A few of you who read this column — which might mean all of you, since there are probably only a few who read it to begin with — have expressed disdain for the occasions when the column jumped from one topic to another.
Writers sometimes call these "random thoughts" or something catchy like that. Political columnist Thomas Sowell produces such columns with a degree of regularity. I don't, for fear people will mistake random thoughts for the ramblings of a journalist who is entering the twilight years and simply cannot remain focused.
At any rate, some random thoughts:

NONE OF US LIKELY NEEDED a study to tell us that the state in general is lacking in decent health. But data released by County Health Rankings not only lets us know that, it gives us finer details and a breakdown on just how bad off we are.
We eat too much food or too many of the foods that lead to health problems. Heck, we could be the poster child for Michelle Obama's war on obesity. We smoke and drink too much too.
Sadly, the day the story was released in this newspaper is also the day photos were published beneath it touting the successful fundraiser Greenwood Community Theatre had. It was a barbecue event. To that I say "moderation." As long as you have barbecue in moderation you'll be fine. Or should be. Heck, isn't that why most barbecue restaurants are only open Thursday through Saturday? No? Well, that sure sounded good.
Truthfully, some of the data was or should be alarming. Maybe the words in black and white will wake us up to what we witness nearly every day. Maybe one day South Carolinians will become models of good health. I know, I know. Chances are probably greater the South will rise again. And win.



YOU MIGHT HAVE SEEN something about a guy named Smith in the paper yesterday. Jeff Smith begins his new job as head honcho at the Georgetown (S.C., not Va.) Chamber of Commerce tomorrow.
Jeff and I are not real tight buddies. I was not in Greenwood during those formative years. I'm a late arrival to the Greenwood scene, in this case, but we do have a kinship. Lisa and Wendy have a kinship as well.
We all knew each other as band parents to Greenwood High's "Little Band that Can." Also, Lisa, Jeff and I have an affinity for the stage. The four of us, however, share a love of music and a great appreciation for seeing some of our favorite artists live and in concert. As a result, we've enjoyed trips to Atlanta to see the likes of Todd Rundgren performing with Hall and Oates. There was the memorable Steely Dan concert, as well as a nearly 70-year-old Paul Simon looking and sounding as good as when he was originally lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy. And what a great show in Spartanburg when we saw Lindsey Buckingham in a phenomenal solo show with what seemed like no fewer than 20 guitars.
Maybe we'll get that chance again. We hope so. If nothing else, perhaps they'll return for the Grape Stomp in November.

AND NOW, IF YOU'LL INDULGE ME ON ONE more not-so-random thought, a little bragging time.
Some of you know Wendy and I have been thoroughly enjoying our first grandchild, an incredible — yes, I'm biased — 3 1/2-year-old boy. He's ever so bright and seems to have his parents' knack for music. His dad is a talented musician who can play multiple instruments while all I can play is vinyl records, CDs and iTunes. His mother, our daughter, proved her musical talent in high school marching band and on into college.
Well, on March 20, they were kind enough to present us another grandchild. This one is a girl, and at just a little more than a week old, it's a bit early to know what her gift or gifts will be. That said, judging from the length of her fingers, my money's on her being a heck of a great pianist.
Eli and Evelyn, we love you both and feel absolutely blessed to have you in our lives.

Whiting is executive editor of the Index-Journal. Contact him at 864-943-2522; email rwhiting@indexjournal.com ,or follow him on Twitter at IJEDITOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.