Wednesday, October 29, 2008

$2.799

At the Arco at Mountain and Mission in Ontario. (And it's cheaper in Chino Hills.)

I filled up my car for less than $40.

I almost feel sorry for the oil companies.

Almost.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another view of Pomona, from Brian "Bex" Ruff - I mean Huff

It's interesting to see how other people perceive your area.

I met Brian "Bex" Huff at Oracle OpenWorld 2008 (he gave two presentations at the Unconference which I enjoyed), and I guess he must be visiting Southern California, because he just tweeted this:

staying in a pomona hotel that allows dogs. Very, very barky dogs. Yip yip yip. Joy.

Perhaps because I never travel with my dog, I never think of Pomona as The Land of Hotels Allowing Very Very Barky Dogs.

I hope the dogs are empathizing with each other. And perhaps Mr. Huff can buy a Team Pomona dog t-shirt or two.

Shake, shake, shake just got a little more complicated

Perhaps you saw my October 18 post regarding the ShakeOut Drill on November 13. If you're not familiar with the ShakeOut Drill, it will be a simulation of a 7.8 earthquake. Numerous organizations and businesses, including my employer, are planning to participate in this drill at 10:00 am on the 13th.

Because of the earthquake threat in this area, I was really looking forward to it.

But I recently realized that I will not be at work that day.

I will be a Bridges Auditorium in Claremont, as part of the ensemble for the Childrens' Theatre Experience production of "High School Musical."

Our first field trip performance is scheduled to begin at 9:15. The drill will occur at 10:00.

What if the Claremont Colleges are participating in the drill?

TROY


Isn't the author of a musical like the playmaker in basketball?

KELSI


Playmaker?

TROY


The person who makes everyone else look good. Without you, there is no show. You're the playmaker here, Kelsi.

KELSI


I am? ... You want to hear the way that song is supposed to sound?

[THE BUILDING BEGINS TO SHAKE. KELSI'S PIANO FALLS TO THE GROUND. IN THE AUDIENCE, TEACHERS GUIDE THEIR STUDENTS SAFELY OUT THE SIDE DOORS. THE ACTING ENSEMBLE FLEES TO THE PARKING LOT JUST BEFORE BRIDGES AUDITORIUM COLLAPSES.]

TROY


Uh, maybe not. Perhaps I should just stick with the basketball team.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fundamental rights and wrongs - the police issues behind Proposition 8

Yes, the police issues. In my mrontemp blog, I've run general-interest posts about the legal and religious issues surrounding Proposition 8. But I uncovered another story that hits closer to home.

From the October 16 Inland Valley Daily Bulletin:

CHINO HILLS - About 300 signs supporting Proposition 8 were stolen Tuesday from the St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church courtyard.

The signs - which were piled loosely in the courtyard at 14085 Peyton Drive - were there for parishioners to take home to place in their yards, said Josie Dumdum, St. Paul the Apostle director of ministries....

The stolen signs were not visible from the street, and the thieves would have had to gone onto church property to take them, Dumdum said.

Church officials said they have filed a report with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

The crime is considered grand theft because of the amount of signs taken.

Sheriff's Sgt. Rick Swigert with the Chino Hills station confirmed the theft Thursday afternoon.

Swigert estimated that the signs were stolen between Monday and Wednesday nights.


Meanwhile...

Signs supporting the proposition...were vandalized at the Solid Ground Church of Brethren & Christ in Rancho Cucamonga.

Senior Pastor Ron Graff of the Rancho Cucamonga church said after attending a pro-Proposition 8 meeting at an Ontario restaurant, he discovered a "No on Prop. 8" label placed on his vehicle.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Them fish are a'stockin'

Back in the good old days, a person would take his (I'm being sexist here) fishing pole out to the water and just see what would happen.

Nowadays, you have the Outdoor News Service to assist you. Here are relevant portions of their weekly fishing report for October 23:

FISHING REPORT

Compiled by Cyndi Gollaz and Jim Matthews

Outdoor News Service

The fish report is weekly. Its accuracy depends on marina operators, tackle shops and local fishermen we contact. Anglers catching large fish should send the information to Outdoor News Service, P.O. Box 9007, San Bernardino, CA 92427, or telephone 909-887-3444, so it can be included in this report. Faxes can be sent to 909-887-8180. E-mail messages or fishing reports can also be posted to Jim Matthews at odwriter@charter.net and/or Cyndi Gollaz at cagurrola@charter.net....

CUCAMONGA-GUASTI: Fair catfish bite on mackerel or nightcrawlers. Trout season to [begin] in early November. Information: 909-481-4205.

PRADO: Catfish bite fair with some limits reported. Top baits have been nightcrawlers, mackerel, and shrimp. Also a fair bite on bass and bluegill. Trout plants begin in early November. Information: 909-597-4260.

YUCAIPA: Fair catfish action on anchovies, nightcrawlers, meal worms, or anything dipped in Sonny's stink bait. Action is best in the afternoons. The daytime bite is sluggish. No more channel catfish plants will go in this year. Good bluegill action on wax or meal worms. Mostly quarter- to half-pounders on stringers, fish to one pound are rare. Fair bite for carp and a few bass also showing on plastic worms. Trout plants will begin next month. Lake information: 909-790-3127.

GLEN HELEN: Fair catfish fishing on mackerel, shrimp, Hog Wild or anything dipped in Sonny's. Trout plants should start in early November. Information: 909-887-7540.

MOUNT BALDY TROUT POOLS: The heavily stocked pools are open every Saturday and Sunday. No fishing license is needed. Information: 909-982-4246.

SECCOMBE LAKE: No recent plants. Information: 909-384-5233.

DIAMOND VALLEY: Launch ramp remains closed due to low water levels. Shoreline access has been expanded and rental boats will remain available. Bass anglers are struggling, but have found periods of fair action, especially near the marina and east dam on swimbaits, LA Sliders, and shad. The trout bite is slow, but a few trollers are pulling out fish from 40 to 50 feet on Needlefish or nightcrawlers. Striper boils have been spotted with a few fish reported off the north shore points on floating swimbaits or large topwater lures. Bluegill action is fair to good, and the fish are easy to come by on live worms or mini jigs along the dam. Lake information: 800-590-LAKE, marina 951-926-7201, Last Chance Bait & Tackle 951-658-7410 or www.dvmarina.com.

PERRIS: The bass bite is dominating with good to excellent action on plastic worms, crawdads or spinnerbaits. The dam remains the hot area for the bass. Bass over five pounds are common, and this week a 7-8 was caught by Mike Espinoza, Corona, on nightcrawlers. The bluegill action is good with fish reported all over on crickets or wax worms. Dock fishing is allowed for a $3 fee during store hours only. Information: marina 951-657-2179, state park 951-940-5600.

SKINNER: Catfish action good to excellent and still the top producing species. The best bite remains off Ramp No. 2 and off the east end on mackerel. Top cat was a 4-3 caught by Dan Burton, Menifee, on mackerel from the inlet. Largemouth bass bite good for anglers fishing the east end and south shore on worms and dark-colored plastics. The striper bite is just fair with a lot of action reported off Ramp No. 2 on small swimbaits, anchovies, or frozen shad. Steve Hofman, Riverside, caught two stripers totaling eight pounds. Top fish was a 4-5 on anchovies. Bluegill action good for anglers using nightcrawlers or worms off the east end. Josh Reynolds, Fallbrook, caught a 1-5 bluegill. Information: store 951-926-1505 or marina 951-926-8515.

ELSINORE: Crappie bite fair in deeper water on nightcrawlers and small jigs. Bluegill still biting, although the bite is only fair, with moments of good action. Crickets and meal worms are the top producers for the √ęgills. Wiper (striper-hybrid) action fair, but slower than usual lately. Carp fair to good off the east end on dough balls. Catfish and bass are hit and miss. Information: Catfishing R Us at 877-685-7752.

CORONA LAKE: The trout bite took off after Nebraska Tailwakers were planted early Wednesday morning this week, but the catfish bite has been top billing for a month and some real quality fish were posted this week. Top catfish 38 1/2-pounder landed by Fred Broughton, Los Angeles, while shrimp from a boat, while fishing buddy Hyden Toney, also Los Angeles, caught a 28-pounder on Saturday. The pair also fished the lake last Wednesday and landed cats at 15 1/2 and 14 1/2 pounds, but with Toney landing the bigger fish that trip. Other big fish included a 10-pound channel landed by Donald Marshall, Fontana, and a nine-pounder that topped off a five-fish, 16 1/2-pound stringer caught by Oliver Valdez, Corona. Dave Berry, Elsinore, had a 15-fish, 36-pound catch that included a 6 1/2-pounder. Leroy Chacon, Fontana, landed 15-fish stringer that weighed in at 33-pounds. Some of the first Nebraska rainbows reported were posted by two anglers tossing flies. Dick Ponce and Fred Hernandez, both of Perris, had three-fish catches that weighed 13 1/2 and 12 1/2 pounds respectively. Ponce's big fish was a four-pounder. Garrett and Alan Verhagea, Wildomar, had four rainbows that weighed 10 1/2 pounds total, including one at 3 1/2 pounds. Trout are now being planted each week, and the plants will alternate between the Nebraska Tailwalkers and the Mt. Lassen Trout Farms rainbows. Fishing prices have jumped from $20 to $22 for regular passes. Senior passes have gone from $18 to $20, with a special $17 pass sold on Wednesdays. All of these passes have a five-fish limit. For kids 4 to 13, a three-fish pass is just $9. The once-monthly 24-hour passes remain just $60. Information: 951-277-4489 or www.fishinglakes.com.

EVANS LAKE: Catfish action fair with the most action reported on mackerel and nightcrawlers. Still some slow to fair bass action on plastics and crankbaits, and fair action on small bluegill action around the shorelines.

RANCHO JURUPA: Catfish remain the name of the game here. Anglers are catching a fair number of fish to four pounds with an occasional bigger fish. No more catfish plants this season, but trout plants are slated to begin the first week of November. Upcoming events: Trout tournament scheduled for January 24. Information: 951-684-7032.

FISHERMAN'S RETREAT: Fair to good catfish bite from both lakes, with times of better action in the evenings through dusk. Top baits are shrimp, mackerel or DuMongæ#045;s. Information: 909-795-2411....

REFLECTION LAKE: Fair to good catfish action on nightcrawlers or shrimp. No more catfish plants will go in, but trout plants will begin in late October or early November, so expect better action soon. The lake's hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Information: 951-654-7906 or www.reflectionlakerv.com.

JEAN'S CHANNEL CATS: Catfish bite good to excellent. Mornings to about 11:30 a.m. is when the bite is best, and then things pick back up from 2 p.m. until sunset off the island. Mackerel, shrimp and stink baits are producing the most. Trout plants will begin on Halloween. The lake is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Monday holidays. Information: 951-679-6562 or 951-259-2021.


Two odd words can be found in this description - "plant" (a synonym for "stock") and "Sonny's." Basically, what happens is that they throw a lot of fish in a pond, and then get some stinky stuff to help you catch the fish.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why David Allen goes to Ontario City Council meetings

When promoting tonight's Tip a Cop event at Applebee's on Milliken Avenue, David Allen recorded an Ontario City Council exchange related to the event.

Councilwoman Sheila Mautz announced the event -- in which police officers act as food servers, with the tips going to various nonprofit organizations -- at Tuesday's council meeting, urging people "to tip a cop, and tip a cop well."

"Is that anything like tip a cow?" Mayor Paul Leon quipped.

"Jeff," Leon said, indicating a police employee in the room, "would you like to come up and demonstrate cop tipping?" Apparently he didn't.


I am otherwise occupied in Costa Mesa, but tonight's tip a cop event is from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.


View Larger Map

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Come to the United States and Drive Up Haven Avenue

If you live in the western end of the Inland Empire, you know how Chaffey College is marketed to you.

But do you know how it's marketed to...other countries?

Yes, Chaffey College attracts an international presence.

The website studyusa.com includes a Chaffey College profile designed for international students:

Chaffey College students and staff appreciate the opportunity to work and study with students from more than 50 countries. The campus community values international students' contribution to the learning environment and is committed to ensuring a successful academic experience for all students....

The International Student Office is pleased to welcome new students and provide ongoing service to address the unique needs of international students. Available services include application processing, orientation, immigration information, academic guidance, career planning, campus employment and housing referrals.
Social and cultural activities are planned throughout the year to provide opportunities for international students to make friends, celebrate special events and learn about American culture....

International students must show proof of English proficiency by providing one of the following: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 450 or 133 computer-based or 45-46 (IBT), or a transcript indicating 6 years of English instruction, or a letter or certificate documenting completion of Intensive English School. International students may also enroll Chaffey College's English as a Second Language Program to prepare for the TOEFL exam and placement into college courses.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Don't throw stones - I mean acorns

Matt Munson, a Republican, takes issue with someone in his own party. (Editorial aside: other than Jimmy Carter in his Presidential years, how many Democrats have ever opposed their own party? Read into that what you will.)

California Republicans tried their hardest to keep San Bernardino County Republican, but they utilized an infamous group called Young Political Majors to keep the party as the majority in the county.

Young Political Majors was accused of slamming people into the Republican party in order to profit from the voter bounty that was established by Insurance commissioner Steve Poizner. YPM used the bait of encouraging people to sign for initiatives that people would care about like protecting children from sex offenders and misleading voters about regulations trying to urge them to register as Republicans. YPM has a reputation that is far from stellar in states such as Arizona and Florida where they used these same tactics in order to pad the registration statistics or get initiatives on the ballot such as saying they were signing for a petition to ban gay marriage, but they are signing a petition to liberalize alcohol sales at supermarkets....

The funny thing is the founder of YPM got arrested for voter fraud because he registered himself at an address that he does not live in, to meet the requirements that petition circulars have to be California registered voters.


Then Munson drives the point home.

Perhaps after discovering more of the dirty tricks that Mark Jacoby has used, maybe the state party will be shamed just as much as ACORN.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Perhaps silk tires will do the trick

Housing Kaboom occasionally uncovers a true gem, or at least something pretty close to a TRUE gem.

I've mentioned this blog before, but its (current) sole purpose in life is to faithfully record the drastic reductions in housing prices in the Inland Empire of California. As part of this, Housing Kaboom sometimes looks at not-so-nice houses for which sellers are quoting very high prices...and sometimes the blog looks at nice houses.

Last Monday, it profiled a house that was a little too nice:

In the heady days of the real estate boom the fastest way to maximize your profit was to upgrade. High end appliances, travertine, granite, and fancy landscaping were all used to maximize profits. But how much is too much? Well here's your answer:

Marble tile on the garage floor is TOO MUCH!


The post then shows a picture of said garage floor, along with this additional observation:

And layed at a 45 too! with a fancy beveled edge to boot. What the hell was this guy thinking. How many people want a marble floor in the garage?

Now, to be fair, I don't put a car in my garage. But that's because of all the other stuff that happens to be in my garage - stuff that I wouldn't want to be resting on top of a marble floor.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Shake, shake, shake

If you missed the reminder of the Chino Hills earthquake a few months back, you'll get another reminder soon that we live in earthquake country.

Luckily, it won't be the real thing. It will be a drill.

At 10 a.m. on November 13, 2008, millions of people in homes, schools, businesses, government offices, and public places all over southern California will Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Why? An enormous earthquake is in our future, and the ShakeOut Drill is our chance to practice what to do when it happens.

But this isn't just any old quake that will be simulated. We're gonna simulate the big one:

The first major product of the USGS Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project is an earthquake scenario that describes what will happen during and after a magnitude 7.8 on the southernmost 300 km of the San Andreas fault, a plausible event on the fault most likely to produce a major earthquake. An earthquake like this - large enough to cause strong shaking over much of southern California - is inevitable and understanding its impacts is an important step in preparing for the event.

The ShakeOut Scenario considered a range of effects from the direct physical impacts to the long-term, social, cultural, and economic consequences. The ShakeOut Scenario also identified factors that will determine whether the event would be a disaster or a catastrophe, that is, whether the event would disrupt southern California for a few years, or for decades. This unprecedented project brought together a diverse collaboration of more than 300 scientists, academics, engineers, industry professionals, emergency managers, and public servants.

In November, 2008, the ShakeOut Scenario will be the centerpiece of the Nation’s largest ever emergency response and public preparedness exercises, taking place during The Great Southern California ShakeOut.


If you want to read the entire scenario, you can go here (short version) or here (long version).

You can also follow the blog at http://greatsocalshakeout.blogspot.com/.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Just call us Patentland

From a press release:

CORONA, CALIFORNIA -- Even with the financial concerns in the market place the creative and entrepreneurial effort have continued as business and individual inventors file more patents. "We are on track to double the number of patents issued for our clients this year." says Kirk Buhler "Clients are looking for a patent firm that provides personal quick service. We provide a free one-hour consultation that often includes a preliminary patent search that allows insight into similar patented inventions." Kirk is founding partner of Buhler & Associates and has written and prepared hundreds of patent application.
The inland empire including the cities of Corona, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ontario continues to be an expanding technology area with Mechanical, Electrical, and Software companies making it their corporate headquarters. The need to secure inventions has never been greater. Inventors and companies must file for patents within one year of sale or use of the invention so patents must be filed within the one year timeline to avoid a loss of patent filing rights.

The patent process and procedures are complicated and requires a special license. Buhler & Associates works with both individuals that start the process by themselves and companies that provide a basic disclosure of the invention where a complete application is prepared, filed and prosecuted with the patent office. Individual inventors that write and file a patent by them self and later become overwhelmed by the process are also assisted to avoid a loss of patent rights or abandonment.

Media Contact:
Kirk A. Buhler
USPTO Registration #52,670
Buhler & Associates Patent Law
1101 California Ave, Suite 208
Corona, CA 92881
www.baapat.com
Tel: (951) 735-4001
Fax: (866) 493-7458

###

Another view of Colton - Local 364

Yesterday, I talked about a nudist colony in Colton, California. Well, thankfully, the people I'm talking about today are fully clothed (well, unless the back of their pants slip down).

United Association of Journeyman and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry

Welcome to Local 364. We are a combination Local with Plumbers, Pipefitters, Steamfitters, Welders and Refrigeration Technicians.

Our employment opportunities include Commercial and Residential Plumbing, Industrial Pipefitting, Steamfitting, Refrigeration and HVAC.

We offer apprenticeship in all of the above trades.

We are actively recruiting experienced Journeymen and Apprentices.

223 S. Rancho Avenue, Colton, CA 92324

PH 909 825 0359 FX 909 824 8362

Job line 909 825 0364


And if you were wondering how much a plumber, pipefitter, or refrigeration technician makes, they'll tell you.

Plumbers and Pipefitters

Journeyman $32.61
1st year apprentice $16.31
2nd year apprentice $19.57
3rd year apprentice $22.83
4th year apprentice $26.08
5th year apprentice $29.35

This is the taxable wage.
Our additional benefits include Medical and Pension

Refrigeration Technicians

Journeyman $32.92
1st year apprentice $16.46
2nd year apprentice $19.75
3rd year apprentice $23.04
4th year apprentice $26.34
5th year apprentice $29.63

This is the taxable wage.
Our additional benefits include Medical and Pension.

Yes, Americans know what "vat" is (Graber Olive House post)

Remember my visit to the Graber Olive House in May?

Well, I called them recently to find out when activity would begin there. It won't start this month - check back in November.

I've meant to go down there during olive season for years, but haven't made it yet.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hey, it's not like we live in France or anything - who does Jerry Lewis talk to?

This place can be very confusing.

When I received a job interview request in 1983, I was told to fly to Ontario, and I was told that Ontario was in southern California.

Then I arrived here, and I was told that Jerry Lewis was my Congressman.

Eventually the area was redistricted (yes, Jay Kim was my Congressman), but Jerry Lewis has hung around the Hill, long enough for George Watson and Andrew Edwards to write some things about him.

Watson:

[Q]uestions have hovered around the congressman for three years because of a federal investigation into his relationships with lobbyists and contractors.

Two years ago, Lewis snubbed The [San Bernardino] Sun editorial board's annual endorsement meeting with candidates. On Wednesday, Lewis came before the board and for the first time discussed the issue with modest detail.

In some ways, it was enlightening. In others, it was quite disappointing.


Lewis complained that the ongoing investigation sounded like a fishing expedition, which prompted Watson to review some things in the article:

Lewis was good friends with Bill Lowery, a former congressman whose D.C. lobbying firm gave more than a third of the $1.3million raised by Lewis' political action committee over a five-year span. In turn, Lowery's defense contractor clients received hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts.

Two of Lewis' aides went to work for Lowery's firm, receiving huge pay boosts. One of them, Letitia White, bought a $1million house with one of the defense contractors.

White and the contractor then started a political action committee. They hired Lewis' stepdaughter, Julia Willis-Leon, whose previous job was planning weddings, to be the director of the PAC and lobby DC lawmakers ... from Las Vegas. The PAC then paid her $42,000, about a third of the $115,000 it raised and more than it gave out to anyone else.


But the Sun's editorial board isn't the only group that's been snubbed by Lewis. Edwards:

Campaign officials for Tim Prince, a San Bernardino Democrat attempting to oust long-serving Redlands Republican Jerry Lewis from the House of Representatives, are upset by what they see as Lewis' persistent efforts to avoid a head-to-head debate.

Lewis then offered this comment:

"I really believe that there should be a free exchange here, but I'm really concerned about why people want to be in public affairs, and it seems my opponent desperately wants to be in public office."

Pot? Kettle?

P.S. For those who know me, the title of this post merely refers to the fame of the other Jerry Lewis, and is not meant in any way to be a commentary on any business transactions with which I may be familiar. Although I am practicing my "bonjour."

Nudists in Colton? Sort of.

In an effort to bring the finest material to you, I conducted a Google search for Colton, California. Once you got past the city website and all of the real estate junk, one of the links that stood out was the one for the Olive Dell Ranch Nudist Resort.

I knew that there was a nudist place up north in Devore, but I didn't know of one that far south.

I'd tell you more about what they say about themselves, but the firewall won't let me. Good for the firewall.

http://www.olivedellranch.com/

However, I did find this brief description:

Olive Dell Ranch features a restaurant, sleeping cabins, swimming pool, jacuzzi spa, sauna, tennis, volleyball and shuffleboard courts. Activities include hiking, horseback riding, and more.

Well, if you want to enjoy nude shuffleboard, the ranch is at 26520 Keissel Rd.


View Larger Map

Needless to say, this isn't downtown Colton.

The Inland Empire Business Journal and Propositions 7 and 11

From the Inland Empire Business Journal:

Proposition 7 is a Renewable Energy Generation initiative that may sound good for the environment but is neither feasible or practical. It will only serve to increase energy costs while decreasing research and development by small independent companies. We urge a NO vote.

Proposition 11 is a redistricting initiative that will finally bring some sanity to legislative boundaries that right now have no cohesiveness. This proposition will take the responsibility away from the legislature, where there is a huge conflict of interest, and place it with an independent commission. Vote YES to bring fairness back to politics and make your vote worthwhile.


As far as I know, Matt Munson has not expressed his opinion on either proposition yet.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Where to go on Election Day

If you want Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino county election results on November 4, 2008, the places to go are

http://rrcc.co.la.ca.us/

http://www.election.co.riverside.ca.us/current.asp

http://www.sbcounty.gov/rov/current_elections/110408/default.asp

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Forget Nashville; the sea may be calling Sarah Le Clear

You are wonderful.

Back on September 10, I wrote a blog post that wondered why hometown girl (and girl of other hometowns) Sarah Le Clear, the winner of the Ugly Coyote Search contest last spring, wasn't performing with the Traveling Coyotes yet.

On Sunday evening, Loren provided an answer.

She is working for Royal Carribean as a star performer on the Explorer of the Seas.

Loren, by the way, is...um...clearly a fan:

Coyotes need her to make the group a success.....they left the Calfiornia girl out! Guess they don't know what to do with real talent!!!!

Well, the Explorer of the Seas is big:

There's never been a cruise ship like this. Enjoy one-of-a-kind features like an ice-skating rink, the Royal Promenade and a rock-climbing wall. There was only one way to accommodate all of these innovative ideas. We built a bigger cruise ship. The 138,000-ton, 3,114-guest Explorer of the Seas offers more space for every guest - plus enhanced staterooms, expanded dining options and exceptional recreational facilities. This cruise ship is so high-tech, it even features the University of Miami Ocean Lab, a state-of-the-art oceanographic and atmospheric science lab.

And the cruise ship even has a godmother, Jackie Joyner-Kersee. I don't know if that means that Joyner-Kersee was the one who hit the boat with a bottle, or what.

I couldn't find any explicit mention of Le Clear at the Royal Caribbean website, but if you really want to join her, there's one way to do it:

Q: How can I audition to become a singer or dancer onboard?

A: If you are interested in becoming a part of Royal Caribbean's In-House Production shows, please visit us at Royal Caribbean Productions.


No TV exposure for the auditions, though.

Incidentally, I was unable to confirm Loren's statement that Le Clear is currently working on the Explorer of the Seas. But the Daily Bulletin article from last May indicates that she's done similar work in the past, along with a bunch of other stuff:

Le Clear, who started dancing at 5, has been a member of the Golden State Warriors dance troupe, a cruise ship dancer, an assistant dance director for an international dance group and, currently, is a dance instructor to 4- to 13-year-olds in Rancho Cucamonga.

Then again, the article also said

The 26-year-old Upland resident recently won the opportunity to become the sixth member in Coyote Ugly, a dancing and singing girl-group that records music albums and tours around the country entertaining crowds in bars.

"It was an unbelievable ride, and I am so excited to move forward with it," Le Clear said.

In June, she will join the rest of the group in Nashville to finish the Coyotes' full-length CD, which will be released later this year. In addition to her new role, Le Clear won $50,000.


Apparently Le Clear wasn't THAT excited to "move forward with it."

(More on this as it develops.)

You'd better check your hands free / when you drive by a university

Guess what? They're enforcing the new California hands-free law.

Guess what else? It's UC Riverside police that are doing the enforcing.

The Inland Empire News Blog reprinted a press release:

The University Neighborhood Enhancement Team (UNET) conducted a Hands Free Cell Phone Law Enforcement project commencing on Monday, October 6 and ending on Thursday, October 9. The times of enforcement were from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Officers issued 58 cell phone citations for violations of 23123(a) CVC during the week. The subjects cited were mostly students from UCR. This project will be repeated in the future.

UNET is a cooperative unit of the Riverside Police Department (RPD) and the University of California-Riverside Police Department (UCRPD).

Signs were posted in the enforcement areas advising drivers that cell phone laws are strictly enforced. The enforcement was conducted at the intersections of University Avenue and Canyon Crest Drive, Martin Luther King Boulevard and Canyon Crest Drive, University Avenue and the 60 Freeway, as well as surrounding areas when infractions were observed.

Date: Thursday, October 9, 2008
Contact: Lieutenant Larry Gonzalez
Phone: (951) 351-6074

Monday, October 13, 2008

Does your sign spin around?

I had never visited the Inland Empire Craigslist site before last weekend, but it seems to have all sorts of information. Here's an ad that was running as of Sunday afternoon:

Tryden Staffing is California’s Premier Staffing Agency for Human Directional Service. (888) 9-FOR-A-JOB

The Sign Spinner position is a Saturday & Sunday Part-Time position with approximate working hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Need Energetic, Courteous People (no visible tattoos or piercings) to join our team. Starting pay is $9.25/hr with opportunity for raises. Work only WHEN YOU WANT and WHERE YOU WANT. Able to listen to your MP3 player while you work!

Must have reliable transportation to jobsite. All applicants will be required to stand outdoors for an extended period of time, must have reliable transportation, must be 16 or older, and be able to work weekends.

Executive VIP Airport Shuttle (Temecula area)

I learned about this service via the Professionals of the Inland Empire group, and thought you might be interested.

From the Executive VIP Airport Shuttle webpage (http://www.execvipshuttle.com/):

The Temecula Valley's leading on-time transportation to and from southern California airports, cruise ship terminals, and Amtrak stations.

They also offer winery and brewery tours.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What is the Navy doing in Norco? And why do they say they're doing it in Corona?

I was out of town for a few days - my nephew was graduating from Marine boot camp in San Diego, which is well outside of the Inland Empire. But on the drive back, we got to talking about military installations that are in the Inland Empire. No, not all of them were closed.

But this one is the oddest.

NSWC Corona

Hold it right there.

For the record, NSWC stands for Naval Surface Warfare Center. And it isn't in Corona, it's in Norco. In fact, the street address is 2300 Fifth Street in Norco.


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Now bear in mind that this is a Navy installation, but the nearest water is the Santa Ana River. Oh, and Lake Norconian. Perhaps it's just me, but it strikes me as a little funny that there's a U.S. Navy installation that is not near a significant body of water.

OK, let's continue.

NSWC Corona is the Navy's only independent analysis and assessment center, with more than 1,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff, and more than 800 contractors. As a field Command of the Naval Sea Systems Command’s Naval Surface Warfare Center, NSWC Corona has achieved a world-class reputation for quality engineering and analytical capabilities. NSWC Corona is sponsored by more than 120 Navy, Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force Program Offices, as well as a number of United States and foreign government agencies, and more than 3,500 government and industry customers regularly use its products and services.

NSWC Corona is home to two world-class laboratories that are vital to ensuring the best measurement and analytical capability for the Armed Services. The Joint Warfare Assessment Laboratory (JWAL) is a high tech 48,000 square-foot, highly secure facility with satellite connectivity that allows the integration and merging of Navy test exercise data needed to assess the performance of Navy ships, aircraft, and combat systems. The Measure Science and Technology Laboratory (MSTL) is a newly constructed metrology and gage laboratory used to conduct super-precise measurements in support of sophisticated Navy systems.

In conjunction with the extensive experience of its unmatched personnel, these two national assets allow NSWC Corona to provide independent assessment not only to our Navy, but to our entire Armed Services. It is a key instrument for the Navy to have the best trained men and women, with highly capable weapons systems, ready and able to do their jobs.


Now this is pretty techie stuff, but it's recognized by pretty techie sources:

When Navy pilots use night-vision goggles, they trust that the goggles will provide the proper sensitivity. When Navy personnel use radios, they expect the radios to operate on the correct frequency. And everyone aboard a Naval ship relies on instrument gauges to accurately indicate quantities such as temperature and pressure.


Arman Hovakemian manages the measurement science department, which provides measurement assessment and calibration procedures to Navy and Marine Corps calibration labs.
To ensure that these and other weapons systems perform as expected, defense contractors develop specialized test and measurement equipment. But who tests the testers?

The answer is the Navy itself. Technicians on land-based and ship-based calibration labs test and calibrate the Navy’s more than 1.7 million pieces of test equipment, performing more than 525,000 calibrations per year.

The Navy has more than 5000 active calibration procedures in use around the world. All calibration procedures (manual and automated), test-equipment evaluations, and measurement analysis, as well as some calibration standards, originate in the Measurement Science Department at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division (NSWC Corona, www.corona.navy.mil).


But let's return to one of our original questions - if the facility is located in Norco (a city north of Corona), then why is the facility called NSWC Corona? Well, it's because the predecessor organization was known as NBS Corona Laboratories. This was back when the National Institute of Standards and Technology was known as the National Bureau of Standards. Here's some history:

In the years immediately preceding World War II, a concerned Federal Government established the National Research Defense Committee to develop new and more-sophisticated weapons. The committee's Division 5 was charged with the development of guided weapons, a category that included everything from radio-controlled bombs to pilotless aircraft. The National Bureau of Standards (NBS) in Washington was chosen to become Division 5's principal laboratory for this secret work. By 1940, NBS had assembled a distinguished corps of scientists and technicians and the development of guided weapons and bombs was underway. As the war worsened, the Navy's strong interest in the new weapons intensified and a naval ordnance detachment, directed by Captain (later Rear Admiral) Dundas P. Tucker, was established at NBS to provide increased manpower and to conduct test, evaluation, and training functions....

As the missile development efforts continued to expand, additional space was needed. This space was finally provided by the area known as "Unit II" of the Naval Hospital at this site.


The referenced hospital was opened on December 8, 1941 and was known as the Naval Hospital in Corona, on the site of the Norconian Resort, which had closed in November 1941. While "Norco" stands for "North Corona," the area had been known as Norco since 1923.

So why wasn't the hospital called the "Naval Hospital in Norco"? Probably because, while the area was known as Norco as early as 1923, the city of Norco wasn't incorporated until 1964 - long after the Navy moved in.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The giveaway that this was a fake email

The Claremont Insider received an e-mail, purportedly from conservative Claremont blogger Charles Johnson, that delivered a couple of expletives to a number of addresses.

Then the Claremont Insider noted the unusual signature block:

Ronald Mc Donald
Claremont Mens College
Claremontfascist.com
Claremontliar.com


(Note that's Claremont Mens College, not Claremont Mechanical College.)

However, the Claremont Insider wasn't convinced that this was a fake until he/she saw the date and time that the message was sent.

[W]e have never, ever, heard of Charles Johnson being awake at 10:38 a.m. on Saturday.

As of Monday afternoon, the Claremont Conservative blog has made no mention of the matter.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Eat, drink, and be merry at the Shoppes of Chino Hills

I've talked about the Shoppes of Chino Hills before, but haven't actually stopped myself to visit them.

The writer of Inland Empire Restaurant and Food Reviews has, though, and has reviewed the Yard House in Chino Hills.

The writer's tip - happy hour is Monday-Friday 3-6pm, and appetizers are half off.

Earthquake...yawn...

This is for those people who think that Los Angeles and San Francisco are just right down the street from each other.

Heck, even southern California is spread out.

Heck, even the Inland Empire is spread out.

On Friday afternoon, I was reading about an 4.1 earthquake near Yucaipa, California, which is probably less than 40 miles from my home in Ontario.

The earthquake apparently happened on Thursday morning. This was the first I had heard about it.

Part of the yawn factor was the fact that the earthquake's epicenter was in the mountains, six miles northeast of Yucaipa. By way of contrast, the Chino Hills earthquake was in a populated area, surrounded by a lot of heavily populated areas, and was much more powerful.

Um...a lawsuit?

I know that people who are victims in criminal actions often turn to civil courts to seek additional restitution.

But somehow that seems unwise in this case:

A man claiming he is marked for death by a half a dozen people, including two San Manuel tribal members and two high-ranking members of the Mexican Mafia, is suing them for $50 million.

Leonard Epps, 37, filed the lawsuit in San Bernardino Superior Court on Sept. 24, alleging conspiracy to commit murder, negligence and intentional infliction of mental distress.

His Highland attorney, Frank Peterson, said Epps has been living in fear and secrecy since police warned him of the contract on his life in September 2006. The defendants named in his lawsuit have all been convicted of various offenses stemming from the murder-conspiracy case.


While I feel for Epps, I worry that any award of damages will just anger the Mexican mafia and perhaps the San Manuel tribe. And he wouldn't want that to happen.

Regarding the $50 million figure:

Epps believes the $50 million he seeks is justified because the Barajases each receive annually a $3 million to $4 million in stipend from the tribe's casino profits. In addition, they each receive, twice a year, between $500,000 and $750,000 in additional bonuses from the tribe, according to the lawsuit.

Now wait a minute - these people have been convicted of a crime, and they are still eligible for casino profits? This just shows that native American government is just as stupid as Euro-Afro-Asian American government (see the story in which Governor Schwarzenegger signed two bills "making it tougher for teachers who commit sex crimes to remain in California's public schools" - and the California Teacher's Association opposed both bills. Presumably the tribe members union thinks it's OK to continue to distribute casino proceeds to drug dealers and wannabe murderers.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Who says the Inland Empire doesn't have culture?

On Mountain south of Holt, there's a building next to a Chevron station that was once a thrift store but now sells tile.

I drive by that place often, but David Allen noticed something that I didn't.

The printed address is "125 South Moutain." Yes, Moutain with one n instead of two.

Allen's conclusion? He figured he was in the French part of Ontario.

But I figure it's all-American, based on Craig Merrihue's membership in the Green Moutain Truth Coalition.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Local breakdown on the 700 billion dollar bailout vote on Monday

On Monday, I was searching for a voting list to see who voted for the bailout bill, and who voted against it. However, house.gov was down at the time, and I've only gathered little trickles here and there.

I should have checked the local blogs. Claremont Insider linked to M-m-m-my Pomona. The list:

26 David Dreier Rep Y
32 Hilda Solis Dem N
38 Grace Napolitano Dem N
39 Linda Sanchez Dem N
40 Edward Royce Rep N
42 Gary Miller Rep Y
43 Joe Baca Dem N
44 Ken Calvert Rep Y


So perhaps Nancy Pelosi can castigate Edward Royce, but what will she say to Joe Baca and the other Democrats who voted No?