Day 4 of 10 days of Thanksgiving: Thankful for Shabbat

(11/22/2014, by Dave Emerson:) My 4th “Day of Thanksgiving” falls on a Saturday, which reminds me of a Jewish tradition for which I’m thankful: Taking one day each week to rest and focus on God, the eternal, and others.

I’m not Jewish, but I do try to live by the teachings of the most famous (and controversial) Jewish rabbi this world has ever known.   And, as revolutionary as his teachings were, Jesus made it clear that the he did not intend to abolish the Law of Moses, but to fulfill it.

In our workaholic, materialistic world where possessions, money, fame and pleassure are worshipped, resting one day a week is practially a sin.  Thirty five years ago, when I was trying to get my real estate career going while working as a teacher, I sure thought I needed to hold Open Houses on Sundays to succeed.

Until I called mega-agent Ben Gritters to get more information  Continue reading

Day 3 of 10 days of Thanksgiving: Thankful for our Military & First Responders

The Los Al City Council encourages us to wear Red shirts every Friday to Remember Everyone Deployed.

The Los Al City Council encourages us to wear Red shirts every Friday to Remember Everyone Deployed.

(Los Alamitos, 11/21/2014)  Today I’m thankful for every member of our military, past and present, and our police and firefighters.   That includes my Dad, a WW II vet who and my father in law, a WW II POW.  The were both among the fortunate ones who returned home alive.

In the photo on the right are the flags that draped their coffine five decades later.  They were given to my mother and mother-in-law were handed  “On behalf of the President of the United States, the Department of the Air Force, and a grateful nation’  for their “faithful and dedicated service.”   I’m thankful for all our vets, living and dead.  Without their sacrifices, we would not have the freedom we so easily take for granted.

One of our own, Laura Hertzog, heads up Honoring our Fallen, which serves the families of our fallen from the moment they are notified of the death of their loved one.  You can read more about Honoring our Falling in JM’s recent post and on their website,, where you can also donate.

Behind the flags showing some of the areas of the world where  our military currently serve fighting everything from ISIS to Ebola as you read these words.  For them, I am not only thankful, but also   Continue reading

HG: Mental and Physical Fireworks in Los Alamitos

Our Thursday columnist wants to know just what it is the City Council is trying to fix.

 (Los Alamitos, 11/20/2014) Looks like it’s our Thursday columnist’s turn to spark some fireworks.  You may not agree with him, but he brings a reasoned approach and perhaps a different perspective to a controversial issue.  Please note that each of our contributors is only expressing his or her viewpoint.  This is not by Dave E or JM, but by our regular Thursday  columnist.

by “Highlands Guy:  I really don’t see what the big fireworks hub-bub is all about. Fireworks are fun. Fireworks look cool. Fireworks are sometimes associated with a 4th of July celebration.

But the reality is that fireworks belong in the toy box of life, along with sports, movies, music, and the circus. They are not what the 4th is about, and they are not an inalienable right. Look, I grew up with fireworks just like you, but times have changed, laws have changed, realities have evolved.

And it’s not like they’re gone. They’re still here, and still really close. And free if you walk in. And aside from Continue reading

Day 2 of 10 days of Thanksgiving: Rivalry Week!

Can I get an 8 clap?

Can I get an 8 clap?

 (Los Angeles, 11/20/2014)  On day two of my ten days of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for Rivalry Week, and that the game actually means something this year!

I’m thankful for two of many great local universities in SoCal, and for the only true crossTOWN Division 1 rivalry in the entire nation!

Both UCLA and the University of Spoiled Children ;-)  are actually in the same city!  Just about everyone who grew up in the Los Angeles/Orange County metropolitan area had freinds who went to both schools.  Shoot, a lot of USC football players live in Westwood–and who can blame them?

For most of us, it’s a fairly friendly rivaly.  Our economy benefits from having both institutions here.  Even though I’m a Bruin, the son of a Bruin (please don’t misread that, Mr. S.), and Continue reading

Ten days of Thanksgiving

(Los Alamitos, 11/19/2014)  In many ways Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, because being thankful is such an important habit.

So for the next 10 days I’m going to try to remember to post something I’m thankful for each day.  With a West Orange County slant.  That should get us through Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Today (Wednesday, 11/19), I’m thankful for all of the candidates who ran for local office, whether they won or lost.  Whether they were experienced or inexperienced.  With two exceptions:  Continue reading