The Beach. I am a pretty typical San Diego close-to-lifelong surfer. That means most of my time is spent obsessing about the surf, checking out the surf, checking the way palm trees are blowing to see if it is glassy or offshore, lying to the local crew about how the great waves I just snagged while surfing somewhere else were, and planning vacations to Baja or Hawaii. Give me a crystal clear offshore November morning with a clean 3-5′ west swell and I’m in heaven. I’ve raised my two sons at the beach and they are both pretty good little groms. Which is great because spending quality time with my family means going to the beach (having kids who surf also means that I won’t have to worry about them attending pricy East Coast colleges – at the ages of 8 and 10 they have already pre-selected UCSD, UCSB and UC-Santa Cruz as their colleges of choice – when I was their age I was trying to decide on whether my weekly allowance would cover the cost of a new GI Joe or the newest Big Jim action figure). I paid my dues away from the beach in my attempt to get an education, so I appreciate how lucky we are to have such an amazing coastline in front of us in San Diego. Too bad that most of our elected and public officials here haven’t actually figured out where the beach is.

Steve McQueen. There is nothing better than watching Mr. McQueen – the god of macho, manly 60s and 70s American cinema do his thing. Think of the motorcycle chase in “The Great Escape,” wordless gunplay in “The Magnificent Seven,” rodeo heroics in “Junior Bonner,” and the slow motion battles in “The Getaway.” Forget about “The Blob” and “The Towering Inferno” and just remember how cool McQueen is in “Bullitt.”

KCRW. I listen to music from this incredibly cool station from Santa Monica through my iTunes radio tuner. Catch the Café L.A. program with DJ Tom Schnabel who spins lots of amazing stuff from all over the planet with no commercials. While I appreciate 94.9 and KPRI while I drive around San Diego, they don’t come close to KCRW.

Baja California. I love Baja and have traveling there since I was a kid. There is nothing better than reaching the coast after a hellish dirt road drive through dusty arroyos and catching a glimpse of point breaks firing in the distance. It is too bad a lot of American developers have a desire to turn Baja into Orange County.

The Clash. My first real rock concert experience was going to see The Clash with crazy Akron blue collar rockers, The Rubber City Rebels at Golden Hall on Oct.10, 1979 with my buddy Mark Ganderton in his super cool VW Squareback. And of course The Clash rocked very loudly. I’ve been a huge fan ever since. So every time I get a little depressed about the awesome challenges we face in defending our coast and ocean from the predations of multinational pirates, corrupt political hacks, and sell-out lobbyists, I pump up The Clash (preferably something from “Give Em Enough Rope”) and get motivated for the daily battle.

Imperial Beach. My hometown is really an oddball, funky place with an edge that is more “Twin Peaks” than Mayberry. Pointing out the presence of the strangeness quotient here drives our political elite crazy since they are continually trying to sell the city as some sort of Disneyesque paradise. Forget it. With the exception of Oxnard, IB is the last blue-collar beach holdout in Southern California. I like the fact that my kids run around our neighborhood with the children of my childhood friends, that I hear almost as much Spanish as English while out surfing, and on the days when it is not polluted, that I can sometimes catch a few good waves with virtually no crowd.

Thanksgiving. The ultimate holiday. The day when I get to hang with my family and friends and stuff my face with incredibly tasty food. So even though it is really a Christmas movie, after the dinner is over and the sun sets, gather the family around the flat-screen, put on a DVD of Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and be thankful for all that we are blessed with. Because San Diego sure beats Pottersville.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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