Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Dragon Boat Festival!

Today was the last day of the Dragon Boat Festival at Sloan's Lake in Denver. I decided to bike to the event, despite the 99 degree temperatures. In previous years, I would have immediately started photographing everybody and everything. Unfortunately, I think I am getting old. This year, the first thing I did was locate the beer vendor. Only after that did I take a few photographs of the event. How the mighty have fallen.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday With Valarie

Valarie and I went to the first ever Denver County Fair this afternoon. Afterwards we had dinner with her friends Spiros and Barb at a Peruvian restaurant on 32nd Street in the East Highlands neighborhood of Denver. I myself had Peruvian Chinese for dinner - who would've thought? In any case, of the hundred or so photographs I took of Valarie on the restaurant's patio, she felt this one was the least offensive. That's the kind of praise that keeps me going as a photographer.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Textbook Time!

Textbooks are coming out of the DU Bookstore's stockroom at a rapid pace. Once the textbooks are on the sales floor, the sales floor staff need to get them on the shelves pronto! Wally (pictured above) is definitely up to the task. Not only does it help the Bookstore to have these books on the shelves as soon as possible, it helps the Bookstore employees out too. Putting these books on the shelves every day gives the sales floor staff a workout that can't be matched by a health club. Of course, we charge them $5 per paycheck for these health benefits, but nobody has complained. Thank goodness for direct deposit and the end of paycheck stubs!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Bird's Eye View!

As regular readers of this blog know, the DU Quick Copy Center is now located in the University of Denver Bookstore. As an added bonus, the north wall of the Quick Copy Center is all windows, allowing everyone in the Bookstore's offices to see what the Quick Copy workers are up to. In the photograph above, Dee is working at full speed on this Thursday afternoon. The Bookstore Director, Tristy, told everyone to let her know when we saw the Quick Copy Center workers actually doing something, so that she could take a photograph. What's up to with that? In any case, I forgot to let her know. Perhaps next week.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It is the most wonderful time of the year! The time when all the textbooks for the fall quarter come into the Bookstore. The backroom at the University of Denver Bookstore is filled with boxes. Noah, the DU Bookstore's Stockroom Coordinator, is not worried. He is looking forward to the challenge. Although the Bookstore is shorthanded, personnel wise, Noah is unfazed. He will unpack and check in those hundreds - possibly thousands - of boxes by himself, if necessary, and save the Bookstore thousands of dollars in personnel costs. Way to Go, Noah! Hope you survive, at least in some sort of fashion.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Victoria Has Returned!

Victoria has returned, working at the Quick Copy Center, now located inside the University of Denver Bookstore. Victoria says she is also happy to be back, despite, like Dee, having to work with Tony, the Quick Copy Center Manager. People will do anything to work at the DU Bookstore. It is definitely a Shangrila here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dee is Back at the DU Bookstore!

Dee is back at the DU Bookstore, working at the DU Quick Copy Center, now relocated in our store. Dee says she is very happy to be back, despite having to work for Tony, the Quick Copy Center Manager. Strong praise indeed!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Little Sunday Afternoon Diversity

Sunday was a great day for biking, and I spent 3 hours roaming all over Denver. I caught the scene above at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church at 6th and Pennsylvania. I am amazed at what a diverse population Denver has, considering it's size. After all, Denver is no Chicago (I once told this to a Denver native and he asked me why I didn't just go home, then). Native Coloradans are a touchy lot. In any case, I think this was a wedding ceremony, but before I could ask the photographer standing next to me, he was off again, taking photos from all different angles. And that's one thing I have noticed - all wedding photographers are the same.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Old Guy Shorts

I have been trying to buy a pair of shorts for the past several months now. Not shorts that reach down to your ankles and are so baggy you can hide weapons in them, not shorts with colors and patterns so loud they can be seen from outer space, not shorts more like swimming trunks that you can't use a belt with - just normal shorts. I finally found several pairs at Wal-Mart. Old guy shorts! I wound up buying an an entire summer wardrobe for under $30 (I'm cheap, too). If you need to buy children's clothes or old guy clothes, you can't beat Wal-Mart. For everybody else, eat your hearts out.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dee Is Back!

I took a photograph of Dee this afternoon, and was going to post it and report that she was back at the Bookstore, working in the new Quick Copy center. I took her photograph, and despite being the experienced photographer that I am, managed to erase the photo before I could upload it. Fortunately I have a detailed photo library of every Bookstore employee who ever worked at the Bookstore going back 15 years or so. Just remember that, Bookstore people!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Thursday Double Header!

Today was a Thursday doubleheader - first the annual University of Denver employee appreciation picnic (the top photo with Wally on the left and Dave on the right), and then dinner with Stuart at Jordan's (bottom photograph). The employee appreciation picnic was very nice, even if it does come only a week and a half before bids are due to possibly lease out the Bookstore. Dinner with Stuart was also very nice. Stuart is encouraging me to blog about the darker aspects of my life, the seamy past, the freelance undercover operations, the jobs I had to do that could not be officially sanctioned. The truth? I'm afraid that my thousands of blog readers can't handle the truth.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another 7:30 A.M. Opening

There is nothing like walking into the Driscoll Center (pictured above) at 7:30 A.M. on a bright sunny morning and opening up the DU Bookstore. I used to think 7:30 was pretty damned early until we had to spend the last couple of months opening at 6:30 A.M. to allow construction workers to come in and work on the new Quick Copy Center in the store. Doug, one of the textbook buyers and a first rate curmudgeon, congratulated me on the way Nina, one of the two Operations Coordinators, handled scheduling during that period. She asked Doug if he could open a couple of days a week. After he said yes, she mentioned, as an afterthought, "Oh by the way, we are opening at 6:30 these days." That Nina is a clever one.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Michael Returns!

Michael is back working in the DU Bookstore's stockroom, helping us to check in fall textbooks. Michael is a retired lawyer who received a combined law degree and professional psychology degree from DU. He remembers buying his books when the Bookstore was located in the Carnegie Library Building, which is the location where I started working for the Bookstore. Michael , in addition to helping us out at the store, also does volunteer legal work. As I have mentioned before, he volunteers for an organization that does legal counseling for inmates. That is why he can so often be reached at various state prisons. At least that's what he tells us.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Trish Brings in the Bucks!

Trish, after being coaxed for about half an hour, smiles as she brings her cash drawer to the DU Bookstore's accounting office. Trish maintains that she is very pleasant to everyone, all the time, customer or staff member, while she is working at the store. In other words, don't run into her after work! Personally, I feel like taking a swing at most of the DU Bookstore's employees about twice a day. I think Trish has shown great restraint.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Afternoon on the 16th Street Mall

After spending most of the day trying to balance the DU Bookstore's fiscal year end inventory, it was fun to spend the late afternoon biking down to Denver's 16th Street Mall. A jazz band (pictured above) was jamming to "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" at Katie Mullen's Irish Pub. They must be much older than they look - kind of like Doug, one of the DU Bookstore's textbook buyers.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday Night at Coors Field

Valarie, Barb, Spiros, and I spent Saturday night at Coors Field, watching the Rockies play the Milwaukee Brewers. There were a number of Brewer fans at the park tonight, wearing their "cheese head " hats and watching the game, but they seemed a pretty amiable bunch, all in all. Valarie has not been to a baseball game since Dante Bichette played for the Rockies. Since Bichette was traded to Cincinnati in 1999, that means it has been quite a long time between games for her. Face it Valarie, the last time you were in a ballpark was in a previous century.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Robyn Takes Command!

Robyn (don't call her Robin) has taken command of the University of Denver's computer department now that Donovan, the Computer Department Sales Manager, has resigned. Donovan's last day was yesterday, and we had a goodbye luncheon for him at Spanky's and cake in the breakroom afterwards. Everyone expressed their regret that Donovan was leaving, but on the other hand, Donovan did in fact leave of his own free will, so I say, in all sincerity, goodbye forever you traitor. Welcome to the big leagues, Robyn!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Donovan's Last Day!

Donovan, the University of Denver Bookstore's Computer Store Manager, is leaving to take a similar position at the Auraria Bookstore downtown. Donovan has really enjoyed his job here, but was distressed about the possibility that the store would be leased out. In any case, we celebrated his 10 years at the Bookstore this afternoon in the Bookstore's breakroom. Pictured above are Barry, Donovan, John, and Wally, the employees who have worked with Donovan the longest. On the other hand, Donovan left the store of his own free will, which means he is in point of fact a traitor to the store. No disrespect intended.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Balancing Inventory

The DU Bookstore recently took a fiscal year-end inventory, and it is my job to balance it. I'm afraid I am way behind in completing this task, but fortunately, thanks to modern computers, I can access my desktop computer at work from home anytime, and work all night if I want to. Isn't the new technology wonderful?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Prepping For Fall Rush

Wally (left) and Dave (right) are prepping for fall rush at the DU Bookstore. Law School starts a little over 4 weeks from now, and the rest of the university will be starting just two weeks after that. Shelves are being stocked, books are being unpacked, and soon the store will be crowded with returning students. At least we hope it will. Otherwise all of us will be competing for a very few openings in custodial services. Hopefully my MBA will help.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wally Returns!

Wally has returned from his trip to the East coast, and reflects on his experiences in the photograph above. Wally and his wife Linda visited his in-laws on Cape Code last week. His in-laws used to live in Dayton, Ohio, but moved to Cape Cod several years ago. Wally talks a good game about the wonders of Nantucket, but you can tell he misses the excitement of Dayton. Dayton has the flight museum, a first class bookstore, and the Dayton Dragons minor league baseball team, not to mention all that nightlife. Nantucket has the whaling museum, and a bunch of scrimshaw on exhibit. What a letdown that must be.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dinner With Ana Silvia & Joe

I had my friends Ana Silvia and Joe over for dinner tonight for the first time since October. They couldn't come over for Christmas dinner, and then right after the holidays my kitchen was taken apart and stayed that way until the end of March, at which time most of my condo was flooded by the company the HOA hired to put the kitchen back together. Finally, after 6 months, things are back the way they were. It was a nice dinner - I cooked Chinese. The secret is to heat it up for the right amount of time after you bring it home from the Chinese restaurant. It is a rare skill and I have it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Paranoia - Not Just For Paranoids Any More!

I encountered a tremendous number of police on my bike ride this afternoon. Half a dozen police motorcycles and a police car parked on the 16th Street Mall; a police car parked along my path near South High School; another police car parked on Franklin Street and watching me as I turned left onto Buchtel, and then driving around the corner and parking up the street as I biked past it. I even saw two mounted police officers passing me by (pictured above). I say let them follow me. They can prove nothing - nothing!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tony and the New Quick Copy Center

Tony is posing in front of the new Quick Copy Center, currently being constructed in a corner of the DU Bookstore. The Quick Copy Center was unceremoniously thrown out of the University of Denver's Penrose Library for good, and we were the only ones who would take them in. On the other hand, the Penrose Library is also throwing out most of their books for good, too. Penrose envisions themselves as the "Academic Commons," a place where students can gather, meet, and not be bothered by such nasty things as books. Since so many student's don't seem able to read, it is probably for the best. Way to go, Penrose!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


At the University of Denver Bookstore, we trust our employees, but only to a point. Jamie - pictured above -is showing me the contents of her bag, as required of all employees as they leave the store. Unfortunately, the Chancellor has rejected the Bookstore's proposal to do both a pat-down and a full body cavity search of it's employees as they leave. Our Loss Prevention Manager is appealing that decision. Hey guys, we trust you, but on the other hand...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jumping Ship!

Donovan is jumping ship, leaving the University of Denver Bookstore to become the Computer Store Manager at the Auraria Bookstore downtown. Donovan cited the uncertain atmosphere at the DU Bookstore (we might be leased out) as the reason for his leaving. In any case, despite turning his back on all his friends and coworkers, we all wish him well. Best of luck to you, you traitor.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Darrel!

Today was Darrel's birthday. I asked if he was going to do anything special, and he said that he was planning to work more hours and work much harder today. That is exactly what the DU Bookstore wants out of it's employees. Blind dedication. There is no better way to celebrate the date of your birth. Thanks Darrel! Now if we can only get the rest of the Bookstore employees to think the same way. By which I mean Doug, the curmudgeonly textbook buyer.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A 4th of July Golden Monkey

My sister Susan toasts my brother-in-law George with a Golden Monkey, a beer so powerful it is served in a wine glass. Susan says if she had had a second Golden Monkey, we would have had to carry her out of the Ale House and back to the car. That would have been hard, especially with my bad back. A great way to celebrate the 4th of July, as long as you don't wind up with a Golden Monkey on your back.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Valarie and Debbie

In the photograph above, Valarie and Debbie take a break from the 4th of July "Painting Party" Valarie hosted this afternoon. Valarie's two children, Cheyanne and Dillon, inherited a house located in Red Rocks Park and are getting it ready to rent. The place is huge - take it from me, because I painted their 5,000 square foot living room this afternoon. Afterwards there was a great barbecue, with hamburgers, brats, chicken cooked on the grill, you name it. Also, if I might add, Valarie would make a great contractor. You would not believe how much work she got out of everyone today. Everybody said they worked so hard because they didn't want to cross Valarie. Sounds like a great management technique to me.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Coors Field Fireworks!

Another 4th of July, and another Coors Field Fireworks game. I was able to get a $10 seat tonight. It was supposed to be an obstructed view seat, but in point of fact you could see the game fine. It was the view of the fireworks that was obstructed. That kind of summarizes what is important this time of year. In any case, the best part of being there tonight was remembering other fireworks nights, back when I was young. As Jean Shepherd once put it, these holidays are the mileposts in your life. Happy 4th of July Everyone!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy New Fiscal Year!

Noah (pictured above) is absolutely ecstatic about the start of the new fiscal year. First thing this morning he came into my office and wanted to know if he could start screwing up the numbers again. That's the kind of attitude we want. Way to go, Noah!