Sunday, March 16, 2008


My energy at the end of this week is definitely conforming to the law of entropy. As result my musings today have a distinctly random quality. This also usually happens when I surf the various blogs on my read list. first off is a shout out to Big Jim, who currently rides a 29er but who will likely be upgrading to this baby:

I'm very unhappy at the demise of Mean Dawg's blog, since his site was pretty swizzy until he was mugged by an identity theft. Hope you get it all back and stick it to the bad guy, Mean Dawg.

I'm just about finished with Ken Burns' film on World War II, just one 2-hour episode to go. We haven't dropped the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki yet but our boys have crossed the Rhine and are chasing the Nazis back to Berlin. That was a heck of a war, and the last really good war that we fought in. If there is such a thing as a just war, that was it. If you have any elderly relatives who fought in World War II, or if you know anyone else who did, make sure you thank them.

I saw an old guy in my office a year or so ago, and he was really depressed. He had a lot of complaints, but nothing really wrong with him. I checked him over and told him he was doing fine physically for his age, but that he seemed depressed. As we talked I discovered he had fought on Iwo Jima and one other Pacific battle I think it was Okinawa. These were two of the bloodiest battles America fought against Japan, and thousands of our boys made the ultimate sacrifice there. I got a little choked up thinking about the fact that this guy had survived two bloody battles in order to really preserve our liberty.

I reached over and shook his hand and looked him in the eye and said, "thank you for fighting for us. Thank you for all the sacrifices you made." He burst into tears right then and there and said, "no one has ever said that to me before." I wrapped up the appointment with a few suggestions for him, and send him on his way. I saw him back about a month later and he was truly a different man, completely cured of his depression. I can't really say how much of it was due to my words to him, but I don't doubt that they had a positive effect on his mood.

I really believe in the power of spoken words. The Bible says that words have the power to build up or to destroy, and it's really true. This blog is mostly silliness and levity, but in all seriousness if you really want to change the world for the good, start speaking words of encouragement to the people around you. It's funny too: when you mostly say things that are positive, people tend to like to hang around you.

On another entirely random note: Soulmate and I went to a concert put on by Collective Unconscious called "Bridge over Troubled Water." These guys assembled an entire stage full of all the original instruments used on Simon & Garfunkel's final studio album including a string section, a brass section, a Hammond organ, a Peruvian flute, and about a hundred guitars. As a bass player, I did notice they only had one paltry four-string bass. I guess that's all they had in 1970.

Anyway, they opened with five of their own songs, then five or six from Paul Simon's solo career, and after intermission they did the entire BOTW album exactly as it was recorded. They did a fantastic job despite a few glitches, and it was a very satisfying evening.

Yesterday I downloaded that album off of iTunes along with Simon and Garfunkel's greatest hits, so now I've got all of their stuff playing in my head. It could be worse: It could be the Beastie Boys or Brittney Spears, though that would be impossible since I don't own a single track by either these highly acclaimed artists. I'll stick to Paul Simon, U2, and the Boss, and a host of others from Hildegard von Bingen to Mozart to Phil Keaggy.

Nuf said for today. Time to finish off the Nazis & the Japs once and for all.


Kevin said...

We enjoyed the Ken Burns series well.

Words of encouragement can mean a lot to the person on the receiving end...sometimes more than we might expect. And it costs you nothing to offer them.

GoBigGreen said...

Good luck with the adoption. I have a friend that adopted two girls from China, about 2 years apart and they too had to do alot of waiting around. But well worth the wait.
And kudos on the listening and ...heartfelt reply to your patient. I find that if i stop, just for a minute, in trying to diagnose a physical ailment, that sometimes eye contact and appreciation helps just as much as "here is your exercise program."

rainmaker2112 said...

Good potpourri of items in the entry Doc!

I've experienced in my own life the benefit and pain of words. A thank you for a small thing or a cross word for an even smaller thing. The reality though is that the former is tough for most to give, while the latter takes almost no effort for most.

Having fought in the first Gulf War and having met numerous men who landed in Normandy on D-Day (met them at the 50th Anniversary of D-Day while stationed in Germany). I can tell you that most of these folks remember it and the friends they lost like it was yesterday. A simple thank you and a tear for their sacrifice means so much to these warriors, especially when many of their friends died in the same war.

A great movie to see the pain of loss and the joy/agony of returning is "When We Were Soldiers" with Mel Gibson. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Doc said...

Thanks for the words of encouagement, all! You're practicing what I preach.