Friday, April 28, 2006


One of my Sunshine neighbors, Maggie, works in one of the high-rise buildings in downtown Denver.  She leaves Sunshine around 6:30 in the morning, Monday thru Friday.  She drives down Sunshine Canyon Drive, thru Boulder and onto US 36, the Boulder Turnpike.  It’s still called the turnpike even though the toll booths were removed many years ago.  Her drive continues onto Interstate 25 and then on Spear Boulevard into Downtown Denver.  It is a 35 mile drive that takes about 55 minutes on a good day.

            Her office is on the 48th floor.  There are 35 people sharing the small space, crammed into small cubicles.  There is a large open space where all of the workers share three FAX machines and two copiers.  There is also a large bank of filing cabinets.  Maggie told me a story about an incident involving a mouse last week.  One of the file clerks opened a filing cabinet drawer and saw a mouse.  She jumped, uttered the appropriate shriek and slammed the drawer.  She immediately ran to her desk and called the building maintenance department to report the incident.

            Fifteen minutes later a maintenance worker appeared.  He checked every filing cabinet, inside and out.  He could not find the mouse.  The mouse was probably just as frightened as the clerk and left soon after the drawer slamming.  With other jobs to do, the maintenance worker asked the clerk to sign the work order “completed”.  The clerk refused, saying she wouldn’t sign until she saw him remove the mouse.  The maintenance worker said “Listen lady, the work order says ‘chase mouse’ not ‘produce mouse’ and I did that”.  The file clerk thought about it for a minute and then signed the work order.  The mouse hasn’t been seen since.


Smiles, David

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Wednesday morning walk

Milo and I headed down the muddy driveway about 7:15 this morning.  He was so happy, jumping up and down, chasing those imaginary bunny rabbits.  We saw Bob and the school bus before we reached the flag pole.  Malcom was with us so Bob threw out two treats.  This morning at the flag raising, I had four dogs helping me.  Milo, Malcom, Maui and Plato.  Jill stopped and asked if I had seen Berta (neighbors black lab).  She runs with Berta in the evenings.  Berta has not been around for several days.  I told her I would watch for her.  See, even the neighbors think I know all the dogs in the neighborhood. 

We had two days of snow (6") and below freezing weather.  This morning it was clear and the temperature was rising rapidly.  I sure am glad I wore my hat.  The snow was melting on the pine tree branches and dropping on us like rain.  30 degrees yesterday and 70 degrees today.  It must be spring time in the Rockies!

Dennis and Suzi (BIL & SIL) left for Hawaii (The big island) yesterday.  They have some land and are going to build a house over there.  I will miss them.

Things are starting to get busy in Sunshine.  Wine tasting and FAC (Friday afternoon club) will be starting up again.  When I logged on this morning I found this:




Can you smell the mintyet?? It’s time for juleps at the Gatza Home in Sunshine!


Saturday, May 6, 2006.


We’ll start around 2:00 p.m, but don’t be too late or you’ll miss the race!



Mint juleps and snacks will be provided, but feel free to bring something to share.


Ladies feel free to sport the most pretentious derby bonnet you can!

Please no dogs.


Smiles, David

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Mummmm, mummmm good flap jacks

Milo is really angry with me.  We did not take a walk together today.  I left for the firehouse early. My loving wife volunteered me to be traffic director at the FlapJack Fling today.  (That will teach me to miss an organizational meeting!)  I arrived just after 7 AM and adorned my red and yellow safety vest.  Because of the width of Sunshine Canyon Drive, we have to restrict parking to one side of the road.  My recruited helper, Col. Wain and I placed red safety cones on the far side of the road.  Even though the event started at 9AM, two hours away, traffic was arriving early.  I had to send my son, Nathan, back to the house to pick up my SPF5000.  The sun was bright and it was getting warm.  Nathan was nice enough to raise the flag today.

The event went well.  Wanda, the organizer had planned on 300 people.  The last person was served at 11:15, I surveyed the food situation.  Wanda had planned perfectly.  There were probably around 350 including the people who just wanted to participate in the community meeting.  At about 1:30 a cold wind started blowing in from the west. and we closed it down.  Tut, Tut, it looks like rain and snow (up to 6" by tomorrow night).

I didn't mention anything when daylight savings took affect, but, I would like to mention it now.  Please change the batteries in your smoke detector.  One of the discussions we had at the community meeting was the reason the firehouse does not have a smoke detector.  The new station will be equipped with a device that will call up to four phone numbers if it detects an abnormal high heat.  A smoke detector does not offer the best protection for a building that is void of people most of the time.

My friend, Chris, sent this to me.  I'd like to share it with you. Enjoy!

 Once again, The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to their yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate  meanings for common words.

The winners are:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained

3. Abdicate (v), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absent-mindedly answer the door in your nightgown

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp

8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash

9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline

11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists

13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist

14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your Soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there

16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men

***second batch***

1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

9. Karmageddon (n): It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

15. Caterpallor (n.): The colour you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:

16. Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an a**hole. 

Smiles, David

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thursday morning walk - Lyrid Meteor shower

Milo and I started down the driveway at 7:10 this morning.  It was bright and crisp.  We put the flag up and remembered all of the people on my list.  I know I am missing one person I promised to add to my list.  Please let me know who it is.  Those remembered are:

My father, Col D.J. Wheeler

My BIL, Mark, currently in Iraq



Emily's husband, Tony, currently in Iraq

Emily's father

Don Trickey

Jeremy Allen

Andrew's brother, MIA, Iraq

Spc. Matt Maupin  MIA, Iraq (Thanks Amanda for reminding me)

All of the British troop currently serving in Iraq

The families of all the troops who have died in Iraq, both American and British

Milo and I continued our walk.  This morning we saw Milo's friends:  Thor, Saga, Maui, Plato, Riley, Nuka and Scooter.  We have a neighbor who is intimidated by Milo so I had to keep him on a leash.  Bob stopped the bus and reminded us that there is NO school tomorrow, so we will see him again on Monday.

When I returned to my desk, I had a note from Inger.

"Earth is about to pass through the dusty tail of Comet Thatcher, and this will cause the annual Lyrid meteor shower. Forecasters expect the shower to peak on April 22nd, producing about 10 meteors per hour--modest, but pretty. The best time to look is during the hours before sunrise on Saturday morning. Go to a dark site away from city lights, if possible.

The Moon will also encounter the comet's tail on April 22nd, which raises an interesting possibility: Amateur astronomers may be able to spot flashes of light on the Moon when comet debris hits the lunar surface and explodes. All that's required is a backyard telescope and lots of patience.

Visit for details, sky maps and observing tips."

We live far away from the city lights and usually have a very good view of such events.

Sunshine Firehouse Flapjack Fling!!

Sunday, April 23



9-11 a.m.

Adults - $5 - Kids under 12 - $3

Breakfast followed by a


I just received a Syrah wine list from my uncle at the Gem Wine Cellar.  He recommends:

Billi Billi Shiraz 2002  Australia
Eagle  & Rose Estate 2000 Napa Valley
Jeriko 2002  Mendocino County
Barrel Monkeys  2004 Shiraz  Australia
Fort Walla Walla 2002 Columbia Valley, WA
Justin 2001 Mendocino Valley

Smiles, David


Monday, April 17, 2006

The bears are out!


Einstein and his mom

No more sleeping for the bears.  We have had a period of sixty degree plus weather so I guess they figured it was time to end their winter nap.  I'm sure they are very hungry.  The dogs are acting differently and they are very vocal.

Milo and I started out for our walk at 7:10 this morning.  We raised the flag as usual.  I read the names on my list.  Steve and Julies dog, Maui joined us in the flag ceremony.  Their other dog, Plato, joined us later.  We made it to the fork.  Milo sat and waited for his treat.  The new neighbors in the new house at the fork have a dog (like who up here doesn't).  They acquired it at the pound.  It is missing one hind leg.  It's name is Scooter.  Go figure.

Bob stopped the school bus, threw Milo a treat and we talked.  Most of the time, we chat about something or another.  This morning we talked about the mountain lion  (AKA couger) attack on an seven year-old boy on one of the trails a short distance from Boulder.  The wildlife management team found the lion and put it down.  I hate seeing that but it has to be done.  The boy is doing well.  Bob asked me if I had seen any lions.  I told him about my sightings.  I told him to talk to our mayor, Chris about the lions.  I am not too worried.  The lions do not like to be around humans.  Deer meat tastes better, I'm sure!   Besides, Milo would let me know if one was near.  He won't even go outside if there is one around.

On the return trip we met Sara and her dog.  Riley is its name.  Riley is becoming much more friendly.  Especially now that I give it a treat every time I see it.  Sara walked with me for a while and we chatted.  It's nice to get to know the new neighbors.  It also gave the new dog (Riley) a chance to feel more comfortable around Milo.

We hope you had a nice Easter or Passover, which ever you celebrate.  We had an Easter egg hunt yesterday.  Janice hid candy, money and lottery tickets in the eggs.  All the kids are in high school or older now so the hunt has taken on a different view.  It was kind of funny watching all the adults looking for Easter eggs.  72 degrees today, 40's tomorrow with a chance of snow.

Sunshine Firehouse Flapjack Fling!!

Sunday, April 23



9-11 a.m.

Adults - $5 - Kids under 12 - $3

Breakfast followed by a


Are you a Turtle?

Keep Smiling,  David


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Thursday morning walk

Milo and I headed down the driveway at 6:55 this morning.  It is a beautiful morning, not a cloud in the sky and a warm 56 degrees.  We stopped at the school house and raised the US flag.  We continued past Steve and Julies, the burnt out firestation #1 and approached the bear corner.  That is the corner were I was face to face with a bear (Could have been Einstein) last fall.  It is also the corner that the new dog first approached me.  We are starting to make friends.  On my evening walk last night (yes I do the same thing every evening, except I lower the flag) I met the new dogs owner.  Her name is Sara.  She apologized for having such a nasty, loud dog.  Sara explained that it is a pound puppy and it has issues.  I got to pet the dog and gave it a treat.  I had stopped and put Milo's lease on him.  The two dogs were both wagging their tails.  We'll keep working on this issue.

The U-haul's been been busy in Sunshine.  This morning I saw three new cars leaving Sunshine.  Wain stopped to talk for a moment.  Wain is a general aviation pilot.  We were talking about how this morning would be a great morning to go flying.  I said we should fly up to Steamboat Springs for breakfast.  Unfortunately, I have to work.  Maybe this weekend.  Bob stopped the school bus and gave Milo a treat.  We both agreed that if the weather continues that way it is, it won't be long until the bears will be out.  I walked in the middle of the road as much as I could today.  The ticks are as bad as I have ever seen them.  There use to be a warning sign at the end of our road.  It warned that this is a heavily tick infested area.  Patty, I wonder who put that sign up?

The is a sign on the door of the school house announcing the annual meeting of the Sunshine Cemetery Board of Directors.  It will be held at the school house on Thursday evening, April 20th at 7PM.

There is also a sign stating that the Sunshine Fire Protection District will be holding their board meeting on Thursday, April 13th at 7:30 PM, at the new fire house, station #2.

Sunshine Firehouse Flapjack Fling!!

Sunday, April 23



9-11 a.m.

Adults - $5 - Kids under 12 - $3

Breakfast followed by a


Keep smiling, David

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sunshine Firehouse Flapjack Fling

Sunshine Firehouse Flapjack Fling!!


Sunday, April 23



9-11 a.m.

Adults - $5 - Kids under 12 - $3

Breakfast followed by a


Please bring your family & join the Sunshine Fire Department for breakfast and to celebrate our new Fire Station at 5800 Sunshine Canyon Drive.

After breakfast, we will have a community meeting to share information about the recent fires and to hear your ideas and comments.

(Please, no dogs)


The is a sign on the door of the school house announcing the annual meeting of the Sunshine Cemetery Board of Directors.  It will be held at the school house on Thursday evening, April 20th at 7PM.

There is also a sign stating that the Sunshine Fire Protection District will be holding their board meeting on Thursday, April 13th at 7:30 PM, at the new fire house, station #2.

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Mountain Volleyball


Look, there's Milo!  On the other side of the volleyball court, you can see several picnic tables.  We will be adding horse-shoe pits this summer.

Three years ago my oldest son, Nathan, took on his Eagle Scout project.  He wanted to build a community volleyball court.  The fire department said it could be build on the land between the two firehouses, just below the Sunshine Cemetery.  The project was finished in October of 2004.

We put the net up sometime in April and take it down just after Halloween.  If next weekend is snow-free, we will install the net.

Mountain Volleyball adds a new dimension to the game.  If the ball is knocked out of bounds and it rolls down the hill, we have time for a drink or two before we can put it back in play.  We play community volleyball.  Everyone can play, no matter what the age.

The is a sign on the door of the school house announcing the annual meeting of the Sunshine Cemetery Board of Directors.  It will be held at the school house on Thursday evening, April 20th at 7PM.

There is going to be a community pancake breakfast in a couple of weeks at the new firehouse.  I will post more when I have the details.

Keep smiling, David

PS, last year we had a guest stop by.


fyi, it's a red fox  :-)




Friday, April 7, 2006

Friday Morning walk

Milo and I started our walk at 6:45 this morning.  The air was perfectly calm.  It was like being in the eye of a storm, for all around us the clouds were churning.  We could see the moisture above us, but nothing was hitting the ground.  We walked to the school house and raised the flag.  This morning we decided to take a different route.  We walked up past the old school, behind the burnt out fire house, past the volleyball court and to the new firehouse.  We returned on our usual route.  There was no barking dog, even though I was prepared with doggy treats.  As we started up the driveway, the snow started falling.  It is a very soft, gentle snow.  A strange snow, contrary to the predictions;  strong winds and heavy snow.  It is 38 degrees and there is no wind.  The plains below us are getting hit with a Spring blizzard.

Sometimes it's nice to add a little variety to life.  I was once asked if I was afraid of change.  I replied that I do like some routine in my life. Then I was asked if I was happy with the amount of money I was making.  Of course, I said no, I wanted to make more.  Then this very wise man asked me "If you do not change anything, you will never make any more than you are now.  What are you going to change, that will give you the ability to make more money?"  Well, HELLO!!!!! It was like someone hit me in the forehead with a 2 X 4!

That little bit of advise made a major impact in my life.  It started out quietly and slowly.  I decided the next morning to take a different route to work.  I started reading about topics that were related to my job.  I took classes at the local community college and found myself obtaining a business degree.  Promotions followed and, of course I made more money.  So, let me ask you.  Are you happy with what you are doing?  If not, what are you going to do to change it?  If you are, congratulations!  Just remember, never stop learning.  The human brain is too magnificent to let go idol.


The Oregon coast, just south of Seaside.

I ran into our mayor, Chris, this morning.  He stopped to tell me a story.  While he was stopped at the bar last night enjoying a beer, the guy next to him was talking to the bartender.  Chris overheard the conversation.  The customer said he was really feeling down.  The bartender asked him why.  He said his wife had cut him off.  The bartender replied "Hummm, I see what you mean, she cut off two of my other customers too."

I always count on Chris to have a story or two.  Most of them I won't repeat in this forum.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Signs of Spring


I can not grow roses at this altitude but the Columbine love it here.  These are last summers colors.

Milo and I headed down the drive way at 7:10 this morning.  For some reason, Malcom would not go out the front door.  That is usually a sign the the Mt. Lion has been around.  If that was so, Milo would have stayed in also.  I think Malcom just wanted to sleep a little more.  We stopped at the flag pole, raised the flag and honored our service men and their families.  There are 18 names on my list now.  I have been asked how I get the dogs to sit at attention.  It's easy.  I keep a pocket full of treats.  They know they will get a treat if they "sit" while I raise the colors.  We have some new neighbors that live just below the road.  They have a not-so-friendly dog.  This morning it charged at me, showing its teeth, hair on end and tail down.  Not a good situation.  Milo, my protector, took care of the situation.  He thought it wanted to play.  I'll have to share treats with it.  It may take a while but we will  become friends.

When we returned home, a cold wind started to blow.  It's 30 degrees colder today than yesterday.  I walked by the garden and noticed a subterranean prelude.  The rhubarb is starting to show it's red tops.  A sure sign spring is here.


Tuesday, April 4, 2006

The Band changed their name again!



Oh my goodness....The Blowtorch Hilbillies changed their name again!  That drummer needs a haircut.

These posters are showing up all over Boulder this week!

I'm back from Arizona.  Harry and Audie (FIL & MIL) went to spend some time in their Arizona house.  I went down to help them hook up their Dish Network, computer and phone line.  By the time I arrived, my son Michael, had it all done!  It was a good excuse to find some warm weather and a little sun anyway.  While we were there we went shopping at the Apache Junction Flea Market and spent half a day walking around Ikea, a hugh store full of merchandise from Sweden.  What fun!!!!

(Late entry)  I love the desert in the spring.  The Saguaro look so majestic, the Cholla add texture, the Ocotilla with their red flowers, the Prickley Pear and Centry Plants, the Yucca and the Palo Verde, the Mesquite and the Desert Scotch Bloom.  They add so much beauty to the dry soil. 


After 10 chemo sessions, the tumor is growning, not shrinking.  We were hoping for better news. There is a Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.  It's time for a second opinion. We are hoping the change in climate will do some good.  We hope to see them again sometime towards the end of May. (There is almost as much hoping going on around here as there is praying)

Milo was happy to see us walk in the door at 2:30 this morning.  We will resume our morning walks tomorrow.

Keep smiling!  David