Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just discovered a store at the Ontario Mills

Before this, the closest Lego store that I knew of was at Downtown Disney.

Ontario Mills food court

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pandora listeners - where does Congressman Joe Baca stand on H.R. 7084?


You may not have heard of Congressman Joe Baca, who is my Congressman and whom I recently featured in Empoprise-IE after government watchdog groups wondered whether Rialto's "home of Joe Baca" signs constituted an improper election endorsement.

I wonder how Baca feels about the National Association of Broadcasters.

From the Pandora Blog:

September 26, 2008

Listeners we need your help... NOW!

After a yearlong negotiation, Pandora, artists and record companies are finally optimistic about reaching an agreement on royalties that would save Pandora and Internet radio. But just as we've gotten close, large traditional broadcast radio companies have launched a covert lobbying campaign to sabotage our progress.

Yesterday, Congressman Jay Inslee, and several co-sponsors, introduced legislation to give us the extra time we need but the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), which represents radio broadcasters such as Clear Channel, has begun intensively pressuring lawmakers to kill the bill. We have just a day or two to keep this from collapsing.

This is a blatant attempt by large radio companies to suffocate the webcasting industry that is just beginning to offer an alternative to their monopoly of the airwaves.

Please call your Congressperson right now and ask them to support H.R. 7084, the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008 - and to not capitulate to pressure from the NAB. Congress is currently working extended hours, so even calls this evening and over the weekend should get answered.

The central congressional switchboard number is: (202) 225 3121

Or to look up your representative, visit:

If the phone is busy, please try again until you get through. These calls really do make a difference.

This is a fork in the road. Only massive grassroots opposition will keep us from another 50 years of top 40 radio. It's time to take a stand and break the stranglehold of broadcast media on radio.

Thanks so much for you ongoing support.


Founder, Pandora

And yes, I just quoted an entire blog post, but I don't think Pandora will mind.

Of course, you always need to make sure that Pandora isn't pulling the wool over our eyes and claiming that H.R. 7094 is one thing when it's really another. What if H.R. 7084 is really a bill that institutes tax penalties on foreign Internet music services that are owned by major media companies?

Unfortunately, the text for H.R. 7084 hasn't hit yet. And I couldn't find any statement from Rep. Inslee about lack of competition in the music market. But Inslee's statements about consolidation in the news market seem to indicate a philosophy:

Mr. Speaker, the previous speaker alluded to a financial crisis we are now in that has occurred in part because of greed and avarice and incompetence and perhaps fraud, but it's also arisen because of the lack of an honest, tough regulatory system to rein in those abuses that has been most unfortunate during the last several years. It's happened sort of in the dead of the night, and it points out the need for Uncle Sam to provide a regulatory system that really stands up for hardworking Americans.

And I come to talk about one of those things that we need, which is a regulatory system to make sure that Americans have access to multiple sources of information so that we can make studied, reasoned decisions about public policy. And unfortunately, under the Bush administration, which I must say has not done a heck of a job in regulating the financial services industry the last few years, has also not done a heck of a job recently in providing a regulatory structure that would give Americans access to multiple sources of information in our news outlets.

Specifically, what I'm concerned about, I'd like to talk about tonight, is the Federal Communications Commission, under this administration, has attempted to allow greater consolidation in our media outlets which basically reduces the sources and multiple diverse sources of information that Americans receive, and this has happened in the dark of the night. I'd like to address this problem tonight.

Many of my colleagues have advocated against the consolidation of our news outlets because we know having multiple sources of information is healthy for public debate. It's absolutely intrinsic to a functioning democracy, and that's why we were outraged when the FCC voted last December to lift a ban on one company owning a daily newspaper and a broadcast station in the same market, too much consolidation.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin claimed that the new rules applied only in our Nation's biggest markets. Unfortunately, we found out that that was simply not the case. The new rules contained enormous loopholes that would allow companies to easily obtain permanent waivers that would allow this illicit and unnecessary consolidation in our media markets.

Now this process has also lacked transparency. Americans have not had a fair shake to weigh in on this decision. Prior to the vote, the FCC held six town hall meetings during the course of the year. And even though the FCC gave little notice, thousands of people showed up to express concerns about what the Bush administration was doing here.

The last public hearing the FCC held was in my hometown of Seattle this last November. Along with Senator MARIA CANTWELL, I called on Chairman Martin to give the public at least 4 weeks' notice prior to a town hall meeting. Well, clearly in an effort to reduce public response, they gave us about 4 days' notice. Nonetheless, 1,000 citizens showed up to express a relatively unanimous opinion against any more media consolidation, against the position the FCC was advocating.

However, the FCC Chair did not listen to those people. I know this because it turns out--I thought this was a little embarrassing for the FCC chairman--it turned out he had written an op-ed piece for the New York Times in favor of further possible consolidation and submitted it to the paper even before he got done with the hearings. And then he came out to Seattle and purported to be listening to the Americans. He'd already formed his opinion and had written an op-ed about what he was going to do. It wasn't a very fair process.

This is in part why I had introduced bipartisan legislation prior to the vote calling on the Commission to conduct its ownership proceedings with greater transparency and to deal with the crisis in minority and female ownership of broadcast stations. It's shameful that people of color own just 3 percent and women 5 percent of our Nation's TV stations.

Following the December vote, the Senate introduced and passed a resolution of disapproval in May by a nearly unanimous voice vote. This enjoyed broad bipartisan support. We know where Americans stand on this issue. They do not want to continue the increasing consolidation in the media market.

I've introduced a resolution of disapproval. We have over 50 cosponsors. We're going to run out of time to get this bill passed this year, but I want to congratulate the public whose vigorous opposition to this consolidation has allowed our voices to be heard. There have been no new major media mergers that have taken place in the broadcast industry while we have been fighting this battle.

I want to congratulate people for fighting this effort, and we will continue our efforts into the next Congress.

It stands to reason that if Congressman Inslee objects to consolidation in one market, he might not be happy about consolidation in another market. And I'm right; back in July 2007, SaveNetRadio issued this press release with extensive quotes from Inslee. An excerpt:

Mr. Speaker, I come to the floor of the House this evening to discuss the potential loss of Internet radio by Americans, a tremendous service that, because of Internet software and musical geniuses, 70 million Americans now enjoy the ability to listen to music by Web broadcasters over the Internet....

Unfortunately, I have to inform the House that that service may be gone in a matter of a few weeks if we don't reach a resolution of a, frankly, wrong decision decided by the Copyright Royalty Board. What I am disturbed to report to my colleagues is that some time ago, March 2, 2007, we had a decision by a Federal agency, the ramifications of which would be to shut down the ability of Americans, on a realistic basis, to continue to enjoy Internet-based radio.

And the National Association of Broadcasters? They're keeping a stiff upper lip.

We hear that radio is obsolete, that it's not adapting fast enough to the digital age. We hear that listenership and revenues are declining. We hear that people don't value radio as they once did. But what we're not hearing enough are the stories of radio's successes.

And there are many.

Radio connects, informs and inspires an estimated 235 million listeners each week. And what we rarely hear is that number is up 3 million listeners from last year. That's a vast universe that we are touching.

Now I want to share a clip with you, that may send you back a few decades.

That song, "Video Killed the Radio Star," was released in 1979. And it captured what many people were feeling at the time about radio.

Throughout the years, some people thought radio would fade away.

First eight track tapes, then cassettes, then music videos and CDs - every time innovation occurred, the end of radio was predicted. But this song was released almost 30 years ago, and radio is still strong.

Millions of people listen to the radio every single day. People spend more time with radio than on the Internet and reading newspapers. There is an exciting world of opportunity before us. It is the beginning of a new era for radio.

And many of you have already started to embrace the possibilities. But in order for us to move forward and build a successful future we cannot continue to operate as we have in the past. We must stop listening to the negativity and false messages, many of which come from our own people. And we must commit to spreading the positive news about radio.

So if broadcast radio is so strong, then they need not fear Internet radio, should they?

So I contacted Congressman Baca.

Dear Congressman Baca,

I join many Internet music lovers in asking your support for H.R. 7084, the Webcaster Settlement Act of 2008. As a listener to services such as, Pandora, and Yahoo! LaunchCAST, I would like to give Pandora and similar services time to negotiate licensing agreements that would allow them to continue to broadcast. Your support is urgently needed.

Mapping away

I haven't gotten around to discussing this route66voice post yet. It's entitled "Old Map of Pomona."

If you go to the post and click on the map image, you can see that it includes some recognizable roads (Holt, Indian Hill, Garey, Foothill), but that the map is dominated by the Butterfield Stage Route and the Old L.A. and San Bernardino Stage Road/Jurupa Road.

Years ago I was in the Upland Library and saw a slightly later map of the Ontario-Upland area, but it was still created before the west-east freeways cut across the city of Ontario, back when routes 60, 66, and 91 were still U.S. routes rather than state routes.

Fascinating stuff.

So, what did I miss?

I've been out of town for a few days (yes, the animal posts were queued up in advance of my departure), and I've barely been able to keep up with what's been going on outside of Oracle-land.

So what did I miss, Inland Empire-wise? Maybe I should just go over to the Foothill Cities Blog and find out.


The Foothill Cities Blog recently suffered a rather significant server catastrophe. While we're picking up the pieces and cleaning up, we're going to go ahead and make some long overdue improvements to the site.

Expect the FC Blog to be back soon, new and improved. Thanks for reading and we look forward to be back in blogging action soon.

The Claremont Insider has conspiracy theories:

We are thinking that some of the enemies made by the FC Blog have finally done their dirty work. Probably the most likely suspect is Arnold Alvarez-Glasman, city attorney of West Covina and other cities, who was involved in a dust-up with the FC Blog last year. (We'd provide a link but, as we may have mentioned, the FC Blog is no more; gone; kaput; a former blog.)

Speaking of the Claremont Insider, it links to a pretender to my throne. Well, if anyone's going to take my Empire away from me, it might as well be David Allen. But perhaps one shouldn't model one's empire on Kim Jong Il:

"Foreign visitors are advised upon their arrival in Pyongyang not to throw away any North Korean newspapers lest they despoil a photo of the leaders," the story notes.

" 'Don't tear or crumble the newspapers. Don't throw it in a dustbin. Don't wrap something with it or use it for some other purpose,' warned guide Gil Hyun Ah, who said offenders would have to write formal letters of apology before being permitted to leave the country."

Did I mention that David Allen happens to work at a newspaper?

But the big story today in the Inland Empire is the big story in many communities throughout the western United States. It ain't only houses that go kaboom:

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Inc. came to the rescue of Washington Mutual Inc. Thursday, buying the thrift's banking assets after WaMu was seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in the largest failure ever of a U.S. bank.

OK, so it looks like I missed a few stories here and there. But if, in the future, I end up neglecting my imperial duties, check this list of blogs from The Pretender. (I should be nice, since he added my blog to the list after the fact...)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kinda like the exploding rabbit

I did not grow up in the Inland Empire, so I'm used to blowing things up during my childhood without government restriction.

When I moved to the Inland Empire in 1983, I was introduced to a whole new world - a desert land with great fire danger that necessitated restrictions on fireworks, even sparklers, in most Inland Empire communities.

With a couple of exceptions. Chino, of course, sells fireworks before July 4, and a number of community organizations perform their civic duty by selling things that you can use to blow yourself up.

Of course, Chino fireworks are only sold to Chino residents, and no one from any other city dares purchase them.

Yeah, right.

Well, Fontana is one of those cities that bans "safe and sane" fireworks. But not if Frank Ellis has his way:

Frank Ellis of Apostolic Faith Tabernacle helped Citizens For a Safe Fourth of July submit more than 9,000 signatures to the city clerk's office on Sept. 8, with the hope of overturning the City Council's ban on the sale of "Safe and Sane" fireworks.

"The nonprofits will miss out on a major fundraiser of the year," Ellis said of the ban that took effect July 5.

But Ellis is not alone in opposing the ban.

The group is a partnership of area nonprofits and Fullerton-based TNT Fireworks.

Before the ban, Apostolic Faith Tabernacle raised a lot of money from fireworks sales.

He said his church made about $20,000 a year in fireworks sales. The money goes to outreaches such as a local women's shelter and a van that shuttles people to community events, in addition to funding church operations, he said.

Right now the city is checking the signatures, a process that is expected to take place until mid to late October.

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's all gone to the dogs

I am not Roman Catholic, so I do not keep track of such things, but one of the Press-Enterprise blogs does:

Fr. Louis Abdoo from St. Francis de Sales Church will be present to bless pets

When: Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 10:00 a.m.

This will be held at the Acheson & Graham Garden of Prayer at 7944 Magnolia Avenue in Riverside.

View Larger Map

The website explains the tradition:

Francis, whose feast day is October 4th, loved the larks flying about his hilltop town. He and his early brothers, staying in a small hovel, allowed themselves to be displaced by a donkey.

Francis wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God’s living things. “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.” And there was testimony in the cause for St. Clare of Assisi’s canonization that referred to her little cat!...

At Franciscan churches, a friar with brown robe and white cord often welcomes each animal with a special prayer. The Blessing of Pets usually goes like this:

“Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.”

In other pet-related news, the Riverside Humane Society is opening a Pet Adoption Center at 6165 Industrial Avenue.

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The opening date? Again, October 4.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Self-portrait (#openworld08 DOES make Empoprise-IE)

At Applebee's in Ontario International Airport.

I was dropped off early, and my flight is scheduled to take off in 2 hours.

Last year, I flew to Oakland to get to Oracle OpenWorld 2007, along with the Raider Nation.

Today I fly to SFO...with the 49er Nation?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Get your kicks

One thing that you might not know about the Inland Empire is that Route 66 passes through here. As you head in from Kingman and Barstow, you go through San Bernardino...and Rialto...and Fontana...and Rancho Cucamonga...and Upland...and Claremont...and a bit of Pomona...and La Verne...

But Route 66 speaks of freedom. The freedom to ride on the open road. The freedom to do it in a teepee. The freedom to generate revenue:

When the 19th annual State Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous motors into town Thursday evening, it will present a contrast unprecedented in its history: The convivial blend of big, thirsty engines and sweet nostalgia teetering on the edge of an economy that has the federal government as concerned as it has been at any time since the Depression.

I guess you can say it's an Edsel of an economy. But people are still celebrating:

The four 2008 inductees into the Cruisin' Hall of Fame are accomplished customizer, Bill Hines, aka "The Leadslinger,"; the Justice Brothers, quality car care products since 1936; the 1968 Ford Mustang, "California Made it Happen;" and Inland Vans Berdoo, since 1969 bound by a love for customizing vans and cruisin' E Street.

In addition, a special Cruisin' Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to drumming icon Hal Blaine, who performed on thousands of hit records over a quarter of a century.

A complete list of Hall of Fame members can be found here. Depeche Mode has not yet been inducted.

Ball of confusion - cocks and pimps in the Inland Valley

Last October, in my personal mrontemp blog, I wrote a post about David Allen's blog. In that post, I made several references to my blogging name (Ontario Emperor), and clearly noted that Ontario Emperor and David Allen were two separate people. For example:

Back then when I communicated with David Allen, I had to use this thing called "electronic mail." Perhaps the older people among you have heard of it.

This blog post was written before I implemented Disqus, so I went ahead and set something on that mrontemp blog so that older comments have to be approved. I just approved a comment that began as follows:

Hi David - I was the one who asked you to delve into the historic calendars at the Chino restaurant, the "Cock-A-Doodle".

Either she has confused David Allen and myself (hey, we both wear glasses, we both have jobs, and we have both attended Ontario City Council meetings), or she thinks that I have an inside line to David. Trust me, I don't; Allen doesn't even know about my Empoprise-IE blog, which would certainly fit under the "local content" category. (Of course, that's my fault, since I've usually provided the mrontemp URL when communicating with him.)

And, believe it or not, it gets better from there. The major point that she wanted to raise was as follows:

Can you find out how in the world the Upland Public Library was allowed to sponsor an event tonight (9-17-08) titled: "PIMP YOUR BACKPACK"? We were shocked that a supposedly educational institution was using the work "pimp" to encourage students to come in to decorate their backpacks. The Director of the library, Ms. Kathy Bloomberg-Rissman, told me today that the teenagers "identify" with this word, and have no understanding of the true definition of the word. Yeah, right.

Now, while I agree that the word can be construed as an offensive one, I am baffled on several levels:

  • Why does the commenter think that David will conduct an in-depth investigative report of the Upland Public Library's event naming policies?

  • Why does the commenter think that libraries are "allowed" or "not allowed" to do things? If there's any institution that could talk about material in an unrestrained manner, it's a library.

  • How can someone worry about a "pimp your backpack" event, but not consider the sexual ramifications of a restaurant named "Cock-a-Doodle"?
P.S. If you haven't read Allen's list of local blogs (sans this one), I highly recommend it. I was only aware of half of these blogs myself, so it looks like I will be updating my Google Reader feeds.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Roll tide

Continuing on the story of unreal estate, the Los Angeles Times points out that this is not limited to the last couple of years.

Suburbs that arise on the far edges of the metropolis in a boom, more often than not, will recede in a bust. After the down times end, as they always seem to do, the bulldozers and house framers return. And the next cycle begins....

Since sprouting out of the desert lands beyond Riverside in the mid-1980s, [Moreno Valley] has lurched from outsized boom to neighborhood-gutting recession and back to boom, only to find itself battered yet again by the calamity known as the mortgage crisis.

When Peter H. King wrote those words, and the other words in his article, I began thinking about the ocean, and how the tides roll in, then roll out, then roll in, then roll out again. (Even King uses the words "sea change" to describe the phenomenon.)

However, in my view the parallel isn't quite so parallel. If the real estate market were like a tide, then Moreno Valley may fade away and the inland areas would remain. However, as I've noted, the devastation is occurring everywhere.

Joe Cortright disagrees:

“It’s like an ebbing of this suburban tide,” said Joe Cortright, an economist at the consulting group Impresa Inc. in Portland, Ore. “There’s going to be this kind of reversal of desirability. Typically, Americans have felt the periphery was most desirable, and now there’s going to be a reversion to the center.”

In a recent study, Mr. Cortright found that house prices in the urban centers of Chicago, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Portland and Tampa have fared significantly better than those in the suburbs. So-called exurbs — communities sprouting on the distant edges of metropolitan areas — have suffered worst of all, Mr. Cortright found.

Now I don't necessarily believe that Moreno Valley is an exurb - it may have been considered so in the mid 1980s, but today I believe that the designation more properly belongs to Hesperia, if not Adelanto - but it's obviously not a place to make a quick buck in the real estate market.

Ripe with opportunities...for whom?

Have you read any realestate-ese lately? If you haven't, here's a treat for you:

This beautiful Alder home located in Sycamore Creek is nestled in an environment of such rare and natural beauty. The design of this home reflects the natural character of the surrounding area. This newly built home offers 5 bedrooms, 3 full baths, family room containing French doors with Hunter shades coverings, combination living and dining room, a great kitchen, bonus room, upstairs balcony, loft, plantation shutters throughout and 3-car tandem garage. With cathedral ceilings and carefully designed interior structure, this home is a homeowners dream. Sycamore Creek offers a unique opportunity to live in the heart of the Temescal Valley, a growing region ripe with opportunities.

The home is at 11439 Tesota Loop St in Corona, California.

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And this home can be yours, as of Sunday July 14, for a price of $830,000.

Too bad that Housing Kaboom notes that some houses in the in right next to this house...are also for sale.

[T]he three houses to his right are all for sale (4 in a row) , 2 are slightly smaller and one is the same floorplan. They are all listed under $400k and 2 of those 3 have been listed for over 4 months now. So, obviously they are asking too much.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Fishing for inspiration

People often decry the suburban sprawl of the Inland Empire.

Some people love, and some people hate, the warehouse sprawl of the Inland Empire.

So what did two Santa Monica architects, Hadrian Predock and John Frane, do about it?

the duo's latest exhibition, "Inland Empire" at the Pomona College Museum of Art, is dominated by a model of the area's most unique structures -- here, a 16-by-16-foot box nearest the ceiling. Filling a gallery, the entire work is composed of a series of white Foamcor model structures -- each representing a different type of building in the region -- suspended by 750 nylon fishing lines.

Makes sense, since you can fish at Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park.

The trout and catfish are stocked.

And people still say that we have free elections

The two-party system, which is the supposed guardian of our freedom, is in reality an oligocracy in which the guiding purpose of the two major political parties is to band together and shut everyone else (such as the Peace and Freedom Party) out.

Take a look at this story from the Daily Bulletin:

The decision by the city of Rialto to adorn its "welcome" signs with a message declaring the city as the home of Rep. Joe Baca at the height of election season, has raised some questions from government watchdog groups.

The city will spend $3,750 on 30 signs that will be posted below the city's welcome signs.

The timing of the decision, however, is troubling Jessica Levinson, director of political reform at the Center for Governmental Studies, because Baca, a Democrat from Rialto whose district headquarters is in San Bernardino, is running for re-election.

While Levinson has a point, she's slighly off on one item. If you're a member of the House of Representatives, you're ALWAYS running for re-election.

And there's another inaccuracy. Rialto is not the home of Joe Baca. Joe Baca lives in the Washington suburbs. Other than Joe Biden and a few others, I don't think that many Members of Congress actually live in their home districts.

So how did the city of Rialto end up doing this? Lauren McSherry notes:

Top officials in the city government have close ties to Baca. Baca's son Joe Baca Jr. sits on the City Council.

"I don't see why I shouldn't support it because I voted on his record and his accomplishments as a representative of the City Council," the younger Baca said. "I'm very proud of my father. I think it's an honor to have a congressman live in your city."

He added that many schools, parks and public facilities throughout San Bernardino County have been named after sitting public officials.

City Attorney Jimmy Gutierrez also has an affiliation with the congressman. Gutierrez has been a major campaign donor to the Bacas, and his daughter is employed by the elder Baca.

Gutierrez said he felt the city's decision was legitimate.

"I can tell you I know from personal experience, councils and school boards name things after people in office," Gutierrez said. "The issue is, there is a public service served when a body expends public money to name a facility after someone who is important, someone who has done something important for the community."

And regarding naming things after people, I have an opinion about that. Personally, I don't beleve that government property should be named after a bureaucrat until after they pass away. Not after they retire - after they pass away.

And even then, I question the wisdom in naming an airport after Ronald Reagan.

And then there are the Democrats

Early Sunday evening I wrote a post about Peace and Freedom Party supporters in Riverside County. But there is also an active political party in Riverside County called the Democratic Party. Perhaps you've heard of them.

Well, Riverside County Democrats are getting together:

Henry Vandermeir, President of the Democratic think tank known as the California Democratic Council, will be the featured speaker at the September 18, 2008, meeting of the Democrats of Greater Riverside.

The meeting will be held at 7:00 pm at the Riverside Democratic Headquarters, 9496 Magnolia Boulevard.

View Larger Map

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Locals not beholden to the McBamas - Peace and Freedom Party, Riverside County

Back in August 1998, I created a Yahoo! Group called inlandempireca. Despite the fact that I rarely visit it, and despite the fact that it has primarily become a spam haven, I've never gotten around to deleting it.

Which, occasionally, is a good thing, because worthwhile information pops up in there.

If you've ever read my personal blog, mrontemp, you know how I often bemoan the fact that most people think that there are only two choices in any major election. Both the media and the two big parties persist in pushing this theory. A media outlet's usual idea of political discourse is to have someone "on the left" from the Democratic Party, and someone "on the right" from the Republican Party, and then pretend that this reflects all known opinions in the United States.

Try as they might, however, the major media and major parties can't stamp out true expressions of political opinion.

I will say up front that I am not a supporter of the Peace and Freedom Party (I personally consider Ralph Nader's plans for government control to be modern-day fascism), but I will defend their right to exist, their right to campaign, their right to be heard.

You're not going to hear the Peace and Freedom Party in the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates (the Commission on Presidential Debates has seen to that), but you can hear them on Yahoo.

This announcement was posted in my inlandempireca group.

Peace and Freedom Party-Riverside County

The group itself is members-only, and I wouldn't feel right claiming an interest in membership, but the following message is publicly available on the group page:

We would like to start a Chapter,of the Peace and Freedom Party in Riverside County,California.If your interested in joining us in the cause.Please Join our Website. David Wade,Chairman of Website,and George Nelson,Vice Chairman of Website.

The group started on August 20, 2008, and already has five members - not bad for a minor regional political party on Yahoo. If you are so philosophically inclined, go ahead and join them.

P.S. If you haven't heard, Peter Camejo has passed away.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Other observations on the 2008 Los Angeles County Fair

I was not the only person who went to the L.A. County Fair on Saturday.

I was not the only social media user who went to the L.A. County Fair on Saturday.

Here are a couple of tweets from Jason Lee:

Having a snowball fight at the l.a. County fair.

This is actually something that I didn't do this year. For at least the past three years, they've had an indoor room at the L.A. County Fair with a small ice skating rink, and with snow for sledding (and obviously snowball fights). Yes, I know that people in eastern Canada are turning up their noses, but to people in Pomona, snow is a novelty. Jason's second fair tweet:

Texas style bbq pit pork ribs & beef brisket ftw~

To which I say, where's Jake Kuramoto when you need him?

And Jason and I weren't the only people at the fair. Binkley was busy praising the food:

oh LA County Fair your pulled pork dishes are delicious!

Now I guess I have to stand corrected, because to my knowledge they have not yet deep-fried pulled pork and placed it on a stick. But they will. And look at what Tim Malabuyo ate (hint: it wasn't a mango):

LA county fair. Just had a deep-fried twinkie!


However, if you think that all of us were sucking down deep-fried X on a stick, there's Shawna Benson to redeem us.

Back from L.A. County Fair. Fair food, farm animals, wine tasting. Good times.

Shawna mentioned another thing that I didn't do today - wine tasting. I actually passed by the wine tasting area, not to mention plenty of beer stands, but frankly it was so hot that I pretty much confined myself to water during the day.

And the Los Angeles County Fair wasn't the only county fair going on today. FriendFeed includes online references to the Linn County Fair, the Clay County Fair, the Santa Cruz County Fair, the Delaware County Fair, and the New Kent County Fair.

But the west is the best. Although Santa Cruz County is techincally farther west than Los Angeles County...OK, the southwest is the best. Get here and we'll do the rest.

The Blue Gate is calling us...

My observations on the 2008 Los Angeles County Fair, and the Official Method for Creating Fair Food

I am now back from my day trip to the Los Angeles County Fair. If you haven't already done so, please take the time to view my posts written before and during my fair visit:

Some additional observations:
  • Parking at Fairplex is now a minimum of $10. You have to wonder - does Fairplex really need the parking revenue? One of the reasons that I haven't attended a lot of functions at Fairplex is because the parking often costs as much as the admission to the event itself.

  • There are diverging opinions on the commercial exhibits. Some people love them, and to them the commercial booths are the highlight of the fair. As for me, I could easily do without them; some of the commercial hawkers are as bad as the carnies in terms of obnoxiousness.

  • One of the people in our party is on a restricted diet, which pretty much means that we had to bring in outside food. Luckily, Fairplex doesn't really mind if you bring in outside food; the only things to which they object are glass bottles, metal cans, and alcohol. Some places insist that you only eat food bought within their confines; Fairplex isn't doing that.
Speaking of food, I am going to reveal (for those who don't already know) the Official Method for Creating Fair Food:
  1. Take any food. And I mean ANY food. Go ahead, think of a food right now.

  2. Take the words "Deep-fried" and put them BEFORE the food name.

  3. Take the words "on a stick" and put them AFTER the food name.
Deep-fried snail on a stick? Deep fried oatmeal on a stick? Hey, are they any more ridiculous than deep-fried Twinkie on a stick?



LA County Fair.

Milking a goat

Pig race

A Gilligan's Island race. The Porkfessor won.

Bring home the bacon!

LA County Fair pig races.

Preparing for the pig races!

LA County Fair, Pomona California.


Actually Pomona.

Building 9, LA County Fair

Um...WHERE is Fairplex again?

According to the LA County Fair website, Fairplex is...

Conveniently located where the 10, 210 and 57 freeways meet...

I've noted this before. Some people are presumably still looking for this intersection that no longer exists.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Blood is life

Weren't you excited about the great event that happened this week?

No, I'm not talking about Steve Jobs rocking. I'm talking about important stuff.

The Blood Bank of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties plans to unveil its new name during an event on Wednesday, Sept. 10 in San Bernardino.

The event will start at 10 a.m. at 384 W. Orange Show Road, San Bernardino.

The name change reflects the blood bank's initiative to be a wellness partner in health care with the communities it serves throughout Southern California....

Well, I guess I should have taken off work to find out the exciting news, but I just checked the website instead.

Your feedback is very important to us. If you'd like to share your experiences or have comments or questions, please contact us at:

384 West Orange Show Road
San Bernardino, CA 92408
1.800.TRY GIVING (1.800.879.4484)

Ah, so it's LifeStream. (The visual is unpleasant, but I guess the name fits.)

However, as of early this afternoon the web page didn't talk about anything other than blood and marrow. And the last news discussed an August 29 event.

I'll give them a few hours.

Sarah Le Clear should avoid Colton too - and is she avoiding Nashville?

Last May, I noted how coyotes were appearing in Redlands and Chino Hills, and how there Sarah Le Clear might be in danger if she showed up in one of those areas.

Add Colton to the list of places Sarah Le Clear should avoid:

COLTON - The lean, mid-sized canines may not look like much of a threat, but for residents of the La Loma Hills area, coyotes are cause for real concern.
Several locals have said the coyotes have been snatching up their pets and killing them.

Now, the hillside community is not just worried about their four-legged family members but small children as well.

Hmm, makes sense. When the Coyote Ugly dancers start to gyrate, some people might end up being worried about their children.

But this begs the more important question - whatever happened to the real Sarah Le Clear, formerly of Upland, or perhaps Rancho Cucamonga, or perhaps Whittier, or perhaps Walnut Creek?

While Sarah's MySpace page is still private, the Singing Coyotes MySpace page is still there, and still accessible; however, Sarah is not an official member of this group. Not sure what's going on here, since I thought that the winner of the Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search 3 was supposed to become the sixth member of the Traveling Coyotes.

Did something happen?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Just find the boys with extreme hangovers

I never finished the story about my search for a CD laser lens cleaner.

A few minutes after leaving the Radio Shack at Holt and San Antonio (where they sold CD laser lens cleaners for $22), I found myself at the Rite Aid at Euclid and G Streets in Ontario. I pulled up to a parking place on the side of the store...

...just in time to see two boys running away from the store, big smiles on their faces, and - was that bottles of alcohol that they were carrying?

If you wonder whether the kids are going to get away with this, it should be noted that (although I didn't confirm this) I assume that Rite Aid has security cameras, so they were presumably able to get pictures of the boys' smiling faces. They may not be smiling after the police visit Vina Danks and find the culprits.

Or maybe they aren't smiling anyway. Wisdom comes with age, so these boys presumably aren't that wise. I don't think they were carrying beer or wine, and between them they were carrying between two and four bottles of whatever they had. And, being young, they weren't all that weighty. If the boys tried to dispose of the evidence all by themselves early yesterday afternoon, they are probably feeling REALLY bad right now. Perhaps bad enough that they'll become abstinence champions.

P.S. The CD laser lens cleaners at Rite Aid were $14. I probably could have searched more and gotten a better deal somewhere, but I figured that Rite Aid would appreciate a paying customer.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

iGo - gone...

Apparently they don't sell iGo stuff at the Radio Shack on Holt & San Antonio any more. Good concept, but awful expensive.

Speaking of which, I was here looking for a CD laser lens cleaner. Radio Shack has 'em...for $22.

It's been a long time since I was a member of the Radio Shack Battery Club.


Saturday, September 6, 2008

It isn't just housing

The economic downturn has not only affected housing prices. Housing Kaboom points out that business developments are also affected:

What's going to happen to these centers? Well you need to look no farther than Moreno Valley to see what will happen. During the last boom several large centers were built. Many of those still sit empty. Right off the 60 Fwy is Canyon Springs center. Once home to a thriving retail center. When the bust hit in the early 90's roughly 70% of the stores moved out. What remained were discount shops or seasonal shops. Only Toy's R Us weathered the storm. Even well known eateries like Tony Roma's could not make it in an empty shopping center.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Let's eat

OK, so maybe we don't have restaurant reviews on the TV any more, but there certainly are restaurant reviewers in the Inland Empire blog world.

Be sure to check out Inland Empire Restaurant and Food Reviews.

This is not for the uppity - two of the recent reviews were for the Wienerschnitzel at Ontario Mills and Graziano's Pizza in Mira Loma.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mike Wooten, hero? (or, why Ivory Webb wishes he were an Alaska State Trooper, protected by their union)

You may have seen a post in my personal blog about the Log Cabin endorsement of John McCain/Sarah Palin, based partially upon a post from local Matt Munson.

Munson has posted a follow-up:

Governor Palin in the past cut funding for pregnant teens, worked to ban books at the local public library, using government agencies against a former brother in-law. And in the church the governor belongs to, they are just as radical as Obama’s home church but with beliefs that “terrorism is god’s way to punish Israel for not converting to Christianity”, and they are hosting an ex-gay conference hoping that people in Alaska will be healed and converted to heterosexuality.

However, increasing publicity on the "former brother in-law" is bound to backfire. Palin is alleged to have claimed that Alaska state trooper disciplinary measures were not tough enough, and to have interfered in the disciplinary process. At this point some people stop reading and start screaming about abuse of government power. But tell me, what would you do if someone said this about your sister and father?

"If your dad helps you through this divorce he's gonna, he's gonna eat an F'n lead bullet."


"I'm gonna take your sister down. I'm gonna ruin your family. know people in all the right places, in high places. I know judges. I know attorneys. I have relationships with these guys. You guys are all going down."

Oh, and how about this?

Another set of interviews conducted later in 2005 with both Todd and Sarah Palin showed more abuses of power, this time while he was at a bar with his "girlfriend." While at the bar and off duty Mike flashed his badge and demanded that another patron be removed. There were also instances of two different DUI's one for Mike and one for his "girlfriend" which were never charged.

Colonel Julia Grimes determined that

The record clearly indicates a serious and concentrated pattern of unacceptable, and at times, illegal activity occurring over a lengthy period, which establishes a course of conduct totally at odds with the ethics of our profession.

Note that Wooten was found guilty of these activities, including illegal activities. (Can you say "rogue cop"?)

Let's take a moment and look at a local case, that of Ivory J. Webb Jr.. He was booted out of the Sheriff's Department - even though he was eventually acquitted of the charges against him.

So you'd expect a "rogue cop" who was found guilty of several questionable and illegal activities to meet a similar fate, wouldn't you?

Mike Wooten received a whopping ten day suspension. The troopers' union got the suspension cut to five days. As Investor's Business Daily stated:

If there's abuse of power in this story, it lies on the side of bureaucrats and unions protecting officers whose behavior makes them a danger to the public.

Heck, if I were Sarah Palin, I'd be mad too. And when more people investigate the story, they'll admire her rather than criticize her.

Don't expect Obama to make a joint appearance with Mike Wooten any time soon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Perhaps this shareholder meeting will garner some attention

The Claremeont Insider, citing Matt Wrye, noted the PFF Bancorp will hold a shareholder meeting on September 25, at which the merger with FBOP Corp. will be formally presented for a vote.

I just have to ask - what happens if the merger is rejected?