Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Poor Will Always Be With Us...

I am paraphrasing a biblical quotation here, and it is one that can't be disputed.  The poor have always been with us, and it appears that will always be the case.  When you see the poor and handicapped walking down the street, it reminds you just how lucky you are, and how small your troubles are compared to so many others in this world.  Denver seems to be especially hard hit by homelessness - there are panhandlers holding up cardboard signs on every street corner, homeless camps all along the Cherry Creek Parkway (the road leading into downtown), and many people (both men and women) sleeping in the parks every night.  If I was homeless, I would be heading to a warmer climate by now, and so who knows why there are so many homeless here.  Perhaps it is the same all over the country. And what is the solution to all this?  I wish I knew.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The World Series - Game I

I had dinner and beers with my friend Stuart at the Old Chicago Restaurant on South Colorado Boulevard here in Denver last night to watch the first World Series game between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians.  This was an historic game, since it was the first time the Cubs have played in a World Series since 1945, and they haven't won one since 1908.  And sadly, this return to the World Series after 71 years did not go exactly as planned, as the Cubs lost to the Indians 6 to 0.  Could the curse of the Billy Goat still be working?  Nonsense.  It is just one game, and the Cubs will return to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, where they play very well indeed, after today's game in Cleveland.  No need to panic - yet.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hall of Fame Quarterback Steve Young Makes An Appearance

Hall of Fame Quarterback Steve Young appeared at the local Denver bookstore where I work for a book-signing for his new book QB: My Life Behind the Spiral. yesterday afternoon. I was thinking that he would be appearing in the evening, and that I would miss getting his photograph, but it turns out he did the book-signing at noon.  Always a good idea to read your e-mails all the way through - another lesson learned.  In any case, Young seems to be a pretty nice guy.  He let each person in line pose for a photograph with him, and took time to talk with each fan.

After taking the photograph on the right, I heated up my lunch in the store's microwave and brought it outside to a table near the door.  A short while later Steve Young walked out of the store with the publisher rep, met a family fried and her young son, and took a bunch of photographs with them, too.  Like I said, a really nice guy.  When he first walked out of the store, I overheard him commenting on how nice the weather was here in Denver.  Of course, Young played football for the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park for most of his career.  And as Mark Twain once put it, "the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."  Nuff said.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Zombies Zombies Everywhere, And Not A Place To Hide

I took the light rail train down to Denver's 16th Street Mall this past Saturday afternoon to check out the annual Zombie Crawl.  It is the day when Denver's sizable zombie population is allowed to freely roam the mall and "do their thing."  On the train downtown a number of my fellow passengers were zombies, including a very excited 2 year old zombie being taken to the 16th Street Mall by his mother and grandmother to mix with his own kind.  When I got off the train, I was suddenly surrounded by these creatures.  There were hundreds, maybe thousands of them, parading around.  It makes you realize just how serious Denver's Zombie problem really is.

I must say many of the zombies do not seem like a happy lot.  Many of them turned and growled in my face as I walked down the mall.  Probably just letting off steam, since the rest of the year they are forced to cover up and hide their zombieness.  I suspect that's why you see so many people in Denver wearing hoodies and sunglasses - regular people get unnerved seeing seeing zombies out on the street.  In fact, a lot of my fellow passengers on the light rail train were giving the zombie passengers strange looks.  They were probably unaware that this was the zombies's special day.

And I suspect that many of people parading down the mall were not true zombies, but simply Denverites who just love dressing up in costume.  I have mentioned before that people in Denver just go crazy at Halloween, often wearing elaborate and expensive costumes.  Not only do people here wear costumes and attend parties all Halloween weekend, but the entire month of October.  Personally, I blame all the Californians who have moved here  in recent years.  They buy older homes all over town, including my neighborhood, tear the place down, and then put up McMansions.  I suspect they wander the rooms of these huge places wearing zombie and Halloween costumes all year round.  It is like having an Adams's Family on every block.  A truly scary thing.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

My friend Mark invited me over to his home to watch the Chicago Cubs play Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday night.  And the Cubs actually won, and now move on to the World Series for the 1st time since 1945.  Holy Cow!  The Cubs will meet the Cleveland Indians for the 1st game of the World Series this coming Tuesday night. And even though I am from the South Side of Chicago and a Chicago White Sox fan, I am very happy for the Cubs and their North Side fans.  In celebration of this historic occasion, I took a photograph of Mark next to the television as we watched the game, with a photograph of long time Chicago Cubs (and Chicago White Sox too, I might add) announcer Harry Caray looking down at the Cubs winning that historic victory.  Of course, this photograph is not really on the wall of Mark's house.  But it damn well should be.  Go Cubs!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Dog Of The Week

This week I am featuring a dog that was hanging out with it's owner by the outside patio at Dos Santos, the taco bar on 17th Street, which was once - and possibly still is - known as Denver's "Restaurant Row."  As you can see, this pooch was more than happy to pose for the camera.  None of this turning your back and trying to avoid being photographed like some people who shall remain nameless ( friend Valarie).  It makes me think that I should become a professional dog photographer.  Just print up some business cards, put an ad in the local weekly entertainment paper, and you've got yourself a profession.  What could possibly go wrong?  And please don't tell me.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Devil's Night

I just finished Devil's Night, the eighth novel in the Asphalt Warrior series featuring Denver cab driver Brendan "Murf" Murphy.  I attended a reading and book signing for the previous book in the series, but this is the first one I have read.  The author was Gary Reilly, who passed away in 2011, and never saw any of his books published.  They are now being published posthumously by Mark Stevens. I must say, it took me a while to get into the book, but I eventually warmed up to the main character and found the book kind of fun, especially since the story takes place in the city where I live.  I definitely intend to read a few others in the series.  I suggest you check them out, even if you don't live in Denver.