Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Tattered Cover Hangs In There!

I went to the Tattered Cover last night to hear Richard Ford talk about his new book, Canada.  Ford thanked the Tattered Cover effusively for supporting both books and their authors in these troubled times for the book industry.  Although the Tattered Cover had to move out of its Cherry Creek location after its landlord raised the rent 1000%, it is still thriving at its new location (see photograph above) in the old Schwayder Theater on East Colfax Avenue in Denver.  I was thinking about that this morning during a training session at the DU Bookstore on selling Apple i-Pads and Mac computers.  The i-Pad makes it extremely easy (and tempting) to download and read most titles at a fairly low price, further eroding the sale of traditional books.  The day might come when only a few grizzled senior citizens actually own and read books.  By whom I mean my fellow Bookstore employee, Wally, and his Churchill tomes.  Keep the faith, Wally!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ignoring Sage Advise

Against the advise of fellow employees Wally and myself, Marty has decided not to demand that he stay at Chicago's Drake Hotel and be provided with limo service when he goes to the Chicago area for textbook buyer training next month.  Instead, he will be staying in beautiful Oakbrook Terrace, which makes downtown Lincoln Nebraska look like Midtown Manhattan.  However, Marty drew the line at having to share a room with a total stranger, even if they do work for the same company as we do.  In a situation like that, you might wind up with various parts of Marty all over the Tri-State area.  In any case, Marty says he was simply worried about having to share a room with someone like Doug, the DU Bookstore's curmudgeonly textbook buyer.  God knows that would be a worry.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Checking In With Chris

Chris, seen at her desk in the photograph above, is still working away in an undisclosed location on the University of Denver campus, closing the books on the "old" DU Bookstore. In less than a month, the job will be finished, and the "old" DU Bookstore will be only a memory. All that is left now is to process the "golden parachutes" for the store's 3 remaining employees and have the money transferred to numbered accounts in the Caymans.  I just hope DU's Banner system allows us to enter figures with that many zeros.   

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Shout Out To My Aussie Mates!

I recently learned that many of the readers of this blog are from Australia.  I'm not sure why this is, although I suspect it might have to do with an important common interest, by which I mean beer.  According to my friend Stuart's Australian ex-wife, Pamm, Aussies are great beer drinkers, and as way of example, Pamm was definitely no slouch in that department.  I imagine that Aussies are just trying to get as much information as possible about Denver - the Napa Valley of the beer industry - and have been attracted to my blog by my frequent postings on local breweries. I mentioned this to one of my co-workers at the University of Denver Bookstore, and she disagrees - she thinks the company we work for has simply outsourced its internet security division to a company in Australia to save money.  How sad to learn that I am not famous after all, just infamous.  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Denver Time Capsule Mystery

I discovered a "time capsule" inset into the Petroleum Building on the 16th Street Mall this afternoon.  It was built into the building when it was constructed in 1957.  The Petroleum Building is best known for the Petroleum Club, once located on two of the upper floors of the building, where Denver's movers and shakers once partied.  Rumors have it that it is now a rat infested storeroom, haunted by the ghost of former Denver oilman Marvin Davis. In any case, the sign on the time capsule said it was to be opened in 2007, but it appeared to me to be still untouched.  Not surprising, considering how boring the 1950s - and especially 1950s Denver - were.  I later learned that the time capsule was indeed opened in September of 2007, but the contents were so dull (mostly photographs of cows) that they put the whole thing back just the way it was.  Surprise!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jan Is Leaving!

Jan has given her notice, and is leaving the DU Bookstore in order to take care of her mother in Omaha,       Nebraska.  That is a really nice thing for Jan to do. And although it is a much smaller city than Denver, I hear it is a very nice place to live.  Omaha has many good steakhouses, many nice neighborhoods, and is also the home of billionaire Warren Buffett. In point of fact, Omaha might be like some of those outposts in the Australian outback, which appear quiet and sleepy until Saturday night comes along, when hundreds of people flock there from miles around.  Omaha might very well be the same, with people coming into town from all over cow infested Nebraska and Iowa to party.  I'll bet even Warren Buffett takes part in the Omaha party scene. I would definitely recommend getting to know him, Jan. Good luck to you!       

Friday, May 25, 2012

Settling In At The New DU Bookstore

I am beginning to settle in to both my new duties and my new office at the DU Bookstore, even putting up some photographs that were in my old office down the hall.  The poster sized photograph in the picture above is one of my favorites.  It was taken several years ago, when I went back to visit Chicago after being away 30 years.  In the photograph, I am holding up a picture I took of my parents outside McCormick Place in Chicago many years ago, while standing in the exact same spot.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is a photograph of a photograph of me holding a photograph.  Try thinking about that after a couple of pints.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Nebraska Book Company Buys!

Lori (in the photo on the left), John (in the middle), and Trevor (on the right) invited me for beers at Jordan's this evening.  Lori (the "old" DU Bookstore's buyers group rep) and John (the "old" DU Bookstore's Nebraska Book Company rep) were in town the past few days visiting area Bookstores, and Trevor, a recent University of Wyoming Bookstore employee, also joined us.  The "new" DU Bookstore - by whom I am currently employed - is now run by one of Nebraska's arch rivals.  Don't worry guys - I didn't give away any secrets.  At least until after the second beer.  Cheers!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mugging For The Camera

I found my missing coffee mug today.  I had been searching for it for the past two and a half months.  I lost it while I was working for the University of Denver, closing out the books on the "old" DU Bookstore.  I was convinced I had left it at the Bookstore, but could never find it.  Everyone in the store denied seeing it.  I have now been working for the "new"  DU Bookstore since May 1st, and today I spotted my cherished baseball mug on the defective merchandise shelf.  This is an outrage - a conspiracy of the highest order.  In addition, a few days ago, I caught Ceci, one of the DU Bookstore's Team Leads, trying to steal my replacement "Eco Mug," claiming it was hers.  Even more startling, I lost (or had stolen) a third mug at a local bistro (dive bar). I am going to insist on a full investigation.  "Don't do the crime, if you can't do the time," has always been my motto.   

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy 37th Birthday!

Today is Noah's 37th birthday.  I remember the day 11 years ago when he started working here at the DU Bookstore - young, enthusiastic, full of life and promise.  And now what is he?  Old, embittered, cynical, world-weary.  Hey, wait a minute!  That's me!  Noah is just fine!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Let The Punishment Fit The Crime

I was running a cash register at the DU Bookstore today, and wound up having to do a line item void.  These are highly frowned upon at the Bookstore.  In fact, John (pictured above) told me that the last time he had to do one, he was sent to work at the Bookstore's Quick Copy Center for three weeks.  That is almost inhuman.  Nobody deserves that.  The noise alone will drive you completely crazy.  Just look at Tony, the Quick Copy Center Manager, if you don't believe me.  And I mean that with all due respect.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Sunday Afternoon In Denver

It was a pleasant Sunday afternoon in Denver, sitting on the patio of the Wynkoop Brewery in Denver, enjoying the spring weather.  The only downside was the realization that mimes are beginning to infest the city.  They started in Europe, standing there, waiting for someone to give them money so that they could do their thing, and now they are here.  Can't the City of Denver spray or something?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday With S & G

I spent Saturday afternoon with my sister Susan and brother-in-law George today.  After a visit to Denver's famous Kirkland Museum, we stopped at the Great Divide Brewery for a libation and then headed to Lucky Pie on the 16th Street Mall for pizza.  George is a Fox News watching, died in the wool Republican, so we had a very spirited political discussion over dinner.  And I have to say, I really think George is coming around to my political viewpoint.  However, George, I have to tell you, I am pretty busy these days, so I just don't have the time to devote to promoting liberal causes.  You'll have to do that on your own. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Lake And The Drake Is Never A Mistake

Marty (pictured above) agreed with Wally and I today that the only place he could possibly accept staying when he travels to Oak Brook, Illinois for training this July is Chicago's venerable Drake Hotel.  There is something to be said for waking up in your executive hotel suite, watching the sun rise over Lake Michigan, and then boarding a curbside limo that will whisk you to Oak Brook in under 30 minutes.  What a way to start a day of training!  After all, we here at the DU Bookstore are accustomed to a certain style and comfort, as befits the lofty position of our University of Denver.  The new management company needs to understand this.  I mean, what's the alternative?  A room at the Embassy Suites in some faceless suburb and a shuttle to Oak Brook?  How gauche!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wally's Two Cents

Wally (in the photograph above) mentioned to me that our friend and colleague Marty (the DU Bookstore's Textbook Manager) will soon be heading to Chicago for training at the contract management company's headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois.  Wally told me that if he were staying in Chicago, he would only accept staying at the Drake Hotel on North Michigan Avenue.  I agreed, and suggested that he tell Marty to demand that he stay at the Drake, and have the company provide a limo to take him back and forth to Oak Brook each day.  There is nothing like gettting up in the morning in your suite at the Drake, watching the sun rise over Lake Michigan, and then after a hearty breakfast, reading your paper and drinking your coffee as the limo speeds you to your meeting.  As a matter of fact, if the company says no, I would just tell them to go to hell, and walk away.  Just a helpful suggestion, Marty! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Showing Initiative!

I attended a seminar on loss prevention this morning, and was therefore on high alert for any suspicious activity at the DU Bookstore today.  Then this afternoon I spotted Noah leaving the Bookstore with a sizeable load of pallets.  For a minute I was afraid I might have to call the company's Mr. Heat Hotline.  I asked Noah straight out if he was pilfering those paltry pallets.  "Certainly not," he replied.  He was simply taking damaged and unusable pallets from the Bookstore and switching them out for decent ones down at the University of Denver's Mail Services Department.  That's not pilfering, that's showing initiative!  Good Going Guy!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Today I was reinstated as an employee of the DU Bookstore, by which I mean I can once again clock in and out on the time clock.  Starting last Friday, whenever I tried to punch in to work, I got a message that said "Punch not accepted, please leave the premises immediately, authorities have been alerted."  I mentioned this to Brittney, the DU Bookstore's Assistant Manager, and she said not to worry, that it was only a computer glitch, don't take it personally.  But still, I had to wonder if this was the doing of someone at the home office in Chicago, who was somehow offended at something I said on my blog.  In any case, today I was able to punch in as normal, and I say to whoever tried to terminate me that it wasn't my fault.  In point of fact, it was Doug, the Bookstore Curmudgeon, who made me say all those things.  I swear!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Merchandising Madness

Dave R is the Merchandise Manager at the DU Bookstore and lately has been busy beefing up the store's inventory.  In addition to buying merchandise to put on the shelves, Dave has also been taking special orders, including requests from both Dee - who works at the Bookstore during start of the quarter rushes - and me.  Better take care of those special orders, Dave.  You don't have to worry about me, but don't cross Dee.  You don't want to go there.     

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ironton Studios

I missed the RiNo (River North) Art District Open Studios tour today, but fortunately arrived at Ironton Studios in time for the iron pour performance/demonstration late this afternoon. I was also in time for the after-party, which featured Create Denver's own beer - Catalyst Ale.  All beer sales went to support the RiNo non-profit organization, and if anything, I am a big supporter of the arts.  Glad I could help.  It was nothing.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Reason For Concern

I tried to punch in on the time clock at the DU Bookstore this morning, and the response was that a "punch was not allowed."  I mentioned this to my supervisor, Brittney, who in point of fact I myself used to supervise (but why be bitter), and she could not figure out the problem, either.  All I can figure is that the home office - located in my native city of Chicago - decided to terminate me outright, probably because of this blog.  I can only hope that I will be reinstated by Monday.  Please keep those cards and letters coming!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Noah Reconsiders

I made a second error today, working in the Accounting Office at the "new" DU Bookstore.  One error is okay, but two might be pushing it, since I only started last week.  I asked Noah - the DU Bookstore's Stockroom Manager - if he would take the blame for it, and he said sure.  What a guy!  What a team player!  Although, I have to say, he seemed to be reconsidering his decision a few moments later, when I took his photograph.  Don't worry Noah!  The error is far less than the 2 or 3 billion error that Chase bank just admitted to.  At least so far.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Visiting With Cheryl

I ran into Cheryl on the Driscoll Center Bridge this morning.  As regular readers will recall, Cheryl helps out at the DU Bookstore as a cashier during the store's "rush" periods (the start of classes in the Fall, Winter, and Spring).  Today Cheryl was off to the University of Denver's  HR Liason's Meeting, which I also used to attend when I was a University of Denver employee.  I fondly recall attending each meeting, receiving valuable information to bring back to my fellow Bookstore employees, and often being jarred awake by someone giving me a sharp poke in the back.  Those were the days!  I really miss those great opportunities to catch up on my sleep.  Oh well.  Nothing good lasts forever.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Dee Offers Suggestions

Dee - who helps out at the DU Bookstore during rush periods - gave some suggestions today on what merchandise to stock at the store.  Actually, it kind of sounded more like demands to me, but I'm sure that's just my imagination.  In any case, I will turn over her requests to Dave R, the DU Bookstore's Merchandise Manager.  If we don't get the items in that Dee wants, I will simply sic her on Dave - excuse me, I mean I will have her make her requests to Dave R. directly, if she can find where he is hiding.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Trish Expresses Concern

Trish has expressed concern to me that one of my old blog posts - stating that a broken nose she once suffered was the result of a fierce bar fight - might hurt her future career prospects.  I feel bad about this - kind of.  Actually, on second thought, not so much.  A retraction would not do any good at this point, since my vivid description of the event is now the stuff of DU Bookstore legend.  No one would believe me now if I said she actually broke her nose by tripping on her doorstep.  However, no need to worry, Trish.  Doug - the DU Bookstore's Textbook Team Lead - and I will save a space for you in the gutter after we arrive there. You've got a home with us!  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Week 2 At The "New" DU Bookstore

Today starts my second week as the "new" DU Bookstore's Sales Floor Team Lead.  I am now working for the "old" DU Bookstore from 8:30 A.M. until 10:30 A.M each day, the "new" DU Bookstore from 10:45 until 6:45, and am currently looking for part-time work to fill that idle 7:00 P.M. till midnight slot. Idle hands are the devil's plaything, as they say.  As a matter of fact, I think that's a quote from Bill Clinton.  Glad to see he's keeping busy, too.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Rockie Weekend

It was a very Rockie weekend.  Today I went to the to the Colorado Rockies game with Darrel (top photo), his daughter Kim, and grandson Joel.   Darrel, the former Accounts Payable Supervisor at the DU Bookstore, is now the Budget Officer for the Chemistry Department at the University of Denver.  Last night I went to the Rockies game with my friend Stuart (bottom photograph).  The Saturday night game was delayed by rain in the 8th inning, which explains - partly - why Stuart was photographed at the Wynkoop Brewery and not Coors Field.  The Rockies lost both games - they were horrible yesterday, but only bad today, so things are indeed looking up.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Official University of Denver Policy

A group of former and current DU Bookstore employees were walking back from my retirement luncheon the other day (I am "retired" from the University of Denver but still work 5 days a week - a 21st Century retirement) when the subject of Doug, the resident Bookstore curmudgeon, came up.  I mentioned to Tristy, the former Bookstore Director, that Doug was a big part of my response in case an active shooter turned up on campus.  Official DU policy is that if you can't get away or get to a locked, safe room, everyone should rush the shooter, on the theory that he or she couldn't shoot everyone.  I told Tristy my plan was to be right behind Doug when we rushed the shooter.  Tristy pointed out that Doug is razor thin and I might want to rethink the plan.  Then I noticed Marty, the DU Bookstore's Textbook Manager (in the photograph above), bringing up the rear.  New plan!  I'll be right behind you, Marty.  You yourself might want to try and get behind Doug.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Lauren Pays A Visit

Lauren - until a few months ago a Customer Service Associate at the DU Bookstore - paid a visit to the store this afternoon.  She is doing well and plans to attend graduate school in London, England.  I suggested she pursue a course of study in British Pubs (a fertile area for research), while Wally suggested Churchill studies.  Lauren, however, is insisting on advanced study in social work and counseling.  Big mistake ignoring our advice, Lauren.  After all, look how we turned out.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A DU Bookstore Author Signing!

Steve Fisher, author of "University Park and South Denver" and a new book, "A Brief History of South Denver and University Park," was at the DU Bookstore this afternoon for an author signing.  Steve is also an Associate Professor and a Curator at the University of Denver's Penrose Library.  It was great to talk with Steve about the various changes that have taken place in the DU neighborhood over the years - buildings that have been lost and buildings that are amazingly still here.  One thing I learned today was that the "Historic Buchtel Trail" is historic because it is the site of the old Texas and Gulf Railroad, not because it was the path the early yuppies took in the 1980s while jogging to Denver's Washington Park.  Who would have thunk it?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Surprise Visit

Bill, the former Operations Coordinator for the DU Bookstore, paid a surprise visit to the store today to see how everyone is faring under the new regime.  He has just got back from visiting San Francisco and biking through the Sonoma wine country of California.  Bill is now a retiree.  He spends his days traveling, biking, gardening, doing yard work, and rooting for the Dodgers (go figure).  I am also retired, but I spend my days working at the DU Bookstore.  You take your fun where you find it, I always say. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Enthusiasm From Tony!

Yesterday was my first day working for the "new" DU Bookstore, and Tony - Manager of the DU Bookstore's Quick Copy Center (see photograph above) - was curious as to what my duties were going to be.  I explained that I would be doing some accounting tasks for the store, but as Sales Floor Team Lead, I also expected to be on the sales floor quite often, boosting morale by waving pom-poms, doing the wave, and playfully throwing various objects at fellow co-workers.  Tony really perked up when I mentioned that last idea.  Of course, when Bookstore employees think of throwing objects at co-workers - playfully or
not - they are usually thinking of Doug, the DU Bookstore's resident curmudgeon.  Yes, fun times are ahead people!