Monday, June 29, 2009

Fallen Angel - The Outlaw Larry Norman Movie Review

See all my Larry Norman posts by clicking here.

And old friend sent me the following review of the Larry Norman documentary film. Fallen Angel - The Outlaw Larry Norman.

The reviewer, Donnie Gossett, actually knew Larry and worked with him one on one.

Give it a read.

Donnie Gossett Review.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah and Michael

Was sitting at my desk this afternoon, listening to yet another thunderstorm banging on the metal roof of our shop.

Intercom call from a Coworker informed me that Farrah had died. I guess just about anyone who cared, and most of the rest who didn't, knew that the end was coming. You knew her death had to be pending because Barbara Walters had the special all locked and loaded.

My Coworker, a 39 year old single male, talked about "the poster". Farrah's iconic image hung on the walls of every guy I knew in the 70's.

As a teenage girl, she was our nemesis. The girl you couldn't possibly measure up to. The smile, the hair, the girl next door giggle.

Though she seemed all fluff and hairspray, some of her later work impressed me. The Burning Bed was a shocking role, and she was amazing. One of those rare TV movies that stood out was Small Sacrifices which I always check out when I see it on the cable guide. I'm sure both will pop up in upcoming weeks.

Her death seemed tragic, as cancer deaths always are.........but somehow spoke to something more. In 2009 I turn 50, and it seems like the halfway point. That's only true if I live to 100, but Farrah seems somehow part of my all important teenage landscape. The 70's was the decade of my adolescence and those impressions are burned on your brain.

Only a hour or so later, the same coworker told me as he passed my office, that there was an Internet rumor that Michael Jackson was dead.


As I heard a local reporter quote someone............"These people were on our lunchboxes." Ya, exactly.

I grew up with Michael. With him so close in age to me, it literally felt as though he was a classmate of mine.

We sat on the hardwood floors with mouth agape when he clearly overshadowed his brothers on every TV show we ever saw him on.

He was musical brilliance. And yes, "I'll Be There" gives me a lump in the throat nearly every time I hear it.

Shocking, shocking shocking.

A flawed.... deeply disturbed man who was a genius in his career......... and a train wreck in every other facet of his life.

Though opinions vary, few will dispute his talent, his impact on the music industry and the pop culture.

I was surprised at my own sadness.

Fame is a ruthless partner, who woos then destroys.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Wordle For My Dad

Happy Father's Day

A little something I made for you, Dad. Click on the picture.

Wordle - My Dad: "Wordle: My Dad"

Friday, June 19, 2009

When Cars Were Cars 1973 240Z

I was reading Lileks this morning and he had posted a youtube video of a commercial for a 1957 BelAir. Got me thinking about how great cars used to be, before someone decided to round them all off and make them all look the same.......

One of my first cars was a 1973 Datsun 240Z and even though it needed work....I loved that car. Ended up selling it and never really got over it. So I thought I'd see if youtube had any memories for me.

Sure enough.........

This is exactly what my car looked like, the color, louvres on the back what a car. Seldom see these on the road anywhere but this video brought back some great memories.........

My New Best Friend

I'm pretty sure the hummingbird who buzzed me on the patio Sunday, is the same one who gave me another look through the window last night. There's a window at the bottom of my stairs that I open as soon as I get home. Outside there's a honeysuckle bush right next to it. As I slide the window up I heard the buzz and there he was.........looking at me (or more likely his reflection) in the window.

Only 90% sure it's a broad tail. It takes my brain too many seconds to process what I'm seeing before he's off and away.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Well Sunday it finally becomes summer. With the cool and wet spring we've had here At Altitude, it will be welcome. Days and days of afternoon rain and weather alerts going off continuously........we are ready here for some heat and dry.

So here goes the boring details of everyday life.

All the late spring moisture has wrought the invasion of the garden pest. My honeysuckle and columbines are being overrun with aphids. Plant expert at the local garden center said the summer will be filled with bugs.

It's official..........we have hummingbirds visiting us on a regular basis. We knew they lived over the ridge to the south. Heard the odd sound a few times last summer. But only in passing. Then two weeks ago, at dusk I thought I heard a psycho cricket. When I investigated, I saw the hummingbird at the neighbor's honeysuckle bush. While enjoying Sunday morning outside time, a hummingbird came and sat in the aspen tree. Later that afternoon, as The Husband was at the grill, another little whirly bird flew up on the patio, gave me the look..........and then darted around the corner.
This is exciting stuff to the nerds that The Husband and I are.

We are in awe of the small things.

Since last weekend, we hear the random crackle and pop of fireworks. Cool beans.

Sitting outside in My Tiny Garden is every bit as helpful as a Valium.

I always miss ScooterGirl............but it's worse when its warm outside.

How do people live with the windows closed?

My across the street neighbor started mowing his lawn at 6:45am this morning.

Pinon wood fires in the chiminea are only a few doors away from heaven.

I told The Husband that that our backyard is officially now, 50% as good as Ouray. Not bad for twenty steps away.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Better Homes and Gardens #1

For many years I lived in an apartment and dreamed of being a home owner. For four years now I have lived in the house The Husband and I bought.

I never take it for granted.

Each day, I leave the relative peace and quiet of the the "burbs" and head to Central Denver, where my office is, and where I lived for nearly 15 years. As I head to the local lunch spots, or hit the retail outlets for lunch time errands, it takes me through the INCREDIBLY ECLECTIC neighborhoods of Central Denver.

On a regular basis, I find myself glancing in the rear view mirror, to make sure it's okay to slam on my brakes, and take a look at the incredible landscapes and home improvement projects on display.

They should do a show on HGTV. So I thought I would start a continuing series on my blog, of the amazing homes I see. Fasten your seat belts, and welcome to the land of


Which of course leads to unlimited creativity. Think how happy you would be to live next door to.................

It's a freshly painted, cute little white house, with an ornate front storm door, a Texas (I think) star and landscaping that defies description.

This is Xeroscaping at its finest. Notice the lovely red mulch. Accented around the edges by brown mulch.

Who needs grass? We are about saving water.

Lawn statuary always adds some pizazz. Let's take a closer look at my favorite of the statuary on display.

Scattered around the rest of the yard were other things of note. Faux dinosaur fossils, a fairy on the bench and then my favorite.

A seashell collection, with a tombstone marker.

There were many other lovely things I could have taken photos of, but frankly I was afraid of a zombie running out the front door and telling me to get off his lawn.


Central Denver.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blackbirds Singing in the Dead of Night........

I have ZERO artistic talent. Can't draw, paint or anything of the sort.

But I love art.

I am in awe of those who can do those things.

So my blog buddy, GDazz over at Anywhere But Here is a painter... and photographer... and oh by the way....... a musician. So occasionally she posts her work and I was drawn to her red winged blackbird water colors. These birds visit my feeder on a regular basis.
Long story short.........I bugged her to let me buy her art. Her work came......I took it to the framer and will soon get it back......

But meanwhile, SHE INCLUDED IN MY PACKAGE............this little gem, which I threw in a frame and hung near my back door, where I will see it every time I head to my back yard.

Thanks GDazz.....friend who I have never met. You are now officially part of my everyday world.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

In Memorium

June 6, 1989 fell on a Tuesday.

1989, twenty years ago.

That Tuesday was a typical early June day in Denver. Overcast in the morning, slightly humid. It had been rainy and chilly for several days, but the sun came out that afternoon.

Tuesdays were long for me. As a youth pastor, on the staff of a large church, Tuesdays meant Staff Chapel at 8 a.m., followed by Pastoral Staff meeting at 10am. Depending on the agenda for the meeting, we often found ourselves buried well past the lunch hour.

Don't remember one thing about that day's meeting, but when it finally ended, I called a friend and we made plans for that night, for dinner and a movie.

Back in my second floor office, I sat at my desk.........staring out at the Virginia Creeper vine that surrounded my window. The sunlight was hitting it just so, and it was flourishing with all the recent rain.

I decided to call an old and dear friend, who was living and working in the Northwest. I had known Craig, and his wife, since our junior high days, and he had proceeded me as youth pastor at our church.

His voice was comforting, as it always had been during other bumpy periods in my life. It was good to talk with someone sympathetic about my growing restlessness and frustration, not about being a youth pastor, but with the day to day "politics" that are prevalent in just about every church. He understood, he had walked that same path.

We talked for a half hour or so, I heaved a big sigh, told him I was going home, but he left me with an assignment.

"Go out and have some fun tonight. Promise me.... you will go have fun. You need it. Everything will work out".

So I headed home to my little apartment. Happy to have some time to myself. And looking forward to an early dinner and maybe a movie, to take my mind off the growing sense that life was coming to a crossroads. It was a feeling I'd been having for months. Couldn't put my finger on what, but I felt a certainty that my life needed to, and was going to ....... change.

I had no idea that afternoon how dramatic that change would be. I had no idea, because I was living on this side of the dime.

You know, the dime. "Life turns on a dime".

THAT dime.

It would take multiple posts, and hours and hours, and even then, I couldn't possibly tell the whole story, with all of it's twists, and turns, and miracles and yes, with all of it's traumas.

On June 6, 1989, evil men would come into my world and my life.

But I didn't know that yet. All I knew early that evening was two very close friends picked me up, and we were looking forward to spending an evening together. After an early dinner, we decided not to see a movie, but had a wonderful night none the less. Driving around, laughter, lively conversation. Just the night Craig had assigned me.

At the end of the evening, they dropped me off at my apartment, headed back to Steve's house, where those evil men were waiting.

One of the many miracles that happened that night was the miracle that I didn't walk into that house where they were lying in wait. They came to kill my friend Frank, to keep him from testifying in a robbery trial. Things like that didn't happen here, and they certainly didn't happen in my life.

They murdered Frank and Dan, and left Steve for dead.

When my phone rang at midnight, Steve was on the other end, and in that moment life turned on a dime.

I began learning about things I never thought I would know.

I know too much about cops and crime scenes. About detectives, and district attorneys. About line ups, and investigations, and evil people who live in a culture of crime. I know what color fingerprint dust is.

I know too much about paramedics, and emergency rooms, and having a police officer posted outside your friend's hospital room. I know how it feels to see your life on the front page of the newspaper, and the top story on the local news.

I eventually would also know too much about trials, and courtrooms. Judges and juries. About motions and delays, and how slowly the "wheels of justice" turn.

And how in the end..........there is no justice.

I also learned about friendship. About the people who stick with you, and those you only thought were your friends. I learned that churches are not always good at being there for you when you need them the most. And that a significant number of people are quick to think the worst of you, NOT give you the benefit of the doubt.

But not all the things I learned are bad things.

I learned what it means to have a "peace that passes all understanding". I know what it feels like to be in the palm of God's hand. I know what the sunrise looks like the morning after, when you realize that you are alive and little things like where you live or what your job is, or even where you will be in a week .......don't really matter.

What matters instead is that you are alive and God is still in control, and you will find a way to pick up the pieces of your shattered life. Because guns can't destroy everything.

I learned that some people will take you in. Literally take you in. Give you harbor and sanctuary. A place to lay your head. Feed you, love you, nurture you, make you feel safe again. Because of those friends I learned how to care for other people, even when it's hard, or scary, or messy.

I learned that police officers and homicide detectives can be your heros. And that prosecuting attorneys will fight with all their might against the bad guys. They will take it personally, and do everything they can to put those bad guys away.

I know for sure that most things in life are not all good or all bad.

I know what the word bittersweet means.

I know that tragedies and miracles can lay side by side on the dining room floor.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Back At It

Slacking on the posts, I know, I know.

Too busy to take the time.

I'm back.

Will get some things posted I've been working on.


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