Me. That's who.

* When you hear, read, or see a news story about an earthquake you think about Japanese people jumping under tables while tins of shark fin soup come tumbling off the shelves in the background.

* I am not that experienced in dealing with earthquakes. Or shark fin soup.

* Everyone who grew up on Long Island and has been through an earthquake, raise hands.

* No one? What a surprise! Wanna know why? It's because we don't have earthquakes on Long Island.

* Gang wars? We got. Mafia activities? Enough to start a new HBO series. Jets and Mets fans? We got by the thousands. Earthquakes? We got none.

* A bunch of the staff of the Fred Thompson for President campaign were sitting at dinner when it felt like a subway train (they don't have subways in Los Gatos, I don't think) came rumbling under the restaurant.

* The younger, more delicate flowers with whom I was eating sat stock still with their eyes wide.

* "Earthquake," I said calmly, being older, wiser, and pretty sure there are no subways in Los Gatos.

* According to my mapping program, Los Gatos is about 14 miles from the epicenter of this earthquake which was at Alum Rock, California.

* While it was called a "moderate" earthquake by people who were not in it, I am here to tell you that the chandelier over our heads did not stop swinging for a good 5 - 6 seconds after the rumbling stopped. My glass of Pinot Noir didn't stop sloshing around for another 2.3 to 2.5 seconds.

* The reality is: I didn't see any cattle heading for shelter, nor any household pets running under the living room furniture just before I took a bite of my pasta and shrimp entrée.

* No bridges collapsed, no houses fell down, and no freeways pancaked.

* It was, actually, pretty cool, but it did remind me that it was one more reason why I have no desire to live in California.

New Topic

* The Democrats had another in the never-ending series of debates last night, this time hosted by MSNBC at Drexel University in Philadelphia which, when we were kids, we called "Dreck Tech" although I don't now remember why we thought that was funny.

* Barak Obama (averaging just under 22% in the Real Clear Politics polling index) and John Edwards (about 13% in the RCP index) took out after Hillary Clinton (46% in the index) but it may be after 11 months of campaigning attacks on Hillary have the same effect on voters as a tree falling in a forest where no one ever goes.

* If either Edwards or Obama had any credibility left, they would be challenging Clinton for answers like this one on a recent vote on Iran:

* "In my view, rushing to war we should not be doing that but we shouldn't be doing nothing. And that means we should not let them acquire nuclear weapons, and the best way to prevent that is a full court press on the diplomatic front."

* Uh. Yeah. What she said. When the cable affiliates of NBC hosted the Republican debate in Dearborn, Michigan a month ago they ran Chris Matthews in to do the questioning. Last night, the Dems got Tim Russert.

You think there's no bias?

* Hillary is very close to building an insurmountable lead on the Democratic side, which is good news to Republicans. As Sen. Chris Dodd pointed out during the debate, "Fifty percent of the American public say they're not going to vote for her."

* Watch for the Democratic primary to get very nasty, very quickly.

* Obama, Edwards, Richardson and the rest are running out of time to stop Hillary Clinton from getting the nomination. They can't afford to talk about themselves; they have to talk about her and when they do, they will have to say appalling things about her.

* Seismic, almost.

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