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Author Archive for Michael Ray

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Musings on the Coast

Musings on the Coast

What I Learned On My Summer Vacation As lucky readers may remember, I took off all three months of summer. It was to be with my kids (ages 25, 21 and 19), here for an extended time as a group and probably the last time. They are in that stage of life when one accelerates […]

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Surprising Observations From Down Under

Surprising Observations From Down Under

I visited Australia recently to see my daughter, Gabrielle, 21, near the end of her college semester abroad. With me is my girlfriend, Kim Bowen, who grew up in London but moved to Sydney at 23 and was appointed fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar, Australia. Heady stuff, especially at that age. For her, this visit was […]

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Attack of the Drones

Attack of the Drones

The pace of technological change is accelerating.   We know that.  There is too much money to be won.  Some 21-year old kid in Irvine just sold a virtual reality headset invention for $2 billion. It is the same everywhere, not just the Silicon Valley in Palo Alto, but also the new ones in Venice-Marina del […]

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Musings on the Coast

Musings on the Coast

Where Newport Got It Right If you have not yet seen the new Newport Beach Civic Center, go.  It is a delight.  More, it is a statement: this is the new Newport Beach, a place where giant international companies like Pimco call home. It is sophisticated and modern. The center contains more than the new […]

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Driving While Black

Driving While Black

The evening before the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday, I dined with my friend William.  We met in the bleachers at our sons’ high school games. He is about 45, medium build and black.  If I were politically correct, I would use the term African-American, but I am not. We were going to the […]

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Swayed by an Outdated Stereotype

Swayed by an Outdated Stereotype

One of the most unsettling things about Orange County is we tend to believe our own bad PR.  We tend to believe we are “the sticks.” We are backward. The most intelligent, well-educated, successful people do not live here. They live in New York, London, Paris, Silicon Valley, Tokyo, Boston, Singapore, Washington or anywhere but […]

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Musings on the Coast

Musings on the Coast

The Coming Revolution In Education Lately, it has become fashionable to bash the value of a college education.   This is because recent graduates cannot get jobs.  There aren’t many jobs and the unemployment rate for newly minted graduates in the U.S. is about 20%.   We are lucky.   In Greece, it is 60%, Spain 55%, France […]

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Musings on the Coast: Arrogance

Musings on the Coast: Arrogance

  This is a true story about arrogance. Specifically, mine. It begins with kayaking. I go almost every day, venturing from one of the coves in north Laguna.  My usual route takes me north along the coast. I paddle to Emerald Bay and sometimes Irvine Cove.  From there, I race straight out a mile, rest […]

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Musings on the Coast: A Kayak Meditation

Musings on the Coast: A Kayak Meditation

This summer I really got into kayaking.  Scratch that, I always have loved kayaking, but this summer I got into it as a balm.  I had had many tense days, marked by tense situations, and I would jam home from work, run to the beach, pull out the kayak and pump into the horizon. This […]

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Musing on the Coast: Why Not an Entry With Pizzaz?

Musing on the Coast: Why Not an Entry With Pizzaz?

Since nearly everyone I know is weighing in on the proposed new village entrance, so will I. But first a note on my qualifications: I am a property developer.  I know how to build parking structures and I know about soil problems.  My opinion about such matters is educated. I am told the new village […]

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Musings on the Coast: The Midnight Surfer

Musings on the Coast: The Midnight Surfer

I keep having a dream I am on a body board and surfing the airwaves high above Laguna. I’ve been a surfer all my life and understand ocean waves.  The best are thin, steep ones that break in a collapsing line you skim across at great speed.   The worst are thick crunchers that burst out […]

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Musings on the Coast: Neutrality In America

Musings on the Coast: Neutrality In America

America is a place of turmoil.  While I was growing up in Newport Beach, there were TV stories of fire hoses spraying black people and race riots in Los Angeles. Then there was war in a place called Vietnam and my parents worried I would be called up and killed. None of it was real […]

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Musings on the Coast: The Graduation

Musings on the Coast: The Graduation

The last one, my youngest, Harrison, graduated from Sage Hill High School. My first was Margarita Aguilar, whose whole family had come to live with mine (all nine of us in 2,300 square feet and not enough beds).  It was she and brother and parents; and me and my wife and two daughters and son. […]

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Musings on the Coast: The Economic Determinist

Musings on the Coast: The Economic Determinist

As I perambulate about the community, I often am asked what I do, as in, who are you? My kids are not certain, since I do not seem to have a normal job with normal hours like other fathers. Yeah, I go to meetings and talk on the cell and text and email. I’m on […]

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Musing on the Coast: My Life As An Extra

Musing on the Coast: My Life As An Extra

The assistant director, Howell, was herding us into place.   It was not easy because 80 percent f the cast and crew were Spanish-speaking.  Howell did not speak Spanish, so as he yelled, a translator followed with his own Spanish yell, like an echo. We were in Uruguay, which is sandwiched between Argentina and Brazil and […]