Monthly Archives: June 2013

Max’s Journal 6/29/2013

By Max R. Weller

I love a good thunderstorm like the one last night! Lightning flashes clearly visible through my protective 9′ x 12′ tarp, the kettle drums of the gods overhead, plus rain and a bit of hail. It’s totally relaxing because I stay warm and dry (I have a second 9′ x 12′ tarp folded in half which I use as a ground cover), and best of all I know that there won’t be any uninvited visitors bugging me in such weather. I don’t understand other homeless people who attempt to camp out sans a quality tarp of large size, and who are also lacking a sleeping bag, and yet they own cell phones, iPods, and are never without cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, or their drugs of choice. I think their priorities are askew.

I found a voluminous work of historical fiction at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless this morning: “The Teutonic Knights” by Henryk Sienkiewicz (author of “Quo Vadis”). You literary-types will recognize his name. This is a serious work and it should keep me occupied for a week or more; I can breeze through almost any piece of contemporary fiction in a day or so, because they’re little more than cotton candy for the mind.

Some kind soul gave me a Carl’s Jr. hamburger yesterday afternoon as I was on the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36. It had the works including mayo, which isn’t typically used on burgers, but which I found quite tasty. What we need in north Boulder is a McDonald’s, along with a Walmart Supercenter, both built on Open Space currently being used to graze cattle only a few days during the summer (the vegetation being so sparse).

I’m heading back north now with provisions for all day I bought at King Soopers, across the street from the George Reynolds Branch Library. Perhaps the fake homeless yuppie brats will provide more entertainment, as I watch from underneath my shade trees . . .

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Max’s Journal 6/28/2013

By Max R. Weller

I may be looking for a new campsite soon. [Denver] King is hanging around the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36 way after my bedtime — and his loud, stupid, one-sided conversation with passersby he’s pestering has disturbed my peaceful slumbers several times recently. I go to bed early, get up early, and stay wide awake all day — I need my rest at night.

As I feared, two of the fake homeless yuppie brats returned to my north Boulder neighborhood yesterday. I didn’t invite the unwashed morons to share my shade; but, like everything else they come across, they think it’s theirs by right. Actually, and this has also been made clear to law enforcement officers by folks who live and work in that area, I’m the one and only homeless person who is welcome. It pays to live right, but it would pay ME more if Boulder PD and BCSO put the troublemakers on an RTD bus back to Denver. Maybe the apologists/enablers at Bridge House would miss their sorry butts, but everybody else in Boulder would celebrate the bums’ exile.

The coyotes set up a chorus at 3AM very close to my spot, and then again at 5 as I was walking over to Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. Once there, I could hear a rooster crowing and cattle lowing off in the distance (when there wasn’t a noisy SKIP bus parked and idling nearby). I also love the fresh air in the early morning, which lasts only as long as I’m alone in waiting by myself for BSH to open at 6AM, before the homeless nicotine fiends show up and pollute that airspace by firing up the filthy cigarette butts (“snipes”) they’ve picked up out of a gutter somewhere. Uncouth and unsanitary, but it’s obvious to me that nicotine is the most powerfully addictive drug around; people can quit using cocaine and heroin more easily than tobacco.

I still want to find a cave or an old barn with a roof that doesn’t leak too much to call “home” — but I haven’t had any luck so far. If you know of such a place, please leave a reply here with details.

Boulder, CO’s yuppie brats play at being homeless

By Max R. Weller

I haven’t seen this in any other city where I’ve been homeless for real, like Kansas City, MO. It probably has something to do, in part at least, with Boulder being such a lily-white place; you won’t find white kids of means hanging out in the inner city with actual gangstas. Mostly, I think it’s the hippie culture which lingers on here — and I’m not referring to the Rainbow Family who visit every summer, because they’re fake hippies (more like a cult of the unwashed).

Yesterday, I was enjoying the day in my north Boulder neighborhood around the 4900 block of N. Broadway. I was reading, sipping ginger ale, watching the world go by, etc. The young lady I see walking by on a regular basis with three little kids in tow (I still think she’s the nanny, not their mom) stopped and presented me with a paper boat which one of the boys had made for me. Later on, a couple of workers from a business in that small commercial district paused as they were driving out and gave me a piece of Starbucks coffee cake, and also had some kind words for me. Once again I played the role of humble beggar on the corner at U.S. 36, and took in another $34 in two hours (that’s $109 total in 6 1/2 hours over the past three days, about as good as it gets in my experience).

However, just before I decided to step out to my spot shortly before 4PM, a bunch of these annoying fake homeless brats came prancing up to my spot in the shade in front of the Mexican restaurant. Uninvited, of course. Don’t misunderstand, there are homeless youth in Boulder, and Attention Homes does great work with them . . . But these other characters are role-playing, and they’re naive enough to believe that living on the streets and staying drunk/stoned every day is FUN. One of ’em was in the sober-only transitional living program at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless for only one day, before being tossed out for failing the Breathalyzer test when he came back in the evening. He tried to use the excuse of taking cough syrup which had alcohol in it, but that’s also against the rules and alcohol-free cough remedies are available. I’ve overheard this 20-something clown talking about his mom and his home, where he’s no longer welcome to lie around all day drinking and drugging instead of working and/or attending college. Good for you, mom! All he has to do is to conform his behavior to her minimal standards, and he can go back home. Instead, the obnoxious jerk is using the limited resources of the local homeless shelter/services industry. And he has a girlfriend, who is also a fake.

It reminds me of a young lady who was at BSH about three years ago — I actually saw her mother (and the family resemblance is unmistakable) drop her off at the Boulder Shelter for [Yuppie Brats] and the reason for it quickly became obvious. The 20-something chick was a dipsomaniac, and may still be. Her mom probaly envisioned this experience as a means to shock the young woman back into sobriety, but it didn’t work and she became romantically involved with a bum she met at BSH. I haven’t seen her around for a long time, but then I don’t frequent the hangouts of homeless rat packs.

Back to yesterday in my neighborhood: After I’d been on the corner for only a short time, the leader of this band of fake homeless youth (there were four or five in all) came out and asked if they could “fly a sign” there. They might just as easily have found another corner during the rush hour traffic, but they were too damn lazy to be bothered looking for one and I wasn’t going to help ’em out by stepping off mine. BTW, this idjit had introduced himself to me as “Paddy” and I told him my name, just as a courtesy before shooing him away. The last thing we need is a bunch of obnoxious fake homeless youth to go along with the numerous drunken bums who panhandle at N. Broadway & U.S. 36. Anyway, Paddy goes back to my shady spot with his followers (a couple of whom looked like minors to me). Then, he gets the bright idea to start his own version of aggressive panhandling in the bike lane of southbound Broadway. Marching along, wildly gesticulating at northbound motorists as well as shouting at ’em and thrusting his sign towards ’em, and even harassing employees in the businesses there who were leaving to go home. At first it pissed me off. Then, the sheer comedy of it became too much to resist and I enjoyed Paddy’s sideshow. Nobody driving by gave him so much as the time of day . . . It’s a wonder that someone didn’t report this stupidity; aggressive panhandling is illegal in our fair city, and Paddy was inside the city limits during part of his marching spectacle.

Is this what folks on Pearl Street Mall have to put up with? If so, there needs to be some resonable regulation of panhandling in Boulder, CO (although my corner is located outside the city limits).

File this one under Only in Boulder.

Max’s Journal 6/26/2013

By Max R. Weller

It’s like I said in yesterday’s post: dumber than a box of rocks. Shouting Joe from St. Louis and his partner, Mississippi Billy, were panhandling at N. Broadway & U.S. 36 yesterday morning from about 7:30 until 10:30AM. They had a new sign — OBAMA’S CHANGE DIDN’T HELP/UR’S (sic) WILL (along with the ubiquitous “God bless” scrawled in a corner). Never mind the misspelled possessive pronoun with unneeded apostrophe. How on earth can you expect to gain the good will of Boulderites, most of whom worship our current president, with a message like that? The only thing worse might be — IMPEACH OBAMA/NEED CASH FOR BOOZE (God bless). They left, once again leaving their trash behind, when I showed up to settle into my relaxed mode of reading in the shade.

As it turns out, by 3PM my butt was asleep from sitting on the rock wall in front of the Mexican restaurant, so I changed my mind and went out to the corner to try my luck with passersby. (Lots of times, it’s more comfortable for me to stand on my bum hip than it is to sit). Some stranger I’d never seen before had been flying a sign between 1 and 2PM, but he appeared to be sober so I didn’t mind. As he was leaving he mentioned to me that he’d made only $4. By contrast, for the 2 1/2 hours I was out there I took in $41, but more importantly I wanted to restore good vibes to that spot, by which I mean a laid-back and respectful attitude rather than the bums’ aggressive tactics that only piss off the people.

I’ve mentioned before that even the most mentally ill people will conform their behavior to ordinary standards of decency, if required to do so. After all, true psychotic episodes are very rare, and most of us who have mental health issues at some point are nevertheless grounded in reality. Case in point: Crackhead Dave from Milwaukee, banned from Boulder Shelter for the Homeless for one of his epic rants in which he threatened a staff member; this occurred a couple of months ago, and I’m hoping he’s been 86ed forever. Anyway, he was standing behind me waiting to board the SKIP bus right next to BSH this morning, when he went off again. Believe me, it’s futile to attempt to follow his train wreck of thought as he’s shouting. Sometimes, he refers to our president as a nigger, then he’ll start talking about rocket ships, and suddenly veer off into hiking into caves that lead to the center of the earth; he also refers to anybody around him as “Magoo” after the cartoon character. His rants are heavily peppered with profanity, including the “f” word in all of its variants. As I boarded the SKIP and paid my fare I asked the driver, “Do we have to listen to all that?” Crackhead Dave sat down and continued ranting, loudly, and the driver turned around and said to him: “Hey, hold it down! We can’t have all that shouting and cursing, or I’ll have the police up here.” Guess what? Crackhead Dave shut his mouth! Not a peep out of him all the way down Broadway to Walnut, some three miles away, where he got off the bus and politely said thanks to the driver. When I got off at University Hill, the driver thanked me for the heads up about Crackhead Dave, whose brain has been fried by hard drugs to FUBAR status.

The annual fumigation of the locker room at BSH is scheduled to begin on July 30th, when everyone has to empty out their locker and take their stuff elsewhere. It will reopen on August 2nd, and I’ll get a new locker assigned to me then. In between, I’m not sure sure what I’ll do with my meager possessions; I ain’t got much, but I’d like to keep it secure.

Meatball sandwiches tonight at my campsite . . .

Max’s Journal 6/25/2013

By Max R. Weller

I’m starting my third week of coming to CU’s Norlin Library every weekday morning, since returning to work on my blog after taking a month off (more or less). I’ve yet to see any of the bums who used to hang out here, stinking up the place, grunting or making other weird noises that distracted other patrons, eating and drinking at the public access computer stations, passing out drunk facedown on the keyboard, etc. No more Filthy Phil (who seems to have taken up residence on a bench at the University Hill bus stop), Grunting Man, or Drunk Virgil. Thanks to Norlin Library staff and the CU Police for making it so! It would be great if the powers-that-be at Boulder Public Library would follow this example, and stop pussyfooting around with the hordes of bums mucking up our Main Branch Library at 1001 Arapahoe next to Central Park . . .

I verbally chastised both Shouting Joe from St. Louis and his partner Mississippi Billy yesterday afternoon when they showed up at my spot in the shade in my north Boulder neighborhood. They don’t seem to comprehend their own responsibility for causing problems that attract the attention of law enforcement — and rightly so. Hell, if I owned a cell phone I’d be calling the law on their sorry butts myself. Frequently. It’s always somebody else’s fault, according to them. Joe even admitted to me he’d been ticketed in downtown Boulder yesterday morning; my guess would be for an Open Container of Alcohol violation. You have to be dumber than a box of rocks to think that you can guzzle cheap beer or rotgut vodka in an area frequented by Boulder PD officers. Joe was quite upset, and said that he might leave town in a couple of days. I hope that he’ll take his partner Billy with him — all of the hugging these guys do with each other makes me wonder whether they really are a couple in a romantic sense. Perhaps they’ll be united in a civil union per the new Colorado law, and it would make a perfect fluff piece in the Daily Camera. “Gay transient couple pledge to be drunk together forever” would be too long a headline, but the editor can figure something out.

I took along some real bacon, scrambled eggs, and fried potatoes in my GladWare container from a surprise hot breakfast at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless this morning. Thanks to the crew of volunteers for making it happen! My breakfast is always a mug of instant coffee, but I’ll grab some to-go chow for lunch whenever it looks good.

I’d never thought that I could give up following the news so easily. I started reading newspapers and watching Walter Cronkite on TV at an age when my peers had no interest in current events at all. Now, however, I find it a great relief not to give a damn. It makes for shorter blog entries, too, which aren’t straying too far from the subject of homelessness.

I believe I’ll just stay in the shade all day, and not even bother to step onto the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36 as humble beggar, nor clean up after the pickled idjits who tend to trash it on a daily basis. Thanks to generous passersby, I made $34 between 4 and 6PM last evening, so money is not an issue at the moment. I’ll just pick up a 2-liter bottle of ginger ale and maybe some Oreos from King Soopers and be set.

Max’s Journal 6/24/2013

By Max R. Weller

After taking a few minutes every morning this past week to slather on Banana Boat brand SPF 50 sunscreen, my sunburn is finally healed completely. No more peeling or itching! It stinks, and makes my eyes water as I apply it to my face, but is well worth it otherwise.

PLEASE DON’T FEED THE DRUNKS AT N. BROADWAY & U.S. 36! Yesterday, about 1PM, three of ’em got into fisticuffs over who would panhandle on that corner. Combatants included Shouting Joe from St. Louis and Mississippi Billy on one side, and Wet Brain Bill (the guy who told me his mother pointed a pistol at him) on the other. Bill took a pretty good shot to his jaw from Joe, while his partner Billy was too drunk to do anything at all but stumble around a bit, and it was Bill who ended up on the corner. The other two had already been there for a couple of hours, anyway. Since the verbal and physical altercation lasted for a couple of minutes, I felt certain that someone driving past would phone 9-1-1; apparently, nobody did because law enforcement never showed up. Joe and Billy quickly left the area, and Bill only stayed out there for half an hour or so. ‘Tis a real mystery to me what these bums have to fight over — none of ’em make any money to speak of and have to panhandle for several hours just to make the $10 for their daily jug of rotgut vodka. When Bill left the corner, I went out to play humble beggar for an hour, and made $15 — all of which will go to purchase the necessities of life, not booze or dope or cigarettes. This brings me to my point about not feeding the drunks you see there, or those you see anywhere else in Boulder, CO. I had to clean up after these bums yesterday, and among the trash was a partially-eaten chunk of cheese from Whole Foods, a partially-eaten loaf of fresh-baked bread from the same upscale grocery store, numerous granola bars which were untouched, and cheese crackers scattered all over along with half-empty water bottles and other debris. Folks, it seems to me that feeding the drunks only ENABLES them to spend their meager income from flying a sign on booze, dope, and cigarettes — and it’s obvious they don’t appreciate being fed since they’re too damn wasteful and too damn lazy to pick up after themselves.

I enjoyed the show described above, and it even distracted me from one of novelist Sandra Brown’s explicit descriptions of her characters’ sexual coupling. Do people in real life actually behave like that? As an ascetic (and one friend has even called me an “anchorite”), I’m dubious this is so . . . I never experienced anything like it in my previous life.

It’s seems to me that this year has flown by, and indeed it’s almost half over. Where will I be living a year from now? I really don’t know.

Max’s Journal 6/22/2013

By Max R. Weller

Another 9-1-1 call to come pick up a drunk passed out in the 4900 block of N. Broadway yesterday, around 7PM. I was reading over at my campsite, heard the ambulance’s siren cut off when it got into my neighborhood, so I figured that’s what it was. I walked halfway over there, but then realized it didn’t matter which pickled idjit it was out of a half dozen or more. Once again, the paramedics declined to transport the inebriate and left it to the BCSO deputy to do so. Geez, I’m so tired of these disrespectful morons trashing the area with their bad behavior, as well as empty beer cans and vodka bottles. To make matters worse, both Mississippi Billy (out of detox) and [Denver] King have tried to mooch food from me in the past couple of days. WTF? These clowns each spend three or four hours panhandling EVERY DAY, and they can’t make enough cash to buy themselves a sandwich and a bag of chips? I told ’em both that I’m not feeding ’em because it’s their own choice to spend the few $$$ they do get from passersby on booze and dope . . . I’m about ready to say that nobody else in Boulder, CO should enable these bums by providing free meals, either.

This morning, I sat underneath my shade trees briefly before getting on the SKIP bus to travel here to George Reynolds Branch of Boulder Public Library (Norlin Library on the CU campus isn’t opening until noon on weekends this summer). There was some strange guy I’ve never seen before on the corner of N. Broadway & U.S. 36, but he wasn’t “flying a sign” nor did he have his thumb out to catch a ride. He was pacing around in a circle, looking in all directions, and did so for the hour or so I was reading the first chapter of another Patricia Cornwell novel and eating a couple of ham sandwiches. My guess would be that he’s yet another mentally ill individual released from some institution and given bus fare to go to Boulder, the Bums’ and Froot Loops’ Paradise.

I continue to scratch my head about most of the transitional living program residents at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. What are they supposed to be transitioning to, anyway? In theory, it’s independent living in subsidized housing — but these people have little or no chance of coping with such responsibility, and wind up being evicted and returning for another go-round at BSH. What is needed are more group homes with some minimal degree of supervision on a 24/7 basis, including monitoring the clients to make certain they’re compliant in taking prescribed meds (BTW, this isn’t done by staff at BSH).

Just a short post today to clear my mind, since I don’t have enough hair to pull out in my frustration.