Archive for December, 2008

Happy New Year, Orange County!

Hey, 2009 has got to be better than 2008. Nowhere to go but up, and all that jazz.


Actually, I’m thinking that 2009 might be a bad year for some people, including our esteemed former Sheriff Carona, he of the handsome bald pate and secret mistress-lair.

And at least our national dignity was saved by a President who can dodge a pair of shoes like a pro. So if you couldn’t find a bright spot in 2008, that’s something to be grateful for, anyway.

Whether you are out partying or staying home with loved ones, stay safe and see you in ’09.

Backflip ZOMG!!!1!!1

Rhys Millen, world champion drifter and amazing stunt car driver will attempt an amazing task tonight. He will do a backflip in an off-road racing truck. That’s right, a backflip off of a ramp!
There’s more info here at Red Bull’s “New Year No Limits” site. Click down at the bottom where it has the name Rhys Millen.

He was to attempt this last year, but he screwed up in practice and broke his back. I’ve provided the video here:

“Why does this apply to OC?? He’s doing it in Vegas!!!!”

Rhys lives in San Clemente, and I’m happy to say I dine with him on a regular basis, so I’m all about giving him props on the interwebs!! Also, all of the practicing took place at the El Toro base! I got to go see it in person and it’s pretty insane! I would supply the cameraphone video I have, but I’d rather you just tune in.

ESPN!!! Tonight!!!! DO IT!
[/straight-boy moment]

*UPDATE* He made it all the way around, but he rolled the truck and wasn’t able to drive away. He’ll be doing this again I’m sure…..

My Eyes! They Burn!

So I was driving home on the Southbound 5 when my eyes were assaulted by this huge, horrible flashing sign which I think was owned by an RV dealership. I think it’s in La Mirada, or maybe Santa Fe Springs. Either way, the thing is an abomination, and in my opinion, totally unsafe.

Of course we’ve all seen those signs on the Vegas Strip, kindly informing us about topless dancers (Voted Best on the Strip!) and 10X Craps. But on the side of a very busy freeway that is also undergoing major construction? Stupid, stupid. I’d be interested to know if there has been an increase in collisions since that sign was put up. Anybody work for the CHP?

The scary part is that I was in the far left lane, and it still made me wince and have to shield my eyes from the glare. Not to mention I was already dealing with the glare from the headlights from the cars going northbound on the 5, so I was getting it from both sides.

I don’t know who approved it, but those types of signs have no business on the side of a major highway. Or anywhere, to be honest.

I’m surprised that this type of thing is done in Democrat-controlled Los Angeles County. I would think that the gung-ho, pro-business protectionist Republicans that make up the bulk of the lawmakers in Orange County would have, ahem, signed on by now. But whatever the reason, I’m glad they have resisted so far, since I’m sure most businesses located on the side of the freeways are salivating to have them.

In fact, I am glad that for the most part, there are no tacky billboards in Orange County at all. I’m trying to think of some, and I can’t. There is certainly some overbearing store signage, but no billboards come to mind. I loathe driving to grandma’s and having my son see the heaving bosom of a pole dancer from the Spearmint Rhino, or a building-sized bottle of beer.

Huh, imagine that. I’m actually agreeing with Republican lawmakers! I’m going to go take my temperature, maybe I’m coming down with something.

(photo source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Ziggurat

Chet Holifield Federal Building

Chet Holifield Federal Building

Originally built in the early 70’s when there was nothing else around it (click for archive image), the Chet Holifield Building at 24000 Avila Road
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 has made a mark for itself not only for it’s architecture and the way it used to stand out in the middle of nowhere, but also for prominent roles in the movies.
The building was used in the 1975 sci-fi classic Death Race 2000 starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stalone. A reference to it can be seen in this version of the movie poster.
Michael Crichton’s directorial debut, Coma,also used the exterior of the building as the hospital. It was also use in Deal of the Century (1983) and Outbreak (1995).

What was once one the few thing in the rolling hills of Laguna Niguel, and definitely the most prominent, has now been swallowed up by houses, strip malls, and big box outlets. It is hard to see until you are upon it unless one comes in from the southwest. I took the above picture from the Aliso Creek Road side of it, but as I stated, it is lost behind the Walmart and Costco if you are coming from Interstate 5 down Alicia or La Paz.

The “Ziggurat” is home to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) as well as the Pacific Region National Archives and Records Administration. The archives are open to the public for research, in case anyone out there is into their genealogy.

Loco For Spam Moco

There’s nothing like a lazy Sunday brunch at an Aloha Hawaiian BBQ for some Spam Moco.

What’s Spam Moco?

Well, it’s grilled (more like fried) Spam slices served over a bed of cabbage, smothered in some sort of gravy, and topped with two fried eggs. Oh, and you get white rice and some macaroni salad too. All for $5.99!

Visit their site for a list of locations around Southern California.

Maybe I Shouldn’t Have Boycotted Whole Foods?

I just read that an OC family bought a box of crackers from Whole Foods in Tustin and found $10,000 inside. Ten freakin’ thousand dollars in cold, hard cash!

As a kid I remember seeing some PSA or other about some kids who found a brown paper bag filled with money. As the good samaritans they obviously were, they found the rightful owner and returned the loot; the owner was an eldery lady who, for some reason or other, stuffed her entire life’s savings in a paper bag and was walking around outside with it.

In this case, it turns out that the owner of the cash really IS an elderly old woman who stuffed her life’s savings inside a box of crackers! The woman had mistakenly returned the box of crackers to the store, which was then purchased by another family. The family contacted the police and the money was eventually returned to its rightful owner.

One can dream. But two questions still linger … what is Whole Foods doing putting opened packages of food back on the shelves, and why would someone think to buy it??

Parking Nightmare at SCP

If you’re brave/silly/insane enough to head out to the malls today, be warned that parking is going to be a nightmare. South Coast Plaza has some traffic backed up on Bristol and the ramp off the 405.

After Christmas Sale for Chi-Chi Parents

I just got an email from Hush Baby announcing their Winter Sale. Hush Baby is a fancy baby and children’s boutique near Whole Foods at the District in Tustin, and if you’re the type of parent who’s willing to spend $60 on one piece of clothing for her kid, then you’d probably be interested in checking their stuff out when they’re on sale for 20%-70% off. (For the record, the only thing I’ve ever purchased there was a gift for a friend’s new baby.)

They have some real cute stuff, including drool-worthy designer diaper bags by Petunia Pickle Bottom, but it ain’t cheap even if it IS on sale. It’s also fun to just browse in there or check out their free storytime events (Mondays starting at 11 A.M.). And hey, they offer free lattes and hot chocolate!

Hush Baby Winter Sale

Speaking of OC Mega-Churches…

With all this talk of Rick Warren and his retarded emotionally stunted views on homosexuality and gay marriage one might be tempted forget about Orange County’s other obnoxiously ulta-religous evangelical elephant in the room: Mariners Church.

They’ve “been in and out of court” ever since Bob Gunn (a worship director at Mariners in a prominent role) was outed by the church’s director of women’s ministries. Within in a week, he was fired by pastor Kenton Beshore. Nice. You can read Beshore’s “lawsuit-insiring” sermon if that interests you. You can also consume a fantastic article in OC Weekly, titled “ When Mariners Church Fired Choir Director Bob Gunn for Being Gay, It Sparked a Six-Year Legal Battle”.

Gotta love OC’s mega-churches and their mega-asshole pastors. As Dave said in his recent post, “I’m quite positive my wife and I aren’t the only normal ones of the 60,000+ Saddleback members.” Can’t we have some really nice, open-minded people from Orange County get national press? Why do we seem to have so many of the other kind of people?

Who can I pick on next? Robert Schuller seems ripe for the plucking. Wonder what he’s been up to lately- besides firing his son that is? Actually, Schuller refuses to attack gay people and welcomes everyone to the Crystal Cathedral. He states he has no desire to add to the problems heaped on gays and lesbians by society and has had “homosexuals as representatives of [his] church the last 40 years”. Well I guess they’re not all mega assholes – and I do like that sexy gray and purple robe he wears on the Hour of Power. Still, if Schuller is the best we can do for an “accepting” OC mega-church then we’re in deep trouble.

My NYE NON-Recommendation

As I contemplate about what to do this New Year’s Eve, I look back upon the last few years’ festivities.

Last year we spent New Year’s Eve at St. Joe’s on bedrest. (Any attempts to coerce the nurses to smuggle in champagne were fruitless.) Good, if some odd times.

The year before that, we spent it at an awesome party at the Little Radio Warehouse in LA to watch Autolux and a bunch of other bands. The best part was free-flowing alcohol all night and a cover of only $25 per person! Good times, indeed!

But then I came up with the New Year’s Eve we spent at the Orange Hill Restaurant for their annual New Year’s Eve Gala. Easily one of the WORST New Year’s Eves we’ve ever had.

At $100 per person, we expected something decent. What we got were seats at a 10-person table with eight strangers who, by the time we got there, were already well on their way to drunken incoherence. The food came off a buffet table. Again, at $100 per, we expected some sort of semi-fine dining. They gave away cheap hats and noise-makers, and I’m pretty sure revelers line-danced to Achy Breaky Heart. We spent a lot of time outside on the patio and high-tailed it out of there right after midnight. The only good thing about that experience was that we lived just down the hill and were home in five minutes.

So whatever you and yours decide to do this New Year’s Eve, just stay far away from the Orange Hill Restaurant. Stay home and watch Dick Clark, or check out the HOB as Jon suggested. Just don’t bother with Orange Hill.

Unless you’re into line-dancing with a bunch of strangers.

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