Friday, April 29, 2011

Just Another Train Ride

I took the train from the airport into Rome this morning. It seemed lke a matter-of-fact trip to everyone else, but I was still bowled over as the train passed the Roman Gates to the city (over 2,ooo years old) just before it arrived at the Rome Termini train station. Nobody else even looked up. I guess to an Italian it is just like us when we drive past another Victorian house. I don't care. I am still bowled over.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Rocky Start - But I Made It!

After finding out the night before my European trip that the 10 memory cards I bought for my camera were the wrong size, and then sleeping through the alarm and waking up 10 minutes before my airport shuttle arrived, things settled down and I able to just sit and moan quietly on my way to Denver Internatio9nal Airport. But the important thing is I made my flight to to Chicago (my native city) and made my connection to Rome in plenty of time. Who could ask for more?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Quest!

Wally has asked me to go on a quest of sorts. He is a great admirer of Patrick O'Brian, author of such famous sea-faring novels as "Master and Commander." Wally, after he heard that I would be traveling in the south of France, asked if i would make a pilgrimage to Collioure, France, to pay respects to O'Brian's final resting place. And in point of fact, I have agreed to do it. That is just the kind of guy I am. And besides, I was going there anyway.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Photograph Valarie Actually Likes - Kind Of

Valarie told me that the photograph I took of her tonight at the Irish Snug was not nearly as horrible as most of the photographs I take of her. High praise indeed! Valarie and I were celebrating the start of our respective trips to Europe. I leave Thursday morning for Italy, Southern France, and Spain. Valarie and her daughter Cheyanne (shouldn't it be Cheyenne?) leave for Italy and France the day after I return. We will compare travel notes Memorial Day weekend. Valarie, as well as my sister Susan, have told me to never, never, ever take photographs of people again. I'm sure they don't mean that in a negative way.

Monday, April 25, 2011

72 Hours and Counting!

It is less than 72 hours before I fly off to Europe on a kind of "Amazing Race" travel schedule. I am still making reservations, planning itineraries, figuring out how I will get from one place to another. However, that is all part of the fun. As far as I can tell, I take Interstate 80 west from Nice to get to Aix-en-Provence. Don't worry, I know what I am doing. I am a sophisticated world traveler with a strong sense of direction.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday With Susan And George

I spent Easter Sunday with my sister Susan and brother-in-law George today. Which means I also spent Easter Sunday with their two hyper dogs, Tu-Tu and Blackberry and their crabby cat Mighty Aphrodite. Susan is most fond of Tu-Tu. Tonight she put him on the dining room table to allow me to take her photograph. Tu-Tu promptly licked both butters on two butter plates before I got the shot I wanted. Next time I'm bringing my own butter.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Crew!

Saturdays, as well as most of the week, the DU Bookstore's sales floor is run by our work study students. It is hard to imagine how we would survive without them. Which makes me very worried, considering that they will all be going home for the summer in just over a month. In the photo above (from left to right) are Robyn, Robert, Kyla, and Samantha. Hey guys, want to stay here over the summer as volunteers? We'll even spring for cake and cookies on the 4th of July and Labor Day. How can you pass up a deal like that?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hot Wax!

Wally and I stayed late at the DU Bookstore while Custodial Services stripped and waxed our floors. They started at 4:30 in the afternoon, so they could be finished before 8:00 P.M. In fact, it took until 9:30, but that was not bad - the time before last, when we had the carpet cleaned, it took until 2:00 A.M. They did a great job, too. The floor looks great, at least it did until I got my footprints all over it while making sure everything was secure. Ever vigilant, but at a cost.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Employee Recognition Award

Darrel, the Accounts Payable Supervisor at the DU Bookstore, was awarded the Employee Recognition Award at the Bookstore Division's staff meeting this morning. Darrel is a great employee, and the award is well-deserved. He was given a highly coveted DU Bookstore gift card, and is off to Saint Louis for a week's vacation, starting tomorrow. By the way, for your information, second prize is two weeks in Saint Louis.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Still Another Retraction!

Trish now tells me that I got it all wrong - she actually broke her nose "tripping on the steps of her house" while carrying in her groceries. I am afraid this might hurt her "rep" with the younger people working at the DU Bookstore. Robert, in particular, has really bonded with Trish - every day he greets her by saying "What Up, Home Dog!" Trish, are you sure you want to stick with the tripping on the steps story?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jamie is Graduating!

Jamie will be graduating this June with a Masters of Social Work Degree. She tells me she has a severe case of "senior-itis." Jamie is planning to stay on at the DU Bookstore until she finds " a big person's job." So are the rest of us, Jamie, so are the rest of us.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ed From Mail Services

Ed, like Jeannine, has worked at the University of Denver's Mail Services Department for many years. Mail Services, like the Quick Copy Center at the Penrose Library, is part of the Bookstore Division. I asked Ed if I could take his photograph, and then make up terrible lies about him on my blog, and he was just fine with that. Definitely my kind of employee!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Open Doors Denver

My friend Valarie and I took advantage of the annual Open Doors Denver weekend to visit the Taxi complex just north of downtown, as well as the Plus Art Gallery on Larimer and the Denver Art Museum. The Taxi complex was very impressive, very avante garde and trendy. They use as many recycled materials as possible, and the complex has a good feel to it - although we both agreed $1,200 a month for a very small one bedroom is pushing the limit for the great unwashed. What ever happened to trendy but affordable?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stuart - Cub Fan

My friend Stuart and I went to see the Rockies play the Chicago Cubs this evening. It turned out to be a rare victory for the Cubs, who have not gone to the World Series since 1945. Stuart is originally from the North Side of Chicago, home to Wrigley Field and the Cubs. I, on the other hand, come from the South Side of Chicago, home to the Chicago White Sox. The Cubs play in a stadium with ivy on the walls. On the other hand, as Jean Shepherd once said, most White Sox players haven't seen a leaf in years. I feel sorry for Cub fans - worshipers of false gods every one.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Work Study Appreciation Day

Today was work study appreciation day. The Bookstore bought a cake and ice cream, and gave cards to all the work study students. Our most recent work study student, Samatha, is pictured above. Except that now I am told that it is politically incorrect to call them work study employees. They should only be called student employees. What a humiliation to let the world know that their parents can't afford several hundred thousand dollars in tuition and expenses.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bar Fight!

Trish, a Customer Service Associate at the DU Bookstore, suffered a broken nose last week. She tells me that she was involved in a bar fight at the SI (Stadium Inn) late one night, centered around who would pay for the last round. Trish tells me that her injuries are not bad at all, compared with the guys she put in the hospital. Way to go, Trish!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Darrel Loses His Beard!

Darrel, the Accounts Payable Supervisor at the DU Bookstore, shaved off his beard recently. I took a number of photographs of him on Colfax a month or so ago for a photo project, and on seeing the book, his wife commented that he appeared to fit right in. In addition, he lost a bet with Bill, the Operations Coordinator, about who could grow the most masculine looking beard. Bill took his winnings and immediately retired. Talk about a big money bet!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Visit From Brittney's Mother!

Brittney's mother - Brittney is the DU Bookstore's Law and General Book Buyer - visited the Bookstore today. Brittney's mother is a sales person for a clothing company, and not too long ago worked at the Fort Lewis College Bookstore in Durango. I asked her if it was true, as Brittney claims, that she put Brittney to work at the Fort Lewis Bookstore at the age of five. Much to my surprise, she confirmed it. All this time, I thought Brittney was exaggerating. In any case, the DU Bookstore has lots of child labor available to it. Dave B.'s son Ryan, Marty's son Carson, Brittneys' two children, Addison and Clark, and Noah's two kids, Adelaide and Sidney, could really help out the store. Thanks to George W. Bush's "Restore America's Competitiveness Act," it is now legal to hire children who are at least 5 years old as long as they don't work more than 60 hours per week. We could save a fortune, if my boss Tristy would only give the okay. Why the hell not?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Robyn!

Robyn, a work study student at the DU Bookstore, is 23 years old today. She is going to celebrate her birthday with friends tonight at a local restaurant. I remember very clearly when I was 23. That year I was on a jury in Chicago, and the other members of the jury referred to me as the young kid. Those were the days! Enjoy every minute of your life, Robyn. That year so long ago when I was 23 years old seems to me like only a few minutes ago. Life goes very very fast, so enjoy it!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Visit to Old Chicago

My friend Stuart (pictured above) and I had dinner and beers at Old Chicago tonight. Both Stuart and I are Chicago natives. Stuart is from the North Side, where they root for this baseball team called the Cubs. I am from the South Side, where we root for the Chicago White Sox. Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs, has ivy along the walls of the park. On the South Side of town, many Chicago White Sox players - as Jean Shepherd put it - haven't even seen a leaf in years. As Shepherd once said, it is tough to be a South Sider in a world of North Siders.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Susan and George

I went up to Fort Collins to visit my sister Susan and brother-in-law George today. I showed them my book "Denver People and Places," which features photographs of them, among others. George was very complimentary. Susan, however, was not very happy with her photographs. "Why did I make her look so ugly?" "Does she really look that bad, or am I just a horrible photographer?" She told me I take excellent zoo photographs, and recommended that I should go back to doing that and never take another photograph of a human being. So much for my dream of becoming another Richard Avedon.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Joel (pronounced "WHO-EL") is doing a great job helping out at the DU Bookstore's Computer Store. Unlike Donovan, the Computer Store's Manager, he does not have that forbidding stare that frightens so many customers away (see the post for April 6th to see what I mean). Keep up the good work, Joel! And try and sit back and relax, Donovan!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bill's Last Day!

Today was Bill's last day at the DU Bookstore. He is holding up his going away cake (baked by Wally's wife, Linda), with Darrel, the Account's Payable Supervisor, looking on. This is not funny any more. Will the last DU Bookstore employee please turn out the lights?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Donovan Is Selling IPADs!

Donovan, the DU Bookstore's Computer Store Manager, is selling every IPAD he can get his hands on. He can sell every "second generation IPAD" the DU Bookstore can get, but Apple is rationing it's shipments. Is that unfair or what? No wonder Donovan looks so hostile. In point of fact, it is hard to believe anyone would buy anything from this guy, with this kind of look on his face. Go figure. I guess people must be desperate for these things. No offense, Donovan!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lauren Has Returned!

Lauren has returned to the DU Bookstore, replacing Charlie as a Customer Service Associate. Lauren is young and full of energy, which means we won't have to spend time looking for her in the corners of the store at closing time, taking a nap - by which I mean Wally. Welcome aboard, Lauren!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Time To Prop Up The Pioneer Perks Program!

Dave B, the self-described "Godfather" of the DU Bookstore's Pioneer Perks Program, thinks that the membership program is in trouble. Buyers at the DU Bookstore do not want to put their products on sale to Perks members, in fear that their margins will decline. Time to step up to the plate, people! Otherwise we will revisit the idea of firing all of our employees and rehiring them as unbenefited long-term temporary employees. It's your choice, guys!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blink: Light, Sound, and the Moving Image

I went to see "Blink: Light, Sound, and the Moving Image" at the Denver Art Museum this weekend. It was truly a lot of fun. It is art with a sense of humor. I can really relate to that.

Camera Obscura Gallery Is Closing!

After 32 years, the Camera Obscura Gallery here in Denver is closing. For years it has been one of the finest photography galleries in the country. I stopped by to look at it's final exhibition - works by both the owner, Hal Gould (pictured above) and his assistant curator, Loretta-Young Gautier - and was amazed at the variety of the images. In previous visits, most of the photographs on display by them were of the west, so I was surprised at the range of images both have produced. They should have had this retrospective years ago. Best of luck to both of you!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Opening Day!

It is Opening Day here in Denver. An unofficial holiday. I was at Coors Field today to watch the Rockies lose in 11 innings to the Arizona Diamonbacks. However, it was a beautiful day, the crowd was in great spirits, and very talkative (even to me!). I was able to forgot for a while that the Wet Extration Team (WET) and my HOA have more or less destroyed my condo. But seriously, I am not bitter. Much.