Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Student's Night!

It was "New Student's Night" at the DU Bookstore this evening. Jan and Dave B. (pictured above) were the Masters of Ceremony for the evening. Dave B. was his usual crazy self during the event, which was understandable, since he is in fact truly crazy. Of course, so is much of the staff. As a matter of fact, whenever I am around sane people these days, I find myself very much out of place. Not a good sign.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Season's End

The Rockies played their last home game this afternoon. Time to say goodbye and wait until next year. The Rockies will not make the playoffs this year. On the other hand, the Rockies were in the World Series only three years ago, while it has been 65 years since the Cubs have been there. People have made a fortune betting against the Cubs, since their fans are so loyal (or possibly deranged).

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Photography at 65 MPH!

I went to the airport this evening to pick up 2 friends who had been vacationing in Honduras. The sunset was spectacular tonight, and I wanted to record it. Unfortunately, I was in my much maligned (but highly reliable) car heading in the opposite direction. I took out my camera, and took photographs through the rear view mirror with my right hand while holding the wheel with my left, still keeping up a steady 65 miles per hour speed. The results were not that impressive. How do the rest of you handle this problem?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rich Kids at DU

I'm not saying the University of Denver is a rich kids school, but some of the cars they drive are worth more than my condo. Personally, I drive a 1987 Honda Civic Sedan, and all my friends and family constantly make remarks about it - "it is noisy, it vibrates, it looks like an old Buick," etc. etc. etc. As far as I am concerned, it is a great car, and in just another 2 years I will be able to get collector plates. As a matter of fact, I intend to commemorate that event (the 25th anniversary of my car) by getting it washed.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Boreas Pass

I spent Sunday afternoon on Boreas Pass, above Breckenridge, Colorado, photographing the golden-colored Aspens. The photographs were all cliches, taken thousands of times by tourists and professional photographers alike. On the other hand, beauty is still beauty, and a low key day of taking photographs, enjoying the beauty and the moment, is still a wonderful thing.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ruby Park Ukulele Fest

I ran into Darrel at the Ukulele Fest this afternoon at Ruby Hill Park. It was a mass ukulele lesson, and afterwards, hundreds of ukuleles played the Roger Miller classic "King of the Road." Some of the players were on the young side (top photo), and some of the players were a little older (Darrel is on the far right of the bottom photograph). Darrel, of course, was part of the backroom ukulele band at the DU Bookstore, that also included Doug, Marty, and Pamela. Like many well known bands, success went to their heads and they went their separate ways. Ukulele players are hot these days, as everyone knows.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Tristy Lives!

First Owen, now Tristy. Owen had to have his gall bladder removed a few weeks ago, and now Tristy, the Director of the DU Bookstore, had to have an operation today and will be out for the next six weeks or so. Of course, Owen was back at work in one week's time, while Tristy will be out until the end of October. Not that I'm complaining, although I will have to do all of Tristy's work for her during this period. All I have to say is that Owen is a real trooper. Hopefully we will see Tristy soon - maybe next Monday?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Checking In With Valarie

I had dinner with Valarie at Racine's tonight - she is happy with her new job, her classes at Metro, and her new apartment near the old Elitch Gardens. She also mentioned that she has given away most of her furniture and thrown away her television set and is going for a whole new look. As far as I can tell from her description, this mostly involves having large stacks of boxes everywhere. Whatever works, I guess.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No Ghost Walk at DU

Phil Goodstein, a friend of Valarie, the DU Bookstore's former Operations Coordinator, was going to do an author signing and a "ghost walk" around the DU campus October 28th. He was scheduled to talk about his new book and all the ghostly happenings on the DU campus, and then give a tour. However, when we called to confirm today, we found out that we weren't officially penciled in, and so there will be no ghost walk. Which is a shame, because according to his book, the University of Denver is "spook central." In fact, Dave B, the Marketing Coordinator at the store, remarked the other day that he saw Helen - an elderly lady we both used to work with and who passed away years ago - stocking the Bookstore's shelves with textbooks. Of course, as I have stated before, Dave B. is crazy, but it still makes a good story.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chez Artiste

I had an errand to run tonight, and finished up at the University Hills South Plaza. Among it's tenants is the Chez Artiste Movie Theater. I remember going there on dates with my future (and future ex-wife as well) Lisa. At that time it was the U-Hills Three. I went to a movie there not too many years ago. It seemed very much like the U-Hills Three Theater I remembered from all those years ago, except that most of the patrons were wearing berets. At the time I was dating Lisa, most of the patrons were wearing John Deere and Con Agra caps. That was back when Denver was a cow town, as opposed to the "Paris of the Plains" the city is now.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Textbook Returns Deadline!

Today was the deadline for textbook returns at the DU Bookstore. Last year on this day it was like a scene right out of "It's A Wonderful Life." The entire day resembled nothing so much as the bank run at George Bailey's Building and Loan Company. I remember Valarie and I counting down the last seconds until we could close the doors. Once closed, we danced around the store with the single remaining dollar bill we had sitting in the cash drawer. It was a very tramatic day. This year was not nearly as tramatic, but what fun is that?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Afternoon In La Grande Denver

Today was my last bike ride before the start of fall. Sad to say, but another year is almost over, and I will soon be another year older. Unfortunately, my biking shorts ripped before I even left the house, so I had to improvise on my biking attire. I personally feel that I am getting better as I get older, not fatter. In fact, I suspect those shorts were simply defective. Think positive thoughts, I always say.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Reflections on Business Travel

My friend Stuart has been working in White Plains, New York this month. He flies into New York City on Sundays and flies home every Thursday night. Stuart is learning to appreciate the joys of frequent business travel. It took him 16 hours to get to his hotel in White Plains the first Sunday. The only place I get to travel to on business is Lincoln, Nebraska, and you can drive there in less than 16 hours. On the other hand, even if you do, the down side is that you are still in Lincoln.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mugging for the Camera

For about the 1000th time this year, somebody remarked about my "Festive Christmas Coffee Mug" while we were waiting for a meeting to begin at the DU Bookstore. What? Does everyone else change their mugs depending on the season? A Valentine's Day mug in February, an Easter mug in April, a Memorial Day mug in May? In any case, I decided to commemorate the occasion with a photograph. I was then told by a fellow Manager that I was crazy, but it was okay with him. I work with some of the strangest people on this planet (at least I think they are from this planet), but I'm crazy? It is truly a sobering thought.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

No More Extended Hours!

Today (Thursday) is the last day of extended "rush" hours at the DU Bookstore. No more 7:00 o'clock closings. As far as I am concerned, this is a truly momentous occasion. It will truly be a treat to go home when the sun is still shining. No more going home after dark, at least in the literal sense.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The True End of Summer

I got my condo's newsletter today. The pool at our building will close after this weekend. This means fall is really here. No more students jumping off the balconies into the water, no more beer bottles being tossed into the pool, no more 2:00 a.m. pool parties, waking you up out of a deep sleep. It is truly a sad time of year. What will I use as a backdrop for my photographs?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Owen Is Not Dead!

Owen had his gall bladder removed last week. He returned to work yesterday, a week after the operation. Doug, the textbook buyer for the DU Bookstore, told everyone that Owen was dead. That was, in point of fact, a gross exaggeration. I am sure that Owen's friends and family will want to know (probably) that he is still alive, which is the point of this missive. Congratulations on not being dead, Owen! Way to Go!

Monday, September 13, 2010

First Day of Classes!

It was the first day of classes at DU, and excitement was in the air. Students were in the Bookstore all day, buying books and supplies, visiting with their friends after a long summer, and the enthusiasm was palpable. Even after work, it was hard to mellow out.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cousin John!

My cousin John and his significant other, Barbara, have been visiting here in Colorado the past few days. They are from Seattle, where it always rains, and are are enoying the warmth and the sunshine we have here. They, along with my sister Susan and her husband George and I, had dinner at the Wazee Supper Club tonight. Susan and Barbara and John and George really bonded, all having a great interest in torch singers and 1950s music. Are they old or what?

Saturday, September 11, 2010


It is the Saturday before classes begin at DU, and the students are moving into my building as we speak. Soon they will be jumping off the balconies into the pool and partying night and day. Life will at last return to normal.

Women's Prison

Wally had a day off yesterday. He said he had to pick up his dog at the Women's Prison. Wally claims that the inmates train dogs there, and his dog "Sailor" was ready to be picked up. All I know is that I haven't seen his wife Linda in quite a while. I'm sure he is correct in saying that they do dog training in Women's Prison. However, if you have been away, welcome back Linda!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An Original Kimball

My sister Susan bought an original Kimball to put over her couch in her first apartment, a studio on the 40th floor of 1130 South Michigan in Chicago. Over time, she acquired different art and gave me this masterpiece. It has been over my couch for decades. She tells me I need something new after all these years. Even people who have never seen it say I should replace it. It is a painting of Mary Queen of Scotts about to be executed, in a style similar to Modigliani. It is truly a masterpiece. Susan bought it at a gallery on 95th street, in the Beverly neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. After he painted it, Kimball went back home to Korea ( I know, but that's what she told me). I will never part with it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Rainbow But No Club Car

There was a rainbow tonight over the Sturm College of Law, symbolizing a happy future for the DU Law School students enrolled there. However, there is a lot of discrimination against certain University of Denver departments. Many departments (and by this I mean the Bookstore) are not allowed to have "Club Cars." You see them all over campus - 18 year old drivers zooming past, throwing their beer cans out the sides, hitting innocent bystanders. However, the DU Bookstore is not allowed to have one. Poor Darrel, the Bookstore's Accounts Payable Supervisor, has to walk across the entire campus almost every day to deliver his paperwork - and no "Club Car" is allowed. And let's face it - Darrel is no kid. In fact, he is a grandfather. Also, he and his wife are helping their daughter, a single mother, raise her adopted son. That is no easy task. Darrel often collapses on the sidewalk on his way to Account's Payable. He eventually wakes up, picks up his paperwork, and continues on. He returns to the Bookstore, face covered in scars, but goes on with his job anyway. I ask what happened, and he replies "I'm all right, Jack." My name is David, actually, but whatever. Do we need a "Club Car," or what?"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ready for the Crowds!

It is Discoveries Week, when parents and freshmen descend on the University of Denver for freshman orientation. Dave B. - AKA Joey Bananas and pictured above - is ready for the deluge.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day at the DU Bookstore

It was Labor Day at the DU Bookstore, and all the freshmen and their parents were buying gifts and souvenirs at the store. Sales were so good we didn't even have to beg anyone to buy something, which was Plan B.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Zoo

I went to the Denver Zoo today, and now have roughly one million photographs of the four tiger cubs born there recently, in addition to a few other animals. My dilemma was whether to include a photograph of a mandrill, who was looking at me like I was personally responsible for his incarceration, or of one of the tiger cubs interacting with some children at the zoo. The cub wants to play with the kids now. In 6 months he will merely want to eat them. As usual, I couldn't make a decision, so I included both.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

King Tut

"If I knew so many folks would want to go and see him, I would have saved all my money and bought me a museum" - Steve Martin. It was a free day at the Denver Art Museum, so I went and took a look around before heading to the Taste of Colorado. The King Tut exhibit was not free, however. It was the normal price. I wouldn't have gone even if it was free. I went to the first King Tut exhibit back in the 1970s, at the height of the King Tut frenzy. I then saw the exhibit again when I was in Cairo a number of years ago. I have been told that if I see the exhibit a third time, I will be stricken down by the same curse that killed 22 people shortly after the tomb was discovered in 1922. It seems hardly worth it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lunch With The New Operations Coordinator

I interviewed Nina for the Operations Coordinator position at the DU Bookstore a few weeks ago. She said she would buy lunch if I hired her, so her she is. Being from Chicago originally, I've learned a lot from Chicago politics.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Campus is Ready

The grounds crew has been working for weeks on getting the campus ready for the arrival of the freshmen class and their parents. For better or worse, the "rush" period starts Monday, a mere 4 days away. I think we at the DU Bookstore are ready. If not, there is always the French Foreign Legion - do they still take recruits at the age of 57?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Fall Quarter Begins

In just five days, the freshmen class, and their parents, will descend on the University of Denver Bookstore. Exactly one week later, classes will begin, and the rest of the student body will return. Hopefully, they will all buy their books at the DU Bookstore - our very survival depends on it. I have let the staff know that begging the students to buy their books here - even breaking into tears - is encouraged. In addition to the student's return, this also means that Jazzman's Cafe (pictured above) will once again be open. They close after the last day of classes in the spring, and let the University's staff suffer without caffeine until Labor Day. I am looking forward to being awake at work for the first time in 3 months.