Wednesday, November 21, 2012


From August 14, 1888, to September 24th, 1895, the Ontario & San Antonio Heights R.R. Company’s gravity mule car transported citizens up-and-down Euclid Avenue from Holt Boulevard to 24th Street. The cars were designed by John H. Tayes. After the termination of service, the original cars disappeared...

Ingress in downtown Ontario

You may have heard of Google's newest location-based game, Ingress. The game, which is (currently) only available for smartphones using the Android platform, is basically an online geocaching game, in which the geocaches only exist in the virtual world. Using the Ingress application and your phone's GPS capabilities, you locate these virtual geocaches (called "portals"). There are various game mechanics that are also used - for example, the game itself is a contest between two different teams trying to take over the portals. If you're interested, this review explains the game mechanics.

The portals themselves are intended to be fairly unique. Google's general portal criteria include the following:

Should be safe and accessible to the public

Example types of objects:


Unique architecture

Outdoor murals

Historic buildings

Special outdoor buildings

Unique local businesses

Note that they're looking for unique local businesses. Apparently Google doesn't intend for you to mark your local Applebee's. For example, I have suggested that Logan's Candies would make a good portal.

While players such as myself are beginning to suggest some portals to Google and the Ingress team, some portals were set up before the game's recent expansion to beta mode.

Perhaps I'm giving away game secrets that can be used by the other side, but there are several portals in downtown Ontario, most notably on Euclid Avenue between Holt and C Streets. For example, one portal is located at the Ontario Mule Car exhibit in the median of Euclid Avenue. The link goes to, the Historical Marker DataBase; I have noticed that several other items in that database are also portals in Ingress.

So, while some people have concerns over the Ingress game, there are positives. It does get you out walking around (although some portables are accessible by automobile), and you can learn something from many of the portals.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Empoprises RCDCR Rule of Insider Food Talk

One of my goals in life is to establish stunningly informative rules that will guide your life for decades to come. Earlier this year, I coined (and copyrighted) the Empoprises FECES Rule of Corporate Me-Tooism, and the time has come to add a second rule: the Empoprises RCDCR Rule of Insider Food Talk. This rule, copyright 2012 John E. Bredehoft, is worded as follows:

Anyone who explicitly uses the words "restaurant concept" when addressing a potential diner should be exposed to continuous ridicule.

Now I have no problem with restaurant concepts per se. If you want to say that your restaurant is a Chinese-Mexican fusion restaurant, go for it. The problem occurs when you explicitly prattle on about your restaurant concept.

Earlier today I wrote a post in my Empoprise-BI business blog about a Washington, DC restaurant called Woodward Takeout Food. And while the post concentrated on the acronym for this restaurant, I also spent looked at the concept of this restaurant, taken from the restaurant's website. There are actually two concepts; here is how the second one is described.

...Woodward Takeout Food, a sprite artisanal alternative for breakfast and lunch.

But it's not just snooty northwest Washington restaurants that blather on about their concepts. Take Portillo's. People in the Chicago area are probably familiar with Portillo's, which originally gained fame as a hot dog place. The restaurant has expanded geographically, and now has a location in Moreno Valley, California (and a second California location in Buena Park). And if you go to the Moreno Valley location, you can see a big sign talking about Portillo's...RESTAURANT CONCEPTS.

If you don't want to drive to Moreno Valley or fly to Chicago, you can see the same yammering at Portillo's website:

Hi, I'm Dick Portillo and I welcome you to The Portillo Restaurant Group and its five different concepts (Portillo's Hot Dogs, Barnelli's Pasta Bowl, Honey-Jam Cafe, Luigi's House and Julian's Piano Bar). I hope you will find the time to visit each of the concepts and enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed developing them.

I'm sorry, but when I hear a restaurant owner talking about his or her "restaurant concept," I feel like I'm looking at the owner in his or her underwear. And unless your name is Giada, it's not a pretty picture.

Using insider terminology such as "restaurant concept" is almost as bad as using acronyms. When someone outside of the fingerprint identification industry asks me what I do for a living, I don't immediately start talking about "NIST Type 2." And if the person isn't involved in proposals, I don't immediately share our company's approach to red teams.

If I go to your restaurant to eat, just tell me what you're serving. Don't explain your concept, and don't prattle about your 7-Ups from artesian wells. (What is a sprite artisanal alternative, anyway?)

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Empoprise-IE Guide to Every Single Ballot Proposition

I wrote something on Google+ a few days ago, and I've decided to share it in this blog. I'm sharing it for two reasons: one, because I thought you might like it, and two, because I haven't written anything in this particular blog in a while and this would help me add some content. I'm going to try to blog about more IE-related stuff this month.

For my fellow California residents, I hereby present the argument for and against every single California proposition.


Help take power back from the evil politicians in Sacramento and the evil special interests! Proposition [ANY OF EM] puts the power back in your hands and preserves our California way of life. Supported by workers, small business owners, and people just like you.


Proposition [ANY OF EM] is a scam, written by the special interests that you hate for their own personal benefit. Proposition [ANY OF EM] does not guarantee that gas prices will go down, takes money out of your pocket, and it isn't gluten free. Vote NO and tell the special interests to go away! Supported by workers, small business owners, and people just like you.