Mid Niigata (2004 Chuetsu) Quake Anniversary

Coming on the heels of the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta quake, yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the largest quake I have felt outside of California. Daniel and I were just beginning our second trip to Japan in 2004 and had just gotten back to the hotel after running some errands. We went to an Internet Cafe so I could arrange to meet a colleague at Tokyo Disneyland the following week. Also we made a return visit to one of our favorite Tokyo places – Daiba where we got to take a ride in a driver-less car (way before Google did it!) at the Toyota MegaWeb as well as walk around the shopping areas, the farmers market, and the other misc buildings in the area.

When we arrived at the hotel, we were debating what to do that night. Daniel wanted to go out and explore and I was jet-lagged and was thinking we should stay in for the night. As I went into the bathroom the whole building shook strongly. We were both surprised how strong it felt, and we immediately felt another large aftershock. We went downstairs just to be safe and the guy behind the check in counter at the Hotel Kazusaya was unimpressed and probably thought we were nuts.

Heading back upstairs we watched the TV and discovered the origin of the quake in Niigata prefecture which was 120 miles away. They kept showing the same CCTV footage of a guy getting scared and had some English information on NHK. To prevent panic back home, we both called our parents to let them know we were OK. Daniel’s mom was up and at work while I woke my mom up in the middle of the night.

The rest of our Tokyo time was marked by several large aftershocks. When we visited the Tokyo Disney Resort the following week we heard about how quakes affected the Resort. Thankfully we did not have any larger aftershocks during our stay at the Resort and the rest of the trip was normal.

The third largest quake I ever felt, and it still sticks with me today. Especially the story of Minagawa family and of course the movie A Tale of Mari and Three Puppies.

My original story from 2004
Earthquake Memorial 10 years later
2012 story about Yuta Minagawa
Rescued boy dreams of helping disaster victims – you go Yuta. I hope you achieve your dreams.

Anaheim Packing District

The City of Anaheim has really done a good job of re-developing parts of its Downtown area. When they were first starting I remember looking to purchase a condo in the area but it was still a bit sketchy. Today Daniel and I rode our bikes to Downtown to participate in a Bike Trail public feedback session where we got to give our 2 cents as to where they should extend bike trails.

On the way back we stopped in the Packing District which consists of the Packard Building, Farmer’s Park, and the Packing House. It is a really lovely area and we decided to lock up the bikes and enjoy lunch inside the Packing House. They had a great selection of food offerings – think fancy hipster food court. I chose Fish and Chips and Daniel picked a grilled cheese (we are not exactly food connoisseurs) but both were very good. We also had Hans Ice Cream and all in all it was a pleasant experience.

We will be back and who knows, perhaps we will enjoy some cocktails and try some weird food!

Loma Prieta 25 years later

There is so much I can say (and if you know me I have said it ad nauseum over the last 25 years) about the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989. It was my senior year of high school and for whatever reason (and despite two other big quakes I lived through) has had the biggest influence (quake category) on my life. Five years ago I wrote my story about the experience and re-reading it recently it still manages to perfectly caputre what happened that day.

When you check out that post from 5 years ago, be sure to look at the links to some of my favorite YouTube videos from that day. New this year is the video below of the aborted beginning of Game 3 and the first part of the actual Game 3 played 10 days later.

ESPN’s 30 for 30 recently premiered a new documentary titled “The Day the Series Stopped” which I thought was pretty good. One of the more interesting parts was footage of the completed game 3 including when Matt Williams hit a home run that landed right in front of me in the Left Field stands. I took a screen capture. I unfortunately have no idea what I was wearing that day to the game, but I know I am in this picture!

Screen Capture of Game 3 of the 1989 World Series

Screen Capture of Game 3 of the 1989 World Series

This is part 5 of Earthquake Week at Club Josh for the 25th Anniversary of the Loma Prieta Quake on 10/17/1989.

The Giants Win the Pennant!

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants heading to their third World Series in 5 years. It was 25 years ago tomorrow that the Giants and I had our run in with the Loma Prieta Quake together and I’m glad to see they are a bit more successful now vs then.

I wonder if there was any sort of remembrance before the game today?

This is part 4 of Earthquake Week at Club Josh for the 25th Anniversary of the Loma Prieta Quake on 10/17/1989.