Aug 17, 2010

August 30, 2010

August, 30th, 2010:

After staying up till 3AM, writing, reading, talking on the phone...etc. I woke around 10 AM, and felt a need for strong coffee and exercise. I phoned my old buddy "Larry", the 62 year old ex-Mormon apartment maintenance man, and Prince of a human being. I have previously described Larry, he is a semi-reformed Alcoholic, and one of the best people that I know. We used to hang out at the same pool hall, but I don't do the bar/pool hall scene anymore. We did manage to get together for breakfast at "Angies" this morning, and had the "double barrel", which consisted of two eggs, two sausage patties, and two bacon, and the gigantic two pancake, complete with three ramekins or syrup. I like to carve a big hole in the center of the pancakes, pull out the core, then: fill the hole with all the syrup and just let it sit for awhile, since I eat the sausage and eggs first. Once that's done, I pick around the borders of the "caldera", until new real-estate gets marinated. By and by the entire circle of the center of the pancake (Aka "the caldera"!), gets eaten away, the remains are deliberately left on the plate, so as not to appear as a hungry pauper! Actually, I eat very little, so I can't handle a giant breakfast such as this.

While going to the grocery store a few hours later after making a shopping list, which I generally do not do. The ingredients of "Falafel" equal, the object of my main destination.

So at the store I bought a hand mixer which doubles as a blender. I also bought "Falafel" spices, and raw ingredient mixtures. Stuff for the accompany Falalfel sauce was purchased as well. I do tend to spend a couple hours when shopping at a grocery store, and slowly check out all that the store has to offer. Most people are in and on=ut in fifteen minutes, but I read every price, every mark down, I compare each and every product I require, then decide whether the quality is worth the quantity. Grocery shopping is one of the few social activities I have and I find it quite enjoyable. Today I bought 4 large sacks of stuff and had a heck of a time fitting them all on my bicycle. Thank god for that bungee cord I brought along, it managed to hold two heavy paper bags of groceries onto a little book rack, while the other two got stuffed in the pannier bags. I did have to tie the blender and a loaf of bread to the handle bars, I could actually feel the spokes groan as I slowly headed home with a 400 pound load on my bike (including me). People were staring and grinning when I passed by, it was very comical.

I tried making "Falafel",. using the ready made mix (not recommended). Falafel, is used all over the middle East between Greece and Persia, and down to 'Egypt. Falafel is truly an Egyptian dish which consists of either fava or garbanzo beans, mixed with onion and spices then rolled up into little balls and fried. Consider the "Scarab" or "dung beetle". The sacred Scarab was revered in ancient Egypt because they turn piles of human and animal shit into spherical objects which resembled other planets, which were also round and spherical. The Egyptians considered the Scarab to be the creators of the earth! Falafel and the other bean recipes, enabled the Ancient Egyptians to get enough protein power to move all the large stones, obelisks, sculptures, and pyramids. Today, Egypt doesn't stand a chance at these endeavors. Think! 5 thousand years of a huge assed civilization, now unable to even remove trash from the streets. Egypt was built on beans. Fava, Garbonzo, Lentils, peas, kidney, navy, you name it, Beans were the king of Egypt, and at least 4000 year of our ancient history. I am a firm believer in the power of beans and attribute thousands of years of Egyptian dominance, a result of bean cultivation. Ancient Egypt began as a few farming communities which depended on the Nile river for everything, initially didn't built grand temples and obelisks, nor did they build the great pyramids, Once the agriculture became successful , the rulers could expect the citizens to live off little or nothing, Beans, way cheaper than meat, became the fuel of the ancients, Meat protein became an elite sort of thing, the rest of the people ate little meat, and continued to tend the reliable fields which coincided with the floods of the Nile River for thousands of years, With food costs down to pennies a day, the Pharaohs could focus on more important things such as tomb construction.

While cooking up the packaged Falafel and the cucumber/yogurt dressing, I was listening to old Garrison Kieler on the radio, who said something I had to stop and think about. He said something to the effect of "I used to think that Faith, was doing what is expected, following the traditional guidelines in order to gain faith, that one has done well. The older I get I realize that that isn't "Faith" at all. Faith is having the courage that you will succeed no matter what others think or say about the path you have chosen. Faith is the confidence when you know that everything will be alright no matter how bad it looks to the outsider". This made me worry less about my children who all seem to have faith in their futures despite what I may think.

August 28th, 2010

August 28th, 2010:

Haven't written in a week, In fact, I am now a busy man whose creativity tends to get sucked out during the week. But don't worry, although I live during the week close to death by giving my all to some system, I am alive with my two or three paltry days off I get on the weekends. This Weekend is a 3 dayer, but most are not. Usually I recover from the energy spent during the week by sleeping about 18 hours on a Saturday, but this weekend I hope not to waste it like that. Even while sitting most of the day, the stress of talking to hundreds of people per day tends to beat me down. I do however love my job, it is not meaningless whatsoever. Boring at times, stressful, frustrating, and many other adjectives, but overall it is quite rewarding. I love my students, and many of my co-workers....

My new place is quite relaxing since I'm finally able to read at home, while enjoying an excellent view for once. My first year here, I lived in a basement with large women running around above me, and very poisonous "Hobo Spiders" (seriously, google it), crawling across my feet late at night, and some toxic assed mold, which grew freely in the cement wet closet, and caused much sickness during the winter. We loved the house and its inhabitants (upbeat college Mormons mostly), but we had to go after 18 months. During the winter of our second year, we upgraded to renting an old house near the school I work at. But the landlord decided to sell after we were there for another 18 months, and since Logan is a grown man on his own, I decided to downgrade, and live in a smallish, simple loft, above a sporting goods store, that used to be the biggest hotel in this town. I got one of the best suites, the owner calls it "The Penthouse Suite", and most of the other rooms are lacking in style and size. I do pay the most, at $450 per month but its not to costly for me, nor would it be for one with a full time job making the minimum. Most around here collect disability or social security. The neighbors are mostly quiet and nice folks, The few criminals and insane people do not bother me, in fact I get respect from them since I am a teacher afterall. Even criminals respect a few of their teachers from the past. So far my motorcycle, truck, and bicycle have dwelt in the back parking lot and no criminal has messed with any of them. Many of the other bikes around here have been stripped to the bone. Not mine!

I do love living here, Tonight, I took the screen off my middle window (since we have no bugs up here, too much pollution downtown), so I could take some good photos of the street view from my happy perch. The college kids were invading downtown, and wearing their "Aggie Shirts", which is the name of the USU football team, the college kids were having a ball, getting free ice cream and food samples from all the restaurants down here, The traffic was heavy and their socializing filled the downtown area with their glee. I was merely a witness, and stayed up here where it was safe, and failed to join them. I would rather drink my Gin and Tonics, then eat their ice cream I guess. I wish that wasn't true but it is. Ice cream is meaningless to me for the most part. Reminds me of a line by the author Mario Puzo, who wrote "The Godfather". He writes in his books about how the Hollywood stars, and movie people tend to become "desensetized" after many year of their debaucheries. I see these kids filled with extascy from gorging on ice cream but remembering that I was boozing it up when I was in those college years. No regrets, but habits are a damned shame, Judgemental and belief in the ridiculous are much worse habits from my standpoint. The few ice cream lovers that avoid that pitfall are truly golden people, and i am honored to know a few of them.

Took my 8 year old Raleigh bike in for a tune up for the first time since I bought it new. This bike has been nothing but reliable and tough for all these years, This bike has been used and abused, and has enjoyed a few minor crashes, but just keeps on providing me with cheap, realiable transportation. If I had to choose between my motorcyles and truck for only one form of transportation, the bike would win hands down. I decided to take it to the bike shop down below my place to have it "tuned up", since she has been feeling abit out of adjustment for the past few years, and boy it made a huge difference. The shifting and brakes are now spotless, I am now going to put on some metal studded tires, so I can drive her to school in the winter time. School is a mere three blocks away. so no need to start the truck, shovel the snow, and melt the windshield every day! I got a good bicycle, she starts every time and is decent transportation on all but the snowiest days.

August 21st, 2010

August 21, 2010: Saturday.

Been quite a week as the first week of school usually is no surprises here. Monday, I had to find room to store the three motorcycles which spent the summer in my classroom. Apparently the fire Marshall didn't approve of them since they do contain enough gas to cause quite a fire. So I decided to dig the old 75 Dodge powerwagon "Hellbitch 1" out of my storage shed. Since all the stuff from my old house was stacked up inside the truck, in the truck, on the truck, and on top of the truck, we first had to haul a bunch of junk of of the shed, in order to get enough room to back the truck out. The truck had a dead battery so I had to use a tow strap to pull her out while my trusty assistant "Luiz", did the steering; the near flat back tire made this harder than it should have.

Once we got the "Hell Bitch" illegally parked next to the shed, we managed to stack up all the boxes to the point where 4 motorcycles were able to fit inside the space. I called the local scrap yards and was quoted "$150 if you can get the truck here, $50 if we have to tow it". But since no one wanted to tow it today, I called a scrap yard about 30 miles away, in the middle of the desert, in "Garland Utah".. Haha, now I can only imagine what type of "Garland", one could make out of sagebrush and rattlesnakes, but that is the name of the remote out post. The owner wasn't the brightest candle on the cake either. Not only did he drop all his "t's" (Mou-An, rather than "Mountain", he couldn't seem to get his math right. Since he had no idea what a basic 70's truck weighed, I told him that the places in Logan offered $100 if they towed the truck $150 if I brought it in. So he shrewdly proclaims "Aiiiggght, I will only give you $140 for the truck. (an amount $40 more than the locals were offering) He promises to pick the truck up around 5:30, so Luiz and I settled down for a game of chess for an hour. Luiz learned how to play chess last spring, now he beats me much of the time. Its fun since we talk trash and talk like pissed off ghetto pimps while we play, you really have to be there to understand the humor I'm speaking of, but if you were outside of the door, you would swear that two ghetto pimps were rhyming on each other with guns drawn. We also insult each others "Mamas", in the grand Southern tradition. Good times.... Luiz finished school last year, and remains a trusted friend of mine. Although he helped me for 4 hours he refused to take my money. He remembered how I used to front him free silver, since he had no way to pay for it. These Mexican folks make good friends to have, we are fortunate to have some way up here in the great white north!

yet I digress..

So the Garlander fails to show or call at the allotted time. I call him up and he says he can't seem to find enough cash for the truck. I asked him "How much cash ya got"? trying to sound as ignorant as possible. He says "I got a hunderd". I told him to bring the "hunderd" and a check for the rest. He replies shrewd as hell: "Ok, I will bring the "hunderd", and a check for the other "hunderd and fiffy"! No joke! So he finally pulls in around 7 o'clock, and damned if he didn't pay me the hundred in cash and a check for $150. Since his bank had an office in town, I was there when the bank opened and cashed it the next day.

The rest of the week was hectic but fine. My students are cool as usual, classes are larger, nice to see old friends and students.

My friend Rob shows up Thursday night, we hung out a few hours but I was home by ten. I still managed to stay up until 2 AM, since that is my natural bedtime. I still lectured successfully to all my classes the next day, but then came home and slept for 18 of the next 24 hours. I was behind in sleep.

Mom calls me at 9:30 this morning and we talked for about thirty minutes, I was planning to cook my own breakfast, but since I was awake so early, I went to the ibis, and met up with my friend "Ricky", who was the one who journeyed to South America on his dirt bike this year. Spent a couple hours discussing many subjects, from computers, to his days as Bassist for the band "The Nixons", he even had videos with the band playing "Friday Night Videos", back in the late 80's. "The Nixons" were known nationwide. Rickey still gets royalties from those days, but he says they get smaller every year. Now his main interest is on Fly fishing. He plans to re-teach me how to fly fish one of these days. Ricky is a cool dude, nice to meet a new friend at my age, with an ability to have an interesting conversation with. Saw Logan and his friends up at the Ibis as well. I used to hang out at nights in bars. Hanging out for a few hours in the morning at a coffee shop is much more pleasant. I saw the owner today, an old hippie who was as old as my dad. This old gentleman, has created the coolest place in town, with diverse people of all ages spending a few hours a week there. They do make some brilliant coffee. I purchased a pound of "Highland Grogg", which is my favorite, since Logan and his friends turned me on to it a couple months ago.

Went to the post office, and my three radios were there. I ordered 3 decent sized modern radios from the Internet, and they were here in two days. These are plain AM/FM radios, but are modern and sound exceedingly well. Although a little larger than my expensive camping radio, they appear to be tougher and definitely sound a lot better. My Sangean, had lots of cool features, like 40 station programming, and short wave however; this simpler analog radio, sounds much better, and tunes to stations that the expensive radio can't seem to reach. I bought three of them, so I can give one to my father and another to my son. My son likes listening to the radio, more than those I-pods and crap. The radio is far more exciting than listing to the same old songs in my MP3 or computer libraries. The only time I listen to MP3's are when swimming or bike riding. Otherwise, I prefer the radio. So does my dad and son.

I went home at two, cleaned up a bit, then slept for the next 5 hours... Damn, I was fatigued by this schedule I now have to keep. At 8 PM, I felt like a new man. Got on the bike and went to the local book store in order to find something interesting. I finally scored a copy of "The Godfather", which is impossible to find it seemed. I did pay 9 bucks for it, but I know this is a wise purchase. I've long been wanted to compare the book to the movie, which I've watched a hundred times.

Went to the grocery store around 9 and it was dark by then. I bought the ingredients for another squash casserole which I made the previous night, and ate it in three meals.

Al's toaster oven Squash Casserole:

Take two smaller zucchinis and slice them about 1/6 inch thick. Put a little salt and pepper on the slices, the salt soaks up the bitter tastes like in eggplant. I used just a tiny amount of salt doing this since I am on a low salt diet.

arrange the slices on the bottom of a buttered meat loaf pan.

Take two eggs, a bit of cream (or sour cream), and a cup of diced cheese. (Mozzerella is good, but so is any other cheese). 1/4 cup of olive oil, some Italian seasoning, one cup of bread crumbs, 1/2 cup chopped onions and anything else you personally like for your tastes. I recommend a bit of garlic too.

Mix it all up and dump it on top of the zucchini, then arrange the rest of the zucchini slices on the tip. Then you should put 1/8th cup of the cheese that I forgot to tell you to reserve, and drizzle a bit of olive oil, and more spices on the top. Put this in the toaster over at 350 for about an hour.

Good stuff! Tastes like quiche, with a similar consistency. Tomorrow I might add a small amount of Italian sausage to the mix, but I prefer vegetarian for the most part since this should be all about the squash. Thinking about using Indian spices instead of Italian, all depends on my mood.

I also made a glass of "Doogh" today, which is a refreshing yogurt drink of Persian origin. I had a glass of the stuff at a Persian restaurant in Plano, Tx. this summer and I found it to be quite palatable, and refreshing. Simply add a cup of plain yogurt with a cup of water, add 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper and some mint of you have it. I didn't have the mint but the salt and pepper were just fine. They also recommend adding cucumber pulp to the mix to make it more refreshing. I love this stuff, and its good for you if you use the low-fat plain yogurt. Very good on a hot summers day! Try it!

I finished the Puzo book "The last Don", and I finished "The Maltese Falcon" in the past week. Read little of the others, but I am progressing on "Comanche Moon" and even read a bit of the "Upanshads". Reading, while listening to the radio is a fun thing to do, sure beats watching sit-coms for hours each night, or playing Internet games. My phone now has the Internet, which keeps me in touch, but is to much of a pain to waste my time playing games. I can still check my facebook and e-mail, or even surf Wiki or bid on EBAY items.

I hope to write more this next week, but during the week I am either too beat, or lack any new stories that are interesting. I'm just grinding away toward my death in order to get money but that is the way of the world. "The daily Grind". But who knows what will happen this year. Overall, this should be an interesting time, since so much change has occurred since last year. I am fully looking forward, and saving for a long trip to India next summer, and maybe that will help keep me going during the upcoming winter months.

August 17Th, 2010

August 15Th 2010: Sunday morning. Made myself wake up at 9 AM after 5 hours of sleep. Went to the living room, sat in chair, then slept till 2 PM. I will be screwed tomorrow morning. It is totally un-natural for me to go to bed at 10 PM. I have done it for years, usually fall asleep at 1 PM, and am a total zombie the next day, often napping right after school.

I went to "The Beehive Grill", to pay a dollar for their "Triple nickel" special. Or 5 wings for 15 cents each. I washed then down with an "Arnold Palmer", which is iced tea mixed with lemonade. The bartender, a long time friend of mine just returned from India, after volunteering at a leper colony for the past month. She told me about her travels, and convinced me that India, is where I want to spend a few years. My friend Chuck went there a few years back and had the same opinions of the country. I was thinking about Southern China, for the past year, but since I don't like Chinese food, and would feel totally alone in a total foreign place like China (I have been to Korea, and while interesting, was lonely as hell), India makes a bit more since. I love the food, many Indians speak my language, and my personal beliefs lean for more toward the Indian than the Chinese. Both places are cheap to live and China does have more employment opportunities, but India appeals to me more. I actually took a senior level college course on the History of India from 1400 to 1850, and I've read many books, articles, and documentaries about the subcontinent. India should provide me with plenty of writing opportunities, and chances to explore 6000 years of historic ruins, and fascinating cultures. There are many races of people with their own religions, cooking, histories, etc. For example, "The Jain" people are an off shoot of "Hinduism", and are obsessed with avoiding any karma whatsoever. They wear veils over their faces in order to keep bugs from getting killed by being inhaled accidentally. They also look down when they walk in order to avoid stepping on any creature since killing causes bad karma. Of course all Jains are strict vegetarians. There are millions of "Jains" in india. The "Parsi" are another large ancient minority originally from Persia (Iran), who are practitioners of "Zoroastrianism", which is much like the ancient Greek religion with its pantheon of Gods. You have descendants of the "Marathas", and ancient race of people who used to rule the south while Britain was swallowing up the rest of India. The descendants of the "Moguls", invaded India 900 years ago and eventually built the "Taj Mahal", there are many other kinds of people and culture to be experienced in India. I can't wait to live there some day.

Currently, I must serve my year at Logan High. I love this school, the students are great, but they are just cramming to many of them into each class. My classes involve sharp and expensive tools, and we have three different rooms, where the students do different aspects of sculpture and jewelry making. Its getting too hard to keep every one safe. Utah, needs to up their sales and property taxes a little, so they can adequately fund their schools. Saying all that, I also enjoy living in the northern Rockies, and living in a safe, pretty Mormon town. Logan is the nicest town I've ever lived in. But after three years, I have little more to learn here, once this happens I get lazy and bored, and start dreaming of finding a new place to learn about. But a 50k per year job is a tough thing to walk away from. I know that there is no better place to teach than in Logan, Utah, yet I find myself wanting to move on and explore new places before I get to old to do it. I also need a break from the stress. Stress, is killing me. The act of corralling, counseling, and teaching 170 kids per day is severely affecting my health. I need to just move to India, Live and write on $400 per month for a year, maybe even teach on the tnternet for $15 per hour, so I can make ends meet. Work 40 hours per month on the computer, rather than 200 hours per month in the classroom. But I'm not done with Logan yet. I will make the best out of this year, and will try to improve my health, while selling off as many of my possessions and saving money. I have the responsibility of providing my students with a fun and enriching learning experience as well. No matter what should happen this year, I will spend next summer in India, no matter what happens. (yes I heard the "grass is greener" crap before I made the move to Utah, so spare me)!

$400 per month living in India? Yes, I've done the research. And you could make it on $200 per month if you didn't drink, or travel much. Rent in a place as nice as mine is about 90 bucks per month. If you pay 20 bucks more, you get free breakfast and dinner. Another 20 per month and you get the internet, cable, and a morning English newspaper. I just want a safe place with a balcony. Not sure which city, but Bangalore has a lot of call center instruction jobs for $1000 per month for someone with teaching qualifications. "Varanasi", is a very ancient smaller city, on the banks of the Ganges river, where the Buddha, lived during the monsoon season. "Chennai", has excellent beaches north and south of the city. So maybe I will move every three months until I find the place for me. I hope to spend at least 5 to 10 years there, coming back to the states every 2 years to visit the family. The internet does keep people closer than the old days. Back in the early 80's, the only way to keep in touch was to write letters, or spend a shitload of money for a short phone call. If I went out there, I would have SKYPE, set up with a phone cam, in order to call and see my friends and homies. I will probably choose to teach online for $15 per hour and work a few hours per day, which will more than pay for the cost of living, My current plan is to stick it out this year, then to scout India (maybe other nearby countries as well), this summer.

Its now Tuesday, August 17Th, after two days in school, I'm feeling better about this year. My classes don't seem too unmanageable, but these were both in service days so we shall see how many more get dumped into my class. Nice to see some of my fellow teachers, and even a few students have stopped by. Getting up at 6:30 SUCKS! Its unnatural, unless your a farmer or a hunter. My main complaint about my school, is that we start class at 7:35 AM. I'd much rather start at 9:00, when the sun is up, and its 20 degrees warmer, but the godly believe in getting up early as hell, so they get home by 3PM, and have 4 more hours daylight, to work a second job, or go to church functions. So I have to be at school by 7:15, which is awful in the winter, usually having to get out there and scrape ice from the windshield, often shoveling a shit load of snow, while its pitch black outside and 5 below zero, while trying not to fall on the ice. I would walk the 1/2 mile to school, but January and February that would mean falling on the icy concrete and breaking my back. So I'll probably bicycle it, until late December, then take the truck until March. But I have three nice months to look forward to, and fully plan to make the most of it.

August 14th, 2010

August 14th, 2010:

Last Saturday before work. I did manage to wake at 10:00 AM rather than the usual 2:00 PM. Tomorrow I will wake at 8:00 AM, no matter how tired.

Went to brekkies at Cafe Ibis, and noticed an old man checking out my bike, which I previously put a "for sale" sign on. Since I had 10 minutes to even get breakfast, I asked him to join me at Ibis, where I handed him my key and let him take a test drive while I rushed in to qualify for the breakfast cut off time of 11 AM. He was in his 70's and showed up on a very fast older bike, so I figured he wouldn't wreck my ride. He came back like 10 minutes later, but I wasn't interested in trading for an 80's model truck. I noticed the old looking beat up Suzuki DR 650, with full long term touring cases, and battle scars. I have seen this bike over and over, and I was fortunate enough to find its owner this morning. I knew from the looks of the bike that he had beaten down a few thousand miles of trails, but I had no idea...

"Ricky", the motorcyclists name, had gone from Canada, and took the 95 percent dirt "Great Divide" trail which travels along the highest peaks of the Rocky Mountains, all the way down to Mexico. But Ricky kept going... He then took the "Pan American" highway, from Mexico down to Panama. The only gap in the "Pan American", is known as the "Darian Gap", which is a marsh, tidal swamp, and impenetrable jungle that separates Panama and Columbia. Ricky had to pay a sailboat, 500$ to bring him across that gap, which is also known for its extreme lawlessness. He then went from Columbia, thru Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and wound up at the southernmost city in the world known as "Ushuia" Argentina, which is about 600 miles from Antarctica. Logan and I were in Ushuia, about 5 years ago, so we had a lot of South American notes to compare. Of course, this dude, took 14 months of hard driving, and survival situations in order to do it. While, I just took a plane and a cruise ship.

Turns out that Ricky was from Oklahoma, and used to play in a punk rock band known as the "Nixon's", during the time I used to play in "Deep Ellum", Dallas, back in the late 80's early 90's, and used to play in the same venues. The Nixon's, were far more famous than the groups I used to jam with. He actually made money playing professionally. So we gammed on an outside table of Ibis for like 3 or 4 hours, which is a record for me to talk to anyone without a drink in my hand. Ricky has accomplished one of the most harrowing motorcycle journeys I've ever heard of, but he is more impressed with the people who traveled down the same roads by bicycle. Those crazy bicycle peeps, amaze the shit out of me as well.

I admire those folks, but ultimately prefer the plane and cruise ship route. Yes, I will travel a few hundred miles on a motorcycle trip, but when going to Chile, I'd just assume fly down there, then look around. But certain situations, and mind sets seem to gravitate toward the extreme. Ricky, speaking of many of the other motorcycle travelers, down in South American, said that more than a few of them were suicidally depressed, and took the risks as a last resort, since "they didn't want to die with money still in their pockets". Rickey, merely did it out of boredom, but I understand the mentality of those he described. Many of the "Suicidal ones", were from Europe.

Ricky and I both agreed that Logan, Utah is the best place in America to live. With the extreme natural beauty of the nearby wilderness, and of the upbeat, non pretentious town of Logan itself. Logan, is the nations safest metro area (population of 100,000 or more), and is recognized for being the safest city in the US, each year. You can leave your doors unlocked in most places in this city. Unless you live in downtown apartments, where the poor, destitute and the insane live. No violent criminals do I see around here, but there are more than a few scavengers who live downtown, due to no other options. I still agree with Ricky: Logan, Utah is the nicest place to live in the US. Period. The factors taken into consideration while formulating this opinion were, natural beauty, cost of living, low crime, vitality of the town itself. Logan rocks in my book. But I am already itching to go elsewhere. I better watch what I wish for.

After tiring of Ibis, I went to "Borders Books", and did some net surfing, since the Ibis, seats start to hurt the ass after a few hours of talking. Ibis seat tend to be more waif friendly, the seats are only a foot wide. . Borders is cool, because it is less crowded, and you can grab a book off the shelf, then read it while swigging coffee or tea, then putting it back. I totally love this concept! How do these places make any money? I am more than content to put my grubby hands on their books, pay two bucks for a glass of tea, use their internet, possibly their bathroom, yet never pay 20 bucks for one of their paperback books, since I can buy the hardbacks for two or three bucks at the thrift stores. Most of the books on my reading list are hardback. But I guess "Borders" does do a good business, since they also rent videos, and games. I would gladly pay a cover charge, since they allow me to camp in there for a couple hours, and ask very little. Some customers, just go in, surf the net, and leave without buying a single thing. I always pay for a coffee for dignity purposes, and have been known to buy a book or rent a video from them.

By then it was nearly 6 PM. Damn! Longest I've ever spent at two coffee places, I did spend awhile loading up my blog, and finding a decent picture for it.

I stopped to check on the Mercedes that I love with all my heart and soul, but she is still in the shop. They told me that she will see me again once she is perfect. I hate to say it, but once I see that car again, and test it out some more, that I fully plan to buy it. A man needs a woman! And I consider this car to be my object of affection that deserves my attention and total reverence. No real woman can give me as much pleasure in return for my love, as this gorgeous, large, sleek, black, Sedan will. She will always be true, never yell at me, never betray me, never love than HATE me. Hell hath no fury baby!!! Give me the machine. The machine is my one desire!.

I cooked some "Dahl/Aloo Marsala" this evening, which is Indian food consisting of Lentils and chopped potato, in Marsala sauce. I made this from scratch, so no MRE pouches. Cooking this took a few hours. And no, the MRE's taste better, but they cost three bucks each. My dinner costs about 50 cents and is almost as good, but I plan to work on it. The mess of cooking for one, is nearly the mess of cooking for 4. And since I have to do both the cooking and cleaning, I believe I will buy the "Meals Ready to Eat" type of Indian food, since you only have to boil the pouch in water. But cooking from scratch is still fun. My Italian Scratch food is excellent, but my Indian does need a bit of work in order to gain authenticity.

Did another 4 hours of reading, damn I miss the TV up here, but I am firm about keeping the cable and internet out of my apartment. I do need to hook up a TV and DVD player, in order to have some visual entertainment of occasion.

Aug 14, 2010

August 13th, 2010

August 13, 2010:

Went to Benson, Utah; about 10 miles away to see my llama and good friends that have given her a very nice home. They have a few marshy acres, with an irrigation canal running along their property. Their house is a geodesic dome home, with nice porches, a basement ect. What really was striking was that the place was covered in trees, which is rare up here in the high plains between the mountains. Sue is obviously in heaven, having two goat companions, as well as my friend Johanna and her little sister, who give her much attention also. I had a great time in the cool 80 degree afternoon, watching Sue, talking to these kind, educated artists, and enjoying their little farm, which was a bit of a paradise. I used to have a small paradise back in Texas, and I hope to someday get another small place with a cabin and animals someday. But regrets are stupid, I moved on to where I currently am, which is in an exciting downtown loft in the city of Logan, where there is never a dull moment.

I still can be happy for this kind family to give my llama a beautiful place to live.

Got home and shared some baloney and cheese sandwiches with my son, who paid me in full his rent money that I only loaned him a few days ago. Logan is a good boy despite some of the things I have said about him. The Bank clerk accepted my "Universal Life" Church credentials as a valid ID, which allowed me to make my deposit!

I like this minister stuff too much for my own good, but I swear to have been a student of religion and claim full legitimacy as a "Guru" (Sanscrite for "Teacher"), as a minister for Universal Life. Their website is sincere, with forums of ministers discussing sermons, wedding procedures, and what not. The credentials can be taken as lightly or as seriously as you want to take them. I take them as seriously as my teaching credentials, and I have learned to be a heck of a counselor, to all people young and old. I understand the plight of the human race, and vow to help any person who asks for my guidance and assistance. I love people.

Went to a local store and bought a long folding table, two feet wide which serves perfectly as a desk, and eating table. Except for the Organ, the rest of my furnishings are lightweight, and can be easily moved by one man in less than two hours. I desire a big old desk, but this one is cheap, sturdy, and portable. I can even take it camping, when I set up my huge "British Expedition" tent, as some sort of a wilderness base. I also bought a much needed plant, a Ficus tree, which I am well familier with as a nice looking, easy to care for plant. I also plan to get a small rubber tree and the indestructable "Mother in Law Tongue" plan which is as tough as: Well... a typical German mother in law! These plants require little in the attention department, but do need a bit of water from time to time. I love ferns and palms very much, but keeping them going is another story. I am also in search of a nice looking, "Pothos Ivy", for the big hanging hook 12 feet above, but didn't see a specimen that impressed me. Now my place is completely furnished, there is still a matter of how much Art do I put on the walls, but I like to take that one slow. A pad needs to age a bit, and decor should be well thought out over a long period of time. I hope to put some of my art on the gallery walls in this hallway once I get the permission from the landlord, who uses these walls as a gallery space. Most of the paintings are amateur as heck, but more power to them. I like the Art ok.

Out of all the previously described books I'm reading, the "Lsst Don", by Mario Puzo is getting the most attention. Here are the page reading results of the previously described books I bought recently:

The Last Don by Puzo: 173 pages down.

The Upanshads: 25 pages

The F Word: 20 pages into the Intro.

Innocents Abroad by Twain: 43 pages

The Annals of Ancient Rome by Tacticus:35 pages

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott: 17 pages

The Maitese Falcon by Hammett: 3 pages, but i had to stop since the character descriptions caused me too much laughter! I will probably hit this one soon.

One hundred Years of Solitude by Marquez: 0 pages

This is my progress after two weeks of reading, I should finish the Puzo book this weekend, since I cannot seem to put it down. The rest will be labors of love and should take a few more weeks to finish (except the Upanshads). I also added McMurtry's "Comanche Moon", which I read partically this summer and just rescued from my Truck Camper. I am 116 pages in but they don't count in this current contest. So far I am happy not to have Cable at my place. I do miss the internet, but I will still

avoid getting it, since it would kill my reading and writing.

Planning to book a trip to South Eastern Colorado soon, since I am the back up minister for Melissa and Chucks wedding. I get to say a few words prior to the veteran ministers ceremony. The ticket is $370 since it lands at a small airport in Montrose Colorado, rather than a big hub like Denver. This will be my third plane trip in 10 months, but I like trips more than saving money so oh well. A fool and his money..... I know this one all too well.

Just went outside for a few minutes at 1 PM. Forty Five degrees on August 13th! It got down to 43 last night. What the hell is wrong with this place? Last night, I fell asleep in my livng room chair, with all the windows open, and by 6 AM my core temperature was gone. I climbed into bed with a sheet, light blanket, and finally grabbed a parka from the closet to wrap up in in order to restore my core temp. Once your insides are cold, it takes forever to warm up again. My question is: This is early August??? So the WTF starts to enter the equation. Yes, we have a summer that lasts 6 weeks at the most. Yes the temps will warm up next week, but we also know that winter isn't far behind. I love the cool, but last night caught me completely off guard. People try to compare the weather of Chicago and up state New York with this place, but I doubt those places see 43 degrees on August 12th! We will be having our first freeze of the year within a month. Please, dont take my constant bitching about the cold as real "bitching", in fact, I do love the cold to a great extent. My bitching is more out of curious amazement than anything else. Being able to live here, one could easily adapt to Alaska, Moscow, Greenland, wherever. This is one of the coldest places in the lower 48 states, and I am proud to adapt to this. I deplore the deadly heat of North and Central Texas far more than this. I don't even have an air conditioner and its no big deal.

About to go to sleep at 2 AM once again. I have to re-learn how to get to bed at 10 PM again somehow. Not getting enough sleep is very bad for me (and most people). I left a picture above on what I will be dreaming about.

Aug 10, 2010

August 12th 2010.

(The pic above is a view from my new place that I can't rotate on this page, so view at by holding your screen sideways)!

August, 12th, 2010:

I had a good day. Waking late, I then hit the small thrift store a block away (see how thrifty I am people). I managed to buy 6 great books for about 3 bucks total. Half the books are hardbacks, all in excellent condition. Went to my school and did some internet insurance business which required a printer. Noticed that my neglected fish tank was needed some help so I did a 6 gallon water change, and need to buy another powerhead for the left side. The ammonia levels were crazy, but I inproved them, and will continue to do so until they stabilize. I love marine tanks. At least my crabs, urchines and snails are doing fine.

I also research on the net "How to steam Veggies in a rice cooker", Which totally enlightened me that most Asian countries use a rice cooker as their primary cooking device. They are cheap and efficient, and take up little space. I bought a little produce from the local "farmers market", local corn, squash and potatoes, then went to the grocery store to buy more things I can make in this wonderful cooking device. I had long known that I could steam veggies while the rice was cooking, but after reading up on it, There are way more things that people use these cheap cookers for. Steaming eggs in the upper steam basket is a great alternative to the old boiling scene. I even read how one user would cook an entire pot roast and ECT, which would take 24 hours on the "Warm", setting. Other folks would bake cakes using commercial cake mix! I cooked a few chunx of red potato in the boiler while steaming zucchini, onion, shittake shrooms, and a few small sections of baby corn on the cob up in the steamer. I also put two little breakfast sausage links into the mix, to provide a bit a flavor. To Westerners "Meat" is often the main course. But in many or most societies Meat, is merely a condiment used in order to provide flavor. I am increasingly changing my diet to Vegetarian, since I like the vegetarian fare better than the meaty stuff, but I refuse to become a vegitarian and have to enquire about all incredients or worry about whether my beans were fried in lard or veg oil. What a pain in the ass my vegetarian friends go through. I simply prefer a diet of mainly veggies, but include a bit of meat when needed. I mainly eat Indian food now, so its quite easy to avoid gnawing on a joint of beef like a bloody animal. But I reserve the right to "Gnaw" as much as I like, whenever I happen to hit a decent BBQ joint!

So the potato and zucchini combo was quite winning, since it had two ounces of sausage in it. A pound or more of veggies, and two ounces of meat. This is how it should be for most humans. Tonites giant meal costs less than a dollar.. I love being a cheap bastard! The 2 bucks I paid for the sausage will last for 6 more meals!

Logan and his friend "Melody" stopped in around 6 we played some music and drank a little. "Melody" is one hell of a guitar player and singer. She has an interesting voice, and can hit all her notes, spot on, and with complete authority. She loves the songs that I wrote years ago, and we plan to start a small group with logan being the bass player, drummer, and back up vocals. We had fun rockin' out this apartment, early enough to keep complaints down. I can wait to break out my sax once it gets fixed! So far my practice of "no cable TV nor Internet service at home), is working well... I have a guitar, hammond organ, inca flute, scottish fife, and soon I will have a beautiful "King Zephyr", alto sax to jam with! I love the ancient King Zephyr Saxes. I have a 1926 "King Voll True", which is the Zephyr predesessor, Since I still have the older King, and it has a neck which has a double socket like the much more sought after "zephyrs", I managed to buy a highly desirable "King Zephyr" model alto sax from the year 1942, which needed a neck. Neckless; I got the sax for a steal at $300 bucks. I plan to use my old King neck on it and should have a professioal quality horn to play around with. With a neck this sax would be worthbody 5 times the price I got it for. Of course this new sax will need a $380 repad, But now I am only $680 into the deal. These Saxes can scream like no other. to get one for under a grand, is a steal indeed.

I am now reading many books, since I have no other entertainment other than the radio. I have "The works of Dashiell Hammet" which is cool has heck! Never read the author before, but his 20's lured decriptions of good looking women and the accompanying slang is a treat to my senses. I will use this example: "She was tall an Pliantly tender, without angularity anywhere. Her body was erect and high-breasted, her legs long, her hands and feet narrow"... ECT.... She is described as a "Knock out"! I love reading this old stuff. Many of the words are the same, although many weren't allowed to be printed way back then. The words "Shit" and "Fuck", were in full use back in the 20's, yet from reading the authors of that time, you would never know it.

I also bought a book entitled "The F word", which is devoted to the origins and history of that one word! The author, meant the book to be humorous, but spends 300 pages or more going back into the actual history of the world from its German origins until now. I only read the first 10 pages but I can tell it will be a fun one!

I am also reading a Mark Twain classic, which is really a blog, or "ships log", talking about his 1868 cruise, to the Med and Black seas, spending 6 months on the commercial journey. One of the worlds first leasurly cruises, Twain describes in good detail and snide wit, the happenings at that time which took place just a couple years after the civil war. This fact particually hit home with me. two years after the civil war, Twain, pays a huge amount of money, along with a hundred other rich folks, in order to take a side-wheel steam ship, which wasn't very big, and risk their lives so they can visit Europe from the south. I believe that this is on of the first pleasure cruises I've ever heard about. They had a day to day itenerary, and even opportunities for side excurions just like the modern cruises do. Their "on board" entertainment was similar to the cruises I've been on, except for the church stuff, and prayer time, which Mark detested, but he went through the motions. I have read this book before so I will not go on. Go check it out yourself and tell me what you think. It is not no "Huckleberry Finn", but does give insite into Twain's character and the technology of the late 1860's, which was much higher than I expected. Twain is not the writer he was before the trip, but his snide-ness and humor, are still funny. Twain wasn't so much a writer but more a comedian/philosopher dude, who dazzled people where-ever he went. The title of the particular book Im reading is "Innocents Abroad".

I am also reading the Roman historian "Tacticus", which involves his own personal, critiques, of the Emperors "Augustus, Tiberius, Nero," and a few others, from a first person stand point. He only wrote about the Emperors that he personally knew while he was living. Tacticus, is a good writer, but he was parcial to certain Emporers, and other folKs, but was quite impartial to those his party didn't like. Like an ancient "Shaun Hannity", he would not give those out side his party, an inch of praise, no matter how much they deserved it. I personally have no use for people like Tacticus, Hannity, and a few other that I personally know. Arguement should be a method to discover truth, Not to prove who is right. It shouldn't be a personal emotional thing.

I am also reading, "Bird by Bird", which is a writers training inspirational manual. Anne Lamont's writings are most encouraging to a new writer. She is honest, tells you about your slim chances of getting publishes, then tells you that you better continue writing because true writers should never be concerned with tiny issues, like spending millions of hours or decades trying to sell your well-honed craft. She just urges you to continue on.. Maybe the fact that I continue writing, is because I have to write, at my age getting published isn't really a dream, nor is being a rock star. Writing is a dying art in my opinion. Yes, there will be a need for concise technical or news and script writers. But little need for creative or philisophical writers. But so what? I like to write, so I will continue to write.

I am also reading the "Upanshads", which is the most ancient book in the Hindu world. The book was written by unknown writers some 6 or 7 thousand years ago. I love this book. It's best to read it slow. Each passage contains a large amount of profound meaning. "All this is full. At that is full. From fullness, fullness comes. When fullness is taken from fullness. Fullness still remains. OM Shanti Shanti Shanti (a prayer). This last passage reads like the great book called the "Tao Te Ching", but its author "Lao Tzu", wrote the "Ching" some 4000 years later than this. Could it be that Lao Tzu was Parroting the "upanshads", Probably was is my guess, but I can see that he was furthering the book with his own observations as well. The Upanshads will be read one page at a time, and will easily take a couple years to conclude the book. But I do love it, and see its benefits to a screwed up world. The ancients, had more logic in their observations than most comtemporary writers of religion or philosophy.

I am also about to begin two more novels, "The Last Don" by Mario Puzo, and "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Columbian writer, who's book "Love in the time of Cholera", was important to me 20 years back.

These are the substitutes for having no internet or TV this year. Depending on the book most should be finished in two months. I will spend a lifetime trying to sort the "Upanshads" out, but I've been reading the "Tao Te Ching", the Bible, The book of Buddha", and various other holy works, and plan to continue reading them always. I take my title of "Guru" of the Universal Life Church, very seriously. This is no joke to me. I am a man of the cloth.

I cant believe I've been writing all night like this. I have an engagement with my ex llama this afternoon, and will hate to be tired and lethergic when I arrive, But this is the way of me : Allen Barnes. I tend to forget the world and focus on the tasks and interests at hand.

After crashing at 3 AM and waking at waking at 1 PM I postponed the llama visit till Friday. ' Spent two hours cleaning, eating plain yoghurt with blackberries and sugar, made a decent cup of coffee and listened to Dr. Laura on the radio. Never been a big fan of celebrity psychologists, but Dr. Laura makes more sense than most of them. I will add more to this later.

August 10th, 2010

August 9th, 2010:

Had the morning breakfast at Ibis. A couple excellent jazz musicians were playing on the guitar and keyboards. Quite talented, Ibis, does its best to allow a venue for the local musicians. I can say nothing but good things about this place. I spent over an hour eating and putting up another blog. These blogs do take a bit of time to write, edit, find a picture, then put it all together on blogger. A labor of love I consider it, just being a humble writer in training.

Afterwards I bought a ton of groceries for my barren cupboards, but had a heck of a time strapping it all to my motorcycle. Imagine, 4 sacks of groceries on a motorbike. I drove home carefully. Now I can make Hotdogs with all the ingrediants. I also bought a pineapple, some peaches, a rice cooker/steamer, and a hot plate. Napkins, tonic water, frozen dinners, and a few other staples went along as well,

Came home and put everything away, then fell asleep for a couple hours, dreaming the most vivid dreams I've had in months. I really will miss that kind family, that lives under the bridge in central Dallas, who have a penchant for shortwave radios, whose kids are all intelligent and well behaved, since they all lived near a magical river, and everything was good and happy all the time. I will miss these folks, who do not actually exist, it was a damn shame to wake up again but I had to wake up and finish the day of leisure.

Went to the "Bee Hive", where Logan works, and they were slammed on a Sunday night. Perhaps, the fact that they are the only open restaurant in town, has something to do with this. I researched my current love, the s500 Mercedes, and found out where to plug in the obt2 code reader, and plan to check out the car while I have it out for a test drive. I plan to merely drive to the local auto parts store, borrow their obt2 code reader and plug it in while away from the dealership. I learned the secret place where I had to plug the device into. I also found a better 2001 "S600", by Mercedes, that has the 12 cylinder engine, and only 80,000 miles, which costs $135,000 new. I can get this for only $2000 more than the 96 model. I havent met the newer girl, but I'm sure I will be in love. These are the flagships of the Mercedes line. These are the biggest, most educated cars in the world. Most have a pair of flags on the front hood corners, and some "presidential" welcoming song is expected wherever they dock. Instead of calling these beasts the "S" class, the "U.S.S." class is probably more important.
As I previously stated: I do not need a car. But I do need one of these for a hobby or a misguided love affair at the very least. I love all things well-built and nautical. I will treat the S500 like the lady like she is. Since I only drive 1500 miles per year, she will be in capable hands. Tomorrow I will try out the 96' S500 again and check on its repairs. I already sent a credit application in for the 2001 S600, which has the monster v-12 engine. I hope to get one or the other. If not, I will be just fine with my truck and motorcycles. But the lust I have for these big Benzes will be fulfulled at some point in my life. Going 150 MPH while playing "God Save the Queen", is a sensation that I can't get out of my head. This baby would be a welcome diversion from the Spartan life which I now choose to lead.

Went home and "Gammed" (talked, according to Melville), with my friend Chuck for a couple hours. He is excited about his new place in Buffalo Wyoming. Even offered me a free tank of gas if I would visit him this week. I am considering the option. One last ride, before school starts again would be a good thing.

My favorite son "Logan", stopped by at midnight and spent a couple hours and I showed him the excellent apartment on the top floor. He liked the place and gave me the deposit for the place, which he should be moving into shortly. Logan is a veteran of the dark streets of Logan, Utah, and likes the idea, of living among the cities ancient rooftops!.

This is a pic of my ex-Llama "Sue", that was sent to me from my friend "Johanna", who used to teach in the classroom next door. She invited out to her parents place to see how great Sue is doing. Sue is in a much nicer place than in my old back yard, and gets much more human contact from Johanna and her family. I should be seeing her again later next week.


Aug 8, 2010

Aug 7th, 2010

August 6Th, 2010:

Had a cheap and excellent breakfast at the local hippy coffeehouse "Cafe Ibis". Ibis is owned by a couple conscientious old Hippies, who really do care about their customers and the environment as well. I find that many "Hippies" are just lazy and justify their behavior with a lot of bullshit rhetoric. But I know a few Hippies who do what they preach, they believe in using "effort" to achieve their dreams and not just a hand out. These owners of Ibis deserve all the good things that they have achieved.

I had a great breakfast consisting of local, free range, organic, eggs. Two pieces of high quality local baked bread known as "Deckard Five Seed", which will turn you into a bread lover real quick, and a small container of high grade organic jam, sugarless of course. And some chopped home grown potatoes, covered with some fine herb. And a large cup of their "Highland Grog" coffee. This was just good quality fare. Like the owners pay far more for the ingredients because they care about you. Every attention was put into detail. These people actually travel to the country and inspect the fields before they buy the coffee beans, which they grind themselves. They are not just name dropping pretentious bastards, all their stuff is first rate. Total cost for the best breakfast in town: Six dollars.

Ibis to me is the way all companies should be. They focus on a good healthy honest deal, not the bottom line. Their reward is a highly successfully business and the owners are quite well to do because of this. The Puritans from the Mayflower days used to prosecute businesses which made more than a 7 percent profit. Capitalism with no constraint is not good for anybody. Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower pointed out this in large block letters that people have managed to ignore. Huge profits are what pimps and drug dealers seek. Not good businesses like Cafe Ibis. Ibis has stolen more than a few customers from the bland, expensive local places for breakfast. Business is greatest when it is ran with a conscience and even "Love".

"Gammed" quite awhile with the 65 year old maintenance man, who enjoys the same first name as myself. Seen him around, thought him insane at first. This man is the spitting image of the actor "John Malkovich". This man rules the 22 lofts up here in the Logan, Utah sky. John (obviously not his real name), does not take any shit... PERIOD! He really seems to like me, and bends over backwards to help me get my apartment finished out (no door between bathroom and living area). John was on it immediately. Maybe he respects me because I am not indigent or live on public assistance like many others around here. Maybe its because I'm big and kind. I trust this man, and so does the owner of these fine living spaces. "Malkovich" is a good man to have on your side around here. He will probably have me help him bust some heads in the future. A job I will gladly assist in.

Spent some time tracking down my barber, who was a student at the local hairstylists academy. She has cut my hair and beard many times, in fact I trained her how to use the clippers on a beard and head about 12 months ago. Now, she is the only one I will allow to touch my head. We are pretty good friends, and things are comfortable between us professionally. I showed up and she was the only lady at the shop that had a customer. She trimmed off 6 months of beard and hair with the skill of a lawncutter. 15 minutes later, I looked like a new man, and her new place of business knows that she knows her shit when it comes to shaggy old men! Most hair stylists her age tend to treat me like "The Elephant Man". Mandi is like a daughter to me.

Went to the car dealer and was approved to buy a 96 "S" class Mercedes Benz, a giant four door sedan, and the most expensive of the Mercedes built that year. The original price was $87,000!!! It looks to be new, as I previously described, and very well maintained. I
will buy it for around 9 thousand! I don't need a car really, but this is more a love affair. I have been looking at her for a few weeks now, and with my hated newer motorbike as down payment, I can get her for $350 per month for only 2 years. The dealer loved the Kawasaki, since it is also new in appearance. I can't stop thinking about this "finest of all the cars in the world". Bad thing is: I really don't need a car. I am happy with my ancient truck, but wont drive it too far. This car has "Presidential" written all over it. And can cruise down the Auto Bahn at 140 MPH all day long, while holding tight to the road. This great black German built ship, is over 17 feet long and weighs nearly 5000 pounds. 335 horsepower makes it quite fast enough to enter the highway with complete, Teutonic authority!
I must have her... I must...

Saturday Nacht: Spending some time on the "back porch" or our large 140 year old building. The "porch" is a fire escape, with a wide deck of steel grate, before it becomes an ancient, spindly, steep set of stairs, some 30 feet off the ground. Takes a bit of time to get used to, but I can manage carrying two sacks of groceries, whilst ascending the sturdy old tangle of steel grate, and iron rails. The view from up here is incredible. Much calmer here than on the Main Street side of the building. Thankfully some kind soul put a large rubber mat on the deck and even an old folding metal chair (with wooden seat), on the mat, just so I can look out upon the back parking lot from up high like a god, who watches over his imagined creation of concrete, lamp posts, cars, and the night people.

Amazing all the human activity I can spy from up high in relative camouflage, These are not the same folks I see around here in the daytime. These are not Mormon people. who go to sleep at night up in their fine houses on the hillsides. These are the ones who sleep in the day, and smartly get to enjoy the cool weather, when they go on the prowl at 11 PM. Many are harmless college students on foot or bicycles, but I also witness the poor and destitute, walking to the local store for more ciggies and beer. A few are like sharks in cars slowly driving around looking for an easy piece of meat to steal. Then there are the cops. They are nearly everywhere. From my point of view it looks like a big cat and mouse game, with all participants avoiding the gaze of the "cats" (cops). I was interrupted from my observation from the giant insane man who lives down the hall from me. This dude seems harmless, but he really doesn't have a job, and brags about his diagnosis a bit too much. I loaned him a few dollars the other day for ciggies, and will not give him a dime, until it is repaid. Mainly the residents of my new community are elderly with a monthly pension. A few have lived here for twenty years. I might only stay for a year or two, or until I learn all there is to know about this area. So far I love this unique place. Its pretty much safe, interesting, and friendly. I wouldn't trade this loft or view for the nicest apartment in town.

So now it's 1 AM, and I can't seem to sleep, the big wooden radio is playing some cool music from the 40's and 50's and I'm simply having too much fun listening to it, in a pad that looks straight out of that time period. My furnishings, gleaned from the "D.I." (Deseret Industries, a Mormon giant "Good Will" store, which has really decent stuff,) I found a chair and two end tables, in perfect condition, for $40 for the set. All I need now is a small old table, which will serve as a desk and eating place. It will go next to the wall of big windows, which makes the front of my loft. I prefer to watch the street and traffic than TV at this point. Each nite this week has been quite rich and special, hard to fully describe in normal words. I can best describe it from a quote from the book, "The Great Gatsby", while the narrator was talking about how pleasant the hot August night in Long Island was during the time period of all those events. He said, something to the effect of: "This night is like a delicate delicious fruit, just waiting to be plucked". This is how I feel about these several nights I've spent up here in this loft. Each one is more intriguing than the previous, I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow up here.

Tomorrow I plan to explore the upper floor and navigate its complicated fire escape system, part of which crosses between two buildings, with chimneys sticking up like on the rooftops of old London, reminiscent of the movie "Mary Poppins", in the chimney scene. I can easily envision some of these locals dancing on the roof tops to the song "Step in Time", from that very movie. I also plan to hit up Cafe Ibis, because I constantly dream about their magical breakfast's. But that will be tomorrows adventure.... Nite..

Aug 5, 2010

August 6th, 2010

August 5Th, 2010:

My good friend Robert stopped in today to have me analyze some rocks which he found at the local "Bear Lake" today. Usually, when one of my students graduate, I never really see them again, so I was happy to see Robert. Robert was one of the best teachers aides I've ever had. Kind of like Sherlock Holmes "Watson", Robert is one of the most unique students I've been lucky enough to teach. He is smart, intellectual, and had no problem correcting me when I occasionally proved to be an asshole. I have the utmost respect for Robert, and he is also a writer, which makes him a bit tortured, which I completely understand. Robert is A man of keen intellect, ideas, creativity, and a certain knack of telling an entire classroom to "Shut their pie holes", OK maybe not an exact quote. But the classroom generally listened to him!

We wound up hanging out for 6 or more hours, hitting a coffee shop, then to the local thrift store to buy me some much needed furniture, and a few other errands. Damn its
good to have another like minded friend in this town. Most adults around here bore the piss out of me. Most are money grubbing, baby making machines it seems. Few
can see the world that exists in between making money, and raising kids. Most of the people I've met that exist in this obscure world, turn out to be Writers. Artists seem to be more self centered and focused on their own egos. Writers, learn as much as they can about what is around them. Few are stupid. I am far more proud to call myself a "Writer" than to admit that I am also a visual Artist, and a decent Musician. Ego is a thing which is best avoided.

Tomorrow, Robert and I will attempt to get thousand dollar organ from the pad, that my son was forced to vacate after a mere 6 weeks. It was a scene from "Animal House", but the bastard should have moved my organ first, and not just left it there.
I really don't understand how some of today's kids are so selfish. Hopefully we will
be able to get it back, it would look great here in my apartment, plus I love playing it!

Spent the rest of the night listening to "John Teshes" late night soft rock radio show on a local station, where "John" dispenses practical wisdom in between songs. Not classical wisdom, but advice like: " The studies show that people with fewer computer programs are less likely to get viruses". I miss a lot of the old songs that he plays, and I am completely sick of hearing "classic rock" which consists of the same thirty songs it seems, with "Hotel California" and "Free bird", completely overplayed.

After a dinner of Indian "MRE" food, which consisted of potato and Chana "Chickpeas", washed down with a few beers, I was able to kick back and enjoy the
sights and sounds of my new place. The city has a pulse and a life of its own which
changes hour by hour. I remember the old line from a Doors song "The cars hiss by my window, like the waves, out on the beach", and can see the similarity between the sounds of waves and traffic, that Jim Morrison seemed to notice. Traffic is not one
constant sound but a mixture of many different sounds, which ebb and flow in their intensity. Growing up next to a busy road allows me to keep my windows open, with the radio sounding in the foreground, and the waves of traffic in the background. It is a beautiful mixture of sound, and I can also do some reading while listening to this grand symphony.

Today with Robert, I bought a vintage green chair on casters, so I can roll it where I need it, and a matching pair of well built end tables, that are relics from the 1950's, both the chair and tables were outdated but in mint condition, and seem to fit in the
120 year old apartment with no clashes whatsoever. I don't want a couch, since I don;t plan on many guests at once, plus I want to save the floor space for walking around, and possibly doing a few more paintings. I also will require a desk for writing but the only ones available were huge and heavy. I might use a small card table or something, but would prefer something a bit more classy, like some of the small antique roll top desks that I've seen. I do need to watch the money since I also
plan to buy a professional saxophone, which I can play at the top of this building late at night, once I regain a certain amount of proficiency, that I have lost over the years.
Just to learn "Blue Trane" by John Coltrane, and play it with feeling, is mainly what
I aspire to do. I know I can play it, but to play it with finesse and love, should prove a challenge. In order to accomplish all this painting, music, and writing, I plan to
not subscribe to Cable or Internet this year. Of course I explained all that in my last blog.
So far being TV less has been easy. We will see once the days get shorter, and the sidewalks icier.

The next morning, I got up and had to clean the camping stuff out of my trailer. Then picked up Robert and Luiz (another one of my ex-students), and we managed to lift the organ from Logan's old place and into the trailer. The hard part was lifting 400 pounds of Hammond Organ up two flights of stairs, but luckily my wonderful son and his buddy, helped us get her into the apartment. I was truly beat.

Saw a gorgeous black Mercedes"S500 sedan, at the local car lot. It was black as hell, with black rims and very low profile tires. The car appeared to be perfect, and with only 118,000 miles, I fell in love with this beauty. So I took it for a test drive and loved it. Until the black smoke started coming from under the hood. I'm sure its just a small issue, like a tiny amount of oil leaking onto the exhaust manifold, but still. The car is $9000, and would cost me $350 per month for the next two years, and it better be perfect! I really don't need a car, but it would be nice to have this one, if only I could trust it. Of course I would have to keep her in a storage shed during the winter, so it would be like being married to Pamela Anderson, while living in another country.

Now I am having a giant salad and a beer at the restaurant where my son works. Been sitting here for two hours working on my blog and paying some bills. But my stay is getting a bit stale, so its time to return to my loft, and get the organ set up, install the foot key board, and jam the night away.