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

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Art Of Seeing Color

                                    Debra, Chris Bakunas, 24" X 30", oil on canvas, 2011

This past weekend, while trying to find the motivation to work on a painting, I came across a pamphlet for the Clyfford Still museum that I had picked up when Thibs and I had stopped briefly at the Clyfford Still museum in downtown Denver to get information on hours of operation and whatnot.

Clyfford Still (1904 - 1980) was an abstract expressionist who was considered one of the preeminent painters of the Color Field school, primarily because his paintings were generally huge canvases covered in thick, jagged swaths of paint that was applied with palette knives, almost like thick peanut butter would be spread on a slice of bread, except the bread would be 2,000 times larger than the average slice, and the peanut butter would be shades of yellow, purple, orange, red, black, or blue.

The museum opened two years ago, and stopping by with Thibs last week was only the second time I had been in it. Not that I do not appreciate the fantastic work Mr. Still produced, it's just that, well, it does not grab me as much as say, the works of Hans Hoffman or Helen Frankenthaler

Color is a wondrous thing, and I've always marveled at the works of artists' who seem to have found a way to almost sculpt with it, using the paint to create paintings in which the object of the painting is the color itself.

Thibs can do that. I've admired his use of color since we were teens. He has an instinctive feel for shades of color that goes far beyond using green for grass and blue for sky.

                         Hobbits, Richard Thibodeau, 10" X 14", Water-based Markers, 1978

My use of color has always been somewhat technical. It more than likely has to do with my interest in silk screen printing and four-color page printing when I was young. The basics for printing in color back then involved creating color separations - that is, four separate sheets of film were created, one for black, one for cyan, one for magenta, and one for yellow. From those four sheets every color, shade, tint or hue that was seen in magazines, newspapers, books, or even on television, were created. 

            Turbulent America, Chris Long (nka Bakunas) 12" X 16" Pen & ink w/tempera, 1978

The two examples above of work Thibs and I both produced in 1978 are very evident of our different approaches to using color. Thib's is far more organic and natural, mine is very straight, flat, and structured.

BTW, the example of my work was something I created as a Social Studies assignment. The class was told to write a 1,000 word essay on the turbulent generational conflicts in the U.S. in late '60's/early '70's, and I turned this in saying a picture is worth a thousand words. I got a B.

Even today It is more work than I like to admit for me to create a painting that has a natural feel to the color. I spend an inordinate amount of time mixing paints to come up with the right shade of blue for a sky or the right tint in a flesh tone.

I think I might have to go back down to the Still museum and spend a bit more time absorbing what he created. Maybe I'll hit on what it was he was feeling when he was working, tap into the source of his inspiration.

Or maybe I'll just get to enjoy huge canvases covered in almost intimidating amounts of color. Either way, it'll be time well spent.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

What Could You Possibly Need ?

Everyone wants something they can't have
Something they feel is missing from their life
Something that would just make their life complete
Or at least more complete than it is now

Friday, September 27, 2013

Living In The Desert With An Unlimited Supply Of Stale, Leftover Angst

                         She told me she liked
                                   Sensitive artist type
               I told her I probably couldn't
                                   Up to that stereotype
                          So we went out dancing 
               Nearly every Friday night  
               Yeah we had us some damn good times
               Everything was just so right
                                                   Two kids
                                                   Having a good time
                                                   Listening to the radio
                                                   Or watching TV
                                                   It was a match made 
                                                   In the movies
                                                   But the script Doctor
                                                   Got it all wrong
                                                   It was supposed to be 
                                                   But it didn't last
                                                   Quite that long
                217 days of wrapping each other up tight
                217 days without a care in the world
                                     It wasn't a question of if 
                                     It was a question of when
                                                   For if there is any real 
                                     In this crazy world we live in
                                                   There's not a lot of good
                                                   That lasts forever
                                                   Every thing's                                                                                    Predetermined
                                                   To come to an end              

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Make It Like You Want It To Be

When you are young
Which is everyday
Everyday you are younger than you will ever be again
Everything is a learning experience
For the good or for the bad
The people you meet, the ones you choose to get to know
Can either contribute or not
Depending on how wide you open the door
To let them in or let yourself out
If you never let anyone in
Or never let yourself out
Your life will forever be one of narrow experiences
Determined by your anxieties, worries and apprehensions
The gifts strangers bring with them
Adventures, explorations, things that make you feel 
Can never be a known quantity
It's always a dare opening the door
Which is what makes every stranger 
A unique learning experience
For some, life requires a truly harrowing leap of faith
Bad strangers having brought bad experiences
Allowing the past to dictate the future
Forcing that most powerful of powers, hope
To sit behind the monster known as fear

It's up to you to make life what you want it to be

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Saying Goodbye To The Man From Knoxville

Baseball fans, among which I include myself, have a fascination with statistics. Most any baseball fan can rattle off the career numbers of any number of favorite players, and in some instances have committed whole franchise or league statistics to memory.

It's part of the what makes the game so engrossing. As I sat watching Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton play in his second to last home game before he hangs up his glove I was surrounded by people scribbling notes and numbers on scorecards, tracking the performance of every player on the field, recording the minutiae as well as the meaningful. 

Double-Play Dave, my friend who had joined me for the game, and I exchanged bits of baseball trivia as we watched the Rockies light up Red Sox pitching for 11 hits (including three jacks) and 8 RBI to take the first of a home season-ending two-game series. During the season Dave and I text each other three or four times a week with what most non-baseball fans would no doubt regard as useless information, but for us it has meaning, it is has significance.

Having lived in the Denver metro area since Spring of 1998, it has been my pleasure to watch Helton for pretty much his entire career (He played 35 games for the Rox in '97, but I was in Glasgow then). He took over as the everyday first baseman for the Rockies on opening day of 1998, the very first Rockies game I ever attended. 

He had big, big shoes to fill, as El Gran Gato, Andres Galarraga, the man who had manned that post since the Rockies first season, had set a high standard, hitting a total of 172 home runs and knocking in 579 runs in his 5 seasons wearing the purple and silver.  

Todd Helton proved to be up to the challenge. His rookie year was a harbinger of great things to come, leading all major league rookies in the triple crown categories of average (.315), home runs (25), and RBI's (97), as well as runs (78) and hits (167).  

If I'm lucky, I attend 7 or 8 Rockies games a year, usually against my old hometown team, the Padres. Over the past 16 seasons I've witnessed some exciting games (uh, no pitching duels, but quite a few offensive explosions - it's Coors Field). Helton has provided much of that excitement, early on with both his bat and glove, and later, after he developed a degenerative back condition, with his grit and determination at the plate to still produce (He has added more than 500 hits to his career total since the diagnosis).

It was with much gratitude and admiration that I watched Todd go 2-for-4 last night in the last game I'll get to see him play. He has earned a permanent spot in the hearts of minds of Colorado baseball fans, and it is with more than a touch of lament that we all stood on our feet every time he walked up to the plate. 

Thanks for all the great memories Toddfather, it's been a terrific ride.   

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Second Day Of Autumn

The second day of Autumn never gets any press
                  The first steals all the coverage and the limelight
                  But the second day, the second morning
                  Is really when the season begins
      The winds of Autumn shake the trees
      Bringing down small branches 
      And carpeting lawns with leaves
                             Soft morning light fills grey calm skies
                             Afternoons both cool and warm
                             Evening arriving earlier and earlier
                             Sweaters after dusk when it gets chillier
           Canadian Geese head south to Mexican hideouts
                        Squirrels roam branches and guy wires
                        Pondering hibernation
                        Contemplating food storage
Collars go up as the cold breeze pushes paper along the way
Candy wrappers and fast food bags crumpled and tossed
Dressing chain link fences in multi-colored quilts
                 Coffee flavored with pumpkin spice
                 Hot raisin-bread toast smothered in butter
                 Hot-toddy nightcaps in front of the fire


Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Noise I Love To Hear

               Tommy Stinson, Paul Westerberg, Josh Freese and Dave Minehan take the stage

Sound is a powerful energy. Most everyone who made it through high school is aware that sound has an actual physical property, that it is made up of waves that compress air which bounces off our eardrums, resulting in us hearing noises.

Some noises are preferred over others, and some noises are more powerful than others. Some noises have power that exceeds the force of their physical properties.

Such is the glorious noise produced by a little-known, grossly under-appreciated band hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Replacements.

Just to bring everyone up to speed, a couple of months ago the Replacements announced a reunion (With replacement Replacements for Chris Mars and Slim Dunlap), and that they would be playing three shows at a traveling carnival/music festival known as Riot Fest, first in Toronto, then Chicago, and last but far from least near my home in Denver.

Which, to me, was pretty much like winning the lottery. I love the Replacements. The music this group created in the '80's was and still is a powerful energy to me, it's the music that could kick start my mood when I wasn't feeling up, it's the music that could console me when I was feeling like the world was landing haymakers right on the ol' kisser, it's the music that could inspire me to create, to grab life by the short hairs and punch right back, it's the music that would keep me awake as I sang along at the top of my lungs while driving through vast underpopulated stretches of Utah in the middle of the night.   

It's music that was and is a powerful energy to me.

                                                          The 'mats rip it up

Tonight I watched this band and sang along with every tune as if I might never have the chance to ever sing again. I was at the show with some old friends, Rick Thibs, who I saw the 'mats with 28 years ago, and Ellie, with whom I have seen everyone from the Stray Cats to Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and a few new friends, die-hard Replacements fans just like me.

The crowd was amazing. I know it was the largest gathering of 'mats fans I'd ever seen. We stood not like older, wiser, more mature adults appreciating talented musicians, we stood like raving lunatic fanboys and girls feasting on the energy produced by gods wielding microphones and guitars.

It was grand, and it was glorious.

It's a hootenanny, baby

From the second the band laid into Takin' A Ride until the hilarious Hootenanny encore, the energy was nuclear. The guys looked and sounded as if they had been playing together for the past 22 years instead of the exact opposite, blasting out song after incredible song with a zeal and vigor that defied time and tide.

After the show, as we made our way back to the north forty where we had parked, I found myself still disbelieving that I had actually witnessed the reunion of the one of the greatest bands that never made it, a band that seemed destined to be remembered as loveable fcuk-ups, masters of shooting themselves in the foot over and over again.

Tonight the 'mats showed a lot of hardcore fans, and probably a whole helluva lot of new fans, what they could do when they wanted to. 

It was worth the wait.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Making Decisive Decisions

                                                          Ninja Larry

Normally, he wouldn't have given it a moments thought
But tonight, tonight was different
He was feeling different
Wearing a different expression on his face
The day had been different 
And now he was going to do something different
This time
He was not only going to give it a moments thought
He was going to act on the thought
                                            So he walked up to the counter
                                            With the yellow package 
                                            Set it down
                                            Pulled out his wallet
                                            As the clerk rang it up
                                            Handed over the cash
                                            Took his change 
                                            And walked out of the store
                                            Happy with his purchase
                                            Of the one pound bag of M&M's

It was half empty before he got home.

Friday, September 20, 2013

No Crime In Dreaming, Eh?

You know how it goes. You're sitting by yourself trying to enjoy a quiet moment, some alone time, when out of nowhere an attractive woman with a bubbly personality, a razor-sharp wit, excellent taste in music and an intellect that would challenge Einstein sits down next to you and just starts chatting away about how she thinks you look like some well-known leading man, except with a stronger chin and a much brighter smile, and can she buy you a drink and then gets all excited when you order a Guinness because that's one of her favorite beers too, which leads to her telling you an engaging story about how she was once in Dublin doing the Literary Pub Crawl when a man claiming to be the late Harry Harrison accidently spilled a whole pint of Guinness on her and she had to remove her shirt and put on one the pub sold, as the Guinness made the shirt nearly transparent and very clingy which revealed her, uhm, assets to the world, a point she illustrated by pulling her shirt tight around said ample assets while inviting you to take a look with a flirtatious laugh and a very welcoming look in her eyes...

No? You don't know how that goes? Yeah, me either.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Stumbling Into A Country-Folk Ballad

Bear Creek at historic highs three days after the storm, 9-18-2013

Today was a great day to get out and see what the countryside looked like in the aftermath of the storm. The sky was clear, the sun was blazing, and I had the morning free, so off I went.

Wanting to see what Bear Creek looked like after a week of just about the heaviest rain ever seen in this part of Colorado, I headed to the town of Morrison. Driving through Morrison the creek was clearly visible running along the south side of Morrison road, which was quite odd as it is usually low in the creek bed and difficult to see unless you are right on top of it.

Morrison road becomes Colorado route 74 just west of the town, as you head up towards the smaller communities of Idledale and Kittridge until finally arriving in Evergreen. I drove up 74 with the town of Evergreen in mind as my final destination.

Heading up the mountain I stopped at a few pullouts along the shoulder of the road that offered views of the rain-swollen creek. I made my way to a few precarious spots that offered good photo ops and took a few snaps. I did this for a few miles before stopping at a pullout area about a mile before Idledale where a young couple was standing next to a motorcycle with what looked like all of their belongs scattered around it.

As I was getting out of my truck, the young woman who had been standing near the young man approached me quickly and asked if might have a small Phillips screwdriver.

Being as I keep a vast array of Swiss-army and Leatherman type tools in my center console, I told her I probably did. I fished around in the console and found a multi-tool device that featured a fairly small Phillips screwdriver, handed it over to the young woman, and told her I was going to walk down to the creek to take a few pics and would be back to collect the tool shortly.

She was over-the-top with thanks, saying they had been there for awhile trying to flag people down but no one had stopped. I told her it was no problem, as I was stopping to take pics of the creek anyway.

After ten minutes or so of taking pictures, I headed back to my truck. I approached the young man who had been given the Phillips screwdriver and asked him how things were going.

This is where it gets good - you might want to make some popcorn.

The young man told me he wasn't getting anywhere with the Phillips screwdriver and said that he was probably going to have to cut the wires that lead from the ignition to the engine in order to hot wire the bike.

I, of course, asked the obvious question, "Don't you have a key?"

He looked at me with a brief flash of "Dude, if I had the key I'd be using it" before actually saying, "No I don't have the key. I accidentally threw it in the creek."

Which was not the answer I expected. Losing a key is one thing, but throwing the only key you have to your only transportation into a raging, overflowing creek, is a whole 'nuther.

I had that look on my face that says "How and why in the hell did you throw your key into the creek?" and without prompting the young woman chimed in that he accidentally threw the key in the creek when he threw their dog in the creek.

I was a bit taken aback by that statement.

She explained further, saying they had been traveling with their dog, a Chihuahua, and that when they had pulled over they had let the dog out of it's little carrier so it could stretch it's tiny legs, and it had scrambled up some rocks nearby, then had somehow lost it's footing and tumbled down the rock pile, hitting it's tiny head on a large boulder, and well, that was all she wrote for the poor little Chihuahua.

The young man had scooped the tiny dog up and watched as it convulsed in agony in his hands. Reacting in what he thought was a merciful manner, he tossed the dying Chihuahua into the creek. Unfortunately, he had forgotten he had the key to his bike in one of his hands when he had scooped up the dog, and it went flying into the watery abyss along with the poor little pup.

It's right about at this point the thought that I was bearing witness to a Country/Folk/Blues tune in the making popped into my head.

It was also about this time that a few other cars had pulled up. One was driven by a guy who, like me, was driving around with his camera looking for interesting sites to photograph, and the other was a truck being driven by a concerned traveler.

Both of these men approached the three of us as we were standing around the bike and asked if we needed help, to which we all replied that everything was alright, and then the young man explained further that he no longer had the key to his bike and he was probably going to cut into the ignition wires and attempt to turn it over via hot wiring.

The man who pulled over in the truck asked in the front wheel was locked, and the young man told it wasn't. That was good, as the man with the truck said he had a trailer he could but the bike on and would take it to the nearest locksmith for him. He jumped in his truck and headed off to get his trailer.

The other guy had retrieved his phone from his car and had started searching for local locksmiths to call. He found one who quoted a fee of $250.00 to come out and make a key, which the young man and woman balked at, stating they didn't have money like that.

It took a few more calls, but soon another locksmith was located who quoted a fee of $90.00. The young man still balked, stating they really didn't have that much money on them. I told him to have the locksmith to come out and I'd take care of it.

The whole time this was going on, BTW, various other parties had pulled over, both to take a look at the overflowing creek, and to see what was happening.

Oh, and the young woman was dealing with a bit of altitude sickness, as this was her first visit to Colorado, and it was the first time she'd ever seen, much less been in, a mountain range (this was all going on at 7,000 feet or so).

A half-hour had passed since the guy with the truck had left to get his trailer, and I was thinking it was going to be rather sticky to see him pull up towing a trailer with a locksmith on the way. Fifteen minutes after that thought had crossed my mind he came around the bend towing a really nice covered trailer, purpose made for hauling bikes and featuring airbrushed paintings of the stars of Easy Rider on one side looking out from behind the bars of a jail. There were paintings of a skeleton on a chopper on the other side, and a warthog astride a bike on the front - it was all really well done.

The young man went up to the guy and explained that a locksmith had been located and was on his way to cut a key for the bike, and the guy replied he would stick around until the locksmith showed and made the key, just in case the locksmith couldn't get the job done.

The story of the key being tossed in the creek along with the dog that had come to an untimely end was retold for the benefit of the guy who had retrieved the trailer, along with a bit more of the young couple's story. They were headed west from deep in the heart of Kansas on an impromptu vacation, one that hadn't been planned out all that thoroughly.

It was at this point that I began to imagine a few different scenarios - were they fleeing the law? Had they stolen the days proceeds at a place of business they worked at together and made off with delusions of being Bonnie & Clyde? Were they running away with each other from other relationships that had been failing? And why in the hell did they pack very little clothing but brought the dog along? Why didn't they have at least one bedroll? I suspected this trip of theirs was decided on rash impulse.

The locksmith showed up as I was talking with man with the trailer (we had both introduced ourselves by then, his name was Sean). Sean and I watched as the locksmith and his assistant (I believe his assistant was his wife) went to work on the gas cap (ignition, seat, and gas cap locks on bikes open with one shared key). He was able to get the gas cap unlocked and off fairly quickly, and then was able to turn over the ignition on the bike as well.

A couple of keys were then made for the bike (I insisted on two keys being cut - no sense in having a locksmith cut just the one key), and the young couple was ready to get back on the road. I invited them to follow me down into Morrison were we could grab some lunch, and after the locksmith was paid and everybody who contributed to helping the young couple out of this jam were thanked, that's exactly what we did.

Over lunch the young couple explained a bit more about what they were doing and what their plans were. That's their story though, and I don't feel at liberty to put it here. Suffice to say they were looking to build a new life together.

The young man and young woman were both profuse in their thanks and keep saying they had no idea how they ever could repay everyone's kindness and generosity, and I told them that it was simple:

The next time they ever saw someone broken down on the side of the road, whether it was due to engine trouble or just a flat tire, they had to stop to see if they could offer help.

That's how it works. The whole pay it forward dealio.

I wished those two the best of luck as they got back on the road. Whatever their final destination is, I hope they reach it safe and sound, and do not have to endure anymore absurdly difficult circumstances.

They gave me the small bag of dog food they had in one of their backpacks, btw - It's not like they had any further use for it. 

Threw the key in the creek with the dying dog. There has got to be a really great sad song in there somewhere.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quiet Screams Are Made Of This...

The darkness that enshrouded his room gave rise to thoughts of monsters hiding in the corners, in the closet, under the bed, or behind the drapes. He knew that there were no such things as monsters, but his imagination, his overactive, overstimulated imagination, wrecked havoc on his ability to be rational. 

To add to his anxiety, on nights like this, when there was no moon, when the wind was still and even the crickets seemed to be taking the night off, he sometimes thought he heard whispers...quiet murmuring coming from the far end of the room, or over by the bookcase, near the waste basket. 

He couldn't make out any words, it was more of a sensation of people whispering quickly and quietly to themselves, or having huddled conversations with each other but with slurred and slovenly speech.

On nights like this the minutes seemed to pass like hours. He couldn't fall asleep, for every time he got close to drifting off he would be startled by an imagined sound, or worse, an imagined presence. He had been laying in his bed for twenty minutes now, and despite his use of a deep-breathing relaxation technique and even counting backwards from a thousand, he was as still as wide awake as when he first walked into the room.

Finally he began to feel the heaviness of fatigue begin to take him. His eyelids remained closed for longer intervals, and his heart rate had started slowing down. To occupy himself and ward off his imagination's penchant for creating disturbing thoughts he had begun to run the lyrics to every song from the Beatles' Sgt Peppers album through his mind. He became aware that he was drifting off when he found himself struggling to remember if he had jumped from Lovely Rita to the Sgt Pepper's reprise.

Then suddenly he was wide awake again, conscious of...something different in the room. He slowly opened his eyes and looked into the dark, hoping he would not see anything. He looked into the near-blackness at the far end of the room, at the books and papers stacked on his desk, at the cluttered bookcase, the even more cluttered dresser and finally he looked towards the drapes and the closet door. Nothing was amiss. 

But then a thought hit him like a twenty-pound mallet. Why could he see anything? Where is the soft light coming from? He turned his head toward the door to the room and his breathing stopped. The door was open. It was only open a inch or so, but it was open. When he had shut off the television set and walked upstairs to his room, the first thing he did after he turned on the light was securely close the door.

And now the door was open.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Oddest Duck In The Room

Of all the perplexing conundrums I was ever presented with when I was a child, the biggest had to be the idea that in order to succeed, I would have to blend in. 

That was something that was hammered into me constantly, My Mom, my teachers, and even my peers never seemed to stop harping about how important it was to conform to the social norm.

"Don't make waves", "No one likes a show-off", Try not to draw attention to yourself", were statements I heard nearly everyday when I was young, and that was confusing for the sole reason that at a very early age I had already figured out that the boldest, most adventuresome, most original people were the ones everyone admired, were the ones everyone considered successes.

Knowing that however did not save me from the influence of those who demanded conformity. Over time I became as docile as everyone else, a slave to the conventional. Even my pursuit of artistic endeavors became conventional.

Which is a damn shame and one of my quiet regrets. There is no excusing my acceptance of this soul-crushing construct of conformity, not entirely. I could make excuses, draw up elaborate rationales, even fabricate convincing justifications, but there is actually no escaping the truth, which is I took the path of least resistance, I accepted the lowest common denominator.

That however has not damned me to a pathetic existence of mindless drudgery. Quite the opposite actually. Once I became aware of the manner in which I had compromised my own integrity, sold out the courage of my convictions, etc., it was easy to determine the course of action I needed to take.

Part of that course of action is this blog of course, but an even larger part is the acceptance of myself as, well, as an odd duck. 

It's a tricky thing though this odd-duck acceptance, primarily because I loathe people who bring attention to themselves with pretentious displays of hipster dandy-ism, especially those displays that rely on manufactured odd-duckiness.

I'm looking at you Mr. ear gauge and elaborate tattoo guy. How about presenting the world with something tangible, or credible, or at least a bit more interesting than the beaten dead horse of look-how-I've-modified-my-body oh so '90's school of forced reactions?

The odd-duck acceptance I'm talking about is more along the lines of "Okay, my tastes in almost everything is a bit different than most people I know - how do I incorporate that into the world I prefer to live in without alienating myself?"

That might read a little odd to some people, but what I'm trying to convey is the concept of being a creative type, one of those cursed with an artistic temperament, without being a self-aggrandizing asshat who isolates instead of originates.

Yeah, I realize that last paragraph really didn't clarify anything.

Second attempt: I don't need to be looked at as an odd duck to have my odd duckiness quantified. It's there, it's a part of me, I accept it. Done.

Make sense to anyone? If so, send me an email so I can benefit from your insight - It couldn't hurt, and it just might help.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rainy Days And Rainy Nights

They are now calling this a "One hundred year storm". The rain is still coming down, still saturating the entire area within a 100 mile radius of Denver. At first all of the rain was great - it had been hot and dry for most of the previous month, so when the heavy cloud cover brought cooler temperatures, most people were happy.

However, with the light rain becoming consistently torrential, the area began to suffer extensive damage. Roads and bridges have been washed out, and flooding has taken it's toll on nearly every community in the Northeastern corner of Colorado.

As I write this there are Flood and Flash Flood warnings for nearly every county along the front range. Rivers and lakes are reaching historic levels. Usually, high intensity storm systems like this dissipate quickly, but that does not seem to be the case with this one. This storm has been lingering since Tuesday, the 10th, and is not expected to lighten up until tomorrow evening.

So many roads, both major highways and minor side streets, have been closed due to damage caused by sinkholes, Inadequate drainage, undermined roadbeds, or danger from mud and rock slides, that travel warnings have been issued by the Colorado Department of Transportation advising people not to drive anywhere unless it is absolutely necessary.

Which it is for a number of people being evacuated in various communities that are either along rivers overflowing their banks, or are actually situated on floodplains.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Things They Did...Or Didn't Do

Never made her feel like
Was the one in the spotlight
Never thought she really cared
Was never sure he understood her
Tried his best to make sense of it all
Couldn't understand what he was thinking

Friday, September 13, 2013

Putting No Shoulder Into It

I know people who don't like to work
As if that makes them particularly unique
                                 They are partial to lazing around the house
                                 Or the garage
                                 Doing their own thing
                                 Ain't that special
Somehow  they have managed to find someone
Who is willing to put up with this lack of initiative
                                  For the pleasure
                                  Of their company
                                                                       I guess some people
                                                                       Really don't want to be 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Denver Needs A Good Wash Every So Often

Confluence of Cherry Creek and South Platte River at Confluence Park, Denver, 09/12/2013

It has been raining for nearly three days straight now, and at one point the rain was coming down at a rate of an inch an hour, with a number of areas recording 10 inches of rain in the past 24 hours.

That's a lot of rain. How much rain? Well, if it was snow, which it would have be if this storm hit two months later in the year, it would be the equivalent of approximately 10 feet of snow. 

So, yeah, the Denver metro area is getting a bath.

The bad is the danger of flash flooding, which has claimed the lives of at least 2 people in the past two days. The areas north of Denver are really getting hit hard, with the cities of Boulder, Longmont, Broomfield, Thornton, Commerce City, Aurora and a few other places getting drenched to the point that roads have become impassable and non-essential government offices, schools, and businesses shutting down.

The good is the replenishment of lake, river, and reservoir levels (which is also bad, as reportedly 12 dams are overflowing as type). 

This morning I had to go out to east Denver, near Aurora. From my home in Lakewood to my destination on Chambers road, a little over 23 miles, took nearly two hours. The main west to east artery, I-70, was flooded along the right lanes of the highway in several areas, which forced bottlenecks that backed traffic up for miles.

The parking lot of the warehouse had more than a foot of water in it when I pulled in. The truck made it through the small pond to higher ground well enough, but getting through the parking lot to the front door required a bit of hop, skip, and jumping.

The rain alternated between torrential downpour and light drenching for the five and a half hours I was in east Denver. By the time I headed off for home, the rain had let up to a drizzle, which made it much easier to negotiate the road.

Much easier, but not any faster. There were so many detours due to closures I actually had to stop in downtown Denver to take a break and get a small snack. One hour driving 2/10's of a mile an hour is no fun at all.

The rain is expected to continue through tomorrow. Hopefully, everyone who may have been in danger has reached higher ground and the only thing anyone will have to deal with when the storm is finally over will be cleaning up the mess.