From 2007-2010 I worked as a hospice pharmacist at Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care Pharmacy. The work was very rewarding and it was a privilege to work with so many talented health care professionals in such a challenging environment.
As part of an anticipated exit from the profession of pharmacy and transition to new horizons, in October 2009 I started writing a book called Cannabis Fitness. Prompted by the recently burgeoning medical marijuana scene in Colorado Springs, I originally intended to write a small handbook on medical marijuana, but the project ballooned into an exploration of all sorts of personal, social, historical and psycho-spiritual issues. Nine months and 49 chapters later, I published the book as a website
A few things I'd like to share ABOUT MYSELF
in this web PORTFOLIO...
In 2006 I created a DVD entitled Still Thinking, a 45 minute showcase of my photography along with narration of my philosophic-poetic writings. The work, at least in part, is the "dissertation I never did" 20 years after leaving graduate school.
After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado in 1986---where I had been recognized as both Freshman and Senior Biologist of the Year---I was accepted into the Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program at Wright State University...it was a great program...very diverse in terms of research, from neurophysiology to bioengineering to space biology, I could have studied just about anything...and I was awarded a full-ride scholarship with all tuition paid and an $11,100 yearly fellowship.
I left the Ph.D. program after successfully completing one quarter. But science alone, especially if it would mean working in the confines of the indoors, was not enough to hold my interest.
The artist in me had been struggling for 40 years to break-out and get his fair share of attention. I first gained recognition when in sixth-grade a painting of mine was displayed at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.
In 2004, I wrote, directed and acted in a stage play I produced called The Fools Dream. I regard it as a vaudeville morality play and an attempt to create and revive amateur community theatre. A group of talented and brave friends helped-out a lot with that one.
In 2003, a friend Laura Ettinger and I created from scratch a magazine called Manitou. We ended up producing 6 great issues featuring articles on art and artists, history and community, nature and science and spirituality...it was an edgy but classy magazine, thought-provoking and controversy-stirring.
I considered the magazine a vehicle for change, a way to showcase the wonderful community of Manitou, my own ideas and work as well as the work of friends and other talented individuals. Challenging and rewarding on many levels, working with so many intelligent and creative people...I think Manitou was, except financially, a great success and learning experience. I especially like to point out that we were one of the few publications that spoke-out against the Iraq war before it even started. I'm very proud of this baby.
Pride in my community and a desire to maintain and enhance its integrity has been the primary driving force behind my endeavors since moving to Manitou Springs, Colorado in 2000. One of my first efforts was to start a "free store" called the Manitou Karma Exchange. Again, started with a friend and inspired by the "Diggers" of San Francisco's 1967 Haight-Ashbury scene, the Karma Exchange was a success in that we had free clothes up to our necks and a steady stream of folks getting much-appreciated free stuff.
In an effort closest to my heart, I proposed that an old dilapidated building in the center of town be torn down and replaced with a town square, which would have as its centerpiece a natural spring fountain. This proposal was presented in the first issue of Manitou magazine. I envisioned the town square as a gesture of good will and reconciliation with the native spirit of this land and its people, as well as a focus for community gathering.
In addition to writing over a dozen articles and columns for Manitou, I've had a number of articles published by the Pueblo Lore, a monthly periodical of the Pueblo County Historical Society. In the course of my writing I've interviewed many fascinating folks from musician to war veteran, ancestors to immigrants, U.S. Senior District Judge John L. Kane on marijuana law reform to the world's top high altitude runner Matt Carpenter. My article "Pueblo to Dinosaur: Wonder and Discovery in the Territory of Lore" best represents the philosophy and direction I plan to take my research, writing, exploration and teaching.
In 2006 I started performing live poetry readings accompanied by Maestro Kim Stone's (bassist for Spyro Gyra and The Rippingtons) improvisational acid jazz jam band. A number of those stories and poems are recounted on this website.
A few years ago, a friend David Rudin and I conceived the idea of forming an amateur exploration society like the days of old, dedicated to appreciation and study of the natural world.
The Manitou Natural History Society was thus born, and over the past few years I've been nursing and promoting it through various projects and videos, including this website. The group continues to grow and founding members are beginning to link their various individual and collaborative projects through the MNHS. I look forward to seeing the Society's growth and evolution, however informal, throughout my lifetime and beyond.
Around this same time I made a 20 minute short film called Fools Dream. A completely improvisational amalgam based on a premise of Monty Python's Flying Circus meets Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, the film's basic message seeks to convey the power and primacy of vision in manifesting one's reality.
In 2007, a friend Brent Weiner had this idea, just for fun, to create a Manitou Hippie Run, So he and I put this thing together and this September we'll once again don costumes for our 4th annual event. Part road race through Manitou's mainstreet and part trail run through the hills above town, the approximately 3K race is great fun and uniquely challenging in that the grand prize goes to the fastest barefoot runner. Out of 15 runners, I'm proud to say I won the first year (only because few were daring enough to run barefoot over sharp decomposed Pikes Peak granite). My reign was short-lived however as the following year younger, stronger runners took the lead, including my then 11-year-old son Dominic.
Speaking of which, a single father for the last nine years, Dominic is the joy of my life, a bright kid soon-be-man, he's ever curious and inventive, and always challenges me in the best possible ways. Currently we are both docents at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in the Prehistoric Journey exhibition.
In 1996, I earned a pharmacy degree from the University of Colorado and I've been a practicing pharmacist for the past 14 years.
painting by Curt Layman
During the past decade I've found myself both scientist and artist...seeking balance for these duel aspects in myself and my world. My hundreds of nature photographs taken over the last few years speak volumes of which my words never will.* Paintings and other works I've done, such as the one at the top of this page, reflect my more mystical and metaphysical views and perspectives.
I see a supreme aesthetic and intelligence in the natural world, a process involving "the mind" in a way far beyond our conventional understanding. With words and photographs and other work, I attempt to both capture the end results of this intelligence as well as convey the process of the intelligence itself.
Still Thinking---my dissertation on that "something missing" which pulled me away from the laboratory over 20 years ago---is a reflection of how I see Life...a result that is both discovered and created...and a process that is at once science and art. This website is about expressing that process to the fullest possible extent. Thanks for checking it out!
* All photographs on this site were taken by me unless otherwise stated .
Yet, curious as I was, there seemed something missing from this mostly academic affair...and I doubted I would find it in the laboratory.
I've always had a passion for learning and a yearning to teach. I became a certified secondary science teacher in 1988. But working in the mainstream is simply not my style. I'm too independent and determined to go my own way, to implement my own vision.
Over the years I've used writing as my primary outlet to do this. Adding other media such as video, poetry readings and now this website---which contains over 100 pages of essays, poems, photographs, ideas and explorations of various sorts---has furthered my efforts to teach and reach and ultimately just express myself, which I feel is a most powerful and essential kind of medicine, maintaining and enhancing the health of both self and society.
On this web page you will find a sampling and summary of my work, most of which has been accomplished in the past 10 years but of course, as described in the passages that follow, has been brewing for a lifetime.
Images contained herein may be enlarged and viewed by cut and paste. Items such as videos, magazines and articles may be obtained directly from me. Just give me a shout at
The "movie-making" I've played around with the past few years best reflects how I intend all of my work to be a good mix---educational, inspirational, life affirming and ultimately fun. And while it appears I'm not always completely successful, I see hopeful results and great potential in the process.