Words. Words are all people know of me. It is all anyone can define of another. My words have been dark, and for that I apologize. I’m not known as a man of action. I haven’t done really anything. I’m not even that well a writer because I don’t read much of others work. Words are a lonely expression of your mind, or it feels that way for me. When I’m feeling morose, I think of the weather tomorrow and how sunny it will be in the future. I don’t look at forecasts because I need this surprise. I don’t want to know what tomorrow brings. I lack excitement and why would anyone want to take that away from someone else? I don’t care if it rains or shines, I will do whatever I want when tomorrow births. I will walk around Lake Busbee in pouring rain if that is what I need to make me feel something genuine. It’s hard to distinguish rain from tears. The sky water flows right through me to ground me in reality.

I realize the pitfalls of living without a plan. Accepting responsibility for oneself is paramount for a fruitful lifestyle. I’m not at all confused about who and where I am. I just have to learn how to ignore myself when confronted with evidence of possible risk. I feel I’ve lost more from avoidance than I could ever be harmed from engagement. And now I see the reflection of someone I thought never could have existed. I have certainly been surprised by this weather.

At some point, I will radically alter my behavior. I will be in more direct control of assets and what I allow to become my tomorrow. When I begin taking an interest in forecasts, that will be the beginning of a radical change. Weather is ultimately trivial, and for me to be so calculating and informed, means I will be taking an interest in designing an outcome. Currently, I remain illiterate to forecasts. Crystal balls are for planners, and I’m going to ride out this excitement until I’m challenged beyond my capacity to escape it.

I may have intentionally induced a fevered mind tonight by imbibing 350 ml of wine. It serves as a method to force a state of mind to expel demons. These insecurities have been trolling in my wake since I’ve been in this vessel. If I don’t publish the mind I won’t work out the problem. I must become the destructor of my inhibition. Fear is my most common emotion to avoid. The courageous are well acquainted with fear and have success with enduring its assault. Fear isn’t a new town. Fear is more like a new dentist. You don’t know how much of a sadist a new dentist will turn out to be. At one point while I’m being prodded I look directly into their eyes and think, am I going to have to endure this one’s barbarity?

[image of myself is missing for unknown reasons]

There is a deep sadness with how I perceive myself. I once thought so highly of myself. I was secretly arrogant; a silent egotist. I played a modest air to me and was confident in my ability. In recent years I’ve caught myself practicing true arrogance, stepping beyond my once well-defined boundary of confidence and into that place of egotistical desperation. I had to prove to others something; anything. Now I’m just a broken man because I’ve allowed myself to be compromised by what I think is distasteful. I blame myself. I am the cause of my sum. It will ever only be upon my shoulders to increase my value. To claim otherwise would be irresponsible. Look at who I’ve become from where I’ve been. A photo can capture a lot about your childhood, but it will never tell your future. To compare yourself to an old photo is fatuous. You will learn only regret of what could have been. And regret is only useful for the purpose of admonishing us of past faults. Do not carry regret toward new goals.

-Jeremy Edward Dion

For The Age of The Days

A poem for the age of the days

Elevated risk
Distrust and regret
Planning for planners
Panning for niche

All we want is gold
When all is repeated
Her purity holds
Normalcy restored

The dangers of hope
Reality a biting dose
A constant sting
Consistently clinging

We are to fault
For failing each other
Our borders limitation
But the mind willing

We want love
Drug of the ageless
Shower of redemption
Sharing to pieces

The times are short
Falling from cliffs edge
Testing our wisdom
Teasing the seasoned

Carting this burden
Truth a heavy ore
Obscured with dirt
Surveyed soullessly

Quarry of fraternity
Vacant of morals
Lusts for potential
Obsessed with death

Children still playing
Blissfully unknown
Hiding from God
Father is building

We always want more
Sing from the heart
Burning of souls
Or decidedly not

Our choice of freedom
Shaded design fades
Accepting of truth
Hail storm of plays

Light willing heart chilling
The fray commences
Life lost loving
Tears unburdened

Calmness prevails
Cold sea of corpses
Rising with each wave
Sinking in times waste

Cheering felt among silence
Heart of pang subsiding
Skies of clearing blue
Living beyond ensign

Now we know freedom
Love without limit
Caring not cursing
Absence of heathens

This but a wish
A sight of sublime
Prayer of thyself
My poem of the time

-Jeremy Edward Dion

Halloween’s Cool Fear

Creepy Manor

Something creeps this Halloween.
Hounds growl from shadow as whistling prowls wind.
A heart beats and stops a single breath.
Darkness grip felt and seen.
This cool air from elsewhere than night.
Dim grey light falls on old manors.
Children accompany kin to dare onward.
The witch watching as nearing approach.
Latent warm blooded courage now cooling fear.
A nostril flare of iron rusted hair.
From corner leaps imaginary beast.
Mind in fright captures its jagged teeth.
Snarling and tearing across sights scene.
The body fails command as legs be still.
Children gone missing this night. Halloween.

-Jeremy Edward Dion

How I End Up

If there ever was a time to give a fuck about how I end up, it’s now. All I have to do is keep fucking on through it but I can’t stand the thought of myself. I’ve only ever been good for a few pages. Anything of an idea beyond a chapter ends up as droll refuse. I suppose life experiences have a way of making it into a writer’s product. It would be fantastic if I had life experiences beyond mediocrity. I can’t remember the last time I put myself in harm’s way; that’s no way to live. What challenge have I met recently that taught me something new about myself? Nothing worth noting, I’m sure. Unfortunately the best indoor sport isn’t marketable material. Fuck it. It’s been a while since I spilled out onto paper. Maybe I should break out the Optima. That’ll ensure no one else reads me. It’s really the safest way these days anyhow. Passing messages by hand is organic. I’m beginning to think electricity was best left to Raijin. However, life is positively more entertaining when we can instantly learn about others we’ve never met, read their shit, discover their secrets, judge them, and tell them how much we love or loathe their existence. And why the fuck not? We may as well find some way to make everyone acutely aware of our opinions; because that’s so important. To Hell with that.

I mock the internet for what it’s done to us. Most that defend these activities on the internet will say people have always been like this. Sure, but it may have been better when they stayed unpublished and no one got to see their junk spread all over the digital dilemma of the time. I can’t even feel free to post an image on a network because it’s become such a fucking regular practice how groups are tracking the data. Do we have anything to hide? Yeah, our fucking consent. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to let everyone use their imagination on this one. I have very little good to say about today’s average usage of the internet. It’s just another billboard, except that billboard knows when you’re fucking, and what time you open your refrigerator door. Fuck this whole Goddamn smart meter bullshit. If I want you in my house, I’ll personally invite you. But last I checked the people that post my electric bill aren’t much for conversation, so why the fuck are they collecting signature usage statistics? Because they publish our most trivial information to a database and let corporations access it to better manipulate us into buying their waste.

I don’t know where I’m going with any of this. This is why I’m only good for a few pages. Because I’m reminded of what a trap everything has become. Perhaps it’s always been this way but I was too naive to realize it until now. I can only wonder how naive I remain. Big ups for being critical then. Fuck it. I probably just need to get laid. It’s been a few. I’m just getting tired of the routine. I really want to get to that place where I’m comfortable with the idea of getting married, but I’m not familiar with long relationships. Women have always been nice but not interested. That’s pretty much been my experience since I began wearing corrective lenses.

A humorous memory just cropped up. I once had a teacher tell me I was bored because I was boring. I think it was my 6th grade English teacher, Mrs. Bioty, or some other vermin. The conversation went as such:
Bioty: “What’s wrong with you?” as she walked pass the desk.
Writing something with a frown on my face, yours truly replied “I’m bored.”
Bioty: “You’re bored because you’re boring.”
Obnoxiously and angrily I reply; “What!?”

Yeah!? So I ended up in the principal’s office. I was about to call the hateful wench out on her Goddamn judgmental and shortsighted comment, and that may have embarrassed her. You know.. for an English teacher she didn’t have much patience for the language. I had not even started cursing but I guess it was apparent it may have been subsequent. Possibly, I thought I was mediocre at that time and I recoiled in horror at her accuracy. In retrospect, I ultimately despise her for her arrogance. I can take the truth but I couldn’t, without incident, endure the delivery. I can’t stand somebody that passes judgment without knowing the person. Maybe that’s why I can’t stand the thought of myself. Have I become what I hated decades ago? Well, I’m aware of that possibility. Now, I might have preconceived notions of an individual if they roll up to me in a tattered suit, pussy on their breath, a beer in one hand, and a burning stick in the other; but I would never let them know it because I’m not an asshole. For me to be judgmental would require a lot more time spent with the sot. This doesn’t make me a pussy though. I might fuck them over if our encounters merit enough information that karma’s got a hard-on for giving them the short end, but that simply makes me a righteous dick. And just about everyone can respect a dick in the cynical sense of human interaction. Or maybe I’m just reassuring myself of a place in society.

I really don’t give a fuck one way or the other. I’m not a victim. I’m the only reason for placing me where I am. I’ve always argued against cause and effect, even though I’ve acknowledged the reality of its logic. No way I’d let anyone take my responsibility from me. I am where I am because I put myself here. I’d love to be a marketing genius with a great product but my laziness has kept me just under par with chopping wood and watching other people’s fictional lives on screens. I suppose it’s the new opium. I can still make a change, but I have to take more direct control of my assets to do so. And that’s going to make for some exploratory conversation with partners. We’ll see what’s economically viable. Perhaps it’s not too late to find time to write a novel.

Some idea I have of relationships has me wishing I had a mild mortgage with a wife and child and juggling methods of supporting them in the minimum lifestyle I’ll allow. As much as peers bitch and moan about where they are, I still have this unexplainable urge to “make the same mistakes”. Their words, not mine. But what if circumstances don’t have to be mistakes? What if I make the irreversible choice of taking on the responsibilities of fatherhood with a clear goal in mind? Maybe such preparations can never be made because they take you by surprise. I don’t know. I like to think I could handle it, but I’m far too inexperienced to be confident. I’m certainly in no place to have a family of my own, and that’s unfortunate because I want it regardless of lacking preparations. I am dangerous now. Because if I can’t find something to live for, I feel I should find something to die for.

But I don’t want to die. Like everyone else, I just want my life to get better. I suppose I could make money off exploiting loneliness but that seems cheap, even to one such as myself. I’d rather make money in an honest manner than using my experiences and writing to capitalize from lonely readers. I suppose everyone has the capacity to feel lonely, even while in a relationship; but I can’t bring myself to consider the validity of their claim. Fuck them and their spoiled sense of loneliness. If you can speak with and be regularly intimate with someone, then fuck you for thinking you’re lonely. Try living solemnly in a hermitage of your own design. This is the world I’ve allowed myself to grow among, and I’m just now realizing how much it pains me to exist within its confines. I can’t breathe.

-Jeremy Edward Dion

The Estes Park Golden Mile

My friend, Tyler, and I have been talking about doing a golden mile drinking route sometime. He had planned to visit Colorado this summer, so I got to work on looking into it and decided Estes Park is suitable for a golden mile of twelve alcohol serving establishments. There are plenty of original eating and drinking places peppered on or near the main drag of Elkhorn Avenue. Tyler arrived August 6th and stayed until just this last Monday, the 25th. It took weeks of resourcing information from different mediums, but we planned and successfully executed the Estes Park Golden Mile.

Our idea of the golden mile sprang from “The World’s End” film starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Sadly we didn’t run into any dramatic hazards from their adventure but we did manage to meet some good people along the way. I will now list the official order of the EPGM.

# 1. Estes Park Brewery (It had to be #1. C’mon. Drafts)
# 2. Molly B’s (Micro bar. Bottles)
# 3. Grubsteak (Excellent bar area with natural lighting. Drafts)
# 4. Wapiti Pub (It feels like a basement bar. Drafts)
# 5. Wild Rose (Micro bar. Excellent sandwiches. Bottles)
# 6. Lonigans Pub (Dark old bar. Cozy. Drafts)
# 7. The Wheel Bar (A classic popular bar. Drafts)
# 8. Chelito’s (A top level micro bar overlooking Elkhorn Ave. Drafts)
# 9. Local’s (Micro bar. Good people and great food. Bottles)
#10. La Hacienda (Overlooks Virginia Dr. & Bond Park. Drafts)
#11. Ed’s Cantina (Once a dimly lit steak eatery. Now it’s trendy. Drafts)
#12. Cascades Whiskey Bar (The Stanley Hotel. A “World’s End” class bar.)

This golden mile order was executed Friday August 22, 2014. There is a handful of other notable establishments in the EP area, but they are not part of the EPGM because of distance. I would have possibly included places like Cable’s Pub, Taphouse, Tiki Bar, and even Aspen Lodge or Baldpate Inn if they had met distance requirements or opened when they said they would (Tiki Bar). But these places stand alone as unique as the others. I recommend checking them out.

We began preparation for this feat on the previous day by eating mineral and fiber rich meals with adequate carbohydrates. We also did not have a drop of alcohol that day. Tyler had already been here a couple weeks getting acclimated to the elevation. We had also been drinking a bit every day. This is important to train your body so you won’t get hammered too soon on the day of the golden mile. We also visited an ATM and withdrew the cash for twelve beers and plenty of food. It’s about a hundred dollars; small bills are preferable because you can just throw down and walk.

On the morning of the golden mile we got up early and had smoothies for breakfast. One smoothie consists of: many frozen blueberries, half a banana, 1 egg, 1 scp. Ruby Red powder, 1 scp. SuperGreens powder, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. camu camu powder, 1 tbsp. cocoa powder, local honey, then fill with unsweetened almond milk. The Magic Bullet blender and one of their standard containers was used for making this smoothie. Proportions match the container and preference.

Estes Park Discovery Map

This was a nearly perfect beginning for a day of drinking and walking. There is no actual pub guide / map, as I understand it, so this is what we had to work with. It’s kind of odd for a town with more bars than fingers and toes to not have a bar guide, but we made the Estes Park Discovery Map work. After dressing to the nines we grabbed our EPDM and markers then secured a ride to the first location; The Estes Park Brewery.

EPGM Beginning Photo

We arrived at 11:30, just before lunch, and walked right upstairs to the bar. We ordered two pints of the gold; this was our Best of the Rockies “go to” ale for the day. It’s an excellent golden ale on the lower end of bitterness. The rule of the golden mile is to order a pint draft anywhere you can. Otherwise, go with what they got.

The next stop was the Molly B. It’s a modest little bar with a bit of character. They only had bottles but we had another EPB beer. The actual bar area is tiny but it looks nice. The beers went down smooth and we chatted a little bit with the women that were working there. It’s almost like everyone working in Estes Park isn’t from Estes Park. Pleasantly odd.

By now we were getting a bit hungry, so we walked across the street and over the river to Grubsteak. They have a magnificent bar. We ordered a couple of pints of something quite good they had on tap. Seeing as how it’s also a damn fine eatery, we started thumbing through the menu. We intended to order fries and cheese sticks but after informing the bartender of our mission to craft a golden route through town, he proceeded to advise us in properly eating for the task. So we 86’d the frozen cheese sticks, and went with some scotch eggs he was nice enough to inform us about. All I can say is, “YES, HOT DAMN!”. The scotch eggs at Grubsteak are Legendary. Someone knows what they’re doing with those little devils. The small meal had renewed my faith toward the endeavor. We were ready to tackle the remaining establishments.

We walked on up to the Wapiti Pub. I was impressed with their environment. It’s a medium size bar and they seem to rotate the taps through a lot of different brews. We ordered a couple of Golds and that floated the keg, so she brought us those half pints at no charge. We sampled a citrusy beer and decided to go with two pints of that. It was quite busy in there for the time of day, but most of these establishments are original and Estes is a tourism hot spot. I enjoyed the Wapiti. Aside from the other patrons, it feels like a private basement bar.

The next stop was the Wild Rose, and by now we’ve worked up a strong appetite. The picnic food was pleasant at Grubsteak, but I think we were both in need of a meal by now. I ordered a club sandwich and washed it down with a water and a bottle of fine beer. I’m pretty sure Tyler ordered the Reuben, and said it’s the best one he’s had. The Wild Rose is pretty much a dining restaurant, but they have a micro bar, so they qualify.

We crossed the street and walked down to Lonigan’s Pub. If it’s good enough for a bear, it’s good enough for anyone. This bar just bleeds of history. Lonigan’s has that dim hometown pub atmosphere. I like it. It reminds me there are plenty of interesting places to discover. We threw back a couple pints of something and watched as horrific events flashed on televisions. We thought of including Kelli’s Lounge somewhere in the golden mile but everyone kept telling us to keep clear of that place. I guess it’s just for hipsters or young yuppies or something. So we accepted the professional advice and excluded Kelli’s Lounge from the golden mile. Besides, who wants to pay a cover just to have a drink? We didn’t.

Crossing over Moraine Avenue, we ventured down to The Wheel Bar. I can’t say enough about this bar. Every time I’ve visited, it’s been quite populated and last Friday was certainly no exception. I’m not sure but I think we ordered a couple pints of Gold. It didn’t matter, they were gone in short order. We might as well have been drinking acid, we had lead bellies by now. We were just over half way and there was no way we were stopping.

We walked out the south entrance and over the river and across the parking lot toward the Tiki Bar. They had a sign on the door that said they were opening at 5 p.m. They didn’t. It’s just like a small town family business to not open when they say. We gave them ample time, and I even phoned their numbers and left them a message. We eventually said to Hell with them and excluded them from the EPGM. We decided to replace them with Local’s Grill, and I’m glad we did, but I’ll get to that shortly. So we head back up and across Elkhorn Avenue to número ocho, Chelito’s. I like this place. I’ve eaten at Chelito’s thrice before and it’s always been fun. Climbing up to the third floor is a bit of a challenge after seven beers, but taking the elevator would have seemed cheap. We sat outside in the balcony area, but it had just rained earlier so we sat under the eaves of the building. The person tending to our table (I can’t recall now if it was a man or woman) brought out chips and salsa and we ordered our beers. I ordered a Negra Modelo and Tyler may have ordered a Dos Equis. I was feeling just right. I knew at this point, we were going to finish this endeavor. We paid in some form or another and I might have felt a little guilty about chomping on the chips without ordering food, but I think I tipped well.

It was a short walk to Local’s and we we’re doing very well with our time. We were seated in a booth and ordered a couple of their house bottle beer, with mugs. It’s basically the EPB Gold but they put their own label on it. We must have begun getting loud because we attracted the attention of the two young waitresses, Alyssa and Lindsay. I hope I’m spelling their names correctly because there are a few variations on both of their monikers. They were pretty and interested in what we were doing, so we told them about the golden mile we were designing. I don’t recall eating at Local’s that night, but we sampled their menu the previous week during the research phase. I gave them my card with this address, we paid and headed on down the road.

Número diez was La Hacienda. This restaurant & bar overlooks Virginia Dr., with possibly a view of Bond Park, but it was much more happening a place inside than on their balcony at this hour. We sat at a table in the center of the room in front of the bar, surrounded by conversing families and the clanging and scraping of utensils. It was a happy experience. We both ordered large drafts of Dos Equis Amber. I didn’t think it would be “tha big one” but when they arrived, I realized it was a 24 ounce mug of beer. Either way, it was a pleasing experience to slowly empty it. It assisted in making up for the missing 4 ounces from all those previous bottled beers. The sound of people eating in high spirits got me hungry again and I ordered a huge plate of rice. Tyler possibly ordered something that was most certainly dead. I mean, it may have been some sort of meat dish, but I can’t quite recall. The sky was now beginning to actually darken, so we got supercharged about nearing the finish and got up to pay. I attempted to speak in español with an employee about our quest and the golden mile, but I quickly realized he either didn’t care or I was a babbling fool. We exited stage left and proceeded onward.

The walk from La Hacienda to Ed’s Cantina is the second longest walk of the EPGM; the most taxing is the final walk up the hill to the Stanley Hotel. We enter the Cantina and are seated at a table in the bar area. The memory of this place is kind of a blur now, but I’m sure that has something to do with the neon glow lighting, and my contacts probably could have used some hydration. My vision may literally have been blurred. Certainly the eleventh pint I was about to drink had nothing to do with it (ha ha). I don’t know what I ordered but it was probably an IPA because I remember some bitterness, and I do like to try different IPA’s. I remember asking our waitress to help in the marking on the map of the Cantina’s location. I knew where it was but I was really just trying to make her a part of a minor ceremony. It was busy and there wasn’t much time to explain anything, so I abandoned plans for any further conversation. We were periodically marking up the discovery map throughout the day, and it often drew some attention; all good.

The combination of colors, lights and noise in Ed’s Cantina placed me into a haze of wonderment. I felt compelled to finish as early as possible. I called our ride (my parental units) and informed them we were beginning the walk up to the Stanley Hotel. It was just past 8 o’clock and we were going to finish early; we had done very well. I don’t remember crossing the street but we most likely didn’t use a crosswalk. However, I don’t recall much traffic at that time. We burned some time hiking up the street toward the Stanley. It was a majestic sight. It was glowing through its windows and well lit for all to see. It is truly a World’s End class bar. The Stanley Hotel portico is a ranch style entrance of white pillars and railings. The doors open into a foyer of select choices of beautifully finished species of wood. It’s big, but not too big. It’s more cozy than anything else. The Cascades Restaurant and Whiskey Bar is to the left. There are two ladies standing at a thin podium just outside the entrance of our final destination. A look inside tells me this is the most populated bar I’ve seen all day. Perhaps it is just the later hour. I feel like I kind of cheated my way inside because I informed the two ladies we were just wanting to go to the bar for drinks. But upon entering the area there is hardly a manner to even see a bartender, let alone talk to one. We turn around and see a low table that seems to have been recently cleared off. It’s the only empty four-seating table in the area near the bar that can be seen. We shuffle through some elbows and promptly sit down at it. Tyler stayed at the table while I headed out to the foyer to wait for the parental units. I sat back in a plush chair and soaked in the scenery. After some time, the parental units arrived at 8:50 and I ushered them to our table. Tyler and I ordered some pints of our final EPB labeled beer and I also requested a glass of this medium-priced fine whiskey our server recommended. I didn’t think it proper to enter a world class whiskey bar to order a simple beer. We had a good time.

EPGM Ending EPGM Table

Tyler and I did make it up to the fourth floor of the Stanley Hotel after leaving the whiskey bar and I’m pretty sure something weird is going on up there. On the third floor or so, I saw a warped mirror or something like an old mirror at the end of a hall, but it didn’t reflect people, so it may have been a clever painting. I don’t know, I was drunk. As we were leaving out the rear portico to the parking lot, I viewed a couple looking out over the lot from a balcony and talking. We somewhat yelled out to them about the weird happenings of the 4th floor and that the place was haunted. They waved. It was 10:08 p.m. when we climbed into the rover. That concludes the Estes Park Golden Mile. I hope you enjoyed my reporting of this quest, and perhaps you will plan to accomplish it someday.

Estes Park Golden Mile Map

That is what the discovery map looks like now. As you can see it’s a bit tattered by being handled by two drunks for a day. It has also acquired a couple more folds; it was absolutely necessary for the cause. It’s getting framed.

Now for some additional “day after” information. I can’t say enough about quality liquors. The alcohol really took effect upon returning to the cabin. So I drank enough water to drown a dog and repeatedly had to use the lavatory the rest of the night, but I didn’t get sick. At about 4:00 a.m. I awoke to several spinning sensations, so I fumbled my way to the kitchen to eat half a banana and imbibe more water. I rested in the lavatory a bit and went back upstairs to bed. Later that Saturday, I was pretty much useless so I continued sipping water and played some GTA V. Tyler seemed better off than me. I blame Canada.

-Jeremy Edward Dion

A Tahosa Vista Summer

I arrived at the cabin in June this summer. I love it here. There is always so much to do to keep me at peace. I am balanced here, very Zen. This summer my nephew, Nathan, and a friend of mine, Nick, accompanied me. Nick drove his Harley out and stayed for the first couple weeks. There was a snafu with the internet service provider and we didn’t get internet until the evening before Nick left for his return trip. This wasn’t much of a problem because we took to focusing on more organic activities, like eating special pastries and traipsing through the woods in search of stove-worthy species.

There was much struggle on the journey. The van broke down 96 miles east of Sidney, Nebraska on I-80. Something electrical popped and the van shut off, leaving me to fail passing a trailer truck and coast off to the shoulder with almost no brakes and diminished steering control. Nick had went on ahead of us and made it to Loveland later that night. Luckily we got a phone signal and AAA gave us the free 100 mile flatbed tow into Sidney, NE to Sauders Inc., the AAA service station. They really had the opportunity to screw us because even after my thorough explanation of the events and the smell of burnt PCB or wiring, they were determined it sounded like the timing chain cut loose. We had no choice but to get a room at the Best Western in Sidney (the world headquarters of Cabela’s) and wait for Sauders to properly diagnose the issue the following day. We would have stayed at the Motel 6 but they reported they were all booked up. Having two dogs along limited our options.

Good fortune had smiled upon us. The damage was, in fact, the ECM computer that blew from a short with an injector. We discussed the options, called in monetary assistance, and got the wheels in motion for repair. Meanwhile, there was no way in Hell we were staying another night in Sidney. It was starting to feel like being in that movie U-Turn, where if we stayed any longer, we’d be involved in some catch 22 situations of severe misfortune. So as desperation gripped us, and since Nick already arrived in Estes Park, we took to Craigslist to find a transporter. We found an individual named Jim in Thornton that drove a Saturn View. We explained our predicament and Jim said he’d come get us and drive us to a Budget Car Rental in Fort Collins for $120. Good deal, all things considered. Jim turned out to be a retired biker complete with bitchin skull tattoos and several interesting stories. He really helped us out of a tight spot. He could have been the devil himself; it wouldn’t have mattered, there was no way we would stay another night in Sidney. We managed to stuff the essential luggage, myself, my mother, Nathan, and the two dogs into Jim’s Saturn View. It was an arduous journey through work zones and lowered speed limits but we finally arrived at Budget in Fort Collins and we paid Jim $140. We rented the car we reserved earlier. It turned out to be a fairly new Impala, very nice. We headed up to Estes Park, met up with Nick and arrived at the cabin with daylight to spare for opening the cabin. Finally, some much needed relaxation.

The very next morning, we are greeted by a moose wandering about the cabin. I took a lot of video I might make available but this photo will do for now.

Moose 6/05/2014

Days pass, and we decide to head up Trail Ridge Rd. to experience the view, the cold and the snow.

Trail Ridge 6/08/2014

And you just can’t beat the simple pleasure of good company with the great view of the cabin’s overlook.

Overlook 6/09/2014

There was an amusing incident at The Wheel Bar that merits notice. Nick and I had discussed earlier that Nathan, my 18 year-old nephew, could make for an excellent wing-man on a night out. Indeed the idea must be tested. By now we had driven the Impala out to Sidney to retrieve the van, so finally I’ve got access to a vehicle I’m insured to drive. So Nick, Nathan and I head into Estes. We find a damn good parking spot near the park behind and walk up to the backside of The Wheel Bar. It’s looking kind of dead downstairs in the game room, so we continue around to the front. The place is packed and definitely happening, as everyone is upstairs drinking at the bar. We walk in up to the bartender and Nick asks about a couple of beers. I notice Nick is shifting from side to side and the bartender does similarly and mouths some gibberish I cannot hear over the crowd. Nick then asks where we could get some decent food and the barman, quite rudely, points toward the door and replies “Out that way and to the left.” We leave and we’re headed off to find somewhere else and Nick exclaims to Nathan,
“You’re a shitty wingman, Nathan! The first fucking place we go and we’re kicked out.”
Apparently, Nick sensed the barman’s intent to gauge Nathan’s age so he was trying to obstruct his view. What I failed to hear the bartender say was he could serve the two of us but he (Nathan) has got to go. Nick explained Nathan would not be drinking, but the bastard wasn’t having it. Eh, to Hell with them. So we went to Chelito’s to have nachos and beer. Fuck the scene. We salvaged the night our own way. We didn’t return.

It’s easy to get spoiled when you wake up every day with the ability to view such monumental magnificence. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve photographed the same mountains in the same light, but something compels me to capture more. You just can’t harness the vastness of it all in a photograph.

Mountains 6/13/2014

The flood last summer must have severely damaged the other watering holes because we keep getting moose coming to our pond to drink. They also like eating the branches off the young aspen trees on the dam. This time it’s a big bastard of a moose with little to no fear of proximity to the cabin. I got some excellent video and photos. Here’s a decent photo of the beast.

Big Bastard 6/15/2014

By now, Nick had left to head back home and the cabin was humming with internet access. We decided to travel up to the Stanley Hotel one evening because Nathan had not been inside before. It’s a grand place, and quite haunted in the deep recesses of the upper floors. We walked inside to view the whiskey bar. It’s certainly a “World’s End” caliber of bar. An idea begins to form.

Stanley 6/20/2014

After Nick left I began to focus more time on making practical property improvements. Our method for clean water is taking a blue 6 gallon Igloo container to fill it up at the spring in Allenspark. We would then just set it on the kitchen counter with a hose that ran down inside of it and also hung over the side. We would siphon the water out into the glass or whatever when we needed it. This was a frustrating practice, as you had to maintain the proper nozzle level for the siphon to remain intact and the hose end had to be manually capped with the tapered top of a honey bottle. This just wouldn’t do anymore. I took a trip to a number of hardware stores and collected the items to fix this once and for all. Currently, the Igloo container resides on the second floor directly above the kitchen along the southwest wall. The tube is now much longer and runs through a small hole I drilled in the floor. I’m quite proud of this solution, and I like the rudimentary look of it. The trek up the stairs with 50 lbs. of water can be tiring but the result is far superior. The following is a photo of the current potable water tap.

Water 6/23/2014

I can easily get a drink of clean water without hassle. I’m now more likely to keep hydrated while working outdoors. I decided to tackle a more interesting job. I was in dire need of a new sawhorse. So I recorded the measurements of the current rotting sawhorse and translated those into what they’re supposed to be. But to build such a device, I would want a more precise construction tool. I found an ancient Stanley miter box in the attic, which no doubt was used by my grandfather in the creation of the window frames and other cuts more demanding of precision, so I decided to screw it to a plank and bolt it to an a-frame in order to keep myself from going crazy with free hand cutting angles. This is the beginning of a whole agenda of projects to come.

Miter Box 6/24/2014

Now that I got my cutting station set up, I went out to buy some lumber. I quickly discovered there wasn’t a decent place to keep the lumber. So I quickly crafted a spot to span lengths of eight footers.

Lumber 6/24/2014

I was feeling pretty accomplished with the outdoor efforts so I pitched an idea for upgrading the electrical entertainment capabilities of the cabin. I was informed of an ad on Craigslist for the exact same HDTV Vizio model I have back in South Carolina. It was the SV421XVT. This tele features a 240hz refresh rate that makes even the most expensive blockbusters seem like they were made by Sundance. I love this effect. The ad said it came with a sound bar and the total was $300. This is a damn fine deal. I emailed the guy, he called me back and he set a time to visit him the following day. He was in downtown Denver on East 11th Ave. He was a musician named Gerry living in nicely preserved old apartment housing. Wow, such a pleasant structure. He had a badass playful wise cat named Hemingway that was extremely interested in everything visitor related. Gerry also had a Roku he was willing to sell for an additional $30. Bought that too. The cat was not for sale. I had brought my Xbox 360 from SC in the hopes a television could be acquired for the cabin. So I wired and set it all up in the upstairs hallway. I also acquired a Netgear GS108 gigabit 8-port switch to uplink and wire us into the router. The WiFi on the CenturyLink DSL modem they’ve supplied us can be quite faulty and downright unreliable at times. Even after optimizing the channels and adjusting the signal strength, it still just sucks. But we’re all wired up good and proper now.

Entertainment 6/28/2014

And so I finally built the sawhorse. It’s pine construction and I’m going to wait a year for it to weather the mill glaze off before I finish it with the TWP 100 rustic stain. However, I have coated my cut ends of the construction with gorilla glue to seal them up. The internals of pine boards have a capillary action and I don’t want the feet or tops absorbing any excessive moisture. The guides of the sawhorse are the same artificial planks used on the back porch. They can take a beating and will outlast the rest of the design.

Sawhorse 7/01/2014

All things begin to fall into place and I feel at peace. I am the most complete while working outside to build up my environment. The satisfaction of working with my hands creating structure and tools is abundant. I went into Estes Park to eat at Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant and walk around a bit. I saw this cool miniature waterfall along the path. I love Estes Park, it’s a small town but it seems of my own design.

Waterfall 7/02/2014

BEARS! I finally saw my bear. Big furry bastards scavenging for human leftovers. This was early the next morning after my mother’s cousin, Sugeet, arrived from Oregon. Personally, I’m certain his luck brought the bears to greet his arrival. Bears are good fortune. Or perhaps he smuggled them into the Tahosa Valley in his Honda Fit. It was 3:45 am and I heard metal crashing that I at first thought was part of my dream. I woke upon determining it was external stimulus matching the sound of the aluminum trash can we use for recycling being struck. I knew no human would be on the porch making such noises at this early hour so I sat up to look out my window overlooking the back porch. It was very dark. I saw a black blob of unidentifiable form around the debris of the toppled trash can. The form began to dissipate as I heard patterned grunting sounds coming from the area of 320 (the tool shed transformed from an outhouse). The grunting was growing near and I knew it had to be something big, perhaps a moose. When the beast came into view, I was ecstatic. It was a bear! A great big bastard of a grunting bear. I quickly had the thought this great wise bear was not grunting, but laughing at the smaller bear that had made all the noise toppling the recyclables container over. The photographs didn’t take at that hour because of the lack of light and the screen between me and the target caught all of the flash but this is the aftermath of the event photographed in the light of that morning.

Bears 7/10/2014

I went to a talk at the Aspen Lodge today and listened to Master Chen speak of Taoism, the benefit of stillness, learning to hear the message of disasters, and finding the Yang for the Yin. I really like him. He is wise beyond his age and he doesn’t fear to show it. He will do a lot of good for Tahosa Valley and its people. As soon as I returned home from Aspen Lodge I decided to finish a project I have been working on for a week. I laid out two lengths of pine trunks over the stream supported by stones to prevent them sinking into the soil. This was to be a sturdy level platform for a step bridge over the stream south of the dam. It consists of eleven 1×6’s cut in 28″ lengths laid across the span between the two trunks and spaced 1/2″ apart. I sanded and stained the pine 1×6’s. I think it came out quite well. I must wait until next summer when it’s properly weathered to apply the finish coat. You’re not supposed to stain new wood, but the sanding helped clear the superheated pine glaze from the surface and the stain took acceptably. It’s a sturdy build and I think it looks good.

Bridge 7/13/2014

So that’s just about everything to catch you up to date. Now that I have a new sawhorse, I expect I’ll be cutting lots of firewood. I am at my most content of being walking through the forest collecting aspen. The simplicity of the task, knowing the land provides me such comforts, I cannot be saddened. It is a solitary gift. No one thing matters when I am striking wood with axe. And there is no sound finer than the tearing of the grain. I appreciate all that is given to the senses, unobstructed by cheap alteration. The interaction with the wild environment eclipses any electrical panel stimuli I’ve encountered. Few can be so lucky to find solace among nature. I lack the wisdom to explain my joy. I thank a history of restraint for such simple pleasures.

-Jeremy Edward Dion

Fourth of July

It’s important for moral people to remember why we fight, and why this nation was great for hundreds of years. We had it good for a while but tyranny has once again crept upon a nation of decadence. Our nation currently gives more aid and benefit to illegal immigrants than it does its veterans. The occupying government doesn’t hold moral interests. We are on the brink of totalitarianism. We have become a socialist nation too focused on false securities and public disarmament, meanwhile agents of our government trade guns to cartels which seek to undermine our laws. Americans are being cavity searched without warrant while unknowns are pouring through open borders. It has come to this because good people have done little to impede tyrannical “progress”. The options for freedom’s survival are limited. I believe the only way to disarm the totalitarian is to outlaw governmental law, because only those that seek to control others are corrupt enough to excel in their politics. Democracy is simply a milder flavor of collectivism. I have no taste for it.

Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

      Button Gwinnett
      Lyman Hall
      George Walton

North Carolina:
      William Hooper
      Joseph Hewes
      John Penn
South Carolina:
      Edward Rutledge
      Thomas Heyward, Jr.
      Thomas Lynch, Jr.
      Arthur Middleton

      John Hancock
      Samuel Chase
      William Paca
      Thomas Stone
      Charles Carroll of Carrollton
      George Wythe
      Richard Henry Lee
      Thomas Jefferson
      Benjamin Harrison
      Thomas Nelson, Jr.
      Francis Lightfoot Lee
      Carter Braxton

      Robert Morris
      Benjamin Rush
      Benjamin Franklin
      John Morton
      George Clymer
      James Smith
      George Taylor
      James Wilson
      George Ross
      Caesar Rodney
      George Read
      Thomas McKean

New York:
      William Floyd
      Philip Livingston
      Francis Lewis
      Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
      Richard Stockton
      John Witherspoon
      Francis Hopkinson
      John Hart
      Abraham Clark

New Hampshire:
      Josiah Bartlett
      William Whipple
      Samuel Adams
      John Adams
      Robert Treat Paine
      Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
      Stephen Hopkins
      William Ellery
      Roger Sherman
      Samuel Huntington
      William Williams
      Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
      Matthew Thornton

-Jeremy Edward Dion


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