“Since the Bible and the church are obviously mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust them to tell us where we are going?” – Anonymous

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” – Seneca the Younger

“All thinking men are atheist.” – Ernest Hemingway (A Farewell to Arms)

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” – Voltaire

“Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quite. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

“The cultivation of loving-kindness and compassion is not intrinsically a religious endeavor. It has really a much more general pertinence and general applicability. You don’t have to be religious or buy into a religious doctrine to do it. This is why I think it is important to develop techniques that are secular and not simply religious in orientation.” – The Dalai Lama


I am no longer a Christian or have any religious affiliation. I am an atheist. Freedom, freedom and saying it again, freedom from the old religious quicksand that engulfs so many others. How fortunate I am. My God – if there was a god – that felt so good to say! Wow! I am an atheist. I am an atheist and I am free. What a relief. That took me a very long time to say. 53 years to be closer to the mark. I AM AN ATHEIST. Wow!

Growing up in Wichita Falls Texas I was exposed to the Southern Baptist way of religion. And until I was 20 years old I still believed in it. The bible was the word of God. And anyone that goes against it would be struck down and sent to hell. Literally – no ands, if or buts, you would go to hell. I literally believed this until College. Damn College it opened my eyes. The study of Geology and Biology – specifically the age of the earth, fossils that are millions of year’s old, and comparative anatomy started me down the road to that freedom. What I was learning could not be reconciled with what the scriptures and the “man” on Sunday championed. Just could not do it.

The field of study that completed the liberation was, of all things, Art History. Really – it was Art History – it helped me finally come to the understanding that all of what we take for granted in our religious iconography – has just been made up, copied, changed and adulterated in some form or another since time immortal. This includes paintings, drawings, decoration and ritual, architecture and most importantly writing (ex – the Bible, Quran, etc…). All of it has just been made up. Nothing in religion as in art is sacred.

Now this is not to say that I am not a spiritual person – you can be spiritual and not believe in any kind of religion or god. In fact, any meaningful activity or experience can be considered spiritual. Your work can be spiritual to you. Sex can spiritual to you. Painting can be spiritual to you. Hell even mowing the lawn has been described as a spiritual experience for some people. Long distance running is spiritual to me. It is a subjective experience in the pursuit of psychological growth.

So what is my philosophy on life? That is a good question and it took me 50 years to formulate an answer and I am not done yet. At the moment I would have to consider myself closer in Buddhist thought than anything else. But not Buddhist thought in the traditional sense with all the robes, rituals and religious dogma that has been placed on it over time. I am secular in Buddhist thought. Again, no robes, no rituals and most of all no religion. There is no consideration for the supernatural or reincarnation and karma is considered only in this life – your intentions, actions and their results. Some have called it a return to the original teachings of the Buddha – the Four Noble Truths and the Eight Fold Path. Whatever you say about it – I believe that it lays a frame work to build and live a more meaningful and compassionate life. A frame work that allows for the unique differences of others without the discrimination and judgement of others. Religion in contrast is about control and domination of the masses, disguised as kindness and compassion, but really more about control.

A philosophy or way of life that does not allow this will not appeal to some that are in charge or think that they are. Maybe this is the next step in human psychological evolution – the end of all religion and an adoption of a more compassionate and loving human experience?

The above opinions are mine and I am sticking to them for the moment. The bottom two pictures are from bike riding this past week. The middle one is from the Pine Ridge Open Space looking South towards Denver and the bottom one with the large Bull Snake is from the Redtail Grove Open Space, both of which are in Fort Collins. The day I came across the snake it had been a cool morning and my guess is that it just needed some warmth. The sun was directly overhead and the concrete of the bike path was quite warm. Ahhhh – the simple pleasures of just lying in the sun, even for a snake. Well that is enough for this week. Take care and hope to see you Out There!




Time’s the king of all men,

He is their parent, and he is their grave,

And gives them what he will, not what they crave.

-William Shakespeare, Pericles

Time travel – now that would be something?! To be able to go back and change a single mistake, take the road less traveled, turn left instead of right, to relive your life with all the knowledge and power that you know now. This scenario if used in the right way could end wars before they start, stop environmental destruction before it occurs, and even stop cancer before it spreads to the rest of your body. How fantastic, how wonderful this would be. Right? There are some physicist that think this might be possible at some point in the future. And to me that is a very scary thought. Humans in all our glory are still flawed. That’s what makes us human – Too emotional, too independent and even when we have the best of intentions there will be times that we are wrong. No, time travel, as in going back in time, is not for the human race.

But what if you could go forward in time, so to speak? Not to actually jump forward in time but to live a much longer life? Indefinite even. No expiration date? An open ended life span – immortality? I must admit that I become giddy at the thought. I cannot begin to imagine the amount of acquired knowledge that would be gained by living more than one life time. Start in one field of study, work on it for 25 to 30 years and then switch to another, and then repeat it. Work as a social worker, become a doctor, an engineer, an artist, then maybe an architect, and on and on indefinitely. The combining of knowledge from multi-fields of study in one individual would make issues and problems that seemed unsolvable a thing of the past. Solutions would be put forth that we cannot even think of now. We learn by making mistakes and we would have an infinite amount of time to make them.

Change the human life span to an open ended one and you change all of society. The question of whether or not there is a heaven or hell would be settled. If you never die of old age, well, the only heaven or hell is the one that you create yourself while living. The power of religion over the masses would dwindle. Over population would become a problem very quickly but this would cause a huge uptick in funding for the space program. Time to get us off the planet and eventually to the stars. In the mean time we would be forced to become much better stewards of the environment. The excesses and abuses of the past would not be tolerated. The Supreme Court’s old adage of appointed for life would become a thing of the past. Serve 10 years and then someone else is appointed? Having and raising children would no longer be the all-consuming life draining event that it can be now. You could have your kids and cake too so to speak. Eventually there would be a downturn in all military spending. When you realize that you could live a thousand years or more, then getting killed in some corporate military debacle does not become as appealing, as if it ever was. I could go on and on but you get the idea. And for those naysayers out there, yes there would be problems, some very serious, but to use a quote that has been attributed to multi different authors, including Plato, “Necessity is the mother of Invention.” We would find a way.

Well that is about all for me this week. It has been a little cold and snowy the last couple of days but that is Colorado in spring. The top picture is one I borrowed from the internet and the bottom two pictures are of the Poudre River as it flows through Fort Collins. Take care and see you out there.








Signs of Alien Life Will Be Found by 2025, NASA’s Chief Scientist Predicts

“I think we’re going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we’re going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years,” NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan said Tuesday (April 7) during a panel discussion that focused on the space agency’s effort to search for habitable worlds and alien life. By Mike Wall YAHOO! News

What? Alien life somewhere out there beyond our own biosphere? Really? Just because there are 200 billion or more stars in the Milky Way Galaxy alone. And that current research shows there might be tens of billions of solar systems (stars with planets). Why should there be life somewhere else besides earth? It causes me to stop and wonder. Are we so egocentric in our thinking that a lot of us cannot even envision life beyond earth – even if it is just a single celled organism? That in the entire Universe we are it? That no other sentient beings exist? What a colossal waste of space this would be if it were true.

Of course I do not believe this. I think that it is no different when Europeans were afraid to sail too far from the shore. That the ocean just dropped away at the horizon, that there were sea monsters, that the sun boiled oceans, etc… Of course part of the problem was their technology – squared sailed ships, inaccurate clocks and maps, etc…. But as it got better, most of those fears and worries vanished. That is what is happening now – the technology is getting better. And I firmly believe as the NASA scientist believe we will find extraterrestrial life, even if it is just a single cell organism. This discovery when it comes will be a game changer.

Some people have argued that if there is intelligent life out there why have they not contacted us? And that is a good question. My thought is that the distances between stars are enormous, really hard to get your head around and we are in a backwater so to speak of the Milky Way Galaxy. Also our planet may not be as “special” among other planets in the MWG. Only special to us of course. Or maybe Carl Sagan had it right. If you are an advanced species in the galaxy with the capability to travel to other stars and you came across Earth and humanity with all its issues: wars over religion and race, poverty, environmental destruction and generally man’s inhumanity to man. Why would you stop? I mean really why would you stop? Would you want to visit Syria, or the border between Israel and Palestine, or maybe you would be better to go to the Baltics or Ukraine? Oh I know: listening to the debate in this country and others over whether it is OK to be Gay or not? And if you were an advanced star traveling species why would you want to miss out on the “Superstitious dogma that is Religious belief.” No – I do not think that you would stop. I think that Dr. Sagan got it right.

Maybe, just maybe the discovery of Alien life in the Universe will help with the egocentric nature religion has given to people. The discovery of even a single celled organism outside of our own planet’s biosphere throws the whole idea of “we are the center of the universe” off balance. This egocentric view that religion has helped to instill will be a thing of the past. And in turn this will be the end of religious belief for most people on earth. Of course there will still be diehards that will try and keep the faith so to speak but over time as new discoveries are made their numbers will become fewer and fewer.

The other exciting possibility is the uniting of all countries, nations and people on earth. We will now be a world among other possible worlds. Exobiology will become a real science and not just a theoretical one. The human race will unite like never before in the face of real alien life. It might be the catalysis to push humanity out of the quagmires of religious belief and into a new and higher state of human development. Well this is my opinion and I am sticking to it.

The pictures are all from a trail called Towers Road in Horsetooth Mountain Park. HMP is just behind Fort Collins and is an incredible recreational resource for the surrounding area. Towers Road Trail is fantastic hill training. It gains about 1600 feet of elevation in about 3.4 miles and is very runnable all year long. When I took these pictures on Wednesday April the 8th it was a somewhat hazy day on the Front Range of Colorado. A cold front had pushed through the night before and we were getting a little upslope from the east. Enough to give haze and clouds but not enough for rain and thunderstorms. Temps were about 50 to 55 degrees at the time. The top picture is looking Northeast over part of Horsetooth Lake. The second picture is looking South towards Denver. The third picture is looking due East out over the lake and Fort Collins. The forth picture shows what the trail is named for. The road winds its way up to the towers at the top of the ridge, elevation about 7,100 feet. The fifth and final picture shows Horsetooth Rock and this landmark is what the park is named for. Early settlers to the area thought the rock looked like a giant horse’s tooth with a rough chewing surface and groove. But according to local Native American legend, Horsetooth Rock is the remains of an evil giant’s heart cut in two by the powerful Chief Maununmoku, thus protecting his people from the giant’s wrath. This last part was from the Department of Natural Resources Larimer County.

Well this is it for me this week. Have a great weekend and see you out there!!



“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
– Goethe


The Quad Rock is getting closer and training is coming along slowly. Too slow for my likes but what are you going to do about it? Now that I am a few years over the age of 50 I find that recovery takes a lot longer than when I was younger. Doing heavy workouts day after day can take a toll when you are 25 to say the least but when you are 53 it can be a recipe for injury. Last year was an OK year but could have been better. I did remain injury free until about the middle of August, but then I suffered an insult to my left knee. I believe it was due to over training and not enough rest. This year I am trying to train a lot smarter.

Last year’s late season injury started after a successful run at the Silver Rush 50 in Leadville. There I had improved my time by one and half hours in the 50 mile distance. For me that was huge. Riding on the euphoria from this race, I was really looking forward to another successful run at the Run Rabbit Run in September at Steamboat Spring. I took about 10 days off after the Silver Rush and was feeling pretty good when I started back training. This was around the first of August. After the personnel best at the Silver Rush, I really wanted to nail the RRR. So I had it in my mind that more training equals better performance and maybe that might have been true when I was 25. The reality was that I needed to train smarter, not harder.

While finishing a great trail run behind Fort Collins, I decided to push the last few miles a little harder than usual. And it was that decision coupled with a lot of running the weeks before that started the cascade. After the run my left knee hurt a little but nothing too painful. That should have been the first warning sign to back off. But did I listen to my body, nope, told myself that I needed to run the next day and besides the weather was beautiful. That next morning my knee was still hurting, so I told myself that I would still get out and run – but just make it an easy one. I told myself the same thing the next day and the next. Just do an easy run when what I really needed was rest for a few days. Not only did I not listen to the continued soreness in my knee, I was not getting a lot of sleep – telling myself that I would make it up later. The interesting thing was the knee soreness never really got any worse it just persisted – until about a week later. Well you can probably fill in the rest of the story. Sad to say but it took a good month and a half for it to heal.

So when I started training this year I wanted to do it smarter and just by chance one morning my wife told me about a new book that had just come out, called “FAST AFTER 50” by Joe Friel. Joe used to write an exercise column for the Fort Collins Coloradoan years ago when we first moved to Colorado and being an enthusiastic reader of the column back then – I immediately looked it up on Amazon. Man am I glad that I did. Since his early days in Fort Collins Joe has written and coauthored several books on training and nutrition for the endurance athlete. This new book shows that experience and the research that has taken place in the last 20 years on the older athlete. I am now into my second reading of the book and that is saying a lot. I cannot recommend this book enough. Especially if you are over the age of 50. I would even go as far as to say if you are over 30 then this book can help you. It is for all endurance athletes. Easy to read and easy to apply the principles in training.

Funny – I am not a religious man or even what you would consider a spiritual one but sometimes the “Universe” moves in strange ways. I wasn’t even looking for a new book on training, especially one for the older athlete – denial has always been one of my go to defenses against getting older. I just figured I would look through some of my older books and magazines on running, and see what I could learn and relearn about proper training. But there it was – the door opened – and just what I needed was offered up by the “Universe.” Crazy! I will keep everyone updated with how the training is going over the next several months. This year’s races are: Quad Rock in May, the Leadville 100 in August and the Run Rabbit Run September. Depending on how my training is going and how I feel I might add the Silver Rush 50 in July. But that might just be wishful thinking…. My mother had a saying when she was in her elder years: “Old age is not for Sissies” and she was right.

Well that is all for me this week. The pictures are from running the last few days. The top one is in the Running Deer Open Space looking west towards Long’s Peak, the second one is the Pelican Marsh Open Space and the third one with the Mule Deer is off of the Poudre River trail – all in the city limits of Fort Collins. Hope to see you out there!!