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Archive for March, 2007

A talk with Ashley on Vimeo

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Wilford “Crazy Ray” Jones dies

Wilford “Crazy Ray” Jones, who turned a stint selling seat cushions at the Cotton Bowl into a nationally recognizable role as an unofficial Dallas Cowboys mascot, has died. Mr. Jones, 76, died Saturday at an Irving hospice. Friends said he suffered from congestive heart failure and had recently had a heart attack.
“Crazy Ray” entertained decades of Cowboys fans and became a Dallas institution in chaps and white boots.

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Dave’s Thoughts

Dave’s Thoughts

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Ms. Hirsi Ali was born in 1969 in Mogadishu–into, as she puts it, “the Islamic civilization, as far as you can call it a civilization.” In 1992, at age 22, her family gave her hand to a distant relative; had the marriage ensued, she says, it would have been “an arranged rape.” But as she was shipped to the appointment via Europe, she fled, obtaining asylum in Holland. There, “through observation, through experience, through reading,” she acquainted herself with a different world. “The culture that I came to and I live in now is not perfect,” Ms. Hirsi Ali says. “But this culture, the West, the product of the Enlightenment, is the best humanity has ever achieved.” http://www.opinionjournal.com/forms/printThis.html?id=110009771

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My Life

Prologue

I was home alone, staring out of the front window, as I do at times, enjoying the desolate beauty of the snowy winter portrait outside; the classic picture post card scene. I was also listening to an audio book, ‘The Kite Runner’. Having an on going battle of trying to concentrate on the voice coming into my ears and the vision of the beautiful wintry scene outside coming through my eyes… As usual, both sides were losing. Sometimes I would put the book on pause and fantasize about looking out of the window of my small cabin on Walden Pond; or, turning away from the window and being transported to a dusty street in Afghanistan flying a kite.
The scene outside, of course, was mostly white with just enough color to let you know it was not a black and white picture. Against the white background you could see the dark green needles of the Norway Pines and Spruce which was about the only thing that gave you a hint that maybe there was still something living out there. There was the occasional squirrel running around on top of the frozen snow, stopping every once in a while to look down for something. Looking for what I don’t know. I’m sure by now he has his stash of food to get him and his family through the winter and some nuts buried beneath the frozen snow for food to keep them going in the spring until their food supply starts to grow. Also, a few small birds flitting around from tree to tree. Again, I don’t know what they might be looking for; I don’t think there is anything eatable on the trees. Maybe wondering what the hell am I doing here; most of my friends have flown south, for some reason. It could be a little natural selection process going on here too. But why should I be questioning how living things survive in nature when I am having a hard enough time surviving in my world; my very unfriendly world.
The stark difference between the non-deciduous trees and the sticks of wood protruding out of the ground with thin branches spreading out from them is also striking. Different strokes for different folks I guess. Although, the two different types of trees are probably in the same stage of living or more accurately the same stage of dormancy. They just look like they are different. Just like some people in my world or more accurately, the world I happen to fine myself excising in. Some people in this world appear different from other people but are basically the same. Sure, the trees in my view look differently but they are both still only trees. One tree, the Norway pine, looks like it normally does; colorful, sturdy and tall, thirty feet or more in height. The bottom limbs stick out so far from the trunk that it almost seems to defy gravity. In other words, the tree looks healthy and strong and living. But inside, where you can’t see, it has scaled back. The sap is not flowing; the life juices are absence or at least, put on hold. When the warmth of summer comes again and the life juices of the tree start to progress through its veins and arteries; it will not look much different but the growing will begin again. When the weather does start to warm up, basically the same thing will happen to the pieces of bare wood sticking out of the ground but it will start to look different. Small buds will appear and some leafs or berries will begin to grow or some trees will put forth blossoms and some type of fruit will emerge. The later tree is more a symbol of the life cycle, from birth to death. Where the pine tree is more like one continuous long life; maybe you could call it ‘the Methuselah tree’.
Somewhere in between my travels to Walden Pond and Afghanistan, I wonder how I fit into this very small part of the world I am gazing at. If I was to travel to or through, I never knew how that worked, the Twilight Zone and became one of those trees; which one would I be. At my advanced age (64) or now-a-days I should say just passed middle age, I sort of look at myself as the emaciated, wrinkled, bare piece of wood protruding out of the ground. Although, on one of my good days, I feel like that tall, sturdy, virile, handsome Spruce. Usually, though, I come to my senses and picture myself as the world has taught me; I feel like the shriveled up weed that with a lot of effort and struggle has just barely grew a little higher than the grass that I cut for the last time last fall. Actually that is not quite accurate. I do feel like that weed but I have felt that way for so long that I don’t really feel like, I feel like a weed, if that makes any sense. Another way to put it is that if you are feeling pain for a long time and it stops, it feels so good. Not that you feel good but it feels good to not feel pain. How did I get this way? That is the big question! Maybe going back to the beginning would be helpful. Some people would say, deal with what is happening right now. Well, in the past I have not been doing either one. I might as well start doing both; right now I will go back to the beginning and see where that leads me.
Writers write in different ways. Some start with a basic idea of a story and just go where that leads them. Some outline their story; broadly or more intricately. Some use flow charts or some doodle with jotting down, this idea leads to this or this one leads in that direction. Or some just keep writing, writing and writing so they don’t have to really start to tell the story; like I am doing here. So, on with the story, wherever that leads.

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