Category Archives: Lexicans


By lex, on September 3rd, 2009

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return. — Leonardo Da Vinci

I was walking across a footbridge from one cube farm to another yesterday with a co-worker and I couldn’t help but notice the towering cumulus clouds billowing over the Cuyamaca mountains east of the county. Hovering like jovial gods in the thermals that gave them birth. Bright faced, but changeable. Concealing an inner darkness that reveals not their truth. Waiting only for an updraft to hurl them through the freezing level and turn their smiling faces to wrathful frowns. Placid valleys and echoing canyons in the skies between them like hallways. Athwart them the hall bullies, edging in. Uncommitted.

Was a time, I remarked to her, when I could put the blowers in, climb up in the vertical and touch their faces. Rolling over on my back over the top all but whooping with delight. Gather speed down the back side to try it again. Play pretend atop a $40 million fighter that the cloud is a mountain and how low can you go?

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In the Mail

By lex, on August 23rd, 2009

If you grew up with a martial mindset in the late 70s and early 80s, it was impossible not to be aware of the magazine “Soldier of Fortune.” A quick perusal of the subject matter revealed a fixation on military weapons and tactics at the unit level, and opportunities to be had the world over – there was always trouble brewing somewhere. That was during the Cold War of course, when wars were fought by proxy. If anything, things got more chaotic after the Berlin Wall came down.

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Saturday at the Aerodrome

By lex, on July 11th, 2009

‘Twas to have been three flights yesterday, which made bestirring ourselves from the manse not merely healthful, but also potentially remunerative. The Biscuit having asked for funds sufficient to support her planned entertainment for the evening, a musical cafe on the premises of UCSD. Certainly, I responded, and you can have the entire contents of my wallet, that sum amounting to $1 in folding cash and credit card receipts too numerous to mention.

Don’t spend it all in one place.

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Strangely Unmoved

By lex, on June 25th, 2009

There’s a fundamentally personal aspect to the end of a person’s life, one I’ve never spent much time peering into. It seems like some final invasion of privacy, something that celebrities (in particular) long ago traded away. It doesn’t seem like asking too much to give a little back at the very end.

Certainly there is always a deep impact felt upon those closest to them, but for my own part, I’ve never quite understood the imprint that celebrity deaths have upon the cultural zeitgeist. The Hobbit wept bitterly when Lady Diana was killed in a car crash – of course, she cries when the laundry goes out. But as for myself, I’d never met the lady.

We are all born, we travel through our allotted time the best we can and eventually come to the clearing at the end of the path. All of this is banal, the mystery starts where the tale ends.

But it is interesting, from a clinical perspective, to see the sudden upwelling of interest among people who share nothing else in common but the awareness that someone who had once been famous – or even infamous – is with us no longer. If you can take the common pulse by refreshing Twitter – I think you can, at least for the world that’s wired that way – you’ll note that the “trending topic” of #iranelection, which had been white hot for the better part of two weeks, has finally been thrust aside in favor of Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

I wonder what the temptation is in this sort of behavior: Some sort of communalism, a shared moment in a world grown too large for that sort of thing? Or is it a way of attaching oneself to fame at its seventh echo?

Beats me.


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Better Lucky Than Good

By lex, on January 14th, 2009

Last Saturday morning I realized shortly before heading down to the airport that I couldn’t find my wallet. I was running late, and could only do a brief search. As a precaution I locked out my credit card account, and on Sunday I tossed the house looking for the wallet, even going back to the last store at which I remembered having used. The clerk at the store was sympathetic, but no – he hadn’t seen a thing.

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Thrice frightened

By lex, on June 5th, 2008

I was deeply engrossed in work this afternoon when Son Number One surreptitiously penetrated my vital area unobserved. I started when he spoke, and he smiled, asking if he’d frightened me.

I don’t frighten, I replied, with serene equanimity. Although occasionally I might startle.

But that’s not entirely true.

I’d label it perhaps more apprehension than fear, but my very first fifteen minutes in command of an FA-18 squadron was a very uncomfortable time. The outgoing CO had arranged for an air demo after the ceremony, flown by a legacy squadron pilot whom I didn’t know. Guy that was now instructing at the replacement squadron across the street. In one of my airplanes. The plan had been set in ink when he was in charge, but it would be executed under my command and if the whole thing went south it would have been me wearing it around my neck for the next 15 months.

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No time for love, Dr. Jones

By lex, on January 12th, 2008

It’ll be a light day for posting at these our humble digs today, as your correspondent is scheduled to slip the surly bonds not once but four times, in the carriage of passengers (for hire) while simulating air combat. In preparation for which he had been required and desired to provide a sample to the local drug testing facility earlier in the week. On the off chance that he might gamble a twenty-six year retirement check on the chance to toke on a blunt. After all these years of clean, clear-eyed sobriety.

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