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Farewell, Fluffy Bear

You didn’t always make it easy, but you were a good dog nonetheless. We loved you and you loved us back. I can’t thank you enough for watching over Kristen when she lived alone in that house; to you, it was instinct, same as waking in the morning, but to me it meant everything.

Thought we’d have a little more time, but that’s okay. Nine years is enough. You’ve climbed mountains, swam in rivers, and stayed in swanky hotels. We did everything we could, but it still feels like we didn’t, really. Still feels like we could’ve done a little more.

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Common Sense Traffic Rules for Which I Will Attempt to Gain Bipartisan Support

Here are the traffic rules I will enact if and when the good people of the 1st Congressional district of Colorado elect me as their representative:

  1. Just wave. When you find yourself needing the help of your fellow man in traffic, to let you into a lane or out of a parking lot, and and said fellow man does indeed let you in, for the love of God, do the decent thing and give him or her a polite wave before being on your way. This driver was not required to let you in, and yet he/she deliberately halted his/her own progress just to let you in front of him/her, in order to fix an unfavorable situation that was almost certainly caused by your own stupidity in the first place. The least you can do is throw up a kind hand in the universally accepted automotive sign for “thank you.”
    Those who refuse to wave are not only outing themselves as horse’s asses, but damaging the public good, as well. When I let someone in in traffic and they do not wave, I am rightfully infuriated, but unfortunately there’s no recourse against the offending party; indeed, I’ve already let them in, so the chance to get back at them for the slight is unlikely to arise. Instead, it makes me want to let motorists in less in the future. Thus, the asshat is worsening the traffic climate for his fellow man.
  2. Turn signal: use it. It’s there for a reason. No, you’re not above it. Just use it and stop making the rest of us guess.
  3. Zipper merge. It’s a real thing, look it up. Turns out those dudes who wait until the last second actually aren’t being buttholes.
  4. Go. My God, could you just freaking go? I mean, seriously. Move. What is taking so long? What. Just go. Moron. Go. Goooooooooooooooo.
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If the words “I’m sorry” are followed by the word “if,” it is not a real apology.

As the saying goes, a good apology has three parts:

  1. I’m sorry.
  2. It’s my fault.
  3. What can I do to make it right?

Only the ego causes us to stray from this formula.

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Heading North

grandpa-webThere’s something about a solo road trip that’s always been vaguely adventurous to me. Even if you know the route—even if you’ve already done it dozens of times before—each time you hit the road, it seems like you’re exploring it all over again. Just you and the car and the highway, and some coffee and a big bag of beef jerky. A destination; a goal. A reliance on no one else to get there. Just yourself. An isolation from the outside world, for twelve or sixteen or twenty hours inside that car. Something out of the ordinary.

I’ve always liked road trips. I do one at least once a year, from Colorado to Minnesota, always getting up early, hours before sunrise, to hit the road and watch the first light break across the Nebraska plains. Thirteen hours through farm country—Nebraska (lengthwise), Iowa, southern Minnesota—doesn’t sound appealing, but I love it. It’s the heartland, the calloused palm of our country, and it’s where I’m from. It’s the places you’ll never see if you don’t go past them, because you’ll never travel there intentionally. It’s windmills and rolling green hills and hog farms. It’s America. The real America.

Last Thursday morning I got the call I’d been expecting. Grandpa died, it’s time to come home.

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Free Shit


I’m just ducking in here quick to mention I’m doing a Goodreads giveaway for 2 signed copies of The Call of the Mountain. These are actual, real, paper, books. What a concept! It runs for 10 days or so and is free to enter. You can do so here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Call of the Mountain by Sam Neumann

The Call of the Mountain

by Sam Neumann

Giveaway ends February 08, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

I’ll have more updates coming in a week or two. Until then, hug an otter and stay the course.


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