They don’t get my Nirvana, man

They just don’t get my nirvana, man: Green pastel prime
numbers and those I love, prairie views as far as tomorrow, mountain streams
clearer than air, bike paths free of glass. Do I see prime numbers in my head
as green floaters when I think of those I love? No, but I get it,
and I wish I could see primes and those I love in color. That would be cool.
The views from the bike path at Horsetooth Reservoir unfolding all the way to
Pike’s Peak—I get that. Oh yeah! Fly fishing for cutthroats of orange jaw and
dark green back (fish the size I would use for bait in Pensacola), surrounded
by quaking aspen changing to gold in autumn,while being studied by a bighorn sheep
or a deer splashing downstream—I get that. Anytime!

They poke fun at the geek, or accelerate with their diesel
“duellies,” trying to run me and my bike off the road and clouding the view
with black smoke, or crank their non-muffled Harley cruising by the river
throwing a beer bottle and laughing when it shatters on the bike path and the
fisherman (not to mention flipping the finger when you yell at them).

Or they put up signs like this.

When I took the picture I wondered if crosshairs were
centered on my I-phone. One week after this post the sign was taken down!!

Then, I went back to cruising on my road bike, the warm sun
on my back, marveling at the beautiful humans I saw: a four-year-old boy with trainers
wheels, smiling and huffing and pushing to make it up the hill, his parents
close behind—new fun and love; a fat girl streaming in sweat, jogging and
working it—not giving up; septuagenarians holding hands and walking, smiling,
talking, and waiving hello as I pass—a generation we’ll miss.

Or, a few weeks back I saw this.

I went back to cruising on the Cathy Fromme Prairie trail; my feet and legs pumped and moved—feeling life.

Doesn’t take much, really—a bit of compassion, restraint, respect for someone else. I love Harley riders, and truck drivers–salt of the earth and most are great people and friends.  A few spoil it for many.

There are now seven billion of us. We have to learn to live with each other. Let’s get rid of war.

Respect my nirvana, man. And theirs.

Apparently this worked. The owner took down the sign!!


Dan’s War is an award winning techno-thriller with heart, about the end of world oil . . . in two weeks. Cajuns and one lone computer geek try to save us–not giving up and feeling life every day.

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Can Disaster Change Your Life For The Better?


Can disaster change your life for the better?

September 16, 2004 I awoke at two a.m. to pitch black, wind howling outside, and a curious sound in the bedroom: my dog lapping water. But our wonderful blond lab, Maggie, lay at our feet, sleeping. The sound was swamp water percolating under the baseboards. Rolling off the mattress, my wife and I waded into stinky water, floating Purina Dog Chow and paper shredder confetti–welcome to the parade.

I’d had a great year: both daughters got married, I caught a 150 lb. tarpon on a fly rod, started a promising practice with great docs, and my son had orchestrated a surprise fiftieth birthday party. I was writing my first novel, a horror, techno-thriller
about fictional events after 9/11, sure to outsell Steven King.

The day before the water came, the news said it was a monster: Hurricane Ivan, Cat 5 in the Gulf. I smashed one thumb and nearly fell off the ladder boarding up the second story windows. This made the inside a tomb of darkness, the garage door the only exit. Lynn and I discussed leaving the state. We filled the bathtubs, organized canned food and peanut butter (I could live off peanut butter and honey sandwiches for weeks), then moved the computer upstairs along with the important papers, dog food, fresh batteries in flashlights, etc.

At 7 p.m., in purple-olive twilight and paltry wind and misty rain, I played fetch outside with Maggie. No big deal. The news announced Ivan would weaken to Cat 3 at landfall. We decided to stay. Yes! No waiting for a week after the storm to get back over
the bridge while looters had a field day, or water leaks went from tiny to disastrous.

We hunkered down—that’s hurricane talk—in our upstairs bedroom. The wind howled, trying to tear off the roof … right over our heads. No thank you. We trundled everything back downstairs, including a mattress, to the bedroom our son vacated last week. After all, our neighborhood had never flooded in recorded history. Who needed flood insurance? Our house had survived two other Cat 3’s with piddling damage. No prob.

Right. We’d never been in the northeast quadrant. Apparently we forgot.

For weeks afterwards we survived in a post-flood environment that reminded me of Sarajevo: feral dogs, fetid piles of rubbish, no water or AC, roving, camouflaged National Guard Humvees, and Red Cross water and food tents. I nearly lopped off a leg chain-sawing shattered trees, screwed up a knee replacing wallboard, and continued to work forty-hour weeks, sitting in rubbish-removal traffic jams for hours.

It shook our hearts and souls like a dirty rug. But we couldn’t get clean. The neighbors had the first, and last, Tiger Point trailer-trash party in their camper on their
driveway next to the POD that held all their worldly goods. Their home was unlivable.

We sang, we drank, but we all knew: Never again.

My wife and I moved to Colorado, closer to roots and family. I wrote and guided fly fishing. She became a hooker—wool art hooking, okay. We camped in Yellowstone with Maggie. Then I realized I was not Steven King; gas prices skyrocketed; the adult kids moved back; guiding fly fishing made no money.

Time to go back to what I knew best, doctoring. I went to work for the VA. Hurricanes are nothing compared to war. War had crippled our best, their bodies and minds, but not their souls. They taught me disaster can change your life for the better. My
next novel, Dan’s War, was born.

Dan’s War is an award-winning techno-thriller with heart, about the end of world oil . . . in two weeks. Cajuns and one lone computer geek try to save us against an ecofanatic and his army.


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