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

Friday, October 31, 2014

I Walked Through A Graveyard...Well, Sorta

My lower middle class neighborhood is getting more into the playful spirit of Halloween every year. When I first moved into my house, there was barely a pumpkin to be seen on a porch. Now there is much more than pumpkins on display. It's getting good, real good. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Getting Out And Mailing In The Vote!

Voting has become as easy as sneezing in the sun while running through a field of dried alfalfa. In Colorado, registered voters are mailed ballots to their address of record and have the option of either mailing the ballot back or dropping it off at a number of locations, with a few of those locations open 24 hours a day.

Election day is next Tuesday, November 4th. For the past few months the airwaves, internet, and newspapers have been filled with ads touting various candidates for office and a number of hot-button issues. The ads are typical political BS - scaremongering and fearmongering, finger-pointing and accusatory, boastful and caustic claims either for or, in most cases, against...whatever and whomever. 

Fairly difficult to read, watch, or listen to any form of media without having one's senses assaulted with the pandering patheticness.

I fulfilled my civic duty and voted today. While it is nearly impossible to get a handle on every single candidate and issue, and especially on some of the more obtuse matters requiring voter approval (Should such and such Judge be retained...), I did a fair amount of research regarding the major offices and issues, and voted my conscience.

That's right, my conscience. While I am a registered member of a specific political party, I have never voted strictly by party allegiance lines. I make an earnest attempt to get to know the issues and candidates if at all possible, and in this day and age of the Internet, it is possible.

Just have to use a little bit of a filter to get past all the BS, that's all.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Something New To Listen To

Listening to Sparrow and the Workshop, their album Spitting Daggers. It's alright. The album was released a few years ago but it was only this past week that I heard it - a friend of mine in Glasgow turned me on to it. 

The production is somewhat minimalist, and all the songs have an odd restrained pacing. Very deliberate. 

Not quite my thing, but not bad either. I'd give it 3 out 5 stars.

The Rejection Can Only Hurt When You Accommodate It

Maybe you're thinking revenge is a viable option
For that slight suffered at the hands of an inconsiderate fool
Maybe you're thinking you have every right to be enraged
After all the abuse you took from that arrogant tool

Pause for a moment, catch your breath
Try to shift focus from your ego
Pause for a moment, catch your breath
Try not to be so self-absorbed
Pause for a moment, catch your breath
Think about the power you are giving away

Selfish actions and words
Are taking control over how you feel
Ignorance and malevolence
Have your soul lashed to a Catherine wheel

Pause for a moment, catch your breath
Take back that part of you that isn't for sale
Pause for a moment, catch your breath
Reclaim the right to be happy and free
Pause for a moment, catch your breath
Nobody has the right to steal your grace

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Fifth Minister Of Indifference In The West

He had this way of trivializing anything and everything
As well as masking his true intentions until it was too late
To do anything that could possibly thwart them.

There, I did it. I used "thwart" in a sentence.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Well Stacked Piles Of Brick

If you are ever in Boston it is highly recommended that you find time to walk around the city center, if only to check out the architecture. Boston, being one of the older cities in the U.S. pretty much features a timeline of the development of American architectural style, from the European influenced Federal, Italianate, Greek revival & Victorian to uniquely American Arts & Crafts styles and the modern skyscraper.

As an added bonus, there are a number of pubs in the heart of Boston, including the oldest tavern in America, the Bell in Hand.

Which is really a nice place to drop in for a pint, especially after doing all that walking and gawking.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Simple Melodies, Catchy Hooks

All of us
With the idea
That our thoughts
Those thoughts we are absolutely sure of
Are the thoughts
It is best to have

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cow Bookshelf

You may be asking yourself..."Why would anyone want a cow bookshelf?" Well, why not?

Mom, I'm Only Sketching

Friday, October 17, 2014

Everybody Is Out

Very bizarre, the events of this night. This gorgeous woman, with large, innocent eyes, She pulled out her phone and took a picture of the man sitting across the room. He took offense. He said he felt violated. Someone told him to "Man the fcuk up."

Heh. Some people's standards.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Taking Blurry Photographs Of The Sky

Life has been so very different as an adult than I imagined it would be as a child. For starters, there are no days wherein I am willing to sit around just eating ice cream all day. I seriously thought there would be, you know, when I was 8 or 9. "Man, when I grow up, I'm just going to eat ice cream all day, everyday."

Nope, never happened.

'course, it's not to late to start.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Genie In The Lamp

One fine sunny morning a man was walking along the shore of a deserted beach. Marine debris was strewn about the sand for as far as he could see in every direction, most of it being the waste and refuse irresponsibly discarded by boaters, lost cargo from freighters, or the floating remains of shipwrecks that had been washed ashore with the tides.

His eyes generally danced over the scraps of wood, plastic and glass as he navigated a path that skirted the coastline, until the rays of the rising sun chanced upon an unusual object that reflected the early light brightly.

The man picked his way through the scattered oceanic trash, making his way toward the unusual object until he stood looking down at what he recognized to be an old slipper lamp, of the type made in the Eastern Mediterranean, most likely in the 3rd or 4th century CE. He bent over and picked it up, surprised to discover there was considerable heft to his find.

He shook the lamp expecting water to slosh around inside and to come splashing out of the tapered spout, but no such thing happened. Lifting the lamp up to his eyes, he attempted to peer into it through the spout, but he was not able to discern anything but the pitch black of a light-less space.

Holding the lamp firmly with his left hand he then attempted to pry the lid away from the center of the lamp, but the lid held fast. Thinking to himself he mused that the lamp must be of considerable age for the elements to have caused the lid to have fused to the body.

Taking a closer look at the lamp he noticed the faint impression of elaborate scrollwork and what appeared to be ancient script encircling the base of the lamp.

With the hem of his shirt he started to wipe away grit and sand that had filled in the majority of the letters in an effort to possibly identify the script. As he vigorously rubbed the fabric of his shirt over the band of script, smoke began to pour forth from the spout of the lamp.

At first he stared in surprise at the smoke as it billowed forth, and then, after recovering from the initial shock, tossed the lamp to the ground and recoiled in stunned amazement.

The smoke began to take the shape of a large man wearing a turban in the center of which sparkled an extraordinarily large diamond. The man formed by the smoke was clothed in a simple vest and what appeared to be silk pajama bottoms. As the smoke thinned, details of the face of the man in the smoke became clearer, and the man who had picked up the lamp stood with his mouth agape as the man of smoke looked down upon him.

The man of smoke suddenly spoke; "I am the genie of the lamp! For hundreds of years I have been trapped inside the lamp, imprisoned by the curse of a wicked Vizer who had sought to use my powers to rule the world. You have freed me! For that I will grant you three wishes!"

Whereupon the man who had picked up the lamp grabbed at his chest as his heart, which had been weakened by the earlier shock of the sudden passing of his wife and children in an auto accident, gave out under the stress of his mind trying to make sense of the physical impossibility that stood before him.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Skipping Through A Minefield Wearing A Blindfold

He's thinking he might have a chance
With one of the two dirty blonds sitting at the end of the bar

He might as well engage in a pissing match 
With the wind

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Romantic Thought I Had Once

There is nothing else in the world 
                        That can distract me
              When the distraction of the moment
                         Is you

Friday, October 10, 2014

One Long Bright Summer Some Time Ago

                                   CRB, Scott F., and RT showing a tree who's boss

That was a hectic summer, the summer I bought my first jeep (The black Cherokee). Len Bias died of a cocaine overdose and Abu Nidal terrorists were attacking airports in Europe.

That summer I worked three jobs and attended Mesa CC. Three freaking jobs. I went to school in the mornings and afternoons, worked at Rodney Stokes after my last class, delivered pizzas after I got off at RS, and on the weekends I worked at the SV swap meet (delivered pizzas on the weekends, too).

How I managed to stay even reasonably sane I'll never know.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Simply Referred To As The Most Common Risk

She liked to say she was built to be angular
She teased her hair until it looked somewhat triangular
And all the while they both were using a clever alias
In the hopes of being overlooked
By the uncultured masses
They had their passage booked
On a ship that disregarded compasses
                      He thought her look was rather mysterious
                      He thought it made her look a bit serious
                      Everything else was simply extraneous
                      Yeah, he was easily hooked
                      Worse than a fish swimming in molasses
                      His goose was overcooked
                      But he weighed the risk of his chances

And just like millions of poor, dumb souls before him
He went for it
And lost

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Don't Be An Ignorant Coward, Get Your Prostate & Colon Checked!

Quick, what's the most common form of non-skin cancer among men in the United States? If you think it's lung, leukemia, kidney, brain, thyroid, stomach, testicular, or lymphoma, you are wrong. It is prostate cancer. Want to guess cancer number two? colorectal.

Prostate cancer is scary common, especially if you are a man fortunate enough to have enjoyed sixty-five years or more of life - once a man crosses the 65-plus bridge, his chances of developing prostate cancer are 60%

Sixty percent. How does that compare to other cancers? Well, there is no comparison, not even close (except lung cancer among smokers). "Wait a minute," you say, "what about breast cancer?" A woman has about a 12% chance of developing invasive breast cancer in her lifetime.

Women have done a wonderful job of elevating awareness of how devastating breast cancer is, pulling a personal, emotionally devastating, demoralizing issue out of a dark closet and making it extremely visible. Breast Cancer gets entire months of exposure from major sports such as Football and Baseball, and the pink ribbon symbol is everywhere.

I applaud the efforts of the women and men (men suffer from breast cancer too) who have worked hard to bring awareness of how horrible breast cancer is, and who have contributed considerable effort in the search for a cure.

That being said, I believe an increased effort needs to be made by men (and women, if they wish) to raise awareness of just how physically and emotionally damaging prostate cancer can be, and how important it is for men to get regular prostate and colon exams.

Someone reading this might have just thought "But what about no-shave November?" which would then be read by someone else who would have the thought "What does no-shave November have to do with prostate cancer?"

In my experience. very few people know what no-shave November is about - most think it's just guys being goofy with facial hair.

Last year I participated in no-shave November, growing an excellent mustache and chinpull combo. Know how many people knew it was in support of prostate cancer research? Maybe two. Umpteen people approached me throughout the month and asked "What's with the old-timey facial hair? Trying to be hip?" I had to patiently explain what it was about, and then direct them to the Prostate Cancer Foundation website (www.PFC.org).

                               That's right, I wasn't just trying to be your huckleberry last year

Men talking about prostate (or colon) cancer with other men, or women, or sadly enough, even their own Doctor, is difficult. Unless you're homosexual or bi, it's talking about an area of the body that is off-limits, is considered uncouth, and the possibility of having a problem there is regarded as an attack on one's own masculinity.

Prostate cancer treatments can lead to impotence or incontinence, and no man, hetero, bi, or homo, wants to think about that much less talk about it.

However, it needs to be done. Men have got to make their health a priority that does not kowtow to embarrassment. 

It's not like the procedures are difficult or all that involved. All a man has to do for a prostate exam is get a physical. Yeah, it briefly involves a finger up your rectum, but get over it. It's not like the Doctor is enjoying it anymore than you.

A colonoscopy is even easier. The prep for two days before the exam is actually more uncomfortable, as it involves fasting and using laxatives to get the colon clean before the Doctor has to take a look around. The actual procedure is simple and is over before you know it, primarily because you're sedated before it is done - all you'll remember is turning onto your left side, the anesthetic being hooked up to the intravenous feed...and next thing you know you're being wheeled out to the recovery area.

I was in and out of the clinic in less than three hours, and the majority of that time was waiting, filling out forms, waiting to come to, and going over the results with the Doctor after the colonoscopy.

The results? Clean as a whistle. Makes the world a brighter place knowing that.

 If you are a man who has been putting off getting your prostate or colon checked out, stop. It's not that big a deal, get it done. It's your body, it's your health, and no one is going to take care of it for you...butt you.

I'm not sorry at all for that bad pun.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Gotta Have It...Just To Have It

Somewhere on this planet at the very moment you are reading these words, someone is adding another stamp to their treasured collection of stamps. 

At the same exact moment someone else somewhere else is buying yet another salt and pepper set off of Ebay, destined to be displayed proudly on a shelf in their living room with a hundred other salt and pepper sets.

People like to gather things, acquire stuff, collect...anything and everything.

It must be ingrained in the human psyche, this compulsion to collect, catalog, and maintain everything from fossils to ephemera. No doubt there is a link to the hunter/gatherer instinct that allowed our species to survive and thrive. 

I'm not immune to the desire. Throughout the years I've collected a number of items that caught my interest, everything from comic books to original cartoons to ticket stubs. Truth be told, that time is somewhat ongoing, as I still collect a lot of the aforementioned and much more - hell, I'm borderline hoarder with a few of the things I just seem to have to have.

The desire to have things, to own things, is an odd thing. Sure, a collection of items that have stable value and can be readily converted into currency is useful, especially as a hedge against inflation, but there are items that I have collected that aren't really useful or of much value, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why I continue to keep them.

The ticket stubs for instance. I have ticket stubs for nearly every sporting event, movie, concert, or show I've ever seen, and truth be told, they are just cluttering up the place.

At one time I even had every paystub, birthday card, and business card I had ever received in a big box stored in the garage. One afternoon, after having to relocate the box yet again, I decided to sort through it and get rid of everything that didn't really mean anything.

It took about two hours, and in the end I had disposed of nearly everything in the big box - except for paystubs from my first job, my highest paying job, and my favorite job, as well as a few business cards that were actually from friends and family members. Oh, and some of the more touching birthday cards. 

All told, I went from a big (about 24"X24"X24") box to a shoe box. 

I have to find the will and energy to do that again with some of the other things I have packed away around here. Though there is a lot I have that has meaning to me, there is also a lot I have that is really, just junk.

The twelve old cell phones for instance, and the stack of calendars that date back to 1998. Yeah, those need to go.

Just as soon as I get around to it.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Old Dudez In Da Hood

Rick and Eddie are in town from S.D. for the GABF. We drove up to Ft. Collins yesterday to tour New Belgium, stopped in at Left Hand in Longmont on the way back, and spent time at the Bonfire, Greenfields, Thirsty Bear and Iron Works before calling it a day.

I'm a bit exhausted already.