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Author OC Answerman

  • OC Answerman

    aka Chris Jepsen


Groundhogs, Abe Lincoln, and Bellis

Q: With no groundhogs in O.C., what signs of nature predict our local weather? You’re worried about winter in Orange County? Local Native Americans once believed that gophers relocating their burrows to higher ground was a sign of an approaching rainy season. According to the late historian Jim Sleeper, the pioneers had innumerable predictive “sure signs”—from heavy acorn growth to whales hugging the coast. These methods were about as dependable as ol’ Punxsutawney Phil. Since accuracy clearly isn’t a concern, let’s invent a new method of weather divination: If Jerry Brown comes out of his office Feb. 2 and sees his shadow ... . Read more...

UFOs, Swallows Day, and Placentia

Q: Where’s the best place to see UFOs in Orange County? Downtown Huntington Beach is the most likely place, based on the many sightings mapped on the UFOStalker website used by Mutual UFO Network’s Orange County chapter. Of course, that part of town also has something like 825 percent more liquor licenses per capita than the rest of the county. (Perhaps the little green men like to tie one on?) But we can’t blame all UFO activity on schnockered sightings. Visit your local art school and then tell me there are no extraterrestrials among us. Read more...

O.C.’s Saturated Food-Truck Market

Q: Any advice on how to stand out in O.C.’s saturated food-truck market? A: The gourmet food truck craze gets several things right: clean trucks, friendly service, changing menus, and quality ingredients. Stick to those. But fusion and freak-show cuisine has been done to death. (Who thought Asian tacos would so quickly go from novelty to cliche?) Surprise everyone by making well-executed versions of foods everyone loves. For instance, if you’re going to make pizza, don’t make a tofu faux-pork-belly pizza with Assyrian woodchuck cheese, seaweed, and kumquat sauce on a wheatless crust. Just make the best possible version of the traditional kind.  Read more...
READ NOW: Serial Killer Seduction

Our "Center of the Universe" story is being read all over the world right now. Click here for the story.


Who Did Randy Kraft Seduce?

Current photos of author Jay Roberts.


A Fact-Checker's Journey to a 1980 Afternoon

Our intrepid intern tracks down the details in Roberts' story.


Why Isn't Randy Kraft Dead?

Our original piece on one of California's deadliest and most depraved serial killers. 


Editor's Letter, October 2013

Our editor considers "Center of the Universe" to be compelling—and incredibly frightening. Click above to find out why.