Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cybersecurity? Not here.

I got excited when I read a Homeland Security News Wire item that began as follows:

Cal Poly, with a grant from the Northrop Grumman Foundation, has established a Cybersecurity Center, opened a new cyber lab, and is developing a cybersecurity curriculum with an ambitious set of goals in mind: educating thousands of students in cybersecurity awareness and readiness; producing experts in cyber technologies and systems, including many professionals who will serve the military and defense industry; and graduating cyber innovators who are prepared for advanced study and applied research in emerging cyber issues.

Finally, I thought to myself, the Inland Empire (well, the surrounding area) is going to become known as an important tech location, and people will think of Pomona as a cybersecurity center.

So then I clicked through to the source press release...

...and discovered that it was issued by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

This is kinda like arranging for Clinton to speak at your event and then finding out that you didn't get Bill, or Hillary, but Roger.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What Goes Around Comes Around, the January 2014 edition

Before I launch into my unintentional follow-up to my J.C. Penney store closure post, I want to make one thing clear.

The supermarket business was having trouble long before Walmart set foot in southern California.

Remember Lucky, Alpha Beta, Hughes, the original Safeways, and other long-departed supermarkets in southern California? Most of those chains no longer exist, having merged with other supermarket chains or having closed entirely.

But the attrition, partially caused by increased competition from stores as varied as Walmart and Trader Joe's (we'll get to Trader Joe's later), has resulted in a slow attrition of the remaining supermarkets in southern California.

Not too long ago, I had to get something at Ralph's. Since the Ralph's in Upland at Foothill and San Antonio closed long ago, I figured I'd go to the Ralph's at 4th and Vineyard - only to discover that there was no longer a Ralph's there. I ended up at Haven and Baseline.

When the Albertsons at Foothill and Mountain in Upland closed, it wasn't that big a concern to me. I rarely shop at Albertsons anyway, and when I do, I usually shop at the one in northwest Ontario.

Ah, Albertsons.

Back in 2008, Albertsons was part of SuperValu. In a March 2008 post, I quoted from a second-generation owner of a SuperValu. While he wasn't necessarily happy about the small markets that had closed when the SuperValu opened, he chalked it all up to business.

"I'm a small-town person at heart, and I hate to see that, but it's a matter of economics. The fact is you need volume to survive."

Little did he know.

By November 2013, when the Walmart opened, I noted that SuperValu had sold the Albertsons chain, and that some stores had been closed. Well, those store closures continued with the Foothill and Mountain closure.

And now, Gregory J. Wilcox of the Los Angeles Daily News has announced that the Albertsons in northwest Ontario - just down the street from Walmart - is closing next month, as part of a closure of 11 stores ranging from Santa Clarita to San Diego.

Of course, there's the Walmart down the street, Stater Brothers all over the place, and various specialty stores such as Trader Joe's...whoops, strike that. The Trader Joe's in Upland is closing also.

Change is constant.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Only one J C Penney store in California is being closed. Guess where it is?

As part of J.C. Penney's latest cost-cutting initiatives, the company has announced the closure of 33 stores. The Huffington Post has printed the list of stores, and one is in California:

Rancho Cucamonga - Arrow Plaza

This is the outlet store at Arrow and Haven, not the store at Victoria Gardens.

The location of that store has a checkered history. Before J.C. Penney moved in, this was a K Mart that was closed.

I'm not sure that I'd want to be the next retailer to move into that building...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes - steeped in tradition?

I still think of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes as a relatively new team, but as Paul Caputo notes, the team has not undergone the changes that happen at other minor league teams:

The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes have had the same team name and, conceptually, the same logo since their inception in 1993. In minor league baseball terms, this puts the team’s identity roughly on par with prehistoric cave paintings and Betty White—attractive, but really old. In a logo landscape littered with increasingly bizarre (and, I have to admit, awesome) new nicknames, it’s refreshing to see a team that has stood by its identity and been embraced by the community.

For more of Caputo's thoughts on the Quakes, including quotations from Mike Lindskog and a disucussion of Tremor (but what about Aftershock?), read the rest of his post.

Friday, January 3, 2014

The distrustful woman at a crowded pharmacy

Because a prescription wasn't available at my regular pharmacy, I found myself at the pharmacy for the CVS at Euclid and Foothill in Upland. I've been to this CVS many times, but have never used its pharmacy. It turns out that a lot of people use that pharmacy - and that you therefore have to wait.

So I waited - not as long as various Yelp reviewers, but I did have to wait for a half hour.

While waiting, I was sitting near a man who was trying to pick up a prescription for his wife, who had recently been released from the hospital.

A few minutes later, the wife appeared. She was tired of waiting in the car, and wanted to leave.

Her husband told her that she had to get a prescription.

She asked how long it would take to get the prescription - as I previously noted, this appears to be a common question at this CVS pharmacy.

The husband told the wife to ask the (male) pharmacist - but the pharmacist was running around filling all of our prescriptions.

The wife turned to someone else who was waiting for a prescription. "Don't trust men," the wife told the person.

Personally, it's risky enough to say bad things to a waiter or a waitress, since a bad restaurant worker may choose to spit in your food. Imagine what a bad pharmacist could do. (Luckily, this pharmacist appears to be a good one, if an overworked one.)