Space Case

A few weeks back, the annual space symposium was in town.   It’s a sort of trade show for persons working for the military and civilian spaceflight industry (I know, who even knew there was such a thing!).  Some companies are there to flog their products and others are just there to show they exist (and could sell you something).   But we already had our own version of a rocket here in town.

It’s not going anywhere, this sculpture is by famous local artist Concrete Couch.   I made a tiny tile for a project he is doing at a local school, and that is the name he goes by.  It guards the county building where I went to pay my car tax.

Another place to see rockets is in the ceiling at the local public library that is devoted to technology.   Although is is somewhat enigmatic to have rockets stuck in the ceiling, I’m sure that there is a reason for this (besides human error).

This is the real rocket that was in town to promote ordinary (extremely wealthy) people going into outer space.   Owned by the Amazon guy, this rocket can carry one into outer space and back again.  I must say I was rather surprised to see it when I was driving down the street to the pub.  The rocket company brags that the windows on the space capsule are much nicer that the ones NASA uses, so one gets a better view.

But I’m afraid that this is actually more my speed.   It’s a candy shop that specializes in vintage candy of the sort we old people had while growing up.  And if one is too young to have nostalgia for this, one can still enjoy the candy, because who doesn’t like candy?

Bunnies

It’s well known that rabbits are pests.  Just look at the career of Peter Rabbit.

He is famous as a carrot thief, and he lost his new jacket and slippers almost as soon as he got them, he’s very careless and doesn’t listen to his mother.  But, he is also adorable!  As are all bunnies, and this is the season that we celebrate them.   So here are a few pictures of the newest rabbits in my collection (yes, I do remember that I am supposed to be downsizing, just not today).

There is just something appealing about the little round shape of the rabbit.

They do try to hide, but the ears always give them away.

This is one of the bunnies that lives down by the mailbox.   He came running up the driveway as soon as he saw me one morning recently.

And this is the rest of them as well.   I tried buying commercial rabbit pellets for them, but they did not like that nutritionally balanced stuff.   This is sweet mix (a horse treat), oats, corn, and crunchy bits coated in molasses.   They are rabbits after my own heart. (And they are probably where Cadbury Eggs come from!)

Local telly

Among the many things I get roped in to things I volunteer to help with is a fund-raiser for a children’s cancer charity.   So I was down at the local TV station to help with answering phones to do my bit.   The cameraman asked if we liked being on the telly, and I said “I was horrified” (I had forgotten that I am, in fact, that old).  We are there during the entire time when they do the news broadcast, and they spliced us in at random points as filler.  (Sorry there are no pictures of this as I was either busy, or pretending to look busy).   After it was all over I ran an eyeball over the news room.

This is where the newsreader sits while delivering the news.   The news team is a man (so to speak) short because one of the team just had her baby and is on maternity leave.

The cameraman is a robot that runs along this circular track, I presume a human tells it what to do (for now).

This is the weather guy.  Everyone else had buggered off, but he was sitting there still working.  Looks like he was picking weather pictures for the station’s Facebook page.   He is pretty decent at his job, he was the only forecaster who called it correctly.

And this was the weather that morning.   But because it’s spring, it was mostly gone by noon.

March

Lemmings are described as being: “noted for recurring mass migrations often terminated by drowning in the ocean.”  While I have never done exactly that,  I do feel a strange pull every year, and I am faced with the choice: am I going to Denver or not?

Yes, as it turns out, I am going.  And the event that draws me is March Pow-Wow.   Every year I have the same arguments with myself; it’s in Denver, parking is bad, it’s crowded, I don’t need to buy anything, etc.   But I often go anyway, the weather was fine on Sat. so off I went.

They were still doing the Grand Entry (every single dancer is out dancing) when I got there, so a lot of dancers were crowded around the floor level waiting to go into the arena.  This fancy dancer has a number on his arm, they do give out prizes for dancing and for being there to dance.  Note the skateboard decks that are being sold in the booth behind him, a very niche sort of item.

There were lots of young women representing their tribes at the event, and, one must have a special and new dance outfit to wear.

And the dancers range in age.

This lot is almost ready to make an entrance, the MC will announce their tribal affiliation and style of dress.

Once the dancers enter the arena, they spiral around until the entire floor is covered with dancers, and of course the entire time a drum group is pounding out a song.

And at the head are the veterans, the MC listed the campaigns of each of the distinguished flag bearers.   What is newer, is the number of women veterans and they have their own honor group.

Pow-wows are always the same and always different.  This year there were more neon colored outfits than I remember, and next year the style will probably be slightly changed.  And I will still be having an argument with myself over whether I should go.

 

Wound up

As you know I have a rather extensive collection of wind-up toys.   I love the cheap and colorful toys that are aimed at children (or at their parents, as parents have more money).   But I found these ones recently, and I think they fall into the category of ‘art toys’.   I don’t remember encountering such things before, and it is always good to have new experiences at my advanced age.

This one wobbles along and has a mechanism to make sparks as the center platter rotates.   Not exactly the sort of thing one might give a child, it would be broken in mere moments of use.   It is not the only sparky wind-up in my collection, I also have a sparky King Kong and a sparky Godzilla.

This one is called ‘the pea’, presumably because it is small.   It has a rotating walking mechanism.

This one is a tall, skinny walker.   In the background is my knitting basket, perched atop some of the new books that have come into my house (I know that I say I am trying to cut back on books, but I’m not too successful).

This one is sort of as described, but it’s more of a fluttering heart.   And why do I describe these as ‘art toys’?   Well they were about twice as expensive as ordinary wind-ups, and probably twice as fragile.   And I bought the first two at an art supply store, and the last two at our local art museum.   I really have no sales resistance to this sort of thing.

Bookmarks

I think I’ve already mentioned that I have an ongoing love of books, and I am often reading more than one at a time.   How do I keep track of where I stopped?   Why with my handy collection of bookmarks that delineate the books in current rotation.

These bookmarks show some of the places that I buy from.   The Tattered Cover was a great book lovers institution in Denver.  Four floors of books, with a knowledgeable staff and comfy seating.  I went there whenever I had to be in Denver.   But rising real estate prices pushed them out of their wonderful location (and competition from cut-price retailers like Amazon) and now the store is a shadow of it’s former self in an inconvenient location.   Gateway was a funky   used bookstore downtown and was also pushed out by rising rents.    Book depository is a mail order business where I order out of print books that I want.

These are from local authors that I have talked with.   Manuel Ramos, a former Public Defender from Denver writes “Mile High Noir”, Langdon Foss is an artist for graphic novels.   Barbara Nickless is speaking at an upcoming writing conference here.

These are a mixed bag.   I read the book on the B & N bookmark when I was in the Mennonite Women Book Lovers.   I bought a book at Fort Union last year to get the middle one.   And free comic book day has led to some interesting reading (some are even books).

These are the odd bits that I will stick in a book to mark my place.   The top is a winning lottery ticket (on a $1 ticket, I could win a prize of $1, if I take it in to a store).   The middle is a ticket stub from a Jazz concert at an expensive hotel.   Me and M were just sitting down for a drink, and someone gave us the $$$ ticket for free.   At the bottom are business cards.  The one on the left is from a well-known quilter, she gave it to me in Houston years ago and I kept it because it’s pretty.   The other card is from the late-husband of my cousin, he gave it to me the last time I saw him on the rez.   These are some of the bits of the paper ephemera floating through the house, waiting for their turn in the recycling bin of life.

 

Books

I recently acquired these books from yet another hoarder house that my sorority helped to clear out.  There were lots of paperback books, those went to the free library of the guy who helps the homeless, down on the wrong side of the railroad tracks. (I really hope he liked these, as there were five boxes of them).  But, in this house I did find a couple of books that I really needed to add to my collection. ( I am falling behind in de-accessioning books). 🙁

What are these books?  Why they are the same books that we had in the house when I was a child.

And I remember them quite fondly, Mom read some of the stories to us before I knew how to read, and later I read them myself.

This edition was published in the late 1940’s, they had lots of charming illustrations to go with the stories, bits and bobs of popular culture of the time.

I especially remember Mom reading aloud from this book of poetry, she had a fondness for poetry, even of the children’s sort.

Children’s literature always had a moral to it.

Like “be kind” and “treat people and animals as you might wish to be treated”.   Which I suppose is still good advice.

Flotsam

There is a new exhibit down at the local history museum, which lists bits of the past from A (either the Antlers hotel or Alexander Film Company) to Z (the zoo).  It’s completely random and arbitrary what things survive from the past, and this totally appeals to me.

Here are some bits that come from Alexander film.  The company started in the silent era and held on making commercials that were shown before a movie started  until the 1950’s.  Oddly enough the company also made airplanes in the 20’s and early 30’s, because they though it would be a good idea to deliver the films by airplane. Part of the buildings they used for film production are now home to a television station.

Another business that is no longer around, but fondly remembered is the Burns theater.  This was an opera house and vaudeville venue.   It only existed in memory by the time I moved here, it was long vanished.

Which is not true of these relics, they are from the company I call whenever I need a plumber (and they come right out).

This company is also still in business, but instead of being a quaint little concern, it’s a giant industrial behemoth out by the motorway.

This sign used to hang downtown before the business was pushed from the downtown area.   The building was taken over by the US Olympic Committee at taxpayer expense.

This is how we preserve the past in our city, just as a tiny morsel.  Meanwhile the present is quietly steamrolled into the future by real estate interests.

Random Capitol Portraits

I went up to the state capitol to do a little bit of politicking.  And in between the speeches and handshaking, I went on a little jaunt to take a few photos of the icons of this beautiful building.

There were plenty of stained glass portraits of politicians and other notables in the many windows about the place.  This pair of former governors preside in perpetuity over the state Senate chambers.

In the rotunda there is a series of murals that depict the more glorious origins of development and eventual statehood.   The less positive events are not depicted.   But I was rather taken by this ox.

This is the entrance to the governor’s office.  This horse, Scout, used to formerly grace the north side of the public library, atop a giant chair (hey, it’s art, I think).   I’m sure he got tired of the traffic and noise outside, not to mention the weather, and now resides in this choice spot in the halls of power.

This statue of an Indian (I mean Native American) and his dead buffalo sit on the east side of the capitol building.   I have no idea what the camera person was up to.  They were reading a controversial bill later in the afternoon, maybe it was for a two second news spot.

Down in the basement, next to the lunch area, one can also get a shoeshine from this friendly woman.   The politician in the chair assured me that she is the best (as this is an uncommon profession, it is probably true).   This was once a common sight, but I can’t remember the last time a saw a man getting a shoeshine.  I wear German felt shoes, so I didn’t need a shine, but she was please to pose for this shot.