Monday, April 30, 2012

Eyes Wide Open

I finally took a photograph of Noah, the DU Bookstore's Stockroom Manager, with both eyes open - a very rare occurrence indeed.  Last time, as faithful readers will recall, I took 45 photographs of Noah, and in only one did he have at least one eye open.  Granted, in the "eyes wide open" photograph above, he doesn't exactly look natural, but then again he never has, so what the heck. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dia del Nino

Today was "Dia del Nino," and in celebration of this Mexican holiday, the Denver Art Museum (DAM) had free admission to the museum all day long.  It was a great opportunity for me to absorb a little sorely needed culture, and so I was able to study paintings by such well known artists as Vance Kirkland and Joan Brown.  It was truly a great day.  My only complaint was that there were just too many kids around.  Perhaps next year they can change it to "Dia del Nanny." Just a thought.  

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lingering In Denver

I remember reading in the Denver Post a year or two ago that the old Olinger Mortuary in the Highlands neighborhood was being redeveloped into a trendy restaurant.  My thought at the time was "Bad Karma."  However, after visiting the place this afternoon, I must admit I was very impressed.  The resulting restaurant is called "Linger," and the rooftop bar is a delight.  Not only do you have a great view of downtown Denver, if you face the other way (as I did), you have a wonderful view of the iconic Olinger Mortuary sign, where you can drink your Lion Stout and contemplate your own mortality.  Plus, you get to mingle with your fellow beautiful people.  Another win win situation!   

Friday, April 27, 2012

Ceci's New Office

I took a photograph of Ceci in her new office today.  Ceci is now working on her coursepack orders at the DU Bookstore's information desk.  She previously had been working at a desk in the Bookstore's textbook office, but it was felt that she needed to get out there on the sales floor and "see and be seen."  Not only is Ceci now at the center of the action at the DU Bookstore, she also no longer has to share an office with Doug, the Bookstore's notorious curmudgeon.  Sounds like a win win situation to me. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Trish Redux

I took the above photograph of Trish today at the DU Bookstore. I showed it to her, and she told me she thinks she looks like a manic.  I agreed with her that she looks like a manic, but not in the photograph I just took.  Trish tells me that she is really looking forward to my return to the DU Bookstore this coming Monday.  Evidently she is not getting hassled enough with me being gone.  Don't worry, Trish!   I'll take care of that very quickly!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Derek Helps Out

Derek (on the left in the photograph above) is now working in the DU Bookstore's Quick Copy Center, helping out Tony, the Quick Copy Supervisor (in the photograph on the right).  If there is one thing everyone agrees on at the DU Bookstore, it is that Tony needs a lot of help.  He can also use more staff at the Quick Copy Center, so hiring Derek is definitely a good move.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Reflection Time

I turned in my "separation" paperwork to DU's HR department today.  I will be leaving the university's employ this coming Monday after 28 years, thanks to the outsourcing of the DU Bookstore.  I must say, my termination paperwork was processed in record time.  I got an e-mail after just two hours saying that everything had been completed.  I'm trying not to take it too personally, even though it usually takes HR a week to get anything done.  Must just be a slow time for them.  In any case, everyone at the "new" DU Bookstore  - even the new management - says they are looking forward to my return to the store.  Makes me wonder what they are up to.  Hopefully they aren't planning to have me stand outside the store with one those advertising signs, dressed as "Bookstore Boy."  I have my standards - very low standards - but standards nonetheless.     

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Stand Up Guy

John is truly a stand up guy.  He is always willing to have his photograph taken, even right after he shaved off his beard, with hideous results.  As the photograph above shows, John's beard is back, and unlike some other Bookstore employees, he is not intimidated by the new management company's dim view of this blog.  After all, they can't beat you for appearing on it, can they? Oh, a tasering or two, sure.  But a beating?  No way! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Paradise At A Price

I biked into downtown Denver this afternoon, rode down the 16th Street mall, went past Coors Field, and then headed home via Speer Boulevard.  I couldn't help but admire the new townhouses just two blocks north of Coors Field (pictured above).  Not only are they three stories tall, they each have a spiral staircase leading to the roof, where I imagine residents can go and drop water balloons down on the noisy and rowdy baseball fans leaving Coors Field after each night game.  Even paradise has its flaws.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Great Divide

I ran into Ed, my old stockbroker (from back when I had money), the other day.  He mentioned that he was one of the original investors in the Great Divide Brewing Company, and suggested I go down and visit their tap room at 22nd and Arapaho here in Denver.  I did just that (no need to twist my arm where beer is concerned)  and was very impressed with the operation.  I was envisioning a large dark room in the heart of the brewery where a few affectionados could sample various beers.  In fact, it was a bright and shiny, modern looking bar packed with yuppies, or Gen-Xers, or whatever the "in crowd" calls itself these days.  I'm afraid I've lost track. Twenty-Firsters?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Catching Up With Jordan

I ran into Jordan while he was promoting Apple computers and I-Pads in front of the DU Bookstore today.  Jordan worked in the DU Bookstore's computer department last year, before becoming Apple's student representative at the University of Denver.  The Bookstore has not been able to sell Apple products since it was outsourced to a private company at the end of February, but Jordan tells me a contract to once again make the store an Apple dealer will be signed shortly. All that remains will be to have the Bookstore staff sign the loyalty oath, apply Apple tattoos to all employees, and have everyone attend the mandatory 24 hour nonstop Apple indoctrination session. In other words, it is a done deal.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dave R. At Work

I chatted a bit with Dave R. at the DU Bookstore this afternoon. His new job as Merchandise Manager is keeping him very busy, and he says he is looking forward to me coming back to the Bookstore in a little over a week so that I can help him out. My new title at the DU Bookstore will be "Sales Floor Team Lead." I assume that will involve getting the sales floor staff all fired up using such morale building techniques as waving pom-poms, singing the company song, getting everyone to do the wave, etc. If only I had been a cheerleader in my youth like George W. Bush, the road I am facing might have been much easier. I wonder what George is doing these days? Maybe he can come out here and give us some lessons. Perhaps we can even tie it in with the Presidential debate to be held on campus. Send in the Clowns!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Request

I took maybe 15 or 20 photographs of Noah today. Only one captured him with at least one eye open. You can only do so much with what you've got, I always say. In any case, Noah tells me the new management company at the DU Bookstore does not allow web access, so he is no longer able to check out my blog each day. This is intolerable. There is, however, an informational site for all Bookstore employees called "The Quad. " I suggested to Noah that he request - even demand - that my blog be made available on this site. Even though I was told quite emphatically never to mention the name of the new management company on my blog, this doesn't necessarily mean the new management doesn't think my site is a great source of information for Bookstore employees, does it? I'm sure my blog will be available on "The Quad" by next week. Thanks for doing your part, Noah!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wally Adjusts

Wally (pictured above) is adjusting to life in the "new" DU Bookstore's stockroom, working for Noah, the store's new Stockroom Manager. The only negative is that it appears the upcoming remodeling of the store will not be as extensive as originally planned. The original idea was to expand the sales floor into the stockroom, adding space for more merchandise and a coffee bar. Noah and Wally were going to be the cafe's baristas, making coffee drinks between unpacking merchandise and checking in stock. Don't worry, guys! When I rejoin the DU Bookstore in a week and a half, I will push for the cafe idea with everything I've got. Time to order those new barista/stockguy outfits!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Celebrating 10 Years!

Chris (on the left in the photograph above), Darrel (on the right) and I celebrated Darrel's 10 years at the DU Bookstore this afternoon. Darrel's 10 year gift arrived a few weeks ago, and we waited until today to present it to him over lunch at Jordan's. Of course, the University of Denver outsourced the DU Bookstore in February, so unfortunately Darrel will not see an 11th year at the store. He is now the Budget and Office Manager for DU's Chemistry Department, having had to leave the Bookstore in order to stay with the university, but that is looking at the glass as half empty. At least you made it 10 years at the Bookstore, Darrel! Congratulations!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Doors Open Denver Continued

Today was the second day of Doors Open Denver Weekend. I took advantage of this by visiting the very beautiful Bosworth House - a Victorian masterpiece - at 14th and Josephine, taking a guided tour of the Vance Kirkland Museum, and having a pint or two at the Wynkoop Brewery. And no, the latter was not one of the featured sites, but it definitely should have been.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Doors Open Denver

This weekend is "Doors Open Denver," when many of Denver's buildings and museums are open to the public free of charge. One of these museums is the Vance Kirkland Museum, which I visited this afternoon. Not only was Kirkland an artist, he also founded the University of Denver's School of Art. He was the head of the art department from 1928 until 1932, left after a dispute with the university, and then rejoined the school as head of the art department a number of years later. It is nice to know that the University of Denver has consistently maintained that love-hate relationship with its faculty and staff over all these years. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

A Few Words From Trish

Trish tells me that I am getting pretty mouthy these days, now that I am working temporarily in an undisclosed location while closing the books on the "old" DU Bookstore. I don't think this is true at all. Don't you remember all those times when you told me you wanted to give me a good sock? I think you're losing your memory, Trish.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Philosophical Discussion

My friend Stuart and I had a philosophical discussion tonight at the Old Chicago Restaurant in Lakewood. It is amazing how much easier it is to figure out the problems of the world after two or three pints. In any case, I am currently reading "The Geography of Bliss," and mentioned how happy the people of Iceland are. Stuart countered that if possible, he would move to Hobart on the island of Tasmania tomorrow. Stuart cited the friendliness of the people, the lower cost of living, and the beauty of the countryside. I suggested that Lincoln, Nebraska would provide exactly the same benefits, with the added bonus of being 5,000 miles closer. Stuart wasn't convinced, and won't be house-hunting in Lincoln anytime soon. Go figure.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lunch With Roddy!

I had lunch with Roddy, the University of Denver's photography professor, this afternoon. Roddy is doing well and is looking forward to a fall sabbatical, when he will begin working on a new photography project. I mentioned to Roddy that I too was considering a new photography project, which might involve a trip to the Philippines in the month of August. Roddy was very enthusiastic about this, telling me that Manila in August is an absolute paradise. There is no way that Roddy could be putting me on, right? Right?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Marty Did It!

I ran into Dave R. (see photograph above) at the "new" DU Bookstore this afternoon. As faithful readers know, Chris, Darrel, and I are closing the books of the "old" DU Bookstore this month, working out of an undisclosed location on campus. I mentioned to Dave that we have decided to leave our colleague Marty's name on all our correspondence and paperwork (Marty was acting Director of the DU Bookstore before the store was outsourced). If mistakes are made in closing the books, at least we now have someone we can blame. Dave thought that was a great idea. Thinking "outside the box" has always been one of the "old" DU Bookstore's greatest strengths.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Opening Day!

Today was Opening Day, the Colorado Rockies first home game of the season. I went to the game with my friend Stuart. The streets were filled with thousands of happy people, there were food vendors on every corner, and bands were playing everywhere. The Opening Day ceremony was very festive, and then, unfortunately, the Rockies began to play baseball. These guys stink! Final score: San Francisco Giants 7, Colorado Rockies 0. At least the weather was nice.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

I was invited by my sister Susan and brother-in-law George for Easter steaks - Easter steaks? - up in Fort Collins today. I arrived early enough that I could actually take a photograph of them in natural daylight. It has been months since I last saw them in daylight. And they aren't even vampires! What a great Easter!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Visiting With Val

Valarie and I had dinner with the entire staff of the "old" DU Bookstore tonight, by whom I mean Darrel and Chris, along with Darrel's wife Linda and Chris' husband Jim. We ate Italian at Patsy's, one of the oldest restaurants in northwest Denver and a true neighborhood gathering place. You know it's a neighborhood joint when you see a 10 year old working behind the bar. Beats working on a farm, I always say. Afterwards, Valarie and I stopped for a drink at Lou's, a former dive and current yuppie hot spot on 38th Street. It was a nice mellow evening, exemplified by the fact that Valarie actually liked the photos I took of her. Another first!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Keeping Up With Tony

Tony says he has been extremely busy at the Quick Copy Center (located in the DU Bookstore) lately, and has even received a bottle of tequila as a tip. Since he doesn't drink tequila, he gave the botttle to a fellow staff member, who no doubt is now curled up in a distant corner of the Bookstore. When I took Tony's photograph today to put on my blog, he complained to me that the last photo I took of him was awful. Hey Tony, I'm a photographer, not a miracle worker. Deal with it.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Visiting With Wally

I visited with Wally at the DU Bookstore this afternoon. Like everyone else, he wanted to know when I would be rejoining the store to take up my new roll as "Sales Floor Team Lead." And no, I don't exactly know what that position does, but I assume it involves pom-poms. In any case, Wally says he has more gray hair after this past rush, and feels he is "losing a step" these days. Of course, Wally is working for Noah, the DU Bookstore's new Stockroom Manager, which could explain Wally's aging so rapidly. And under no circumstances do I mean that in a negative way.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Joe - A Multitasking Hero?

I ran into Joe at the "new" DU Bookstore today, and found out that he is multitasking like crazy. This afternoon, as I talked to him, he was running a cash register, helping out at the information desk, and also restocking the shelves. Plus, he was also very interested to know what I was doing these days that was keeping me from returning to the Bookstore. In point of fact, I am working very hard at closing the books of the "old" DU Bookstore, trying to do everything as carefully and as slowly as possible. We'll get those books closed in no time, Joe. See you in 2014!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dee Needs to Think About It

I ran into Dee at the DU Bookstore this afternoon. Dee is still working with the Spirituals Project here at DU and enjoying it very much. I told Dee it was her turn to be featured on my blog, and that it is considered by many to be a great honor. She had to think about that one for a while before consenting to have her photograph taken. And in point of fact, I don't think I convinced her that appearing on my blog is that great an honor. OK - sure I occasionally compare a DU Bookstore employee with Stalin, but hey, who would take that the wrong way? Right? Right???

Monday, April 2, 2012

Noah Takes Control

Noah is enjoying his new position as the DU Bookstore's Stockroom Manager. Although he still tends to blink when his photograph is taken, Noah has begun to assert his authority, consolidate his control, and build alliances for the future. Coincidentally, this is exactly what Stalin did in the 1930s. Not that I am implying anything.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Living Like A Dog

Spring has sprung, and it appears that the city's canine population enjoyed the nice weather this afternoon just as much as their owners. Walking through the park, checking out the scene, Denver dogs are living life large in the city. And why not - a recent news story reported that pet owners spend over 100 billion dollars a year on their pets, versus 2 billion on their kids. Or something like that. You could look it up!