Category Archives: life

Another year of life. Another chance to reflect.

My birthday happens next week and I am hoping for the best for myself.  I have been working at my current job for the last year and a half and I have been doing better than I used to.

I hope to be more comfortable driving in the long run so I can visit farther places because there is still more of California to discover.

I hope I successfully network with potential allies to see if running full on for a legislative campaign general election position would be doable with potential fundraising.

I hope to make progress with various video games I have not made a dent on such as Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch.

I hope to save more money because you never know what will happen to our state or the national economy.

Two years to 40. Time does fly and I need to make good use of my youth.

What Am I Looking Forwards In 2016

  • For me to pass probationary period at my new employer. I am 86% there towards the goal of 1400 items processed in an 8 hour shift. Current record is 1204.
  • I aspire to have one fourth of my credit card debt to be paid down and hopefully refinanced.
  • Save up enough money so I can buy a functional used car of my own.
  • Contacting Gro Elect so I could be a possible candidate for school board in November 2016.
  • Making a plan to save up enough money so I can go back to school one final time either for a Masters degree in Political Science or a legal assistant certificate program.

Even when life has its hardships we have to brush off the dirt off our legs and keep on going. 2016 seems to be a decent year for me. It may not be as radical as what happened to me last year, but we all have to keep on fighting on.

A Really Twisted Transit Reality Show

Since there is a big push for sustainable development and stack and pack housing there is one thing we should ask our local elected officials in particular the ones who sit on boards such as SANBAG, SCAG, Omnitrans and its High Desert counterpart Victor Valley Transit.

I know there is a desire to get people from not relying on their cars, but could our elected officials could spend a day with just using mass transit to get from place A to place B. This could help our elected officials explain why when mass transit customers have means to own their own cars they are not likely to use the bus to go to work or go shopping.

Developers such as the Lewis Companies with their plans to transform the Empire Lakes Golf Course across the street from the Ontario Mills into a master planned apartment complex with shops nearby so people would not be relying on their cars, they said there would be a shuttle called “The Vine” to take people from the shopping opportunities nearby so they would not be driving. However what happens if you want to go to Kaiser Hospital in Ontario or Fontana or need to go to the drug store to get some cold medicine at 3:30 in the morning, will Omnitrans or the Vine take those people to the places they need to go?

When you are relying on mass transit you are constrained by the schedule of the agency. Some people may work graveyard shifts in the warehouses of the Inland Valley. If they want to work they have to drive for better or worse. It feels like Cinderella and her pumpkin carriage when the last bus of the day is over and you have to wait for 5am for the next day’s service to begin. Service has to be frequent, convenient and in some cases 24/7 on routes 1, 14, 61, 66, 84 as examples with Omnitrans. 

I would like to be humane for this experiment. For the Board of Supervisor members they would just go from their residence to their district office. City council members would just go from their home to their city hall or even their primary workplace if applicable. I think if our local elected did use mass transit for at least one day a year they would have a better understanding of the issues when it comes with Omnitrans and Victor Valley Transit or even development plans when it comes to city or county planning issues. Its only wishful thinking to try to satisfy the mind of SCAG executive director Hasan Ikhrata.

Its illogical to expect people in the Inland Valley to give up their cars. Its like mom and apple pie. We want smart growth, but we want fiscally responsible and environmentally friendly growth at the same time. We want transportation that people will use by choice not by the edict of a government planner.

Next Month Anaheim Awaits

The California Republican Party has their twice yearly event and it will be at the Anaheim Marriot on September 18-20th. I will be a delegate again. I am making sure I utilize my membership with the state party to the fullest.

Since I live nearby, I felt like I did not need to invest the extra 140 dollars for a Friday night room and will likely commute for a short visit on the 18th. These conventions can be so expensive. I went to the Sacramento convention and stayed at a hostel and it was not as fun.

I decided to splurge and get a room for one in Anaheim for Saturday night. Luckily my nominally paid job entitles me to a corporate discount at one of the hotels nearby. 113 a night beats the 129 at the main hotel.

Saturday is going to be the main event where the regional vice chair will likely have a contested race for the Inland Counties of our state and a potentially long platform committee hearing. It all depends on what potential amendments are going to be proposed to the platform committee members where 12% of the delegates are members of this committee.

I am hoping to provide a voice of reason in the platform committee. I hope not to be too liberal nor far right in my ideas and visions for the party. I want a platform that is honorable and results in less blowback for the party.

It is sad that my only vacations are the California Republican Party conventions. However these events are good for networking and for us to meet fellow like minded activists across the state.

I was hoping there would be unintentional cross marketing like what happened at the previous convention in 2013 where Gay Days shared the city with the Republicans, but they decided to run their event two weeks later.

Misguided Consultants Spotlight Something Supported In SD 20

Yes, my opponent went thru the Inland Utopia archives back in 2007 and used something I written to write a flyer about me that expressed my pro-life support. However, in 2008 Senate District 20 did support parental notification for abortion.

Proposition 4 in Senate District 20

Parental notification was supported in all the cities of the district.
This ballot measure was even supported when Obama was the main draw on the ballot.

City Yes No
Chino 13259 8842
Colon 7339 4850
Fontana 26908 16467
Grand Terrace 2587 2110
Montclair 5147 3198
Ontario 23242 15054
Pomona 18922 14955
Rialto 14225 8762
San Bernardino 26578 19079

Dish Network Failed to Get Us Back

We had a very simple request for Dish Network to keep our business for the last 13 years. They needed to send my sister a different DVR box and swap the old one that failed to do its job. Since they refused to do so, we went to Time Warner Cable.
The Dodgers on Time Warner Cable was not the primary motivator. It was when my sister called Dish Network and tried to get technical support for her device, she had to do the generic trouble shooting flow chart and then after that did not do anything to her satisfaction I said we should jump the ship and we did. All we wanted to do was to swap the DVR unit out with a replacement one.

Our current bills were the following:
Internet  54.99
Local Phone Service 45.00
Television 79.04
Total   179.03
Now its around 145.00

We are saving around 34.00 a month switching to Time Warner Cable, but with the amount of money they paid for the Dodgers and how other programming providers are milking all video content providers for money, I do expect the savings to be eliminated in the next two to three years.

Hopefully Time Warner or our new cable overlords Charter Cable do not scare us away. Only thing I do not like about Dish Network is that they have to use contracts for new customers or equipment upgrades. I wish pay television was not a pain as it is now.

Ballot Statements are WAY TOO HIGH

When I filed for State Senate on a promise of getting my filing fee paid for by state party activists. I noticed that the filing fee for Senate District 20 is around $10,170  and in Los Angeles County it is $1200. In the old days when I ran in 2002 the first ballot statement was $615 in San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County was around $165. Basically the taxpayer is not subsidizing the ballot statements like they used to in the past.

Basically ballot statements are a luxury for the high end candidate who may be already wealthy or has money from business or labor unions, but for those who are community and party activists they basically are shut out.

In my election reform essay on my campaign site, I do recommend other options to bring forth voter engagement so they can be informative about the candidates. Ballot statement could be online only as an option for candidates without much financial means. Perhaps for $200 you can have an online only ballot statement for your campaign in the future.

For those without much income such as Crystal Ruiz in Riverside County for her SD 23 race and my own race for SD 20 we could apply for the indigent candidate plan. However we are not given a break with the costs. I would most likely have to pay a heavy chunk each month to the county after the election. I guess Facebook or Twitter advertising would be the wave of advertising in the future.

Most likely at the very best, I might put my sample ballot in the general if I make it that far in Pomona only. Pomona is basically the firewall to make sure any Republican or conservative leaning independent does not get elected such as Paul Leon’s special election.

Hey Verizon! Leave Our Copper Wire Alone

Verizon wants all of us to move to their fiber service and would not have to worry about maintaining customers on copper phone service. I remember when the son of the land lady of the house I reside said he had a miserable experience with FiOS and he would not of done it if he knew more about the issue. Unfortunately like a good snake oil sales man Verizon misled my father about what they were going to do to the wires, they said they were going to “work on the wires”, but they were actually installing FiOS which I had to stop because my landlady refused authorization. There are people who prefer the benefits of copper phone service such as using modems for dialup bulletin board calling or the emergency power the copper lines offer when there is no power in an emergency to make a phone call.

Margaret Serjak, I would love to have FiOS, but you might need to bribe my land lady before we can have FiOS. Because until my land lady allows for FiOS service, your technicians are not welcomed or invited to my home. I am only a renter and I have no authority to authorize FiOS installation at my residence. If you want renters to get FiOS, maybe giving the property owners 1 year free service in their personal home, might be the best sweetener.

Verizon should contact the property owner first before wanting to switch a rental residence over.

Dumb Move for Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times has raised their prices again, I know quality reporting is not free and they have done some good investigative reporting recently. Single copies are now $1.50 and I recently saw my subscription rise another 3 dollars a billing period. This reminds me of the California state budget crisis where due to the lack of money to pay for government services they increase taxes which leads to declining revenue because people flee. Perhaps having news and editorial coverage that would be the mix between the San Diego Union Tribune and the Manchester UK Guardian and people will be pleased to pay for the content. The price increased starting December 3rd of this year and has had little or no media attention.

Let us take a brief history of price increases In 2011, the LA Times went from 75 cents a daily copy to 1 dollar. This had nationwide attention all over the media. People were used to the free material on the internet and also the declining economy did not help things most. Then in 2009 the paper rose its price from 50 cents to 75 cents. I would like to see the circulation levels of the newspaper throughout time and see how this method of pricing themselves out of the market is helping them to salvation or doom.

I do not mind paying for the paper, but there will be a price sooner or later that will make consumers cancel their paper even with discounted pricing through the customer service line. The key to success is to find the equilibrium in price that consumers and the producer wants to pay.

Remember When Holidays Were Sacred?

In the quest to make a buck, retailers are open on Thanksgiving Day. It has been over four years since I wrote my previous column. I do not expect people to not shop on Thanksgiving, but what about family? It used to be 5-10pm when we were originally open, now it is 4pm-11pm. I think in the next six years the store will be open 24/7 until Friday at 11pm like how the Ontario Mills is open at 10pm on Thanksgiving and closed 10pm the next day. Sadly our competitor that is building a new store across the street will be closed on Thanksgiving, but at least they have good taste compared to other retailers these days.  I implore people to shop online on Thanksgiving and consider shopping on Friday or even Saturday depending on personal preference.  There has been numerous petitions to encourage businesses to reconsider their plans to be open that day, but frankly they will not listen unless people stop shopping.

When my father did retail in the 1970s, stores were closed on New Year’s Day, now they are open that day and people do not think twice that stores are open on New Year’s Day. It makes me hoping I can escape the retail industry and become a public school teacher soon. I have two more semesters left in my program and I am hoping to have a decent future. Perhaps with California’s tax and spend future the economy will crash so I will just learn to hold the line on consumption.