On Sunday October 25TH we will have my dad’s one year memorial service. The start of college football this fall had already brought back many memories. In the fall of 1972, I was a sophomore at the University of Colorado-Boulder. I had just purchased football tickets for Saturday’s game against Air Force Academy for my dad, my mom and sister.  After watching Ralphie lead the team onto the field, being in a jam packed stadium full of noisy fans and watching the Buffs throttle Air Force, my dad was hooked. Later that day, we found out that this had been the very first football game that my dad had ever attended.

The biggest thrill for my dad came when in 1991 we were able to attend the Orange Bowl in Miami and watch the Buffs win the national title. On the flight home, my dad sat next to the Governor ( also a huge CU fan ) and while the rest of us on the flight tried to get some rest we could hear the Governor and my dad using their “inside voices” talking about the game.

My dad used to say that he had so many Buffs shirts that he could wear a different one every day for the rest of his life. This probably was close to being true since for every Christmas, birthday and Father’s day he did get a new Buffs shirt.

My dad was also extremely proud to have voted for president Obama twice (” I never thought I would live long enough to see a black men elected President” ). He also ,with a little urging, voted to legalize marijuana. he was always grateful that Colorado never broke out into reefer madness as many people warned would happen. He also supported gay marriage or as he would say ” Joe’s people have a right to get married just like anyone else”. It made me feel like Moses ( my people ).

Code This

On October first of this year the medical community of the United States will join the rest of the world’s medical community. This will be the day that this country finally enacts the new medical codes to be used for billing. We are just slightly behind the rest of the world ( 10 years and yes we are literally the last country to adopt these new codes ). So, if you go to your doctor’s office or a hospital and see people behaving weirdly, they have a good reason because literally thousands of medical codes now have brand new numbers.

Of course there is a coding converter available on line. I just hope that when I am converting old codes ( ICD9 ) to new codes ( ICD10 ), that I don’t accidently pick a pregnancy code for some of our patients ( we deal mostly with the elderly in the home healthcare business ). Imagine the surprise of some of these elderly patients ( especially the men ), when they find that   they are being charged for pregnancy services. Of course there is that saying ” It is never too late”.

After talking with some of my friends that are still doing medical coding, it appears that some may retire early due to the stress of the conversion. After a while you memorize certain codes that you use over and over. Now all that has changed. This made me think though, I wonder if they have a new code for suicide from coding stress. Seems that this could become a popular code in the coming months.

The Saint Nicholas National Shrine Weekend

This coming Sunday the parishioners At Saint Catherine and Assumption Cathedral will be having a joint service at the Cathedral to show unity and support and raise money for the new Saint Nicholas Parish which was destroyed on 9/11.  This means the Church will be packed. We decided as a family that cousin Mary Johns will spend Friday night at the Cathedral and make sure that our pews are there for us on Sunday. We don’t want any of those “foreigners” from the other Church taking our seats.

Plus communion should be interesting. I have been to several services at Saint Catherine Church and the people there are just way too polite. They actually wait for the usher to dismiss them to go to the altar when Communion is announced. At the Cathedral when Communion is announced it is everyone for themselves. People jump out of their pews and race to be first in line for Communion ( Now these are my type of Greeks). The folks from Saint Catherine better be careful or they will be trampled on their way to Communion.

I was also thinking that we could do something to make the event more lively and memorable. Perhaps divide the Cathedral in half  and then like at a football game have each side wear their chosen Church colors. Plus you would have religious cheers to liven things up. Perhaps :   ” We have Jesus, Yes we do” We have Jesus, How about you?”  Yes a a bit unconventional but it would be very memorable.

Religious Freedom

If I read one more article about that dim witted Kim Davis in Kentucky and how her religious freedoms are under attack I think I will puke. It appears her Evangelical followers need a lesson in American history. They claim that the United States was founded as a “Christian” nation. Not true. This country was founded on the premise of separation of Church and state with NO official national religion. They use the phrase “One nation under God” to support their claim. However, that phrase was not added to the pledge of allegiance or put on our money until the 1950’s when everyone feared that the would would turn atheist Communist.

It is that dim bulb Davis that is trying to push her religious beliefs on others. The couples are seeking civil marriage licenses. They are not demanding that any Church marry them. And civil gay weddings were made the law of the land by the Supreme Court.

Plus, is the dimwitted Davis really the shining example of marital sanctity that these Evangelical supporters want to defend? It appears she has been married 5 times ( I guess in fairness you could say only 4 because one of these brain dead men married her twice ). Not only that her children were not conceived by the man she was married to at the time. Now since these “religious” fanatics are so intent on following the Bible verbatim, then it appears that Davis should be stoned to death. “The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. ”

Let me just say that Colorado has plenty of rocks, so all we need is a time and place. I would prefer that it not be on a Saturday though. I would hate to miss any College football games.

The Flea Market

A few weeks ago a friend and I went to the flea market. I hadn’t been in many years and boy have things changed. The flea market used to be individuals selling items they no longer wanted and other individuals buying these these items and taking them home as newly found treasures. This is where that saying ” One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” comes from. You just have to be lucky enough to find someone that falls in love with your trash when you are trying to dispose of it.

Now , the flea market is nothing more than permanent stalls filled with new items. Often more than one stall of some particular items. The day my friend and I went the big sell of the day was bras 3 for $10.00 dollars or Nike shoes , 2 pairs for $35.00. There was also a full scale Mexican market ( it was huge ), Several bars, rides for the kids ( bumper cars etc. ), many small cafes, the ever popular turkey legs and live entertainment. Where were the individuals selling their used items? Have they migrated to someplace else?

I will always remember one particular trip to the flea market. It was years ago when one of my mother’s sisters from California was visiting. She was a frequent visitor to the flea markets in California and we promised to take her to the one in Denver. This was back in the day and as we entered there were rows and rows of individuals selling their used items that they no longer wanted. Then as we wandered down one particular row we all stopped in are tracks. There was an item that we had never before seen at the flea market – an empty casket.

Now what made this item especially strange is that usually people brought used items to sell. We never did get an answer from the man when we asked if this was a used casket. And if it was where was the original owner? I have always wondered if the man was able to sell that casket. I must say he did have it at a very affordable price.

Do You Take This Man?

From the beginning when someone asked me what I wanted in a relationship, I would always answer ” Someone breathing”.  However, over the years I have refined my answer. Now I say someone very wealthy ( yes, I know money can’t buy love but think of all the other things that it can buy). Then I add that he must have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. This leads to oops, gee I don’t know how he fell down all those stairs.

Oh course such a tragedy must be accompanied by very proper mourning. As we all know the best and most proper way to mourn is a trip to Europe. While in Europe it is only proper that you mourn by staying in the best hotel, preferably in the pent house suite. ( You know you need room and luxury to mourn properly ). Finally, as everyone knows, the best way to mourn is with new clothes. I mean really how can you mourn properly in old clothing? Buying new and very fashionable clothes should not present any problems while you are in Europe. This way when people see you walking down the street in that new Armani suit, they will say ” Look at that poor man in that beautiful new suit. He must be very deep in mourning”. Just remember to also save plenty of money and not spend it all on mourning. After all life goes on and there is no reason it should go on with you being poor.

Recently there has been an ads all over the place for a dating site “” . They have that catchy jingle ” You don’t have to be lonely at Farmers Only .com” Of course I would modify it just a bit to: ” You would have to be crazy to use Farmers Only .com”. I mean what gay guy wants to live in the country with all those slimy creepy crawly things? I do admit that there are slimy creepy crawly things in the city also but they are usually all people.

Greek Time

Growing up I heard the phrase “running on Greek time ” very often and not in a good way.  You would hear ” No , they are not late . They are simply running on Greek time”. Or “Somehow we missed our flight at the airport. They just won’t adjust their flights for Greek time”. Yes, this even creeps into Church services. More than once I have heard people ask the Priest ” Why did you start services so early?” When the Priest would reply ” But I started them at 9:30 when they are supposed to start”. The reply back that he would get was usually ” Yes, but we come every week. Why can’t you wait for us to enter the Church before starting?” ( why indeed). One good thing about Greek time, I will be late for my own funeral!

My dad for some reason ran on the opposite of Greek time. If you didn’t arrive at an event at least 3 hours early, then you were running late. For example, when we would go to visit relatives in Salt Lake City, we would leave at 1AM. This way when are relatives were getting out of bed bright and early the very  first thing they would see at their front door was us. (Surprise!!). Or when we would go to the University of Colorado bowl games. We didn’t want to miss our flight so we would normally get to the airport at least 3 hours early ( yes even for the chartered flights). Of course the fun in this was being able to help the janitors clean the airport or when the shop owners arrived to open their stores we were also there to help them with that.

Odd Things

On my drive to work, I pass Fairmont Cemetery. This last Friday there was a big banner hanging on one of the fences. In nice bold letters was printed ” Tonight is movie night. Bring your family and friends”. Now I have seen where theaters and other places have a family movie night, but a cemetery?  I mean what is the main feature ” Night of the Living Dead”? Do they invite “special” guests?

I passed a Church that had  a sign that read ” God will be having a reunion. Will you be there”? I have never been that crazy about reunions. Family reunions can be very awkward because there are always a few weird relatives that you always feel that you must be nice to. ( Example : cousin Nicole the Feta cheese heiress – awkward with a capital A!!).

Then there is the Republican radio ad. It starts out with a soft spoken woman saying ” There are people out there who believe in racial equality, in choice for women, in marriage equality, and in free education for college so that when your child graduates they are not in debt”.  Who are these people? – Republicans”. Is this a joke? Apparently the people behind this ad didn’t bother to watch the last Republican debate. Was this made as a joke to make people laugh? I guess that one of the major draw backs of free speech is that it does allow people to lie. This ad is a whopper!!

Finally there is the restaurant with the big banner that reads. “Biggest and best selection all you can eat brunch in Metro Denver”! Then in much smaller letters underneath it reads ” Limit one serving per customer”.

Who will Fix This Car?

When I was learning to drive, my dad decided to also teach me how to fix a car. I think we both knew that this was a doomed effort but it must be said that he did try. Even now I can remember his calm words of encouragement ” The oil doesn’t go in there!! Why did you put the windshield cleaner in the gas tank?”!!

Now, in my defense, realistically what gay guy works on cars? I mean you have grease and oil – bleah! On the other hand, ask me to set a table for a formal dinner – perfection! Besides, what gay guy with any brains doesn’t have a lesbian best friend that loves to work on cars? This is what nature intended. Why mess with the natural order of the world?

Plus , why do mechanics have to use such strange language? The other day I needed to have my muffler fixed ( Yes, I do know where the muffler is located). The mechanic started telling me all about rods and bolts and manifolds and something being unhinged. I became unhinged just listening to what he was saying. Why not use plain English? All he had to do was just tell me that the one thing a ma jig had gotten disconnected from the other thing a ma jig. Now those are words that normal people understand. Apparently he was very successful in fixing my thing a ma jig, because my car is running great now.

So, You Want To Work in A Pot Shop

Now, first let me be perfectly clear about one thing. I am not advocating for anyone to change careers and go to work in the pot industry. However, I must say that currently pot shops are Colorado’s fastest growing business and they have helped thousands of Coloradans find jobs. Besides, wouldn’t it be better to work in a pot shop than to have someone tell you that you look like you’ve gone to pot?

First, you must use correct language. These are not pot shops. They are Marijuana dispensaries. We have several varieties. There are the ones that sell for medicinal purposes ( these have been around for several years now ). Then you have the recreational usage shops and finally shops that sell both. Also, not just any ordinary Joe can work in these places. ( Of course I consider myself to be an extraordinary Joe ). University of Colorado and several other colleges have now developed majors in Marijuana cultivation. In a few years you may need a masters degree just to work in one of these places.

You have to pass a background and credit check plus most important of all the drug test.  Plus the industry is more than just selling pot. Grads from the top agricultural schools are getting very good paying jobs. So are programmers, attorneys, security system installation specialists, designers, chemists, biologists and  lab technicians. Yes, Colorado may have gone to pot but to the tune of over 60 million in the first year. ( all going to the schools ). Who knows one day I may even become Colorado’s very own pot king. ( better be very nice to me ).


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