Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Golden Arts Festival

I went to the Golden Arts Festival - the last major arts festival of the season here in Colorado - this past Sunday afternoon.  It was a beautiful day - hot and sunny - and everyone was in a great mood, enjoying both the art and the people-watching.  Golden is about 15 miles west of Denver,located behind Table Mesa, and as a result has retained it's small town atmosphere more than other Denver suburbs. Golden is an old town, was in fact Colorado's first capitol, and it's historic district has many homes and other buildings from the 1870s.

But I digress.  The arts festival this year had quite a few booths exhibiting photography.  I was especially impressed by the photos of Cuba by Andrew Butler  (www.andrewbutlerphotography.com)  -seen on the right - and the great portraits by  Greg Davis (www.gregdavisphotography.com) from Cuba, India, and many other parts the world.  Davis quit his job with a computer company and traveled the world for a year, beginning a new career as a photographer.  Need an assistant, Greg?

In any case, the Golden Arts Festival is happily located just a few feet away from the Golden City Brewery, the 2nd largest brewery in Golden after Coors.  The owner turned the backyard of his 1870s era home into a beer garden, and his garage into a brew house.  Talk about an understanding wife.  Plus, in the 3 years or so since I was last here, they have begun accepting credit cards.  Talk about wonderful news.  Let the good times roll.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Catching the Cubs Game With Mark And Stuart

I went to the Cubs - Rockies game at Coors Field Saturday night with my friends Stuart and Mark.  We started the evening at the Breckenridge Brew Pub.  Stuart and I actually had dinner there the first night they opened, braving a below zero February evening. At the time (I think it was 1994) Coors Field was under construction just kitty corner from the place.

When we got to the ballpark, the line to get in was huge, made up mainly of Chicago Cubs fans anticipating a Cubs victory that night, not to mention another run for the World Series.  And the fans were not disappointed, as the Chicago Cubs beat the Colorado Rockies 7 to 2.  The Rockies did not look good at all Saturday night.

And so as we left the ballpark to take the light rail train home, we saw the Cubs celebrating their victory in the infield.  However, although the Cubs won the battle, it turns out that the Rockies won the war, so to speak - the Rockies took the series 3 games to 2.  Of course, this year it appears the Cubs will once again be going to the playoffs, while the Rockies players will be safely able to schedule their golf vacations in October.  So it is pretty obvious who gets the last laugh - at least this year, anyway.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

On The Border With Mark

I drove down to Colorado Springs to see a Sky Sox minor league baseball game Friday night with my friend Mark, who as regular Blog readers know works at the University of Denver's Anderson Academic Commons (the library back on earth).  It was very overcast when we left, and so it was no surprise that it was raining cats and dogs when we got down there.  We decided to have dinner at On The Border, and had Mexican food while we discussed all thing soccer. Mark is a huge soccer fan, and is overdosing on it this week, what with the Olympics and the start of the British soccer season happening at the same time.

In any case, Mark used his smart phone to find out that the game was postponed, which was not a surprise. When we left the restaurant, it was cold as hell out there - Colorado Springs is located at an elevation of 7,000 feet, several thousand feet higher than Denver, and when it turns cold there - even in August - it really turns cold.  I was glad I didn't have to sit through 9 innings of Sky Sox baseball in those conditions.  And as a helpful hint to fellow sports fans, if you are going to a sporting event when the conditions look like the photograph on the right (taken on Monument Hill on the way down to Colorado Springs), I would advise you to turn around, or at least find the nearest cantina to stop at.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Visit To The Oral Surgeon

I was advised  by dentist that I had to have one of my molars removed, and so went to the oral surgeon yesterday to have it pulled.  It was a big operation, with a number of dentists, auxiliary staff, and many offices.  I took the photograph on the left of the view out of the consulting room (Yes! They have a consulting room!) as I waited to be informed of the possible consequences of having a tooth removed (dry socket, non-stop bleeding, a hole in the sinus passage, death, etc.).  Sitting there, I thought about my father Nelson, who was also a dentist.  He started his practice during the Great Depression and opened an office, but had few patients, since nobody had any money.  He moved his practice to his parent's house at 88th and Racine, in the South Side Brainerd neighborhood of Chicago.  The enclosed front porch became his waiting room, and a front bedroom with a door onto the porch became his office.  He never had any assistants, and never sent a patient to an oral surgeon to have a tooth pulled.  He did it all on his own.  How times have changed. Eventually, after many years, he moved his office to a more commercial location in Alsip, Illinois and started making more money.  He hated dentistry, and so decided to see less patients and work fewer hours for the same amount of money until he could happily retire to Stuart, Florida.

But I digress.  The view from the consulting room, with the mountains in the distance, was impressive, but when you looked down, you saw what used to be Fero's Bar and Grill, where five people were systematically stabbed to death here in Denver a few years ago. From the sacred to the profane in one view.  Bill Bryson was in Colorado when these murders occurred, and wrote about it in his new book The Road to Little Dribbling, discussing how in the U.K. this story would have been in the papers for weeks, while here in the U.S. it faded away within days - another example of how Americans have become inured to violence.  In any case, seeing that location (on the far left in the row of shops in the photograph on the right) certainly puts the pain of a tooth extraction in perspective.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Dancing In The Streets

Tomorrow night is the annual Dancing In The Streets celebration in Stuart, Florida.  Faithful Blog readers will recall that last year I danced the night away at that event, walking back to my Stuart condo in the wee hours of the morning.  This year, timing issues - not to mention finances - prevented me from attending this year's event.  Which is why instead I am featuring a photograph of my mother Mary and sister Susan, taken years ago in front of an ice cream shop on the very street in downtown Stuart where they will be dancing tomorrow night.   I thought I was being very clever, taking a photo of them in front of that shirt that says "Genuine Antique Person - Been There, Done That, Can't Remember," but now that is starting to describe me. Curses.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

When Blogger's Block Strikes...

When Blogger's Block strikes, my solution has always been to find an animal to photograph.   Fortunately, there are usually dogs tied up outside the bookstore where I work or in front of the Twist &Shout record store across the way, where I found the pooch  in the photograph on the left willing to pose for a portrait. And what witty remark can I make to go along with this photo?  I'll have to get back to you on that one, except to note that record stores these days are actually selling records again, as opposed to CDs.  And I am sure that is exactly where this dog's owner was while I was taking this photograph.  Time to get the turntable out of the storage closet, I guess.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

For Decoration Or To Ward Off Evil?

I have noticed that a number of the Victorian era homes in the neighborhood where I work are decorated with sculptures on the parapets.  Are these for decoration, or are they possibly a way to ward off evil spirits, such as vampires and zombies?  Regular Blog readers will remember that Denver has a SERIOUS zombie problem.  In fact, they are even allowed to run wild on the 16th Street Mall on a Saturday every October, and they always take the opportunity to raise hell, so to speak.  And that day is not far off.  Time to start making those garlic wreaths, people. I know that is mainly used against vampires, but it sure couldn't hurt. Stay alert people.