* ... GIVING THANKS: How do you define happiness, and how often do you give thanks to the people in your life who bring a smile to your face? If you are like me, I have always believed that
* ... PIE RUN: I spent Thanksgiving morning in the hills overlooking Hart Park watching the sun come up, a speculator scene framed by a vibrant canvas of yellows and reds from the forest of trees below. I was among the 300 or so folks who attended the annual Pie Run, which coordinator John Rous says is the best deal in town. Said Rous: "There is no course, really no beginning and no end, no cost and no rules. Just run or walk at your own pace." Rous ran through 300 cups of coffee in an hour as runners feasted on several dozen pies, cakes, doughnuts, muffins and cookies. (photo courtesty of Margaret Scrivano Patteson)
* ... TRAFFIC DEATHS: The number of deaths from traffic accidents in the United States has spiked sharply this year, and experts believe smartphones may be a big cause of it. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says traffic deaths jumped more than 8 percent the first half of this year, a big increase after leveling off in recent years. Should we be surprised by this? Probably not, considering the number of people I see in traffic glancing down on their cell phones and they weave across the road.
* ... DROUGHT: Keep your eye on a new $1 billion desalination plan that is opening next month in Carlsbad, a project expected to supply up to 10 percent of San Diego County's water supply. I have often wondered why California, in the midst of a record drought, is not investing more in these types of facilities. Experts often say they don't pencil out economically, but the Carlsbad facility is a private venture so someone is betting that desalination is a good bet.
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "I’m amazing in bed. I have the ability to stay there all day."
* ... GOOD FORM: Hats off to the folks over at the CARE Foundation which just distributed $36,125 in grants from money raised through Village Fest. Among those organizations that received grants were Optimal Hospice Foundation, CASA of Kern County, Henrietta Weill Institute, Kern Partnership for Children and Families, Kelly's Therapeutic Riders, League of Dreams, Bakersfield Police Activities League, and the Boys and Girls Club of Kern County.
* ... MORE GOOD FORM: Deanna Haulman sends this shoutout to some folks who volunteered to clean up one of our parks: "Last Saturday it was nice to see employees from the local Coke company cleaning up at Hart Park Love seeing local companies taking time out of their weekend to help the community."