Arthur von Boennighausen's blog

Thinking allowed…….

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Arthur von Boennighausen: Research Engineer, Author, Poet, Inventor, Alpinist, Storyteller, Scholar of Comparative Religion and Philosophy. Arthur has over 30 years experience in Residential and Commercial real estate development in the $200,000 to $10 Billion (nuclear power plant) range, in addition to both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Engineering.

October 2019
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In the Company of Angels

Posted By Arthur von Boennighausen on September 26, 2019

In the Company of Angels

In 1996 we bought a 1640 acre property called the Sierra Mojada Ranch and moved to Westcliffe, Colorado.

My Friend Stanton Wesley Todd II told me about when he was living in the same community as future President of the United States – Gerald R. Ford along with Dr. Ralph Baldwin - Inventor of the proximity fuze for the first Atomic Bomb and L. Frank Baum - Author of the Wizard of Oz.  According to Stan everyone wanted to know when Frank Baum was going to pick a real career like the rest of them instead of always talking about the unusual story he was working on.

After all, Gerald Ford was moving toward a career in politics. Ralph Baldwin Loved Astrophysics and Stanton Wesley Todd would someday own extensive deposits of coal and control his own mining and distribution operations.

Stanton told me that after Frank Baum’s story about Oz became wildly successful in 1939 he and Gerald Ford never discounted an idea that seemed unusual and had developed an approach to approving a project that was hard for most people to Understand. Here is the approach that Stanton Todd and Gerald Ford used to filter out the Good ideas from the Bad ideas: After the person championing the new idea finished with whatever presentation they came up with they were asked to give Stanton and Gerald a piece of music that represented their idea. If Stan and Gerald liked both the idea and the music they would give approval to the proposal.

In 1994 I was helping the US West Advanced Technologies group make the first Internet access available to a Colorado community. It was one of the first times the general public would have Internet access. We had chosen Estes Park and Telluride, Colorado for the first installations as they were smaller communities where we could work out the bugs in the new system. We needed support from both the Federal Government and US West ( now called Qwest ) for this project so I sent Stanton Todd a copy of the proposal printed on paper along with Robin Miller’s music CD of piano music called “ In The Company Of Angels ”. Stanton and President Ford read the report and listened to the Robin Miller music CD a few days after receiving my package and in about a month we had approval to install the first fiber optic networks in Estes Park and Telluride.

During dinner one evening I asked Dr. Baldwin why he helped develop the first Atomic Bomb. Ralph told me that near the end of World War II so many women in his residential subdivision in Grand Rapids, Michigan were coming over with letters telling them their husbands had died in battle that he started to think of a way to end the war quickly. Ralph just couldn’t handle one more widow asking him what their family was going to do without a father. As a result, Dr. Baldwin helped to design and develop operating specifications for the radio proximity fuze for the Atomic Bomb which has been credited with shortening World War II by at least one year. After the war Ralph went back to his Love of Astrophysics and funded his own astronomical observatory. In 1963 he also published a book called “The Measure of the Moon”.

At age 89 Stanton Wesley Todd sent me a letter via the US Mail that expressed his thoughts on Mankind’s place in the Universe as he knew I was interested in the Evolution of Consciousness. Here is what Stan had to say:

“ Whither bound, Mankind? I, of course, can’t say – except that eventually into the Cosmic landfill, whether in a million years or a billion or five billion, really doesn’t matter ( to you and me, anyhow ). Life, consciousness, and intelligence are astonishing phenomena, but I don’t suppose they count for much to the Cosmic Eye or have any permanent effect on the systole and diastole of the Universe.

The fact is that Mankind still hugs the delusion that the Universe exists ( or was created ) so that we could have a solar system and the solar system exists so that we could have Earth, and the Earth exists so that Man could have a place for the sole of his foot and strut his stuff. All the world is a stage in a way that Jacques (or whoever it was) was perhaps not aware of.

The game of life is like the game of Bridge: We assign values and make up rules, and then we may have Fun, create things of interest. Bridge is better, more valuable, than building card houses or tossing cards into a hat ( though not to the Cosmic Eye ).

All values are Man made – esthetic, moral, whatever. ( Well, I suppose buzzards, sow bugs, and moray eels may be aware of values of a sort, too ).”

Thinking allowed…..

Arthur Gerard Michael von Boennighausen


Saint Arthur

The Devil is in the details of ballot issue 7A…..

Posted By Arthur von Boennighausen on October 31, 2018

* Sangre de Cristo Sentinel cut n paste:

“ Special District Measure: Wet Mountain Fire Protection District Issue 7A: The WMFPD wants a $180,403.72 (2 mills) property tax increase. They haven’t had an increase in a long, long time. WMFPD is one of the finest, if not the finest, rural fire department in the state. Just outstanding. It is basically volunteer with some members being paid for specific tasks. The Sentinel has an interview with WMFPD Chief Kit Shy in this issue about the tax increase. We are a little disappointed that Kit and the Fire Board did not give or publish specifically where the money is going like 50,000 for this and $10,000 for that. We have had a lot of tax increases here locally lately, e.g. the Hospital District and a big one for the school, so the timing if this is not good for our lower income residents and fix income folks. Plus, being good conservatives, The Sentinel minions hate taxes and tax increases. However, we know these guys and they won’t waste the money. It hurts because it is a tax increase, but we say Vote YES. ?. ”


* I asked Kit Shy to see where the money is going like $50,000 for this and $10,000 for that over a week ago.  Unless I see this I will exert my Political influence to Vote NO.
* In the last election cycles we have seen people and measures win or lose by just a few votes. I know I can move several hundred people in the direction I suggest.
Thinking allowed…..
Arthur Gerard Michael von Boennighausen – BSIE, MSCS, MRE, Independent Broker, *

Even the greatest civilizations turn to Dust….

Posted By Arthur von Boennighausen on September 14, 2018


* While Jim Little is a personal Friend and has stayed at our Guest Haus several times during his divorce, wildfires, and floods for over 20 years; I have spent less than 10 minutes talking to Jordy Hedberg in person in my entire life.  What Jordy tells us is just “ Hearsay “ from a Newspaper reporter and possible “ Defamation of Character ” in the least.  As some of us know, “ The Map Is Not the Territory “.

What Jordy tells us in writing is that he has no personal knowledge of Arthur and his family while Jim Little had personal contact with many members of our Community like the von Boennighausen family for so many, many years.  Jim Little knew the name of my Dog, Horse, Cat, and Mule.  He reminded me of my Birthday every year for 20 years. Jim Little knew the history of our family; if we had health problems and so many other things. He knew if someone in our Family died and what their names were. Jim trusted me to watch his Newfoundland dogs like the latest one called “ Moses “. I stopped by and visited with Jim Little several times a month at the Tribune for 20 years while I will not take the time to do this with Jordy.

Jordy will never be a Jim Little and we all know this is true…..


Thinking allowed…..

Arthur Gerard Michael von Boennighausen – BSIE, MSCS, MRE, Independent Broker, *


Piping Natural Streams and Ditches

Posted By Arthur von Boennighausen on April 11, 2018

“ Piping Natural Streams and Ditches “

This is the continuation of the January 27th, 2018 Sangre de Cristo Newspaper cautionary analysis of the hydrology of Custer County: “ Cool Clear Water “.  Last Summer our 1640 acre Sierra Mojada Ranch enjoyed rain every afternoon which brought the water table to the surface, topping off our underground supply of surface water.  This will help our sub-irrigated pastures Survive the current drought in 2018.  These Summer rains seem to be quite localized.  A Ranch less than a mile from our place might not have enjoyed a drop of rain all Summer.

About 16,000 years ago the glaciers that formed our mountain ranges and beautiful high mountain valley melted.  Mountain streams started running from the reservoir of water [ snow and rain ] in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness into the valley supporting the current ecosystem of Plants, Birds, Wildlife and Fish.  In the last few years I talked to Dick Wolfe who was the Chief Engineer for the Colorado Division of Water Resources, Scott Miller who is an Attorney at a Aspen, Colorado Water Law firm [ ] specializing in legal rights associated with streams and ditches as well as putting in many hours of coursework and literature research on this subject.

Piping the natural streams and creeks in the Wet Mountain Valley will destroy the current ecosystem established 16,000 years ago in an attempt to achieve a very small increase in agricultural production. The long runs of streams and creeks from the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness into our valley will be eliminated that provide in stream diversions of water to the Wildlife, Birds and Fish.  Big and small game will disappear from most of our valley without water to drink near to their food sources.  The amount of leakage and evaporation into the surrounding land from a natural stream is small as the stream bed is capped with a deposit of clay if it is left undisturbed.

Owning the water rights to a natural stream or man made diversion ditch does not automatically give you the Ethical or Legal right to pipe the water course especially if it crosses land owned by another.  According to Dick Wolfe, the local water commissioner [ currently Jerry Livengood ] has absolutely no say in whether you can pipe a stream or man made ditch and Dick Wolfe has given written clarification to the Custer County Water Commissioner’s role in piping issues. Here is a legal opinion from Attorney Scott Miller that I had Scott verify via email.

Scott Miller, at this time I am mostly concerned with piping natural Mountain Creeks and Streams that originate in the 266,000 acre Sangre de Cristo Wilderness and pass through our 1640 acre Sierra Mojada Ranch that people other than ourselves own the water rights to.  This cut n paste from a March 14th, 2014 document from your Aspen, Colorado Law firm clearly tells us to that someone can not just show up on ANY Ranch including ours and pipe Henniquinn and Dry Creeks without our written permission….  Look here:

ii) Upgrades Within the Bounds of the Easement
There is no Colorado binding precedent that the author is aware of that directly addresses whether upgrades or improvements ( above and beyond reasonably necessary maintenance and repairs as discussed above ) are included within the rights of the easement holder.   This is likely determined on a case by case basis and hinges on the Court’s determination of whether the upgrade or improvement (e.g. piping an open ditch } expands the scope of the easement when compared to historic manner and character of use.

Even a stream open to the air needs a minimal stream flow to support the ecosystem.  Exercising your upstream water rights to the extent that the stream dries up for most of it’s length harms the ecosystem.  In other words, in a drought the water in a stream originating in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness that is two miles long may not reach the party who controls the senior water rights near the end of the stream.  A “ Futile Call “ can be approved by the local water commissioner that allows someone to divert most or all of the remaining water close to the source of the stream which dries up most the stream. If the stream dries up for even a brief period of time all the Fish all die.

Since 1970 about 50% of all Wild Animal populations on Earth have been wiped out and 76% of all Fish because of the effects of Human overpopulation.  In my opinion, the maximum Human population that Custer County can support without effecting the Wild Animals and Fish is about 12,000.  About 20% of these people will live in the Village of Westcliffe/SilverCliffe.

Thinking allowed…..

Arthur Gerard Michael von Boennighausen – BSIE, MSCS, MRE, Independent Broker, *

Satellite Broadband now available in Westcllife, Colorado and all of Custer County

Posted By Arthur von Boennighausen on February 25, 2018


Mouse click to enlarge for easier reading…….



Maiden Voyage – The Prequel to The Adventure of a Lifetime

Posted By Arthur von Boennighausen on December 14, 2017

Customer Review

By… ..  Arthur von Boennighausenon December 9, 2017

I actually liked this book more than “ Jupiter’s Travels “, ” The Long Way Round ” and several other long distance motorcycle journeys as it documented a reasonable and mostly Fun trip in the western United States.

Tim Notier gives the reader permission to trailer the bike though some of the long stretches of un-appealing terrain then only ride through Beauty. There is a noticeable lack of border guards, police and hassles associated with motorcycling outside the United States and Canada.

Google Tim Notier or the title of the book in the subject field to Learn more….. The book is available on

Arthur Gerard Michael Baron von Boennighausen


Political Humor by Arthur von Boennighausen

Posted By Arthur von Boennighausen on October 24, 2017




International Building Code – ” The Devil is in the details…. “

Posted By Arthur von Boennighausen on October 10, 2017

Letter to the Editor:
* I can not pass along 42 years of education and experience as a Engineer and Real Estate developer to a person who is not an Architect, Engineer, Constructor or Realtor through Letters to the Editor.  Sometimes being Smart is not enough.
* If the IBC [ International Building Code ] is made mandatory, everyone will need to hire an Architect or Professional Engineer to create the construction drawings that honor the IBC.  Our Architects and Engineers from past projects charge $10,000 – $90,000 to create a IBC compliant set of construction drawings for residential homes in the $200,000 – $2 million dollar range.  This is just one part of the UP TO 24% increase in design and construction costs focusing on the design side.
* Every residential home that has changed hands in Custer County has had a professional building inspector scrutinize the construction for the 16 years I have been a Colorado real estate agent.  Not a single home would have turned out better if the IBC would be mandatory according to the building inspectors. These are written reports with pictures that I am sent electronically.  We have sold residential homes that are over 100 years old during the last 16 years that have stood the test of time and the building inspection.
* I  am afraid that the voters will think that making the IBC mandatory will somehow make every Architect, Engineer and Constructor ethical, schedule conscious, budget conscious and able to successfully apply labor and materials to the construction of residential and commercial buildings. Completing the project on schedule and within the budget has nothing to do with the IBC.  Being able to accurately project the cost of construction has nothing to do with the IBC.
While some of the local Constructors claim they already follow the IBC, many in fact do not.
Thinking allowed…..
Arthur Gerard Michael von Boennighausen – BSIE, MSCS, MRE, Independent Broker, *

Zen and the Art of Total Recall…..

Posted By Arthur von Boennighausen on July 11, 2017

Good Day:
* I have just signed the petition to recall all three Custer County Commissioners.  Here are twelve failures that I am aware of in just the first six months of office:
* Failure to take action concerning six major SDEC electrical outages beginning with Christmas Day 2016.
* Failure to take action when all of Custer County was put under a moratorium where no homeowners insurance could be issued because of the Junkins Wildfire.  This severely affected real estate sales.
* Failure to take action about the poor wireless service from AT&T after several public meetings were held.  This is a public danger and suppresses the local economy.
* Attempting to suppress the already weak economy in Custer County by starting the process to make the Uniform Building Code mandatory. This action will suppress real estate sales and residential construction and increase the cost of construction by up to 24%.
* Causing the firing of our popular Colorado State University extension agent without the due process of any negative entries or warnings in her personal file.  This situation is still not resolved when it comes to county weed control.
* Lack of Communication on important matters with the people of Custer County, Colorado.  With Internet technologies like email and Blogs there is no excuse for lack of Communication.
* Failure to set an example when it comes to a voluntary “ Pride Ordinance “ in Custer County.
*  Failure to honor campaign promises of giving up all or part of the salary of a Custer County Commissioner.
* Hiring away the Westcliffe “ Main Street Manager “ for personal monetary advantage at the Painted View Ranch. This will suppress the Westcliffe business community while increasing revenues at the Painted View Ranch.
* Failure to create and deploy a economic development plan even though this was a major campaign promise.  A picture of the County Commissioners on the cover of the Tribune ended the effort.
* Failure to accomplish much of anything except get your picture in the paper with state and local politicians claiming you are behind this project or that…
* Demonstrating childish and rude behavior to the local media during official Custer County Commissioners meetings.
Thinking allowed…..
Arthur Gerard Michael von Boennighausen – BSIE, MSCS, MRE, Independent Broker, *

2008 BMW R1200 GS Adventure motorcycle for sale

Posted By Arthur von Boennighausen on March 13, 2017


* After talking to the BMW motorcycle dealers in Colorado Springs and Denver I have reduced the asking price on my 2008 BMW R1200 GS Adventure motorcycle to $10,000 as they insisted all I could get was the Kelly Blue Book value.  Includes BMW GS tank bag shown in the image but not the aluminum panniers.  The image will enlarge if you mouse click on it.
* I carefully followed the BMW break in procedures then changed all the lubricants then followed the break in procedures a second time then changed all the lubricants,  This bike will last a long time.
* Here is the maintenance I performed myself on my 2008 BMW R1200 GSA motorcycle with 34,000 miles on the odometer.  This was the Spring of year 2016 maintenance.
- New front and rear tires
- New air filter
- New Battery
- New Headlight bulb
- New Spark Plugs
- Valves adjusted with new valve cover gaskets
- I balanced the throttle bodies
- New rear drive lubricant
- New Engine oil and filter
- New Transmission lubricant
- New Front and Rear Brakes
- Fresh gas with BMW fuel additive [ Techron ].

BMW R1200 GS Adventure motorcycle