TUESDAY, JANUARY 29
Johnny Cheapo is alive and kickin’, which unfortunately can’t be said for Johnny Cheepo, who was shot and killed in San Bernardino over the weekend. Cheapo, an aging punker, emerged from a recording studio yesterday to the worried messages of his family and friends, who had read Riverside Press-Enterprise accounts of Cheepo’s murder at age 23 while in his car on North Waterman Ave. near Baseline. They assumed it was a typo—that the paper had mistakenly written Cheapo instead of Cheepo—and thought he was dead. So Cheapo asked the P-E to print his whatever-you-call-the-opposite-of-an-obituary, and the paper complied. The paper also asked the public for tips on Cheepo’s murder. So far, that last part hasn’t worked out so well.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30
Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries (R-Lake Elsinore) picks Super Bowl Week to introduce a bill that would decriminalize small sports-betting pools like the one that’s going to piss you off this Sunday when you realize the receptionist has won . . . and is going to piss you off again Monday when you realize that the receptionist didn’t even know he had won until somebody told him when he got to work because he honestly forgot about the game, inasmuch as Sunday was the day that the whole gang went to see 27 Dresses—and, oh, that explains why there was nobody at the theater. Unfortunately, Jeffries’ bill doesn’t have a chance to become law in time for this year’s game, when placing a small-stakes bet will still be a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and a up to a year in prison. The bill was prompted by the arrest and prosecution a little more than a year ago of Margaret Hamblin, 73, and Cari Gardner, 39, both of Wildomar, who operated a football pool at the Wildomar Elks Lodge. The women were fined $130 each. Jeffries says it’s “silly to continue to threaten people with jail time for buying a $5 square at a Super Bowl party.” Agreed, but there also ought to be a way to keep out people who clearly don’t know a thing about football . . . like people who are picking the New York Giants. I mean, really.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 31
Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) endorses Hillary Clinton for President with a bunch of bla-bla-bla, and just about the time I’m wondering whether I’ve got the energy to point out what an ineffective blowhard he is—except when he’s helping his kids get elected—Joanne T. Gilbert does it for me in a letter to the editor of the San Bernardino Sun. Gilbert points out that “not a single Baca-introduced bill has been enacted into law that addresses the issues that we face every day in the Inland Empire. The only bills that he has really introduced and enacted was to award Tiger Woods a medal and to name the US post office in Fontana.” FYI, Gilbert is running for Baca’s 43rd District seat.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1
The Lakers make a big upgrade with a trade that brings them seven-foot former All-Star Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown a couple of reserves and a couple more draft choices, and what almost ruins it is the reaction of Kobe Bryant, who somehow finds a way to give himself credit for the deal. Remember how Bryant nearly tore apart the team last summer with his destructive criticism of team management, teammates and his demands to be traded? Now Bryant claims the trade “shows the level of commitment that I questioned over the summer.” Asked if the trade convinces him to renounce his trade demands, Bryant says. “It doesn’t hurt.” What an ass.
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 2
A beautiful day, birds chirping and all, and I wonder about them as they do. A little on-line investigation brings me to the 11th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, which a week or so from now (Feb. 15-18) will attempt to record bird populations across the country—mostly through reports of people looking and counting in their own neighborhoods. Want to participate? Go to www.birdcount.org. You’ll learn how to make your tallies and how to record them on the website. It’s so free of charge you don’t even have to register. Everyone involved will be eligible to win bird-related prizes, probably not including Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic The Birds, although that perspective probably does deserve equal time.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3
Plaxico Burress is not the name of a floor polish, Eli is no longer the other Manning, the New England Patriots are not the names of the Super Bowl champions, and Bill Belichick finally has something worth being unhappy about.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4
The presidential primaries are tomorrow, carrying a consequence that brings to mind the scariest line in any movie nominated for a Oscar, uttered in the trailer for No Country For Old Men by Javier Bardem: “Call it, Friend-o.”