I have a new blog for 2012 – Assignment 35.
In honor of the 35th anniversary of my move to Denver, I’ve adopted a random set of assignments which involve the number 35.
See you over at the new place.
Posted in Blogging, Books, City, Culture, Current Events, Denver, General Suz-ness, Good things, Life and death, Movies, Music, Travel, tagged 2012, blog, blogging, books, Denver, Movies, music on January 7, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Okay, I’m going to edit this, now that another day has passed and I’ve gotten over my old grouchy self. It was just an epic bad day at a poorly managed corporate dining spot in a chain hotel. I wish I could be funny about it. Maybe another time or another SNAFU. What follows has been edited from the original rant.
It’s just as well I wasn’t very hungry Thursday at lunchtime. My lunchtime companions were fun, and I’m glad I joined them to honor Pete on his upcoming retirement.
But the restaurant? Epic FAIL.
Eight of us originally ordered, and two showed up a little later. Orders were right off the menu, nothing persnickety requested. The orders were delivered not all at once but in a definite straggle, and one of us who was sitting with a view of the kitchen saw his plate sitting under the hot lights for awhile before finally being brought to him. Eventually everyone had plates in front of them.
Except me. Our waiter approached me and said, she was so sorry but she hadn’t “entered” my order (the Embassy Suites is of course all computerized) and she needed to know what it was. A couple of minutes later she was back at my shoulder to say they were preparing my order now, and when I asked how long, she said “three minutes.” My friends offered to share their food with me, but I declined. After all, mine was due in three minutes, right? I got involved in the conversations, then finally looked at my watch again. Nearly 15 minutes had passed since the “three minutes” statement. No food. No wait person.
I looked over at the kitchen and saw, sitting under the hot lights on the pickup counter for completed orders, a burger plate. Our wait person was engrossed in some business at another table. Another restaurant employee who’d helped serve us walked back and forth in front of that burger plate as I watched. But didn’t touch it.
So, dear reader, I got up, walked over to the kitchen, picked up the burger plate and brought it back to the table myself.
It had sat on that counter under the warming lights so long that the slice of cheese on one side of the open faced burger? Was drying out at the edges.
I wish this was the end of the saga. You should be so lucky. Hell, we all should have been so lucky. There was another saga of confusion and delay about giving us our checks. Separate checks, which our server had offered us. It took maybe 20 minutes and as with the food there was an erratic distribution of checks to some of us, then a long wait for the rest.
During the check situation I told a manager who was working the computer with our server (ours wasn’t the only table with a check issue), about all the problems with my order. All he said was sorry, not even pausing in his work on the computer.
Yes: I was eventually handed a bill, in full, of $15.47 for my burger and iced tea. No comps, no discounts, just the damned bill.
Which I stood in another line to pay up at the register. I handed our waiter my bill and a twenty. She gave me back four ones.
Yes, dear reader, I even got shorted on the change. But by then I was so late getting out of there to get back downtown for meetings, I said not a word and just left.
I’m so glad I got to get together with that group – even if most of them were camera-shy – that in another day or two I will be laughing at the debacle that was my actual lunch.
It probably was the universe’s way of telling me I should have ordered a chicken caesar salad instead of a burger.
But if you’re ever in Denver? Remember that name. Diazza.
Yes, right there on page 1 of the Denver Post:
“The black box has a bazillion different parameters on it. They will hone in on what went wrong.” Mike Boyd, aviation analyst, on the voice and data recorders, above, that have been sent to National Transportation Safety Board headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Gosh, isn’t it great when our local papers bring us the benefits of specialized expertise?
Denver International Airport (DEN) has several banks of charging stations for electronic devices (phones, notebooks, laptops, PDAs, cameras, whatever) located on the concourses (as opposed to the Main Terminal Building). They are marked with “FreeCharge” signs. There’s no cost for their use. Here are a couple of pictures.
Details of where to find them:
A Gates aka A Concourse or Concourse A, 2 locations:
B Gates aka B Concourse or Concourse B, 4 locations:
C Gates, aka C Concourse or Concourse C, 2 locations:
Also in the C Gates area, at some of the Southwest Airlines gates on the East side, there are small freestanding counter-height tables – some with stools, some not – with electric outlets which are available at no cost.
(This just updates some information I posted several months ago, minus irrelevant blather.)
Another news story covered via twitter. See http://twitter.com/2drinksbehind. The saga starts with the tweet that reads “Holy f*g sh**t I wasbjust in a plane crash!”
HFS, that’s my airport. God, I am so glad everyone got out of the plane. (Continental flight 1404 from Denver (DEN) to Houston (IAH), went off runway into ravine on takeoff at 6:18 p.m. last night. Our local TV news is now giving us pictures of the plane sitting upright, covered with firefighters’ foam that looks like snow. But isn’t. DFD says the fire was intense but apparently didn’t get into cabin until everyone was out, nobody got burned.)
I was out there yesterday morning for my volunteer shift. Noticed it was windy as hell when I left, but that was six hours before the accident.
It’s bad enough that evil winter weather all over the rest of the country is messing up airline flight schedules. This accident has caused closure of half of DEN’s 6 runways for several hours, although I hear now that 1 or 2 of the 3 West airfield runways have been reopened, meaning that 4 or 5 of DEN’s 6 are again in operation.
Sorry, air-traveling people, looks like delays and cancellations all over the place this weekend.
A little piece in today’s newspaper led me to this blog. The short version: photographer finds excellent photographs from the 1930′s and 40′s among the other offerings at an estate sale and buys as many as she can. Then she follows up and finds that they were taken by Ellet N. Shepherd (1901 – 1965), Denver lawyer and judge. She gets the rest of the unsold photographs and has shared several of them with the rest of us on a blog.
On reading the article I clipped it out, grabbed my coffee and moved into the study to visit the blog. And I’ve been somewhere else for the last half hour as I look at the pictures and read some of the newspaper articles about Ellet Shepherd’s time as a prosecutor and a judge.
I’m visiting a Denver I have often wished I knew, a much smaller town that I might not have liked but suspect I would. It is I’m sure a longing driven by the desire for simplicity and certainty.
I have visited that place before, often by way of some of Sandra Dallas‘ novels – especially New Mercies. And I pored over the details of the town and people in Mainliner Denver (heck, I even met one of the lawyers in that case, who was still around many years later when I moved here fresh out of law school and passed the bar).
Honestly? One of these days I may just go down to the public library and read old local newspapers on microfilm or however they are stored now, just for the heck of it and not in search of anything special.
In the meantime, I am engaged with Judge Shepherd’s pictures, and the places I go when I look at them.
Last Monday on the 16th Street Mall, at lunchtime. A nice sunny day, not as hot as August can be here. My usual lunchtime restaurant was half-deserted at 11:40, although on a usual day it’s getting pretty full by then:
However, outside on the Mall more than the usual lunchtime crowds were out, because this was Day One of the Democratic National Convention and the joint was jumping.
I noticed that the heavy masonry trash cans along the Mall had been replaced by lightweight cardboard boxes with plastic bags.
People were cheerful, hawkers were out in force. Some with permits and I’m sure many without. Some buskers were out, including one man playing his trumpet. I’d stopped to take his picture when I heard someone say something about the Mall shuttle buses being stopped, then heard a booming noise in the background.
I looked up and saw a banner approaching from the Civic Center end of the Mall. People were marching in the traffic lane toward me.
So I took some snaps and then stepped aside to watch the protest parade pass.
It didn’t take long. There weren’t very many marchers, and several of them seemed to be multitasking anyway.
By the digital time metadata in the pictures I took, it was two minutes and thirty seconds between the first snapshot from a block away and this picture of the mounted patrol bringing up the rear at the end of the protest parade.
In the meantime, the horn player – in the turquoise and white shirt above – had stopped playing while the little protest parade passed by, and turned to a new place in his music, an interesting counterpoint to the passing parade.
It’s OK, this is America. That’s what happens here.
In broad daylight. Out in public. On a nice sunny day. The outraged protesters make their point and march on. The trumpet player lifts up his horn and plays again – “I Worship You, Almighty God” – after they pass by.
The festival continues. I go back to work.
I have a very low threshold for political correctness. A blogger arriving in Denver last week to cover the DNC for Pacifica Radio, posted the photo above of DNC volunteers at the Denver airport, and her comment sent me right into “Flo mode” which if you don’t know already, means I cop an attitude worthy of a very annoyed truck stop waitress and snarl “Kiss my grits.” And then I proceed to get actually hostile. Bloggie-poo wrote:
I have to admit that the welcoming committee pictured above hardly reflects the diversity that I see on the floor today: more than half the delegates are women; one in every four is African American, 11 percent are Latino, four percent are Asian-American Pacific Islander; another four percent associate with a disability and six percent identify as LGBT.
Golly. I’m sure that in San Francisco they would never have allowed any group of volunteers to gather to offer to help people, except in properly assorted types and numbers. But this is Colorado. We’re not as politically pure.
We still kind of think three friendly faces are, well, three friendly faces. Without consideration of race, religion, age, national origin, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, technological sophistication, political affiliation, or economic status.
The folks in the orange T-shirts volunteered their time – and the resources to get to the airport and home again which usually means gas and parking money – to greet people coming to the DNC and help them navigate the airport from arrival to baggage claim to ground transportation. (Edited to add: Those in the picture were only three among hundreds of such volunteers, who helped both at the airport and downtown.)
And a snotty blogger just had to slam this random lot of them for not being a politically correct assortment.
Anyway, I doubt that she talked with them and went through her checklist. Maybe one of them ‘associates with a disability’ (Lord, a whole new straight line!), or only one of them is heterosexual?
This calls out for Cranky Prof’s articulate billingsgate.
I am not worthy.
I’m figuring out the logistics of getting to and from my downtown office this coming Monday through Wednesday. Because as I may have mentioned a time or ten here the Democratic National Convention will be in town. Along with the media and the tens and tens of thousands of demonstrators and marchers and protesters that we are constantly told are flocking here as we speak. My office is in a building located at the staging area and starting point of daily parades (as in demonstration/protest type, not the Shriners) through downtown. The City designated the route a few months ago and handed out permits to applicants. From 10 am to 3 pm Sunday through Wednesday (or maybe through Thursday), it’s gonna be crowded out there on the streets.
The media hype is growing by the minute, and it’s only Friday afternoon. The DNC opened the doors to show off the remodeled interior of the Pepsi Center, and everybody’s all ooh and aah which really brings home how much this is show biz. Some of these reporters are going to be hyperventilating by Tuesday afternoon if this pace keeps up.
In the meantime, a little sanity is to be had on the innernets. The folks at FactCheck.org have looked into Barack Obama’s birth certificate apparently in response to allegations that it’s a fake and he wasn’t really born in the USA They report here that it’s for real and yes he was born in the US. The report concludes with a copy of a birth announcement printed in the newspaper in Honolulu in 1961: a son was born on August 4 to Mr. and Mrs. Barack H. Obama, with their home address also listed.
Of course, it’s distantly possible that Obama’s grandparents may have planted the announcement just in case their grandson needed to prove his U.S. citizenship in order to run for president someday. We suggest that those who choose to go down that path should first equip themselves with a high-quality tinfoil hat. The evidence is clear: Barack Obama was born in the U.S.A.
Good lord, could common sense be breaking out?
On second thought: Nah.
I know some nice people. Including the ones who called me Thursday to offer me their tickets to last night’s performance of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. And the friend who accepted my last-minute invitation to go with me.
Dinner beforehand was good. It was a lovely spring evening to be out and about. Downtown was bustling but not frantically crowded
Inside Boettcher Hall, our seats were primo. The program was Johann Sebastian Bach and Vivaldi; there’s nothing like baroque music to clean the cobwebs and clutter out of my brain for a few hours, and this program was a joy.
I could get a crush on Scott Yoo, the guest conductor and violinist. Who just about rocked the house with Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. The podium was removed during intermission, and he fiddled away right on the same level as the musicians he was conducting. Vigorously, intensely, totally.
Thanks, everybody. That was fun!
Oh, how refreshing. Spring has finally come to Denver, flowers are daring to bloom and trees to leaf out. And the looney tunes are coming outdoors, pale and shriveled from hunkering in their basements all winter, and squinting in the sunshine.
Exhibit A: the guy who says he *seriously* wants the Denver City Council to create – and I have to give this title the placement it deserves:
Yep. ET, phone City Hall. The commission would be tasked with ”dealing with issues related to the presence of extraterrestrial beings on Earth.” Like, maybe, dating.
As required by law when the fine citizens of the City & County of Denver are proposing initiatives, City staffers held a public meeting with this visionary activist yesterday. Some interested folks turned up, including a few young folks wearing tinfoil hats. Bless their hearts.
If City Council doesn’t enact this initiative into law, and its sponsor gets enough signatures on petitions for it, it will go onto the ballot at the next election.
Think about it: if it passes, and the commission is created, the commission will need at least one staffer. What a job that would be. Although I’m not sure it would be a terrific career track for anyone.
The sponsor of this lunacy? Is 54 years old, divorced, has no children, and lives with his parents. As profiled in the Rocky Mountain News:
Occupation: Owns an Internet business, which is marketing a new technology that reduces stress “because it reduces the chaos of electromagnetic fields,” he said.
Education: A year at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa.
Number of times abducted: 0
Ever seen an alien? No. But “I believe they do exist,” he said. “I’ve seen very hard evidence.”
Yesterday Jasper and I went to Washington Park for the Furry Scurry. So did 10,000 other humans and 5,000 other dogs.
It was a hoot. I got there early enough and hung around our corporate team area but none of them ever showed up there and I didn’t see any of them in the crowd elsewhere. Which doesn’t mean they weren’t there.
As we had first walked into the park and toward the event area, Jasper was scared by the noise and the crowd. I picked him up and carried him then, and for almost the first time ever I felt him shaking a little.
The time we spent hanging out in our designated corporate team area turned out to be good for him. It was a safe spot where there were friendly people and dogs to meet, and after 20 minutes he seemed to lose the anxiety. Despite the absence of our teammates, we had a good time. Jasper’s so cute that many people talked to us, and were impressed that he was only 4 months old.
He walked a lot more of the 2-mile course than I’d expected. It was a breakthrough on his learning curve about being out on a leash and walking along with me in a straight line. I suppose it’s the pack thing – he was doing what the other dogs were, learning from them. And he definitely wanted to be in the middle of the pack most of the time, after we got going walking the course. I started to worry that he was going to blister his pads walking so much on pavement, because he’s used to wandering around on turf here at home.
I wish I had pictures, but handling Jasper was all I could deal with. After all, I did carry him for probably half of the distance all told. I do have the memories, including Jasper and the big sweet Newfie we walked with for awhile. And Jasper and a bunch of dogs about his size playing tangle-the-leashes in the corporate team area.
We got home at 11 am, both very tired. He could use a bath after all that, but I’m not an experienced dog bather so I may wait until I have time later this week, then give it a try. In the meantime I’ll wipe him down again with a damp washcloth to see if I can remove a little more of the dirt.
Thanks for all the good wishes, donations, and moral support.
Today I spent the morning doing my volunteer gig under the big top.* This was my second Sunday morning shift in a row. The four hours went pretty fast. Both Sundays, I’ve been in a spot in the main Terminal where a lot of just-checked-in passengers walk by.
When I’m out there I’m wearing the volunteer uniform: a nice suede vest, blue jeans, white shirt, bolo tie and snappy white Stetson hat. (The vest, hat and bolo tie are furnished by the airport.) I’m there to answer questions and give directions. It’s fun to have no agenda or purpose but to help people. Mostly the people I talk to need basic directions: to security, where’s their gate. I’m learning a lot as I go along although after working at the airport all those years I did know some things already.
The most common questions I heard last week and today, other than a request for basic directions: Where’s Starbucks? (Concourse B down at the far East end by the regional jet gates.) Where can I find a TV to watch here in the Terminal? (Red Rocks Bar and Seattle’s Best coffee for sure; walk by the other eateries and see if any of them has TV.) Will there be places to eat after I go through security? (Yes.)
Today I got a new one. Somebody asked if there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts in the airport. There isn’t, but that’s not a silly question when you consider the crummy junk-food lineup slap in the middle of the Terminal, 6 East: Panda Express, Domino’s Pizza, Taco Bell, and Burger King. In an ug-lee old food court which sadly has one of the primo visible spots in the place.
There’s a brand new spot in the Terminal: the Marketplace. It opened the other day and has a coffee shop, a flower shop and a corner store with food and snacks. Here are some pictures I took. It looks fresh and new. Lord knows the Terminal could use more of that. (I’m not going to waste bandwith by posting any pictures of the crummy food court.)
*Denver International Airport, aka “DIA”, airline code DEN
Last night I had dinner with friends at the new Limelight Supper Club. I had salmon; the meal was good and the service almost too enthusiastic – no doubt a reaction to a recent newspaper column slamming the Kevin Taylor restaurants, including the Limelight, for shoddy service.
The Limelight’s just opened in a space formerly occupied by a lackluster restaurant, and we hope the new operation keeps up to its current standards. It’s right there in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, steps away from the DCPA, the Ellie, the Buell Theatre, and Boettcher.
I’ve had DCPA season tickets for years now, and this is so far the most powerful, memorable season-kickoff lineup they’ve had. All three plays are winners, and I’m hoping the rest of the season can keep up this pace.
Our House – reviewed here - is playwright Theresa Rebeck’s brutal, dark, hilarious satire of reality TV and its effects on the people who watch it. As the Denver Post reviewer says:
What distinguishes “Our House” from lesser pop-culture satires is the writer’s sharp, unapologetic anger. One can imagine Rebeck writing this pointed diatribe in an inspired fury, skewering random targets like reality TV, media mergers, gun control and more. “Our House” is an absurd play, but it’s not a farce. It’s too close to real for that. Instead it’s a mind-bending activity that will send departing theatergoers off with synapses firing like so many sniper’s bullets.
That’s not to say “Our House,” now in its world premiere staging by the Denver Center Theatre Company, is fully satisfying just yet. It’s ferociously performed and ideologically compelling from start to lickety-split finish. But it’s also at times contradictory and always intentionally messy. . . .
But Rebeck doesn’t want you to love her play. She wants you to listen to what it has to say — if you can tear yourself away from “Celebrity Apprentice” long enough to hear it.
Rebeck’s unabashed triumph is her creation of two utterly original and somehow alluring lowlifes. There’s Merv, a St. Louis grad student and TV-obsessed narcissist who has reclined his way into $4,000 of debt, creating a powder keg of antagonism with a roommate who calls a house meeting to vote on his eviction (a brilliant machination that harkens “Big Brother”).
And there’s Wes (Danny Mastrogiorgio), the network boss obsessed with Jennifer (Molly Ward), an ambitious anchor beauty who pronounces “Shiite” as “shyte.” Wes plucks her from his news division to host a reality show because, sadly, it’ll give her greater exposure (they’re mercilessly patterned after real-life married CBS power couple Les Moonves and news anchor/”Big Brother” host Julie Chen).
Presented in a single 90-minute act, Our House was a little messy, a little shocking, horrendously funny in spots, and utterly fascinating. Although I’ve never watched any of the broadcast networks’ “reality” shows and barely recognized Julie Chen’s name, I surely thought twice about grabbing the remote to turn on the tube when I got home last night.
[T]he Denver Center Theatre Company’s massive world-premiere stage adaptation [by Eric Schmiedl] of [Kent] Haruf’s best-selling novel, a sweeping panorama about an unremarkable, fictional cattle-ranching town on the plains east of Denver.
. . . While “Plainsong” is an ultimately uplifting story about family, Haruf writes unflinchingly about harsher realities of small-town life, such as drunkenness, sexual abuse, adultery, violence and depression.
News of the novel didn’t reach me under whatever rock I was living beneath, back when it was a bestseller, so I haven’t yet read it. A friend said that’s probably best, because my experience of the play wasn’t colored by my memory of the novel. Thank goodness, I also missed the soppy Hallmark TV adaption of the novel, which Haruf said embodied every single thing he told the producers to avoid. Yeesh.
I liked the play so much I wouldn’t mind seeing it again. And if you don’t know how easily I get restless sitting in a theatre, you have no idea what a tribute that is.
The third new play is Lydia, which will probably be the most controversial play in this trio. By turns lyrical and brutal, realistic and mystical, it may have been the most thought-provoking for me. It had the most hard-to-watch moments. The play built skillfully to the climax but then, I thought, the playwright (Octavio Solis) failed to bring it as adeptly to a close.
Finally, on the book front, Patti Thorn at the Rocky published a thoughtful analysis of Our Mayor’s “One Book, One Denver” program which got off to a so-so start four years ago and has lost ground since then. Thorn writes:
Maybe you remember my recent column, headlined “One Book final event one snoozer.”
In it, I recapped what has to rank as one of the more dreadful evenings of recent memory: Sitting in a dark, cold high school auditorium, listening to author Nick Arvin read from his World War II novel to the unfortunate accompaniment of an electric guitar approximating the sound of bombs going off.
It was part of Denver’s 2007 community reading program, One Book, One Denver. And I have to admit, I was embarrassed for the city. The event was ill-conceived, poorly executed and uninspiring.
Far worse was the underlying sense, amid the discordant guitar riffs and drowned-out prose, that One Book, One Denver itself was bombing. Only 100 others joined me that night, a paltry showing if you consider the main author event has attracted as many as 800 in past years.
Indeed, the community reading series designed to encourage all Denverites to read and discuss the same book hit a participation low in 2007. Record-keeping has been irregular at best, but city staffers estimate that book sales and library circulation totalled around 16,000 in the program’s first year in 2004. This time, they plummeted to less than 5,000.
Any further drop and One Book, One Denver is in danger of earning the label one local writer gave it in jest: One Book, One Reader.
She interviewed the manager of the program in Seattle, which started the first citywide reading program, and compares key aspects of the two programs. Bottom line: Denver’s program is committee-driven, inconsistent, a victim of political correctness and fatally flawed by trying to be all things to all readers of all ages.
OK, enough of this writing about culture. The Super Bowl’s about to start. Not that I really care which team wins. And I may wait to change channels until this BBC America documentary that I have on, “My Big Breasts and Me,” is over.
I’m now working part time. Just in time for snow season.
I’ve got to get dressed and get downtown on a snowy morning. Instead of cruising around here in my jammies sipping coffee.
Sitting here watching the early morning TV news as the snow continues to fall, I learn that a light rail train has just derailed down in the south metro area.
A coal train on the adjacent track derailed and tipped train cars and/or coal onto the LR tracks and the LR train driver couldn’t get ‘er stopped in time to avoid the mess. Nobody hurt, according to first reports, and the LR train stayed upright.
A Channel 9 employee was on the train when it happened, so naturally they are getting cellphone reports from him on the air. Sounds like the driver darn near managed to get the LR train stopped, so it wasn’t a high speed collision, bless him.
The picture above is just one randomly grabbed from the CDOT road cam website. To give you a sense of the morning.
EDITED to add these newspaper/TV pictures of the coal train wreckage (right) and the light rail train off its tracks (below).
Be careful out there.
PS: While I’ve been messing around here, it’s been warming up outdoors. To 19°F. Maybe I should wear my Hawaiian shirt after all.
Further update: It worked out that I’m working at home today. Still have to go out later for an appointment but the traffic madness has abated by now.
I have season tickets for a regional theater company here. The last several times I’ve queued up in the main floor ladies’ room there, no matter which stall I end up in, I have found that the stall no longer has either the fold-down purse shelf which each stall used to have, or the basic purse/coat hook which also used to be there. Which means that to use the facility as intended: I had to hang my purse around my neck or put it on the floor, and if I had an overcoat I had to lay it over the top of the door (and hope it didn’t slide off).
Bad enough, but we’ve attended plays there twice in two weeks this month and each time I used that restroom, I tried three different soap dispensers at the sinks, and they were all empty.
So I went online to their website and found an email link to someone under the heading “facilities.” A woman, to whom I sent a polite email of complaint about these experiences. I received a nice reply later that day, which besides noting that the soap dispenser situation would be remedied immediately, said this (I’ve added the bolding for emphasis):
Thank you for your email and I apologize that you have been dissatisfied with a small part of your theatre experience at the [major downtown theater complex whose initials are DCPA]. I have directed your inquiry to our Facilities Manager and he is making arrangements to add hooks to the stalls in the womens’ bathrooms. I learned that not having the hooks was the current choice, because there was a general consensus that hooks greaten the likelihood of purses and other personal items being left behind.
Yep, what that woman so tactfully related is that someone – I suspect a MALE someone – decided that the little ladies would be less likely to leave their purses and umbrellas and coats behind in the bathroom stalls, if they just had no way to let go of them while attending to calls of nature. Never mind how difficult it is for a female to use the toilet while clutching a handbag and wearing an overcoat; just think how more efficiently those guys can manage the facilities if there are fewer items left behind to end up in the lost and found.
Thank goodness a woman has been heard on the issue. I’m expecting to see purse hooks the next time I use that ladies’ room.
As reported in the Denver Post, this kid has the right idea of networking:
Marisol Tanguma is a little girl with a big heart who understands the power of networking.
On Tuesday, Courtney Tanguma, 4-year-old Marisol’s mother, told the Castle Rock preschooler that the Denver Rescue Mission was in need of donated turkeys to feed homeless people. “I asked her how many turkeys she thought we should buy for the rescue mission,” Courtney remembered.
When Marisol replied 50, her mother laughed and said, “We can’t afford 50 turkeys.”
“Mommy, you know we have lots of friends,” Marisol replied.
It was about noon when she and Marisol began e-mailing friends and relatives asking them to contribute what they could toward “Mari’s great turkey mission.”
By 4 p.m. they had pledges of $445.
Marisol and her mother drove 50 turkeys to the Denver Rescue Mission.
Happy Thanksgiving, Marisol.
I almost always worked the day after Thanksgiving, because I almost always worked for state or local government agencies who do not observe the day after Thanksgiving as a holiday, and I saw no reason to burn a day of vacation leave on it.
On Thanksgiving Friday the office was quiet. It was the perfect time to catch up on work without a lot of interruptions from phone calls and other things. Like chatty co-workers, because most of them had taken the four-day weekend. I doubt that blessed quiet will survive the Blackberry culture, now that the boss and everybody else can generate annoying email traffic from offsite.
One of the most blessed things about working the day after Thanksgiving was NOT SHOPPING ON BLACK FRIDAY. I do not have the words for how much I hate shopping in crowded stores. For how my gut literally churns when I read the inevitable news stories about innocent kids trampled by sweaty fat adults rushing through the doors of Wal-mart to grab one of the loss leader color TVs.
But here’s another scary thing. According to this morning’s newspaper ads, the stores are opening so early tomorrow that determined shoppers can hit a few selected targets and still get to the office on time. If they aren’t injured in the earlybird frenzy.
In case anyone wants to plan their Black Friday shopping, here’s a schedule of retail store opening times for Friday, November 23:
OPENING AT 4:00 A.M.:
OPENING AT 5:00 A.M.:
OPENING AT 6:00 A.M.:
OPENING AT 7:00 A.M.:
OPENING AT 8:00 A.M. OR REGULAR HOURS:
A few stores are opening this afternoon or tonight. I refuse to give them free publicity. They should let their employees have the day off. Grinches.
If you go shopping tomorrow, be careful out there.
An evocative list of subjects (Ross – University Hills branch).
Uneasy shelf-fellows (Schlessman branch).
It fell on Sunday morning. By Monday afternoon - yesterday – it was going fast. Solar snow removal – we’re good at that around here.
Because late last night, the fifteenth day of Rocktober, 2007, the Colorado Rockies defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in a baseball game at Coors Field. Which means: THE ROCKIES ARE NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPS – AND PLAYING IN THE WORLD SERIES!!!! And if we weren’t at the game, we were probably awake at home, taking it all in via TV, radio and/or the net.
Fourteen years ago, on Good Friday, 1993, the Rockies played their first home game. At the old Mile High Stadium; Coors Field wasn’t built yet. In the bottom of the first, the first Rockies batter (Eric Young) stepped up to the plate and hit the first pitch thrown to him – into the stands, for a home run. (more…)
Woke up to a cool rainy autumn morning.
I’ve only looked at it through the windows so far.
I’m considering a road trip this fall, to see some places here in the US. After the price of gasoline and finding decent hotel rooms, I will be concerned about finding the authentic things – the local things - in those places.
Because I know that just driving into any US town means passing strips of chain sameness. McDonald’s. Walgreen’s. W*l-mart. Not so many Sears and Penneys stores as there used to be. Chili’s. Love’s. On and on.
You have to dig to find the local places to eat, to shop, to visit. Thank goodness for those AAA travel books, although they probably can’t cover everything.
Last night I enjoyed local pleasures: dinner at the Handle Bar & Grill, and a play at Germinal Stage Denver. If you’re in Denver and looking for dinner and a play, please don’t be put off by their websites, which are inferior (HB&G) and annoyingly bad (GSD).
The Handle Bar should have its logo on its site, but I didn’t see it there. It’s an eatery inspired by the sport of bicycling. It’s motto: “We ain’t no chain.” The noise from the bar last night drifted clear over to our table, but the food was, as usual, good. And we could hear ourselves think, and talk.
The theater pros at Germinal Stage Denver work their magic on a tiny stage. You won’t find the GSD experience anywhere else. But you may have a small professional theater in your town. If you’ve been meaning to get tickets, this might be a good time to do that. For an authentic, local, experience.
I went with a friend to the free screening of the LiveEarth concert at the Tivoli on Saturday night. The theater was just about full. Turns out, we were watching the NBC broadcast, but in widescreen and surround sound glory with a bunch of other people of all ages. Really. Teens to wrinklies. Cool.
My sentimental favorite of the performers we saw: Nunatak, performing outdoors in Antarctica to an audience of (I assume) at least one camera operator and (for sure) some penguins.
Most memorable line: Al Gore’s. “I’m 59. People tell me that’s the new 58.”
On Friday I saw this bumper sticker on a gas-thrifty Roo parked at Cheapo Discs, the big used CD/DVD store. Which I strongly prefer to seeing a “save the earth” bumper sticker on a much less thrifty vehicle.
HT to Bizzy for blogging this. Which reminded me of the email I got the other day from the Denver Film Society inviting me to watch Live Earth in big-screen comfort on Saturday. I checked the DFS website and didn’t see any reference to it, and looked again at the email, which doesn’t say that the invitation is limited to DFS members. Hmm.
The email says the show is free, and you’ll get free popcorn and reduced prices on soft drinks, if you bring your own “eco-responsible reusable popcorn bowl” and glass, respectively. More from the press release/email is below the fold.
I don’t have to drive to work on this Wednesday morning.
It’s Bike to Work day in Colorado and Lord knows how many people are on the streets on bicycles right now. People who have little, if any, experience navigating city streets that way, and who assume that the traffic rules and laws don’t apply to bicycles.
Already this morning, according to Channel 9 news and traffic reporters, there have been two significant accidents, one downtown and one at Colfax and Cherry, involving bicycles and motor vehicles.
Look, people, if you must get out on the streets on a bicycle, learn to ride it first. Figure out how to ride and watch out for traffic. And contrary to how MOST people on bicycles behave, the traffic laws DO apply to bike riders, okay? Red lights, stop signs, yielding to pedestrians – all of it.
And when -or if – you make it to your job, please do your co-workers a favor. Take a shower right after you park the bike.
I don’t know what to write about this, or how, but I have to. If only to quote Susan Barnes-Gelt, writing in Sunday’s newspaper:
[R]arely recognized are those gifted public servants who work to advance the mission of caring for the most vulnerable among us, ensuring that the protocols and systems that protect them are empathic, predictable and fair.
One of those stewards is Lynn Lehmann, who is suffering from terminal kidney cancer and deserves to be recognized. For 17 years, from 1984 until 2001, Lehmann supervised the human services section of the Denver city attorney’s office. . . . As a result of his unrelenting advocacy and focus, outcomes for Colorado’s children and families improved significantly.
The full column is below the fold.
I remember back in the 1990′s when a new Mayor appointed a new City Attorney. The new City Attorney – very smart, with a lot of relevant experience – thought it would be good to start routinely reassigning lawyers from one section of the office to another. Cross-training, enriching our experience, diversifying our skills, or just plain shaking us up and waking us up – I can’t remember which if any of those goals he had in mind.
But he was surprised by the strong response from Lynn Lehmann’s lawyers in the Human Services section. They were deeply committed to that work, and did not at all equate it with working on tax assessment disputes or eminent domain cases or construction contracts or the prosecution of barking dog tickets – or any of the many other things that assistant city attorneys in other sections do. They convinced the City Attorney to leave them where they were – doing utterly non-glamorous, difficult, unsung legal work, in the courthouse trenches day in and day out, to protect children and other vulnerable people.
I have been taking a long walk nearly every day in the City parks across the street from our condo complex: Hutchinson Park and Bible Park. In each park, the wetlands (Hutchinson) and natural areas (Bible) are full of growth, tall grasses and leafed-out plants and trees.
The “developed” areas, especially in Bible – the big park – look almost lush, and “lush” doesn’t come easy to this high and arid climate. It was a copiously snowy winter here in town, and not a very dry spring, good for plant growth. Maybe too good; the cottonwood trees are already shedding cotton fluff which usually happens in July or August – not May.
The goats will be working on the park areas that have been left as natural habitat, and the work will take some time.
They are brought in each day and watched over by a man whose working title I didn’t ask. Goat-herder, I guess. Or, Noxious Weed Control Supervisor? Whatever the title, he’s a courteous man with a Texas or Oklahoma accent.