EppsNet Archive: Orange County

More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of

6 Jul 2014 /

Riptide warning sign

The worst thing you can do to people, aside from physical injury, is give them the idea to blame their failures on vague impersonal forces or the actions of anybody but themselves. It doesn’t promote success or happiness. I don’t know any happy people who think like that.

For example, I read this in a New York Times article about an impoverished area of West Virginia:

John got caught up in the dark undertow of drugs that defines life for so many here in McDowell County.

That is just awful. I live in Southern California, not too far from the ocean . . . I’m familiar with undertows (although I’ve never heard of a “dark” undertow). First of all, sorry to be pedantic but undertows aren’t dangerous . . . they’re just after-effects of individual waves. What’s dangerous is a riptide . . . a concentrated flow of water that can jet you offshore in a matter of seconds.

Maybe John got caught in a riptide of drugs.

Some beaches post signs warning swimmers of riptides on high-risk days, but in general, getting caught in a riptide is an unfortunate but unavoidable event. Drug abuse is optional. It’s a decision you make about your life.

(I’m assuming here that no one sticks a funnel in your mouth and pours drugs into it against your will . . .)


Rickie Lee Jones at the Coach House

6 Jun 2014 /

We saw Rickie Lee Jones at the Coach House Sunday night. I’ve been an RLJ fan since . . . I think it was 1979, when this young woman I’d never heard of showed up on Saturday Night Live and sang “Chuck E’s in Love”:

[youtube http://youtu.be/o-skfqam0-I]

It might be possible to watch that now and say, “What’s the big deal? I’ve heard women sing like that.”

Not in 1979, you didn’t. In case you’ve forgotten or blocked it out or you weren’t born yet, in 1979 we were listening to Olivia Newton-John, Debby Boone, and similar lame-ass bullshit. (Or Christopher Cross, Barry Manilow . . . the male singers were equally uninspiring.)

I couldn’t have been more electrified if she’d capped off the performance by whacking the Captain and Tennille across the face with her beret.

RLJ’s style influenced a lot of singers, including some who’ve been much more commercially successful, and she really hasn’t I think been properly recognized for that.

She didn’t have a band, just played guitar and piano and sang. She sounded great, reinventing some of her best-known songs with new tempos and phrasing. As I mentioned when we saw Neil Young’s stunning solo show in April, a lot of performers hide their shortcomings as musicians and singers by adding a band, backup singers, electronics and other accoutrements, but when you’re up there all by yourself, there’s nowhere to hide. It’s organic music.

She told some stories between songs, many about living in New Orleans after moving recently from LA. Topics included voodoo ladies, fireflies, impromptu parades and neighbors who sit out on their front porch and wave to you.

The venue was sold out. That’s good. I feel like we were part of something. There was a long standing ovation at the end of the set . . . people went on clapping for several minutes even after the house lights came up, which I don’t remember ever seeing before.

Here’s the set list, to the best of my recollection:

Weasel and the White Boys Cool

Sympathy for the Devil

Young Blood

The Last Chance Texaco

Satellites

It Must Be Love

On Saturday Afternoons in 1963

We Belong Together

Living It Up

The Weight

Company

Chuck E’s in Love


A Trip to the Vet

25 Feb 2014 /
prednisone 5mg

Prednisone 5mg (Photo credit: denn)

I’m picking up a prescription for Lightning at the vet. He takes 5mg/day of a steroid for his joints, half a tablet in the morning and half at night.

The tablets are scored to make them easier to cut in half, but the vet staff uses a pill cutter, making cutting on the scoring actually a little more difficult because you have to line up each pill.

It’s better to cut them on the scoring, because the pills are small and they can crumble if they’re cut across the scoring, but it’s more time-consuming.

“Are the pills cut on the lines?” I ask the woman at the desk. “Lightning doesn’t like it when they’re not cut on the lines.”

“He doesn’t like it?” she says.

“He feels like it doesn’t show attention to detail.”

Some of the women at our vet’s office have a sense of humor and some don’t. Today we have one of the serious ones.

“I’m just telling you,” I say. “Don’t shoot the messenger.”


Jim Fregosi, 1942-2014

15 Feb 2014 /

Jim Fregosi

http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/24442867/report-former-all-star-longtime-manager-jim-fregosi-dies-at-71

I grew up in Orange County as an Angels fan. They were a team of losers at that time, but I went to a lot of games with my dad and had a good time watching them play.

Jim Fregosi was my favorite player, usually the only good player on a typical Angels roster.

RIP Jim Fregosi.


Japan, Day 7: Ginza

28 Dec 2013 /

Ginza

Ginza is one of the best-known shopping districts in the world, with numerous department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffee houses.

Ginza

Ginza

Ginza

Ginza

Ginza

Ginza

One of our favorite stores was the 12-floor UNIQLO. They’re coming to Orange County this fall!

UNIQLO

UNIQLO

Uniqlo

UNIQLO

Art Gallery

Art Gallery


Kashoen Boutique

Kashoen Boutique


Ito-ya Stationery Store

Ito-ya Stationery Store


Ginza

Ginza


Ginza

Ginza


Bettie Page Reveals All

9 Dec 2013 /

Bettie Page Reveals All

Bettie Page Reveals All

The world's greatest pinup model and cult icon, Bettie Page, recounts the true story of how her free expression overcame government witch-hunts to help launch America's sexual revolution.

Director: Mark Mori
Cast: Bettie Page Herself, Dita Von Teese Herself, Hugh M. Hefner Himself, Rebecca Romijn Herself

IMDb rating: 7.3 (377 votes)

/

The Aliens Have Landed in Irvine

8 Sep 2013 /

It’s about one in the afternoon at the Irvine In-N-Out Burger. A guy who looks to be in his early 20s comes in wearing a backward baseball cap, dark sunglasses (which he never removes) and — despite a temperature in the high 80s — a pullover sweater.

Aliens

To simplify the storytelling, let’s call this guy Alf.

Alf waits in line, places his order, then immediately walks over and stands in front of the pickup counter. The place is packed, and I can tell from looking at the number on my own ticket that there are about 10 more orders ahead of me, and since I ordered before him, there are about 15 more orders ahead of Alf, so there’s no reason for him to be standing at — in fact, leaning on — the pickup counter.

After a few moments, the kid at the pickup counter asks Alf what his number is.

“Eleven,” Alf replies.

“OK, we’re calling numbers in the 90s, so it’s going to be a few more minutes.”

Alf then sits down on a bench to the left of the pickup counter, where he waits patiently until they call order number 6, which happens to be my number, at which time Alf asks the kid at the counter if his order is ready yet. It’s the same kid he talked to before, and the kid knows Alf’s number is 11, so he says, “No, not yet.”

When the alien invasion come to your town, you will know them by the following signs:

  1. Inappropriate attire, e.g., sweaters in a heat wave, dark glasses indoors, caps on backwards . . . no, scratch that last one. Some Earthlings do that too.
  2. Ignorance of the most basic social scenarios, like how to order and pick up fast food.
  3. Inability to count.

The Price is Right

25 Aug 2013 /

Guess how much I paid for this stack of books . . .

Hint #1: I bought them at the One Dollar Bookstore.

Hint #2: There are 10 books in the stack.

Stack of books


Hot August Morning

19 Aug 2013 /

It’s going to be another hot day! Not even 8 a.m. and I’m panting already!

— Lightning paw

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf6tvZvfMG4]


Profiling

6 Aug 2013 /
Burglar

The office park where my a friend of mine works was burglarized over the weekend. Surveillance cameras captured the whole operation.

“They were Mexicans,” he said. “They look like professionals. They were wearing hats and jackets so you couldn’t see their build or anything.”

“So how are you identifying them as Mexicans if you couldn’t see them?” I asked. “Because they were stealing stuff?”


Things That Scare Other People’s Dogs Do Not Scare Our Dog

4 Jul 2013 /
Taking a nap

We went out to watch the city of Irvine fireworks show. Best use of our tax dollars since last year’s show!

As we drove back to the house, I said, “I hope the fireworks didn’t scare Lightning.”

He was asleep on his bed. He’s not scared of anything.


Dogged by Protesters

15 Jun 2013 /

Obama dogged by protesters on bay visitSFGate

Dogged by protesters?! If he ever comes to Orange County, he’ll be PROTESTED BY DOGS!

My owner pays so many taxes that there’s hardly any money left for pug treats! :(

— Lightning paw

On the Ottoman


Newport Harbor Lights

2 Jan 2013 /
3823 Corner House closer

We took a boat tour of Newport Harbor last week to see Christmas lights on the bayfront homes and yachts . . .

Current and former owners of these fabulous abodes include Nicolas Cage, Michelle Pfeiffer, Richie Sambora, Peter Falk, Mark McGwire, the William Wrigley family, the Snyder family (founders of In-N-Out Burger), the FaBrizio family (founders of Simple Green), Shirley Temple, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, John Wayne, Charles Bronson, Charles Schulz, George Argyros, and local luminaries like Fletcher Jones Jr (owner of Fletcher Jones Motorcars) and the Segerstrom family (owners of South Coast Plaza).

In the early 20th century, lots in Newport Harbor were selling for $75. Amenities such as electricity, paved streets, sewers, streetlights and water were lacking and roads to the area were largely undeveloped. Basically, you were buying the right to live on a mud flat at a three-hour drive from civilization, so even at $75, sales were slow.

The sellers then placed a coupon offer in Sunset magazine: buy a two-year subscription to Sunset and get $25 off the price of a lot. So — $50 instead of $75.

I wish someone in my family tree had had the foresight to buy one because you couldn’t get a bayfront lot today for less than about $10 million. Not a house — that’s just for the lot.


EppsNet Restaurant Reviews: Gulliver’s

3 Nov 2012 /

The smoked salmon appetizer was superb, as was the prime rib entree.

Attentive service is provided by busty waitresses in the Brobdingnagian tradition.

“Did you notice all the waitresses had big tits?” my wife asked.

Highly recommended!


It’s a Seller’s Job Market in IT Right Now, Especially for Agile

31 Aug 2012 /

I recently concluded a 3-month job search. As part of my networking, I met a number of unemployed people in other fields who were having trouble not only getting jobs, but even getting interviews.

I talked to a lot of people and averaged about an interview a day, including phone interviews, mostly for development manager jobs. For every development manager job, there are multiple development jobs, so if you’re a developer, your situation is even better than mine was.

I live in Southern California, but the demand is not just local. I had multiple contacts from companies outside the SoCal area that can’t find qualified candidates.

I’ve been working again for over two months, I no longer have an active résumé on job boards, and I still get emails and calls every day from recruiters all over the country.

Agile and Scrum are in demand

West to Chicago, East to Toledo

The situation with Agile and Scrum right now seems to be that a lot of people are putting it on their résumé but most of them are bluffing.

One hiring manager told me that he’d talked to three dozen candidates who claimed to know Scrum and only one (me) who actually knew it.

Another hiring manager asked me to describe the Scrum process, beginning with a product owner with an idea through the end of the first sprint. It’s a basic question, and when I finished, he thanked me for my answer. “You’d be surprised how many people I ask that question and the answer is a yard sale.”

Actually, you’d be surprised how little I’d be surprised by that.

One recruiter contacted me about a 3-month Scrum Master contract in Toledo, Ohio. A glance at my résumé will tell you that I’ve never worked outside Southern California, so on a list of people likely to take a 3-month contract in Toledo, Ohio, my name would be far, far from the top, but the difficulty of finding a qualified candidate to fill that job is such that the recruiter contacted me anyway.

If you really know Agile and/or Scrum right now, it’s a seller’s market.


Gary Carter, 1954-2012

17 Feb 2012 /
Gary Carter

Gary Carter (Photo credit: AxsDeny)

Gary Carter obituary: Baseball Hall of Fame catcher dies at 57

Gary Carter and I went to the same high school — Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, CA.

My freshman yearbook has a picture of a Carter as a senior. Or another way to look at it is that Gary Carter’s senior yearbook has a picture of me as a freshman.

That’s all I have on this.

RIP Gary Carter.


We Caught a Break at Chili’s Last Night

11 Feb 2012 /
English: Chili's Restaurant at Rockwell Mall, ...

Chili's

We got to Chili’s around 8 o’clock last night but it was still very crowded. People were waiting outside.

“How long is the wait?” I asked the hostess.

“About 25 minutes.”

I said to my posse, “I’d rather not wait 25 minutes but I could do it if I had to. What do you guys think?”

My wife said, “Put our name on the list and we’ll talk about it outside.”

“Paul — party of three.” The hostess gave me one of those devices that beep and light up when your table is ready.

At the same time, a gentleman came up to the desk to turn in his device. “We can’t wait anymore,” he said.

“Maybe you could give us his device,” I suggested after he left. “Where was he on the list?”

She went down the list of names. “Second,” she said. “Yeah, I could do that.”

“Thanks.”

My son said later, “You were just joking, right?”

“Well,” I said, “I didn’t think she would do it, but let that be a good lesson for you. If you ask for something, you might get it, but you’re not going to get it if you don’t ask.”


The Father of the Year Competition is Heating Up

27 Sep 2011 /
Father of the Year nominee

NEWPORT BEACH A man accused of becoming angered at his 7-year-old son and tossing him off a boat during a harbor cruise pleaded not guilty Monday to felony child endangerment.

Sloane Steven Briles, 35, of Irvine, is accused of being under the influence of alcohol and poking his son in the chest and repeatedly slapping him in the face before tossing him about 10 feet off the boat and into the path of oncoming boat traffic.

Prosecutors say he made no attempt to save his son and jumped off the boat only to avoid angry passengers on the Queen.

A boat had to maneuver to avoid striking the boy, who treaded water before a captain on another boat tossed him a life ring, according to prosecutors.

In interviews with television reporters following his arrest, Briles said he and his son were just playing around and that they both decided to jump into the harbor for fun.


Any Lawyers Out There Want This Case?

16 Jul 2011 /
LAX

The boys arrived back from their graduation trip, but missed their connecting flight in Philly, which seems to be the rule rather than the exception for U.S. Airways.

They were able to get on a later flight — to Los Angeles though, not Orange County — so the parents drove out to pick them up at LAX at 11:45 p.m.

“We should sue the airline,” one of the moms said.

“That’s a good idea,” I replied, not because I thought it was a good idea, but because I wanted to hear the plan.

“Five sets of parents have to drive all the way to Los Angeles,” she said. “Gas is expensive! Then there’s punitive damages. Frustration. Loss of income.”

“How is there a loss of income?”

“Some parents might have to work at night. You don’t know.”

“How much do you think we should get — a million dollars?”

“No,” she scoffed, like I was being ridiculous. “Two hundred thousand.”


Is today National Make a Left Turn Into Oncoming Traffic Day? Because I saw a lot of that on the way in this morning . . .

Posted by on 23 May 2011

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