TUESDAY, JULY 15
Clayton Koh of Colton, who grew up as the butt of jokes because he was a fat boy who preferred writing and drawing to playing sports—strangely, the bullies missed the obvious target . . . that he was from Colton—has written and illustrated a children’s book on masculinity. It’s called “I’m a Real Boy,” it’s published by Scholastic, Inc., and it smashes male stereotypes in a rhyming, non-threatening way. I tried that once, and somebody smashed me right in my . . . uhhh . . . male stereotype.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 16
The San Bernardino Sun calls for county assessor Bill Postmus to resign, writing a clear, concise, informed and quite damning editorial that reminds us all of how the bright young Republican has squandered his potential on political shenanigans of the oldest and scumbaggiest kind. Meanwhile, the paper—squeezed nearly to death by the greedy policies of its Denver-based corporate owner, William Dean Singleton of MediaNews Group—has reminded us that it still has enough life left in it to do what newspapers do best: watch out for the communities they serve. My favorite paragraph: “Cronyism is Postmus’ middle name. Not only does the assessor wantonly intermingle his office’s time and duties with the Republican politics he has dominated in the county, but he has put his political aides and allies in well-paid county positions for which they have no discernible expertise.” That and the last one, which read: “It’s over, Bill.”
THURSDAY, JULY 17
Hemet police and a citizens group called Valley Watch join forces to try to scare registered sex offenders out of their perverted predilections. They begin by putting “We’re Watching You” bumper stickers on police cruisers, which if you ask me, sounds kinda creepy—calling police cars “police cruisers,” I mean. It also seems misleading, inasmuch as riding around with bumper stickers on their cars is pretty much the extent of the Hemet cops’ extra commitment to the campaign; no increased enforcement is planned. Of course, these people have already served time for their crimes. They just happen to have been convicted of crimes for which the punishment never ends—harassing them endlessly is not only legal (thanks to Megan’s Law, which requires them to register with police for life and have their names and addresses put into a publicly accessible database) but encouraged. Thus the “We’re Watching You” bumper stickers . . . and banners and billboards, which feature a picture of two eyes. “Sex offenders know these signs,” says Frank Gorman, the founder of Valley Watch. “They know what Valley Watch is about. They’re paranoid.” The group has banners hanging at every school and park in the Hemet and San Jacinto districts. Two billboards are planned on Winchester Road and the Ramona Expressway. Can we suggest one in the confessional booth—you know, the side where the priest sits?
FRIDAY, JULY 16
Ouch! You smashed me right in my male stereotype. Yes, it’s still tender!
SATURDAY, JULY 19
It’s hotter than hell in Desert Hot Springs today, which is maybe why the residents of Hell (and everybody else) are staying right where they are, thank you—and also why 45 years after Desert Hot Springs incorporated as a city it still has only 26,000 citizens. Of course, there’s always the future, which at least one economist insists is red hot . . . and he ain’t just talkin’ Fahrenheit. John Husing says Desert Hot Springs will start booming in about four years and will have almost 91,000 people by 2035—and we’re assuming it will be that new model of solar-powered “people” who operate without water and can afford the $1,000-a-gallon gas.
SUNDAY, JULY 20
The second coming of Troy Percival continues as the Tampa Bay Rays activate the Fontana-born, UC Riverside-raised relief pitcher from the 15-day disabled list. Percival turns 39 on August 9 but had been enjoying one of his best seasons—19 saves in 21 opportunities—until a strained left hamstring sidelined him on July 2. He was out with the same injury for a couple of weeks in early June. But this guy rises from the dead the way the rest of us get up every morning. His career was considered finished in 2005 after a decade of saving games for the Angels, and was mostly famous for remodeling the UC Riverside clubhouse all by himself. However, he came back in 2007 with the St. Louis Cardinals and this season received a two-year, $8 million contract with Tampa Bay—which he has helped to its best season ever. “He’s feeling stronger and better,” manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s great to have him back. He’s been chomping at the bit.” See, I thought that was chewing tobacco.
MONDAY, JULY 21
Skinny druggies in bright clown suits are riding bikes all over France again this summer, just like every summer since 1903, but fewer people care. More to the point, fewer corporations care—and that means that salaries of the Tour de France riders have been reduced by as much as one-third since last year. People are just getting sick of all the drugging—the kind done by Temecula’s Floyd Landis when he won the race a couple years ago. The riders aren’t, though. Drug scandals are dominating reports of this year’s race. Anybody know how to say the Serenity Prayer in French?