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Random thoughts of a Brit living in the Imperial Valley of California

Archive for the ‘Imperial Valley’ Category

Possible Fun Ahead

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So whilst I look for a job I’m enjoying the good graces of the State of California and a nice little cheque every week or two. Last week I got a letter requesting that I go to the local employment office for a personal job search consultation. Now I’m sure these people do a great job but I doubt any of them have heard about Java, J2EE etc let alone have any idea how to find a job. Typing in the local office, no problem. Someone looking for Struts on Tomcat – probably not. So I was thinking I might be able to have some fun watching them try to tell me how to do a job search. Yeah, I’ll give them the acronyms and my starting salary requirement and wait for them to give me the interview times.

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February 26th, 2006 at 5:53 pm

Popeyes is Open!

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On the way into El Centro this morning I was excited to see that the new Popeyes is now open – I just love that spicy chicken. However, this is a rule out here in these parts (I call it the 15th law of being a redneck) that says when anything new opens everyone must go there and forsake all other alternatives. And sure enough we went in for lunch and the line was huge and no seating available. Well, it will still be there in a few weeks and I’ll try again then.

On the way back after lunch, there was a fire engine and an ambulance outside Popeyes, and the medics were running in with a stretcher. Not the best advert for your first week of opening – I won’t have what he’s having.

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February 25th, 2006 at 1:24 pm

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Desert Weather

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This weekend was quite special for variations of weather. We had a day where it was in the high 70s, then a day and night with 30 mph winds. Last night it was down to 36F at 3 in the morning (I know this because I was up trying to persuade our large dog to let the little dog into the kennel so it didn’t freeze it’s bottom off).

Look, I’m British, so of course I’m going to talk about the weather!

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November 28th, 2005 at 1:19 pm

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Conundrum Of the Week

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How is it that the most guys who spend their weekend off-roading in the desert look like extras from Deliverance, but the girls are usually hot looking runway-model types? Inquiring minds want to know!

For more dirt-people related articles, see this one on my MINI blog.

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November 1st, 2005 at 9:19 am

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English as a Non-Language

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So here’s a hot topic where I live right now – should stores employ people who can’t speak any English? There are an increasing number of sales assistants who only speak Spanish and its getting to be harder for non-Spanish speaking people to get jobs, even McDonalds wants bi-lingual people. It has generated a lot of letters in the press: Anglos takes the view that this is America and the national language is (American) English and if you come live here you should learn to speak it; the Mexican view is that their culture is being suppresed and they should be able to do what they please. Of course it makes sense to hire bilingual people when your customer base is at least 50/50 English/Spanish speaking but I can’t see that it makes any sense at all to put a non-English speaking person on the front line.

But lets face it, in 20 years time California will be 90% Hispanic so maybe I need to drop the French (thanks British school education!) and learn Spanish.

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October 20th, 2005 at 6:56 am

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Swarm City

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Right now I’m missing out on an earthquake swarm out in the Imperial Valley. It started yesterday afternoon with a few quakes in the 3.0 – 4.6 range and there have been constant small tremors every 10-15 minutes since then. According to the recent earthquakes page they just had another 3.0 which according to Teri lasted quite a long time. I was in the Valley a couple of years ago for my first swarm and I can’t say I enjoyed it much – small shakes every 10 minutes combined with a few larger tremors over several hours was something new. Hopefully it is not the beginning of the Big One.

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September 1st, 2005 at 7:41 am

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One More News Item

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I forgot one of the biggest news items last week – the El Pollo Loco is now open in El Centro!!! I’m kinda miffed because they no longer have chips and salsa as a side dish but, as one esteemed reader put it earlier, crazy chicken is in the desert!

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June 17th, 2005 at 6:57 am

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Run In With Plod

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Coming back from the store last night, the turn into my street was blocked by a Brawley PD car facing towards me chatting to a guy in an SUV facing same way as me. Behind the SUV was another car and then me. Waited awhile for them to have their chat but it was several minutes before they cleared the road. As the PD car went by I raised my hands in an ‘at last’ type gesture, turned at the intersection and saw the cop car do a u-turn.

Got to my driveway, he pulls up and asks what my ‘smart-ass gesture’ was about. I pointed out that having a conversation and blocking the street was not a good thing and he said that the other driver was making a complaint. Right, people regularly smile and laugh when they are making complaints, and if true, why not pull over to one side and take the details or, here’s an idea, go to the police station and make it.

Anyway, he told me I had other options than just sit there (illegally reverse down the street, or mount the curb to get by) and left. I wanted to point out that not only did he stop traffic in the street to chat, he parked on the wrong side of the street to chew me out, and his cop car had no plates on it. But of course the laws only apply to the citizens of Brawley town, not law enforcement, so I backed down and away he went. I’m sure he was disappointed my Jeep was totally legal-looking.

I’m going to write a complaint, I’ll probably be harrassed for the next year 🙂

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May 23rd, 2005 at 8:13 am

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The Heat is On

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This weekend saw my first 100+ day in the Valley, I guess the summer is here already. My garden thermometer registered 111 at one point but I think it is not to be trusted. It is definitely heating up out there.

In other news, my home football team has to bid farewell to the Premiership Division after 25+ years. I was at the Dell when they were promoted is one of the few memories I have of anything more than a week ago. Hopefully they will get promoted again soon.

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May 16th, 2005 at 8:08 am

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Wake up and Smell the Flowers

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We’ve had so much rain in the last couple of months that the desert floor is a sea of green right now, I’ve never seen it look anything but barren (excepting the ocotillos and cacti). This has also meant the desert wildflowers are blooming like never before. This weekend, Teri and I went out to the Anza Borrego State Park to have a look see and we were amazed at the colour and volume of the flowers that are out. Snapped a few pictures that you can see at my photo website but here’s a pretty dune evening primrose to tempt ya to go see for yourself.


Dune Evening Primrose

Make sure you head for Coyote Canyon and Henderson Canyon for the best sightings. And be sure to stop at the park headquarters for a wildflower identification map that can be had for the princely sum of just one United States dollar.

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January 31st, 2005 at 11:59 am