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, July 31, 2015

Two For One Friday Evening

Tonight was a fantastic two-for-one night. On the way home from work via C-470 I was treated to yet another spectacular sunset over the Colorado front range (which, as a matter of course, I promptly took a picture of with my camera phone).

Having a beautiful sunset to follow for most of the drive home is nothing short of wonderful. Makes the drive so much more enjoyable.

By the time I got to Lakewood it was nearly 9:00, and the sun was well beyond the horizon. The sky was a dark French Ultramarine as I neared my house, but there was an ethereal glow coming from the passenger side window as I drove the last half mile or so. Passing the East Reservoir just north of Florida Avenue I caught sight of the Moon coming up and immediately made my way to the street that ran along the north side of the reservoir. With my Nikon D5200 in hand I hiked over to the western edge of the reservoir and took a number of pictures. 

Unfortunately, it being dark and me not having a light source on hand, adjusting the camera settings was nearly impossible - still, I got some nice shots.

And a few hundred mosquito bites too.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Corona de Moon

The Most Carefully Planned Out Spontaneous Reaction

He had gone over it in his head at least twenty times, and had even acted it out four or five times. He was ready, all he had to do was remember to do it, and to make it look spontaneous.

The opportunity he was hoping for came sooner than he expected, just four days after his last encounter with that insufferable blowhard Dave Jensen from Marketing.

With all the subtlety of a herd of elephants Jensen marched his way into the company breakroom. He jerked open the refrigerator and nearly stuck his head into the top shelf. Releasing a grunt of dissatisfaction from deep in his throat, he muttered loudly enough for everyone in the room to clearly hear, "Damn, not one of the lackeys brought anything good to eat today."

That was it! That was the opportunity Alan had spent over two hours preparing for! Now was his chance to put that arrogant goon Jensen in his place once and for all!

Surprising even himself, Alan loudly pushed back his chair and stood up. Clearing his throat he said, "Hey Jensen, has it ever occurred to you that one, no one here is your lackey, and two, no one here brings food to work so you can eat it?"

An awkward silence fell over the room like a drunk college kid into a hedge. Jensen turned away from the refrigerator and towards Alan. With visible menace etched into his face, Jensen retorted, "What? Who the hell are you? The lunchroom monitor?"

Alan stared back at Jensen with as much intensity as he could muster. "This prick," Alan thought to himself, "Is an entire freakin' cactus." For a long two seconds neither of them said a word. 

Suddenly, Jill, not the one from Sales but the one from Accounting, said "Hey, I'm not going to eat this whole tuna sub David, you're welcome to the other half. It doesn't have any onions on it."

"Oh hey, that's awesome of you Jill, I'm starved!" Alan watched as Jensen turned away from him and walked over to where Jill was sitting. She handed him the other half of her tuna sub, still wrapped in the paper, and said with a smile, "No problem David, saving me from another half hour in the gym!"

Allowing a sigh of resignation tinged with disbelief to escape under his breath, Alan sat back down in his chair. He looked over at Jill and Jensen now sharing a tuna sub and wondered what it was that guys like him had that blinded so many people, and especially women, to his obnoxious, self-aggrandizing, boorish behavior.

"Damn," thought Alan, "whatever it is that fathead has...I wish I had some of it."

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Anemic Soul

Withered up into a dried husk, devoid of even the slightest color. Long neglected, relegated to a far corner of the mind, like an old, once treasured toy buried at the bottom of a box that sits covered in dust up in the attic. It was once a robust, healthy soul with a sense of measured daring and a yen for exploration...but that was years ago, in the time of adventure, days long since past.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Least Effective Way To Try To Prevent Someone Climbing Up A Wall

I am going to go out on a limb here and say that if a twenty foot wall that looks like this is plastered with a sign that states Danger Do Not Climb, that will triple the number of people walking by the wall who will attempt to climb the wall. Maybe quadruple.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The More He Barked, The More She Growled

Those two, the supposedly star-crossed lovers, had been fighting about anything and everything under the sun since most everyone had known them. At times they could be embarrassing to be around, as they had no compunctions about having a full throttle shouting match in public.

Neither of them seemed to notice that their circle of friends diminished as the years past. Even close relatives of each of them had begun to keep their distance.

Then one afternoon it occurred to the Mrs that they had not been out to see friends in a long while, and she said to the Mr, "Hey, Idiot, when was the last time we got invited to a party?"

The Mr pondered the question for a few moments and then replied, "Hmmm...I can't recall. Must have been at least two years ago...that graduation party for your sister's youngest?"

"You mean the party where you threw the glass of fruit punch on me after I called you a dickless moron?"

"Yeah," the Mr said while nodding his head in agreement. "I'm pretty sure that was it. Two years ago this past June."

With a confused look the Mrs asked, "Why do you think that is? Do you think our friends and family are deliberately ignoring us? Did we get on someone's bad side and get blackballed by the whole bunch?"

With raised eyebrows the Mr replied, "That's preposterous. If we are being ignored it can't be due to something we did. The more likely explanation is that they're all jealous of the level of honesty we have in our relationship. I distinctly recall overhearing my older brother's wife a few years ago saying it was almost unbearable to deal with how well we communicate so openly to each other."

"Huh. Yeah, that is probably the reason. Stupid morons. Oh well, their loss."

"Yep," said the Mr. "Now where the hell did your dumb ass put the damn remote?"

"My dumb ass?" The Mrs mused. "My dumb ass is probably sitting on it...why don't you ever look before you plop your lazy ass down on a chair?"

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Put The Heathens On The Rack

The lapsed Catholic
And the agnostic Jew
Sharing horrible stories over drinks
About what their parents put them though

A game of one-upmanship 
Scored by how far down one was kept
The measure being sordid layers of guilt
Slathered on by Mothers that had never slept

Monday, July 20, 2015

There's Somethin' Going On, I Just Know It

There is no hole in the roof above my head
None of the windows of my home are broken out
It's a rare day when I actually have anything go wrong
Or have anything to complain about

And yet I can't shake this sense of dread
This feeling that I need to be careful wherever I tread
It has me jumping at the slightest odd sound 
And checking under my bed

I don't know how much more of this I can stand
My nerves are on edge and my hair is on end
Is it my imagination? Am I losing my grip?
Am I getting paranoid, am I going around the bend?

Or was it the cheesecake I ate just before turning in?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The True Story For Tonight

We were all sitting around the firepit. The mood was convivial, jovial even. Then for reasons unknown the dog lashed out, jumping directly toward her face and biting her on the mouth.

The next few hours were spent in the ER, waiting to get her lip stitched up.


Yesterday I wasn't up for going into much detail on the incident - I was pumped full of adrenaline and somewhat in shock, so I just wrote down a few sentences to get the gist of it out.

So here is what went down.

Last Thursday night the neighbors who live two doors up the street from Brad's house experienced a personal tragedy. 

Last night Brad, Shel & I went over to their house to express our condolences. 

The three of us had been out playing trivia with Marv at Guido's, and after the game ended decided to meet up back at Brad's for a nightcap. When we arrived at Brad's, the smell of a fire burning was in the air - it came from V & A's backyard, where V and her son M were sitting around their firepit.

Brad suggested we load up the wheelbarrow with some firewood and join them, so we did just that.

We were met at the gate to their backyard by M, V's son. As we walked into the yard, a fairly large Pit Bull approached us, and let out a low growl. M assured us the Pit Bull was friendly, saying it was as harmless as a baby. Both Brad and I petted the Pit Bull as it passed by us.

We joined V and her son M around their firepit, with Brad & Shel sitting next to each other on a bench, and me sitting in a chair right next to Shel.

For about a half hour we sat around the firepit and chatted. That's when I needed a refill of my drink so I got up and, taking the empty wheelbarrow with me, headed back to Brad's house. While I was at Brad's house, he called me on my cell and asked that I grab a few beers for him and Shel, so I did, and then made my way back to the firepit.

It wasn't long after I was back in the chair next to Shel that we all heard the Pit Bull growling somewhere in the yard. M called out to the dog, and it came over to where M was. M petted the dog briefly, and then the dog walked over to where Brad and Shel were seated. 

Brad petted the dog once or twice before the dog turned toward Shel and without warning suddenly lunged up towards Shel.

Shel let out a scream when the dog did that, and at first I thought the dog must have slurped his tongue over her face - but as Shel stood up quickly and brought her right hand up to her face while the dog ran off, I noticed blood seeping out between her fingers.

Shel yelled out that the dog had bitten her on the face and started moving quickly towards the gate, followed by Brad & I. Brad told her to get in the car and told me he was going to drive her to the hospital, asking me to lock up his house while they were getting into the car.

Let me shorten the story a bit. Brad and Shel were at the hospital until 3:30 in the morning - the Doctor wasn't able to start working on her until 1:30. 

She received more than 25 stitches on the inside and outside of the right side of her mouth, and the whole right side of her face swelled up something terrible.

It is still a bit of shock to write it all down, still a bit unbelievable.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Devil You Say?

Larry and Butch were taking it easy one afternoon, both of them lazing on the back deck without half a worry between the two.

Larry took a long, slow pull off his beer and looked out at the yard. "Butch," Larry said, "You have done a damn fine job with this backyard. I especially admire the pagoda-like structure you built over the hot tub. That is a mighty nice touch."

"Thanks," Butch answered. "I'd like to take credit for the design, but it was actually somethin' the first ex-wife saw in a magazine. I didn't get around to building it for almost a decade after we divorced. Heh. I have a slight procrastination problem - might have been a factor in the divorce now that I think about it."

"The first ex-wife? Wasn't she the one everyone including her own Mother told you to run away from?"

Butch looked over at Larry, took another long slow pull from his beer, and replied, "Yep."

After a long pause Butch added, "Before you ask Larry I have no clue at this juncture why I married that woman. The Devil made me do it, I suppose."

"The Devil made you do it? That's a cop-out Butch, take some responsibility for your choices man."

Butch gazed off into the distance, taking in the huge cumulonimbus clouds on the horizon that indicated it was to be another stormy night. He looked over at his friend Larry and pondered his answer.

"I don't literally mean the Devil, Larry. I'm an Atheist, you know that, no God, no Devil. I use that expression as an euphemism of sorts, it's just a handy cliche." 

Larry stared at Butch for a hard second and then quipped, "What you talkin' 'bout Willis? I just heard you say the Devil made you do it!"

"Yeah, I know that is literally what I said, but that is not 
literally what I meant. That was a figurative statement. If anything, what I should have said was 'the Devils,' not 'a Devil,' made me do it, and further, I should have elaborated that it was my personal demons directing my actions, not some random-ass 'Devils' that happened to be in the neighborhood when I was with my even-then barely tolerable girlfriend that eventually became my first ex-wife."

"Dude, you are going all English Lit. major on me here. I have no idea what you just said. I barely graduated high school, remember? Could you put that in what they call Layman's terms?"

Butch considered this request from Larry for a couple of big sips, then put his right index finger to his lips as if he was trying to slightly hold back on a little bit of condescending sarcasm.

"Well, you were right when you said I should take responsibility for my own choices, Larry. But hell, what man wants to own up to his own shortcomings? It's much easier to quip 'The Devil made me do it,' than to say 'As a child of divorce I suffer from a grossly underdeveloped, static emotional state; one which construes an ideal of a mutually beneficial relationship that predisposes that I should feel lucky anyone is paying attention to me, much less saying they love me and exhibiting a willingness to engage in any level of physical intercourse with me.'"

Butch added, after a slight pause, "I don't think I can explain it any clearer." 

Larry looked at his friend with a slight tinge of sadness, saying, "Dude, you're right, 'The Devil made me do it' is sufficient"

Larry and Butch proceeded to take yet another long slow draw off their respective beers and returned their attention to the storm clouds moving in from the horizon.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Damn Site Hijackers

Somehow my blog has been hijacked. One, two, sometimes three or four random words in each of my blog posts are being switched to links for advertisements. The words are highlighted in blue, and if a courser is placed over the word, and advertisement appears. If you click on the blue highlighted word, it takes you to the advertisers site.

This is a bit off putting, to say the least. Either some entity has gained access to my blog, or to my computer. Whatever the case may be, it is kind of a drag, as now I'm going to have to figure out how to get rid of whatever malware has been added to my computer that tells it to change specific words into links to advertisements whenever I type them.

In the meantime, everybody ignore the blue highlighted words.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

One Of Those Gordan Lightfoot Moments

You know how it is - hot afternoon, feeling a little down but also kind of mellow. You happen to be near a large body of cool water, so what the hey, might as well sit down in the middle of the creek and contemplate the Universe and your place in it.

Monday, July 13, 2015

One Way Ticket To The Present

Life coming at us with a slow, easy gait, then flashing past like a meteor streaking through the upper atmosphere.

A brief, incandescent flash that soon becomes a smoldering remnant of a once recklessly bold traveler.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Bandwagon Of Doom

                        Saturday evening at Confluence park in downtown Denver, Colorado

Quite a bit of rain in Colorado this year. Much more than a couple of years back, when the "500-year" flood hit.

However, unlike the 6 days of rain that created the floods of 2013, this year the rain has fallen over a much greater period of time, with the lion's share of the rain falling steadily since early May until the present day.

It's over three times the average annual bucketful of precipitation for a full year. Gotta get a boat.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Experienced In The Condition

Got his usual seat in his usual bar
Just a block from his apartment
He won't have to stumble far
When he eventually stumbles home tonight

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

No Good Driver Discount For You!

Unlike a neighbor up the street, chances are you did not walk out your front door this morning to discover that someone had crashed into your Jeep last night and sped away, leaving behind thousands of dollars in damage...that had to have been loud, how did it go unnoticed?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Firmly Behind As Long As She Was Firmly In Front

He always said he would be right behind her, every step of the way. 

Whenever she felt she could not go on, he would reassure her that she could, that she was strong enough to face any challenge, that she was good enough to accomplish anything she set her mind too.

Little did she realize that when he said he would always be right behind her, it was only because he was using her as a shield, as a means of blocking out all the flak that he himself could not bear.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Neither A Nationalist Nor A Patriot

                                                             ...but I love this country

Tell Them About That Sunset You Saw Today

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Once Upon A Time I Built A Shed

                                           Here it is, 16 years later...still standing

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

From Point A To Point Z

I know exactly five people who planned out their lives, followed the plan, and achieved the result (or damn close to it) that they wanted.

Exactly five. I know it is five because I have kept track. I have either asked everyone I have ever known if they had made deliberate plans for their lives, or I got to know them well enough to observe whether or not they had made deliberate plans.

Five. Out of hundreds, if not thousands of people, that I know or have known. 

The vast majority of the people I know or have known had an idea of what they wanted to do with their lives by the time they were in high school, and a large percentage of them made serious efforts to make that idea happen...but somewhere along the line their plans got derailed - they got distracted, or disillusioned with the idea, or something new came along that seemed like a better deal.

There are also a large number of people that I know or have known who have never really had an idea of what they wanted to do with their lives. They went through high school, and possibly through college, with only the thought that something would eventually come along that grabbed their interest or provided them with a decent income.

For most of the people I know or have known, that course of action has actually panned out well. I know a good many people and very few of them are unhappy with how their lives have turned out.

With a few glaring exceptions, and each and everyone of those exceptions share a few things in common.

Probably the biggest common denominator among the group of people I know that didn't have real plans for their lives and are unhappy with the life they now have is a debilitating addiction of some sort, primarily drugs or alcohol.

Running a close second though has to be a pronounced tendency to give up, to just stop trying - to just accept whatever "Fate" has doled out for them.

The importance of perseverance seems to be unappreciated by those people. It confounds me to no end when I hear excuses for why they give up - everything from "It won't work out, just like it has never worked out, so why bother?" to "It must mean God has different plans for me."

One person I know is fond of stating that all those stories of people who persevered, withstood rejection after rejection until they finally succeeded, are the exception, the rare 1% who make it. The overwhelming majority, he says, try and try again for their entire lives and never get anything for their efforts - just a whole lot of disappointment.

To which I say, bullpucky. Any person who consistently tries, who perseveres against whatever forces keep pushing them back, succeeds on some level. Hell, if anything they develop the habit of persevering, of continuing to make an effort.

That right there is a valuable trait to possess in and of itself, for even if you eventually achieve whatever you set out to do and find it unsatisfying, you have developed what it takes to pursue another plan of action, one that may be much more fulfilling.

As opposed to developing the habit of giving up, which doesn't allow for pursuing much of anything but...failure.