I’m flying back to the homeland today. Rather, I’m flying back to Denver and then bussing it up. I’m genuinely excited, at least much as you can be going to Wyoming. That said,  join me for my journey.

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6:24a EDT: Yes,  I added Eastern.  I’m traveling to Mountain, and I refuse to add two hours to my watch so you can follow easier. Thanks for reading.

Anyways, Southwest is the best fora simple reason – they don’t nickel and dime you to death because their CEO doesn’t know how to say no to pour management. Built lean, run lean gives me extra leg room without an upgrade fee. Exit aisle… he’ll yeah. Also, just a tip. If your flight leaves Atlanta at 5:40 am, don’t go through security with twenty minutes left. You get no sympathy from me.

9:41a MDT:  Well, I’ve arrived in Denver and have the day to kill downtown.  I hope to make it to the Capitol building which is a bit of a walk from where I’m at right now…but I have about nine hours, so I think I’ll be okay.  The reason for going to the Capitol?  Well, I did work there for a session when I was in college.  Interned for a good Republican Senator Ron May from Colorado Springs.  It’ll be good to walk in and see what the old building looks like again.

More importantly, I want to see if there are people on the steps of the Capitol smokin’ a blunt…cause it’s really legal here.  My final destination is the bus station, which is a blog post in and of itself, but there’s no way in hell I’m staying there until my bus leaves.  Well, walking down to 16th Street, I never in my life witnessed someone smoking marijuana so casually.  Sure enough, a nice young woman took her smoke break to read a book and get high.

To crack a joke that is no doubt cliche by this point – this is truly the Mile High City.  Har har har…

10:39a MDT:  Man, I miss this place.  The Colorado State Capitol is going through some renovations, so I cannot throw in a picture of the dome.  That said, this is such a beautiful building.  It’s noticeably smaller than the Georgia State Capitol, but impressive.  I’ve attached a few photos here for your enjoyment.  A couple of things worth noting:

  • The legislature is significantly smaller.  100 total legislators – 35 Senators, 65 Representatives – serve the state.  Even though Colorado is just about half the size of Georgia, that still means they represent more people in their constituency.  I always remembered them doing a very good job, too.  A lot of turnover, too, since Colorado term limits their legislators as well as their executive officials.  In fact, they pretty much term limit everyone down to dog catcher.  I hope the day comes soon in Georgia.

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  • The rotunda in this building is amazing!  One thing that I love is the paintings representing Colorado history – Native American contributions, the pioneer spirit, agriculture, mining, and the future all have a place.  Also, the rotunda is one of the most direct ways to walk to the upper floors.  It serves a far more prominent role here than it does in Georgia’s Capitol.  Click on the small version below to get a good glimpse of the rotunda.

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12:10p MDT:  Just spent a significant time meandering around the Denver City Hall building.  The building, too, is absolutely amazing and heralds from the late 1920s/early 1930s.  Apparently, Cherry Creek flooded and washed away the old City Hall and all the records with it.  From what I understood, the City Hall’s inspiration comes from the Columbian World Exposition – sans sadistic serial killers.  Denver’s just too relaxed of a city for that kind of nonsense.

In any case, I just boldly stopped in some City Council offices to see if I could poke around and see what’s going on with some folks.  I didn’t get to speak to any elected city councilman or councilwoman, but I did get to speak to a couple of folks who really make the city’s legislative body work.  Ean Tafoya, the Legislative Assistant for Legislative Services, and Feven Netsanet, Legislative Assistant for Councilwoman Robin Kniech.  I gotta say thanks to both of them for taking some time out of a busy Friday to talk about what’s going on with Denver these days.

We didn’t get into political leanings – and rightly so – but I did find it really cool that they seemed to light up when talking about some of the major efforts the city is undertaking to make Denver a modern city for all to enjoy.  Ean told me about the bicycle stations around the city and how Denver is making a strong push to become more friendly and accommodating to bicyclists.  Feven shared priorities around ensuring that as Denver grows, middle and low income families are welcome into the newer developing neighborhoods and communities.

Again, political leanings weren’t part of the conversation.  Didn’t feel the need to discuss that.  They both seemed very, very excited to share what’s going on and their perspectives on it.  One other cool tidbit – Ean told me he gave a tour of the City Council to the Mongolian ambassador.  If you two read this, thanks for taking some time!

12:30p MDT:  The Streetcorner Preachers have camped out a spot outside Starbucks.  Lemme see if I can’t get a video of what they’re doing.  Yes, I’m back in Colorado…

1:08p MDT:  Gotta say, as Streetcorner Preachers go, he wasn’t all that bad.  Far less fire and brimstone than I’m used to and far more grace and salvation.  Homeboy can stay…

1:16p MDT:  Just to be clear, sidewalk preacher is not in the same boat as this tur…ehem, backyard preacher…in Phoenix.  Pro tip – lying to the gub’mint gets you thrown in the clink:

Despite what’s being said by Fox News and Christian news outlets about Phoenix pastor Michael Salman, he’s not in jail for hosting bible studies at his place.  The former gang member is in jail for breaking the law — again.

Oh yes, Fox News needs to shutup.

4:00p MDT:  Well, I’m now officially burned out.  You can only walk so much.  Nonetheless, it’s been a pretty good day.  I’m not heading over to the bus depot for a little while, so I have more time to build up this count.  Eight (8)…yes, eight…people I’ve witnessed openly and casually tokin’ refer.  Recreational use is here for reals, folks!  Nevermind the federalis could bust those folks at any moment.

6:05p MDT:  I’ve been here at the Greyhound Station for about an hour now, and I just sit trying to will the time to go faster.  Here’s the magic of this place.

CNN is playing on the television for all to see.  Fine, okay, don’t have much of a problem with that.  What I do have a problem with is someone looking at me and trying to argue about the nature of Zimmerman’s guilt in the death of Trayvon Martin.  I’ll say this – I don’t know the facts of the case, and frankly, I could see a conviction or acquittal based on the news I’ve seen (and not really paid attention t0).  I don’t intend to sit here and argue with an African-American man about why I don’t know what the true case is and means.  Clearly, he didn’t seem to understand that and became a bit agitated.

The last thing I want is to sit here and discuss legal theory with someone I assume doesn’t have a law degree and doesn’t practice criminal defense.  I, too, do not have a law degree and don’t practice criminal defense.

8:47p MDT: Where to begin? Let’s start with the classy lady behind me. I’m gonna call out the bus company’s website and say there is nobody on this bus so middle class. Swearing takes tact and wit. This woman lacks class, tact, and wit…makes for an amazing ride. Second, bus drivers are soulless creatures. Soulless. Third, sitting through a video of the world’s most violent football injuries would be more enjoyable.

BTW, if I have to listen to this jagoff behind me talk about this “tornado” that isn’t a tornado any more….I’ll just have to sit and listen…

9:53p MDT: Hey, Cheyenne! You really, really suck! At least Al Roker is done behind me. His 15 year old girlfriend sounds like she’s a retired bingo player,  though.

6/29, 1:14a MDT:  I’ve now been up 24 hours travelling in some form or another.  Some moments were good, some were bad.  Nonetheless, I’m here with my family that I haven’t seen in over two years…so peace out.  I’m going to bed!  More on Al Roker, my El Salvadorian bus driver, and the other shenanigans on the morrow.

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10:51a MDT:  Well, up and moving.  Two Wyoming institutions to tell you about.  The first is Taco John’s.  How to describe this place is probably best up by saying it’s the Chick-Fil-A of fast food Mexican.  The meat is so greasy it drips from the shell, and the Potato Ole!!  Good lawd, makes you wanna get down and beg!!!  Good stuff.

The second, of course, is the Kum & Go.  Yes, the Kum & Go.  We have affectionately named this place the Jizz & Jog, Ejaculate & Evacuate, Ounce & Bounce, and many more.  Only in Wyoming can you name a place Kum & Go and it become a serious convenience store franchise.