Growing on ‘the Slope’

New homes are going up fast around here, just a few miles west of the Grand Mesa.

I’m hoping the transportation infrastructure continues to improve at least as quickly so we can pedal around this growing Western Slope community even more than we do already.

Did you see that Grand Junction actually turned up on this New York Times list of places to visit this year?

The attractions haven’t exactly been well-kept secrets for a while anyhow, so think about heading our way if you get the chance. The Smiths have been here long enough now that we can point you to some good places to hike, bicycle, eat, and drink beer and wine. Just leave a comment below and ask!

If you drive, be careful and have fun. If you’re coming for the cycling, be careful and have fun.

This area has a lot going for it, including a new Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan, but we have plenty of room for improvement, too.

Pedal on, my friends.

B.J.

Tweet, toot or something else?

My good old friend Chuck introduced me to Twitter in 2008.

It seemed like something a writer should get familiar with, and it still does. Unlike some, I’m not planning to stop being either* @bjsmith or @BJSmithWords there any time soon.

Hanging around that long has been good in a number of ways. Ditto for my various forays into websites, blogging and publishing. Curiosity about how these things work has paid off for me in my day job, for example, and helped me sell some crime novels and make some great connections.

Curiosity also led me to poking around in other social media. I was hooked on Facebook for a while and I have a little fun on Instagram now and then. In 2018, I gave Mastodon a try. I’d almost entirely forgotten about it until this week, when everybody (not literally, of course) starting talking about it on Twitter.

I’ve now “tooted” on Mastodon a few times to see what might happen, and I’ve put the same content on yet another alternative someone suggested: Counter Social. I might stick with one of them. We’ll see.

For now, I hope to see you around somewhere, my friends. Just let me know where to look.

Write on,
B.J.


* Why two handles? I’ll save that for another time. Maybe I’ll write about why I quit Facebook a few years ago, too.

Remember who brought thugs to the Capitol: Trump, GOP, voters

The U.S. Capitol is no more or less holy a place than anything else constructed by human beings, yet I heard repeated references to it today as something sacred. The implication was that the Trumpist mob violating the space had committed an act of desecration by breaking and entering it, disrespecting the statues, and vandalizing the House and Senate chambers.

If the place had ever been remotely sacred, that ended the day Donald J. Trump was inaugurated and the GOP fell in line behind him and enthusiastically backed his every move to dismantle our democracy.

It took a breaching of the poorly secured Capitol walls by thugs and domestic terrorists for some GOP senators and representatives to finally begin to separate themselves from Trump and his disaster of a regime, rats fleeing the sinking ship of state.

Some of them left a day or two ago, recognizing that it might be their only hope of having a political future post-Trump. Republican U.S. Representative Ken Buck, who I’m sorry to say “represents” my little chunk of Boulder County in Colorado, is a prime example. In the past few days he declared that he would not contest the presidential election results. He joined Governor Jared Polis in a statement decrying today’s ugly doings in the District of Columbia, as if some of us might forget his unswerving loyalty to Trump when the time comes for him to run for governor of this state.

We can never forget what Trump, now ex-senator Cory Gardner, Ken Buck and others have done to bring us to this point. For my part, I struggle to contain my anger – fury is a better word today – at the disgrace they have been, at how grievously they and those who elected them have harmed our families and friends through their utter selfishness, incompetence, cowardice and lack of character.

I take some comfort in knowing that Trump will soon be just an ugly part of history. Do not let him or his accomplices and enablers back in government, ever. Do not forget.

B.J.

Got my ballot

Got my ballot gonna mail it in

Or drop it off because I can

Because I’m free and it’s my right

And duty to put up a fight

When fools and bigots try to run

This, my country, with their guns

And lies and hate and broken laws

But truth and justice is our cause.

Read a book – free on me!

I’m like a lot of people who have some extra time on their hands these days. Instead of taking the bus to work and back, I walk downstairs to work remotely and walk back up later. With all that commute time saved, I’ve been poking around and moping around here at The Smith Compound.

ebook cover

Today after work I Zoomed a friend to wish him happy birthday and catch up a little over a remote beer. His birthday was yesterday and a surprise party got canceled, like almost everything else. We adjust.

Anyhow, while I was poking (and moping) around earlier, I came across some free ebooks that I’ve been meaning to offer to whoever is interested. I have giveaway links for four (4) Detective Red Shaw novels, one for each of the next four readers who join my mailing list.

Which reminds me I haven’t actually sent anything to the fine folks on my list in quite a while. I did promise not to overdo it, but now I’ve got an idea for something that might work.

We shall see.

Read on, my friends, and keep your social distance.

B.J.