In Friday’s column, I recount a visit to the Rancho Cucamonga DMV, the one that opened a year ago. Have you been? Kind of snazzy, for a DMV, and my experience was pleasant. Yours might be too, if you make an appointment instead of merely showing up.
This might be a preview of my next Reading Log, provided I can finish the darned book. That would be “Ulysses” by James Joyce, which clocks in at 644 pages and is famously hard to read. It’s about the unheroic lives of a bunch of Dubliners on one day: June 16, 1904. It’s been called the best novel of the 20th century (and a lot of other things).
A friend, and a bunch of his friends, are trying to read it by June 16, which is known to fans as Bloomsday, after protagonist Leopold Bloom, and my friend invited me to join them. He’s planning a dinner party that night — the menu of which had better not feature kidney and liver, two of Bloom’s dietary mainstays. (I think he’s going to make corned beef.)
This was the encouragement I needed: I bought my copy 15 years ago (the receipt is inside, showing that I bought it at Borders in Montclair on July 24, 1998) and never had the nerve to read it.
I’m up to page 220, after nearly a week of dedicated reading (and a couple of weeks of nibbling prior to that). Have you ever read it, either by choice or for a class? Tried to read it? Thought of reading it?
I can see why it’s famous, although I’m admiring it more than loving it.
Wednesday’s column begins with news about traffic control cameras that have gone in at three locations on western Foothill Boulevard in Upland. They’re there to control traffic lights. Following that are some valley vignettes, an item about an Upland restaurateur’s hijinks and an item about “The Office.”
• Oporto Chicken outlets in Rancho Cucamonga, Glendora and Ontario, the first three in the United States for an Australian fast-food chain, are now known as Feisty Chicken, a locally owned concept. Break it gently to Crococile Dundee.
• The EZ Take Out Burger at Foothill and Central in Upland will become Ramiro’s Mexican Food No. 2.
• LYL Garden in Claremont, the Chinese restaurant that replaced China Star in 2009, has become a Casa Jimenez.
A group representing the Rancho Cucamonga Public Library picked up an award at the White House from Michelle Obama last week. Exciting, eh? My column has the details. Above, parent Christine DeVries, library director Robert Karatsu and the wife of the
Downtown Pomona now has its own trolley bus, the subject of Friday’s column. Above, Larry Egan of the Downtown Pomona Owners Association and the trolley; photo by yours truly. Middle, a view of the old-fashioned interior, and below, I climb aboard; photos by Liset Marquez.
Reader John Bredehoft brings to our attention one of Johnny Carson’s Carnac the Magnificent skits from the “Tonight Show” with a local angle. For the uninitiated, Carson would pose as a great seer who would accept a sealed envelope from sidekick Ed McMahon, hold it to his forehead and offer up the answer. Then, “Jeopardy”-style, he would open the envelope and read the question or lead-in.
In this May 21, 1974 segment (see the clip here), one joke involves Mount Baldy and starts about 3:15 in, but the whole thing, at 7 minutes, is fun to watch.
Question: “What happens when there isn’t any smog.”
In a milestone for Fontana, new population statistics show the city has topped 200,000. Wednesday’s column has more, as well as updated stats for our other cities — see how yours compares! — and a few unrelated short items.
In Michael Pollan’s “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” which is a journalistic exploration of where our food comes from, he mentions being an accident-prone individual. He says, parenthetically, that “childhood mishaps included getting bitten in the cheek by a seagull and breaking my nose falling out of bed.”
Ha ha! But we can all sympathize, right? I never had either of those things happen, and in fact made it through childhood without breaking any bones, but three accidents quickly came to mind.
I once poked my head between two bars in a wrought iron stair railing and couldn’t dislodge myself for a few scary minutes.
Attempting to carve a soapbox derby car from a block of wood with a pocketknife, I cut my hand because I was carving toward myself, not away. (The project, only a few shavings in, was abandoned.)
And when a moving van was in our driveway, I walked into the edge of the loading platform while bouncing a basketball and cut my face about an inch above my eye. I still have a scar, but it could’ve been a lot worse. Yikes!
Your turn. What physical mishaps, the more absurd the better, occurred to you in childhood?