California: Why I love it

It’s fashionable these days to knock the Golden State. High unemployment, high taxes, high cost of living. Well, my response is that everything has a price.

I lived there for 22 years, in San Diego and Orange counties, and still rank that time as my most memorable, professionally and personally. (My moving away had nothing to do with California.) My recent vacation there restored the dormant warm fuzzies, and whetted my appetite for more. Something about wearing shorts in November …

But it’s not just good weather that makes California a state without peer. I’d like to pass along some insight on other extras. So, five things I really like about California.

— Pacific time: I was watching the recent Monday night football game between Atlanta and New Orleans. In the second half, it was still only 8 pm. On the East Coast, it’s all I can do to stay up for the conclusion of an important game.

— Excellent sporting landscape: Both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels (residents of Orange County, where the Angels play home games, dislike the LA name on their team) made it into baseball’s final four teams. And the USC Trojans have been one of college football’s dominant teams in this decade, and have a memorable tradition. Don’t forget UCLA’s basketball team, still a national power. And John Wooden can still tell you about it.

— News you won’t see anywhere else: During my recent visit, a front-page story in The Orange County Register told of medical-marijuana dispensaries in Dana Point being ordered to hand over records to city officials. Also, a news story reported that a serial-murder suspect who is defending himself in a death penalty trial pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Only in California …

— Great natural beauty: My above video shows some of the natural wonders of Catalina Island, technically part of Los Angeles County. Hey, sometimes schoolchildren there have to take “mud days” off. There are many other examples. Environmentalists can throw some red tape at building projects in California, but they have a lot to protect.

— People: The stereotype is La La Land, of course. But hey, everyone in the South does not resemble a Jeff Foxworthy joke. California is a melting pot, and I can point out plenty of natives who eat three meals a day, raise children and pay taxes just like people everywhere else. As the song says, you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.

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About Steve Burns

I live in the Atlanta area. I also lived for many years in Southern California. I'm into mainstream media, social media, sports, business and politics. I worked for AOL's Patch, but this is my personal blog. I'm on Twitter (@bsteve76), Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. See ya 'round!
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