Tag Archives: Wyoming

My Unabashed Wyoming Bias

I have to admit it;  I am completely enamored and biased by people from Wyoming.  Specifically Cheyenne, Wyoming.

I was born there; raised there, excited to leave there, and reluctant to come back.

I’ve said it once and I will say it again; I think I came from a really special “breeding ground.”  It gave us everything other than what we wanted, and we made do  with what we had.

I stepped outside my FB echo chamber today, to check out my Cheyenne Friends List.  I set this up almost ten years ago, as a new offering on the FB platform.

See it automatically set up a “Cheyenne, Wy” friend group, but it was purely based on the people who listed Cheyenne as their current home town.  At that point I created my own list including people I have known over the 18 years of growing up, and then adding people I met living there, from real life and online interactions.

Some of my favorite people from my past, exist on that list.  I root for them the hardest.  I believe in them the most.  They rarely disappoint.

By this point in my life, I thought I would be the type of person that  would be “followed” or “friended” for this specific type of list but somewhere down the line I really stopped giving a fuck and I am sure people have noticed and unfollowed or unfriended me along the way.

I am no longer the over achieving-personality pleasing person I thought I was.  I am not jumping large social hurdles, or even putting up much appearance at all.  I am okay with that because it leaves me time and energy to root on other people.  It gives me something outside of myself to “believe in.”

Personally, I feel pretty solid in the fact that I have to keep myself in balance  enough to the point that I can’t really rely on others for supplemental encouragement or energy; nor do I want to be an energetic vampire.  So we sit in stasis.

I will admit I know some amazing people who  continue to exist with amounts of personal drive that I have a hard time fathoming, but probably could have trumped in my earlier years.

These people are from my home town.  These are people I want to follow. People I knew, “once upon a time.”

I want to see how they thrive and fall.  I want to be there to encourage them no matter what.

But I feel this way about other people who have fallen in and out of my periphery since then.  I never want to see them hurt.  I do not want to contribute to their pain.  I believe in them and their purpose.

Perhaps it is just those old stories, of when we were young and lacking confidence and suddenly found ourselves falling into a new group of friends, or perhaps it is just that rubbernecking attitude like watching a car wreck on the highway; I will never leave on a purposefully mean note.  I may not agree with everything they say, but I feel that they represent me on some level, whether due to geography of once upon a time or some other relating factor, I believe deeply in who those people are and what they have to offer.

I love my Wyoming Kin.  I love having a list to check up on, when I am curious.

I say : Go dominate the world with the amazingness that  you are my fellow Wyomites.  Always ask Wy-Om-In(g) here?  Wy-Om-I- (will)ngly to stay or go?  You know the Wind will always blow you in the right direction, if you are listening.

Wyoming- sometimes you aggravate the shit out of me, but for some reason, I always have your back; the people you produce and spit into the vast space of time and separation are worth keeping and holding close.  I will remember this when you forget.

Wyoming you are more akin to the dandelion than you are the Indian Paintbrush… unless of course they are plant cousins, and then I can see the relation and purpose in distinction.

Here is a bowl-full of love for the vast, beautiful creativity that was able to dissipate outside the square we were living in.  I hope to see your beautiful faces, sooner than later.

In the meantime, we will still be here waiting for you to return with your wild seeds, ready and willing to plant a new and colorful generation.

Advertisements

Richard Johnson, Renegade Politician Pt.1

If you are a Cheyenne resident voter that follows local politics, the name of Richard Johnson, has probably popped up in conversation more than once around the water cooler.

In all seriousness, it appears that he has a completely diametric effect on those who have taken notice of his politics; whether from the outside looking in, or first hand. You either love him, hate him or find yourself completely confused by him and his presence in the political arena. Some may say, though, that “that’s par for the course when it comes to politicians.” Rich, however, is far from par for the course when it comes to politics.

And, now, our Black Sheep Councilman, is running for Mayor, on a write in campaign.

Richard is a life long resident of Cheyenne. Being labeled as “subversive” or “controversial” is nothing new when it comes to how he chooses to play his role in the game of society. Even from a young age, Rich was getting things done in a manner of hard grit sandpaper. Ruffling feathers with his ideas; all the while making strong attempts to bring sub-sectors of our community, places and ways to feel involved.

Take for instance, his involvement and passion to help get the skate park built.

I remember this town before there was a skate park.
Though I didn’t skate, many of my friends did and I knew how badly they wanted a place to go; a magical place where they could do what  they wanted to; a place where they weren’t going to get yelled at or cited for “illegal skating.”

Rich was just a few years older, and cared about skating AND politics enough to jump in; because, even when building a skate park, it all comes down to politics and support of the community.

At a first and superficial glance some may assumed that Rich is just out to break things. Breaking the systems and people who view him as obstructive or destructive… but can One individual really break something that is already blocked and/ or broken? Can One individual use their own transparency to show others that they need not pretend that superficial fixes and ignorance will alleviate a certain history of systematic dysfunction, that no longer fits our growing and changing economy?

I suppose Richard is out to challenge that in a very direct way that will yet again ruffle feathers.

This is not to say that in the process of his involvement, officially with the City Council, that he hasn’t himself changed, and noticeably so….

It’s a moody spring day in Cheyenne, Thursday in the Third week of May; we decide to meet up at the new Danielmark’s Brewpub, to discuss his effect on the community, and the reasons for the write in campaign.

Rich looks like I feel; tired, and perhaps retaining some water. On his head is a black ball cap that proclaims “DON’T ASK ME 4 SHIT!”… ironic accessory to wear to an interview… when all I have is answers to ask for.

As per usual, he has also accessorized with one of his favorite black metal band t-shirts; today it’s Panzerfaust. According to Wikipedia “Panzerfaust is an inexpensive, single shot, recoil-less German anti-tank weapon of World War II. It consists of a small, disposable pre-loaded launch tube firing a high-explosive anti-tank warhead, and was intended to be operated by a single soldier. ” This could be the end of this article. Whether or not he realizes it (and I guess that he does), he sums himself up consistently, without the help of others.

My hope for this series of pieces, is to give you a more clear view of where Rich stands on topics effecting this town.  For those of you who may be on the fence, or just on the side of the fence where the haters hang out; This is for you.

We grab our brews, and head out the the nice new Danielmark’s patio, and jump straight into it.

“Well, Rich, tell me about how you have become who you’ve hated?”

Basically over the last month I have done a huge paradigm shift from who I was before January 5, 2015. Pretty much before that I was an idealist, and now I am the fucking worst pessimist you’ve ever fucking met.

“So you basically skipped realism, and jumped straight to pessimism?”

Yeah, it’s pretty much, this whole escapade is total fucking failure. At least my site lives up to it’s name now. (The infamous FaceBook page “Richard Johnson, You Failed This City)

“Why are you feeling so disappointed?”

Well, because I know that there are ebbs and flows, and right now it’s on a flow, and soon it will be on an ebb…and we’re going to get another old man as Mayor. And I bet you that this year the status quo is going to go out in droves and kill everything (progressive.) I was actually waiting for more candidates to run against me, not because of who I am, but basically because of what I stand for. So I thought there would be a lot more opposition candidates. I mean they have nine more days to file… I figured they would come in a put the kibosh on it. I mean if they really look at it, I haven’t done anything except repeal some laws and ordinances. Like spitting is coming up, and weapons. Basically chickens was a thing that nobody thought should happen, but I just did it to piss people off.

“Are you maybe just being a little too hard on yourself? I mean, you have only been in the position a year, and it probably takes at least a year to figure out what you are doing, since you hadn’t done it before.”

No, I knew exactly what I was doing. I did it with the skate park. I knew what government was all about, that’s why I thought I could just, kind of, mesh in. But, you know, really, it’s just smoke and mirrors. I don’t really feel like anything has really been accomplished in seventeen months.

“But, you didn’t have a clear plan, right?”

No. And I never do. I never run on that type of shit. I told them, that I have no agenda. For my write in, let’s just say that this community better hope I’m never elected for Mayor.

“What does that even mean?”

I will raise impact fees for developers. I will never have a six penny or seven penny tax, where you have to pay for a fire station because a developer wants to keep a couple of million for themselves. I WILL RAISE IMPACT FEES, and I WILL make developers pay for fire stations and more police officers. And I know, the Chamber of Commerce is going to come after me and tell me that I am not supporting local business. Then the Council is going to flip flop on me because they are a bunch of cowards. They are going to get scared that suddenly local business’ that hires local employees, is going to get the shaft again. If you look at inflation rates the Walmart on Livingston paid $125.00 for their final flat.”

Richard then explains his observation of wasted funds on spaces, with things like landscaping, in the name of “beautification” with plants that are having a hard time surviving in our climate at the times of year that they are planted. At the same time he is addressing his experience with the community complaining about the overgrown Green Way, that is justified to not be trimmed as a means of “trash mitigation and purification of waters with natural grasslands.”

Johnson makes note that Cheyenne lacks a specific beautification plan that is symbiotic with the climate and environment of the city and surrounding areas, and that citizens and business’ are wasting funds yearly on everything but long lasting beautification solutions that can also add to the the potential uniqueness of Cheyenne.

Maybe it was the topics of trash, and  monetary waste; that the conversation led next to the other Mayoral Candidates running for office.

As you may have heard before this article, Johnson, is running on a write in campaign. No signs, no banners, no $25.00 entry fee to put his name in the hat. He doesn’t think you need to spend money for a campaign, and he is out to prove it in his own renegade way. Some people are laughing, I know… and maybe I am giggling a little on the inside, too. My reason is, “you never know until you try, and if you don’t put any money in… what do you have to lose?” Right?

A slight controversy recently came up online, after Marian Oor announced her Mayoral bid with videos, balloons and bright orange posters. Richard boiled it down to gimmicks and things that would end up as trash in peoples yards.   In turn he encouraged  voters to avoid posters on their lawns and in their business’, and instead, actually investigate what the constituents were currently doing in the community that would prove they should have a seat ( whether City Council, Mayor, or beyond.)

Social Media followers of Richard Johnson, and active participants in the community eager to try their hand at city council agreed with his logic. Gabe Pina of Pina Accounting and the Downtown Cheyenne Business Coop is running for a seat in Ward 3 City Council.  He  was inspired to ask his supporters to donate to one of several community charities in lieu of campaign donations.

I almost feel like an asshole now, every time I go into a new business opening, because I am surrounded by fake assholes. I am surrounded by ‘candidates’. It’s almost like everything I have done for the last year and a half on my own was “Oh I am elected, now I have to really go out and support my community. “

And support his community he did. “Richard Johnson, You Failed This City” has been just as abuzz with community events as it has been with Johnson’s personal rants; raves, observations, controversial pictures and not so rhetorical questions.

Anything having to do with Cheyenne; issues within the community have been posted to his social media participants, by Richard himself. Concerns by the public have been emailed to him, and he has posted them anonymously to gauge the interest of the community with topics raised. Overall, Rich has made a pretty concerted effort to attend as many events as possible regardless of  niche or perceived “cool” factor.

More than once, Richard, has arrived unannounced, and not specifically invited. And, perhaps to some onlookers, who may have been self placated in their own perceived superiority; were the least impressed with the effort in which Mr. Johnson was asserting himself into political circles concerning this community in the fine state of Wyoming.

So, though perhaps not out to impress, Richard Johnson is more willing than others to play the game and attempt to beat it by breaking the status quo.  Whether he  breaks it, or perhaps just overloads the system; there is bound to be an impact for Cheyenne.

(To go to Part 2, CLICK HERE)

Introduction to Cheyenne Fit Body 6 week Body Transformation Challenge

Well the day has finally come!  I am gonna get off this fat ass and DO something about it.

After lying in bed a couple nights ago; thinking about my gymphobia.  I imagined my fear being lessened if gyms had short instructional videos on every machine; showing proper form and function.  A cheat for those newbies who feel anxiety or are mentally not ready for a trainer. I fell asleep thinking maybe if I pitched it to the gym I am a member of, I would be inspired to go.

The next morning I woke up, and the first thing on my  Facebook feed was a status from Cheyenne Fit Body Gym; advertising a 6 week Body Transformation challenge, with a satisfaction guarantee.  And for a few quick responders, the rate would be nearly half of their normal pricing.  Three easy payments of $67.00 and a positive attitude, and I could be on the path to the body I have always wanted.

I decided to email about the offer, and set up a consultation with owner Sara Goossen.  My motivation was amplified by the fact my house is only four blocks away.

I decided to check out the Fit Body Bootcamp website.  A short testimonial video gives a glimpse of some of the activities that are part of the Fit Body Boot camp.  Each session is only thirty minutes long, and boasts of maximum fat burn in minimum time.

I’m sold.

Sara was in a consultation when I came in for my appointment.  The woman she was meeting with was showing some nervousness about starting the program.  Sara commiserated with her, and encouraged her that in a month from now, she  will not be the same woman.  I couldn’t see this womans’ face, but I can imagine her brain might have been rolling it’s eyes.  It’s hard to see a positive future when focused on all the things you may not like about yourself.  I can already tell that Sara is not the type of instructor to let people beat up on themselves, instead she turns it around and encourages a positive outlook.

My consultation with Sara was short but inspirational.  She has a great attitude and a positive sense of humor.  We discussed my fitness goals, and the goals of the program.  Next, we got down to the business of my current body stats.  I was weighed; measured, and tested for arm strength.  A pretty simple procedure overall (that is if you can get over reading your weight on a scale.)  To which Sara responded, “This will be the last time you see these numbers.”

I was invited to begin today or tomorrow if I so choose.  I plan to start tomorrow.

Sara has a goal of reaching 5,000 Cheyenne residents through this program.  To support her goal I hope you join me as I chronicle this experience.  For those who have followed my recent blogs, they have been pretty depressing.  I hope to remedy that with this new action, and I hope you find inspiration with me as I chart unknown territories of my journey to a better body.  Stay tuned!