Tiny apartment in low-income building, love of laundry, my shoes! Have I turned into my dad?

Oh, people have been saying it for years.

David is exactly like my dad.

And in some ways I am, and I am very proud of that.

My dad was very misunderstood and very eccentric. He had a healthy income even in retirement yet lived in a low-income building like myself. He had to pay market value, however, as he did not quality for assistance to live there.

If my job keeps up at the rate it’s going, I’ll be paying rent where I am, too. It can’t exceed 60 percent of my income, I believe, or market value, which is about $1,100 per month.

I know. For a hotel room. Denver is very expensive.

My dad was very proud of his little studio apartment, as I am. He did not yearn for anything more, even though he could afford it.

He loved all the drama and the noise and the police at the complex and everything else that comes with living in a building with the feel of the projects.

I like it a little bit, too. A little action is OK. There are some nice people here.

For example, today I bought a deer blanket and a St. Louis Cardinals hat from my friend Bryan. He went with me downtown Denver yesterday to Impact Humanity, where I got a great bounty of clothes.

I paid $10 for this large blanket, which perfectly fits my Queen sized bed. I love the deer with the points, it is so very Colorado, isn’t it? The giraffe throw pillow was a gift from my friend Lisa.

My friend Lisa gave me a great giraffe throw pillow. I bought a wallet off another friend.

We all try to help each other out in this building. The program and property managers are working hard to build community, having several activities as of late from a poetry slam to open mic night.

I now have a St Louis Cardinals hat to swap out with my Colorado Rockies hat. I love both of these hats!

I have some nice throw rugs in my apartment — just as my dad did.

Dad had a few classic nick nacks, namely a little bulldog statue that sat in a corner. He got mad and hurled it once in the memory care facility, broke a leg off. I have no desire to hurl things and generally don’t become angry about too much anymore. I try to stay positive, and there is a lot to be positive about.

But there is always room for improvement.

I also am wearing shoes that sort of resemble the shoes my dad wore, although mine are slip-ons and not Frankenstein shoes with giant metal lace rings.

Bless dad’s heart. Toward the end when he could not remember he liked his big Frakenstein shoes (which he could not even lift at that point), we put him in velcro tennis shoes, and he did quite well.

My dad was very, very smart, even though he only finished the eighth grade. Don’t kid yourself. He also was a man of principle, and truly only wanted a normal life with a wife and family. My mother’s mood swings and his alcohol abuse did not mix well. After almost 30 years (or maybe 30?) they called it quits.

Ugh. And then mom’s boyfriend Richard moved in.

And I moved out. In with cousin Lisa.

Found out my dad was paying her rent just as I was. She got $200 a month in the late 1980s for room and board for an honor high school student who was an angel.

Ha! She bought the beer for us. Anyway, I’ll give her a rest as I have been enjoying seeing her sister on Facebook.

Anyway, back to how I am like my dad (who did not get along with cousin Lisa at the end either), my dad and I both have a passion for doing laundry.

A washer and dryer is great, but doing laundry by hand in the sink and hanging it up is quite therapeutic, in addition to saving $3 per load. My dad also did his own laundry and hung things up to dry.

I don’t know, there’s something about cleanliness and getting things done that motivates me. Dad was the same way, living in an ultra-clean apartment. Some people say mine is spotless too most all the time.

I try! I am so grateful for all I have, and I think my dad was too. As a kid I was not grateful for anything.

I am a much better person after experiencing homelessness. My dad became a better person too when he moved into that low-income building, where he lived 30 years. He became known as “The Mayor of Oak Terrace Apartments.”

He was the Gladys Kravitz of the complex. Remember the nosy neighbor from “Bewitched?”

I also have a temper like my dad, and apparently I am guilty of some bizarre behavior. Those could be early signs of my dad’s rare, sometimes genetic disease, frontotemporal degeneration.

But it is not likely given how I can write organized, hopefully error-free content. I do not have any problems executing tasks nor do I have any motor skill problems. As for my behavior, well, my brother was considered the “perfect” one.

That’s scary!

My dad got sideways with his siblings quite often. My dad drank a lot until he got into his 60s. I used to be a raging drunk too but have been sober with minor relapses for several years.

I am a firm believer in marijuana’s medicinal purposes, however, and do partake in it for better health.

Dad did not smoke marijuana except once. He and I already were in the family home again, maybe 2013, and he wanted to hit the pot pipe. Said he didn’t feel anything then slept for 12 hours!

My dad had a GREAT sense of humor later in life, when he began to let go of some anger just a little bit. My dad and I both mock people, it is true. We do imitations. So does my cousin Cindy.

My dad and I both savor in all things sweet, from doughnuts to strawberry Twizzlers. I saw a man died from eating a bag of licorice every day for many years. Dad and I both love Twizzlers.

Dad liked plain licorice though, and I only like strawberry. We both love(d) cookies and pies (Village Inn coconut cream or banana make dad and I do backflips).

We appreciated it when my Aunt Mary would sit on her butt and make goodies.

Dad and I both like to look as nice as possible. I did not realize how in younger years dad was a bit of a clothes horse. I used to very much be that way, too.

This photo was taken college graduation day, 1992. Dad is wearing a jean jacket, and I laugh, because I just wrote a blog about how much I love jean jackets.

Dad and I both are (were) very political and up on current events. We always watched presidential addresses and press conferences growing up in my household as a kid. We never missed the news or the news shows.

I never thought about how much all that influenced me as a journalist, but indeed it did. My parents were very civic minded, devout Democrats. Dad was not thrilled when I told him I was voting for Trump. In fact, he was dead a week later.

I may have turned into my dad a bit, but I have no problem with that. I look more like my mother as of late with the long, curly hair.

I think having a mind similar to my dad’s is a no-brainer. I wonder what my friends and relatives think.

Feeling fresh, new jean jacket and all after trip to Impact Humanity

Stock image by James Balensiefen for Unsplash

Impact Humanity has done it again — making me look handsome with free clothes that look like they might belong on a Yuppie.

And probably did.

Impact Humanity is a free clothing store for the homeless. Everything is donated and free for people who are homeless or newly sheltered and trying to build a wardrobe. The clothes are very nice, gently used, sometimes new.

The owner of the store, Travis Smith, shares this on his website:

 Humanity is a free retail clothing store for those in need, where people able to shop four days a week, getting clothing off of racks or shelves, and trying them on in an actual fitting room. Here’s the catch, we can’t do it alone. Impact Locally is donor and volunteer funded. With a 100% of the donations we receive going back into our programs. So we need your help. We’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign where individuals and companies can become a direct sponsor and be a part of history by helping the first free retail clothing store for those in need, providing clothing of all types, from interview, street clothing and cold weather gear. By becoming a member you help to truly restore humanity and their dignity by providing an experience like you would find in any other clothing store.

I quoted the website because it just says it all. Imagine being homeless, dirty, stinky socks and underwear, torn or stained clothing … a shell of your former self when it comes to what you wear. Nothing boosts the self-esteem of a homeless person, I would argue, than donning some nice clean clothes as often as possible.

So Travis made his store different from other rummage closet giveaways. Travis allows those in need to come once every day that the store is open, which is Thursday through Sunday.

Today was a lot of fun. There were a few gay people there, and the bantering was enjoyable. Everyone was well-behaved and respectful in line. It was a beautiful day so waiting outside in the sun for two hours wasn’t that big of a deal.

Oh, it was well worth the wait. You should see what I came home with.

  • A jean jacket! Levi’s, of course. The large fits me perfect.
  • A pair of black leather loafers. My other shoes had holes so big in the soles that rocks were getting in.
  • Business shirt by Croft and Barrow, tan. I got a silver tie to go with it.
  • Track pants (red)
  • A T-shirt hawking Maine as a vacation destination. The shirt has a moose on it.
  • A pair of socks. Nobody who ever was homeless ever will believe they have enough socks. You can never have enough socks.
  • A sporty sweater in blues, tans and white.
  • Store owner Travis Smith, who also spent some time homeless, has thought of everything when it comes to keeping the homeless looking good and feeling clean, too. Impact Humanity also passes out hygiene items every day. It’s one of the only place you can be sure to get a razor if you are homeless and Denver. The same goes for mouthwash.

And all the other toiletries — toothpaste, shampoo, conditioners — all are top brand names like Neutrogena. They’re the trial size toiletry trays for upscale hotels.

Tomorrow I get my first paycheck from my new content writing job, and soon I’ll start buying my own clothes.

I’m so glad things are getting better. Answered prayers.

Michael McDonald’s soulful sound far better than an anxiety pill

Photo courtesy Arizona Republic

Do you suffer from anxiety?

Try listening to Michael McDonald the next time you feel an attack coming on.

For those who aren’t half a hundred years old like me, Michael McDonald was a pop music singer in the 1970s for the Doobie Brothers and later broke out on his own. Now, he’s pretty gosh darn old (sorry, Michael) but he still puts on concerts. I saw him three or four years ago at the former Mark of the Quad-Cities arena.

I have been feel pretty easy going lately, but as I was wrapping up my workday today I found an email that got my spine tingling.

That’s what happens to me when I have an anxiety attack — my spine tingles. However, it’s not like “butterflies in your stomach,” it’s a nagging tingle, kind of like electricity. It’s uncomfortable.

Anyhow, the email simply was setting an appointment for my next competency evaluation. Yes, I have been declared incompetent to proceed by the state courts on two felony charges against me. However, the D.A. recently reached out and offered a plea bargain where I would only plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge, resisting arrest.

I’m sorry, but this whole thing is ridiculous. The cops beat the living shit out of me because I fell asleep in a park during park hours. They woke me up and five of them ganged up on me, punching me in the face three times (they even admit that in the police report). They claim I spit in one cop’s face and donkey-kicked another (kicked him in the groin) but I proclaim I am innocent.

For God’s sake, I would not assault a cop. I would not assault anyone.

Anyway, the competency evaluation is necessary so that I can be declared competent and then get this legal matter behind me. I don’t think I should have to plead guilty to anything. The cops beat me up. I should be collecting coins.

What’s more, the news media reached out to me recently about some of my police brutality blogs. While I declined to speak with the reporter on the record, I encouraged her to read and quote my blogs.

What happened to me was terrifying. It should never happen to anyone. Those cops should be disciplined.

I’m tired of corrupt, bully cops. Our whole country is tired of it.

I’m a Trump supporter, and I do support honest cops, but I do think our country is pretty devoid of honest cops these days.

Anyhow, back to Michael McDonald. He sings a song, “Yah Mo B There.” Now, I always thought “Yah Mo B There” was short for, “Yes, I will be there.”

But it’s not! Yah is short for Yahweh, or God in Hebrew. So the title means, “God will be there.” The saying also means, “God be with you.”

How about that. So Yah Mo Be There is not ghetto for “Yes, I am going to be there.”

Michael McDonald has a soulful voice. His music is on the slow side, but it’s catchy.

In addition to singing for the Doobie Brothers in the 1970s, McDonald also has worked with Kenny Loggins (another great musician to play when you’re feeling anxious).

McDonald and Loggins sang, “For once in your life, here’s your miracle. Stand up and fight! This is it. Make no mistake where you are. Don’t be a fool anymore. The waiting is over.”

Nice lyrics that can be applied to just about everything. Another great song by McDonald, maybe my favorite, is “Sweet Freedom.”

The song is all about letting go of things that drag you down. It goes:


No more runnin’ down the wrong road
Dancin’ to a different drum
Can’t you see what’s goin’ on
Deep inside your heart?

Always searchin’ for the real thing
Livin’ like it’s far away
Just leave all the madness in yesterday
You’re holdin’ the key when you believe it

Shine, sweet freedom
Shine your light on me
You are the magic
You’re right where I wanna be

Oh, sweet freedom, carry me along
We’ll keep the spirit alive on and on

You can view the video right here.

So now I am completely distracted from stressing out about the competency evaluation, and “Miss Thing,” as I call her, who asks me questions like, “Do you have special powers today?”

Yeah lady. I’m Superman.

And you ain’t my Lois.

Go play some Michael McDonald jams and relax. Life’s not that bad.

And if you want to read a blog I wrote about Colorado’s completely unconstitutional to proceed program, click here.

Senate report: Hunter Biden linked to human trafficking

Photo courtesy Forbes

And here we go.

An explosive Senate report released by ranking Republicans Wednesday showed that Hunter Biden “show potential criminal activity relating to transactions among and between Hunter Biden, his family, and his associates with Ukrainian, Russian, Kazakh and Chinese nationals,” according to this story in the New York Post.

And:

The report adds, “The records also note that some of these transactions are linked to what ‘appears to be an Eastern European prostitution or human trafficking ring.’”

In addition, the younger Biden had “business associations with … Chinese nationals linked to the Communist government and the People’s Liberation Army.” The report specifically pointed out his relationships with two individuals, Ye Jianming and Gongwen Dong.

“Those associations resulted in millions of dollars in cash flow,” the report alleged.

Separately, the report pointed to an instance in which Hunter Biden “opened a bank account” with a Chinese national linked to the CCP.

The Chinese are not our friends, and that is not a racist comment. The human trafficking in this country is off the chains, and soon you will learn of politicians — not just politicians’ children — who are involved in it.

From the top of the New York Post story:

Senate Republicans have released their long-awaited report on Hunter Biden’s work for Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings during his father Joe Biden’s time as vice president.

The 87-page report was released Wednesday by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who oversaw the probe since it was launched last year.

The investigation, and subsequent report, were hampered by delays, first due to the impeachment proceedings earlier this year and then by the coronavirus pandemic.

The probe found that in 2015, two Obama administration officials voiced concerns to White House officials about the possibility that the younger Biden serving on the board of Burisma could create the appearance of a conflict of interest, as his father oversaw Ukraine policy.

The report states that the Obama White House knew that Hunter’s position prevented “the efficient execution of policy with respect to Ukraine.”

“This investigation has illustrated the extent to which officials within the Obama administration ignored the glaring warning signs when the vice president’s son joined the board of a company owned by a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch,” the report’s executive summary stated.

“Even though Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board cast a shadow over the work of those advancing anticorruption reforms in Ukraine, the Committees are only aware of two individuals who raised concerns to their superiors,” it continued. “Despite the efforts of these individuals, their concerns appear to have fallen on deaf ears.”

Hunter made a bundle while his daddy served as vice president to the most corrupt American president ever, Barry O.

The Senate report alleges that Hunter “formed significant and consistent financial relationships” with the founder of Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky, and that his and his business partner Devon Archer’s firms “made millions of dollars from that association” while his father was vice president.

It’s going to hit the fan, folks!

What is the obsession the media has with discrediting QANON?

People who pay attention know Q already has been right about lots of stuff.

Wake up or get left behind. The New York Times headline right now is “GOP inquiry finds no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden.”

Are you kidding me? The New York Times is a joke. I always thought it odd and I kept under my vest that I once was offered a job there and turned it down. I told the recruiter, “I don’t want to live in New York!” She said, “You can live in New Jersey!”

Pass.

New World Order!

I took a big step today and created a Facebook account

Stock image courtesy Unsplash

I created a Facebook account today.

That’s a big deal. For many years I have abhorred Facebook, particularly for all the political negativity. If somebody’s not griping about Trump they’re tirelessly kissing their bosses ass online.

Yeah, Facebook has a fake factor. But it’s an important way to stay connected to people.

I have been through a lot. It’s very awkward and people don’t always know what to say. I was afraid nobody would accept my friend requests after how I acted during the nervous breakdown. I am grateful I still have friends.

And lucky.

I added almost 60 friends today. That’s not bad for my first day.

I friended my cousin Cindy. That meant a lot to me as she probably is the only family member I care to stay in touch with. I didn’t friend request my brother, but I didn’t block him either.

So that’s progress.

My website has had almost 100 hits so far today. More than 40 were referrals from Facebook.

So that’s cool. My last Facebook account was deleted. Facebook has deleted several of my accounts. I’m one of those “conservative voices,” after all.

If you accepted my Facebook friend request today, thank you! I plan to rise above the negativity this time and keep Facebook positive.

We all need to do our part. Let’s remember our manners despite differing political views.

Why I’ve grown to love living in Denver, Colorado

Image of Denver downtown skyline and the capitol building by Andrew Coop for Unsplash

I never thought I’d say it.

But I love living in Denver.

I have been here a little more than two years, spending most of the time homeless. I recently got into a new apartment in the Stapleton/Central Park area of Denver.

I am very lucky.

The best part of living in Denver? The weather!

You may or may not know that Denver has more than 300 sunny days per year. While it can snow in September and May, it usually is a light dusting that melts away.

But you have to expect anything. Denver weather can, and does, plunge 50 degrees in an hour or two.

I love the winds in the mile high city. A really windy day can leave the air smelling and looking fresh and clean.

I love Denver’s parks. There are evergreen trees everywhere and most of them are huge. The other day I was walking through a park and there were earthworms crossing my path on the sidewalk.

I thought the earthworms were cool because I always have been curious why the earthworms never come out onto the sidewalks in my hometown anymore. When I was a kid, they were everywhere. Around the time I moved two years ago, I had not seen one in a handful of years.

I love the smell of the rain and the earthworms. Everything smells pretty good in Colorado because the air is crisp.

The sun is strong. You need to wear sunscreen in Denver.

That said, I don’t.

People from Colorado are a little bit cowboy, but they’re nice people. “Have a good one,” they say to one another in passing.

Downtown Denver is very cool. It is laid out like a true town square, with the state Capitol on one end of a Greek-like plaza and Denver City Hall on the other.

The Capitol building and city hall buildings both are grand. The governor lives in a grand mansion off Pennsylvania Avenue on Capitol Hill.

Of course, no column oozing niceties about Colorado could leave out the animals. Colorado has the cutest critters anywhere. The squirrels will beg from you and come eat out of your hand.

I have not been up to the mountains yet. Boulder is about as far up as I have gone. But I know the mountains are going to be breathtaking at higher altitudes.

Clarissa Bock for Unsplash

Geese rule the state. They are everywhere and poop poodle-sized green turds. But they truly are funny birds. “Silly goose” is a true statement.

Logan Weaver for Unsplash

Well, there is a lot more I could say about why it’s great to live in Colorado. While I have been guilty of calling it a “radical lib” and socialist state, if it were not so liberal I would not have all these great programs helping me get on my feet again.

So … thanks Libs of Colorado. This is a beautiful state and all of us are lucky to be here.

Feds bust human traffickers in Pittsburgh hotels, arrests pending

Stock image courtesy Steven Lewish for Unsplash

Add Pittsburgh to the growing list of American cities where the feds have made significant human trafficking arrests, or plan to.

From CBS Pittsburgh:

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — Authorities say 16 arrests are pending after law enforcement conducted human trafficking and drug operations in Beaver County.

The Beaver County District Attorney says local law enforcement and the FBI Human Trafficking Task Force conducted busts in Center Township over the weekend. Police say 16 arrests are pending from the two-day effort involving several hotels, and several “potential human trafficking victims were identified.”

“Human trafficking is a serious problem in too many of our communities,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Michael Christman in a release. “The trauma caused by traffickers to their victims is inexcusable.”

In the release, Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier said the operation “targeted potential victims of human trafficking.”

I wonder what city the feds will raid next? Hopefully all our major cities will see rescues of people being trafficked.

“Free Assange” – Ron Paul Rages ‘This Is A War On Truth’ | Zero Hedge — Truth2Freedom’s Blog

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity, It is dangerous to reveal the truth about the illegal and immoral things our government does with our money and in our name, and the war on journalists who dare reveal such truths is very much a bipartisan affair. Just ask Wikileaks […]

“Free Assange” – Ron Paul Rages ‘This Is A War On Truth’ | Zero Hedge — Truth2Freedom’s Blog

A.G.: Another $100 million coming to help fight human trafficking

Stock image courtesy Tim Tebow Foundation for Unsplash

The Trump Administration again announced more federal money will go toward combatting human trafficking.

Attorney General William Barr made the announcement in Atlanta flanked by Ivanka Trump.

From ABC News:

ATLANTA — U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr says the federal government is awarding more than $100 million in grants to target human trafficking.

The money will go to task forces combatting human trafficking, to victim services and victim housing.

Barr made the announcement Monday in Atlanta with presidential adviser Ivanka Trump and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.

“This is one of the top enforcement priorities of the department and we’re on the forefront of this fight,” Barr said.

“It’s only by cooperating with all our partners, our state and local partners and those in the private sector that we’re going to be able to make any progress and ultimately end the victimization of those boys and girls,” Barr said.

The wife of the Republican Kemp, Marty Kemp, has made human trafficking a focus of her work as Georgia’s first lady.

“The governor and the first lady here have been second to none in the nation in taking this fight on and working closely with the federal government and I really appreciate that,” Barr said.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds said grants are already helping to pay for agents on a state task force that investigates human trafficking.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, an elected Republican, said money for housing for victims is crucial, saying it “means safety and it means security, and it means wraparound services.”

People who have been trafficked usual suffer from PTSD and a general distrust of others. Medical research published a few years ago in Annals of Internal Medicine basically said the medical establishment has no idea how to treat these survivors.

But I can see how housing set up the way my housing is could prove to be a good model for rehabilitating trafficking victims. Case workers on-site Monday through Friday, doctors, therapists and nurses checking in regularly. That’s how it works here in my building in Denver.

Back to the ABC News story:

Others in the room said it was still important to push for broader action.

“We have to live with a sense of urgency to be able to rescue as many lives as possible,” said athlete Tim Tebow.

Michael Yeager, U.S. Marshal for northern Georgia, talked about the results of Operation Not Forgotten, in which the U.S. Marshals announced in August the rescue of 26 children and location of 13 others. Of those 15, appeared to be victims of sex trafficking.

“We’re trained to hunt fugitives, so we’ve changed that and parlayed that into now hunting these children,” Yeager said.

President Trump should be re-elected based on what he’s done to combat human trafficking alone.

Clinton Emails and FBI Activity Back in News as NY FBI Agent Talks – Fills-in CTH Background Research… — The Last Refuge — Truth2Freedom’s Blog

The Washington Examiner has an interesting article based on a book excerpt by Washington Post journalist Devlin Barrett: “October Surprise: How the FBI Tried to Save Itself and Crashed an Election.” CTH readers will remember Devlin Barrett was Lisa Page & Peter Strzok’s favored journalist to receive FBI leaks from Clinton email investigation known as the “mid-year-exam;” […]

Clinton Emails and FBI Activity Back in News as NY FBI Agent Talks – Fills-in CTH Background Research… — The Last Refuge — Truth2Freedom’s Blog