A fan of the correct Giants

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As an admirer of the band They Might Be Giants, whose fans shorten its name to TMBG, I was amazed to see this vanity plate. Quite a coup to get the perfect plate to express the sentiment that its owner likes They Might Be Giants. The frame, which notes the title of one of the band’s best-known songs, is icing on the cake. Seen recently near a sushi bar in Rancho Cucamonga.

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A sign 4 U

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Commendably reversing the trend of communication that looks like texting, a “For” has been placed atop the “4″ in this Rancho Cucamonga sign.

True, Cash for Checks rather than Checks for Cash would seem to make even better sense, but first things first.

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Happy Thanksgiving

I’ll have columns my usual three days this week, but I probably won’t be posting anything here until next week.* Enjoy the holiday, and if you’re tempted to wait in line outside a store in the cold and dark Friday morning to save a few bucks, don’t do it (unless this interferes with Directive No. 1 to enjoy the holiday, in which case, do what makes you happy).

* OK, here’s something: the first new “Only in L.A.” blog post in months. Funny stuff.

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Metrolink schedule changes

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The 11:30 p.m. train waits to leave for the 909 from Union Station

On a day trip to L.A. on Saturday I picked up the latest timetable, the second new timetable this year. Heck, I’d only picked up the June 28 timetable in late October, on my last trip.

Anyway, for them that cares, the San Bernardino Line (the one most of us riders use) is unchanged on weekdays but has some interesting tweaks in the times on weekends. No trains were canceled, which is a relief.

Even better, the times for the Saturday and Sunday trains are generally spaced better now. For instance, rather than the later trains home from L.A. departing at 3:25, 4:45, 6:15, 9 and 11:30 p.m., they now leave at 4, 5:35, 7:10, 9 and 11:30 p.m. I’ve missed the 6:15 once or twice and had to find things to do for almost three hours, so a 7:10 train makes that less of a calamity.

Sundays, rather than the later trains leaving L.A. at 3:25, 5:25 and 7:45 p.m., the new departure times are 4, 5:35 and 9 p.m. Yes, Metrolink is giving us an extra hour and 15 minutes on Sunday night. (Final weeknight trains leave at 9:05 p.m. as before.)

I appreciate the later train and the retention of the 11:30 p.m. Saturday train. The Metrolink fare increase earlier this year, which raised the round-trip price from $11 to $17 from the Claremont station, was less appreciated, but if that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes.

Foothill Transit’s round-the-clock Silver Streak bus remains a sensible alternative, and sensibly priced at only $2.75 each way.

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Kovacs in Pomona

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Here’s a photo of the Nairobi Trio-themed art installation in a window on West Third Street at Main Street in downtown Pomona, discussed in an item in my Friday column. The photo comes from artist A.S. Ashley’s Facebook page devoted to this piece of his, which he says will remain through Dec. 4 “due to popular demand.”

(To quote the old Stan Lee quip, maybe a guy named Joe Popular demanded it.)

What’s the Nairobi Trio? It was an occasional sketch on Ernie Kovacs’ shows and specials of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Naturally, it has its own Wikipedia page. Just as naturally, there are examples on YouTube.

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Restaurant of the Week: zPizza, Upland

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zPizza, 1943 N. Campus Ave. (at 19th), Upland

zPizza is a chain founded in Laguna Beach with 49 locations in California, but the one in Upland’s Colonies Crossroads Center is the only Inland Empire spot. There’s also one in Glendora, at 1365 E. Gladstone St. (*Turns out there’s also one in Chino Hills at 3090 Chino Ave., although it’s not listed on zPizza’s website.)

zPizza is in a small storefront on the north end near Starbucks and is cramped, with only a half-dozen tables inside and a few more outside. You order at the counter.

But zPizza is different and pretty good. Their pizzas are on the healthy side, with organic flour and tomato sauce, gourmet toppings and the options of wheat crust or vegan. They even have gluten-free beer, if that’s how you roll.

I go there now and then for their slice, salad and soda special ($7). Recently a friend and I tried it out for dinner.

We split a pear and gorgonzola salad ($8.50) and the Tuscan pizza ($17.50 for a large) on whole wheat crust. It’s a white pizza, no tomato sauce, with roasted garlic, mozzarella and feta cheese, shiitake and button mushrooms, caramelized onions, truffle oil and thyme. We liked the pizza and the salad both. The only downsides were the shoebox location and the 9 p.m. closing; it’s not a great dinner spot. The service was cheerful.

You can view the menu here. The rustica pizzas, on what they call a “free-form crust,” look delicious, as does the curry chicken sandwich.

This isn’t the sort of place you’d get a pizza to share with your buddies on football night (although you can get pepperoni), but as essentially a quick-service version of California Pizza Kitchen, it’s pretty good. This is my second-favorite Upland pizza joint, after San Biagio’s.

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Gluten and Claremont

The L.A. Times’ Food section Thursday has a feature on Shauna James Ahern, a Washington state resident diagnosed in 2005 with celiac disease who now has a popular blog, Gluten-Free Girl, with recipes to eliminate gluten (found in foods with wheat, barley and rye) as well as what the Times called “gloriously decadent food photos.”

Ahern is described as having grown up “in Claremont and Pomona.”

This reminded me that Claremont is home to StellaLucy, a market at 101 N. Indian Hill Blvd. specializing in gluten-free foods.

Yes, it all ties together somehow (at least in my mind).

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