Thursday, August 28, 2008

And you know they won't just wing it posted the following notice:

American Institute of Parliamentarians, Riverside Chapter #52 will meet Tuesday, September 9 from 7-9 pm in the Alan Pauw Recreation House next to the pool at 5504 Argyle Way, Riverside, CA 92506. Phone 951-683-3227 for further information.

-- Eadean Scribner
Chapter President

One thing that I wonder - the announcement states that the meeting will take place until 9pm. What happens if they finish their business by 8:42?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another DUI checkpoint that might not be a DUI checkpoint

If you're driving in Highland, Stacia Glenn wants you to know that there will be a checkpoint on Friday from 6:00 pm to 2:00 am at Highland and Victoria.

View Larger Map

However, as I noted on Monday, DUI checkpoints often catch more non-DUI people than DUI people.

So who will they catch on Friday night?

Still looking fairly good

I previously talked about Los Angeles County Fair prices, which weren't so fair.

David Allen continues to observe fair preparations, noting that a fair sign has been erected at Arrow Highway and White Avenue.

Check David Allen's blog for the history of the sign.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A new home metric (well, a new home metric to me)

I'm so used to looking at homes in terms of their total asking price, that I was unaware that there are other ways to measure home value.

Business space is commonly measured in terms of dollars per square foot. The Inland Empire Real Estate Blog uses that measurement for residential homes also.

In a post last Saturday about KB Homes' "The Retreat" development, the Inland Empire blog observed the following:

The homes that are selling in The Retreat seem to be fetching in the $130 to $150 a sq/ft range currently. KB is trying to get about $170+ sq/ft for their last few new homes. That must be a hard sell with the REO's asking about 20% less than that.

But KB Homes is now trying to sell the models in The Retreat:

KB Homes thinks they can get over $300 sq/ft. Yes, they are very nice and fully upgraded. But to think they will sell those at that price is ludicrous.

In absolute terms, we're talking about prices in the $1.2 million to $1.4 million range. But the square foot measurement sets things out clearly.

Of course, I don't think that the square foot measurement is universal, even in a given neighborhood. And it certainly isn't universal throughout a region. In a post a few days later, it turns out that $150/square foot is a really good price, relatively:

If you like em BIG, then 25111 Cliffrose St in So Corona may suit you. This home is 4187 s/f and has 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths. It features all the trendy niceties like Granite, tile floor, crown molding etc. This REO property was purchased new in late 2004 for $625,500 (that was a lot in 2004!). It's gone back to the bank and now it's offered for $369,900. That works out to $88 s/f.

Two more examples of sub $100/sq ft properties are listed here.

McDonalds in LaVerne - why systems alone cannot solve problems

McDonalds is well-known for its superior organization, and its establishment of processes that are reputed to ensure that a properly-trained employee can be plugged into the system, and that the system will work, dispensing French fries and other foods of a consistent high quality at a low cost.

Obviously, McDonalds isn't the only corporation that has implemented this philosophy. Chances are that your organization has instituted a set of procedures, and (especially if you work in a large organization) there is an underlying assumption that you can put someone into the procedural mix, and the right stuff will come out.

This assumes, of course, that the person is sufficiently trained, sufficiently able to understand the training, and sufficiently willing to work by the book.

As documented earlier in this blog and on Flickr, I ran across an error at the McDonalds in LaVerne this morning, and as part of this, I noticed three failures in McDonalds' system:

  1. An inconsistently applied price change. Based upon subsequent conversations, I suspect that the LaVerne McDonalds chose to raise the price of its Extra Value Meal #2 from $3.79 to $3.89. While this change was recorded at the register, it was not recorded at the drive-thru board outside of the restaurant.

  2. A misunderstanding of the problem, and the inherent business environment. After receiving a $4.21 charge for a $3.79 meal, I suspected that something was wrong, drove through the drive-thru, and confirmed that I was charged $3.89 for a $3.79 meal. When I got up to the register, the cashier's first statement was that the difference was due to tax. (If so, LaVerne has a wonderful tax rate; $0.10 tax on a $3.79 item? 2%?) The cashier's second statement was that I obviously ordered something beyond the regular Extra Value Meal. After I pointed out that I had ordered a small coffee as my drink, the cashier went to get a supervisor.

  3. A second misunderstanding of the problem, and the inherent business environment. When I spoke to the second person that came up, she said that...the difference was due to tax. (Again, the 2% tax rate.) At that point I gave up and said that I'd call the number on the receipt.
Incidentally, when I called the number an hour later, the person that I spoke to - who may or may not have been the second person that I spoke to in the restaurant - confirmed that they were going to go outside and change the posted price today.

Now I'll grant that the Extra Value Meal price is a show price, one which the regular McDonalds employee never sees. When they punch an item in the register, they don't enter a single $3.79 or $3.89 item. In my case, the cashier entered a $2.60 item ("1 SAU EGG MCMUFFIN ML") along with a $1.29 small coffee - JUST LIKE SHE HAD BEEN PROGRAMMED TO DO.

Because the people that I spoke to were well-versed in the procedures, they were initially unable to realize that there was a problem. Not only were they unfamiliar with the price that they were advertising for their food (again, to them the price was $2.60 + $1.29, not $3.79 or $3.89), but they were also unfamiliar with the tax rates in their jurisdiction. Any consumer living in southern California has an inherent understanding that the tax rates out here are much higher than 2% - however, this concept was apparently not taught as part of McDonalds procedures.

In his book The Macintosh Way, Guy Kawasaki documented a similar issue on a trade show floor. He had a particular question that was outside of the realm of the booth staff, so the booth staff members repeatedly issued the canned response that they were supposed to use - a response that did not answer Kawasaki's question.

One solution to this problem is to broaden the procedures and the training, and make sure that, for example, McDonalds' training covers the error use case which I have documented above. However, I submit that it is impossible to write a procedure manual which covers every possibility, no matter how hard one may try. I have been a product manager for nearly nine years now, with responsibility for writing product requirements, and it is a truism that once I write a requirement that assumes that a customer will NEVER do action X, I will run into a customer who INSISTS on doing action X.

A better solution to this problem is to hire people that are able to think, are able to see a bigger picture, and are able to solve problems rather than retreating to paragraph 3.25.b of a procedure manual. But this introduces uncertainty into the system, and results in a loss of predictability and control for headquarters. More importantly, it introduces significant additional costs, since such people would probably not be the minimum wage people upon which McDonalds depends as part of its strategy.

So what's the solution?

Bill, McDonalds LaVerne

$3.89, rather than the advertised $3.79.

Both the cashier and her supervisor insisted that the difference was "tax." (Tax was 32 cents, by the way, for a total of $4.21.)

Drive in price, McDonalds LaVerne

Foothill & Fruit. $3.79.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Is a DUI checkpoint truly a DUI checkpoint?

We hear about all of these DUI checkpoints. But what do they really accomplish? The Inland Empire News Blog reported the results of a DUI checkpoint in Lake Elsinore on Friday, August 22.

During the checkpoint hours, a total of 1389 vehicles were screened. Of these vehicles, 185 were diverted into the secondary screening area resulting in the issuing of 138 citations. 35 vehicles were towed or impounded due to unlicensed or suspended drivers. Five persons were arrested for driving while intoxicated, one person was arrested for possession of illegal drugs and four arrest warrants were served.

More here.

Now libertarians can claim that the term "DUI checkpoint" is a misnomer, since most of the police activity had nothing to do with DUI (only 5 DUI arrests, vs. 35 issues with unlicensed or suspended drivers, for example).

Friday, August 22, 2008

We are the industrials, my friend

The following release appeared on Inland Empire News:

ONTARIO, Calif. (August 19, 2008) – According to CB Richard Ellis’ second quarter industrial report, Ontario led the region in industrial activity, securing 23 percent of the total sale and leasing activity of more than 718,000 square feet of gross activity throughout the two-county region. This is the second consecutive quarter that Ontario has led the region in this market. The City of Ontario, California continues to be a strategic location for corporations, providing global commerce, major transportation corridors, a highly skilled workforce and modern industrial and R&D product.

“The industrial market in Ontario is a thriving mature environment that will continue to see long-term investment and activity,” said Jay Dick, Senior Vice President for CB Richard Ellis. “Ontario’s proximity to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and LA/Ontario International Airport make it a desirable location for corporations with distribution within the nation or in global markets.”

While several major companies are still relocating to Ontario to take advantage of the City’s amenities and strategic geography, most of Ontario’s recent growth in the industrial market has been from the increase in local productivity. Two of Ontario’s largest leases in the second quarter were lease renewals. Ryder Integrated Logistics and Covidien made CB Richard Ellis’ top Inland Empire transactions list at 500,000 and 334,000 square feet respectively.

“Industrial remains a good employment sector for this region and is now demonstrating its resilience despite the current economic trends,” said Mayor Paul S. Leon, City of Ontario.

Recent reports note that the region has a 153,000-person-strong jobs base in manufacturing, warehouse and wholesale trade fields in the Inland Empire. Nearly 21 percent of Ontario’s workforce is in the logistics industry, contributing to the City’s strength and stability.

“We take a proactive role in building a quality environment that offers businesses and workforce the resources to succeed. Our ongoing corporate growth means that Ontario is still an important part of that activity,” said Mary Jane Olhasso, Economic Development Director, City of Ontario.

About Ontario, California

Ontario is increasingly identified for the competitive advantages it provides to businesses that want to succeed in the global marketplace and for its growing importance to the state, national and international economies.

Just 35 miles from Los Angeles and uniquely positioned within the hub of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, the City of Ontario is the "economic engine" of one of the fastest growing regions in the United States. It features an exceptional pro-business environment, competitive commercial lease rates, technical amenities, a skilled and abundant work force, and an innovation corridor of 14 colleges and universities.

As a major transportation hub, Ontario is home to LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT), the center of a rapidly developing freight movement system that includes the airport, two railroads, four major freeways and an expanding network of freight forwarders. ONT is one of the fastest growing and ambitious cargo airports outside the booming Asia-Pacific market and home to United Parcel Service’s Western Regional Hub providing direct flights to China. In 2003, ONT was listed among six of the best cargo airports in the world by the leading international airport magazine, Airport World. Aero Ontario, LLC, a division of Aeroterm of Annapolis, MD, is investing $142.9 million in an international air cargo center at ONT. The Ontario Foreign Trade Zone is also of significance to businesses involved in international trade. ONT handled over 7 million people in 2007, and is projected to reach 30 million annual passengers by 2025. For more information, visit

Thursday, August 21, 2008

David Allen Encounters Traffic Calming in Ontario California

I should tell you something about myself, if you don't know it about me.

I hate traffic calming.

I absolutely, positively hate traffic calming.

During my brief recording career, I even recorded a song ("Non Sequitur 15") about it.

At one point during my blogging career, I even devoted an entire blog to the topic.

Now, a couple of years later, David Allen writes about it:

I hung a left on Sixth Street in Ontario and took it east. Much to the consternation of Sixth Streeters, I'm sure, who don't like it when their quiet street is used as a freeway alternate.

That's why "traffic calming" devices were installed a decade ago. These were small planters in the middle of the street that make motorists to pay attention and slow down. (Whenever I mention traffic calming, I always get an amused note in the mail from Sixth Streeter Bruce Henning, who finds the islands slightly ridiculous. We'll see if he finds this online.)

The islands to the west are small and rather ineffectual, as they're easily maneuvered around; the islands east of San Antonio Avenue are bracketed by curb extensions that do force you to go slow.

Well, sometimes to amuse myself, I drive along Sixth Street exactly as the traffic planners intended me to do. Unfortunately I'm in Kentucky and can't take a picture of their intent, but the next time you're there, take a look at the street. You're supposed to zig-zag left and right more times than Amy Winehouse. Even when you're going slow, it's enough to make you carsick.

Luckily, I don't drive a fire truck. You see, fire trucks need to get to fires quickly. Not that it matters to Mike Mooz of Kingston:

He's also unimpressed with the city's plans to put into place special speed cushions that will force vehicles to slow down, but will enable larger emergency- type vehicles such as fire trucks to avoid reducing their speed.

Speed cushions allow buses and emergency vehicles to pass unhindered, but slow down other vehicles. They're similar to speed humps, but speed cushions have openings in them that allow the wheel base of a fire truck to pass through completely unimpeded....

"Whether my family gets hit by a car or by a fire truck [doesn't matter]," Mooz said.

And whether Mooz's house burns down or not apparently doesn't matter either.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fair to Middling

The Claremont Insider reminds us that the Los Angeles County Fair, which is actually held on the far eastern end of Los Angeles County is coming soon.

But while Inland Empire real estate prices are going down, Inland Empire fair prices are apparently going up. Or apparently I've just been ignoring the prices lately, or surviving on ticket deals. Here are the admission prices:

Ages 13+ (Weekends) $17
Ages 13+ (Weekdays) $12
Ages 6 -12 (Weekends) $12
Ages 6 -12 (Weekdays) $7
Ages 5 and younger (every day) Free

Ages 60+ (weekends) $14
Ages 60+ (weekdays) $9
Ages 60+ Senior Wednesdays $6

Group Sales, ages 13+ (20 or more adults) $10
Group Sales, ages 6-12 (20 or more) $6
Group Sales, ages 60+ (20 or more) $5

But if you enter on the first day (Friday, September 5) before 5:00 pm, admission is only $1.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We're number 3 - I'd hate to see numbers 1 and 2

Some more real estate news from Housing Kaboom:

According to the National [A]ssociation of Realtors, Riverside/San Bernardino was number 3 in the biggest year over year price decline in the US for the second quarter of 2008. According to their data Riv/SB saw the median price fall 32.7% to $265K. We were beat out by Sacramento, number 1 with a decline of 35.6%, and Fort Meyers Florida, #2 with a decline of 33.1%.

What's amazing is that this is a year-over-year drop. I think it was over a year ago that a house on my street was on the market forever, with a price just about $400K. Don't know what it finally sold for.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Blogging About Jobs at ESRI

Rob Elkins recently informed the Empire that his employer, ESRI, has a careers blog.

The latest post announces an appearance at a fair in Ontario, California on Thursday, August 21.

More on the Jobing Career Expo:

Thursday, August 21
2PM - 6PM
Ontario Convention Center
2000 Convention Center Way, Ontario....

Find a Great Local Job
The Career Expo provides you with direct access to tons of local companies who are ready to hire talented people just like you.

Meet with Hiring Managers and Recruiters Face-to-Face
The Career Expo is your opportunity to stand-up and be noticed.

The Career Expo is one of the only local career events to provide you with educational workshops prior to the event.

Meet with Tons of Local Companies
The Career Expo is one of the most highly attended career events by area employers.

Discover Community Agencies that Can Assist You in Your Career
At each Career Expo you'll have the chance to meet and learn about various community agencies which can help you in your search for a new career as well as assisting you once you're on-board in your new position.

Register here.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

At least this story moved meth labs off the front page for a while

This story boggles the mind:

A 17-year-old Loma Linda boy accidentally shot himself in the hand Wednesday when he mistook a gun for a lighter, police said.

The teen was with three friends examining the small .22-caliber Derringer around 9p.m. when it went off, hitting one of the boy's fingers, said Redlands police spokesman Carl Baker.

People, please use common sense. If something looks like a gun, there's a good possibility that it is a gun. Sheesh.

In this case, the teens found the gun on the street, but this police reminder is still relevant:

Police said they want to remind gun owners to keep weapons safely locked up and away from children or teens. The Redlands Police Department offers free gun locks to gun owners, available at all Redlands police facilities.

For more information, call police at (909) 798-7681.

No classic cars for me - I'm in horse country

Because I'm currently in Louisville, Kentucky, I will miss out on the event described by the Claremont Insider.

Rev up that '56 Chevy and come on for an evening of classic rock and classic cars. The hard-working local band The Ravelers will be at it again [Sunday] in La Verne's Heritage Park at 6:30pm.

The Ravelers web site is here.

[Also see my follow-up post at Empoprise-MU.]

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Breakfast of champions, 5:20 am, Applebee's, ONT Terminal 2

Actually, the ham & cheese omelette is coming.

It's still too danged early.

Friday, August 15, 2008

This is a test.

I made an adjustment to the feed, and want to test it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Don't expect Britney Spears impressions at this talent show - but then again...

I just read an announcement of a special talent show in September:

Fontana, California - The Mayor and City Council invite residents to take advantage of a great offer for free tickets to the 2nd Annual Parade of Talent Show hosted by the Josephine Knopf Senior Center and Inter-Valley Health Plan. This year’s event is Saturday, September 13 from 1 to 3 pm at the new Steelworkers’ Auditorium in the regional Lewis Library and Technology Center, located at 8437 Sierra Avenue. Tickets are available by calling the Josephine Knopf Senior Center at (909) 428-8376.

More here, including the identification of the Master of Ceremonies - Tom Hatten, "formerly known as 'Skipper,' the host of the KTLA Popeye Show." I knew him as a radio entertainment reporter for KNX; guess I missed his heyday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Those Aren't Pines in Pinyon Pines

From the Riverside County Sheriff's Department:

Sheriff Stanley Sniff
Press Release
Date/Time Written: August 12, 2008 at 9:15 P.M.
Type of Incident: Marijuana Eradication
Date/Time of Incident: August 11, 2008 and August 12, 2008
Location of Incident: Pinyon Pines
Reporting Officer: Dep. Herlinda Valenzuela, Public Information Officer
File Number: N/A

Details: On Monday, August 11, 2008, and Tuesday, August 12, 2008, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department along with the DEA, CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Production), BLM, and the US Force Services, did a joint operation to eradicate marijuana that was being grown in Pinyon Pines.

The operation produced 26,183 plants of marijuana on Monday, August 11, 2008 and 22,850 plants on Tuesday, August 12, 2008. A total of 49,033 plants were removed from Pinyon Pines and moved to a location where they were destroyed.

The value is estimated at $150 Million dollars.

No arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information reference this marijuana growth is asked to contact Sgt. E. Hernandez at 951-955-1700.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to be the junior Deputy Sheriff who was responsible for counting tens of thousands of pot plants for two days in a row.

(H/T the Inland Empire News Blog.)

Old stereotypes never die

The Inland Empire has not yet been universally recognized as an area of high culture and standards. For example, take a look at what Aaron Proctor had to say regarding the upcoming transfer of Michael Beck from Riverside to Pasadena.

I’ve got a few predictions about this Inland Empire go-getter (a go-getter in the IE is defined as anyone who wears a dress shirt and works more than 10 hours a week).

Now I could cry and complain and wave my dress shirt around, but I have to admit that sometimes we in the Inland Empire do our own selves in. The headline of this story says it all:

Official said to be meth addict

Say it ain't so! Meth addiction in the Inland Empire? I'm shocked.

Actually, we have had a meth problem for years and years, and it doesn't just affect the addicts:

When the Inland Empire ranked as one of the nation's largest producers of meth during the 1990s, police officers like Jim Foreman were kept busy raiding and investigating countless makeshift labs where the drug was produced. During one incident, Foreman actually passed out from the chemicals. Today, Foreman, who took a medical retirement last year, says his lungs operate at only 60% of capacity. He suffers from a series of other ailments he blames on his exposure to the meth lab toxins.

So some of us aren't working 40 hour weeks, either because we're addicted to meth or we're recovering from meth exposure.

At least we're all keeping our shirts on. So far.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Another photography item - Claremont Camera is no more

OK, just after writing about Thomas Hawk, I have another photography item in my blog. However, this one is sad.

I am not much of a photographer, but my wife has some talent in this area. She would get some of her photographic equipment and supplies at Claremont Camera on Foothill Boulevard.

According to the Claremont Insider, she won't be able to do that any more:

Saturday marked the end of an era as Claremont Camera, closed three weeks ago, auctioned its remaining stock and fixtures.

After 30-some years in business the store could not withstand the shift away from film to digital photography.

I don't know if the management had problems adjusting, but the advent of the digital age doesn't mean that camera expertise is no longer needed.

Trust me.

Thomas Hawk, the Inland Empire welcomes you!

The social media/blogging community is rather insular at times, so you may not have heard the the community is all a'flutter about an altercation between photographer Thomas Hawk and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's Simon Blint. I wrote about this - twice - in one of my other blogs.

This raised the question - if Hawk were to come south to the Inland Empire with a camera, would he be tossed out of our local museum, the San Bernardino County Museum?

So I checked the Museum's Security and Visitor Services page.

Photography and Sketching

Photography, videotaping, and sketching are permitted at the Museum. Some exhibits may have restrictions on photography and videotaping.

For press photography and filming projects, please contact our Marketing Division at (909) 307-2669 ext. 227 / TDD/TTY: (909) 792-1462. or email Marketing.

So what would Hawk see? Currently, the Museum has four exhibits that are open:

Jan. 19 - Nov. 2 Special Exhibit - All that Glitters: A Century of Razzle-Dazzle
Mar. 1 - Oct. 26 Special Exhibit - A Feast for the Eyes
May 3 - Nov. 2 Special Exhibit - Sticks and Stones
May 3 - Oct. 26 Special Exhibit - A Piece of My Heart

More information on exhibits here.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Below Four

I never thought I'd be so happy to see a $3.959 gas price.

Arco, Central & Schaefer, Chino, California.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Is Gary Miller the new Jay Kim?

Until I was gerrymandered into Joe Baca's district, I lived in a Republican district that was represented by Jay Kim. If you don't know the name, Jay Kim was the Congressman who got the rare privilege of wearing a tracking device on his body after running into a little bit of trouble, even with fellow Republicans:

Even Kim's fiercest allies describe their colleague's predicament-the California Republican is restricted to the halls of Congress and his Fairfax apartment as part of his sentence for accepting more than $250,000 in illegal foreign and corporate contributions-delicately.

"It's an awkward situation for everyone. I'm also the first to admit the guy made mistakes," said Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.). But he added quickly, "His plight has not diminished his effectiveness here in Congress."

Even the power of incumbency couldn't keep him in office after that little fiasco, and Gary Miller replaced him.

Even though Miller no longer represents me, he's still in Congress, and I had pretty much forgotten about him until I read an item in the Foothill Cities Blog.

I heard from someone who ought to know that Rep. Gary Miller’s days are numbered. Apparently, a number of investigations into House and Senate members accused of illicit dealings are wrapping up and Miller could soon be facing indictment.

Centinel then linked to an earlier post which linked to an earlier story (no longer available) that I had missed regarding Congressman Miller. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics has the details:

Amid negotiations to buy land from Rep. Gary Miller in 2005 and 2006, [Fontana] city officials provided the congressman with a series of letters advising him to sell and suggesting they could use eminent domain to further their plans.

The city, however, never intended to use the measure to acquire Miller's land, officials there said.

Under the law sellers don't have to pay capital gains taxes on profits from land sales if they were forced to sell by threat of eminent domain and as long as they reinvest the profits within two years.

Both Jay Kim and Gary Miller emerged from Diamond Bar, and Down With Tyranny has no kind words for the people who elected them:

Unfortunately for Miller the City of Monrovia has Miller, a multimillionaire, on tape proving he's a bold-faced liar. Not that any of this will matter to his bizarre suburban constituents, who spend so much time commuting on over-crowded freeways that they are thoroughly brainwashed by the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity-- and pissed off. These are people with very bad lives and their only revenge is imposing the likes of Jay Kim and Gary Miller on the rest of us.

A fair set of musicians...and drivers

David Allen posted the 2008 musical lineup for the Los Angeles County Fair. I'll just highlight a few of the acts:

The Doobie Brothers with special guest
Grand Funk Railroad
Sunday, Sept. 7
8 p.m.

The Doobie Brothers
A music group known for blues based songs with a rock edge, often with lush vocal harmonies. An assemblage of musicians specializing in country based rock featuring instrumentation such as violin and finger-picked acoustic guitar combined with electrical instruments and drums. A musical entity recognized for incorporating sophisticated jazz stylings into “popular hit” songs. A “rock” band, origins circa 1970, with a reputation for exciting live performances and skillful musicianship. All of these have been used to describe the Doobie Brothers, one of rock & roll’s most recognizable and successful bands of all time. Having sold more than 50 million records worldwide, including hits “China Grove,” “Long Train Running” and “Black Water,” the Doobies defy categorization.. “Listen to the Music” and so much more.

Grand Funk Railroad
One of the ‘70s most successful hard rock bands, playing with a loud simple take on the blues-rock-power trio sound and strong working class appeal. They scored a big hit No. 1 single with “We’re an American Band,” and they’ll raise the roof of the Fair with more Top 40 hits like “Rock & Roll Soul,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Some Kind of Wonderful,”” Loco Motion” and “Shinin’ On.” Get ready to party down.

When you see these old bands appear, you always wonder who is actually in the band these days. Are any of the original members still there? Ah, but it doesn't matter, just as long as it sounds kind of like what the band used to sound like.

Monster Truck Madness
Thursday, Sept. 11
8 p.m.
Presented by ATT

Bring ‘em on. They’re big, they’re loud and they’re really popular. Join in the fun when the monster trucks return to the Fairplex Park Grandstand as part of the Adrenaline Nights series of high action entertainment. Scheduled to perform some serious dirt remodeling, spinning and jumping are the big boys, Bounty Hunter, Natural High, Iron Outlaw, Jurassic Attack, Maniac, Nasty Boy and Unnamed Untamed joined by a legion of alternates called Rock Star, Deal Breaker and Playing for Keeps. Get ready for a great dirty time.

OK, it's not music, but it's fun. I've seen monster trucks at Fairplex on July 4, and I guess it just appeals to me. My teenage daughter wasn't quite as impressed. Our houseguests were too polite to say anything one way or the other.

Jessica Simpson
Saturday, Sept. 20
8 p.m.

Welcome this talented artist with universal appeal, an international singing and movie star and media darling. Raised in Dallas, Texas, Jessica began her performing career by sharing the stage with famous gospel acts. With her unmistakable voice and unique pop sound, Jessica caught the eye of Columbia Records. She joined a tour in support of the boy-band 98 Degrees and quickly burst onto the music scene in 1999 with her debut release “Sweet Kisses.” Her RIAA-certified double platinum debut featured Jessica’s massive breakthrough hit, “I Wanna Love You Forever,” which hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. With the quadruple-platinum album, In This Skin, Jessica’s debut as a songwriter and the album’s single “Sweetest Sin,” soaring to the Top 40, her career was launched. Her eighth album, Jessica returned to her country roots, producers and country artists in Nashville. Release date is Fall 2008. When not singing, Jessica lit up televisions in the popular reality show “Newlyweds” featuring her and now ex-husband Nick Lachey on MTV and the big screen with such movies as “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

OK, Simpson's been fighting for some country credibility. I don't know whether she's achieved it (Jamie at Eye of Polyphemus thinks she missed the boat), but you have to wonder about the publicist who wrote the stuff above. It takes some...well, some something to come up with the phrase "the popular reality show 'Newlyweds' featuring her and now ex-huband Nick Lachey."

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Meanwhile, at another Inland Empire church...

The webcast of last Friday's funeral service for Christopher Laurie can be found at§ion=archive&id=784.

And, as a reminder that God is not solely dependent upon one servant, the Harvest Crusade in Anaheim is going forward on August 15-17.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Pomona

242 E Alvarado, Pomona, CA 91767.

Monday, August 4, 2008

From Lambeth to Pomona

As some of you may know, I have another blog called mrontemp. This blog often refers to a blog called Red Stick Rant. However, I didn't anticipate that Clifford would be making an appearance in either of my "Empoprises" blogs, since he lives in Louisiana (which is a long way from the Inland Empire) and, to my knowledge, does not play NTN/Buzztime trivia games.

Even if this blog had existed in February 2008, I couldn't have covered this story, since it was technicaly a Los Angeles story, not an Inland Empire story - although, as I noted, there was a local angle.

Imagine my surprise, then, when a Red Stick Rant post quoted from this comment.

At 5:03 PM, DavidJustinLynch said...

Last night, my wife and I were part of an historic event as we served as acolytes at a truly extraordinary event at St. Pauls Pomona. Our rector, Fr. Mark Halahan, married Jimmy, his long-time partner, in a Nuptial Mass that included two other same-sex couples who also received the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. The presider was Mo. Karen Macqueen. Sharon (aka: Beeper) and I profusely thank our Lord for the privilege of assisting in this uniquely holy celebration. I am on the vestry, and it is my intention to introduce a resolution at the next meeting that our parish will NOT be part of any moratorium!

This has been a policy at St. Paul's since gay marriages were legalized in California earlier this year.

The board of directors of the Redlands United Church of Christ voted Tuesday night that the couple in the wedding ceremony no longer must be a man and a woman....

Rabbi Douglas Kohn of Congregation Emanu El in San Bernardino said he will marry same-sex couples, as long as both are Jewish or one is and certain conditions are met.

St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Pomona also will marry same-sex couples, said the Rev. Mark Hallahan.

But St. Paul's couples were married much earlier than 2008, as this July 10, 2006 Daily Bulletin article shows:

Warren Nyback and his partner Michael Witmer still wear their $10 silver bands proudly on their ring fingers as a reminder of their 14-year commitment.
Although the couple went out looking to duplicate the rings with gold and platinum, the rings, which they bought the day before exchanging their vows in San Francisco, meant too much.

"There is just something so precious about those rings and the powerfully meaningful event they represent that we couldn't do it," said Nyback, a retired Episcopal priest at St. Paul's Church in Pomona. "Perhaps later on down the road, maybe if the state legalizes it."

Two years after exchanging their vows, Nyback and Witmer's marriage license, like those of thousands of other gay couples, was invalidated by a California appeals court on Monday.

The moratorium referred to by David Justin Lynch, above, is the one noted in the Fourth Draft (which may no longer be available) arising from the Indaba reflection process. As quoted by Susan Russell, it reads as follows:

131. The moratoria cover three separate but related issues: Episcopal ordinations of partnered homosexual people, the blessing of same-sex unions; cross-border incursions by bishops. There is widespread support for the moratoria. This could be the “generous act of love” the communion is looking for.

The reference to "cross-border incursions," incidentally, is targeted at Anglican groups from the Southern Hemisphere who are attracting more conservative Episcopalians.

In the worst-case scenario (or best-case scenario, depending upon how you look at it), the U.S. Episcopal Church will split along doctrinal lines, with one party authorizing gay marriages and another party opposing them. In that instance (and assuming that the conservatives are thrown out of the main body) the conservative congregations would then unite with a non-U.S.-based Anglican body.

Presumably St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Pomona ( would stay with the more liberal body.

I wonder what a Hindu gay wedding is like. Oh...

But if you want to go back a few decades, here's a David Allen Daily Bulletin article about a former worshipper at St. Paul's in Pomona - Jon Provost (i.e., Lassie's "Timmy").

P.S. There are a variety of blogs that are addressing the Lambeth Conference in general, including:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Software Award Goes Local

From the Press Enterprise:

Computers for Youth, a non-profit dedicated to improving the learning environment of low-income students at home, named the computer program "Language Arts Review 3a With Sports" the winner of the 2008 Family Learning Software Award.

Dan Sheffield, the president of the Yucaipa-based Help Me 2 Learn software company, accepted the award....

More here.

Or go to

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Speed Dating Goes Local

But you have to wait. The Press Enterprise reports that it will take place on August 26. has further details:

Who: All Single Professionals, Ages 40-50
Where: Jazz N Java
497 E. Alessandro Blvd
Riverside, CA
Time: 6:00 PM
($5 more to register by phone.)

Enter to win a free dvd of the comedy Smart People starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Dennis Quaid!


Friday, August 1, 2008

LinkedIn Goes Local

I just discovered that one of my LinkedIn connections joined a LinkedIn group for the City of Riverside.

I knew there was a LinkedIn group for Professionals of the Inland Empire, but I didn't know that groups went down to the city level.

Now I'll have to see if they have an Ontario group.