Sunday, October 30, 2011
I spent most of the day walking through the DuPont Circle and Georgetown neighborhoods of Washington D.C. this afternoon. I then headed to Reagan National Airport for the flight home to Denver. At the airport, I discovered a wonderful store for souvenirs. I was able to pick up a George W. Bush Christmas ornament (for my brother-in-law George) for next to nothing. What a coup! In most states these are not even legally available for sale!
Saturday, October 29, 2011
It snowed today in Washington D.C. The weather forecasters predicted it, so I made today my museum day, visiting the National Gallery of Art, the National Air and Space Museum, and the Holocaust Museum. I then spent a very cold evening visiting some of Washington's greatest monuments - the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument. This afternoon, on the way to the National Gallery, I passed a homeless person - in our Nation's Capitol no less - bundled up and sleeping in a doorway. I could hardly stand walking around a few national monuments tonight. Is this guy still out there? What a horrible thing if he is. What a national disgrace.
Friday, October 28, 2011
It is the off-season here in Washington, and the crowds were sparse at the Capitol today. Both the Senate and House were empty - Congresspeople don't work on Fridays - so the visitor's galleries to both chambers were open. On the one hand, I want to complain that our representatives work so few hours. On the other hand, the less they are here, the less trouble they can cause.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
It rained all day in New York City today. This was okay, since the weather forecasters had been predicting this for days. I went for a harbor cruise in the morning - we were mainly cruising through fog, but the cruise came with my city pass, and as I have always said, "Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride" (with apologies to the late Hunter S. Thompson). In the afternoon I went to the Museum of Modern Art (the MoMa). The place was packed, but everyone was very pleasant. I was even allowed to bring in my camera and laptop case. Plus, the security guards did not attack me, and the museum did not partition off huge segments of their museum - unlike another famous - but fascist - New York modern art museum that I will not name (the Guggenheim).
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I took the ferry to Staten Island this afternoon, and when I returned to Earth I walked over to Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington gave his farewell address to the troops at the end of the American Revolution. Unfortunately, the museum on the second floor closed at 5:00. If I wanted to tour the place, I would have to go into the tavern itself and buy a couple of pints of beer. As far as I am concerned, no price is too great in the quest to learn more about American history. As a matter of fact, after the second pint of Centennial IPA, I think I saw the ghost of George Washington waving at me from across the room.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
One of the highlights of my trip to New York was going to be a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright's Masterpiece, the Guggenheim. When I got there, I was told that the entire center of the museum was closed off and could not be viewed until November 4th. I went in anyway, and when I got to the top of the museum, peeled off the masking tape and walked a few feet toward the railing to take a look. I was pulled violently backward, and told I could not view the interior of the museum because they were installing a new exhibit. I think the security guard might have caused my back to go out - if so, they will hear from my attorneys, by who I mean Michael, one of the DU Bookstore's rush cashiers. I was also told not to take any photographs, so I made sure to take a lot. In any case, the whole place looked like the photograph above - my attacker is silhouetted in the background. I do not want to imply in any way that the Guggenheim is a fascist organization (they are!) or to question why the entire museum has to be cordoned off when they install a new exhibit (they're crazy!). All I know is that I at least got a peek at Wright's masterpiece, despite the Guggenheim's best efforts to prevent it.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Wally - my co-worker at the DU Bookstore - highly recommended that I visit Mystic Seaport on my way from Boston to New York. Since the Amtrak train made a stop there, I did just that. It was a very pleasant afternoon, and I enjoyed touring all those old ships. However, I think Wally has a much more emotional feeling for the place than I do. After all, he served on ships just like the one above when he was in the navy. I think Wally must be a lot older than he looks.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
It was a good three days in Boston. Today I went for a walk along the Esplanade, where everyone was out jogging, walking, bike riding, etc. In the afternoon, I visited Cambridge and Harvard Square. The Harvard Coop Bookstore is located there, and they actually have books in the store - three floors of books in fact - and the place was packed. I now have a great idea on how to make the DU Bookstore more successful - move it to Cambridge! We'll just have the DU students place their textbook orders on line, and mail the books to them from Massachusetts. Start packing, everyone!
Saturday, October 22, 2011
The Red Line Subway in Boston broke down Saturday night. We were told to go to street level where shuttle busses would take us to our destinations. I went up the escalator and found thousands of people in the street, waiting to board one shuttle bus. A cop told some of that the best thing to do would be to go have a cup of coffee and come back in 30 minutes. I decided to retrace my steps and wound up at the place pictured above. Unfortunately, nobody shouted my name when I walked in, but the "Green Monsta IPA" tasted pretty good, and as promised, the Red Line was running smoothly when I returned.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Now that classes have begun and things have settled down a bit at work, it is time to take a vacation. After a half days work at the DU Bookstore, I flew into Boston and took the MTA to my luxury suite at the Motel 6 in Braintree, Massachusetts. Not only is it a luxury hotel, but it is very safe there, too. A Braintree police car was posted outside the my door all three nights I was there. Evidently the Motel 6 is a hotbed of crime in Braintree.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Jordan and Emily are new student employees at the DU Bookstore. Jordan is assisting in the DU Bookstore's computer department, while Emily is helping out at the information desk. Both are freshmen at DU, and are full of energy and enthusiasm. Neither requires an afternoon nap, unlike most of the permanent staff. This means you, Wally!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Chris (on the left) is helping Trish (on the right) learn the mysteries of the DU Bookstore's Account's Payable system. As faithful readers might recall, Trish was booted off the sales floor due to her infamous "forbidding stare," unsettling hundreds - if not thousands - of Bookstore customers. For her part, Trish insists she was actually very nice to customers. Okay Trish - we'll review the tapes and let you know. And by the way, welcome to the Bookstore's accounting team!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I had dinner with my friend Stuart at Jose O'Shea's Mexican Restaurant tonight, one of Lakewood's hottest nightspots. The place was hopping - there was high stakes poker on the television and a trivia contest being held in the bar area. It is very hard to keep up with that kind of excitement without the aid of prescription drugs. I had to come home and try to wind down as best I could. Everyone will be happy to know I was successful.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Trish has moved off the sales floor at the DU Bookstore, and is now working in the Bookstore's Accounting Office, processing invoices. Trish claims that this is a voluntary move, and not due to Bookstore customer's being disturbed by her "forbidding stare." In point of fact, she insists she was always very pleasant to customers. I guess it was just the Bookstore staff she wound up getting into fistfights with.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
I mentioned to my friend Valarie Saturday night that my grandfather on my mother's side of the family wrote a book about his life called "Needle in a Haystack." It was published by McGraw- Hill and went through at least two printings. Valarie was shocked that I have never read it. I have to admit that I am truly ashamed about that. There is still time to rectify that, but it would have been far better to have read it while my grandfather was still alive. I'm afraid there are some things that can never be made right. One of the sad facts of life that can never be changed.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
My friend Valarie and I went to the "Elvis Theater" on north Sheridan Saturday night to see the movie "Cowboys and Aliens." This was very appropriate, considering that the theater was designed with a spaceship motif. Where reality ends and fantasy begins is a real question in this theater, and maybe this is true in life, too.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Here at the DU Bookstore we are getting geared up for a big Halloween celebration. Meanwhile, today I learned from Congresswoman Diane DeGette's office that my request for a White House tour when I visit Washington D.C. next week has been denied. Do you suppose they read this blog? In addition, I was advised to stay at least 100 yards away from the White House at all times during my visit. Probably just a form letter.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Wally saved the Bookstore almost $3,000 this week, recognizing that a number of Internet orders were probably fraudulent. One of the orders went out, but Wally became suspicious of a very similar second order. As that order was about to be shipped, four more orders of a suspicious nature came through. Wally, sensing fraud activity, leaped from the Bookstore's truck dock onto the back of the speeding away UPS truck. Wally pounded on the truck's back door until the driver finally pulled over. After some fist-a-cuffs, Wally retrieved the shipment before it went to the alleged felons. The remaining four orders were never shipped, although that was far less dramatic. Good going, Wally!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
It is October, and life has settled down at the DU Bookstore. Sales are steady, but nothing like the "Rush" sales of a month ago. Ciera and John are still here, taking care of business, making sure customers are being served, even in the slow times. Way To Go Guys!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
This morning, Darrel - the DU Bookstore's Accounts Payable Supervisor - took a fall on the stairs leading up to his office. In point of fact, he fell up the stairs. He claims he is doing well, but I have to wonder if getting up at 3:00 A.M. every morning and getting to the Bookstore at 7:30 isn't taking a toll. I mean, the sun isn't even up yet. Time to get some coffee, Darrel!
Monday, October 10, 2011
As faithful readers of this blog know, it is possible that the University of Denver Bookstore will be outsourced. The decision was supposed to be announced in September, but that didn't happen. My colleague Marty (pictured above) and I were speculating today about whether a decision will be made soon. It would be awkward to come to work one day and find all the locks changed. Time will tell, I guess.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Two weeks ago this very day I broke my arm after falling off my bike. I went to the orthopedic surgeon this past Wednesday, and he told me I do not need a cast - the arm will heal fine on its own. I am not even sure I need a sling anymore, but I have noticed that I get a lot of sympathy when I do. The other day a cashier asked if I needed someone to carry a six-pack of beer out to my car for me. Now that is service! I think I might continue to wear the thing even though I don't need it - at least for a couple of years or so.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Owen was recently promoted to Computer Buyer at the DU Bookstore, and as a reward, gets to work every Saturday for the rest of his life. Working Saturdays is not a bad thing - it is a short day, very mellow compared to a weekday, and we all get to drink beer all afternoon, since the Bookstore Director is not there. Plus, Owen gets to sell a computer system or two, which would not happen if he weren't there. We call this "win-win" in the business world.
Friday, October 7, 2011
If the DU Bookstore is leased out, that will allow me to complete the movie script about the store that I have been working on. George Clooney has already agreed to play me, and Sandra Bullock has agreed to play Valarie, the former Operations Coordinator at the store. I asked Noah (pictured above) who he wanted to play him, and he said Angelina Jollie. I was taken aback for a while, and then it began to make sense. I can just see Jollie cracking her whip, making her employees work harder - or else. She will become "Lora Craft - Stockroom Coordinator!" Good idea, Noah!
Thursday, October 6, 2011
As faithful readers will recall, Gina - the Quick Copy Center Manager - retired around the first of July and went to Arizona to retire. However, over the past several weeks, she has been hanging around the new Quick Copy Center, now located in the DU Bookstore. Gina, pictured in the photograph above, is posing with Tony, her successor at Quick Copy. This reminds me of Floyd Wonderly, a retiree who decided to spend his retirement - after 3o years at Gates Rubber - at the University Hills Mall. He would spend the entire day at the mall, going from store to store, showing his most recent photographs (mainly of clouds) to anyone who would look. Gina claims she is simply on her way to Jackson Hole, and wanted to stop by. I, personally, am not convinced. Could Gina be the new Floyd Wonderly?
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Today was the University of Denver's 2011 Convocation, which both Darrel, the DU Bookstore's Account's Payable Supervisor, and I attended. Darrel and I went to the luncheon mainly to see if the Bookstore would be mentioned in the Chancellor's remarks (perhaps something on the order of "goodbye and good luck.") Fortunately, the Bookstore was not mentioned, and we have lived to see another day. It actually turned out to be a very pleasant luncheon, with Darrel and I joining Campus Safety at their table. Pictured above (left to right) are Mike, our friend from Campus Safety, and Darrel. Free food is always a win-win situation, as all of the Bookstore staff have quickly learned.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Dave B. is stocking the shelves of the DU Bookstore - "spreading the love" - as he prepares for National Student Day this coming Thursday. The Bookstore will be offering discounts on gifts and clothing, free candy, and prizes to the student body - as well as everyone else - that day. The goal is to build up a positive image for the Bookstore on campus. It is not so much that we want to be loved as just not hated so much - realistic goals in an age of diminished expectations. You go, Dave!
Monday, October 3, 2011
Maria started working at the DU Bookstore last week, replacing Owen as the Textbook Coordinator. As you may recall, Owen (who is now the Bookstore's Computer Buyer) missed the first week of rush last fall due to emergency gallbladder surgery. Ironically, Jamie, another Bookstore employee, missed that same rush due to an emergency appendectomy. I hope Marty -Maria's supervisor - has let her know that major medical emergencies are no longer an acceptable excuse to miss rush. We will prop you up at your work station, and if you survive, one of your co-workers will be happy to drive you to the emergency room after the second week of classes. Welcome Aboard, Maria!
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Last week the Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance met with the University of Denver's Chancellor and Provost to decide the fate of the DU Bookstore. Having broken my hand last week and being threatened by friends and family with death if I even thought about driving my car or going for a bike ride, I spent much of today reflecting on both the past and future. In point of fact, I did walk to the grocery store and to the beer store and bought a six pack of "Jubelale," the first Christmas beer of the season. If this is October 2nd, can Christmas be far behind? The only question in everyone's mind at the DU Bookstore is whether we will still be working for the University of Denver in December. Time will tell.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Valarie - the former Operations Coordinator at the DU Bookstore and current Metro State coed - took a break from homework this afternoon to see the movie MoneyBall with me, and have dinner afterwards. Not being a rabid baseball fan, that was a very generous gesture on her part. Valarie is enjoying her last semester at Metro this fall and is being encouraged by her advisor to continue on for her Master's degree. A glutton for punishment, if you ask me. Valarie also continues to enjoy her job working with students attending Denver Public Schools. Tonight was especially noteworthy because I received my first AARP discount at the theater's refreshments stand, and it was substantial. Perhaps being a geezer won't be so bad after all.