Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Getting Involved and Making Changes

If only OC Politics were as pretty as this picture...

Recently, some one near and dear asked me why I get involved in so many activities. The answer is surprisingly simple: It makes me feel good. Those five self-serving words create a singularly selfish reason and is my only motivator.


I know that our civilization is in bad shape. Those elected to represent us are all too often completely disinterested in making their community better. Instead, they seek power and money. It has been said that people to don’t run for office for money, they run for the power. I didn’t realize what that meant or even how true the statement was until I started seeing how often a candidate will say what they will do if elected only hear them boast about all of the programs they have created or worked on and how noble each of them is after they are elected.

I have been a Monday night armchair quarterback in politics for a number of years. It’s a safe place to be. You can rant and rave about this politician or that administration and you never really need to do anything. Talk radio is a great forum for the armchair politician. The host screams about how screwed up everything is since this person was elected or that law passed. You might even feel strong enough about s topic to call in and have your say. And that was the end of my political and civic involvement.

No, not even close. In elementary school I was a cub scout and an alter server (a.k.a. alter boy. And wouldn’t you know it, my son is also an alter server.). In high school I enrolled in the Army JROTC program. In college it was the police academy and sheriff’s academy. After becoming a parent I found myself looking to be involved again but this time with my children. I signed my son up for cub scouts and later boy scouts. I became an Assistant Scout Master and merit badge counselor which meant lots of training. It was fun but my son decided he wanted to focus on his school work so he dropped out of scouting.

When my son began preparing for high school and my oldest daughter for kindergarten, I began to look around at my community, recognizing the good and not so good that was around us. I found an opening on the City of Fullerton Citizen’s Infrastructure Review Commission, I applied, I appeared before the Council, and I was appointed with a 4-0 vote, Councilwoman Pam Keller being absent. Being a licensed land surveyor, I have an appreciation for the condition of our infrastructure and thought this would be a good place for me to help my community. At about the same time I was moved to support a candidate, Chris Norby, who I had believed in for several years for an election to the California State Assembly. Call me an opportunist but I saw this as a chance to elect someone who would actually try to change California for the good of our children. Chris Norby won in a landslide election in January 2010 leaving a void at the Orange County Board of Supervisor’s 4th District. In fact, it was at Chris’ victory party that I saw a sign which poked at my mind triggering that same instinct to pitch in and help for a worthy cause. That sign was quite simply NELSON FOR SUPERVISOR. Having watched Shawn Nelson’s voting record I was convinced that his election to the Board of Supervisors would be good for the County and Fullerton. So I volunteered to walk my precinct, place yard signs, and call voters just like I did for Chris Norby.

There are two other candidates that I support, Bill Hunt and Hugh Nguyen. In a previous thread I noted why I felt Hunt and Nguyen was the best choice for Orange County. Without regurgitating all of that, I will just say that Bill Hunt is as genuine as a man can be and Hugh Nguyen has experience and leadership qualities like no one else in the race for Clerk-Recorder. In a few days I will be holding a sign above a freeway to get people’s attention and remind them of who Bill Hunt is and soon I hope to help Hugh Nguyen. If you would have asked me to do these things just two years ago, I probably would have said, “No thanks!” But we are an ever evolving and changing community that I think needs direction from these people, the same people that need to be elected to office in order to affect change. Correction: we do not need these people to direct us; we need them to direct government to serve the people instead of the politicians.

So, why spend time on local politics and not feeding the hungry or some other civic-minded operation? I already donate money to my church to feed and cloth the hungry and we cannot change as a society unless those who represent us are of the same mindset. With hard work and enough votes, we might see a complete change in local politics from the top down! With these new people we will likely see changes in our jail, labor unions, CCW’s, and agency policies. We could see fresh new ideas that challenge conventional politics.

One thing is for certain: if we continue to let the current team captains (political party leaders) manage and coach our team, we will continue to fail. Our children and grandchildren will have even more problems to deal with. More importantly, our quality of life, whatever life we have left, is certain to grow more dismal unless you make the effort to be involved.

Current Cast Of Characters



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Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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