Time keeps on slipping, into the future ...
I have so many feelings, thoughts, and recollections from 2017, and I've found it difficult to express myself. I guess the most important thing is to say THANK YOU
to all of you who loved and supported me this year.
April 2 was a special day at Canaveral National Seashore, Florida. It was then that
I could call myself a "three-time cross-country bicyclist." :)
Bike Across America - Yes, I biked across America for the third time in my life. Talk about being blessed!
For this particular tour, I named it "The Bike Ride For Empathy" and tried to teach and advocate about empathy. Please read more and enjoy my
53-day photo journal at www.bicycletrip.net.
I started at a beach in San Diego, California on February 9 and finished at Canaveral National Seashore, Florida on April 2.
While I mostly did the trip by myself, I did have 10 bicyclists ride alongside me, had 7 support vehicles help out, and only had two flat tires. :)
Working and Living in Greeley - When I returned from my bike trip,
I landed a job as a crisis clinician in Greeley, Colorado and moved there in late May. My work is rewarding. My job provides lower levels of stress than previous jobs.
And the pay and benefits are decent. I am so grateful for God leading me to this position.
As for Greeley itself, the city is as far from "Colorado mountain culture" as you can get. It does smell like a nasty feed lot about once per week.
(My nickname for Greeley is "Smellytown.") Adjacent is an oh so amazing shot of the glorious scenery in Greeley.
Not Too Shabby!
My YouTube stardom has continued to grow thanks to my "not too shabby" video series. (Okay, maybe "stardom" is an exaggeration, but let me have some fun.)
As I type this on December 31, I've now made 907 not too shabbies since the first once four years ago. Below is the playlist of all not too shabbies.
Also, to the left are some "behind the scenes" videos related to the not too shabby phenomenon. :)
Foot Surgery - Since 2015, I have been seeing doctors related to foot pain and discomfort.
In June, I decided it was time to move forward with surgeries, getting an "excision of neuroma" in the ball of both feet.
Much thanks to John and Karen Zondlo in Pueblo for hosting me during the post-surgery recovery phases.
Also, Dr. Pfau of Pueblo Ankle & Foot Care is a podiatrist and surgeon whom I recommend.
As I type this on December 31, 2017, my feet are not healed. I do believe the surgeries were worth it, but questions remain:
1) Will all this foot pain end? 2) Will I be able to walk and hike long distances?
Hopeful To Buy in Westcliffe, CO - At the end of 2017, I am under contract to buy a home in Westcliffe, Colorado
and hope to close by late January.
The big question is whether I'll keep my job in Greeley long-term or try to find something closer to my area.
Ahhh, I wonder how I did with my three words/phrases for 2017.
This is what I wrote on January 1, 2017:
"God gave me three words and phrases to meditate on this year: Truth. Decency. Dignity for all.
I definitely have room for growth with these words.
Personally, I want more than just the usual "health," "wealth," and "happiness" for the new year.
I'm in my mid-40s and it's time to serve with reckless abandon. The abused and broken need to be healed and set free.
If I'm going to call myself religious, people damn well better see Christ's love in me.
And in these dark and confusing days in American culture, fighting for the dignity of all is crucial.
Thank you for your love and friendship. Happy, happy, happy New Year!"
ColoradoGuy on Wayside - Because of my foot troubles, I didn't do much hiking. Throw in that I was living in Greeley,
and my photography was pathetic compared to the old days. I did make a few pages, at least ...
My Continued Response To Donald Trump -
Ever since the 2016 Republican primaries (when I was still a Republican), I have been speaking out
on what an evil and dangerous man Donald Trump is... and I do not use the terms "evil" and "dangerous" lightly.
In 2017, I continued to condemn Donald Trump's racism, bigotry, womanizing, habitual lying,
and disrespect for American instituations like the free press, the FBI, and DOJ.
While I was wishing I would be wrong, unfortunately I was correct in my assessment that Mr. Trump is
morally unacceptable and unfit to lead our country.
If, at the end of 2017, you're still supporting Donald Trump, or you continue to defend, rationalize, or "look at the other way" towards
his vile and immoral behaviors, well, you and I will probably buck heads... ESPECIALLY if you call yourself a "Christian."
There is no honorable reason for anyone, let alone someone who purports to follow Jesus Christ, to be backing this godless demogogue at this point.
Fantasy Football - The Garbage Cans went 9-4.
I won my division, won the first round of the playoffs, and then fell in the semifinals.
I won the "third place" game which is not too shabby in an 18-team league. :)
Much thanks to my core starters Russell Wilson, Michael Thomas, and Brandin Cooks.
I didn't have a stud running back for much of the year, although Rex Burkhead filled in nicely for a few weeks before getting hurt.
Cameron Brate chipped in but fizzled in the second half of the season. And my kicker, Greg Zuerlein of the Rams, was the top scoring kicker in the league.
Congratulations to the champion Kansas City BBQs (run by Alan) and Kevin Pace (who ran The Away Team) for winning manager of the year.
A nice tweet by Pastor Brian Zahnd. He's worthy of a follow: @brianzahnd.
Last but not least, I want to thank my God for never leaving me in 2017. It's hard to express all that I'm thinking and feeling as the year comes to an end.
-Life often seems meaningless.
-Being single can be hard.
-The hypocrisy of evangelicalism is sad and sickening.
-It is easy to become bitter and cynical.
I have many hopes and dreams for 2018, and I sense my focus needs to be loving people radically.
I'll close this page with a quote:
"If our deepest dreams aren’t about other people, then we have settled for
mere power and accomplishment—the self-absorption of narcissism. Our deepest
and truest dreams must bring good to someone who is without justice, reconciliation, or hope." ~Dan Allender