Archive for February, 2006

Orange County Atheists February Meeting

atheism.jpgThis month’s Orange County Atheists meeting will be held on Thursday, February 16, 2005 at 7:15 PM at BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse in Irvine, located at 13130 Jamboree Road in the Irvine Marketplace. It’s right off the 5 and 261 freeways, and not far at all from the 22 and 55.

If you consider yourself an atheist, an agnostic, a freethinker, a humanist, or are just curious, check out this month’s event. We always welcome new members, will give you a name tag, and want to hear what you have to say! More info is available at the Orange County Atheists website.

Hope to see you there!

The BBC on our “Huge California wildfire”

Usually I like the BBC, but it’s funny to see the different takes you get on a story about your backyard from 6,000 miles away:

Huge California wildfire ‘tamed’

Now, granted, it wasn’t small, but at 10,00 acres, it wasn’t close to some of our really bad fires in the last 12 years.

The 10,000-acre (4,000-ha) fire raging near Anaheim…

Now, I’m 10 miles from the fire, in a 5 story office building. I live about a mile closer. There haven’t been any visible plumes of smoke all day – that’s not exactly “raging”.

…was nearly 75% contained by early Friday, the Orange County fire department said in a statement.

There’s no “Orange County fire department” – there’s an Orange County Fire Authority, but its role is different than that of a regular fire dept.

“It’s the first time there was no increase in acreage,” a fire department spokesman Stephen Miller said.

Is that grammar correct?

Maybe this story’s from a non-BBC source, it just doesn’t strike me as particularly well-written. I think they’re just jealous that it’s so wet and rainy over there that they couldn’t start a fire if they tried.

Call the Lawyers, Code “Green” Stat!

UCI just can’t get a break.

First the entire UC system is under investigation for the pay given to its executives. Then the UCI Medical program suffers from an investigation of its organ donation program, and now UCI is under investigation for problems in its Anesthesiology department.

ABC 7 is reporting that the department suffered from a string of resignations. In addition, they reported that the chair of the department was shifting the goals from Academic to Profit. That’s not what I want to hear if I ever become a patient there.

If this is the way that UCI wants to operate a future law school, I’ll have serious questions about the competency of their graduates.

Pirates of the Caribbean Makeover

I just caught word that Disneyland is revamping their Pirates of the Caribbean to include more elements from the movie such as Captain Jack Sparrow and Barbossa. Seems kind of circular doesn’t it? A ride based on a movie based on a ride. Well, no matter how good of a job they do, I’m sure some people are going to be pissed. Me, I’m looking forward to it. Mouseplanet has more details. See the original letter from Greg Emmer here.

Thinking Outside the Box

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I used to think the people in Orange County were the only ones who cared much about Arte’s folly and the subsequent trial. The people I knew up north were Dodgers fans – even when they decided to wander down to Anaheim to watch the Angels play. When I spotted the car above, however, I was forced to rethink my assumptions. Maybe there is something to the name change. Given the jury’s decision, maybe we could use a little more “out of the box thinking” so here it is:

I propose a trade. We give Los Angeles the Angels and they give us the Clippers. This way everyone get something. Arte, coveting the Los Angeles market can legitimately claim it and simplify the name of the team. The Clippers will no longer be the “other” L.A. basketball team. (Ignore the fact for the moment that the LA basketball team is a mere one game above 500 and are 2-7 since leaving on their most recent road trip.) As a sweetener, we’ll throw in our professional Lacrosse team, theLos Angeles Storm of Anaheim – may they’ll find a little more fan support up north.

Is this a great idea or what!? And while we’re talking trades, are you folk up north happy with your sheriff?

Arte Wins

I’ll let the other Metrobloggers write about the details, but just a quick note to report that the jury in the Angels breach of contract trial has ruled in favor of Arte Moreno, so the team is justified/allowed to use “Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim” instead of going back to “Anaheim Angels”. It’s silly, but it’s his team…

More at the Orange County Register‘s website.

No Gambling?!

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My son is taking a couple of classes at Golden West College and many evenings I swing by campus to pick him up. On these trips I’ve noticed a couple of odd signs such as the one to the right. When I first saw this sign I thought about the scene in “The Postman Always Rings Twice” where Jack Nicholson’s character is shooting craps in the alley behind the bus station in downtown LA.

“Who wants a hard-ways four?”

Somehow I just can’t picture a group of hard-boiled students shooting craps out behind the student center.

The irony is that inside the student center the favorite programs on the big screen in the late evening seem to center on gambling — particularly poker. I guess the administration is happy so long as life does not imitate art.

Mandatory Evacuations Ordered

I just read on NBC4.tv that the City of Anaheim is issuing mandatory evacuations for the residents of East Anaheim Hills.

“Those under mandatory evacuation live east of Serrano Road and south of Canyon Rim Road, while those under voluntary evacuation order reside from Canyon Rim Road north to Oak Canyon Drive, all east of Serrano” via NBC4.tv

(This was posted to NBC4.tv at 6:30 this morning and updated at 4:30 this afternoon)

Update: The TV stations are calling my High School “Canyon Hills High School.” It’s Canyon High School, please get it right. That is all.

“I saw on the news…”

Me on the phone: “There is a fire?”

My grandma: “I just saw it on the news”

Me: “Hold on a second, let me look out the window…Whooa FIRE!!!!!”

Grandma: “Everything OK?”

Me: “Yup”

That was the first word I got of the fire this morning. When I looked out the windows into the backyard I couldn’t even see the sun through the smoke and my car was starting to get covered with ash. Even here in Old Towne Orange I can still smell and see the smoke rising up from behind the Wells Fargo/Starbucks on the corner.

The 241 is shut down, so at least that’ll save you a few dollars if you happen to travel on a toll road today. Parts of Orange, Anaheim Hills, and Orange Park Acres have been evacuated to Villa Park High School with students from Anaheim Hills Elementry evacuated to Canyon High School (According to ABC 7).

City of Anaheim fails to communicate with residences

Right now the City of Anaheim website says:

Sierra Peak Wildfire Update:
In an abundance of caution, the City of Anaheim has issued a mandatory evacuation for the all homes and businesses south of Canyon Rim Road and east of Serrano Avenue. Voluntary evacuations are underway north of Canyon Rim Road to Oak Canyon Drive, east of Serrano Avenue. Villa Park High School, 18042 Taft Ave. in Villa Park, and Travis Ranch Community Center, 5200 Via de La Escuela, in Yorba Linda, have been opened for the convenience of all evacuated residents. In addition, Canyon Rim and Anaheim Hills elementary schools have been evacuated. Students from those schools have been taken to Canyon High School, located at 220 S. Imperial Highway. If you have any questions, please call (714) 765-4333.

I have two problems with this: First, this is all of the information the city provides. The phone number they list is constantly busy because people want more information, like whether their house has been evacuated. How hard would it be to list the streets that have been evacuated so people can have an easy way to look it up. By look at this map by the OC Register it looks like my dad’s house has been evacuated, but I’m not quite sure.

Secondly, they say, “In an abundance of caution…” This means a couple of things to me, the evacuations are unnecessary, and my house won’t burn down. If the houses aren’t threatened, don’t evacuate, and if the houses are threatened, say so. Nothing would be worse than for the city to give the impression that everything is under control, and then have hundreds of people loose their house.

The City of Anaheim needs to provide its residences with more information and speak more opening and plainly.

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