Thursday, February 02, 2012

Colorado Thoughts #1

  • I'm sure it's only a reflection of the few places that I've been between Denver and Boulder, but this place sure seems crowded.  While driving in initially the place seemed like Cleveland, with fewer blacks, more Mexicans and mountains instead of lake.  I have to say though, the traffic is better in Cleveland, so I guess it's more like Chicago...
  • ...with a green mafia instead of a real one.  At least where I'm at the local authorities have taken it upon themselves to integrate miles and miles of bike paths into roads that probably have no business having anything to do with a bike path.  I know at times that I fear for my life on these roads in my car.  I'd probably have to wear Depends if I was going to chance them on a bike.
  • I'd never seen a prairie dog before.  So I thought it was amusing when I looked out the window of my workplace and saw one...and another...and several more.  A coworker said that the area was inundated with 'tree huggers' who can't bring themselves to dispose of the things, so every free patch of land has been turned into a gopher condo the likes of which even Bill Murray couldn't bring down (true to the video, the rabbits are real moochers of the prairie dog digs).  I tried to get a picture, but despite having free run of the place the things are still skittish; lots of gopher mounds though:

  • I asked one of my coworkers if they were from Colorado: "no".  How about another? "no".  What?  Did everyone just move here?  Are all the real natives over in Wyoming?  I was asking in the search of some native, non-testicular, food treat, to which one of the women said that Colorado was a 'chain restaurant paradise'.  That leaves me convinced that the only way to build an indigenous food identity is to import some non-Italian Europeans.  Asians, Mexicans and their related peoples are all one-note johnnys when it comes to cuisine (and many other matters).
  • I had a difficult conversation at the car rental company, and I guess this is rather old news, but it involves an amazing screw job non-the-less.  The local quick route away from the airport has been turned into a boothless toll road.  The company that runs the toll road sells passes, or just photographs the plates and sends the car owner a bill.  The rental company gave the impression that this was a $30 fee toll road (like a bridge in Japan or something).  After beating around the net, it turns out that it's still non-too-cheap at $6-$10, but the rental company tags on a $25 "processing fee" for the inconvenience of their cars going onto a toll road.  Needless to say, they tried to upsell me to a $60 all-you-can toll pass, which would probably only be worthwhile for someone who had business driving around Denver several times a day.
  • The rental car company rep also tried to upsell me on a vehicle (I got a Chevy Cobalt, so a bike an 'upsell').  Reason being that it was supposed to "snow".  She said it like I should be terrified.  I guess she didn't look at my license to see where I came from; I felt almost insulted that she thought that white flakes on the road would register anything other than a yawn from me.  Let me know when it's supposed to be up past my bumber, and maybe then I'll rethink my vehicle.

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