Today’s Haiku – Teddy Guest Blogger


Hi, my name is Teddy.

I am a guest blogger here on sanseilife.

I am alone in this Jeep in Arvada, Colorado and one of the things I do to amuse myself is write Haiku.

Here is one on the our first snow fall last night:


  • Indian Summer
  • battle with Winter
  • Winter won last night



New Program, DIA Therapy Dogs

Malachi, proud member of the Canine Airport Therapy Squad

My friend Malachi has enrolled in a new therapy program at Denver International Airport.  He is a volunteer with the Canine Airport Therapy Squad (CATS for short).

Malachi is a certified therapy dog.  He and his human companion Karen stroll the concourse looking for passengers who need cheering up.

Karen and Malachi at Denver International Airport
Malachi waiting to start new therapy program at DIA

Malachi and his canine therapy buddies are looking forward to helping passengers calm travel nerves so be on the look out for these friendly pups, they will be wearing their “Pet Me” vests.

Brewery Rickoli in Wheat Ridge, Colorado


Had a great evening at Brewery Rickoli

4335 Wadsworth Boulevard

Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033

Phone: (303) 344-8988




With 16 taps they have something for everyone.  Low gluten brews that are very very tasty.  I tried a couple of their IPAs and found them totally awesome.

Have friends that don’t drink?  They’ll be pleasantly surprised too.  Brewery Rickoli makes their owns sodas, no high fructose corn syrup to be found.


Charity Knitting, Crochet and Sewing at Simpson United Methodist Church Update


October 4, 2015 Paster Tezenlo Thong blessed the projects of the charity knitting, crochet and sewing group.


The group has been busy, hats for chemotherapy patients, mittens for local elementary school children, squares for prayer blankets, more hats and scarves for Denver’s homeless community, small socks for preemies and tons more.


The group has also been blessed with many donations.  Including some ladies who actually donated part or all of their stashes!  Giving up part of your stash is giving up something you discovered in your travels so it is not only a selfless donation but it is sharing memories that travel with the stash.  Those ladies who gave up part or all of their stashes are real heroes, generous of heart and deed.


After the blessing we took some of the finished projects to a local yarn shop, Knit Knack located in our own down town Arvada.  Knit Knack works closely with a group called Knitting4Peace and gratefully accepted the donations.  The owner of the shop also gave us all discounts towards purchases for future projects.  Thank you Gerri Bragdon!

“The Enigma”, Favorite Artist from the 2015 Colorado Tattoo Convention


My favorite artist from the Tattoo Convention was The Enigma.

He has awesome energy, is friendly and fun, and his tattoos and body modifications are truly amazing.  He is one giant jigsaw puzzle!

His vibe is a kind soul.


The Enigma is not just a canvas for artwork, he is a talented artist, musician, and actor.

He moved to Denver last year and one of his first appearances was reading to the children at our local Mutiny Information Cafe.

You may recall seeing him in 1995 The X-Files Episode “Humbug” where he played The Conundrum.

I also picked up Volume #2 of his comic book series.



Check him out at

Although I went for the Rock’a’billy live music it wasn’t playing while I was there, but I did get to meet The Enigma!


Masami Nonaka, a Child’s Memories of WWII, Assembly Center to Internment Camp, Part Two


Mas Nonaka was 8 years old when his family boarded the train from the assembly center at the Santa Anita Racetrack in California to head for their new “home”, an internment camp in Colorado.

He does not have any photographs of himself from this time of his life, but he does remember his Mom cutting his hair so the bangs would hang straight across his forehead.

Once again each family member packed up their meager possessions, only what they could carry.  Somehow his Dad figured out how to break up his Mom’s sewing machine, it traveled with her to Santa Anita and then to Amache.  Mas has no clue how this miracle happened but it must have been a prized possession for the family.

He does not remember much about the trip as he was just a child.  The adults adopted a “show no fear, show no weakness, show no vulnerability” attitude to protect their children and to protect their dignity.  As a result Mas does not remember being afraid, just another adventure to an 8 year old boy.

He cannot remember how long the train ride was, only that it was a long ride, at least 2 days long.  Every car on the train had an armed guard at each end.  The blinds were pulled down and the guards would not allow their prisoners to look out or lift the blinds “for their own protection”.

The Nonaka family had left one barren windy place to travel to another barren and windy place.


Arriving at Camp Amache, the internment camp near Granada, Colorado in September 1942 they did not know this would be their home for the next 3 years.

There were 349 barracks.  Each barracks held four rooms, 2 smaller ones on each end for the smaller families and two larger rooms 20’X20′ or 20’X24′ in the middle, one room for each family.  Each internee was given an Army bed or cot, one blanket and one straw mattress.  Each room had a pot bellied coal stove for heat and one light bulb.  The walls and floors had cracks where the wind and dust would whistle through the barracks.

There were no toilets at the beginning.  They used an outhouse.  Toilets were never installed in the individual barracks.  Most families had a bowl called chamba to use as their indoor toilet.  This was for the elderly and the children and just anybody who didn’t want to make a trip to the outhouse in the dark or bad weather.

Mas had never seen snow before but learned that snow made the barracks miserably cold in the winter.  It was also miserably hot in the summer.

The rooms were not really rooms until the fathers got together and hung sheets from wires to act as walls in an attempt to obtain some privacy.

The whole camp was surrounded by barbed wire and watch towers or sentry towers with spot lights and guards with machine guns.


Life at Amache Camp had started.

To be continued.

Looking for something new to do in Denver?


My daughter and son-in-law have moved to Colorado.  She is in to tattoos and he loves motorcycles and cars.  I wanted to surprise them with something fun this weekend and look what is happening in Denver!

Okay, they also have live music and they got me on the Rock’a’billy.


Little Free Library a.k.a. Book Exchange



Booker here, a guest blogger at sanseilife and a Little Free Library.

Who visits the Little Free Library?

John and his dog Shadow visit every day for 2 dog treats.  Shadow first must sit and then shake hands.

John never even looked at the books.  Just not interested in reading some story.  Today this book caught his eye.


John has always wondered about fly fishing and just retired last year.  John definitely has the reading bug now!



Who knows how many books are sitting on shelves waiting to be read or reread.   This free program allows you to pick a book, keep it for as long as you need to finish reading it, return it and exchange it for a new book.

Or do you have a favorite book you want to share with others?  Just place it in the free reading library!  You may change someone’s life.

This is really a neighborhood book exchange located in the small suburb of Arvada, Colorado at 74th and Wadsworth.  It creates an opportunity for neighbors to share books, including children’s books.

The best part?  Note the dog treats!

Booker out now, hope to see you soon.

Masami Nonaka, a Child’s Memories of WWII, Waiting at the Assembly Center, Part One

imageMas Nonaka  was born August 20, 1934.   The youngest of three children he was the baby of the family.

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the evacuation of Japanese Americans to internment camps. Mas was a 7 year old child.

While these relocation camps were being built, evacuees were ordered to stay at what was called assembly centers.  The largest of these assembly centers was the Santa Anita Racetrack in California where Mas remembers spending a hot summer.  These American citizens were allowed to bring only what they could carry with them to the assembly centers and consequently lost most of their possessions.

Beginning in March 1942, the almost 19,000 Japanese Americans that lived at the Santa Anita Racetrack were housed in barracks or in converted horse stalls.  Mas remembers a friend of his that lived in one of the horse stalls complaining about the stench.

Each evacuee was given an Army bed or cot, one blanket and one straw mattress.  The barracks were large open areas and Mas remembers that the families hung sheets to act as walls in an attempt to obtain some privacy.  The racetrack was surrounded by barbed wire.

In August 1942, a riot erupted after a suspected informant was beaten.  Mas remembers that in the following days the soldiers conducted a search of all the internees’ possessions and confiscated any items they felt were dangerous.   He remembers the soldiers patrolling in armored cars.  It was a scary time for a child.

Before Santa Anita, Mas and his family lived in the west side of Los Angeles by a big Coliseum.   His father and uncle worked together at the market.   His mom also worked hard as a barber. The children would get up early with their parents and stay with their aunt while the other adults worked.

It was a time of safe routine for Mas before he went to camp.  Mas would go to his aunt’s early in the morning until school started.  After school he would go to Japanese language school where he was learning to read and write Japanese.  Then he would come home to his aunt’s house, have dinner and wait for his parents to come for him and his siblings.  The family would head home together at the end of a long day.

Mas was a typical little boy.   He recalls being an itazura-ko or mischief boy.  A sharp whack on the top of his head from his Japanese teacher is one punishment he earned.

All that changed with Executive Order 9066.

Things were about to get worse. In September and October 1942 the internees were sent to different relocation centers.  Mas and his family were loaded on a train headed for Amachi Camp in southeast Colorado.  The journey on the rickety train was a miserable two days.   The anxiety of the unknown destination cannot be described.


Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey


Who knew Colorado had a fine whiskey brewer?

From the Shanahan’s website:

“This whiskey glowed amber from the start. When volunteer firefighter Jess Graber responded to a neighbor’s barn fire down the road, he never imagined any good could come of it. But the barn he made effort to save belonged to George Stranahan, long-time liquor connoisseur. When the fire settled, the two discovered a shared passion for the Colorado outdoors and a good pour of fine whiskey.”


I took the tour and it was awesome!


Got there early before the tour and hung out in the lounge with a Cherry Mendez consisting of Stranahan’s, Luxardo cherry juice and lime. Yikes! Yummy!!


Signed up for the bottling crew lottery, here is the info from the website:

“We bottle a batch of Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey approximately once every three weeks. We’ll typically bottle on a rotating weekday, and not usually on weekends. On a typical bottling day, we’ll bring in two crews of about 16 volunteers (32 people) each to fill approximately 5,000 bottles of whiskey in total. The day is divided into two shifts – the first crew will work the AM shift, the second crew the PM shift. A typical shift lasts approximately 5 hours and though you’re required to be on your feet and working for the duration, you’d be surprised how quickly time flies.”

Truthfully, I was not a whiskey  connoisseur before the tour but I have gained an appreciation for well crafted whiskey!

Wish me luck in the lottery!