Showcase, Grandstand & Facebook, Oh My!

People often ask me “Chris, you intellectual paragon, what did you think of the Business Showcase this year?”
Far be it from me to lodge complaints against an event…  I know, I know…
It was a good event this year, and there seemed to be a feeling of high hopes around the building  and the people both in front of and walking around the booths.
I was also able to get a few embarassing photos that I’m saving for a special moment!
<insert sinister laughter here>
Firstly, setting up during this year’s event was smoother than ever before, with a 15-minute time limit to unload near the Preble Building.
Allowing vendors to unload near the venue and getting them out of the way so others can do the same was really awesome.
Still, it would be nice to have some more organization towards the end of the event than the usual rush of people trying to get out once the final raffle ticket is announced.
There was a traffic jam of cars attempting to pack up and leave early, which I guess couldn’t be avoided given the impatience of some in the Valley.
Still, if there was a similar setup for leaving as there was for entering, that would have been awesome.
Maybe a priority for those who arrive early could be enforced for 2012?
Also, while I am friends with Gary Redfern, could we get someone else to do the announcing next year?
Just saying, a change of pace would be welcome.

The Grandstand schedule for the 2011 California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta was released at the Showcase and we were first in reporting, once again!
In addition to the usual traditions, like High School Madness and the Guns & Hoses competition, we have four new tribute bands.
This year’s tribute bands are from a wide range of genres, including heavy metal, country, and southern rock.  (I have no idea how to describe Chicago’s music.)
I’ve said that the Fair has one final year they can get away with these tribute acts.  Not a personal feeling, mind you, since tribute bands can be just as good as the real thing.
There are those, however, who will reminisce about bands like “The Guess Who,” “The Village People,” and “Creedence Clearwater Revisited,” that appeared at the Fair in the past.
And there are others who will remember when a young Garth Brooks arrived at the Fair, just before “Friends In Low Places” became a big hit.
Still, the tribute bands are pretty awesome and it would be nice to see the Fair keep them around, even if it’s just to have something cool for the weekends.
Now, if the walkways and midway areas could be addressed in the coming few weeks…
Just saying!

There is a difference between skepticism and stubborness, one that is rarely noted in this day and age.
Recently, Brandon Webb received permission from the County Board of Supervisors to begin his multi-million dollar Wind Zero project near Ocotillo.
Complaints ranging from the gun noise to lead in the land and water use were used to prevent the project from moving forward.
The County held two days worth of meetings to discuss the proposal.
In the end, the only dissenting vote was Jack Terrazas.
Of course, citizens of all sorts took every opportunity to raise any point they could, including some very shady or dishonest ones.
One of the more ridiculous ones said that Webb was a frontman for Blackwater, the mercenary organization used during the recent Iraq War.
There were even several YouTube channels dedicated to exposing “lies” or any sort of inconsistency they could find in anything Webb said or did.
From an outsider’s perspective, it was pretty funny.
The bottom line is this, folks: If there wasn’t a reason for it, there wouldn’t be a project.
The Valley needs something like this project and the discomfort of a few loud citizens should not be the catalyst for denying something that the area needs.
The Imperial Valley should be able to train their own officers without having to rely on out of county facilities.  You know, hire locally?
I’m more than sympathetic to the woes of those in Ocotillo, but as someone who lives less than half a mile from the National Beef Plant in Brawley, it should be noted that an inconvenience should never be an excuse to prevent progress.

Having recently joined the Facebook social network (one of us, one of us!), it’s nice to see that it’s more than just a bunch of games and random pictures.
Not that games and random pictures are a bad thing, though!
While most use it to keep in touch with long lost friends, social networks like Facebook and MySpace were also targets for potential stalkers and identity thieves.
Still, when one is careful with the information they share, it can be a fun thing, so long as you don’t take too much too seriously.
If you wish to add me as a facebook friend, just search for my name.
Make sure you spell it properly, though!

Finally, just a reminder that while plenty of money was raised for Anthony Garcia, he’s far from fully recovered and his family should be in your thoughts from time to time.
With luck, treatment, and Anthony’s time as an athlete, hopefully his story will be a triumphant one.
Having a beloved family member go through chemotherapy and cancer treatments, it’s as tough on the family as it is on the patient.
And it should all serve as a reminder that cancer knows no age, creed, race or gender and can affect anyone at any time.
Take the time to have yourselves checked every so often and try to catch potential problems before they become life threatening.

Until Next Time…