My Right to Park My Car in Front of My House


There’s a debate in my town about whether residents should be free to park their vehicles in the street in front of their homes, without threat of getting a parking ticket.

Last weekend, The Orange County Register published a story about this— Read more of this post

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Best iPhone Sights in Brea


Brea Transportation Department

Brea Transportation Department

Now that I’ve got this iPhone that can do everything except transport me to the Starship Enterprise, I thought I should test its photo power by snapping some pics of the best places in my town. Some of these are taken at dusk.

Reflections on My House

A Rebel Perspective on My House

 

Downtown Brea:

 

This Building Is Still Up for Lease

This Building Is Still Up for Lease

Gateway to Birch

Gateway to Birch Street

"To Protect and to Serve"

"To Protect and to Serve"

Best Milkshakes

Best Milkshakes

Laboratory for Film Research

Laboratory for Film Research

Edwards10.Brea

Close-up of the Lab

Palms on Birch Street?

Palms on Birch Street?

Brea and Birch Parking

Vital Information

Vantage Point (AKA "Parking Structure")

Vantage Point (AKA "Parking Structure")

Brea Skyline

Brea Skyline

Brea Promenade

Brea Promenade

The Improv

The Improv

The Yard House

The Yard House

Brea Flag

Brea Flag

Brea Sunset

Brea Sunset

Brea Sunset

Brea Sunset

$1.00 Per Scoop on Tuesday Nights

$1.00 Per Scoop on Tuesday Nights

For the Serious Aquarist

For the Serious Aquarist

The Brea Fire—15 November 2008


We’re monitoring the Brea fire very closely here. It concerned us when it jumped the 57 freeway in a westerly direction. We live about two miles from that spot. The Brea-Olinda High School was a base station for firefighters to keep the school buildings protected. I think they were successful in that endeavor.

There’s a spot up the road in our neighborhood that I’ve been visiting periodically for a good view. If, from that location, I see fire, we’ll be heaving things into our vehicles and “taking our leave.” We have our things gathered in case that becomes necessary.

20081115brea-fire-mapI’ve attached a fire map that’s about six hours old at this point — 10:15 p.m. (click image to enlarge). If you’re interested in our location on this map, visualize a vertical axis extending north directly above the “t” in the street name “W. Lambert Rd,” and a horizontal axis extending east along Whittier Blvd (seen on the left side of the image). Where these two axes meet is right on our spot.

My vista point to keep track of its proximity to us is north from that point along the same vertical axis, and then east about the same distance. At the end of that road there’s a large undeveloped area with a tall hill. I’m watching the crest of that hill.

As a point of reference for people who don’t know the area, Carbon Canyon is the spot of greatest concern nearest to us. That will be watched throughout the night and covered on television. In the early hours of the morning there’s the significant possibility of high winds like we had earlier today. That would not be good.

I’d rather not evac. And it looks like a long night of staying alert. But I’m optimistic.

* * *

Note: While our Brea PD is busy with the fire activity, I’ve seen police patrol vehicles from distant places. I spoke with an officer who came up from San Clement to provide backup duty. So the coordination has been excellent.

Update:

Here’s the map after the events of today, twenty-four hours later:

Bold red lines are road current road closures

Bold red lines are current road closures

I Like Living in California


I like living in California. There—I said it. And I found myself thinking it a lot yesterday. This was something of a surprise to me. I was born here and have lived here most of my life. I lived for six years in Mexico as a teenager. I went to college out-of-state. And I taught for two years in Indiana. So you might expect me to be partial to California. But if there’s any region I’m partial to, it’s the Great Pacific Northwest, especially western Washington. Read more of this post

Eyewitness Earthquake Report


It’s all over the news. An earthquake of moderate magnitude occurred shortly before noon today in the Los Angeles area. I was at home in Brea working at my desk. The quake is said to have centered in Chino Hills, about 12 miles by road from where I live. As the crow flies, we’re within 10 miles of the epicenter.

My two daughters and our niece were here with me, upstairs from my study. My first reaction was to get to them and gather everyone together.

I’d say the quake was felt at our house for about 20-30 seconds. Some minutes later we felt a distinct but brief aftershock. This quake produced a general shake of our house, and I did wonder while it was happening how long it could continue without causing severe damage to our home. There was a lot of creaking and things were falling from walls and shelves. But we don’t have any visible damage. Most impressive was the sloshing of the water in our in-ground pool.

The initial report was that the earthquake was of a 5.8 magnitude. It’s now been officially designated a 5.4 quake. There are TV news reports of numerous ongoing aftershocks in the Chino Hills area. But we’ve only felt the one. There’s also a report of a fire caused by the quake in the nearby town of La Habra Heights. A Ralph’s market in Diamond Bar, also close by, has closed to assess damage to products and restore order.

News coverage of the event has been interesting. Some of it has been a little melodramatic. But it does inform people about the behavior of earthquakes and remind them of the need for preparedness should there be a more sizable quake in the future.

Now might be a good time to enjoy an earthquake movie! Grab the popcorn and relax while you watch the 1974 film Earthquake, starring Charleton Heston and Ava Gardner, about a quake in Los Angeles that wreaks unimaginable havoc.

Summer Nights


Summer nights are for . . .

  • taking turns in the batting cage under the bright white lights
  • sitting on the tailgate of the pickup truck, eating ice cream with someone you love
  • listening to the diminutive voices at the end of the street chattering, “Hey, batter-batter!”
  • swimming a few refreshing laps in the backyard pool
  • pausing to hear the distant booming of the fireworks going off at Disneyland
  • strolling down Birch Street (if you live in north Orange County, California)
  • seeing a movie at a drive-in (if you can find one)
  • gathering with close friends round the patio table and talking with hushed voices
  • reading what you want, for as long and as late as you want
  • observing the physical similarities between pedestrians and their dogs at a busy intersection
  • going to the beach, just to see the sunset
  • splurging on dessert on the patio of a fancy restaurant
  • counting each distinct sound the mocking bird makes as you lie in your bed trying to sleep

What are the best experiences you’ve had during the summer nights of your life? Care to share them in the reply box?

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