Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How do you know when you have jumped the pig...?

It all started Saturday evening with me feeling just a little down. But, as the evening went on I began to feel worse and worse.

By Sunday, there was no mistaking the signs... I had jumped the pig (as in maybe swine flu) and have been in bed since Sunday night. I'm gradually beginning to feel better but still staying close to the bed and watching lots of bad TV (boy am I bored but can't help myself).

So hang in there gang, the coactive dreamer will return soon!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hide in Plain Sight... One Mile High!

It is possible to see something so often that after awhile you no longer see it, or at the very lest take it for granted. I say that because for thirty years I walked, drove, and sometimes wandered past the State Capital Building in the heart of downtown Denver and never took the time to go inside and look around.

This thought came to me after visiting the State Capital of Louisiana ( will feature that in a later gallery). I marveled at some of the features I saw there and then it hit me that I was more than willing to drive hundreds of miles to see it and yet when such a building was right before me in Denver I never stopped.

So on a recent return to Denver I made a point of visiting the State Capital Building and it was more than worth it. As always, click each photo for a better view.

The Capital Building in all its glory. To enter downtown you almost have to pass it no matter the direction. It is a prominent fixture of the downtown area and sits between a historic area known as Capital Hill and the eastern entrance to downtown. This view faces Capital Hill.

In keeping with the "hide in plain sight" theme this sculpture has been at the foot of the Capital for ages and yet I never remember seeing it. It was a part of Colorado's exhibit at the 1893 World's Fair Exposition at Chicago and then placed on the Capitol's Lawn

It is titled "The Close of an Era" and speaks to the Native American influence in the State, a theme that seems to run throughout the building.

From the moment you actually enter the Capital Building there is a blend of the ornate and old west. Everyone remembers the gold rush to California but there was a similar event in Colorado and is reflected in several murals that line the first floor stair case. I stitched together two photos to include the staircase and part of the murals.

The golden past is reflected on various levels to the point I almost felt the State was showing off a little in terms of it's history. But showing off in a good way.

There is an exhibit highlighting the difficult task of gilding the dome. And every workman involved now has a place in history.

Areas like this allow light in through stain glass pictures of State heroes. It is this subtle use of light that moves your eye around the place from gold to stain glass.

You get the full sense of the play of light off the gold color near the entrance to the State Senate Chambers.

The Senate Chamber was shuttered on my visit but that turned out to be a good thing in that it showcased the play of light against stain glass in that area.

The same was true for the State Representative Chamber which in comparison seems a lot more serene.

A guide told us that the Supreme Court chambers to the right are no longer used by the State Judges who have moved to more updated digs. Their chamber is now used for committee meeting.

The stain glass here as well celebrates Native American influence in the area even if the law did not work in their favor at that time.

And now, on to the dome of the Capital. What I found ironic is that the scenic view from the capital of Louisiana was higher than in Colorado and allowed much more access to the observation walk around the dome. Evidently there have been some structural problems and access to the walk on the Colorado dome has now been restricted, but the view still takes your breath away!

This is the Northwestern view from the capital, and there is the City and County Building on a brilliant Denver day.

Walk around to the Southeastern portion and you have a clear view of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, which has a big presence in Capital Hill.

I once went to mass there with a friend and it has an almost European feel to the layout inside.

To the west is a closer view of the construction on the Art Museum extension. A zoom shot gives a closer look where you can clearly see the workman.

From a different angle later on the ground it almost looks like the "thing" that consumed downtown Denver.

The inside of the doom is a gallery of people famous for their connection to the state. They include people such as second territorial Governor John Evans who was instrumental in developing congressional quarantine laws to prevent the spread of cholera; and Frances Jacobs who created the community Chest which later became United Way.

What really seems amazing is that for all it's beauty on the front, the back view reveals the pictures are held together with what looks like no more than wire.

The top of the dome is a sight to behold as light steams in from every direction to make it seem brilliant.

And no visit to Denver would be complete without going to the front step marker that indicates that the capital sits a mile above sea level.

The marker has been stolen and moved a number of times, which prompted simply chiseling in the words "One mile above sea level." But a recalculation of the height in 2003 caused the marker to be moved to its current location.

To end my journey into appreciating things you tend to take for granted, I wanted to feature two wonderful friends I call "Ma" and "Pa". We have been friends for as long as I can remember and they have been supportive like only parents can be. I say that because they endured me dragging them all through the Capital and did not grumble. And later when I missed my flight they were the ones who called around to all the airlines to check fares and made arrangements. "Pa" even made me a special handle for the box I needed to carry all the stuff "Ma" and I bought during our various shopping trips. He even had me practice carrying it so I would know what to do when I got back home and would have to wrestle with it and my bags alone. I call that good friends indeed!

And so I close with an expression I heard once that now seems so true:

Friends are the people God gives you to make up for the people he gave you as family!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Rocky Mountian High

It has been awhile since I have been back home in Denver. Getting settled in Florida has occupied so much of my psychic energy, that it was time go back and take stock of the place that shaped so much of the me that now exists. As usual, click each photo for a better view.

The beach and flat land in Florida seem so natural to me now that I was surprised to wake to this sight outside my window. It is definitely a room with a view.

We decided to spend some time in Boulder, which was really an excuse to drive around and observe how things have changed. What struck me was the degree of xeriscaping that has taken hold in the Denver Metro area. It represents an effort to return to native plants or plants that do not require much water.

This tall grass was everywhere.

The scenic overlook going into Boulder gives you that classic Colorado feel. It is a lovely day, just a little hazy, and there in front of you is Boulder and the mountains.

A zoom shot illustrates just how dominant the University of Colorado is in Boulder.

And then... I saw something that really surprised me. You expect to see it in the south, but there at the top of the scenic overlook outside of Boulder was a peach tree. It seems the South has followed me to Colorado.

We took a back road path back home and it gave me a chance to see how development is gradually eating up all the farm land near the towns between Denver and Boulder. This picture is particularly poignant in that it is a scene from rural Colorado you encounter less and less.

I have included the next two photos because the architecture is so strange and yet visually appealing to the eye. We passed the Avaya building (formerly Lucent Technology) and I just had to stop. The size alone is amazing in that it is huge.

And then when you add in the fact the building is mostly glass and that the transmitter like disk on top is really not a transmitter but simply a huge glass design, you really have to be amazed and in awe as you try to understand the designer's vision.

And slowly the day comes to a close and I am once again left with my view. This dusk image highlighted once again for me the beauty of this place near the mountains.

Good night all, check back for pictures of the Capital Building in Downtown Denver. Those are being left for another blog...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


The other day I was running around taking care of numerous things that needed to be done following my recent trip to Denver (another blog to follow) and was stopped in my tracks by a memory. I was listening to my public radio station playing classical music and to my surprise they played Ravel's Bolero.

I love Bolero, and a streams of consciousness flow brought up the memory of Torvill and Dean at the 1984 Olympics which is forever in my mind tied to this music. The music is hypnotically beautiful and their performance was equally ground breaking. And so, I went to YouTube and found the video I want to share with you.