Before I left for San Diego last week, I learned that one of the Lexicans has a son who was to graduate at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. A couple of us Lexicans wanted to meet him there.
I had always seen the entrance there at the base of Washington Street – right next to Lindbergh Field. It appeared like it gained entrance to a small facility.
I thought it looked strange to see a parked 757 literally feet from the fence.
And I thought that there would be 100-200 parents and family that would be in bleachers like a Little League game. That the Lexican would be easy to find.
After going through a thorough search, Marine Corps style (no pictures were allowed) I gained entrance and was I in for a surprise.
The bleachers, nearly full, were more befitting of a small stadium.
The parade ground alone could be used as a runway!
And when I saw the “bleachers” and how full they were, it was obvious that I would be watching this ceremony by myself.
It looked like there were a thousand or 2 Marines all standing out there at parade rest, but I learned later that there were 488 graduates.
I have always felt that a pass in review, with all of the soldiers or Marines in perfect harmony and precision, is a thing of beauty to watch, and they did not disappoint.
Anyway, congratulations after that long road to becoming a Marine.
I just got back from a quick drive down to San Diego and because I have come to think of the 300 mile I5 slog from Stockton to the Grapevine as mind-numbing (literally, other than the Harris Ranch near the middle for a nice steak) – there is literally nothing. I’m trying to decide which is more boring – this or driving across the Texas panhandle on I40. At least there you have Amarillo and The Big Texan (if you can eat their monster 72 oz steak it’s free! Pepto-Bismol included!). Years ago, I used to think of the 500 mile drive to San Diego as long but certainly doable; these days I like to break it up.
Particularly with LA traffic. Used to be you could time it to be there outside of rush hour, but these days it just seems like it is bad – and worse. A couple of years ago, I hit Los Angeles area at about 1600 and it took me literally 4-5 hours to traverse the LA – and Orange County – area. First thing in San Diego I had late at night was a martini at Anthony’s on the waterfront. Now closed.
Anyway point is, these days I like to take the roads less traveled. Make the journey an adventure too.
Saw a great program on Hedy Lemarr on Netflix awhile back. After learning what she invented, I think she should be remembered more for her invention side than her movie star side.
She was a refugee from Hitler’s Austria, yet the Govt seized her “frequency hopping” invention as an “enemy alien”; still they asked her to tour the country as a Hollywood star selling war bonds.
That invention today is the basis for cell phone technology.
Today that one invention of hers alone is worth an estimated $30 Billion.
Awhile back I posted what I considered to be signs of genius; Hedy certainly makes the grade.
I remember from the Netflix documentary that she used to work on her inventions while in her movie trailer waiting for the next scene.
David Foster of Chicago Boyz has a great post on her.
Update – 01/22/19 22:16 – I just saw Bombshell , the Netflix documentary, again. What an amazing woman. Her main invention, which was taken from her without any compensation, is today the basis of cell phone technology, secure WiFi, military communication…
The documentary closed with her quoting a beautiful poem by Kent Keith towards the end of her life:
The Paradoxical Commandments
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”
Courtesy of Focus Features
A couple of years ago at a dinner, I had the honor of meeting a well-dressed elderly woman while sipping a martini (both of us!). I learned that she was one of the 1,000 or so female pilots in WW2 who became known as WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots).
Fifinella, the official Mascot of the WASPs
The WASPs weren’t the Army’s idea, but the idea of famed aviatrix Jackie Cochran, who, with so many men going off to war, suggested the idea of women ferrying new planes to bases to Eleanor Roosevelt. Eleanor made it happen, but the WASPs were not really taken seriously by the Army Air Force.
They were issued used mechanic’s overalls that the women called Zoot Suits, men’s sizes only, 44 and up. Of course these were too big for most women. But the women actually turned lemons into lemonade, making them look fashionable (with the sleeves rolled up).
They were not even integrated into the military, but seen as a civilian auxiliary.
By lex, on March 17th, 2010
For the Fallujah SEALs **:
The case against a Navy SEAL accused of not protecting an alleged Iraqi terrorist took a major turn Friday when a military judge ordered that five key defense witnesses be granted immunity to testify on his behalf…
The town of Paradise, CA being engulfed by fire
Funny that I just wrote about visiting the epicenter of the Camp Fire, the most destructive wildfire in California history, and all the news today in Northern California is about the impending announcement of declaring bankruptcy by the utility that covers most of Northern California, PG & E (Pacific Gas and Electric).
“Under California law, utilities are exposed to liability from wildfires regardless of their negligence.”
After the Camp Fire, with 11,000 homes lost, I had a curiosity to see the epicenter, Paradise. Paradise is on the Sierra foothills in Northern California , about 1,500′ elevation.
It really is a bucolic little town, nestled among the pines, and was a favorite place to retire. Despite its 1,500′ elevation, it is only 20 miles or so from Chico, elevation 150′, a smaller city at the northern end of the Central Valley.
I called the California Highway Patrol in Chico, who assured me that all the roads to Paradise were open. With that knowledge, I headed up the highway to Paradise.
I’ve had a friend since I was 12 who, once he was 30, decided that he’d better get a skill or a trade. He was tired of getting minimum wage jobs. He became an apprentice to a plumber and years later decided to retire at age 55 or so.
Loves hunting and fishing, and spends a large amount of time traveling around with his 5th wheel trailer.
He was an excellent plumber. What impressed me, years ago, when he was visiting me (he lives about 100 miles away) – I told him that the urinal in my office always flushed like Niagara Falls. (we are talking plumbin’ stuff!).
I have always believed that the world has had very few true geniuses. My definition of a genius has been one who changes the world in a fundamental way, often against the thinking of the society at the time.
Sir Isaac Newton. For his laws of motion. Albert Einstein, of course. Wolfgang Mozart, who started composing at age 5, and whose compositions are still enjoyed over 200 years later.
There is a component of perseverance and lots of work to change the world. I read somewhere that Thomas Edison tried 1,000 different ways to make the incandescent light bulb until hitting the right formula.
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.
Great accomplishments depend not so much on ingenuity as on hard work. This is a saying of the American inventor Thomas Edison.”
By lex, on January 1st, 2011
To each and every.
The perceptive reader will have noticed a certain lack of density round these here parts over the last cuppla, and perhaps a certain lack of gravitas. It’s my sincere hope that the most of yez are using some class of RSS reader to find out when there’s something novel to scan, for I dread that the regulars come back on their own any number of times on a day like yesterday. Each to their own, of course.
So: It’s not you, it’s me.