EppsNet Archive: Orange County

Obvious

 

Headline from OCFamily.com: TEEN PREGNANCY: What Parents Can Do to Prevent It Don’t have sex with teenagers? Read more →

Trash by Any Other Name

 

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if boxes, etc., sitting around the office are supposed to go out with the trash. In Southern California, you’ll often see BASURA written on these things because the probability that a Spanish-speaking person will be taking out the trash is high. We couldn’t seem to get this box removed by writing BASURA on it, so one of our tech support people came up with this sign . . . Read more →

The Peanuts Kids: Where Are They Now?

 

ANAHEIM — Authorities say a woman apparently jumped off an Anaheim freeway overpass Thursday and died. The Orange County Register reports that 50-year-old Sally Brown plunged to her death just after 11 a.m. from the East La Palma Avenue overpass onto the westbound 91 Freeway. Read more →

Our Time is Passing Us By

 

Ex-Blondie singer Deborah Harry, who played a solo show here in Orange County last night, is 62 years old . . . Read more →

What Am I Thankful For?

 

I’m thankful that I have a job! A lot of people don’t! I lost my last job a few months ago, along with 9,499 other people in the Orange County real estate/finance industry over the past year. We all got to compete against each other to find another one. The Orange County Register ran a story yesterday on how some of these folks are doing . . . Delia DeYulia, a grandmother, was recently forced to take her first retail job. For the holiday shopping season, DeYulia, 53, is working part-time at Kohl’s, placing clothes on racks and cleaning dressing rooms. She resorted to taking the temporary work after not finding other employment. After 15 years with Fremont Investment and Loan, she lost her mortgage job in Anaheim Hills in March. “I’m used to sitting in an office,” said DeYulia, who audited loans at Fremont, a firm from which she… Read more →

Subprime Sinkhole

 

The rising tide of the mortgage industry lifted some pretty spurious boats here in Orange County, so it’s fun now to watch the subprime sinkhole laying them low. Example: John Lynch, the “surfing banker,” executive VP of Secured Funding Corp., specialists in home equity loans and second mortgages to people with bad credit. I had this guy pegged as a moron years ago, around the same time OC Metro ran a fawning blowjob of a profile on him: For the foreseeable future, he will continue as a master of both the surfboard and the boardroom — plus anything else that he decides to do. — OC Metro, Jan. 8, 2004 Well, that was then and this is now: The party is over in Orange County. These days, Secured Funding’s once-buzzing office building in Costa Mesa, near John Wayne Airport, is gutted. The imprint of “Secured Funding” is all that remains… Read more →

Pastagina

 

Theres a new restaurant opening up in our local shopping center: Pastagina. What is that — pasta for women? Even the logo is highly suggestive . . . Read more →

Got a Job

 

After three months on the dole, I got a job offer from the IT director of a local non-profit healthcare association here in Orange County. I start next week. As Gerald Ford used to say, “Our long national nightmare is over.” It’s a small IT group — 8 people, including the director. I’ve got to admit I’m a little burned out on big corporate IT shops. I got out of hands-on programming and into leadership roles because I thought I could do a better job than the people I saw doing it. I wanted to develop teams that got things done using their skills and their collective intelligence, but in practice, you typically get locked into some corporate process standard. A process may be good for delivering consistent results, but they may not be consistently good results. Like at McDonald’s, every Big Mac is just like every other Big Mac… Read more →

Halloween 2007

 

My son put on a cap, a pair of sunglasses, hung a clock around his neck, and went trick-or-treating with his friends as Flavor Flav. I can’t imagine anyone in Irvine is going to be able to figure that one out. Postscript “One woman asked me, ‘Are you supposed to be Flavor Flav?’” he says. “What was her ethnicity?” I ask him. “White.” OK, I stand corrected. Read more →

Crime and Punishment

 

As you can see on this perimeter map of the Santiago Fire, the active fire line is now far enough east that my wife and I can clean the ashes and soot off our patio this morning without worrying about having a new load of ashes and soot dumped on it the next day. (We live in the small notch northeast of the now-decommissioned El Toro MCAS.) I say to her, “They should find the guys who set the fire and make them clean up this mess.” “Kill them!” she suggests. “Couldn’t we make them clean up the mess and then kill them?” Read more →

No Serenade, No Fire Brigade, Just Pyromania

 

Air quality and visibility were much worse today than yesterday. I don’t know if the winds shifted or if it just takes a day or so for all the ashes and soot to fall back to earth.   Proving that there’s a positive side to everything, the Santa Ana winds that have fanned these fires around Southern California also knocked down half the trees in our community, which will now have to be removed and replaced, so if you’re in the landscaping service business, this is a good time for you.   “Honey! Call Farmers and get a quote on homeowners insurance – stat!” My wife is in the insurance business. She’s received several calls over the past few days from people wanting to buy a homeowners policy. Ordinarily, she’d be happy to sell them one . . . the problem is that the houses are in zip codes that… Read more →

Ashes to Ashes

 

As a result of the fires, particularly the one that burned across the northern border of Irvine, everything in the neighborhood is coated with either a thick layer of soot or a thin film of soot, depending on whether the object in question is outdoors or indoors. Read more →

Fire Update

 

As of this afternoon, the fires had shifted and were no longer considered a significant threat to Irvine homes. Here’s a map of the areas affected so far. The fire started — or I should say “was started,” since it’s now believed to be an arson fire — in the area bounded by the top of the map, the 261 to the west, the 241 to the east, and Portola Parkway to the south. Firefighters were able to stop the fire from crossing Portola, but it continued to burn east and is now bearing down on Foothill Ranch, the residential area in the lower right corner of the map . . . Read more →

Setting the World on Fire

 

Wildfires are burning all over Southern California, including one here in Irvine: What they’re saying on the TV news is that firefighters are planning to make a stand at Portola Parkway and stop the fire there, which is good news because we live south of Portola. About 100 feet south, but it’s better than nothing. Here are some blurry photos from our patio: Read more →

School Choice

 

Another gem from the freshman football mailing list . . . Of the four high schools here in Irvine, only one — Irvine High — has a stadium on campus. There’s a movement afoot, led by local attorney and parent Emmett Raitt, to build a second stadium. Here’s an excerpt from Emmett’s email suggesting that parents write to the school board about this matter: The reasons a second stadium are needed include the elimination of Thursday night games, which lowers student attendance at games; it will ease the overcrowding of the Irvine Stadium facility (and particularly the snack bar, a personal favorite of mine); and it will allow all schools to use District facilities for their graduations, which they do not now do. Hmmm . . . I can’t see how increasing student attendance is going to ease overcrowding, nor do I think the fact that some local fatso thinks… Read more →

This Week in Sports Parents Must Die

 

My son’s playing freshman football, pursuant to which I received the following email (names changed): Fellow Freshman parents, Zelda and I are disappointed with the poor quality of the duffle bags the boys purchased at the start of the season. Rocko’s bag is already ripping and the zippers are becoming non-functional. As a result, we intend to buy him a much higher quality, replacement bag made out of extra heavy duty material from a Montana vendor. My firm has purchased customized travel bags from this vendor before, and our clients/employees love them. We also intend to have the bag (which will be slightly larger to accommodate a football helmet) embroidered with the T-Wolf logo and his name. This is what the bag looks like, sans logo: If ten or more families decide to buy such replacement bags, the cost will be $285 each plus tax and the cost of name… Read more →

Follow Your Heart

 

Man died doing what he loved most — Orange County Register He loved being hit by trucks? Read more →

Advertisement for Myself

 

I was laid off recently by a mortgage bank here in Southern California. Times are tough in the mortgage business, as you may have heard. First, some tips on how not to do a layoff: Call the layoff a “rightsizing,” which suggests that there was something “wrong” with the people who were let go. (Actually, the company I worked for has already announced another “rightsizing” in which 1,000 more people will be laid off over the next few months. They just can’t get these “rightsizings” right.) Overnight a layoff information packet, including a 20-page severance agreement, to the home of laid-off employees, asking them to sign and return it via the enclosed UPS envelope. Don’t enclose the UPS envelope. The next day, overnight a second packet to employees’ homes, containing the UPS envelope and a letter correcting phone numbers, email addresses and other misinformation in the previous day’s packet. Include… Read more →

A Waste of a Morning

 

The California Employment Development Department — aka the unemployment office — scheduled a meeting for me this morning at the Orange County One-Stop job center. I thought it was going to be a one-on-one meeting to discuss appropriate employment opportunities for someone with my outstanding qualifications as a technologist. Instead, I found myself placed in a room full of misfits and losers, none in professional attire, and many of them dressed for a day at the beach — shorts, sandals, Hooters T-shirts — while we listened to a presentation on how to make $50,000 a year selling cars. (“Sounds pretty good,” my son says, and for someone with a junior high school education like him, it probably is.) In the course of the meeting, three people asked to borrow my pen because they didn’t think to bring one. Of course, I was wearing a shirt and tie, so I could… Read more →

Beating the Heat

 

We’re moving to a new residence next week. The man moving his family into our current home has already transferred the utilities to his name, even though he’s not moving in until Sept. 4. This means I’ll be running the air conditioner the entire Labor Day weekend and he’ll be picking up the tab. Thank you, sir! Read more →

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