Sun Editor Dennis Kaiser reflects on the meaning of two frequently confused holidays: Memorial Day and Veterans Day. http://bit.ly/1obpF6T

Sun Editor Dennis Kaiser’s latest “Kaiser on a Roll” column talks about the upcoming Health Expo and his own efforts to regain his health after he was diagnosed with diabetes. For details, visit www.sunnews.org and click on “Kaiser on a Roll: A chance to be more healthy.”

The Sun’s editor reflects on the continuation of a Seal Beach tradition—Miss Seal Beach. For details, visit www.sunnews.org and click on “Kaiser on a Roll: A Pageant For All Seasons.”

The Sun’s editor reflects on Valentine’s Day 2014. To read his column, visit www.sunnews.org and click on “Kaiser on a Roll: Valentine’s for everybody.”

My next Friday blog will appear after Thanksgiving is over, so I’d best be doing my thanking now.

I’m thankful to be working and living in Seal Beach—still one of the best places to live, despite what happened last month.

I’m thankful to be a full time, paid journalist. Not many writers can say that.

I’m thankful to be working under Dennis Kaiser, a friend since 1986 and a man with 30 years’ experience in community journalism in Seal Beach and Dana Point. It’s rare to work with a friend and keep the friendship. (How’d we do that?) It’s more rare to get one-on-one mentoring in your chosen profession. Dennis recruited me to write for this paper, so I pretty much owe him my journalism career. Thanks, pal.

On a personal note, I’m thankful my 93-year-old stepmother is alive and capable of intelligent conversation—even if her favorite topic is still, “Why aren’t you married?”

Finally, I’m thankful to the readers of the Sun Newspaper and Sun Web site. Without you, I might be doing something else in another town.

Thanks, everyone. I’ll see you next week.

Until then, why don’t you post a reply and tell us what you’re grateful for?

Always a pleasure,

Charles

The Sun is a private business, not a military operation. That said, we have a chain of command.

From time to time, people who are not happy with stories that were published—or stories that were not published—try to contact me in an effort to get decisions changed or at least explained.

Ahem. I’m the assistant editor. The editor is my boss. Furthermore, he is my friend. We’ve been a working team since January 1986. I’m not going to double cross him and I will not allow myself to be used to manipulate or circumvent him. My editor is also my supervisor. I don’t have a veto over his decisions. You don’t enter or phone a business and ask an employee to undermine his boss. At least, I hope you don’t.

If you have questions, comments, complaints or suggestions about material published in the Sun or that you think should (or should not) be published in the Sun, contact Editor Dennis Kaiser at dennis@sunnews.org. We cover local news related to Seal Beach, Rossmoor, Sunset Beach, Los Alamitos, Huntington Harbour and Belmont Shore.

Clear?

Always a pleasure,
Charles

Sun Editor Dennis Kaiser took his first real vacation in about 20 years starting on Thursday, Aug. 11. He’ll be back Monday, Aug. 22.

I missed him. Between the two we report, write, photograph and edit newspapers that cover Avalon, Paramount, Belmont Shore, Seal Beach, Seal Beach Leisure World, Rossmoor, Los Alamitos, Sunset Beach and Huntington Harbor. Covering that same territory alone was a scary prospect.

We’ve been a working team for six years now. We went to journalism school together and have been a working team off and on since January 1986. I’ve always had someone to advise me, someone with 30 years of journalism experience to turn to when I had doubts about my decisions.

Did I mention that I missed him? Well, I did. I wouldn’t have missed the experience for anything, but I missed him.

Please, don’t tell him I missed him. I’m not a sentimental man and I hate to give up my hard-hearted image. (Well, delusion.)

I was worried at first that I couldn’t pull it off. I shouldn’t have worried. Dennis set me up to succeed—a benefit of working with a professional. By the end of this day, I will have completed my work for the week and started on next week’s newspapers.

That said, I’m a little disappointed. I ran short of space in the Sun and was forced to hold a crime story that I felt was important. However, the update on the Sunset Beach annexation issue and the burglary of Rossmoor’s Quinonez family would be important to a greater number of readers. The readers count, I don’t.

I didn’t have room for multiple City Council stories and had to limit myself to one. There came a point Monday night when I had more stories to tell from various contributors than I had space. Something had to give. I asked myself the question: what would readers care about the most?

That’s a tough question to answer, because different readers want different things. The audience that turns to the business page is different from the audience that turns to the sports and opinion pages.

I’ll leave it to others to decide if I did the job well. I have deadlines to meet.

But before I get back to work, I’d like to thank the production staff, the sales staff, Publisher Vince Bodiford , and all our contributing writers and photographers—and, of course, Editor Dennis Kaiser. All of them helped me do my job during a week when editorial staff was temporarily down by 50 percent, during a week that included a laptop malfunction and a lengthy blackout.

Man, I really missed Dennis at times.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have another deadline to meet.

Always a pleasure,
Charles

For a month or so now, Sun Newspaper Editor Dennis Kaiser and I have played chess daily. Not a game a day, mind you, but a game that lasts a week to 10 days before one of us wins. Dennis usually wins. I confess this wounds my pride since I’m the more experienced player of the two of us. However, Dennis has a significant advantage over me.

No, I don’t mean the fact that he’s my boss. I grant you that playing a competitive game with your boss outside the workplace—or inside it—can be a risky venture. I wouldn’t play the game if I thought for a moment he was a vindictive fellow. I’ve met vindictive people in my time. I try as best I can to avoid them. Besides, I wouldn’t rent a room to a vindictive person. (Yes, I’m my boss’s landlord. No, I am not under psychiatric care.)

No, Dennis has the advantage of knowing me too well. The thing about chess that people don’t realize is that the game is played as much in your head as on the board. Dennis and I met in January 1986 and after a quarter of a century, Dennis has learned to put himself inside my head. I never quite got that knack.

Incidentally, if you want to master politics I strongly urge you to take up the game. Chess is one of the few games that you can apply to real life. When I cover political issues, I try to look at the contest as a chess contest. I try to see what each side’s moves tell me about their plans and the wisdom of the political leadership. It’s a useful way of looking at an emotionally-charged issue, if only because it allows you to detach from your feelings and focus on what’s actually happening.

But, getting back to my chess games against Dennis Kaiser, I’m not so sure Dennis is defeating me as much as I’m defeating myself. He plays a cautious game. I, on the other hand, tend to be hyper-focused on my immediate goals and when I’m winning hyper-confident. That can lead you into thinking you can’t lose. If nothing else, the chess games have taught me that if you think you can’t lose, you’re at high risk to lose.

It also doesn’t help that Dennis plays a maddeningly slow game. He will literally take 24 hours to make a single move. I like to make a move as soon as possible after my adversary has made a move. Dennis hates risk, at least on the board. I’ll take risks—knowing full well they may cost mere dearly. I take the risks because if they pay off, I can devastate the other player. Since I don’t know anyone else willing to play at all, I’m stuck with an opponent whose pace drives me insane.

However, I’ve devised a plan. I’ve started reading books by chess masters—men who’ve actually earned money playing chess professionally. (The opportunities for earning a living in chess are actually worse than the opportunities in journalism, but they do exist.) I’m taking fewer risks and planning my chess attacks with greater care. This last game out, I had my first eight moves planned before the game started. Dennis is predicting defeat before he’s lost. Between us, he could use his knights more aggressively. They’ve been sitting on the sidelines doing nothing.

Unless Dennis pulls a rabbit out of his hat—and he might—I think I’ll win this game. Of course, that hardly matters. The only thing we’re playing for is a fleeting feeling of pride—followed by another game.