18 Years A Dreamer

People in town have said everything from I was an unemployed bum to I soaked off my wife.  The fact is that I have been working on something for what is now going on 18 years. Even when I was employed full time I was working on this project. Well, like anything you love and want to see grow up and be ready for prime time, it is time for my “project” to go live and out to the world. I am proud to present my effort to change the world

High School: College Entrance Test Prep


Also known as HSCETP. We have started a kickstarter campaign so we can roll out the project at this KickStarter HSCETP page.

What I am going to do after the fold is share the path that we followed from the idea through the phases of development until we got to the point where we are at today because the story is one that may interest people. Some people knew about this very early (when my daughter was at Weaver, and now she is at ASU, a number of people there were given the patent to look over and review) and others much later (Dr. Johnson at LAUSD was involved just a year and a half ago). But for most people they had no idea what I was doing, so to them I was either the unemployed bum or some other such nonsense. The path from an idea to a product is generally a twisted road, and this was a very long and twisted one. And yes, we are actually giving the product away for “free” to every High School student in the US. Please see the Kickstarter page (link above) to see why (or just keep reading and we get to the reason towards the bottom of the history). Many people write whole books on how a thing started and grew, this isn’t quite book worthy, but a blog post? Yeah.

Continue reading

Happy Hanukkah to all!

Hanukkah candles(12/17/2014) updated from our 2010 post) by Dave Emerson:  Sundown last night began the first of the 8 night celebration of Hanukkah, Chanukah or  חג חוכה .  Hanukkah means “dedication” and is a celebration of God’s provision for His people during the rededication of the Second Temple  after the Jewish people had successfully overthrown the tyranical Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

Epiphanes had blasphemously desecrated the Temple which Zerubabel had built on the ruins of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem in 516 B.C., so there was great celebration when the people were liberated and the Temple worship restored.

Hanukkah:   A celebration of light, freedom, and God’s power

Christians, Moslems, and freedom loving people everywhere Continue reading

Blindside at Los Alamitos’ City Council?

Outgoing Mayor Graham-Mejia receives a proclamation from Cypress' new Mayor Rob Johnson

Outgoing Mayor Graham-Mejia receives a proclamation from Cypress’ new Mayor Rob Johnson as her Council colleagues look on.

(Los Alamitos, 12/16/2014)  It appeared to me to be a “Blindside” worthy of Survivor.   The only difference was that nobody had Jeff Probst extinguish their torch.

After almost two hours of commendations and proclamations celebrating outgoing Mayor Grahan-Mejias two terms of service,  last night’s Los Alamitos City Council Meeting moved on to swear in the two returning and one new Council Member (see picture below). Continue reading

In Memoriam

(12/16/2014) by Dave Emerson:   Yesterday they walked into the busy coffee store to grab a cup of coffee or go to work.

After a day of terror, two of them didn’t come out alive.

This morning they walked into their local school to learn.   132 of those school children are now dead, along with 9 of their teachers, and another 124 are wounded.

“My son was in uniform in the morning.  He is in a casket now,” said Tahir Ali as he arrived at the hospital to pick up his son’s body.

Read that last sentence again.  And weep.

“My son was my dream.  My dream has been killed.”

Does it really matter that they were half a world away?

It could have been our local Starbucks.

It could have been my Continue reading

Los Al Council meets Monday to honor Mayor Graham-Mejia, approve higher fireworks & reorganize

Mayor Graham-Mejia will be feted with 7 different presentaions for her service.

(Los Alamitos, 12/14/2014)  After eight years of growth, tribulation, & triumph worthy of a mini-series,  Mayor Graham Mejia will lead her last City Council Meeting starting at 6 pm tomorrow night.  Mayor will hand off a gavel that many Los Alamitos residents believe she should have received six years ago after originally serving  as Mayor Pro Tem in 2008.

There is little doubt that Los Alamitos 4th woman Mayor is leaving on her own terms, having chosen not to run  for a third term, at least not at this time.  There is also little doubt to many that she leaves in triumph, having been ultimately vindicated by the voters of Los Alamitos, her Council Colleagues, and none less than a Federal Judge, at least when it came to her position on the infamous Trash Franchise.

Graham-Mejia leaves behind the last two years legacy of Los Alamitos’ City Council function not as the highly divided Council of those Trash Contract years, but a Council where each member seems focused on doing what’s best of the City as a whole.  Kudos should go to every current Council Member for making this happen.


After the presentations, the Agenda moves on to ten Consent Calendar items as the Council seeks to Continue reading

HG: Thankful, but we can do better

(12/11/2014)  by “Highlands Guy:”  Reading and absorbing Dave’s 10 days of Thanksgiving certainly gives one a most positive take on who we are. And I would have to agree with his conclusions.  We absolutely have a lot to thankful for.

But, and you knew there would be a but, I would like to dig a little deeper and go back in time just a little. While the city has made progress and we are inching our way to respectability, I would offer that we need to look back a touch to see if we can make up for the pitfalls that have plagued us from the time of the city’s founders.

What got me started this time was a conversation I had with a friend and very long time resident, who spent time fixing my kitchen faucet last week. He noted that when they remolded his house, long ago, he had to argue with his architect to include a front porch. We both heartily agreed that front porches were good for a neighborhood, and that we have seen, mostly, but not all, positive changes within the few streets where we hang most of the time.

My friend then mentioned several biggies that did not reflect well on those in charge way back when: Continue reading