Archive for March, 2007

More than just death and taxes.

http://oc.metblogs.com/archives/images/2007/03/thedonald-thumb.JPG

It’s official: Donald Trump is inescapable. We are subjected to his books, casinos, television shows, radio shows, posters, advertisements and now billboards.

This billboard (which assaulted me while visiting The Block @ Orange) not only features The Donald and his unavoidable hair, it also highlights another inevitable franchise: Wrestlemania. Mmmm mmm. Ecstasy! They are like two sides of a coin.

What has the world come to when Donald Trump and Wrestlemania warrant such large signage in uptown Orange? Who is their target demographic? It doesn’t make me want to watch their pay per view; it just makes me want to leave. Of course, I would have run away, but looking directly at Donald makes me dizzy.

Love They Neighbor?

I am convinced there is no such thing as neighbors in Orange County. There are just people who live next door to me — people who share the same space in the apartment community in which I live. Still, out of habit I call them neighbors. I don’t know why.

There are lots of interesting people here, but none of them want to get to know each other. There is the family of five living in a one bedroom two doors down. They all work at Disneyland, nice enough folks but tight-lipped to say the least. There is a nearly eight foot tall Asian dude who never smiles and never holds the door for women. There are the nice Middle Eastern fellows who have three, count them three, satellite-dishes on their patio. They really like TV.

There are also a couple of cute, well-groomed gay men that are my neighbors, or rather my gaybors (as Sara Silverman’s grandmother used to say). We see each other often, in fact one of them works at Whole Foods and my wife and I are usually in his checkout line – he acts like he has never met us before. We see him in the courtyard, in the parking garage and at the mailboxes. Funny thing, each time we see each other, he acts like he has never laid eyes on my wife or I. Each time I smile and nod and say “hello” and he just looks at me blankly (or not at all).

I have changed my mind; I don’t live in apartment community. I live in a complex. The idea of a community is lost on most of my “neighbors”. So, until a different wind starts to blow, we’ll all just live in solitude oblivious of one another.

Do you know your neighbors? If so, do you like them or loathe them? Or are you like me, with perpetual strangers living all around you?

You Know It’s a Slow News Day When…

The OC Register has this as one of its headlines:

Vacuum cleaner explodes at Newport Beach hotel

St. Patty’s Day DUI Checkpoints

Happy St. Patrick’s Day eve!

BestOCEvents/Diamond Productions passes this along, for your information:

Current DUI Checkpoint Information

City Date Location Information
Costa Mesa Friday, March 16 8pm – 2am

Newport x Flower by 55 Freeway

See (1) below

Fullerton

Saturday, March 17 all evening Saturation Patrols all over Fullerton

See (2) below
Irvine

Saturday, March 17 evening Location to be announced 3pm 3/17

See (3) below

Fullerton

Thursday, March 29 9pm-3am

“On a major thoroughfare” (in the past,
at Harbor near Commonwealth). 
See (4) below



(1)  http://www.ci.costa-mesa.ca.us/docs/pdpress/2007-03-08-DUI-Checkpoint.pdf

(2)  http://www.ci.fullerton.ca.us/civica/press/display.asp?layout=1&Entry=1036

(3)  http://www.cityofirvine.org/civica/press/display.asp?layout=1&Entry=700

(4)  http://www.ci.fullerton.ca.us/civica/press/display.asp?layout=1&Entry=1039

Saturation Patrols are specially trained two man Police
teams that cruise the city specifically to locate and arrest intoxicated
drivers. Typically there are several teams out at the same
time.  

Clink on the link above to see the same info (and a few more links) with their legal advertising. All that said, if you’re out and about this weekend, don’t drink and drive. It’s bad. Stay home and drink with your friends, and offer them a place on your floor. It’s messy but worth it!

Time Warner Cable Guy Out

Sensing that not all was well in their Southern California empire, it seems that Time Warner axed their local cable executive due to reports of “maddeningly long — and sometimes futile — waits to reach a human by phone.” As a customer who recently experienced their bottom-rung phone center, I say “What took so long?” Maybe I’m just lucky in most of my other consumer transactions, but I don’t recall the last time a customer service rep has out-and-out lied to me the way Time Warner’s phone center reps did in January.
Time Warner seems to have decided that it will take two executives to clean up their mess. That’s cause for hope for their cable customers. In the LA Times article, however, Eric Burton, the fellow who managers their local call centers is quoted as saying “But we do feel comfortable that the quality is at a level that we can build on.” This may be just corporate happy-talk. On the other hand, if that’s your true opinion, Eric, I’d recommend polishing your resume.

Jumping Into the Market

Well, perhaps “jumping” isn’t quite the right word, but my husband and I are going to put our townhome up for sale. We don’t have an agent yet, and my husband is entertaining the idea of selling it ourselves. We love living here, it is just that my son, well, he needs a backyard. Or more appropriately, I need a backyard to send him to in order to burn off some of his excess energy.

For some reason, I persist in having this vision of someone walking up and offering us our asking price, oohing and aaahing over the place.

Riiiight.

The real estate market is in a bit of a flux right now, what with the subprime lenders imploding and ARMs coming home to roost. But, on the plus side, interest rates are low and Orange County is still a desirable place to live.

Renters, what would it take for you to buy in the current market? Owners, would you consider selling in these conditions?

And buyers? Feel free to drop me an email.

Just kidding.

Sorta.

Orange County case information – now online!

It took them years, but as of this week, the Orange County Superior Court finally has case information online. Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles got this stuff up several years ago, but until now, you’ve had to go to the courthouse to see the more relevant info.

Starting last Monday, anyone can go to this page and search through civil or criminal/traffic cases by name or case number, and find out neat things like arresting (or ticket) offense, officer involved, bail, sentencing (if appropriate), and much more. Some documents are still available only at the courthouse, but unless you need all the specifics, you can find out a lot of very useful info. Just wait until high school kids get a hold of this and start looking up teachers!

Ducks Kids Club a Winner

No matter how the season ends for the Ducks, my son will be happy.

Partly because he is just too young to understand how the playoffs work, and partly because my husband enrolled him in the Wild Wingers Kids Club.

For just twenty bucks, you get two tickets to a “select” game (and we all know what that means), a T-shirt, a cowbell(!), a kid’s size hockey stick and puck, a poster and a T-shirt. That’s quite a bit of stuff. There is also an End of the Year Party where the kids get to see some practice and meet some Ducks. I’ll let you know how that goes when it happens.

The realist in me knows that they just keep trying to hook their fans at a younger age, yet the cheapo in me says it’s still a pretty good deal.

Happy Pi Day!


P3180032Happy Pi day, friends! Today is March 14 (3/14), a day to think about math and math teachers, remember Albert Einstein’s birthday, and to eat delicious pie! Today’s Dinosaur Comics is about pi day, wikipedia has a great page, and MSN’s Cosmic Log has a well-linked page. It seems like geek holidays are getting more play lately (TLAPD, for example). Celebrate! We’ve got pie tonight and a party on Saturday. Good times!

In the mood for pie? Find a location near you:

Polly’s Pies
Marie Callenders
Bakers Square

If you’re not in the mood for something sweet, there’s always pizza pie

OC Atheists meeting tonight

A reminder that the next meeting of the Orange County Atheists will be held Tonight, March 13 at 7:30PM at the International House of Pancakes at 18542 MacArthur Blvd in Irvine. If you consider yourself an atheist, an agnostic, a freethinker, a humanist, or are just curious, check out this month’s event. If you’re planning on attending please RSVP at our website forums. Hope to see you there!

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