Saturday, June 28, 2014

• Eagle Court of Honor in Wildomar


I was honored to be invited to Boy Scout Eagle Court of Honor.

It was the ceremony where Mike Ames and Riley Olson, of troop 332,  officially became Eagle Scouts.

The Emcee was Stewart Moore and he really did a bang up job throughout. The man is a natural entertainer.

There was a lot of pageantry throughout the evening. 

The official opening, the pledge of allegiance, an opening prayer, the scout oath then the scout law.

There was something called the "Eagles Nest" where all the Eagle Scouts in attendance came to the stage.

It was pretty inspiring to see a man that made Eagle Scout, back in 1956, go up there. He didn't look old enough to have reached the rank of Eagle Scout 58 years ago... he must have completed it before he was five. j/k

There were certificates presented by County Supervisor Kevin Jeffries. There were also several more certificates from local politicians in absentia including Melissa Melendez and Ken Calvert.

Then there was a slide show that followed Mike and Riley from when they were in first grade through this year's Eagle Projects. Though I only met the fellas this Spring, I really enjoyed the slide show, watching all the activities the pair had partaken in over the last decade plus.

Wildomar would be lucky if either of these two settle down here after they are finished with their schooling. Both will be great community leaders wherever they choose to call home.

Again I want to thank those that included me among the guests. I truly feel blessed to be part of the community. Having been warmly greeted by many that were there, and personally welcomed by both of the new Eagle Scouts by name. It's great to have been a small part of their projects.


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Wildomar Rap has been know to help old people across the street. Scouts honor. ☺



Friday, June 27, 2014

• New and Improved Junk Mail

We've all seen the cries of URGENT! or Must Act Now!

The envelopes dressed up to look like they're from the IRS, bill collectors,  your mortgage company, the State or the County. Things telling you that your attention is needed IMMEDIATELY! or that You've Won! 

Envelopes excitedly shouting at you as if you'd won a pearl of great value... but for a limited time only.

We've seen this kind of junk for years, and it's pretty easy to spot. That "presorted" postmark is a dead give away.





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Just when you thought you've seen it all in the wonderful world of Junk Mail you get a sneaky curve ball that gets past you. Imagine getting something like this in the mail.... 

This has to be better than any Golden Ticket mumbo jumbo that Wonka was talking about.




   
...it has to be awesome...

 ...right? 

Perhaps it's tickets to the Pantages with back stage passes, or maybe an engraved invitation to some much anticipated Grand Opening that has slipped my mind, or maybe even a copy of a will naming me sole beneficiary from a rich family member I'd never heard of. The possibilities are endless!!!


Well, I'd better open it up and find out what it is.


Oh, it has something to do with Discover Card, but I haven't had a Discover Card in years... Still it is a rather nice envelope, made of some kind of plastic-ish feeling material... I wonder if they are sending me a check for some kind of over payment or rewards bonus I never collected? Let's open it and find out.


Oh, it's just another gimmick in the Junk Mail war that's been waged on consumers for decades. They want me back... boo hoo! They're almost as bad as Direct TV is when you break up with them.

Direct TV was sending us desperate sounding, love letter style missives twice a month after we cancelled them; now it's only quarterly. Sorry Discover Card, but haven't needed you since Costco went with AmEx.

Gotta give them a tip of my hat, they got me to open it... which is more than I can say about 99% of the rest of the others' attempts with junk mail. Now, however, much like how getting a flu shot helps the body know how to fight off the full effects of the flu, this experience has inoculated me and I'm onto their game... and so are you now. ☺

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Wildomar Rap never floods your in box. Check us out at FaceBook as long as you're logged on.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

• Golden Torch Cactus

Have you noticed that some of the most intricate flowers come from cactuses errr I mean cacti?

click to enlarge


About ten years ago an older man in Dana Point had some cactus cuttings he was throwing away so I took them home instead. I planted them in pots and didn't really think much about them. They had generally been in shady areas and hardly grown much at all.


A couple of years ago I replanted some in larger containers and some directly into the ground and others were moved to the direct sun. Late in the next spring I saw them bloom the most remarkable flowers. One came out on Father's Day the other on 4th of July. It took a little googling to find the proper name, Golden Torch Cactus, but I found it. Though I still prefer to call them Father's Day Flowers. ☺



Watch the video I made of the flower blooming. It's time lapse from about 4:00pm  overnight until the next morning.






A few more pictures I've snapped of this beautiful flower.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

• Notes from the City Council meeting June 18, 2014

The meeting started with a recognition of the Eagle Scouts we've been hearing about this Spring.


Council Member Bridgette Moore, Mike Ames, Riley Olson, Mayor Marsha Swanson.


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There was a lot of talk about the trash pick up... rates that is and what happens if you go AWOL on your bill.

Here's what I got out of it. If you own a home, pay your bill. If you own a home and rent it out, play it smart and roll the cost of trash pick up into the rental fees and that way you won't be faced with having liens placed against your home because of a deadbeat tenant mixed with bad county record keeping.

It was nice to see that the CR&R rep was very understanding and willing to work with the landowners that have been stung with this odd loophole. One resident asked why the city was in the business of collections for a private company. He asked if they were going to start collecting for Stater Bros and the local restaurants too.

First, though I know he was trying to make a point, Stater's doesn't have a contract with the city... not that I know of anyway. So there is a bit more of an obligation with the trash guys. I think a better comparison would have been the cable company. Thing is, no one is required to have cable, or electricity or a phone, but you are required to have trash service.

Before you go off on a "How dare they tell me I have to pay to get my garbage hauled away" rant, the rationale makes sense. If it wasn't mandated, so the story goes, many people would illegally dump their garbage or just stack it up in their back yards. It's a health issue and they are contracted to pick up your trash if you pay them or not.

In the end, if you are following the law, and are not an inattentive absentee landlord, the only thing you'll be facing when it comes to the trash guys is a rate hike of 27 cents a month if you are a residential customer of CR&R (21 cents if you are with WM) and $1.39 a month if you are a commercial customer. Yes, it would be great if prices never went up... but this is real life, and inflation is as American as apple pie and ObamaCare. Errr.... ummm....

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Library Name Change?

Interesting that I just wrote about the library needing a name change and it was on the agenda. Truth be told, I'd already heard it on the future agenda items the month before, and as it happens, it was in my email box as I was publishing it... and it came with a copy of a letter that will be going to Supervisor Jeffries.





I was hearing a couple of arguments against the name change. 

One was due to the cost of changing the Sign out front. Worst case scenario the sign doesn't have to be changed. When I went there last week I didn't even see the sign. The reason why the name change is important is so others know about it. 

If you're saying, "What does that mean?" let me clue you in. If someone says, "Meet me at the Sun City Library, you have a good idea what city it's in, since it's named after the city and all. If someone says to you, "Meet me at the Paloma Valley Library," would you know where to go? It's in Menifee and I only know that because I'm holding a bookmark telling me that's where it is.

By changing the official name of our library, to the name of the city, it will make it easier for others to find it.

How's this for a compromise?

 ☼ Wildomar Library of Mission Trail ☼
☼  sort of like Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  ☼

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I wasn't sure if I heard this next part right or not. Gary Nordquist was talking about Public Works Director/City Engineer Dan York and blithely commented something about Dan York having many titles and then I heard the words Assistant City Manager. As soon as the meeting was over I made a beeline for Dan and asked if I heard it right. Yep, I did... he's the new Assistant City Manager. A post that had been vacant since Gary Nordquist moved into that chair in late 2012. Congrats Dan, may your hard work and long hours for Wildomar only become more so... or something like that. ☺

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Last on the list was in the Cemetery meeting. 

Oh, if you didn't know it, there is a brief  "Cemetery District" meeting after each City Council meeting. 

The only topic had to do with whether or not to fly a POW-MIA flag, provided by the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) at the cemetery. There were veterans that got up and spoke. From what I got out of what they said, years ago a flag was provided but one of the previous cemetery trustees was a trouble maker and took some asinine stance against it. 

Thankfully that guy is no longer in the picture and the Cemetery Board (another hat that each of the city council members wear) voted 4-0 in favor of having the flag fly at the cemetery. 

[it was only 4-0 because Bob Cashman didn't make the meeting tonight. I didn't hear the reason for his absence. Let's hope it wasn't anything health related or family emergency.]


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Friday, June 13, 2014

• Getting to Know Your Local Library

First, you may be like I was, in thinking that our library is called the Wildomar Library

Silly you, it's called the Mission Trail Library. 

Such a natural don'tcha think? 
Well, not really... in other words, "no I don't".

Maybe we can get our County Supervisor to see about getting that silly name updated.
You can email our County Supervisor, Mr. Kevin Jeffries, by clicking this link.

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Now back to the fun of discovering the WILDOMAR Library.


Location: 34303 Mission Trail, Wildomar, CA 92595
I've lived in Wildomar since Spring of 2001 and I don't think I'd ever been in the library before today. Where we used to live, the library was near the community center and we went there weekly. In 2001 there was no library here... be it called Mission Trail or Wildomar. So we quickly got out of the library habit. Realizing I was omitting a valuable resource from my options, I decided to pay them a visit and see what it was all about.

Getting a card was easy and free of charge. The last card I had (for the OC library) cost about $2 and that was in the mid '90s. The process probably took less than five minutes. There were several card colors to choose from and I went with blue and the regular card style (in contrast to the key ring type of card they also offered). The librarian was very helpful.

The library isn't all that big, so it didn't take long to take a quick tour. 
There's a city bulletin board in the foyer.

You get your choice between both a men's and a women's rest room.
Though you're expected to use the appropriate one that pertains to you.


There is a nice central area where you can read or use the computer. As the librarian was telling me, you can use the computers twice a day and they set it up on your card with a pass word. I saw 5 or 6 computers (of which you can see four in this shot). 

Another view of things with two more computers.

This area looks rather inviting.




There is also a Friends of the Library room where books are sold. Here is one of the signs they had out for it.





In addition to books, they have:
 •CDs
•videos
•audio books
•online database
•information services
•homework assistance

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They also have other special activities. Today they were screening Disney's The Jungle Book.

A good way to keep up with the latest at the library is to visit their facebook page.
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This is basically the coolest return slot... ever!
The Library Hours are varied. 
Monday        12-8
Tuesday        10-6
Wednesday   10-6
Thursday       10-6
Friday           10-6
Saturday       10-3
 Sunday         closed


If you need the number, here it is.
(951) 471-3855

I also read that they have
Free Wireless Internet Available

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

• Sidewalk CPR

•  Today, near city hall in the Albertson's parking lot, 

 there was a quick Compression Only CPR demonstration  



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It takes more effort than you'd think it would.

I didn't know what to expect. I thought it was a three hour class... instead it was a three minute drill, where the 
Compression Only 
technique was demonstrated, then you repeat what you just saw on the practice mannequin... and you're on your way.

After that, I was handed a small paper with five bullet point reminders of what I just was taught. 




This is a facsimile of the paper I was handed.

They also included a link to learn more,
and a phone number 1 877 AHA-4CPR (242-4277)

The only part I didn't get from the poster was where it said, "And have some fun, too!" 
[I sure hope I didn't miss out on any ice cream or Bingo after I left.]

I guess we have different working definitions of fun... but that's ok. ☺

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All kidding aside, these three minutes may just end up saving a person's life. 

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