Monthly Archives: December 2012

An interesting morning

By Max R. Weller

It was darn cold to begin with, and I haven’t figured out a way to stop breathing in cold air overnight. The outside of my body is warm and toasty while my innards are frozen — I feel like fried ice cream would, if it had feelings. So, I delayed leaving my campsite until about 5:20AM in order to spend less time waiting for Boulder Shelter for the Homeless to open at 6. They were 5 minutes late in opening, apparently because a staff member was tardy for work.

BSH had no hot water available in one of the big percolators. Instead, it bore a sign stating that it was broken. More likely, staff forgot to plug it in before the dining room opened at 6:30AM. So, I had a lukewarm cup of my own instant coffee using “hot” water from the tap. Their alleged coffee isn’t fit to drink, in my opinion.

After leaving the shelter and catching the SKIP bus, I did laundry at Wash-O-Mat, having gone six days in the same clothes. Fortunately, the only transient there was Denver King who stopped by and tried (without success) to bum a cigarette from another paying customer. He’s learned not to even bother speaking to me, or I’ll turn it into another blog entry. I returned to north Boulder with my clean laundry, and when I got back to my campsite I discovered that the newspaper delivery lady, Wendy, had left several Christmas presents for me, having finally given up on trying to catch me there (I was gone Monday night through Friday morning in my motel hideaway). She took care to hide those gifts behind my rolled-up tarp and camping gear, and weighted the big sack down with a large rock. I took the time to read the very nice note she had added to a Christmas card, and it warmed my heart. I decided to leave the presents until this afternoon, because I was in a hurry to catch the SKIP and head to George Reynolds Branch of Boulder Public Library, where I could warm up as I play on the computer.

I was walking as quickly as I could on the icy sidewalk in front of Bustop Gentleman’s Club — those pimps never shovel the snow there, creating a hazard for everyone walking to and from Dakota Ridge and the businesses in that small commercial district to the north — and nearly slipped despite the support of my trekking pole. As I got to the crosswalk on Front Range, spitting distance from the bus, the driver decides to leave rather than wait another ten seconds for me. I stepped in front of the SKIP so he had to stop. After hesitating, he opened the door for me and said in a hostile tone of voice, “Next time, you’re not getting on. I have a schedule.” I know they have a schedule, which is why I’ve never asked to use the lift to help me get on the bus; it would delay it a bit, and I don’t want to admit I’m that disabled, anyway. Then, after I sat down in the front seat where I always do, the driver asked me, “Do you have a fare? Can I see it?” This shaved-headed and goateed moron has seen both me and my monthly bus pass dozens of times. I wondered what in blazes had gotten into him, and why I should have to put up with his bull****. Well, thanks to the Internet, he’ll now have the opportunity to explain his uncalled-for rudeness to a supervisor from RTD, because I’ve submitted an online complaint. NEVER have I caused any problem whatsoever in my years riding the SKIP, and occasionally other routes.

It’s a good thing my friend Wendy brightened my day, or I’d be in a dark mood for nothing. Anybody making $15-$20 or more per hour driving a bus should be grateful to have the job during this perpetual Bush/Obama Great Recession.

Local nonprofits worthy of your support

By Max R. Weller

It’s that time of year when folks may be looking for a worthy cause in Boulder, CO to which they can donate $$$ in order to gain a charitable deduction on their income tax liability. Of course, any time of year is a good time, and donations of goods and services and your time as a volunteer are also needed. Part of what I’ve done here on my blog these past three years plus is to recommend those groups which impress me as being the best at serving both their clients and the broader community. I’ve been reconsidering the matter a lot, recently. It comes down to only two nonprofits, as far as I’m concerned:

1) Attention Homes

2) Emergency Family Assistance Association

Yes, it’s youth and families who are most in need, and both of these organizations are deserving of everyone’s support.

Max’s Journal 12/28/2012

By Max R. Weller

I just returned this morning from my vacation of four nights indoors, sleeping in a real bed and watching TV. I’m walking better now, with less pain and stiffness in my bad hip, but it’s only for a short time. I love living outdoors, and can keep from freezing given my years of experience and very warm camping gear, but it takes a toll on my worn-out body. Of course, I’m also down to $107 in my coffee jar savings since motels don’t offer free lodging to homeless philosophers, and I still have to buy my January RTD bus pass. Not a concern to me; passersby at N. Broadway & U.S. 36 are more than generous and I expect to rebuild my $$$ cushion for future needs in a few weeks. In the meantime, I’ll eat ramen noodles and sandwiches of cheap lunchmeat and bread from King Soopers. And maybe retreat to my friends’ home over in Longmont if a need arises, once they recover from their latest bout of vacation illness which they suffered in Missouri. I must admit, it’s more fun reading an Aubrey/Maturin historical novel and working on the computer in their basement than watching either football or reruns of NCIS (although the Chilean-born actress Cote de Pablo is an attractive young woman, playing an interesting character in that series).

It’s a treat to walk up to the west entrance of Norlin Library on the CU campus and not see the nicotine fiends firing up a storm, right beside the NO SMOKING signs posted there. Not to mention their filthy, stinking, and unsanitary cigarette butts littering the area — right where prospective students and their parents are being guided on tours. And there are Boulder, CO posers who like to pretend that CU rivals Stanford! Not by any objective standard which considers the student body as a whole, which in CU’s case includes a sizable proportion of drunks, stoners, and petty criminals who would have zero chance of being accepted at a Real University focused on academics (like Stanford, which also has a talented, well-coached football team).

During my break at the motel, I never had online access to the local newspaper. Apparently, the motel office’s computer for guest use has some sort of firewall installed to prevent access to horse****. At least, that would be my guess. I did buy a print edition on a trip out for food, so I’d have something to put underneath my wet shoes and not soil the carpet in my cozy room. I checked online this morning, as soon as I got here to Norlin, and sure enough it’s the same old Daily [Asswipe] as always. When I finish this blog entry, I’ll read the Denver Post instead.

My Christmas Day dinner turned out to be a whole roast chicken from Lucky’s Market, given to me by a nice older lady on Christmas Eve in north Boulder. It was quite tasty, and I managed to eat most of it. Perhaps I shouldn’t have let it sit out at room temperature overnight, but I didn’t suffer any ill effects.

As much as I complain about my physical problems, I’m grateful to have developed a strong immune system which resists the assaults of germs during my brief morning visits to Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. This must be the result of sleeping outdoors almost every night, year-round. The amount of coughing, hacking, spitting, puking, etc. going on in that facility is almost unbelievable; no wonder that those who use their allotted 90 nights during the winter season are so sickly. When I do have the sniffles or a cough, it lasts no longer than a day. No reason for me to sample the old family recipe in a hot toddy or straight, either.

Out of curiosity, to see what Boulder’s leftists are so upset about, I watched a bit of Fox News at the motel. It seemed to me to be pretty straightforward commentary. All network news is composed of opinion, and if a few facts happen to intrude it’s by accident. Frankly, it was refreshing to me not to listen to pro-Obama propaganda in the guise of journalism. Fox News provides a needed balance, if nothing else. It was amusing to listen to speculation on the whereabouts of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is less than anxious to testify before the Senate about what really happened in Benghazi this past 9/11. The worst Cabinet appointee in any administration I can recall, with the possible exception of Madeleine Albright during Bill Clinton’s.

Happy 2013 to all, both inside the Boulder Bubble and elsewhere in the Real World . . .

The leftist perspective on the Connecticut school shooting

By Max R. Weller

1) Blame it on guns;
2) Blame it on ALL gun owners, including the law-abiding;
3) Blame it on the National Rifle Association;
4) Do not blame the shooter, because he was mentally ill;
5) Do not blame those who failed to obtain psychiatric intervention for the shooter, because they thought he was simply eccentric;
6) Do not blame a lack of armed security at the school, see #1 above.

Boulder’s homeless shelter/services industry in the news

By Max R. Weller

See the article on the 1175 Lee Hill Housing First facility, a collaboration between Boulder Housing Partners and Boulder Shelter for the Homeless right next door. The most recent Point-in-Time Survey last January counted 750 homeless people, including families with children, here in Boulder. How in blazes does spending $6 million plus on 31 units for single adult street alcoholics/drug addicts help? What about the other 719 homeless? It’s the end of the line for the Housing First clients who will be chosen for the 1175 Lee Hill project, and many will die in their new apartments just as quickly as they would on the streets. Here’s the model: http://www.adn.com/2012/05/28/2483192/success-of-…

Also see this report on Boulder Outreach for Homeless Overflow. Of course there are more transients from Denver and elsewhere; Boulder’s homeless shelter/services industry encourages them to come here, and BOHO is no different in that regard than Boulder Shelter for the Homeless or Bridge House.  Better to hand transients a bus ticket back to Denver. It’s only $5 on RTD, and I’ve paid the fare for a few Denver characters myself in the past.

Remember the unwritten and unspoken creed of every one of these organizations: More Homeless People = More Money.