Saturday, December 8, 2007

Thanksgiving Coyote

It started as a simple early morning walk. Deer season had just ended, but I carried my .243 win Savage rifle anyway. The lure of varmint sniping was tempting enough to wake me on this cold morning of Thanksgiving Day. I didn't expect to see much beyond the cloud of my own breath on this frosty morning before sunrise. My hopes were lifted though, when I saw a coyote hunting in the far distance. The sun was just peeking over the horizon, and i knew I was in for a treat. Before long the half circle of orange and red nearly filled the Eastern sky. I sat down and began scoping the land around me. I soon found many others that had been roused to the beautiful early morning light. Rabbits were hopping and playing, and two yearling whitetail deer wrestled and grazed in a tree row in the far off distance. I watched them soaking up the early morning rays until they disappeared behind a row of cottonwoods. The frosty air penetrated me so I began moving again. I spotted a short row of evergreens that would be adequate cover and camouflage. I only traveled a few yards into this tree row when I spotted him. A coyote was running fast away from the direction of the sun, which was now disappearing, as a heavy fog settled in. I shouldered my rifle and scoped him hopefully. I watched him run several yards, until he caught the scent of a tasty rabbit (I assume). He turned North sharply and followed his nose, aimed almost directly towards where I stood, hidden in the trees. My heart began beating faster as I watched closely through the lens of my scope. Within seconds the coyote had covered a large distance in my direction and showed no signs of stopping or changing his course. Before long the coyote grew so close I could scarcely see anything but the fur of my victim. I swung my rifle quickly and flipped the safety. I thought to my self if i don't shoot quickly this thing will be on my lap. The closer the coyote came the harder it was to maintain the cross hairs position just in front of the shoulders. I led the shoulders and pulled quickly. He never caught sight or scent of me. The .243 caliber bullet met it's mark perfectly and dropped the coyote within a few yards of running. The timing could not have been better. I looked around and realized in just minutes the fog had settled so heavy that the visibility was limited to less than 50 yards. My coyote made a fine pelt and an even better story for Thanksgiving dinner.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Gun

Everything moved in slow motion. The bullets ricocheted off of the pavement before they came wizzing past me in all directions. The white kid with the handgun was too far away for his bullets to find their targets. He was walking quickly in our direction but I wasn’t scared. We all just stood there at first, kind of stunned I guess. I knew that ten round clip would run out before he grew close enough to be within range. He was already up to 6 or 7 shots I think. I lost count when a wild ricocheted bullet tore through the fleshy part of my leg. The impact shook me, not because it hurt right away just because the world started spinning again, must faster now than normal. I stumbled and fell to my hands. None of us were thinking clearly now, we were running on instinct already, as fast as we could run from this crazy wannabe gangster. I crawled on my hands for a second and then came up running with everybody else. I was moving pretty fast at first and then the pain in my leg almost dropped me again I limped as fast as I could down the nearest alleyway. Time slowed down again and returned to normal. When I felt that I had put a safe distance between the gunman, and myself I slumped down in the alley behind a dumpster and began to evaluate my wound. Everyone else kept running without me. They had to leave, because the cops were surely on their way, and they were carrying the stash. I was bleeding a lot. I don’t remember how it felt, but when I saw the blood squirting through the hole in my jeans I felt really dizzy. As I leaned back against the black trash bags I remember thinking. How could this happen? I didn’t know anybody was packing heat. I mean, this isn’t the ghetto of Baltimore. Denver has always been just a small taste of the bigger cities. The clientele here is rich business types, not homeless junkies. Who needs a gun? Denver is just an island of big city life, in the middle of the Midwest. Still, there has always been plenty of addicts around for everybody to make enough cash without fighting each other. How could this happen? As I tried to evaluate what had happened in the last few minutes everything went blurry. I felt cold. I knew what was coming next. I was about to lose consciousness and their was nothing i could do about it. How could this happen? I never thought paying for college would be like this. Time stopped once again, that’s all I remember before I woke up here in bed, doctors, nurses and beeping sounds of the ER ringing in my head.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


If the system is broken, how do we fix it? When you fail a test do you bitch about how it makes you feel, or do you learn from the questions you answered incorrectly? Observing mistakes made in the past and laughing or complaining, may provide comfort, but not a solution. My favorite comedians use politics regularly in their routine, poking fun at the Presidents of our nation regularly. Humor is a great thing, in fact, a necessity in the political world. Without the occasional laughs at the expense of our leaders, we would all die young, with intense frowns permanently branded on our faces.
Hindsight is 20/20, and when the past is seen that clearly, it should be easily learned from. A calculated amount of mistakes made by our government are widely seen by the public. Nixon was a crook, Clinton had an affair, and Bush hastily declared war. Presidents are human beings that make mistakes. Many times the “oops” moments we don’t see on the ten o’clock news have a more important effect on the world we live in. Every citizen has a duty to dig deeper. If your are not reading something everyday you have failed as a citizen.
When we belittle our leaders for the mistakes they make, we are not anymore empowered. The President makes decisions with the same human abilities as anyone else. Right or Wrong decisions, when made, do not elevate or lower an individual above or below other human beings. Also, the leaders of our country only had the opportunity to make those decisions because we told them to. Americans must not forget to take responsibility for electing these officials who are so inadequate. The key is to analyze the past mistakes but stop complaining and searching for to who we can blame. Rather, consider solutions, and evaluate future decisions carefully.
Politicians have learned more about us than we have about them. Even with media today allowing us to know every detail about each presidential candidate. Where they were born, where they went to school, what church they go to every Sunday, what’s their favorite pizza, or whom they dated in grade school? On the important issues, however, Americans feel unable to trust our politicians. This candidate was pro-choice but now takes the party line, this candidate supported the decision to go to war and now wants us to end the war and bring our troops home. America must demand to have the truth be told and have our questions answered. Before that can happen Americans must be intelligent enough to know when they’re being fed a line. When my dog doesn’t want to swallow his medicine, I wrap the medicine in a tasty treat, like cheese. He doesn’t notice he’s just been medicated, what he recognizes is he’s just eaten cheese and he wants more. Politicians are feeding us cheese, and they will until we recognize it.
Politicians are whom Americans have made them. Modern politics depends on two or three hot-blooded issues to rally support. Our leaders have learned that to win an election is a gamble, which stance will get the votes.
When a stone is tossed into a pond, the ripples on the waters surface are not indicative of how deep the stone sinks to the bottom. Also, when choosing the right candidate, the stance one takes on a popular issue is not a true indicator of their integrity and values any more than age, race, or religion.
If history can be seen in 20/20, then the future should be seen through bi-focal lenses. Focus on the possible outcome near and far, long and short term. Why must we keep making the same mistakes, different year?
Complaints about the choices made by a leader you elected do not substitute action. Why sit and cry and moan until superman is elected in 2008. That kind of attitude will never solve the problems we have made for ourselves, and the mistakes will definitely not work themselves out on their own.
Likewise, holding on to the disgust and discouragement of our president will only cause our next elected official to easily win our hearts and minds by saying he or she can do the better. A candidate need only say he’s against the decisions that make us angry, and win our votes with out ever saying what he is for. Not participating in a debate does not license to later say you agreed with the winner of the debate. The Skies don’t magically clear by replacing one inadequate official with another. “True change comes from within” If we change our way of thinking, then the false candidates have no bandwagon to stand on. Rather than always deciding, “What makes me feel good” take time to research, think, and choose wisely. Americans are so eager to join a gang. Americans want to be conservative or liberal. Nobody is 100% left or right. Think for yourself about every issue and make your own decision before you decide to vote. What the politicians don’t want you to do is hold them responsible as public servants, but that’s why they are getting paid.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Wake Up Bitches!

American culture today is fast paced and busy. Research and careful thought takes time we don’t have, and efforts we wish not exert. There are some people in the world that have to think hard about important things everyday "like, how will i eat today?", or "will my neighbor kill or rape me or someone I love today?'. Americans rarely even notice they have a feast 3 times a day. Instead of survival our minds are polluted with BS, like what happened on "Greys Anatomy" this week. Everyday life is designed to be fast and American’s average ability to think critically and reason appropriately is quickly eroding. Americans rely on the wrong sources for factual information; resulting in false data or clouded judgments and understandings of the world. Things that become popular in this country are often due to the influence of one or more well liked famous persons. The climate crisis is currently a hot issue, and right now everybody wants to be “green”. The problem is America lacks both the reasoning and critical thinking to establish truth from propaganda. The commitment, once the truth is found to actively solve the problem.
American people often forget that everyone has an agenda for taking up a cause, and publicly advocate support for that cause. Clever tactics like fear and slander are used to accomplish this penumbra, to divert the public’s attention from fallacies and cloud their ability to reason. Global warming is a prime example of the truth eluding the public. When American’s daily life is so comfortable and convenient their minds become lazy and as polluted as our environment is. The average American spends four hours a day watching TV. The majority of our awareness of the world around us is spoon fed by whoever appears on Television. When a problem like global warming arises; we are told how to feel and act by rock stars and movie actors. These high profile individual’s have some degree of fame, but not a degree in climatology. It’s important for Hollywood to lend support and take a stand on issues that matter, however, ignorance breeds on the bandwagon that follows; everyone wants to jump on for the wrong reasons.
Careful research would show that powerful money wielders, with their own agenda, fund both views on global warming. Companies like GE have invested revenue in renewable resources and carbon trading. If more federal restrictions placed on oil and fossil fuels, GE is one company that could take the lead in the energy market. On the other side, Exxon Mobil still relies on energy producing fossil fuels, if the restrictions are placed heavily on those resources Exxon Mobil stands to lose a large part of the energy market. With so much at stake for both companies, they have a need for their opinion to be expressed; whether the information they are contributing is entirely factual or not.
Although presently some Americans feel passionate about speaking out about global warming and the offenders that may have caused this tragedy, they lack a true commitment to making changes. In the “green” parade, Americans are willing to wear the t-shirt, but the tattoo is for somebody else. The Economist recently printed: “Climate change is fashionable, and although fashion has the virtue of being able to transform the dull and worthy into the hip and happening, it is by definition, transitory. Hollywood stars will probably get bored of their Priuses, and executives may become weary of mouthing green platitudes and move on to whatever branch of corporate social responsibility next catches the popular imagination.” It’s easy to blame the big companies for their crimes against the environment, but accepting that each one of us shares responsibility for our piece of the puzzle is too difficult to swallow. We can’t solve major problems buy flipping a switch, or watching the news. The little things need to be done, but it’s not enough. Get a tattoo. Make a true commitment. Read a book, petition your senators, make real changes in your energy consumption, and think for yourself.

Rough Morning (a short fictional story)

I woke up this morning, but it wasn't easy. My breath made me sick and my feet hurt. I eventually found my self in the kitchen and, after some struggling i managed to light the filter end of my cigarette. I didn't notice the smell of burning fiberglass cigarette filter. I was busy fixing breakfast. I cut my finger opening my morning bottle of cheap beer. I considered cursing at the bloody mess but I stopped when I saw a letter from Jackie. Jackie is my girl, sometimes. I didn't bother reading her scribbled letter before i tossed it in the trash. I already knew what it said. She was leaving again, this time was probably for good again. I vaugely remember the argument with Jackie that preceded her predictable response. Jackie's always been an expert dramatist. Dripping with tears and tossing out random insults in my direction before storming out of my apartment was her favorite scene. I'm almost certain it was the same argument we have at least three times a week. At least that often Jackie chooses to accuse me of being an alchoholic. I always tell her the same thing in a rehearsed line that indicates i'm correcting her sarcastically. "I am a recovering alchoholic sweetie pie. I'm recovering from all the years i spent sober, working a dead end job, while you were out every night blowing every doorman with an eight ball." She never appreciates my sense of humor.

opinion exercise

Everybody knows that part of being a good citizen is voting. Voting is a lot like changing lanes on a busy highway.

When driving there are two ways to change lanes on a busy highway: the right way and the wrong way. In order to correctly change lanes on a highway, you must be aware of where you are and where you want to go. When you know where you want to go, you find the route to get there. When changing lanes in traffic you carefully analyze all of the motorists in your path. You look at how close they are, or how far away they are from you. This is similar to choosing political leadership. Voting should not be done without careful consideration of the facts. Anybody can change lanes without considering the other motorists on the highway and possibly avoid a collision. However when more motorists adopt this lazy and careless mentality disaster is sure to follow.
Consider this analogy next time you are asked to choose a political leader. Carefully assess all candidates, where are they headed in relationship to you. Choose carefully based on what you believe to be the facts. Sure, one person can get by with making a careless decision, but what happens when the majority does the same?