Tuesday, January 26, 2010

ESL at the Fort

On the west side of where the original 'Fort Collins' parade grounds were located:
Reading and writing comprehension for ESL students are taught.
I couldn't help but notice this copy of an illustrated version of Franz Kafka's 'The Metamorphosis' in the ESL library. I looked but did not find a copy of Don Marquis' 'Archy & Mehitabel' ; I would think that that would be a better title for someone's English as a second language attempt. However

Can anyone say 'Kafkaesque Illustrations'?
Those of you who may have come across a Mad Magazine once or twice in your life might recognize the work of Peter Kuper, who is responsible for the cartoon illustrations in 'SPY vs. SPY'.

"Gregor! Get Up! You're going to be late for work!"
I've got to get a copy for our guest bathroom. It takes only minutes to read and as Kafka himself once said, "A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us". Attaboy Franz!

There is a video selection as well!
I noticed right away that they have a copy of the 1968 American comedy film 'The Producers' written and directed by Mel Brooks. Hell, just thinking of Zero and Gene and Dick makes me laugh! Did you know that Dustin Hoffman was originally cast to play Franz Liebkind in the film? ... and one of the manuscripts that Max Bialystock dismissed as being 'Too good' was none other than Kafka's 'The Metamorphosis'?

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Mystiq is Gone!

in Old Town Fort Collins:

After 10 years, the Mystiq is moving out

But it's more like a transition sort of thing... The former martini bar wants to attract an older crowd. "We will be bringing country back to downtown Fort Collins," says owner Tony Campana whatever that means. It looks like they will also have rock 'n' roll, reggae and salsa as well.

100 Octane Club

I guess that means the the ethanol will be a better grade than before. It makes sense. Us older types demand it!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Four Elves a Working

At the Woodward Company:
The Workshop

At the corporate headquarters of Woodward located in Fort Collins; They are "an independent designer, manufacturer, and service provider of energy control and optimization solutions used in global infrastructure equipment. They serve the aerospace, power generation and distribution, and transportation markets."


Monday, October 5, 2009

Le Laboratoire d'art

Currently at 140 W. Mountain Ave., Fort Collins
The Art Lab is an experimental art space!

They take empty store fronts and convert them into temporary artists' space so all the artistic folk in the area can make use of the facility (for FREE! ) until somebody decides to rent the space again! No! I'm not making this up! See here for details!

Got a computer animation you want to show? Show it here!

Got pictures of cats and lizards you want to share? Now's your chance!

...or rabbit and hare paintings

It's on display today!

Also invited: Musicians and live performers! Yes, apparently they are equal opportunity art space giver-awayers in that they will even agree to have an Afro-Brazilian Samba band use the facility for practice space. Stay tuned for that event. We may never get invited back!

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

1st Hexter Graduation!

A graduation ceremony of hexters? Is this some kind of Harry Potter rip-off?
Students hanging around a staircase holding lit candles!

OK! A Student in cap and gown with microphone, not a wizard with a wand!

This was Fort Collins' Centennial High School having their 1st Hexter Stairway Graduation Ceremony. This sounded kind of spooky to me at first, but as an academic term has it's divisions of semesters, quarters, trimesters as the rest of the world knows it, here at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, it just makes sense to divide the year by 6 so to have 6 equal HEXTERS. The fact that the building is 102 years old is kind of neat too!


Tuesday, September 22, 2009


@ the Observatory!
East of where we live they have this domed building
Well, it is the international year of astronomy and I did say I was going to look up in the sky from time to time. We stopped by one evening to look at Jupiter and Uranis and a few star clusters that just happened to be overhead.

Celestron C-14 optical tube and Bisque Paramount ME mount
We've been inside Yerkes Observatory in Wisconsin and although this was much smaller, it seemed cozy in a way, if that's proper for an observatory.

Stargazing via computerized tracking!
We found out that there was an even larger telescope in Berthoud, so it looks like we get to go to Berthoud (again!) and take a look at the heavens via a different eyepiece.

1/2 a block south: Saturn!
Saturn was not viewable that night, but there is a park nearby that has planets strewn around on the ground. (I didn't check to see if somebody took off with Pluto)

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Discovery Sale!

Science on the move!
The science center is moving and everything must go!

... including this video head scanner!

We put Duncan Madog's head in the scanner! What a good dog!

They had books about dinosaurs and other good stuff!

... and these neat dinosaur pictures on plywood!
We got a few items before they closed; even Duncan found a pair of wings! I asked if they were getting rid of any of the live insects. No! They are keeping them for the new museum!

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Coors !

In Denver for the day!
Jeanne didn't wear any blue!
Is she a Cubs fan or a Rockies fan? It's hard to say.

We had good seats to see this game!

Some things reminded us of Illinois

We could have been at Wrigley
We didn't have time to check out Fur Con or the UFO convention in town. Oh well, maybe next time! BTW, the Rockies won 11 to 4!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Giant Bee Skep!

on the North side of Fort Collins:
It's a Skep! And it's a big one!

It's part of "The Hive"

There are changing rooms out back

But where are the Giant Bees?
It seems that there is going to be a few bug related events this weekend; Songs about bugs? OK!

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

CSU Welcomes You!

at Ammons Hall:
Ammons Hall, 1922
Named after the brother of the first female professor at CSU (!) , the building was originally a social center and women's gymnasium.

Laid in the year 5921,A.L. by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Colorado Masons!

Note the Italian Renaissance Revival elements!
The building is now the CSU welcome center!


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One year ago today....

We officially moved into our new house in Fort Collins.
This is not our house!
This is "Lone Tree School" built in 1883 in Loveland, Colorado.


Monday, June 1, 2009

That Old House

Out on a trail, I came across this place in Loveland:
It's an old house built in 1873!
It seems as if it's in the middle of nowhere! It's the oldest brick building in Larimer County so they say.

It says Joseph Milner, but I don't think he built the house.
The Milner's came to Colorado to seek their fortune after wasting away in Rockford, Illinois. Who could blame them?


Friday, April 17, 2009

Loveland Abandoned

Stand by...
The Blogger picture loader isn't working automatically, so I have to enter photos using straight HTML  code.  Hmmm, can  I remember how to do that?
An operating system as a religion!
I go to Loveland in the morning on business twice a month and try to ride my bike whenever possible.  I also go to Loveland in the evening for the drum circle near Devil's Backbone at least twice a month, but since it's dark, I drive my old VW Cabrio.  I have never been stopped by police at any time while living in Colorado except when I drive back at night from Loveland. What's that about? Maybe they are looking for drunk drivers at night and I look like a good candidate. Interestingly, some of the officers have taken note of the little metal fish on the back of my VW. "What's THAT mean?" they would ask! What can I say? It's not Jesus or Darwin! Does it have to mean anything at all?

The Great Western Station
The Great Western Sugar Factory was built in Loveland in 1901.  Not far from this spot in 1990, a storage tank spilled over half a million gallons of molasses into the surrounding neighborhood in east Loveland.  

I found this picture of the storage tank in question.  Did kids use the trampoline to bounce into the river of sugar syrup? I at least would like to think someone had fun! I don't believe anyone was drowned in molasses; Of course, it was much worse in Boston


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NO CO Feeders

Last year whilst riding the Poudre Trail I came upon this:
It's a Feed Store and Mill!
At the time I was unfamiliar with Fort Collins; I was riding a rented bike and I was not sure how far I was (I started out far South of town). When I saw this place, I thought I was in another town (or another time).

In the other direction was this large container of pre-mixed Poudre!

Fort Collins Can Has Chickens!
More than just a feed store, the No. Colorado Feeders supply's got real character! I had some time to check it out this morning. Might even drop in on the 21st and learn about chicken myths and legends.

It is a feed mill after all and it does get hot, dry and dusty, don't 'ch know!

Ya got yer Rabit chow, and yer Pig feed...

And they can custom order super large quantities of Whatever You Have Chow!

Plus nice clean wood shavings!

Bags of dog, cat, and hamster food!

I forgot to ask why they have a dark room.

The hounds are out back... They know where the food is!

You can buy chicks here too!

And lastly here is Louie, the mouser! He seems well fed!

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Atomic Cake and Candy!

Happy Anniversary
May every hour
of every day be blessed with a
shining gift of Joy; A dream
to share together. A memory
that's forever. A promise that
the best is yet to come.

This blog is ONE YEAR OLD TODAY !!!

Yet, going South on College Avenue:
The old Cake and Candy Supply Company (slightly modified)

Learn to decorate an Atomic Cake!
Wilton Enterprises, based in Woodridge, Illinois, and founded in 1929, is the leading food crafting company in the industry, with the number one position in cake decorating and bakeware.

Back of Atomic Cake


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Half-Assed Ranch!

Today we visit Meredith Hodges and her magnificent mules!
Here is Meredith coming down to greet us !

Here she is sweet-talking a donkey!
This ain't no ordinary ass. This is Little Jack Horner, the famous jumping donkey!

Here's a bronze statue of Meredith; attempting to jump over Jeanne?

...and Meredith standing next to a statue of Meredith on a jumping mule.

Here is the castle-like grooming barn. It was a quonset hut for sheep until the mid-1980's when Meredith moved to Colorado.

Meredith's house.

Meredith has published five children's books about Jasper the mule.
The eldest daughter of Peanut's creator Charles Schultz, Meredith is probably the number one person to see if you need to train your donkey or mule! Check out her website today! Your ass with thank you for it!

I never knew there was such a place.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

We on the road to Shambhala

Today we are drawn to The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya
... and we are truly enlightened.

The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya has been built to last for over 1,000 years. The shape of the Stupa represents the Buddha, crowned and seated in the meditation posture on a throne.

The Standing Buddha on the outside

During the Mahayana period of Buddhist development, stupas began to be embellished with various themes of enrichment: the cosmic embrace, opulence, generosity, super-rich, gold, big gates, ornamentation.

A golden statue of the Buddha sculpted in the Gandaran style sits in the first level of the Stupa.
The first floor of the Stupa is open to the public. The second level, reached by interior stairs, contains a small chamber, 32 feet square and 14 feet high. Here there is a three-dimensional Chakrasamvara mandala, as well as statues, paintings and frescoes throughout. You must seek special permission from the Shambhala Mountain Center to gain access to the other floors.

The marble floors were magnificent!

The insect motifs caught my eye.

Not all bugs!

Among many of the treasures inside is this signed illustration of Babar visiting the stupa by Laurent de Brunhoff.

Outside, one might find a collection of other treasures!

The Shambhala Mountain Center is located about an hour north-west of Fort Collins! It's a little bit of Nepal right here in the frontrange of Northern Colorado! Who woulda thunk!

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Looking Back, Part One

Way back...
41 S. Chestnut
We bought this place 25 years ago. We lived there for 7 years with our cats; First Tallulah and then Harold. It has seen better days. It will probably be torn down for new condos in Arlington Heights.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Main Street, not Wall Street

Here are three buildings in Fort Collins built in the late 1800's:
I've seen this architecture in other places

Maybe in some of the older towns in Iowa while on RAGBRAI

Then again...

When we had breakfast with the mayor of Fort Collins, he mentioned something about how the old town section inspired the idea of 'Main Street USA' in Disneyland and Disneyworld. It turns out that one of Disney's art directors, a Mr. Harper Goff, grew up in Fort Collins. His vision of Disney's Main Street came form the architecture samplings of old town Fort Collins! Some of the better examples, like the old courthouse are no longer around, but you can still see a little bit of Disneyland in certain sections of town if you take the time to look for them!


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fashion and Traditions of Mourning in Victorian Society

Time for some Fort Collins History!
The Avery House is an historic home in Fort Collins, built in 1879, by Franklin Avery - founder of the FoCo First National Bank. This week the historical society exhibit was "Fashion and Traditions of Mourning in Victorian Society". I think the exhibit will continue through October, as it is listed in Hauntedcolorado.net's "Fun & Spooky things to do October 2008 during this Halloween season!'

Marcia, our Avery House docent for this day, is shown here next to the piano in the Avery living room. She is wearing traditional mourning clothes of the early 1900's.

Fort Collins has Franklin Avery to thank for the wide streets in Fort Collins; he took advantage of the open spaces when he surveyed the town in 1873.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Crack houses

In the middle of nowhere there are these eight little houses all in a row...
They look pretty much the same. They each have fenced-in yards and giant window air conditioners.
The one on the left has a tree growing through the porch roof.


Monday, June 16, 2008

You can't go home again

Unlike the Thomas Wolfe novel, sometimes you can't go home because there is no home to come home to!
Here is the house where I lived for the first 20 years of my life. It was at 0 South 610 Euclid Avenue in Villa Park, Illinois. My father built most of it in 1948. It was torn down a few years ago, and in its place...

What is it? It looks like the Frank Lloyd Wright Zombie came and hit it with an ugly stick!

I mean, it's so big, it has its own zip code!

It got more windows than Bill Gates!

And worse yet, it's in Villa Park!


Friday, June 6, 2008

And we have a Winner!

Well, it looks like we are going to buy the contemporary house (House number 2) in a nice quiet area of Fort Collins! Hooray! We have a house!!!

We've seen a lot of homes, but we just couldn't pass up this deal. I will spare you the details other than to say we will be moving into a relatively new, clean, beautiful modern style home by the end of June. We truly love this home.

But we loved the hippie house as well !

So, why didn't we choose the hippie house?
Well just like a hippie, the house was shaggy and smelly ! No, just kidding! But there were a number of factors that led to this decision. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. It was an older home. We have always lived in older homes. Why not try something different?
  2. We couldn't move in quickly. The present occupants would have to move out. While it's not clear how long it would delay our move, it would be better to close on an empty house.
  3. There was some work to be done before we could move in. This would further delay our move.
  4. The cost of the upgrades would make the original purchase price less attractive.
  5. We are tired of having to redecorate. Maybe ten years ago we would jump at the chance to have this hippie home. We just couldn't get excited about flipping an old house at this point of our lives.
  6. All that weird stuff in the plant room takes a lot of time to maintain. And there's that big lawn to cut!
  7. There's this big electrical distribution thing right down the street (see picture below). The damn thing probably causes cancer or something.
  8. We would be miles from drugstores, hospitals, Dairy Queens, etc.
  9. Fire and emergency services would be miles away from us
  10. We could be eaten by a bear or something
I guess I could have figured out how to tap some free electrons from this thing!


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Or is it house number two?

The Contemporary Pad

Beautiful main floor master 2-story located on quiet cul-de-sac just 1 block from a park. 3 additional bedrooms upstairs, lots of hardwood floors, upgraded tile counters and backsplash, gas fireplace in family room, sprinkler system. Yard backs to neighborhood open space

Back of house

View of the foothills from the upstairs bedroom.

View from family room

Family room view. Audio and video components are included! (The kid in the picture is NOT included!)


Monday, June 2, 2008

What's it gonna be? Here is House #1

It looks like we have boiled it down to two possible houses in Fort Collins:
We've been calling this one the 'Hippie House' because it has very many little areas where you could easily veg-out. Groovy is another word that describes it. What kind of house has a waterfall in one of the rooms?
It has lots of well maintained houseplants all over the place! ... and taxidermy!
Stone lined walkways with a huge lot, and many, many unidentified plants and animals wherever you look!


Saturday, May 31, 2008

Rooms with a view

Today’s Colorado house hunt was up in the Horsetooth foothills. We had time in March to look at a few homes in the area and we thought that the views from these homes were fabulous.

House number 1 - At the slide of the road
Newer mountain home on 1.43 acres - 360 degree views of Horsetooth reservoir, mountain park and city lights. This meticulous home is on one of the best lots at Horsetooth! Just 15 mins from town, enjoy all modern conveniences in the foothills! Features include tile floors & countertops, wood floors in kitchen, stainless steel appliances, A/C, 2x6 construction and energy efficiency. The master has a private deck with huge views. Quiet neighborhood, lots of stars, great quality of life!

This house, built 2005, was up near the top of the foothills. The back deck had breathtaking views of the hills and reservoir. It had a strange 1.5 acre triangular lot and modern kitchen. The roads leading to the house were loose gravel, very narrow and full of tight turns. With no lights at night, coming home form town in the evening would be tough. We ain't in Illinois anymore!

This view from the deck shows part of the Horsetooth reservoir and a portion of loose stone material on the next lot adjacent to the house. It was possible that some contractor is planning on building another house on this spot, which would cut off at least 20% of the view from the deck.

House number 2 - The King of Beers
Extensively Remodeled & Meticulously maint. w/ Breathtaking Views! Shows like a New Home, with attention to every detail! Upgraded Kitchen Appliances, New Picture windows in every room!, Top of the Line Washer Dryer and Water heater,New Front Trex-Deck & HUGE 288 Sq ft covered deck. Artful Landscaping, in harmony w/ natural surroundings-teeming with wildlife! Backs to Amazing Open Space Bonus room provides potential for a third bedroom, 144 sq ft Workshop/Outbuilding! All on a 10424 sq ft lot!

It came with free beer! While there were neat views from either side of this house, we especially loved the red rocks in the upper hills. The area was located on less hazardous road which made our Prius happy. You could drink beer! What we didn’t like about this place was that it did not have a garage for the Prius. The guy who lived here had all sorts of beer related items and Beer.

House number 3 - The Adams Family home
This is an older house with all sorts of weird in just about every corner! It had this awful green shag rug that smelled with a bit of pet odor. BUT it was a low price and it had this wonderful plant room with waterfalls and Greek statues and stone walkways. In the basement, there was a secret panel behind a bookcase that opened into another room that revealed even more weird stuff! We loved it!

This is just one view from the back yard. Behind the fence is a horse corral. Of all the Horsetooth area homes, this was the closest into town! It was only 5 minutes from the center of Fort Collins, yet you could walk to the lake from the back door. We think we might make an offer on this property!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Milestone 2: Sell House!!

After only three weeks on the market, we sold our house!
A cute Chicago style bungalo

So now what ? WE ARE HOMELESS????


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Everyday Heroes 2008

98 01 32 W 43 42 53 N

Corn. The arrow shows where the banjo player stood on this day at 8:37 am.

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