Monday, February 28, 2011

Joel


Joel (pronounced "Who-El", like Darrel's adopted grandson) is a work study student at the DU Bookstore. He works for Donovan, the Manager of the Computer Department at the store. Many years ago, I saw a movie about a penny stock brokerage, where the sales manager would swat at the brokers manning the phones with a walking stick if he thought they were slacking off. Donovan's management style is very similar. I asked Joel if Donovan has stopped using this method to get him to work faster, and Joel says he has. This is a good thing, since I don't believe this is a proper management technique, as opposed to the accepted management practice of turning the heat off to make people work faster. You have to treat your employees with respect, after all, even if they are freezing to death.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tax Time



I spent the entire weekend redoing my late mother's estate taxes. After redoing them three times, at best I will be audited, at worst seized in the middle of the night and put in a dungeon below a basement at Leavenworth. This is so unfair. I hate Kansas!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Crunch Time


It is definitely crunch time around here. I am still trying to get my kitchen put back together by the "WET" team, I have to redo my mother's estate taxes and put together tax forms for my sister and brother-in-law, and I need to start working on a 65+ page "Blurb" book for Roddy's photo class at DU. Not to mention all the projects I have to complete for the DU Bookstore. There was barely enough time today to take a self portrait of myself for the book project, letting people know of my fame as an internationally recognized photographer (it is my book, so I can say what I want). Never let the truth get in the way of a good story has always been my philosophy.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Matthew


Matthew has worked in the DU Bookstore's stockroom as a work study student and temporary employee for the past 4 years. However, he will be graduating in a little more than two weeks. As you can see from the above photograph, Matthew is pretty broken up about this. Don't worry, Matthew! You can work at the DU Bookstore as an unpaid volunteer for as long as you like. Life truly can be good, right?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Donna Returns!


Donna is back working in the DU Bookstore's stockroom, helping to check in textbooks for the spring quarter. Donna is a great employee, no question, but I have spent weeks persuading Bookstore employees to let their first born children work in the stockroom FOR FREE. We could have cut labor costs tremendously - all legal due to the George W. Bush Restore America's Competitiveness Act. But no, we have to hire people we actually have to pay. How in the hell are we going to compete with India?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Reconnecting With Bill


Bill is one of the two Operations Coordinators at the University of Denver Bookstore. Yesterday he turned in a vacation request for a week in October. It seems that he is an alumni of UCLA, and cares so much about it that he is taking the entire week - THE ENTIRE WEEK - to attend the UCLA - Arizona football game in Tucson on October 20th. Not only that, he is a Dodger's fan, too! Talk about crazy! On the other hand, we are talking about people from Southern California. Go figure.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Owen is Alive!


Owen is Alive! Yesterday we heard that he had to go to the hospital due to extremely high blood pressure. Rumor had it he was a goner, but yet, today, he was back at work, looking perfectly fit. Thank God! I almost wrote off a sympathy card. The situation at the Bookstore is so desperate these days that every expense saving counts. Thanks for staying alive and keeping expenses down, Owen! We appreciate it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

No Hurry Guys!


As I mentioned last week, my kitchen wall was rebuilt the previous Tuesday. However, my kitchen cabinets, my sink, and the sink counter are sitting in my den, and the cabinet underneath my sink has been thrown away. When I called WET (the Wet Extraction Team), they told me they have gone as far as they can go. This is as far as the Homeowners Association will pay for work to be done. They even seemed surprised that I was interested in getting a quote to actually put my kitchen back together. The contents of my cabinets are covering the dining room table and floor, I have to wash my dishes and get water for coffee in the bathroom, but otherwise all is fine. They told me they would give me a quote sometime this week. No hurry guys! It is actually kind of fun - a lot like camping out.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Breakfast with Valarie!


I met Valarie at 8:30 this morning to take some photographs of her for my Portfolio Class at DU. Afterwards we had breakfast in Denver's Highlands neighborhood. If I say so myself, my portraits of Valarie are brilliant. Eat your heart out, Sebastio Salgado!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Susan and George


I went up to Fort Collins to visit my sister Susan and brother-in-law George today. We walked around Fort Collin's Old Town, window shopping and taking photos. We finished the afternoon at Nordie's Barbecue and had a beer. My sister, by the way, gets quite a pop out of one beer. Half way through her IPA she often starts singing, even if we are in a bar or restaurant. My family has always been eccentric, but interesting.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Back to the Drawing Board!


Chloe, a work study student, is "personing" the DU Bookstore's table at the Rocky Mountain Sustainability Summit. After two full days, we have sold almost 20 books. This is definitely not enough to compensate for the huge drop in textbook sales. I think we will have to go back to Plan B - the sale of medical marijuana to our suffering students. Not only will we help to alleviate their suffering, they will be able to pay using their student debit cards (called Pioneer Flex on our campus). Plus, the Bookstore will make a ton of money. Sounds like a win-win situation to me!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sustainability


Brittney (pictured above) is "personing" the DU Bookstore's table at the Rocky Mountain Sustainability Summit at the University of Denver. Brittney is the new trade book buyer at the DU Bookstore, and is taking part in a large number of events such as this to increase book sales. With the dramatic drop in textbook sales, this is a very important thing. So far, nine books have been sold today. Better pick up the pace, Brittney! Maybe if you begged people to buy the books, sales would improve. As we say at the DU Bookstore, never let humiliation get in the way of getting the job done.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Great Leak - And An Apology!




The owner of a condo on the 7th floor of my building hired a contractor to install a dishwasher. The contractor connected the dishwasher to a pipe that emptied out between the walls, which meant that every time the dishwasher was used, the water would flow down the walls of all the apartments below. And of course they have no insurance. In any case, my kitchen wall was torn out Monday to fix the problem. When I came home, the wall was gone, the fridge was in the middle of the kitchen, and there was a huge blower taking up most of the remaining space. The kitchen was sealed off with plastic tarps. It was a risk to your life to try and get a beer out of the refrigerator (but I did it and survived, several times). In any case, the wall has been rebuilt, but coming home this evening, the kitchen sink seems to be missing. I think I might have to give the "Wet" team a call tomorrow. On another note, I took photographs of my friend Robin and her daughter Caitlin for a photo project on Sunday. I also took photographs of my friend Stuart for the same project. Stuart was devastated that I put Robin and Caitlin on the blog, but not him. Sorry about that, so here is Stuart in all his glory (the bottom photo).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jan and Rachel


Jan's daughter Rachel is visiting Colorado after passing her bar exams in California, Florida, and Colorado. When Rachel was an undergraduate at DU, she worked at the DU Bookstore as a temporary employee, as her sister Jacklyn does now. Rachel has a movie producer friend in California, and convinced him he should make a movie, or at least a reality TV series, about the University of Denver Bookstore. George Clooney was all set to play me, and Sandra Bullock was all set to play my friend Valarie. Unfortunately, the powers that be nixed the idea. Fame is so fleeting.

Monday, February 14, 2011

John - Director of the Driscoll Center at DU


John has been the Director of the University of Denver's Driscoll Center for many years. He is basically the landlord of the DU Bookstore. As such, we feel no compunction in giving him a call if the outside doors are still locked at opening time, the toilets are overflowing, or if our cheeseburger in the pub was too well done. Thanks for all the support, John!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Visit With Robin & Caitlin


It is hard to believe it has been over a year since I last saw Robin and her daughter Caitlin. I called Robin up recently to ask if I could take her photograph for a DU photo class project, and she readily agreed. It was great seeing the two of them again - a great side benefit of the project I am working on. I hired both Robin and my ex-wife Lisa on the same day back in 1981 to work for me at Hatch's Bookstore, and we have been friends ever since. And neither one of us has changed a bit since then - a miracle!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The End of An Era


For 18 years I have gone down to either the baseball stadium or King Soopers to buy tickets for Opening Day the first Saturday they went on sale. You would stand in line with the other fans, talk about the past season, and basically share a special moment. Sometimes Dinger, the Rockies mascot (pictured above), would come around and entertain the children. However, with the Internet, you can now buy the tickets much earlier (for an additional fee, of course) and never have to leave your home. Today there were only single tickets available , and the cheapest one I could buy was $80 - EIGHTY DOLLARS! So next year I will sit home and order tickets on line, and another cherished tradition will be gone. Bummer.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dave B. Gives The Thumbs Up!


Dave B. was very enthusiastic about having his 10 year old son, Ryan, help out in the DU Bookstore's stockroom. If it will help save the Bookstore, he is all for it. Don't worry, Dave, we will play all kinds of fun kid games, such as put the price tag on the textbook, and who can be the fastest to put the price tags on the pens. It will be a whole lot of fun!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bookstore Division Meeting


The Bookstore Division had a store meeting today. Patti, the Loss Prevention Manager, even brought donuts, bless her heart. Tristy, the Bookstore Director (pictured above), did not seem crazy about the fact that I was taking her photograph so early in the morning. No problem, Tristy. I'll just schedule you in after 9:00 A.M. next time.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Marty Says Go For It!


Marty has a 9 year old son named Carson. Marty thinks it is a great idea to put Carson to work at the DU Bookstore next month, checking in and pricing textbooks for the spring quarter. If it will help save the DU Bookstore, he is all for it. As Marty puts it, it is just like everyone helping out on the family farm a century or so ago. Thanks Marty! Carson will be just fine, and will get an early - and important - look at the real world.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Noah is On Board!


Noah is the Stockroom Coordinator at the DU Bookstore. Like Britttney, he has two young children, and is willing to put them to work in the stockroom as soon as they are 4 years old. We can't let them work in the stockroom until they are 4, due to intrusive federal regulations that hinder small business growth. Hopefully when President Sarah Palin takes office, she will eliminate these unnecessary restrictions on small business.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Camera Shy People


There are three people who work in the office next to mine. One refuses to have her photograph taken because she was once the victim of a stalker and does not want her photograph on the Internet. Doug also doesn't want his photograph on the Internet (he is probably in witness protection). Brittney (seen in the photograph above) just doesn't like her photograph taken. Brittney, as you may recall, has two toddlers, Colin and Addison, who will hopefully start working in the DU Bookstore's stockroom when they reach 4 years of age. That is the age Brittney was when mother brought her to work at the Fort Lewis College Bookstore in Durango. Get them used to the real world as soon as possible, I always say.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Winter in Denver


It was just over a month ago that everyone was whining about how we weren't getting any winter weather, how it just didn't seem like Christmas, how nice it would be to get some snow. Now it seems like it will never stop snowing. Be careful what you wish for. I just hope people will put their collective consciouses to work on getting us some 80 degree weather in the near future. It's time for some serious bike riding.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

John - Proprietor of the Poster Company on Colfax


I drove over to Colfax after work today to take a portrait of John, the owner of the Poster Company. My friend Valarie suggested that he might be willing to let me take a photograph of both him and his shop. Valarie was the owner of Capitol Hill Books, located just down the street, for many years, after buying the store from Lois, currently the owner of West Side Books in the Highlands neighborhood. John has owned the store for 31 years. As I recall, back then I was just a mere youth on the south side of Chicago.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Frank


Frank was the University of Denver's Accounts Payable Manager for many years, and retired a few years back. He is now working for the Athletics Department on a part time basis. I usually run into him each day as we are both headed to work. Frank usually rides his bicycle, but didn't today because of the snow. That is not the true spirit of an athlete, Frank! I saw plenty of bicyclists last night, pedaling away in the middle of a snow storm. Now THAT is TRUE GRIT. Get with the program Frank!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Old Chicago


It was cold and snowy tonight, and the crowd at Old Chicago in Lakewood was rather subdued and sparse. Not that Lakewood is ever a hotbed of nightlife any other day of the year. My friend Stuart and I were at Old Chicago to have pizza and beer. The other people there were worshiping false gods, watching basketball and hockey on the many televisions in the room. Thank God spring training starts in 15 days. Pitchers and catchers report February 15th!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Keep Moving, Joe!


The high today in Denver was 6 degrees, which means that the temperature in the DU Bookstore's stockroom was around 10. We keep the heat turned off in the stockroom to make sure the employees work faster, and this policy actually works surprisingly well. Joe (pictured above) is working at the computer, updating the receiving records. If he doesn't get up and move around every five or ten minutes or so, hypothermia will set in. Watch your step there Joe - I don't want to have to fill out all that paperwork again.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Bit Nippy!


For all my international readers, I want to let you know that most of the United States is experiencing snow and cold this week. Denver is not getting much snow, but is experiencing a bit of cold air. Today's high was -1 degrees, and the low tonight will be -19 degrees. The University of Denver closed at 4:00 P.M. yesterday, and was closed the entire day today. Evidently the Chancellor chills easily. Meanwhile, the entire student body, not to mention the faculty and staff, took the day off to play. Just so you know, it will be quite chilly tomorrow morning, Chancellor. How about another day off just to be safe?