Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This one!

El Pollo Loco, Holt Ave, Ontario, California.

Picture taken from the east near sunset.

Now to order - whoops, I already got our dinner. They're quick.

@karenswim is missing California right now...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Well, at least they didn't say that it was in Canada

There's a work related conference coming up in May, and one of my co-workers mailed me some information about it that he received from another party. Since the conference is in Ontario, I'm naturally interested in it.

Here's the information that he had on the location of the conference:

Ontario Doubletree
222 N. Vineland Ave.
Ontario, CA 91764

I was the one who had to tell him, "By the way, the hotel is not on Vineland Avenue, it's on Vineyard."

We all then went through a period of self-doubt, and had to confirm things on Hilton's website:

Doubletree Hotel Ontario Airport
222 North Vineyard Ave, Ontario, California, United States 91764-4431
Tel: 1-909-937-0900 Fax: 1-909-937-1999

Although I haven't visited the hotel in years, it's one of my first impressions of southern California. Back in November 1983 it was the Red Lion, and when I came to the Inland Empire for a job interview, the company put me up there. It made a good impression, but not as good as the impression that I got when the company owner interviewed me from his office in Rancho Cucamonga.

His office with a north-facing window.

On a clear, non-smoggy day. (Kaiser had already closed by this time.)

If you're not familiar with the area, there is a series of mountains just north of Rancho Cucamonga which, when you can see them, are absolutely beautiful. My church also has north-facing windows, so I get to enjoy the view weekly.

But I haven't ever stayed in the Red Lion/Doubletree again. My loss.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Electronic Waste and Tire Collection Event on Saturday

I tried to moblog a newspaper article about this, but was unsuccessful. Here's the announcement from the city itself:

The City is sponsoring a FREE collection event on Saturday, April 26th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. The event will be held at the City of Ontario Public Works Agency located at 1425 South Bon View Avenue. Residents can drop off electronic waste as well as used tires from residential passenger vehicles. The event is FREE to Ontario residents; however, businesses are not eligible. Proof of residency is required.

See the announcement for additional details.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

RoHS, RoHS, RoHS your boat

Actually not RoHS since it's Ontario CA, which is not in Europe no matter how you slice it.

But Saturday is the day for Ontario California residents to dispose of old electronics (and tires).


What's in a two letter abbreviation (CA)?

I just ran across this tweet from Jim Weirich:

reading the tracking info from UPS and suddenly realized that there is a big difference between "Ontario, CA" and "Ontario, CA, US"

A Google search of the words "ontario ca" yields a hodgepodge of results:

As you can see, Google shows a link to the Google Map for Ontario, Canada; the official website for the city of Ontario, California; a Wikipedia entry for Ontario, California; and the home page for the Government of Ontario, Canada.

The confusion is the result of two competing standards: the official state abbreviations as maintained by the US Postal Service (in which "CA" stands for California), and the list of top-level domains as maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (in which "CA" stands for Canada). And, of course, there's the underlying fact that the California city was named after the home of the Chaffey brothers who founded the place. (Not sure where they got the "Mildura" name from when they went to Australia, but did you know that there is a Chaffey Secondary College down under?)

But despite this confusion, Canada and California have learned to work together. The Canada-California Strategic Innovation Partnership does a lot of things that I'm sure are strategic and innovative.

Just don't refer to the organization as CACA. That's a Japanese seminar devoted to the categorical aspects of constructive algorithmics. It ended up changing its name to TOPS (The Tokyo Programming Seminar).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Permit me

Ontario's "Tent City" has been revamped for safety and other reasons, and there are new procedures:

Ontario's improved Homeless Services Area will start admitting permit-holding homeless people Tuesday, said Brent Schultz, the city's housing manager, at a meeting of service providers at the Ontario Convention Center....

The first order of business for volunteers who plan to continue feeding, counseling or otherwise helping those at Tent City is getting "provider permits."

Schultz said those who can show affiliation with a legal organization (such as a nonprofit), who have insurance, and county approvals for things such as kitchen inspections would qualify for permits.

"Anyone within the Homeless Services Area will need a permit to be there," he said. "This is to respect privacy, limit illegal dumping and reduce crime and keep people from coming in to prey upon the homeless."

And perhaps permits sound like Hitler tactics, but one could argue that if a restaurant needs a permit to provide food outside of Tent City, then permits should be required inside of Tent City.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Unfortunately, I don't care for Counting Crows

Mrs. Jones was not spotted at the Starbucks at San Antonio and Holt.

Friday, April 11, 2008

McDonalds - Starbucks Round Four

Now if this is the only blog you read, you may be wondering about rounds one, two, and three. Well, those rounds appeared in my general interest blog, mrontemp.

Round one, entitled You think Feldman-Israel is a bad war? Wait until McDonalds-Starbucks gets into battle mode!, ventured the opinion that Starbucks would do better by differentiating itself from McDonalds, rather than trying to grab the McDonalds crowd.

But then I remembered how businesses work. Round two concentrated on the needs of stakeholders other than the customer - namely, the investors. Investors, whether public company shareholders or private company investors or venture capitalists, wants businesses to grow and expand and continue to show growth, and growth, and growth. A Starbucks that maintains the same level of revenues and profits is a failure for those folks.

I just wrote round three, which concentrated on cost optimization, or whatever euphemism you want to use for cost cutting - another thing that the investors want to see, since lower costs result in higher profits, don't they?

Well, I saved round four for this blog, because it's taking place right in Ontario. Continuing on the cost-cutting theme, but adding a new twist.

From the Daily Bulletin:

Mervyns distribution warehouse in Ontario is laying off 200 employees and will outsource to a manager of third-party logistics vendors called Kalserve....

Mervyns expects to save $4million. It will keep about 30 employees in Ontario to oversee its third-party vendors.

More here. While Matthew Wrye took the local point of view, the Sacramento Business Journal noted that layoffs took place in northern California also. (By the way, I didn't realize that Mervyns was no longer part of Target. But hey, it's only been independent for four years now.)

As for Kalserve...well, I can't find out anything about any logistics company called Kalserve, or for that matter any company called Kalserve, other than an unidentified company in Dublin, Ireland.

But Mervyns would probably like it better that way.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

At least it drove the meth labs out of the news

Someday, the Inland Empire is going to take off and become a true urban megacenter of business and residential opportunity.

Until then, we're going to be laughed at as hicks with meth labs, road races, and a prison down the street.

Stories like this aren't going to help our image:

Prosecutors filed dogfighting charges Tuesday against nine men accused of participating in or watching a battle between pit bulls in Ontario last month.

There is one good point in all of this, however; perhaps it will be easier to lure an NFL team to the area now.

But an NFL team may shy away after hearing the bad explanations for the dogfight:

[A] witness called police just after midnight on March 5 and reported a dog fight near Walnut Street and Cucamonga Avenue in Ontario.

View Larger Map

The witness said men were standing in the street in a circle surrounding the dogs. The witness said that when the dogs tried to flee the fight, the men grabbed them and tossed them back inside the circle....

When police came, the men claimed they were simply trying to breed the dogs in the middle of the street when they began fighting on their own....

Bad activity on Walnut Avenue. We have to put a stop to this.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Breaking the law, breaking the law

The Daily Bulletin broke the news about a series of three signs.

The first sign, on Interstate 10 Eastbound at the Euclid overpass, read:


The next sign, on a subsequent overpass, read:

Will You

And perhaps you can guess the third:

Marry Me?

The Daily Bulletin noted that the signs were removed a short time later, but I bet that they weren't removed by Katie, or by Katie's lover. Presumably Cal Trans stepped in, since the signs probably presented a hazard. Previous attempts to use freeway overpasses for messaging have failed:

Nathan Benjamin, a Bay Area attorney, filed a lawsuit [in 2002] against the state Department of Transportation for taking down an anti-war highway sign. Benjamin says he sees nothing in state law banning people from doing this.

In that court case, however, an appeals court ruled that overpasses are not a "public forum." Subsequently a judge ruled that Caltrans could take down signs if the agency felt they might cause a safety hazard, but Caltrans must then take down all signs, or none. It can't pick and choose based on political messages.

Caltrans' stance, reiterated last week, is that signs on overpasses and freeway soundwalls are potential safety hazards.

"We don't allow anything up there," spokesman David Anderson said.

Don't know whether Katie ever saw the marriage proposal. If you know more about this, please contact mark.petix@dailybulletin.com (who is presumably the Daily Bulletin's advisor for freeway-loving lovers).