Saturday, October 31, 2009


Target, Montclair.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Upland kids, make five bucks!

Sandra Emerson announced that Upland dentist Sean Lee is doing his part in the fight against tooth decay by buying Halloween candy from kids. Lee's office is paying $1 per pound, but before kids try to canvass the entire city and make a million, please note that Lee is paying a maximum of $5 per kid.

I can't find anything about this on Lee's website, but Emerson has further details.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Intentional flooding

Vernon south of Arrow, Montclair.

We noticed the water at Moreno on Friday.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Seven things I'll miss about the IE while at Oracle OpenWorld

Today is the Saturday before Oracle OpenWorld 2009. For many people it's an extremely busy day, especially if you're flying to San Francisco from a foreign country. But for me the Saturday before OpenWorld is usually a semi-lazy sort of day. My laundry's done, my suitcase is packed, but my computer (obviously) isn't, and I still have to review my cheat sheets, pick up dog poop, and take care of some other things before I go.

Twenty-four hours from now I anticipate that I'll be on a BART, heading toward my hotel in the Union Square area, and then heading down to the Moscone Center for Oracle PartnerNetwork events. And for the next five days, I will be in an urban area, an area very different from my suburban Ontario home.

Now I'll grant that staying in a Union Square hotel is not exactly the same as permanently living in the Union Square area - I won't have any need to search for a Safeway, for example - but it's different enough to merit a comparison between the way that I live for up to 51 weeks out of the year, and the way that I live for one week in San Francisco. And since I live in outer suburbia, not Manhattan, the differences are fairly striking.

So here are seven things that I'm going to miss over the next week:

  1. Driving in my car. People obviously drive in San Francisco, but I don't know how they do it. I am very happy to live in an area where I don't have to parallel park all that often, and I usually don't have to pay to park my car somewhere. And, most importantly, I don't have to deal with narrow streets, one-way streets, or tons of traffic. Sure I have traffic down here, but at least it's all going in the same direction.

  2. Family. In all my years of travel, I can only think of one time that my family has traveled with me on business. My family happens to love San Francisco, but when they think of "San Francisco" they don't think of the Union Square/Moscone Center area; their thoughts are a little farther north. And even if their schedules permitted them to come with me this time, they'd hardly see me anyway, so what's the point?

  3. "Normal" food. Now again, this doesn't affect people who actually LIVE in San Francisco, but it certainly affects people who are traveling. In most cases, travelers are dining out at restaurants, eating at a hotel buffet, or having some other type of catered food (e.g. the box lunches that are served at Oracle OpenWorld). Now it's good food, don't get me wrong, but it's out of the ordinary for your body, and eventually your body tells you to just buy a loaf of bread or a bag of carrots or something and eat like you normally eat at home.

  4. Quiet. Your situation may be different, but when I go to bed tonight, I won't have partiers walking up and down my street at all hours, I won't have delivery trucks stopping by next door at 3:am, and I'll have precious few sirens. Now if I lived in San Francisco permanently I'd get used to such things - heck, I lived next to a freeway for over six years and barely even noticed it - but it's enough to confuse you in the short term.

  5. Radio stations that I know. Frankly, I enjoy being in other cities and listening to their radio stations, and I even look forward to the end of daylight saving time because that allows me to pick up a San Francisco station (KCBS 740) on my commute home in Orange and San Bernardino counties. But while I'll hear some new stuff, I won't be hearing my usual stuff. I don't know when the traffic reports will come on (not that I care about traffic in San Francisco), I'm not sure where/if I'll hear Dan Patrick and Petros & Money, and there won't be any Handel on the News.

  6. In-N-Out Burger. Actually, there is one In-N-Out Burger in San Francisco, but I won't be anywhere near it.

  7. Last, but not least, vertical space. It goes without saying that things are more crowded in the city on the horizontal plane, but when you think about it they're also crowded in the vertical direction. I live in a single story house, and all of the buildings within 1/4 mile of me are also single story houses. When you look up, you only see sky - and a few telephone poles. Contrast this to my arrival on Market Street, in which I will climb up stairs to emerge from the BART station, walk several blocks between multi-story buildings, take an elevator to my room, take the elevator back down, again walk several blocks between multi-story buildings, then traverse the many vertical levels of the Moscone Center to get registered and get to my OPN events.
While these issues, as well as the firehose of information that will be streaming at me during Oracle OpenWorld, can be invigorating, they can also be discombobulating, so I anticipate that there will be some happiness when I arrive back home on Thursday night, driving a car by single story buildings with few delivery trucks in sight.

Picture source; reprinted by special arrangement with the photographer)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Steven's Hope Events

Over a month ago (has it been that long?), I blogged about Steven's Hope. If you missed that post, here's an excerpt from something Sandra Emerson wrote:

Steven's Hope For Children is an Upland based non-profit organization that provides temporary hospital adjacent housing and other services to families with sick children.

Well, there are several Steven's Hope-related fundraisers coming up.

Upland Now notes that there will be a car wash this Saturday at Upland Memorial Park from 9am to 3pm, accompanied by a car and motorcycle show, a pie-eating contest, and other events. On the other side of town, a 10K run from Life Bible Fellowship to Foothill and back again will start at 7:30.

But wait! There's more in Montclair on October 14. Go here to find a link to a coupon to print out. If you bring the coupon between 4pm and 9pm, Islands will donate 20% of your bill to Steven's Hope.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

If the atheists won't get you, the capitalists will

My hometown of Ontario, California has been the host of a series of Nativity scenes up and down Euclid Avenue. Most are Christian, but in recent years there have been additional scenes for Baha'i and other faiths. Some atheists (particularly Patrick Greene) and some non-Christians (particularly the Anti-Defamation League) haven't been happy with the display, but the display has continued through the years.

Since the city can't fund the Nativity displays, the $10,000 in funding has to come from somewhere, and for 2009, they're seeking sponsors to fund the displays to the tune of $1,000 per display. Fittingly enough, this is for the 50th anniversary, or the "golden" anniversary, of the displays.

There are no online details of how the sponsorships will be recognized - and I was unsuccessful in finding a website for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce - but this could be either very good or very bad, depending upon how it is implemented.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I didn't know William Randolph Hearst lived in Corona

I just saw something in Housing Kaboom that completely floored me.

Now there are probably very valid real estate schools of thought that dictate that you should not overbuild your house relative to your neighbors. To a point, I don't really care about very valid real estate schools of thought. If I ever find myself in the position to build my own house from scratch, I'm going to build what I like, regardless of whether it's twice the value or half the value of the neighbors or whatever.

But on the other hand, I might have a problem selling it later when I get tired of it.

Now Corona is a nice city, and I'm sure that there are very nice houses in the city. But you don't think of Corona as the place where a house would be listed for $10,995,000.

No, that's not a typo. That's not $1,995,000...that's $10,995,000.

But listen to what you get for that price:

Beds: 6
Baths: 10
Sq. Ft.: 14,873
$/Sq. Ft.: $739
Lot Size: 3.9 Acres

And that's just the numeric facts. Then you get into the textual information:

Bedroom Information

* 2 Master Bedrooms
* Dressing Room/Area
* Main Floor Bedroom
* Master Bedroom Balcony
* Master Bedroom Retreat
* Master Suite
* Sitting Room/Area
* Walk-In Closet

Fireplace Information

* Has Fireplace
* See Through
* Uses Both Gas & Wood
* In Family Room
* In Library
* In Master Bedroom
* In Master Bedroom Retreat
* Other Location

Disability Access Information

* Elevator

But wait! There's more...much more. The funniest part was toward the bottom:

Nearby Similar Listings

No similar listings could be found.

But since a picture is worth a thousand words, let me share one of the pictures associated with the listing.

No, that's not the Hearst Castle. That's the home on 1111 Casper Circle.

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More pictures at the listing and at Housing Kaboom.

A case of someone NOT spinning his wheels

A union organizing effort at March Air Reserve Base led to a firing, but a judge has ordered that the firing be rescinded, according to the Press Enterprise.

One of the accusations against Raul "Rudy" Trejo was as follows:

Trejo was accused of spinning the wheels of a government vehicle so violently it sprayed gravel and dust on a co-worker who was ambivalent about the union, and of using foul language during that incident and at other times.

However, not only could Trejo be identified as the person who did this, but an International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers organizer also noted something else:

Joe Young, an organizer who works out of the union's Rancho Cucamonga office, said in an interview...that because Trejo would have been driving a munitions truck, any incident involving the vehicle would have been witnessed by Military Police. No such witnesses were produced.

It should be noted that Trejo was not an employee of the military itself, but an employee of Satellite Services, out of Marquette, Michigan.

Why non-military personnel are driving munitions trucks is a whole other matter entirely.

Monday, October 5, 2009

FTC disclosure, the local edition

FTC DISCLOSURE: Earlier this evening I received compensation from Starbucks in excess of two dollars. Specifically, I received a free tall coffee, and also received one dollar off of a purchase of those new VIA instant coffee thingies. It is quite likely that the receipt of such riches from Starbucks has positively affected my opinion of the company.

My previous FTC disclosure in the Empoprise-BI business blog can be found here. And my subsequent FTC disclosure in the Empoprise-MU music blog can be found here.

(Picture source, license)

Swearing-in for new police chief in Pomona

Monica Rodriguez notes that new Pomona Police Chief Dave Keetle, who has been acting Chief for several months, will be sworn in on Monday the 5th at 7:00 pm. Council members will listen to Keetle swear at City Hall, 505 South Garey.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Beat THAT price, Wal Mart (Stater Brothers prescriptions)

I've previously discussed how Wal Mart's low prescription pricing has had beneficial effects throughout the industry, as competitors have matched the prices. (Kind of like how union wages help wages of non-union workers. But I digress.)

Well, Stater Brothers has some new pricing that even Wal Mart will find it hard to match - although it may try. From the Press Enterprise:

San Bernardino-headquartered Stater Bros. Markets on Wednesday rolled out a new program offering a free 14-day supply of certain generic antibiotics, including refills, for those presenting valid prescriptions at its 28 stores with Super Rx pharmacies.

The idea is not new to Staters:

Stater is the first Southern California supermarket chain to offer the free drugs, though companies with primarily Eastern U.S. stores -- including Meijer, Giant Eagle and Publix -- recently started similar programs.

Brown said Stater and the other supermarket chains are part of a prescription drug purchasing cooperative, which lets the grocers pool their buying power to get lower prices from manufacturers.

Not that the manufacturers are offering the drugs for free.

The covered prescriptions, by the way, are amoxicillin, ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, erythromycin, penicillin, tetracycline and trimeth/sulfa.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More airport news

Airport issues rage on at Ontario airport, while San Bernardino airport works off the ground. The Press Enterprise has covered both stories.


For the first time since 1988, a decade before two multi million-dollar terminals were built , fewer than 5 million travelers are expected to use Ontario International Airport,according to a forecast from the airport.

Now that is a stunner. I moved here in 1983, and back in 1988 the airport pretty much consisted of a single terminal at the end of Vineyard Avenue. This was back when "boarding the plane" meant taking a walk outside on the runway and climbing the steps. So what the figures are saying is that we could close Terminal 2 and Terminal 4, move everything to the old terminal, and still get along fine. Don't hold your breath for the construction of Terminal 3 any time soon.

San Bernardino:

Looking to lure passenger carriers to a nearly completed passenger terminal, San Bernardino International Airport officials this week approved a long-discussed package of incentives, worth more than $2.5 million for each airline it can draw.

And where could San Bernardino airport potentially get airlines? From Ontario, of course, where airlines are already pulling out because of Ontario airport's high rates. Heck, if someone's gonna pay you to move your facilities 23.5 miles, why not do it?

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