The Rundown

By Allen David

Posted September 1, 2011 in News


Hello again from Lake Elsinore! And hel-LO to the members of Sweet Social Success, the town’s business networking club for female entrepreneurs . . . and they are looking quite . . . female . . . and oh-so . . . entrepreneurial. And yes, I was here last week, when I did file a report for The Rundown. But I had to return, to inhale once more the unmistakably sweet smell of success—which today, unless I am mistaken, is the odor of 100-and-some personal fragrances intermingling like maybe . . . eau, de’ toilette has overflowed . . . or . . . oh, please don’t tell me the lake is undergoing an algae bloom! As for the ladies, well, it’s obvious from their elevated level of emotional agitation that it’s that time of the month—time for the all-members networking meeting held every last Friday. It’s a sanity-saver from the dunning obligations of day-to-day membership—the sticky-sweet inspirational emails, the even-stickier invitations to coffee or lunch (it’s hard to keep track of which excuse has been used on whom), the conversation meetings, the online activities. But when the fourth Friday rolls around . . . well, what’s it like? A member I’ll call “Kincaid” provides a preview: “We get to introduce ourselves and meet new businesses and see what’s out there. And we’ll do a quick little training on how you can be confident and get your name out there and help grow your business.” Stunning. I’m pretty sure that’s the look on my face. But Kincaid is on a roll and can’t wait to detail the informational nugget at the core of last month’s training: “When reaching out to customers, use a telephone instead of text or email. In the age of the Internet, it makes that personal touch, and just encourages us to step out of our comfort zone.” Yes, quite stunning.


Seven years after moving to Redlands, Rick Carlson is opening a barber shop. He’s calling it The Barbers. You got something to say about it? Something about the economy, about the recession, about the barber-shopping business in this era of Super Sam’s or Fantastic Cuts? About calling it The Barbers? Save it. “If you have some lousy job that you don’t like, then by all means retire,” Carlson sort of snarls to a reporter from the Redlands Daily Facts. “But I can’t see myself doing that.” Besides, just about anything you’ve got to say about the highs and lows of haircutting, Carlson has probably experienced. This place is the sixth barber shop he has opened—following others in West Covina, La Puente, Hacienda Heights, El Monte and Moreno Valley—and the second shop he has called The Barbers. He survived the sight and consequence of men going to salons. “I had two shops,” he recalls. “Lost them both.” But now he’s got another one in the Stater Bros. Shopping Center at Lugonia and Wabash avenues. It’s what he does. Carlson has been cutting hair for 63 years. At this point, what else is he going to do? Dude’s 81 years old.


Wasn’t that story about the octogenarian barber just lovely? So is the shape and scar-lessness of my ears.


It’s miserable in San Bernardino, and on days like this—the temperature is above 100 degrees again—it’s hell. But in Big Bear, it’s hailing. Gazillions of pieces of pea-sized ice fall from the sky and rattle down roofs and bounce off cars and pummel people’s heads, then slowly cover the ground in a beaded carpet of what look like diamonds or pearls, until you touch them, which is when you realize that the day so many people have been talking about for so long has arrived—the day hell freezes over.


A story in about the growing number and kinds of problems created by the increasing congregation of homeless people in one of Long Beach’s most-historic parks, prompted this quick exchange on the website’s comment board. Asks LB City Girl: Where do you suggest the homeless people go? Answers Rino2: How about Victorville?


At about 1 p.m., a brush fire breaks out near Menifee, starting near the intersection of Baxter and Menifee roads, quickly spreading east across Briggs Road. That’s very close to the routes that Menifee Union School District buses use to carry children home after classes. That makes it a very big problem. But somehow, somebody came up with the idea of telling the school bus drivers to use different routes and to drop off the children at different locations. Somebody else phoned the parents and told them where the kids would be dropped off. And it worked!


 People . . . how the hell do they do it? 


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