Archive for May, 2009

In Mourning Over the Nuggets

What a lousy way to end a great season….

I really enjoyed the Nuggets all year.  I am just disappointed with the last five quarters.  Still, they played incredible basketball and went a lot farther than I expected at the beginning of the season.  When they play defense, they are a great team.  When they pass the ball and move without the ball, they are a great team.  Unfortunately, they forgot those things for the last five quarters of the series with the Lakers or they would still be playing.

The good news is that they have all the pieces to make another run next year.  JR is ready to break into the big time and Chauncy and  Melo are both playing great.  We need to get more consistent offense from Nene and consistent team defense should be the top priority for 2009-2010.

Now I am rooting for the Magic.  I was just in Orlando visiting with good friends of mine.  They are Orlando personal injury attorneys and are major Magic fans.  While I wish we could have seen a Denver/Orlando Championship series, I am now on the Magic bandwagon and rooting for them to beat both LeBron and Kobe.  Go Magic!

Local Farmers Markets

Now that summer has begun, it is time to think about fresh produce and that means farmers markets!!!

There are a surprising amount of markets in the area! The best list i have found is on Colorado Fresh Markets

This past saturday I grabbed a friend and headed to the Cherry Creek Farmers market! They moved to the front part of the parking lot this year. That means more parking by Cost Plus – woohoo!
I ususally park on the other side of the river. They finally finished their landscaping and have turnouts for parking over there. Not as much as when they had it all dug up, but it is an option!

The options for produce were pretty limited – but i did manager to get 2 peppers (1 red, 1 yellow), a bunch of green onions (huge bulbs), 2 yellow squash, 1 giant cucumber, a bunch of cilantro, and a pound of tomatillos for under $10! Color me tickled pink on the tomatillo front – i’ve had a recipe that called for 8 that i have been unable to cook due to the obscene cost of these little guys in the stores! Yeah! Come over tonight for green enchilada casserole!

There were a bunch of new options at the farmers market in addition to the old standbys
Mermaids Bakery – i visit them downtown for all my pie needs! But they also make other amazing goodies!
White Girl Salsa – great green salsa options and heck with a name like that i had to check it out
Tea – a new tea stand with some fabulous flavors (if anyone remembers the name, comment!)

Building Our Garden

We have been steadily working on our garden for the last few weeks, but it seems to be coming to a head now.  Today, we splurged at King Soopers’ Garden Center’s Memorial Day sale.  Bought lots of great annuals and a few perennials.  Lots of marigolds….  I love marigolds…  And the price was right.

We also went to Tatonka Farms to pick up our hanging baskets.  If you live in the foothills and have not visited Tatonka Farms, you are missing out.  This place is unbelievable.  About six weeks ago, we bought two large hanging baskets.  They had planted these about four weeks before and they were just starting to show signs of life.  Instead of taking them home with us, the owner of Tatonka Farms told us to leave them with her and she would nurture them in her greenhouse until late May.  Well, we just picked them up and we are so happy with the results.  They will be the centerpiece of our outdoor landscaping.  Best of all, at the end of the summer, we can return the baskets and the hangers and they will do it all again next year.

Tatonka Farms has lots more beautiful hanging baskets.  And they are made for people in the foothills of Conifer, Evergreen, Pine Junction, Bailey and Morrison.  They also have hundreds and hundreds of geraniums of all kinds.  Pansies and other flowers are all over.  It is just a sea of color.

Check it out.  We did, and it was worth it!

The Amtrak Pioneer Line: Back From The Dead?

Squee #1 – Amtrak are considering reviving the Pioneer line which used to run between Denver and Seattle (discontinued 1997). Imagine that – Denver Union Station actually serving more than one long distance train route! Wouldn’t that be something? Just four years ago, I heard no common knowledge beyond “Rail travel is dying, enjoy it while you can.” I get wistful looking at those signs in the Union Station tunnel naming and dating all the routes that are no more. The idea of any Amtrak route being raised from the dead fills me with more delight than I can adequately express. And that the route under consideration serves the Denver area? Squee indeed!

Squee #2 – Boulder City Council are urging Amtrak officials to alter that old line a bit. The Pioneer used to run through Greeley, but considering all the local support surrounding FasTracks and the much-anticipated Boulder Transit Village, they suggest the revived Pioneer run instead through Boulder. Direct rail travel from Boulder to Seattle? OMGWTFBBQ!!!1!1!1!!!eleven!

I done saw it in the Daily Camera (also in the Colorado Daily, for more detail, via Twitter feed AmtrakNews) where the sole commenter as of this moment is voicing support for the reinstated line but not for “regular Amtrak trains through Boulder.” I’m not quite sure why. Do they fear the noise and congestion of 20 TRAINS DAY, I SAID TWENTY MILLION TRAINS A DAY, SINGING A BAR OF ALICE’S RESTAURANT– Dude, chill. You got any reason to expect the Pioneer will run more often than the California Zephyr, which is to say once a day in either direction? You think that’ll add any significant hullabaloo to the existing freight traffic that passes daily through town on the BNSF? Or maybe they worry that Boulder will suddenly host a super big amount of car traffic as the new Amtrak Mecca? I am confused. Enlighten me.

As for me, I totally support an Amtrak stop in Boulder. Do you? Squee here! Don’t you? Explain!

Get your art on downtown!

10th Annual Denver Art Center

2009 Downtown Denver Arts Festival Dates:

Times:
Friday 4-8PM
Saturday 11-8PM
Sunday 11-5PM
Monday 11-4PM

Monday 11-4PM

Should be a blast! Checkout all the local artists, support local talent!

FYI: How To Reach The Baggage Department at Union Station

Since it took me for-freakin’-ever to actually get ahold of this number, but I am not under the impression that it’s, like, a secret or anything, I present:

Denver Union Station: Amtrak Baggage Department: (303) 629-6477

This number reaches a Real Live Person – as long as someone’s in the office, of course. Courtesy note! The best time to call is at least half an hour after the train has departed, I think; this should give them time to handle all luggage retrieval issues with arriving passengers. Trains depart around 8 AM (Train 5, Westbound) and 8 PM (Train 6, Eastbound). You may want to check the train status at Amtrak’s web site just to double-check the train isn’t late and you’re not calling while the staff are frantically checking luggage for impatient departing passengers.

If you just want to get train arrival/departure status by phone, dial (303) 534-2812.* This gets you a recording which is updated several times a day. But use the web site if you can. It’s a lot closer to to-the-minute up-to-dateness. It has a nifty interface for mobile devices, too!

*(If you’re curious: I got the recording number via Google and called it several times over two days hoping it would finally get picked up by a human or get a “to speak to someone, press 0” addendum.** It didn’t. But when I flailed around pressing buttons, dialling 1 made the recording shut off with a “beep” that made me think of answering machines. So I started spewing out my name, number, and concerns in hopes that I was actually leaving a message. Turns out I was; I got called back about 2 hours later by an exceedingly nice person who gave me the baggage department number.)

**(Because I’m leaving Friday and would like to take my bike with me. And because I don’t entirely trust Amtrak’s web site to tell me how the people in Denver want me to pack my bike.)

Rocky Mountain Legal Marketing Association

Yesterday, I attended the monthly luncheon for the Rocky Mountain Legal Marketing Association.  Maurina Paradise, the Marketing Director for the Denver commercial litigation, corporate and real estate law firm of Fairfield and Woods, P.C., graciously offered to bring me as her guest.

The session was well attended with marketing directors from many of the top corporate firms in Denver.  The speaker – Dr. Laura Belsten – an executive coach and president of CEO Partnership – spoke about Emotional Intelligence.  It was a very interesting presentation and she made her point with a group activity at the end of the session that clearly demonstrated that the people who have the most impact on our lives have the qualities that make up emotional intelligence.

And We Did It All For The Smart Grid

As you probably know, Boulder will be the first Smart Grid city in the U.S.

As you possibly did not know, ’cause I certainly didn’t know until just now a minute ago when the robo-call came in, portions of Northeast Boulder will experience an interruption of service tomorrow, Thursday May 14th, starting around 12:30 PM.

How Northeast? Think roundabouts where the Bolder Boulder 10K starting line is. Remington Post, sure. Diagonal Plaza? Alterra/The Atrium? Eagles Nest and the various units on O’Neal? Dunno.

Prepare to do something non-electric, go elsewhere for your wi-fi and A/C fix, or just gloat that you’ll be at work anyway and won’t notice a thing. Me, I’ll be taking a nice walk around the block, maybe bring the socks I’m knitting with me. After all, the weather’s supposed to be lovely.

Shouting out: Did you get a robo-call today? Write in and tell us so, and roughly where you live. No, don’t give out stalkeriffic personal data; just give an intersection or something. Comment anonymously if you like. It might be cool to try to predict via Super Blog Community Powah! exactly how wide the area affected should be.

Love Heals, Part 2

Quoth I, “The only thing that boggles my mind is this: Why does the web site employ a trademark symbol? LOVE™? Does this site have an additional, acronymical meaning for the word? Will we find out more when the marketing campaign enters its next phase? Will there be a next phase?”

The answer? Yes, there is a phase two, as the campaign’s PR manager let me know quite promptly by email. (Thank you for that!) Phase One, the unbranded phrase, ran from April 16 through April 20. The branded phase was rolled out on April 20. I’m only getting around to posting about it now, because I am a slug. Maybe this is old news to you, I don’t know. On the off-chance it isn’t, this:

The website LetLoveHeal.com has sprouted identifying features! There’s a logo and a blurb on the front page now. The logo belongs to Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, and the blurb runs thusly:

Love. It makes hearts grow fonder, blood move faster, and creates that never-want-to-live-without-it feeling for everyone it encounters. Surprisingly, love also has an unmistakable therapeutic power. It has been scientifically proven to aid healing and help improve the lives of people, animals, and plants alike. And with the help of our experienced doctors and caring staff, it’s now making its way into the hearts of every patient at Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers.

And there’s swag! As I drove down Foothills today, I was passed by a pick-up truck with the LOVE™ HEALS logo on the back. Street teams have been passing out magnets like that one and T-shirts too.

The cynically minded will want to know, “So what are they selling?” And they will look all over the LetLoveHeal.com site for a swag shop or similar. In vain! for there is none. All they are “selling” is the message. As Beth Hardy of Weise Communiciations told me in her kind email (which I pray she will forgive my quoting),

Because cancer touches nearly everyone in some form or fashion, RMCC developed this campaign to try and reach out to as many people as possible and help spread the message that compassion, kindness, friendship and love can truly help an individual’s quality of survival.

As they say on LiveJournal and on many blog comment communities, “Quoted for truth.” ‘Cause it is. True, I mean. I should know, being a cancer survivor myself. Clearly, chemotherapy had a lot to do with my survival, but it’s no insult to the skilled oncologists, the caring RNs, and veritable army of blood donors to say that love – expressed via hugs, kisses, hospital visits, prayers, and huge tangles of Mardi Gras beads tossed off the floats of the Krewe of Thoth – was also indispensable.

So, good on RMCC. It’s a message worth spreading, and I’m pleased to know whom to thank for it.

(Also, the trademark thing? Where it looks like someone’s trying to trademark the word LOVE? Holds true on the RMCC logo as well: “ROCKY MOUNTAIN™ CANCER CENTERS”. Apparently, when you’re trademarking a logo, it just looks better to put the TM at the end of the top line where the words are bigger. And I’m just an overly literal-minded English major doing that literal-minded English major thing that I do when I go, “Huh? You’re trademarking the Rocky Mountains? All of them?” So you can just ignore me there.)

Happy Birthday Billy Kreutzman!

The Dead celebrated Billy Kreutzman’s birthday last night by serenading him with “Happy Birthday” to him in the middle of the second set.  Then, after an awesome performance on Drums, Micky Hart gave him a big hug.

This was my first Dead show without Jerry.  In fact, it was my first Dead show in more years than I would like to admit.  Great fun!  Brought back memories from days gone by.   Nice to see them playing some accoustic.

Warren Haynes is a good addition to the band, but nobody can replace Jerry Garcia.  I miss Jerry…

Highlights from last night included “Loser”, which was once my favorite song, “The Weight”, “Me and My Uncle”, two really great “Space” sessions, “Drums”, and then “Not Fade Away” to close out the second set.

Phil preceded the encore with a plea for more people to be organ donors.

Here is the set list:

(Set 1)
Feel Like A Stranger
Casey Jones
Loser
Easy Wind
Crazy Fingers
Lost Sailor>
Saint Of Circumstance

(Set 2)
Deep Elem Blues
Me and My Uncle
Whiskey in the Jar
The Weight
Space
Ramble On Rose
King Solomon’s Marbles
Space
Drums
China Doll
Cumberland Blues
Not Fade Away

(Encore)
Ripple

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