Wednesday, July 26, 2017

One Likable Cheetah...

As regular Blog readers know, I have taken many photographs of the cheetah in the photograph above. Every time I go to the Denver Zoo, it is there, observing everyone and everything.  As you can see from the above portrait, it looks you right in the eye, never flinching.  The cheetah is supposed to be a very fast animal, traveling up to 75 miles per hour in short bursts.  It definitely can't attain that speed in it's current environment, which begs the question - is it better to have these animals in zoos to preserve their existence, or should they be left in the wild to either survive or disappear?  I am hopelessly divided on this question, and so am no help at all.  Hopefully wiser minds than I can answer this important - and critical - question.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Sorry Kids - There Is No Escape...

I went to the Denver Zoo Saturday afternoon to take a few photographs, and as usual, I tried to get some good photographs of the zoo babies.  I took the photograph on the left of the baby giraffe, looking out at the wide open spaces of City Park beyond, dreaming of life on the outside. The older giraffes know they are there for life, but the baby still doesn't know that it will be in a cage forever. Eventually it will learn.

As will the gorilla baby in the photograph on the right.  Gorillas are very similar to humans, and so their babies grow up in stages very similar to us.  The little guy on the right has no conception of where he is, or what his future will be.  Like the giraffe baby, he will find out.  As you can tell, I have mixed feelings about the zoo. Going there gives you the chance to see animals you would never otherwise see, and the zoo's mission is to make sure these animals do not go extinct. However, they are indeed serving a life sentence, and will never live as nature intended.  What is the answer?  Damned if I know.

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Pool/Pizza Party With The Old DU Bookstore Gang!

I had a pool/pizza party with some of the old University of Denver Bookstore gang last night in the club room of my condo building.  Several of the gang wanted to know if the pool was clothing optional, which probably explains why nobody went near the water the entire evening.  In any case, we all had a good time catching up on what everyone has been up to lately, and what everyone has planned for the rest of the summer.  In the photograph above (from left to right) are Jake (Valarie's husband), Valarie, the former Operations Manager of the DU Bookstore,  Linda (Wally's wife), Bill, the former Operations Coordinator of the store, Wally, also a former Operations Coordinator of the store; Darrel, the former Accounts Payable Supervisor for the store, his wife Linda, Chris, the former Accounts Payable Assistant, and Jim, Chris's husband.  Jake, Bill, and Darrel and his wife Linda are all retired, with one more planning to retire in September.  The rest of us are dreaming about it, but still had to get up this morning to go to work.  Bummer.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Condo In Florida Is Rented! Again!

As regular Blog readers know, I took a part time job to pay for the HOA fees, taxes, and insurance on the condo in Stuart, Florida that my sister Susan and I inherited from our parents after we could not rent it for the season.  I was working 7 days a week, some days 12 hours, but at least we could pay for the place, and even go down there in August to prepare to rent it next season.  Then the fellow who checks on our condo every month recommended it to his childhood friend, and he rented it for the year. He liked it so much he even offered to buy it.  However, it has been in the family for over 40 years and we want to hold onto the place.  It is filled with many happy memories, such the trip my father Nelson, mother Mary, sister Susan, and I took to Key West back in March of 1979.  My mother and father and sister can be seen posing in front of the Hemingway House in the photograph on the left.

And because he really wanted to own, our renter decided to buy a place in the next building and gave me notice of that the same day I left the part-time job that I took to pay the condo's expenses.  Life is truly ironic.  And so I was back to square one.  But I was also happy about it, too.  I could go back down there in August after all, get the place ready to rent in January, attend Stuart's annual "Dancing in the Streets" festival, catch a Single A Jupiter Hammerheads baseball game, play some golf, walk the beach, etc. etc. Let the good times roll!  Then someone recommended the place to a mother and daughter already living in the complex, and I rented it to them for the year, with a promise to re-rent it for one more year after that.  It will pay the expenses, and so I won't have to take another part-time job, but I won't get the place back for another two year.  I still have the memories, however, such as walking along the St. Lucie River - a short distance from the condo - with ( from left to right) my then wife Lisa, mother Mary, and sister Susan.

I could still go down there, of course, and stay at a luxury Motel 6 Resort Hotel like I did for a night in Portland, Oregon, but that would cost actual money.  I know people will say "David, you are getting $850 a month that you were not getting before," but somehow it seems like it is coming out of a different pocket - specifically mine.  In any case, Stuart is a mere 40 miles or so from Palm Beach, and so maybe I will go down and stay with my soon-to- be good friend Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago.  He needs my moral support because of all this Russian business, all for the price of a guest room.  In the meantime, as I said before, I still have the memories and the photographs, like the pier at sunset with Stewie Anderson's sailboat in the background.  It was the one boat that ever docked at the complex, and like Stewie himself, now long gone.  Oh well, time to suck it up and enjoy not working 7 days a week.  It almost feels like retirement.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Still More Cannon Beach Nostalgia

What can I say?  I miss the place.  I had a great time in Cannon Beach with my relatives, and want to go back. Now.  I took the self-portrait on the left of myself in front of the place the morning I arrived, as I waited for my cousin John and his wife Barb to come back from the store.  It is a pleasant little beach house and is owned by Barb's father. Several times I have offered to serve as the year-round caretaker, but salary negotiations seem to be a sticking point.  Once I retire, my salary request can drop to my drop dead minimum price - free.  How reasonable is that?

In the photograph on the right my Uncle Jack can be seen in the living room, gazing out to sea.  I enjoy doing that, too.  My uncle worked for the navy for many years as an engineer and scientist.  His office was on Point Loma, in San Diego.  He was able to go jogging on his lunch hour along the Pacific, and he absolutely loves the ocean.  In Cannon Beach, the ocean is much different than in Florida.  In the summer, it is misty and cool in the morning, and usually in the afternoon the mist burns off and it is warm and sunny.  I am told that in the winter, however, it is very wet and stormy there, a perfect time to sit by the fire with a good book and occasionally look out at the raging sea.  Oh, what the heck  - I'll pay you guys to be the caretaker.  How much do you want?

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Lost Order

I just finished reading Steve Berry's new Cotton Malone adventure novel, The Lost Order, and thought it was a very good read.  It was an exciting story, and all the familiar characters from the other books in the series are there.  As usual, a secret from the past will change the world (or in this case, the U.S.) in a horrible way if Malone does not act immediately.  Also, for the first time in 3 books, Berry does not paint Franklin Roosevelt as some sort of evil, scheming devil.  Lately Berry has let his conservative political beliefs intrude in his stories, and I must say, it detracts from the books as a whole.  In one, he even says that states have a perfect right to secede whenever they want, and that Lincoln knowingly knew this when he began the Civil War.  Spoken like a true southerner.  But like I said, this story puts aside the politics, and is therefore definitely worth a read.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Still Another Alien Abduction

During my walk one evening from the bookstore where I work to the Union Station light rail stop in Lower Downtown Denver, I saw a bunch of clothing and shoes on a street corner.  This is not an unusual sight on either Colfax, or in this case, 17th Street.  My friend and office mate Peter is convinced that these clothes are all that is left of homeless people who have been abducted by aliens.  Peter feels that the aliens take homeless people because they are less likely to be missed, and suspicions won't be aroused.  And I must say there are a lot of homeless for the aliens to choose from, too.  Colfax seems to have homeless people on every block.  Only two blocks north, and running parallel to Colfax, 17th Street is hipster heaven, and although you  sometimes see the homeless there too, most avoid the street.  Can't blame 'em - hipsters can be scary.