Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012

Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas San Diego, Ca. March 2012
Eddie Arana, Rick Thibodeau, & Chris Bakunas at Luche Libre Taco Shop in San Diego, March 2012

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Is Upon Us!

                          CRB, as Will Shakespeare, Taryn as Taryn, Bradley as an ironic tourist 

Unlike last year, when, if you'll recall, Brad and I did the barest, minimalist, don't-bother-me-with-it, least amount of effort given ever for Halloween, this year we actually did something...not much, but something.

What we did was we went to trivia at Jose's in costume, along with a few other people. I as William Shakespeare,  Brad as an ironic tourist. 

Needless to say, Brad's costume had to be explained...over and over again.

                                                  What the Hell is Brad looking at?

Still, it was fun, and even better yet, it served as a dry rehearsal for tomorrow night. There are a number of parties to attend tomorrow night - with any luck I'll hit at least two before I give out.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Everybody's Writing Goofy Songs These Days

She road her bicycle in the sun
Wearing yellow boots
               She always had lots of fun
               Wearing yellow boots
                              Yellow boots
                              Shiny vinyl yellow boots

She got them for her birthday from her Mom
Whenever she went outside she would put them on
Wore them with a touch of grace and aplomb
Wore them like a fashion model from Milan

Yellow boots
Yellow boots
Shiny vinyl yellow boots
Yellow boots, yellow boots

Wherever she went she could be seen
Dressed up like the Morton Salt girl for Halloween
Yellow jacket, yellow boots, a latex queen
She kept it all shiny, she kept it all clean

Yellow boots
Yellow boots
Shiny vinyl yellow boots
Yellow boots, yellow boots

Rain or shine, she had her fun
Wearing yellow boots
              She always felt like she was the one
              Wearing yellow boots
                             Yellow boots
                             Shiny vinyl yellow boots

Monday, October 28, 2013

Careful With That Fork, Dear

He looked at her and nearly took a bite
Out of his own tongue
In order to keep it in his mouth

She looked around the room
Walked over to an empty table
and took a seat

                         He sat in his chair
                         Twenty-three feet away from her
                         By floor tile measure
                         And struggled to think
                         Of some clever way to introduce himself

                               She added the side of dressing to her salad
                         Then dropped her fork
                         And he leaped at the opportunity

        Picking up the napkin-wrapped flatware off the table
        He walked over to her 
        And presented it with the words
        "Here, use mine, I had a burger and fries"
        She accepted the offer with a smile

                                So it was a little ironic
                                Several months later
                                After what was probably 
                                Their 100th argument
                                She stabbed him with a fork


So A Guy Walks Into A Bar...With A Photo Album

I meet interesting people. I meet interesting people primarily because I like to meet people in general, and the law of averages being what it is, some of them end up being interesting. 

By interesting I don't particularly mean that these people necessarily do extraordinary things or have led fantastic lives - fact is, most of the people I quantify as interesting live ordinary, somewhat pedestrian lives. However, they do something, or have a particular quirk about them, that makes them interesting, at least to me.

For example; Tuesday last I met a young man who looked pretty much like a younger, much heavier (meaning, fatter) version of Phil Donahue. I met him by sitting down at a barstool next to him, looking his way when I was trying to get the attention of the distractedly attractive woman working behind the bar, and saying to him, "Wow, you're probably too young to know who he is, but you look a lot like a talk show host from the '80's named Phil Donahue."

The young man (I'm thinking he was maybe 25, 28) looked at me and replied, "Yeah, I know who he is, my Mom used to call me her 'little Phil' when I was a kid."

The distractedly attractive barkeep came up to me when he said that (Wearing a distractedly low-cut top that had the words "I love Halloweenie" printed pretty much across where her breasts would usually be covered, except the shirt had been modified to reveal more of her adequate cleavage, so the words actually read "I love Haloeenie" with a small part of the "w" in weenie still preceding the first "e" - not that I stared intensely enough to notice). 

After placing my order for a Guinness, I introduced myself to the young man and he in turn introduced himself as Mark, and we started talking about what it's like to have a face that resembles someone famous. (I don't have a face that resembles someone famous myself - in fact, I have a generic middle-aged-bald-white-guy-with-a-goatee face, which gets me mistaken for a lot of middle-aged-bald-white-guys-with-goatees a lot - "Hey, you look just like my sister's ex-boyfriend's brother Ted" sorta thing).

Mark told me it had actually become a nuisance once he started college, as most of his instructors all seemed to think it was clever to call him Phil instead of his actual name, and I laughed to myself a little at that as it occurred to me that most of his instructors probably were old enough to have idolized Phil Donahue when he was the talk show king, and were somewhat delighted to have a kid in their classrooms who resembled one of their heroes.

Mark's resemblance to Phil Donahue however, was not what made him interesting to me. What made him interesting to me was that he had a photo album at the bar with him, and it was open to pages that had photos of him at the Getty museum (the one at the Getty Villa, not the one in Brentwood). I've been to that particular museum (and so should you, if you like incredible museums), so I asked him if the pictures were from before or after the renovation.

Which led to a conversation about visiting museums, and it turned out he was a museum junkie much like I was, and we talked about various museums we had both visited, and recommended museums that one of us had visited but the other hadn't, etc.

Then I asked him why he had brought a photo album with him to a bar, and he explained he had just gotten it back from his ex-wife, who had agreed to met him at the bar with the photo album as he had forgot it when he had packed up all his stuff and moved out, which led to a whole 'nother conversation about ex-wives...

I had to get home after a half hour into the conversation about ex-wives, and, after shaking hands with Mark, told him I hoped to run into him again someday. I didn't exchange phone numbers with the guy though, as, while he was interesting, I really don't need young divorced dudes calling me up to see if I want to hang out - I've learned those guys are always kinda sad and lonely, and always want me to set them up with single women I know - I've annoyed a few of my women friends a bit because of that (the Luann & Gregory incident immediately springs to mind).

But yeah, I met some interesting people...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Meanwhile...In A Schoolbus/Motorhome Near Tuba City

The story is told of a man who spent two years living nearly alone in the desert of the American Southwest. He had driven an old school bus into an area near the western edge of the Navajo nation, about 40 miles from the nearest town, parked for what he intended to be a few nights, and then ended up staying for two full years.

At first he lived off the supplies he brought with him, which consisted of a few cases of bottled water, a few bags of beef jerky, and a large box of oranges he had picked up in Tuba City.

However, during the course of his third day of wandering about the area where he had parked the bus, he chanced upon a natural spring and, being thirsty, decided to drink from it. The water was cool, and tasted better than any water he had ever sampled before. He decided that this was the water he wanted to drink for the rest of his life.

It was also on the third day of wandering that he discovered a farm run by a Navajo family. Where he had parked his bus was on property that was part of the farm. He met the owners of the farm that day - they had a few hundred acres of corn in the ground, and the matriarch of the family, a small, frail woman closer to 80 than 70, agreed to allow him to stay and provide him with food and other necessities in exchange for doing odd jobs on the farm.

For that he was grateful, as he was nearly down to his last in terms of gas, food, and monetary resources. He had left the great city of Chicago, the only place he had ever called home, after his wife of 22 years had left him for a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman (to everyone who asked about it, he always deadpanned, "It sucked").

After selling everything the court had left him, he bid his only child goodbye and drove off in the school bus he had purchased at a city surplus auction. He left behind a job working at the same tire shop for nearly 15 years, his bewildered parents, several friends who thought he had completely flipped his lid, and the aforementioned 19-year old son who was happy that his Dad was finally doing something other than sitting in a tiny apartment sinking into a deeper and deeper depression.

His drive west had been both eyeopening and harrowing. Having never left the teeming metropolis of Chicago except for a short honeymoon on Saginaw Island, Michigan 22 years ago, the landscapes that opened up before him were a constant glorious visual overload. Even the seemingly endless cornfields of Nebraska had excited him - he reveled in the new and exciting world each day's travels exposed him to.

The harrowing aspect of the trip was learning how to maneuver the school bus. He had never driven any vehicle large than the 1977 Ford Thunderbird he had bought with the money he saved up his senior year of high school, and the bus was at least three times as long as that.

Truck stops quickly became his rest stop of choice. At first he had to fend off approaches by truckers who assumed anyone driving a yellow school bus with the name of the school district it had belonged to blacked out must be selling drugs or sex, but by the third night of his trip word had apparently spread through the trucker grapevine that he was just a guy driving a bus across the country and hardly anyone approached after his forth stay in a truck stop parking lot.

He picked up a few hitchhikers here and there, almost to a man (and one woman), headed for Vegas, and a few of them had even contributed to gas. When he had pulled off the road in Arizona however, he was alone, and all he wanted to do was rest a few days before heading out to California to see the ocean.

The morning he woke up in the middle of the Painted Desert, his eyes astounded by the colors that the sunrise washed the vast open high plateau of the northeastern corner of Arizona with, he knew he would be parked there for awhile. For him it was a deeply spiritual experience, and right then and there he decided he needed to stay for a few more sunrises.

And somehow through two fairly mild winters but also two hellish summers, stay he did. Despite the blatant racist hatred from some of the area Native Americans, harassment from tribal police, and even being stalked by a lecherous homosexual Hopi who understood every English word except "no", he stayed and enjoyed over 700 sunrises in the Painted Desert. 

Each and everyone of them was magnificent, each and everyone of them was a masterpiece of mother nature's. And each and everyone of them helped to dull the pain of what had happened in his 22nd and last year of marriage until he no longer felt any pain, or anything for that matter, at all.

That was when he knew he was ready for L.A., and for the west coast. That was when he knew it was time to finally dip his toes in the cold dark blue water of the Pacific Ocean. 

On the morning of the last sunrise he was to witness in Arizona, he packed all of his belongings up except for a few small items that he wanted to give to the few friends he had made during his two years parked on the high plateau. He walked to the farm and visited the small houses that surrounded the large barn/garage where the men met nearly every day, and gave five people five small tokens of his friendship and appreciation. Each gift was an item he had carefully and painstakingly created himself over the course of the past two months.

For Tony, the young man who had taught him the vulgariest words in the Navajo language, he had made a thin book, complete with crude illustrations, that told the story of the night they got drunk on cheap wine and avoided a fight with a couple of even drunker Paiute's.

For Lori, the woman who let him rent a small corner of her space at the Flea Market in order to sell his books, he had made a notebook with a leather binding so that she could keep track of her inventory using the system he had shown her.

For CoCo, Lori's eight-year old son, he had made a chessboard and hand-carved chess pieces. The boy was quick and intelligent, picking up the game and developing good strategies within weeks of having been taught the basics. 

For Seena, the woman he had meet one morning during one of his wandering walks, and who eventually became his lover, he had made a simple quilt, but each panel was material from one of the old concert shirts he always wore that she liked so much.

And for Arabella, the old woman who had allowed him to stay on the families land in exchange for his services as a handyman, he had made a large and elaborate tombstone. She had passed away a month before, and it was with a heavy heart that he and Tony placed the stone above her grave.

After he had distributed his gifts and said his goodbyes, he climbed into the bus, started it up, and drove off...into the still rising sun.

Remembrance Of This And That

Are all the words I've ever read 
       Stored somewhere deep inside my head?
Filed away for future reference
In pigeon holes that know no limit
                         Do I have a memory bank
                         That grows with every passing minute
    If I think hard enough
    Will I be able to recollect all the stuff
    I ever saw, heard or touched
    And find all the things I ever lost
                          Can I bring up every warm feeling
                          Or will that send my mind reeling
Is there some switch I can throw
That will present my past like a variety show
      Starring everyone I ever knew
Every lover, friend and foe

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's Doubtful Marc Jacobs Was In On The Collaboration...

            About 99.99% sure you cannot buy a Louis Vuitton edition Dodge Charger... 

There are some very, very fashion conscious people out there, and quite a few of them like to appear just a bit more, uhm, how can I say it...I guess "well-to-do" will suffice. I caught sight of this Dodge Charger parked in front of a Taco Bell this afternoon, with a customized paint job that immediately reminded me of the Brittney Spears video for "Do Somethin'" that featured a bright pink Hummer sporting the LV logo.

The unauthorized use of the LV logo resulted in a lawsuit filed by Louis Vuitton against SonyBMG and MTV Online for violation of counterfeiting laws. They sued, and won.

          They did a good job of it, but if you look close enough you can see a bit of overspray 

Louis Vuitton Malletier is a French Fashion House founded in 1854 that is considered one of the world's most valuable brands - worth over 26 billion (USD) or so. They have a team of lawyers that aggressively pursues anyone for what they consider "attacks" on the brand, and they have a enviable track record.

It's doubtful they would waste time and money pursuing any legal action against whoever painted this beauty, but you never know.

                              That took a lot of creativity...and a bit of patience, too.

If anything, the good people over at Dodge should make an effort to track this individual down and give them a hearty thanks for attempting to make a rather clunky muscle car look a tad more appealing...or not.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Spotlight Shines On The Good And The ...Dubious

What is terribly fascinating to me right now is the fact that at any given moment, somewhere, somebody is trying to come up with something that will be very shocking, yet also relatively harmless, so that they will either get to go viral with it on the 'net, or it will be featured in all the traditional media. 

It's not just PR people or attention starved celebrities who are doing this, either. It could be anyone, anywhere. Remember the boy-in-the-balloon prank here in Colorado a few years back? That was perpetrated by ordinary, albeit attention-starved, people. 

The desire to be the center of attention, or at least share a brief moment in the spotlight, is one I have known myself - yeah, I have an ego, which I'm sure most people who know me figured out long ago.

A strong case could be made that I'm as egotistical as any man walking, and I'd be severely lacking in an adequate defense.

However, it could also be pointed out that generally, I don't try to draw attention to myself with anything but my own talents and abilities, which is something, right?

We live in a time that is proving Andy Warhol right. YouTube and other services available on the ol' www have made it possible for anyone with the most rudimentary knowledge of how a camera and a computer work, or even just how a computer works, to get facetime in front of millions and millions of people.

Which, I think, is awesome - for two distinctly different reasons.

1) We get to see some truly unique and gifted people doing some awe-inspiring stuff , and 2) We get to see some people who really have no talent whatsoever make a go at something that they have no business trying, and it is hilarious!

From the Star Wars kid to Rebecca Black, the Internet has made it possible for the world to watch and listen as people all over the world, from all walks of life, put their passions up for all to judge. It's like a world wide Gong Show.

Who could ask for anything more entertaining that watching people just like you and me, except maybe a bit more motivated/ambitious/fearless/brainless than you and me, attempting to do something either dangerous or at the least foolhardy, and going from awe-inspiring to stomach-clutching hilarious in seconds?  

Nobody could. It's just not possible, because for whatever reason, it's terribly fascinating.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Twenty-Year Old Joke

An old Russian man walks into a small cafe in Moscow and orders strong tea with a small plate of black bread. The waiter quickly brings him a pot of tea and a plate of black bread. 

The waiter then asks the old man if there is anything else he can get get for him, to which the grizzled old Russian replies, "Yes, I would like a copy of Pravda."  

The waiter looks at the old man in surprise and tells him, "Sir, I'm afraid Pravda is no longer published - it was shut down when the Soviets were thrown out."

The old man looks at at the waiter and says, "Okay, then I will just enjoy my tea and black bread."

The very next day the old Russian man returns to the same small cafe and repeats the exact same requests, with the exact same responses.

The day after that the old Russian man again takes a seat in the cafe and repeats his order for strong tea, black bread, and a copy of Pravda. This time, the waiter says to the old Russian, "Sir, for three straight days now you have taken a seat at this table and ordered strong tea, black bread, and a copy of Pravda, and for three straight days I have brought you strong tea, some black bread, and explained to you that I cannot bring you a copy of Pravda because it was shut down when the Soviets were overthrown. You appear to be a man of intelligence, do you not understand what I have been telling you?"

The old Russian man looks at the waiter with a smile and nodding his head says, "Oh yes, I understand what you say perfectly well. It's just that I never get tired of hearing it." 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Kitten Went Fishin' For A Swell She Was Stuck On

                    Woman & Man Bench, Metal sculpture, John Risley, 1960's

The date bait was draped in hardware
She was fightin' a crazy squirrel fever
Eyeballing a drooly sportin' cogs and a brush 
But he was no pushover, she'd have to be spivvy
Without coming across as a share crop

A bagpipe spouted out gobbledygook 
Playin' like an ivory-dome brighty
The P.C. had no time for that gas
He'd caught the buzz that sugar was droppin'
Told that beagle to just spread out

The khaki-wacky cookie and the killer-diller dish
Headed for a roost where they could slide that jive
Get in the groove with a cozy buzz
They had a hip deadly time in the aquarium
The scene was smooth for these two cats

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Can You Repeat Your Question In The Form Of A Scream?

Gangrenous Goblins, bloody beasties, 
Rotten rogues, 
Vicious vampires, scary sylphs, 
Crazy creepies, 
Dastardly demons, maladjusted malcontents, 
Sinister savages, 
Violent villains, murderous maniacs, 
Brutish beasts, 
Mischievous monsters, fearsome fiends, 
Hellish harpies, 
Ghastly ghouls, wicked wraiths, 
Onerous ogres, 
Scurrilous specters, horrible hellions, 
Atrocious archfiends, 
Dreadful devils, malicious mutants, 
Fearsome freaks...

All asking politely, "Trick or treat?"

Friday, October 18, 2013

Somebody Needs To Praise This Mofo

                               Not a Tony Juliano painting - just some random pic I took

Tony "Baloney" Juliano
        Has never been in the mood for any of that interpretive                                            Crap
        If you caught his work in say, Juxtapoz, 
                  Then you would know why
        He's not an inaccessible guy
                  Creating inaccessible art
        He's more of a comedian 
                  With a paint brush
        And a keen eye
                  For what needs skewing
I like that in an artist
We should get a beer together sometime
                  Next time I'm in Connecticut
                  I'll look him up

The Park's The Thing

When I was young, a pre-teen, my mother would give me .50 cents so I could take the bus to Balboa park and come back home (the bus being .25 cents each way). It took about an hour to get to Balboa park - I'd either take the 4 or the 11 to downtown San Diego, then transfer to the 7 to get to Balboa park.

The transfer station was Horton plaza, before it was fixed up and regularly patrolled. The place then was infested with drug dealers, pimps and of course, whores. They fed on the young sailors that frequented the area.

When I got there, I would spend hour after hour wandering through Balboa park. In those days, if you were 14 or under you got in free to most museums and the zoo.

The Natural History museum was a big favorite, as was the Aerospace museum. I must have irritated the crap out of the guards and docents at both of those museums, because as a kid all I wanted to do was crawl all over the wonderful exhibits - to hell with the red velvet ropes!

At this point in my life I now realize I was a headache for the poor people who worked at those museums and were assigned to keeping an eye on me. I would like to take a few seconds right now to apologize - sorry..

Back to the story at hand, which is Balboa Park and all the great activities that were on offer there when I was a kid.

The world famous San Diego Zoo is the major attraction, but there is so much more than the zoo. There are 15 or 16 major museums, just as many gardens, and the Spanish art village, which is a plaza surrounded by the studios of working artists.

I could easily spend an entire day roaming the halls of the museums or walking through the botanical gardens. About the only thing I never did in Balboa Park was use the sports facilities - there is a great 18-hole golf course there, but I didn't take up golf until I was in my thirties.

It may seem odd, but In every city I have ever visited I have looked for an equivalent to Balboa Park. The closest I've ever come is Central Park in New York, and maybe the Mall in Cleveland (though there are not as many museums on the Mall).

I've been told that Chicago's Lincoln Park is similar to Balboa Park, with a zoo and museums, but I have yet to pay a visit so I have no first-hand knowledge.

A trip to Chicago is on the agenda for next year however, so possibly I'll be writing a little report on what I encounter there in a few months.

There are plenty of parks in and around Denver, but nothing even close to Balboa Park. The Denver Art Museum (and several other museums) are located downtown, while the Denver Zoo and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science are in City Park, east of downtown.

Balboa Park even has a replica of the Old Globe theater (it's actually a replica of a replica, as the original replica was burned down by an arsonist in the '70's). Several field trips were made to the Old Globe theater when I was a grade school student - definitely a highlight of my school years.

Man, now I'm getting all heartsick/nostalgic for Balboa Park. Might have to take another short trip to S.D. soon - chances are it won't be snowing there like it is here today.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fairly Simple & Glaringly Obvious

There is a difference, so I'm told, between introspection and self-evaluation. The difference is lost on me, however. 

Self-evaluation is defined as a person's ability to apprise their own abilities, limits of control, and the like. It is a fundamental element of one's self-esteem.

Introspection is defined as a person's ability to observe and evaluate one's own mental or spiritual state, put their own thoughts under a microscope of sorts.

Both self-evaluation and introspection sound a lot like self-examination to me. 

Whatever the case, for most of my life the need to sit back and take stock of where I am mentally, emotionally, physically, where I've been in the aforementioned states, and where I want to be vs. where I should be (according to one authority or another's idea of where I should be, that is), has been almost a constant.

For years it was somewhat of a bother, as it involved unrealistic expectations of what I should and what I could be doing with my life. While I believed strongly that nearly everything one aspired to could be accomplished, I wasn't acutely aware of the need for one's aspirations to be rooted in reality - i.e., no matter how much one aspires to be the starting center for the Los Angeles Lakers, if you're 5'3", it's just not going to happen, ever. I was doing the Walter Mitty shuffle for a long time.

It took awhile for me to come to terms with the very real limitations that my genetic make-up, my environment, and my immediate resources imposed upon me. 

Then, in my mid-twenties, I stumbled upon a modification of something Theodore Roosevelt said. President Roosevelt had stated "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are," and I had read "Do the best you can with what you have where you are right now."

Those words, the rewrite that is, were very freeing. Revelationary and revolutionary in fact.

It was after reading those words that I came to the conclusion that living life trying to live up to expectations beyond one's control was not only unrealistic, but actually counter-productive. 

The trick, I realized, is discovering what it was that one could do that was not only satisfying and worthy of the effort, but also within the range of one's limitations. 

That may read as fairly simple and glaringly obvious to some, but it was not to me. For years I wanted to be and do several hundred different things that just were not grounded in reality. It's been a few years since I've had that baggage to deal with, and I'll tell you what, I've never been happier.

The epiphany came somewhat late in life, when I was in my early thirties, and it has taken a lot of trial and error to fully grasp - mistakes have been made along the way - but the thing is, once I understood that somethings were just not meant for me, distractions were discarded and I've been able to dedicate much more time, energy, and effort to what is actually within the range of my abilities.

Which does not mean that I've stopped trying new things - on the contrary, I'm constantly trying to expand my horizons. It means, rather, that I've become far more efficient in my ability to size up what I can and cannot do.

For example: I work in retail, and years ago I realized that there are three basic types of managerial traits necessary in retail; the ability to manage people, manage organizations, or manage things. 

The best managers can combine aspects of all of those traits - they know how to properly train, motivate, and maintain the morale of their people, they know what is needed to keep an organization running smoothly, and they can keep inventory levels under control effortlessly.

Knowing that, I have made a conscious and consistent effort to learn and ingrain those managerial traits. I have two out of the three down, primarily because it has been my good fortune to work for people who have all of those traits down and basically, I strive to mimic them.

That's an example of both what I can and cannot do - I can mimic the positive traits of others until they become part of me (the whole "fake it until you make it" dealio) and I cannot simply wish a trait into existence - I have to work at it.

Yes, I know, fairly obvious and glaringly simple, but again, not to my dumb ass.

So, whatever label you prefer to slap on it, introspection or self-evaluation, it is something I highly recommend. In the short term in may seem a bit hokie and maybe a little too narcissistic, but in the long run, well, in the long run you just might improve yourself and the world you live in considerably, or at least be less prone to flopping about feeling directionless.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Single Best Bad Example Ever

Everybody needs a bad example, for comparison and contrast. 

We are all familiar with how that works; " Man, I'm a moron, but I'm not that bad," or "At least I don't look like that dude," or possibly even, "If I was that guy I'd off myself."

Somewhere on this planet there is the single best bad example of a procrastinating writer/aspiring artist/DIY repairman/racquetball player.

I need to stand next to that guy for awhile. 

There is the fear, however, that that guy is looking to stand next to me...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Get Out, And Stay Out

This past year has been a tumultuous one in Colorado state politics. There have already been two State Senators recalled and replaced in special elections (Senators Morse and Giron were both recalled and replaced in a special election this past September 10th), with a ton of money being spent on both sides of the fence (about 3 million to prevent the recall, and a little over half a million to make it happen).

The big issue at hand is gun control. Colorado, specifically the Denver area, has experienced a number of mass killings at the hands of armed gunmen over the past 14 years, and after the Aurora Theater shootings in July of 2012 many politicians decided to introduce legislation to enact gun control laws.

Bad move. Colorado still very much embraces the spirit of the rugged individualist cowboy, and Coloradans aren't likely to cotton to Ivory Tower Academics tellin' 'em what they can or cannot do.

The reason for the recalls, however, and even the politicians being recalled, are not the topic of this little diatribe. Recalls are, or rather, the right of the people to enact a recall, is.

I am fascinated by the fact that recalls are at all possible, primarily because politicians being the self-serving scum they generally are (just my constitutionally-protected opinion, btw), it would seem they would have banded together and written up statutes that would make recalls illegal, or at the very least, incredibly difficult to implement.

But that's not the case, at least not here in Colorado. While seven of the fifty states require at least specific grounds for a recall, most do not. Colorado is one of those that do not. 

Don't like the way your duly elected representative is performing their job in Colorado? Collect enough signatures and whamo! Recall city.

In other words, we the people can actually fire the people we hired to represent us if we feel they are not doing a good job representing us. 

I like that, I really do. I only wish it did not require a huge expenditure of the people's cash to carry it out.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Non-Conforming Member Of The Fatalist Cult

Veronica always wanted her fortune read
    Convinced from childhood she would be better off
Everyone around her thought she was sick in the head
    Nearly everyday she locked her doors and stayed in
Living off soda crackers, Diet Coke and pumpernickel bread
                          She had a peculiar fear
                          Of the public
                          Some called it
Worked for an insurance company crunching numbers
     Kept to herself, lived her whole life in very close
Sat on the sofa for hours listening to Johnny Thunders
     Didn't have any friends, preferred the company of
Had a distaste for religion but always made time for Vespers
                          She held a few truths dear
                          That were regarded as magic
                          When she felt melancholic

Quality Control Went Right Out The Window

All the liars in the world convened at dawn one Tuesday 
And started whispering secret truths to each other

   Every mechanic started turning wrenches lefty-tighty                                                                                 Righty loosey

                                         The world started to fall 

                                         Timekeepers were unwinding clocks
                                        Sinners started throwing rocks
                           NASCAR drivers began making rights
                                        Pacifists were picking fights

Cats got off counters and left screen doors alone
Dogs refused to shake hands and passed on hambones
    Bankers reclaimed toasters while giving out interest free

                                          The world started to fall

                           Preachers read from the works of Marx
                                        Lifeguards befriended sharks
                       New Yorkers were heard saying please
                                    Insomniacs were catching Z's

Plumbers the world over pulled up their pants
Not one single radio host went off on a rant
    Police officers pulled over good drivers to give them

                                          The world started to fall

Friday, October 11, 2013

Boldly Going And Just A Bit More

                                                                    Up. Up and away

Scott Carpenter passed away yesterday, one of the original Mercury 7, and the second American to orbit the earth after John Glenn.

His spacecraft, Aurora 7, reached an altitude of 164 miles from the surface of our big blue marble on May 24th 1962.

That was 51 years ago, which is incredible to think about. It's one of those fantastic things that happened before I was even born, that still staggers me. 

That human beings blasted off from this rock in metal tubes designed by men using slide rules and computers that filled huge rooms but had 1/100th the computational power and probably 1/1000 the speed of my cell phone, and then floated around the earth in tiny little capsules (I've seen a Mercury capsule up close and personal - the Ford Festiva is way roomier) is just beyond the keen.

Scott Carpenter lived in Denver, and passed away in a hospital less than 15 miles from my house. He was 88 years old and had not only orbited the planet and got that amazing view of earth as a pebble floating in space that only 538 other human beings have ever seen, he also spent 28 days living on the ocean floor as an Aquanaut for the U.S. Navy's SEALAB project (yes, that was real, not a television show).

Talk about your life well lived, his life should be the dictionary definition. 

I cannot state that Commander Scott Carpenter was a childhood hero of mine - I was not intrigued by space exploration when I was young, and truth be told, am really not now. However, some years ago when I had first moved to the Denver area, I read a biographical sketch of his life and was stunned by the sheer number of his accomplishments.

He certainly has earned a spot in the Pantheon of all time great adventurers. Almost 5 hours in space in a rocketship built by the lowest bidder. Now that takes brass.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This Is Not A Review Of The Freeway Revival Performance In Westminster On Wednesday, 10/09/2013

              Cartwright Brandon, Adam Clayton, Jon Clayton, and Joey Lee getting ready to jam

Tonight I happened to stumble into meeting a little rock/blues/country band hailing from Asheville, North Carolina. The quartet consisted of twin brothers Adam and Jonathon Clayton (Adam sings and plays the piano organ, Jonathon is one of the two guitarists), Cartwright Brandon (Behind the drum kit) and Joseph Lee (the other guitarist) - they call themselves Freeway Revival.

They were in the middle of a cross country tour, and were getting ready to play a set at the Blitz Sports Bar in Westminster where I happened to be hosting a live trivia game. I introduced myself to the band after I had wrapped up the game, and visited with them for a bit.

All four of these guys were just great people, and I enjoyed the short talk we had. Unfortunately, I had to get going (have a very important obligation early in the morning), so I was not able to actually stay and enjoy their show.

And enjoy their show was pretty much what I'm sure I would have done had I stayed, as I bought the CD they had available before I left and listened to it as I made my way home.

The CD is titled Songs From Home, and it does indeed have a down home feel. There are twelve original tunes on the disc, and all of them are worth listening to. As I drove home I had to fight the urge to turn around and go back to watch them play - it took every bit of willpower I had. 

The 12 original songs on the CD will remind most people of the Allman Brothers or maybe the Rounders. The lyrics speak of life as the average person lives it, and are fairly easy to relate to. The musicianship is impressive as well, with the two guitarists able to create pleasing harmonies on a number of the songs, and the work of Adam Clayton on the keyboards, whether piano or organ, is quite impressive.

Damn, I should have gone back to catch their set. Stupid responsibilities! Oh well, at least I've got a great CD to listen to.