19 April 2016


by Andy Weddington
Tuesday, 19 April 2016

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world. Buddha

Late last week desert winds blew. And blew some more. 

From north to south and for a couple of days gusts hit upwards of 35-40 mph. 

That's dancing weather!

The hula hoe is not a Hawaiian two-step nor waltz. In fact it's not a true dance at all and has no connection to to the island(s) state, as far as I know.

But if you know the desert, home ownership, and weeds then you know the hula hoe dance.

The hula hoe is a long-handled, manually operated, weed eradicator. An open metal rectangle with a cutting blade mounted on a swivel at the business end of the handle makes for quick work. 

And wind is the dancer's best friend - away the weeds blow. Thank you, Mother Nature. 

Hula hoeing is mindless work leaving time to think about odds and ends and things in between. 

The night before the second day of dancing I saw a play. 

We were seated at a cabaret table with the stage less than 10 feet away. A cast of four brilliantly played out Dog Logic. 

Interesting. In short, the drama was about commercial creep on desert land. Forty acres of pet cemetery. A human buried somewhere amongst them. Love. Relationships gone afoul. Inheritance. Greed. And what makes people different - from dogs (and all other creatures)?


Hoeing and watching the weeds blow away from our pristine plot of desert land, I thought how good the acting. But wish there had been a language warning with the advertising. Of course none of the language new but still. 

Anyway, more than the play I thought about the son of the couple seated aside. At intermission, they said he's planning to enlist in the Marine Corps and be off to Parris Island in October. His parents are Marines (officers both) - one retired. A few years out of high school, their son is trying to figure things out.

I did not say much at the time but wished him well. 

Over the hula hoe came back thoughts of Parris Island. So later I sent them a short email (to pass along to their son) of thoughts for success in recruit training having shepherded thousands of recruits to the title Marine while serving as a series commander and company commander at Parris Island.  

Simple: 1) Attitude is everything! No matter what, keep a good one; 2) Best effort every waking moment; 3) Take one training event at a time, and one day at a time. 

In return a short note of thanks for amazing advice.

It's not so much amazing as it is realistic and practical - gained through experience. Execute those three tactics and save injury a Marine one can become.

His Mom commented I may hear from him. We'll see. If so, a few more thoughts for him (but not his parents - even if they are Marines). 

A neighbor on the north side (so spared the blowing weeds) interrupted my dancing and train of thought. 

When resuming thoughts of an article read earlier in the day came to mind. It was about retired FBI agents involved in the ABSCAM case (if not familiar, Google it) writing to the FBI Director, James Comey, encouraging him to do the right thing regarding the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton. 

Basically, their advice being to think about the big picture. And the reputation of the FBI. 

And that reminded me of an episode of The Andy Griffith Show - Gomer Pyle joined the Marines. 

In one scene Gomer was alone in the squad bay sitting atop a foot locker with a galvanized bucket upside down on his head - essentially blocking most sensory inputs.

As Gomer explained to a puzzled Andy, Sergeant Carter thought the bucket would help him (Gomer) think. 

It did! 

Gomer said he'd been thinking, and thinking, and thinking. And he offered the bucket to Andy to take a think under there. 

Same goes for the hula hoe. Lots of thinking.

It seems to me that new Marine recruit could benefit from some bucket time. And so could James Comey. Maybe one day they can dance the hula hoe but one step at a time.

All that aside, today New Yorkers vote.

And lines from Steely Dan's tune Pretzel Logic come to mind about those days gone forever. So were those days in Dog Logic gone forever.

Will we see better days (of old) in America?

Is that possible?

I don't know about (my) thoughts making the world but the yard is weed-free; for a while, anyway. 

The neighbors south aren't so happy. 

But next time the wind may blow opposite.

Mother Nature is perfectly balanced - though looney people do not think so.  

Random thoughts are not so random, after-all. 


Unknown said...

Was thinking about Comey and HLIARy this AM; I fear my original assumption that Ben Ghazi (whom ever he is) and the open architecture server will pass into the Whitewater of history; after review by the appropriate intelligence agencies in China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan and a hundred other countries.

Jim said...

Another superb thinking man's post. Spent the weekend in Prescott Valley, AZ. The wind blew hard there as well. But we sat outside drinking some good single malt and puffing on equally expensive cigars reminiscing. Oh the remembrances, most good, but some not so. But even the latter ones lifted everyone's spirits. How nice it was to be referred to as "Sgt B" again, instead of "Colonel." You see I was happier as a Sgt; more fun, more troop involvement, less political stuff to deal with, and loved every minute of it. Meanwhile the wind blew strong and brought with it the chill, but we were not to be deterred.