Sunday, November 23, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving...

 ONCE AGAIN...
As has become a tradition here at A Bubbling Cauldron, before we turn the fire down to simmer for the holiday, today I write to you with thoughts about Thanksgiving, and what it means to me.

LOTS OF WORDS...
Since I began writing this blog the first week of July, 2005 hundreds of thousands of words have come sputtering out of my skull and found their way to this site.  I've worn out two computers and changed blog hosts along the way.  Some of you have been loyal readers since day one, and for that I'm VERY thankful.

LOTS OF NUMBERS...
When I changed platforms the new technology afforded me the chance to observe the traffic on this blog.  While we were in the midst of the election wrap up last week we blasted right past the 2,500-post milestone on this site.  And, we also passed 2,000,000 page views on this site about the same time.  While those numbers are small potatos compared to big web sites, they still make my head hurt.  The number of page views on this site is increasing and I'm thankful to those several thousand of you who read the thoughts presented here each month.

COMMENTS... A MIXED BLESSING
I've gone from a site that didn't permit comments to one that did - much to my chagrin.  A while back, after dealing with some of the unpleasantness associated with the comments, I decided to try to rein-in the vitriol and require anyone who wishes to comment to register, confidentially, before posting their thoughts.  That little bit of accountability seemed like a good idea at the time, but I'm not so sure now.  Too many folks with opposing viewpoints refuse to register, so the comment threads here have become distilled into mostly opinions that agree with mine.  That was never my goal.  I'm thankful for those who still choose to participate, but miss the others very much.

WEDDINGS AND SPECIAL PLACES
Last year I wrote about a couple weddings we attended and our adventure getting snowed-in on our vacation and subsequently missing our first chance to see Yellowstone National Park.  This year we attended yet another family wedding, when nephew Evan and the lovely Vanessa tied the knot this fall.  As I type this they are honeymooning in the South Pacific.  And, this year we managed to finish that vacation adventure which included not only Yellowstone, but the Grand Tetons and Glacier National Park, too.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to have seen those very special places, although being ten feet from a 2,500 pound moose did manage to tighten up the old sphincter a little.

AND, OF COURSE, SWEET SUE...
And, as always, by my side in these adventures is my lovely and very patient wife of more than 47 years, Susie.  As each year passes I'm more and more thankful for her presence in my life - for the love she brings to our life together and the gentle nudge she applies to the tiller of our lives when necessary.

FOR MY FRIENDS...
I'm thankful for my friends, past and present.  In 2007 I wrote about my friend, Larry Moore, and how each Thanksgiving since 2003 I recall being at his bedside in the hospital in Las Vegas as he tried to recover from injuries caused by a motorcycle accident.  You can read about it HERE.

AND NEIGHBORS...
This year has seen an unusual turnover of homes in our neighborhood, which makes me even more thankful for those neighbors who have shared our lives here for more than four decades and those who have either moved on or passed on.  Each of them have made our lives rich and full, for which we are very grateful.  And, we're looking forward to our new neighbors as they fill the spots along our lovely streets.

AND THE ACTIVISTS AND VOLUNTEERS...

The recent election has reminded me of how many wonderful people contribute positively to the lives of all our residents through their tireless activism and volunteerism.  Groups like Costa Mesans For Responsible Government (CM4RG), the Eastside Costa Mesa Neighbors Group, the grass-roots group Take Back Our Neighborhoods (TBON), which formed to battle rehab homes in our community, and so many other individuals unaffiliated with a specific group, all of whom took time out of busy lives to focus on issues in the city and present their opinions to officials when they thought it was appropriate. 

HOPING FOR HARMONY
This past campaign season is unlike any in my memory and I have no idea what the future holds for my city as a result.  While we hold out hope for a more conciliatory, positive governance, early results lead me to believe it's going to be more of the same kind of divisive, polarizing experience we've endured the past four years.

AND THE LOCAL MEDIA...

Although I don't contribute as much to them as I once did, I'm still VERY thankful to the fine local newspapers that serve our community.  Our newspaper of record for more than a century, The Daily Pilot, continues to provide accurate and timely news for us.  The Orange County Register, struggling to stay alive, covers the broader region - for now.  I'm thankful for them and their contributions to the community.  And, I'm thankful when they consider something I submit to them worthy of publication. 

AND THE EMPLOYEES...
As always, I'm very thankful to the fantastic employees of my city, who protect us and serve us.  Their numbers have diminished and their spirit has grown slightly dimmer because of the events of the past four years, but their service to the community has never wavered.  They continue to try to provide the best service possible, and for that I am very thankful.  I chose this image of award-winning Brad Long and Dane Bora of Costa Mesa Television to represent all the rest.

AND OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM

I'm always thankful to the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces, for their patriotism and dedication as they defend the freedom that permits us to celebrate this day.

AND FAMILY...
And, I'm thankful for my family, who tolerate me and support me as we trundle down this road together.  They are the best...

AND YOU...
And, finally, I'm thankful to all of you who take the time to read this blog and, hopefully, find value in what appears here.  Yes, even those who disagree with me... I'm thankful for your attention, too.



HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU ALL

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16 Comments:

Blogger Flo Martin said...

Our community depends on you, Geoff. I am thankful for your dedication, your diligence, your ability to stay awake into the wee hours of the morning to write your blog, your sense of humor, your constancy, your vigilance...and your great hugs! I recently received a card from my Fristers family at Mariners Church with this quote: "WHAT IF YOU WOKE UP TODAY WITH ONLY THE THINGS THAT YOU THANKED GOD FOR YESTERDAY?
I am thankful for you!

11/23/2014 03:05:00 PM  
Anonymous JanetF said...

What a lovely post.

Thanks to YOU Geoff, for your honesty and as Flo said, your sense of humor, constancy and especially your vigilance. As far as I'm concerned, your blog should be required reading for every resident of Costa Mesa.

11/23/2014 04:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Flo, that's quite eloquent. I wish I could express the same sentiment toward Geoff. Don't know what we would do without him. He is the cement that holds so much together. We know we can always get to the bottom of things here. I am thankful for Geoff this year. I know what a huge task this blog is for him.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Geoff and Susan.

11/23/2014 08:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

Very well expressed, Flo. I agree completely. Thank you, Geoff. And thank you, Flo.

11/23/2014 09:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Friendly Neighbor said...

I agree with Flo. I'm thankful that your blog is part of the balance that our community needs, especially for those of us who experience health issues that prevent us from attending meetings and events. I appreciate your candidness, honesty and clever graphics. May your holidays be merry and bright.

11/23/2014 09:42:00 PM  
Anonymous YOLO said...

Yolo wishes a Happy Thanks Giving Day in Advance to everyone

11/24/2014 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Thank you Geoff,...and Sue! For loaning you out to us. I was going to make a comment about this city's biggest turkey...but why?

11/24/2014 07:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Bodiegirl198 said...

I am thankful for the wonderful new Costa Mesa friends I have made over the past year, I am thankful that we can still express our opinions in this country, for our wonderful brave military and their families, our law enforcement personnel, and my savior Jesus. Also, for this blog and Mr. Potstirer himself.

11/24/2014 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Hear Hear!
Geoff's done so much good for this city.

11/24/2014 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger zennymoon said...

... And please bless Bubbling Cauldron, Bless Geoff for loving Costa Mesa enough to dedicate his time and effort, bless Costa Mesa and give her the strength to stand up for herself and thank you in advance for all the good things that will come in this next year for our city, Amen
P.S. and for the turkey and other goodies, too.

11/24/2014 12:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

Geoff, you are a man of your word: you indeed stir the pot!

But not as a R**h Lim****h does, by picking and choosing only factoids that support his ideology. You report the truth as it comes up on the daily stage, and inform it with your dearly bought – speaking as one weathered old guy to another – wisdom. That’s why your blog is a lighthouse to so many people … a lighthouse alerting us to the rocky shoals that ever loom ahead in the political mists.

Your commentaries are worthy of being used as a reference text in a course entitled, “What is – and isn’t – democracy as practiced at the local level?”

Thanks for all your good work. You are an exemplary citizen of our democratic republic.

11/24/2014 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Thanks to you all for your kind words. We hope you
find yourselves surrounded by those you love on this Thanksgiving holiday.

11/24/2014 04:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

Thanks for covering all the action and making it easy to follow.

Still read your rag every day.

It's getting cold up here in Siberia...In the thirties some nights...Have a Happy...

11/24/2014 06:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin Leffler said...

Thankful indeed for all the local news, delivered with your own zesty flavor and unique sauce, seasoned with a sprinkling of perfect pictures, and spiced with eclectic music. No one stirs a pot like you do. It's a treat every time I click on A Bubbling Cauldron.

I hope your Thanksgiving is particularly well blessed this year.

11/25/2014 01:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Eileen Truxton said...

Mr. West, you were "the man" in this election. I love ya!

11/25/2014 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Wendy Leece said...

Thank you Geoff for your hours of dedication to set the record straight. You were there with a few other diehards when the Council meeting adjourned. Thank you Susie for your patient understanding. With cutbacks at the local press we have been desperate for thorough, accurate coverage of "municipal affairs". Your "volunteer" unpaid "beat" is The City Of Costa Mesa. Our next mission, should we decide to accept it, is to increase readership here, telling friends and neighbors about what is REALLY happening. Maybe we need business cards to give out so that when we chat with someone in line at Trader Joe's or Albertsons, etc. they can go online and get more information. Thanks again for being a necessary part of the strategy to take back our city from those whose motives are fueled money and power.

11/28/2014 10:52:00 AM  

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