These subjects, seemingly unrelated, have one commonality as sore spots for human beings.


Once before in Hawksex I mentioned I was a weeder. Weed the ground completely by removing as much of the weed and root as possible. Revisit the ground with a weed killer – Roundup is good because sprayed on new growth, the chemical is absorbed into the plant’s roots killing them. Repeat the spraying until the unwanted plant is dead and must be removed or it disappears.

We had a gardener who showed up with his machines and noisily blew the hell out of the garden. Earlier this year we let the blow and go guy go. The air is now less polluted; there is no noise. AND THERE ARE MANY FEWER WEEDS. I calculate how many weeds there are by the areas that had weeds and each area was weeded completely, every year. Throughout the year, the weeds grew back, and more weeding needed doing. This year there are no weeds in many areas of the garden; total weeds are down 95 percent. I attribute the lack of weeds to removing the gardener’s blower – there is no windstorm hitting the ground every week and introducing whichever seeds, spores or cuttings from one area to another.

Hence, to reduce weeds: 

Weed an area completely. Use chemical sprays on unwanted new growth in that area specifically and judiciously. Use those sprays quickly on tenacious plants like poison oak.

Do not use a blower of any type in the garden.

Use a broom, dust pan and rake, which is better exercise without much noise.


I was in a profession once, and I had trouble sleeping. Alcohol was good and an accepted supplement of that profession to handle the stress and to help sleep. But booze began interrupting sleep. I had that habit, addiction, complex long after the need for it disappeared. I drank and wasn’t sleeping well. I was growing old, fat, ugly and stupid. One night before Thanksgiving, I got very sick to my stomach, and I stopped drinking.

What virtue! I’m such a good boy.

But sleep remained a problem, and I refused to take drugs or aids. Not sleeping makes me prone to long colds. Healthwise, it is necessary that I sleep.

First, it is necessary to each human being to learn to relax. Each person will do it differently, but nobody is praying, mediating or moving when relaxing. At the end of the 10 or 15 minute session in a chair, on a bed or on the floor, your mind, your state of being, is different. 

Second, I try to structure my day so I can get ready for bed and sleep, at the same time. I’m a lark – early to bed, early to rise. My sleeping patterns over the years have not been consistent. Once, I never had trouble getting to sleep; I do now, but I’m not awake at 1:00 a.m. Still, I need more than six hours. I try to avoid arguments in person or on the phone. I try to avoid people who push obnoxious behaviors, or tell their stupidities or who are otherwise grating.

Third, since sleep is not automatic and troubling, I have to play games with myself. The games are a very individual activity, and for this article none come to mind. But the fact that I know I have to play games and change to rules is not troubling. I just do it, and live on.

Four, the bedroom and sleep are two things over which most human beings have complete control. Tell yourself you are in command. I set the environment to my liking. What sort of person are you? I’m a words person. When young, I liked to be read to and fall asleep. There’s no parent to read to me, but there are substitutes with a change of the medium: TV and film. I need films where seeing is not necessary. I want a story conveyed by recognizable characters.

“Murder She Wrote” once put me to sleep. The hocus-pocus of “Perry Mason” was good, but is now irritating. Currently, “The Untouchables” (1958-1961) zone me out. And the movies. Mostly from the 1930s and 1940s. I know the movies, but rather than watch the change of scenes, I attempt to play out the scenes in my imagination, while hearing the dialogue. It is exhausting, but I am sleeping without chemicals – just a little electricity at non-peak hours.

Hearing and not seeing sometimes brings new awareness of a movie. William Powell in “The Thin Man” opens the door and greets,

POWELL: McCaulley, how are you? Come in. Have a seat.

Powell closes door, walks to bar. McCaulley greets Powell.

POWELL: What are you drinking?

McCAULLEY: Nothing for me, thanks.

POWELL: That’s a mistake…

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