Things what I writ

I sometimes write nonsense about things to try and sound clever

travelogue 27

travelogue 27
travelogue 27 by Tim Caynes

all work and no play makes jack a dull boy. all wor k and no play makes jack a dull boy. all work and no playm akes Jack a dull boy. all Work and no play makes ja ck adull boy. all w ork and no play makes jack a dullb oy. all wor kand n o play make s jack a d u ll bo y.a ll w o rk an d nopla y mkes jack a dlboy. all txt nd no kybd mks jack a dumb boy. get me 2 the arprt im going 2 crck. no no no its estes prk not brmfld. I want 2 go 2 DIA. denver. d e n v e r. yes. all sat nav and no driving makes tim a numb boy.

a few hours before the flight and so I did what I meant to do last time. I went to the stanley hotel and pulled funny faces at myself in the mirror. I was hilarious. there’s a dog adventure playground by the lake at estes park. there were dogs adventure playing, which really meant runniing around and refusing to follow their owners over wooden ramps and through hoops. it was entertaining for a while. then a couple of elks scared away all the fish and my camera started making a strange buzzing sound in my ear as I squatted by the power station to take a postcard shot of some ice. with a bench in it. funny, I’ve got a bench on my back and here’s one in the lake. fancy.

only 23 hours to go. then I’ll get ill and watch March turn into a disaster.

travelogue 26

travelogue 26
travelogue 26 by Tim Caynes

lookit. over the edge sweetie. lookit! a train! AAAAAAAAAAAH! MOMMEEEEEE! it’s only 1000 feet down. and we’re still in the visitor centre. for goodness sake.

apparently this was all built by men in stripey suits with toothpicks and saliva. then 100 years later somebody jumps off it attached by a rubber band while cooking waffles in the shape of richard nixon. you’ve got to like that. as it turns out, it’s just a bunch of planks held together with chicken wire and really hard pencils so you won’t get me trundling the kia sorrento over there. I’ll walk thanks. maybe I’ll hang around a bit to see how wobbly it goes. you’re not coming over in that are you. wait. no, wait. I want to get off. damn.

I got up early to avoid the queue, which was just as well, as it’s midday and there is 1 person in front of me at the pay booth for the royal gorge bridge at canon city. there are 4 more people actually in the park. and that’s it. there must be a rerun of the 1998 superbowl on the telly or something. or this will be really boring. I drove for 3 hours to see this, so I hope not. actually, it’s not. I’ve got my w1 and so I’ll be spending the next 3 hours lying down in the middle of a suspension bridge taking pictures of nissans as they roll over my head and leaning out of the cable car window to get a shot of the railroad over half a mile down there in the valley. I’ll also spend 30 minutes taking pictures of myself looking in a mirrored window of a faux colorado trading post trying to get a mountain reflected in my sunglasses reflected in the window without breaking into parallax.

I walk over. I walk back. I get the cable car over. I walk around a bit. I get the cable car back. I check out the closed cafes and foodstalls. I go down to the floor of the gorge in the steepest incline railway in the world. I go back up to the top of the gorge in the steepest incline railway in the world. I eat an apple. I get in the kia surrender and drive off the edge of a cliff, which was also built by the same people who build the bridge, but on their days off, which they didn’t have, because they were all murderers and tax frauds banged up in the prison capital of colorado, good old canon city. I get lost by a dirt bike track and then head back to the hotel where I eat the head of a buffalo and lie down in the hallway jibbering about man bags.

travelogue 25

travelogue 25
travelogue 25 by Tim Caynes

it was just an ordinary night in flatz. the storage hustlers and the winos were huddled in the corner, leering at pictures of cluster farms in ontario. jimmy was at the bar, cleaning the last flecks of spit from the beer glasses and casting his eye over tonight’s late-night stragglers. 2 program managers were having a cat-fight by the concierge desk. nobody looked up. and I was waiting for a friend. a friend from california who’d contacted me the other night, with information he said would ‘open the lid on this like christmas’. I was intrigued. but I’d been here before, back in ’67, mr white had blown the roof off the willow road operation and all hell broke loose. some folks hadn’t forgotten that, and so he’s still hiding under a pile manuals in the bay area.

as midnight approaches, I head to my room, and I wait in the shadows for the call that will tell me we’re on. the wait seems like forever. the whole damn thing goes round in my head, until I’m dizzy with images of strip joints, barbeques, formula 1 and video games. he’s not gonna show. there’s footsteps in the hall and my hand moves over the table, where the dark wood reflects my piece in the dim light of the table lamp. there’s 2 voices talking outside the door, sounds like east coast, and I can just make out some of their drawl. “yeah, yeah. it’ll be fixed by tomorrow”, “no, no, I got danny coming over, he’s gonna give them a little piece of advice”, “yeah, we’re wired. ok, let’s go”. click. a key turns in the door. I grab my piece and I’m moving from the chair across the floor, so I’m behind the door as it bursts open.

“there you are sir, 1 bottle of zinfandel, and a blue cheese burger with fries. can I help you with anything else tonight sir?” “er, no, that’ll be fine. what time is it?” “I have 12 thirty sir.”

I got a free cheesecake. yum! saturday! excellent! dribble dribble dribble.

travelogue 24

travelogue 24
travelogue 24 by Tim Caynes

google are having a conference downstairs. it’s not all of google, just a few people who look like they’ve been sucked into the vortex and have just been told how much adspace to sell. they don’t like the dessert downstairs. they’ve come up to the poolside grill with their plates of free food and free beer and they’re sitting between me and NBA highlights. my pizza is nice. theirs is not. I order cheesecake. they order cheesecake. I eat mine, including that rockhard sugar swirl they drizzle on stuff round here. they don’t eat theirs and they head back down to the conference room where I can hear the fray piping up the stairs to signal the end of dinner and the start of team building. they’re all about 24. I’m 107.

I say thank you very much all the time and sound like I mean it and invariably get into a courtesy fight with the bar staff who really have to thank me more than I thank them. that doesn’t happen at home. the glasses are all clean over here as well. I retreat to my room. it has 4 internal doors. for some reason I find that funny enough to write about it. I can open them all and run around the room in a circuit. each section has it’s own lighting. if I run sideways and squint it’s like being on a train. nowehere, however, is quite bright enough to see properly. I suspect that’s deliberate somehow. the brightest spots in the room are if you are REAL CLOSE to a mirror or sat in front of my new ferrari with a screen that’s a bit like the briefcase in pulp fiction – I go ooooh like I’ve witnessed the meaning of life in a luminescent glow every time I lift the lid. I spend about 2 hours reading emails I can’t file and by the time I’m just making stuff up in monthly reports I figure I should go to bed. which means I’ll do something else for 4 hours until 3 a.m., like staring myself out in the mirror for no reason. I shouldn’t be left alone with Jane’s Addiction for too long.

I don’t see anyone else round here, so you must be looking at me, etc…

fake tales of manitou springs

pikes peak 6
pikes peak 1 by Tim Caynes

I walked. no I didn’t. I got on that cog railway and sat next to Bob from Canada who was in Colorado visiting his half brother JD who he only realized was alive because he came across him on the internet via his wife who was related to him via his other mother or something. I said it’s a small world, and I’m from the other side of it. we were full to the brim as the red boxes cogged up the incline and even though I spent the first 30 minutes bemoaning the fact that I ended up on the 2-seat side which sticks to the side of the mountain, eventually I chilled out. literally. we slid the windows up as we approached the halfway point, but not before I’d done my obligatory sticking my upper torso out the window when you’re not supposed to thing and taken a couple of pictures of a place where you can sometimes see goats but they’re at home today fixing up their shed.

when we got to the summit we were allowed 40 minutes to stumble around in the snow, waiting for a gap in the cloud, before we had to head back down again because fat people at 14000 feet have a tendency to drop dead after about 45 minutes. I spent most of that time stumbling around in the snow, waiting for a gap in the cloud, but also managed to slip down a bank next to the railway while taking a picture of a red truck and plaster a thick layer of frozen clay over my backside which I spent the next 10 minutes trying to wipe off without bringing attention to myself even though it was like trying to push wet flour across a tablecloth and so in the end I just went to the toilet block to wash caked mud from my frozen hands and the water felt like it was boiling my skin and I ended up leaving a trail of clay all the way back down anyway and my coat is still brown at the bottom.

I’d recommend it to anyone.

travelogue 6

travelogue 6
travelogue 6 by Tim Caynes

I’m going to get back to the hotel far too early and I mght have to do more work than is necessary so I get the suzuki granola back on the right side of the road and head back to Broomfield the long way round even though the sun is kind of losing the will and the looming clouds are starting fights over the edge of the hills but I like the look of that little road and its got an old gas station on the corner and it looks like it might lead to an interesting kind of town where I can stop off at a grocery store and get 5 gallons more water because my internal organs are like walnuts by now and there I shall have a pleasant tourist conversation with a local park ranger with squirrels on his back or something like that. despite the rapidly darkening skies the short drive is just as I’d hoped with a beautiful view of rattlesnake gulch and shirttail peak and places with names like that spread out in front of me with suitably placed bumps in the road which are giving the shocks on the suzuki a bit of panning and they’re now crunching around which is a nice compliment to the grinding and grating noise the front nearside wheel has been making every time I put the brakes on since I left the airport and in a short while I’m approaching the outskirts of Eldorado Springs. well, I say outskirts but in fact by the the time I’ve entered, I’ve exited and all I can see now is large signs written in paint with a large brush which say things like DON’T PARK HERE IF YOUR NOT FROM THE COMM-U-NI-TY and NO PARKING HERE and PARK ENTRANCE NOT THIS WAY and I’m beginning to get the feel that there ain’t a friendly grocery store here and actually its a bit like the Witterings in the UK which are deserted in winter and you never see a human but in the summer is full of signs made out of industrial size letraset from B&Q and A4 card which say things like OH NO, YOU CAN’T PARK HERE and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T PARK ACROSS DRIVEWAY and NO CHANGE FOR PARKING and GOLF SALE and suchlike and for 3 months the only road in and out of the village is nose to tail with vauxhall vectras, golf gtis and renault megane scenics spewing out carbon monoxide, churning up herbacious borders and generally metropolizing an area of outstanding natural beauty although the garage on the edge of town does a good trade in bottles of water and happy shopper sandwiches and ginsters at that time of year probably which I how I imagine Eldorado Springs must be between May and September on its one road in and out of town where enterprising locals set up stalls at the side of the road selling litres of water for 5 bucks and replacing the signs with ones which say PARKING HERE $20 ALL DAY and LAST PARKING BEFORE NATIONAL PARK and things.

that’s not to say it didn’t look like a nice place. it was just kind of closed and I wasn’t going to stay long enough to pay whatever is cost to park in the national park parking area so I swiveled the suzuki geronimo around in the dirt, dropping it onto the deck at least a couple of times when the wheels hit any particularly tasty potholes which resulted in a rather nice banging noise from under the passenger seat every time I turned left from then on, and I headed back towards Broomfield where my other presentation on globalization was on he tadpole mocking me into including a slide about engagement models and business requirements for a next generation ecommerce platform that can pop up storefronts in uzbekistahn at the flick of a switch but probably can’t take any money for some reason and might be in English anyway and so I get back on the 128 and hope that it eventually turns into a road that includes ‘Interlocken’ in its name because then I’ll know I’ll only have a couple of hours drivng insanely round in circles trying to get off any raods with ‘Interlocken’ in their name before I’ll be back at the renaissance and taking pictures out of the 7th floor window thinking that I might one day stick them all together as a panorama of a number of car parks, which will be nice.

approaching Broomfield by the back door it was apparent that the snow was waiting for me over the brow of Interlocken Endless Loop and so I stopped by the side of the road, pointed my camera at the sky, quickly ditching it and pretending to be on my upside-down callphone when the local police slowed down as they passed and then decided to brave the elements in a kind of head-on fashion. I got back to the hotel about 3 hours later, but not because of the snow. while I wasn’t looking, someone put a golf course in the way and I’d got to the 15th green before I realized I’d lost the plot.

travelogue 5

travelogue 5
travelogue 5 by Tim Caynes

“DON’T GO HERE. PEOPLE DIE HERE, LIKE, ALL THE TIME, D00D”. that’s what it says on the tourist board when you cross the highway to take a closer look at Boulder Falls in the snow at least it says something like that which in effect says if you climb up here when there’s a perfectly icy disjointed loose graveled and shiny rock laden path down here then you deserve to plummet 10 metres to your death in the icy flow of the falls you stupid ass why did you come here anyway it’s not that exciting its not like niagara or anything even if you’re from the UK right you’ve got waterfalls don’t you jesus. still, notwithstanding the advice I thought I’d check out the falls again because there were some pretty nice snow covered sections of the river on the way up that caught my eye when I should have been looking at the road and the snow trucks and explorers coming in the opposite direction on the carriageway I’d just crossed over onto which the suzuki didn’t repond to particularly well to as I screeched back across to the right using full lock and whizzing the wheel through my hands like steve mcqueen on lombard street and so I though the falls might yeild some nice winter shots I could tag with ‘winter’ and ‘snow’ and ‘winter snow’ and stuff like that in flickr and join all sorts of new groups called things like ‘snow’ and ‘winter snow’ and ‘joys of winter snow – READ THE BLOODY RULES’ and things like that and post my winter snow shots and see how many people completely ignore them because well they’re just a bit rubbish next to the nikon d70s club who’ve trekked up the himalayas and have stunning sherpa silhouette shots looking down at the cloudbase with the sun overexposing on the virgin snow at the highest peak in burma with a flock of eagles flying past in the background waving free tibet flags in their beaks while an airbus380 leaves a heart-shaped vapour trial in the distance so my grainy closeup of a bit of cold water and half my foot doesn’t really cut it and even though someone who lives in norwich and so is polite enough to leave a comment like ‘er, I like the movement on that, I think’ there’s not really much to stop me just deleting it except I’ve geotagged it now and I can’t be bothered

after a couple of experiments with the self-timer and the edge of a cliff I’m getting pretty cold anyway and I really should be heading back to the hotel now to contemplate the strategy for web globalization over an endlessly distributed and fragmented internal infrastructure soon to be converged around common content services and the extension of the software lifecycle to incorporate the whole research, get, subscribe support process when we’re looking at how to accomodate licence purchases with briefcases full of cash in China and so I head back to the suzuki generous and attempt a complicated reversing manoevre into the path of an oncoming snow truck while in a forward gear and hanging over the edge of the river like something out of the Italian Job. in the end I just kind of screech wildy around while everybody pulls up and watches but I put on my best ‘sickly grin I’m a tourist and even worse I’m british’ look and end up looking a bit like john cleese which mostly always gets me off the hook and I even throw a silly walk in for good measure usually but right now I’m content with just sticking my hand out of the wrong window in a kind of apologetic but thankful gesture which probably ends up looking like I’m giving everyone the finger but now I’m careering down towards the 36 and so I don’t really care anymore until I hit a school bus and bounce into the front yard of a surprized looking family from Wisconsin who’ve only rented the place for the weekend.

I made that last bit up about hitting the school bus by the way, but it happened like that in my mind…

travelogue 4

travelogue 4
travelogue 4 by Tim Caynes

its monday and I’m supposed to be holed up in a hotel room in broomfield putting the finishing touches to a globalization strategy presentation that our director will present back to me and a number of other colleagues who are currently making their way to colorado where the world is congregating this week to talk about really important stuff and then some really unimportant stuff but instead I’m holed up in the Boulder Café on the corner of Pearl and 13th waiting for the waitress twins to appear again as if by magic with some orange beer that’s been brewed by a local hippy in an underground cavern at the foot of the rockies using a pedal bike and some healing crystals and today’s special which happens to be a prawn and chicken satay thing which sounds nice but until they arrive plus the gallon of water I need every 5 minutes in colorado I’m just looking out the window with a blank stare wondering why nobody is coming to Boulder today even though its a bit cold but then its always cold in winter and then I remember why I’m not actually holed up in a conference room instead on a monday lunchtime on january and thats because its Martin Luther King day and nearly everybody round here has taken to the hills to stand on rocks on one leg and cast huge shadows or experience the love of life at 10200 feet up in leadville or is probably just sat at home in a house in the middle of nowhere that probably used to be a forge or steam engine or something and posting clutter on ebay so they can get the car in the garage again and that’s why I’m sat here on my own with 2 waitresses looking after me and one old man at the table next to me who thinks I’m some kind of progressive liberal freak because I’ve got a fleece on with the collar up and I haven’t had a shave and my camera is kind of pointing at him in a way which is making him slightly edgy and so he’s rustling the Daily Camera around like an impatient father-in-law shooting daggers at me

the special is special and the amber is nectar and I decide to forego the cheesecake in case its anything like the cheesecake at the renaissance which arrives in 10 seconds but takes about 10 hours to finish because its the size of a flatiron or something and well, you have to finish it even though its not tasting that great washed down with flat tire and so I try and sneak a couple of shots of the waitresses on the way out but as usual I thought they were being nice to me because I was english and on my own and they kind of liked me but now I’ve paid I’ve suddenly become invisible and they’re clearing the table before I’ve even stood up and so I give up on candid for the time being and just get my dad’s killy coat on that I’ve borrowed for the colorado winter which is the one he got free when he was working on the winter olympics in japan years ago and I ding out the door and decide its probably time I took a quick tour of the deserted pearl street mall and then head back to the suzuki for a quick detour around a couple of landmarks around here while the sun is out but wait it looks like snow best be quick and so I screech out of the deserted parking garage like starsky and hutch with slippers on and head vaguely west, no, east, ah well round in circles for a while before I finally point the suzuki getover up a hill and we’re headed into the clouds which might be an interesting thing and a mildly stupid thing depending on what happens in the next couple of hours but its only 1 o’clock and I can probably do that set of apocalyptic web venue slides in a few hours after a couple of beers later so lets just go for it

things to do in Denver when you’re dead tired

denver 2
denver 2 by Tim Caynes

after 4 days in Broomfield after 1 day on a plane after 1 night in a hotel with half of the population Lagos after 4 hours on a national express coach with mr cheerful after half a day in the rain I was planning to take a day up in the rockies, seeing how far past estes park I could get in november in the rental ford fucos without any chains and as it had been in the low 70s all week and glorious sunshine when I dribbled out of the bed in the 6th floor executive suite, I figured friday would be splendid and I’d crack on after packing and be in the foothills by breakfast sharing bagels with a yeti and jibbering about software service plans and globalized ecommerce venues until the sun went down and the 777 lifted off from DIA with my ransacked (thanks Transport Security Administration) suitcase lurching around in the hold and me switching my sim cards between triband and dualband handsets which I can’t use

as it turned out, as I pulled back the curtians on a stick and looked over the flatiron crossing and the hills, the hills were nowhere to be seen, as thick grey clouds were just looming over everything like some hideous portent of doom, just kind of laughing in my face because they’d ruined my day already and might even drop some snow later to really get everyone thoroughly pissed. it took me an hour to pack everything extraordinarily carefully, making sure the talin was all wrapped up in a fluffy white renaissance towel I’ve just borrowed in between the jacket I got to wear once and the shoes I forgot I had and the tshirt with the uncomfortable neck I should never have bought anyway (all of which would be taken out, thrown into the air and caught like a stretched sheet at the bottom of the empire state and flung into the suitcase again before returning home anyway – thanks Transport Security Administration), and then I found some breakfast in the corner, turned the gas off, checked the back door, etc., and headed for reception to check out, by which time the clouds has moved into the foyer, like in The Fog, and crusty old seamen were rattling chains at me and asking for their money back.

I decided to go to Denver

I’d driven around it a couple of times, thinking that’s what you do with Denver, just kind of drive around it, trying to judge the distances between the refineries and opening and closing the window appropriately, but I’d never been closer than the highway, so maybe I’d just kill a couple of hours there before driving to the airport 6 hours early because I’ve run out of ideas and I can’t possibly do any work on a friday. so I made a mental note of cherry creek mall where I thought I’d buy some stuff that said ‘Denver’ or ‘Colorado’ on it and headed out of the car park in the fucos and turned left. no, right. hang on. I hate the roads in Broomfield.

it was midday by the time I’d managed to get the fucos pointed south and headed down 36, or 25, or whatever it was to the 70, or 25, or 275, or whatever it was. I knw I wanted to by south of the city, so I took to road that goes in that direction and passed every single intersection and turning until I could no longer see Denver out of my driver’s window and figured I must have ended up in Mexico or something. quick, take the next turn, whatever it is. ooh, there’s coors field. right, this is, um, University. right, and there’s the university. so. hang on. lets take a look at the Avis Denver street map from 1974 and see what gives. screeeeeeech! cherry creek. right there. sorry everyone. I’m a tourist, look! I got a rental fucos and a mad confused look on my face! I managed to negotiate a right turn into the car park, which isn’t as simple as it sounds when you’re used to street names being on the side of the street and not across the street so you’re always thinking you’re on the street you want to be on and not just driving over it and leaving it behind in the rearview mirror. again.

I kind of knew the moment I stepped into the mall that I’d made one those mistakes I make when I can’t really be bothered to think about things and I just drift into a mistake. it was like every other mall I’d been into, except it had a saks fifth avenue in it. there was about 5 people, barely audible elevator music, the smell of cookies and a water fountain going off in the corner that the security guard was just kind of looking at sideways. still, once you’re in, you have to walk up one side of the downstairs, take the elevator at the other end, and walk back down the length of the upstairs, occaisionally crossing the way to check out amazing instant sleep pillows in brookstone or ipods in the apple store. then there’s always that moment where you get stuck in mid-crossing and spy that victoria’s secret is on the other side and you’re not sure whether it looks like you’re deliberately crossing to check it out, so you stop and look at your watch or something and try to turn back, pretending that actually, you have forgotten something in gymboree, but realizing halfway that that’s just more stupid, so you head back across toward victoria’s secret anyway, but stare straight ahead with a look on you face that’s trying to say you’re not actually looking at bras but you’re really keen to get to the sony center. but it doesn’t work, and you realize your hands are deep in your pockets as you walk past the pandoras box of lingerie and you try and pull them out quick and look casual, but you’ve just thrown all your change over the marble floor again like you did in the flatiron, you idiot. don’t stop and pick it up. it’s american money, you can’t use it when you get back. just walk away. they’re not staring at you, its the security guard by the water fountain that’s now gushing all over the floor and cascading over the edge of the walkway they’re interested in. honest.

so after I’d escaped unscathed I hightailed it back to the fucos and burned some rubber out of the parking lot, careened over the central reservation and headed downtown on the wrong side of the road. downtown kind of creeps up on you. one minute you’re cruising past old car lots with piles of tyres outside and free lube offers from 1969 and the next you’re outside the convention center, dodging trams and 30-foot blue bears. I squealed round a couple of blocks and found a $12 all-day parking lot, right next to mcdonalds on the corner of 16th street. of course, I had no idea how the parking lots operated, so I had to ask the guy about 4 times how long I could stay (‘salldayman, allday’), and then gave him a $50 bill cos I is a tourist and he had to go to his stash in the back of his lincoln parked on 14th street or something. I mean, I waited for 5 minutes to get my 38 dollars change and then stuck an insignificant pink slip in the windscreen and said goodbye to my personal belongings that I fully expected never to see again and headed up 16th street mall, dodging the evil silent free buses and passing the shop windows that were closing because it was veteran’s day and I always come to the US on a public holiday and find everything closing around me for some reason.

anyway, I got a bunch of stuff that said either ‘Denver’ or ‘Colorado’ on it and also found myself a couple of john deere tshirts in PacSun (‘my name is kathy and I’ll be your server today so can I help you embarrass yourself into a stupid purchase because you look like a toursit dad who will make a really rash decision if I simply say ‘size’ and smile at you’), and even got some instant chicken stuff in an underground food hall that appeared to be full of extras from that film working girl. after that, I thought I might just cruise around the streets. the sun had come out and all the clouds had buggered off, so it has turned into a blisteringly hot afternoon, so I took a layer off, took it back to the parking lot, changed my regular glasses for my prescription shades, dumped the purchases, strapped on the W1 and went on the search for some shots of glass-fronted buildings I could turn into dektops when I’m bored back in the UK when it’s raining outside and I’m just watching people take their dogs to the toilet. it turns out there’s quite a few of those types of buldings in Denver, so I had a pretty good couple of hours pointing my camera at the sky. except for the embarassing security incident and the over-zealous car-park run

the world trade center and a couple of other glass-fronted tower blocks in denver overlap in a pretty nice way when you get the right angle. I found that angle a couple of times and took a few shots and was feeling pretty pleased with myself in a ‘this’ll look nice on flickr’ kind of way, when as I stepped back on the courtyard of another tower block and checked out the direction of the sun, a couple of fat guys in aviators came up behind me and flashed an official looking badge at me and suggested I accompany them into a dark corner. it goes something like this:

‘I’m sorry, is there a problem? I’m a tourist, you know’
‘what is your purpose here today sir?’
‘I’m a tourist’
‘do you have a reasonable cause to be taking photographs in Denver today sir?’
‘I’m sorry, is that a problem? I’m a tourist’
‘well, sir, we’re not permitted to let you take pictures of these buildings sir’
‘right. ok. well, I was just, you know. I’m a tourist. I like taking pictures of stuff. You have a beautiful city’
‘I’m from Encino. you’re going to have to cease sir and please leave the frontage of the building’
‘oh, right. I see. I’ll just, well, you know. put this away, right?’
‘please leave sir’
‘Encino, is that nice?’
‘please leave now sir or we shall escort you off, or engage with the local authorities’
‘bye then’
(50 yards later)

undeterred, I headed back toward the convention center which looked like the kind of place I could spend an hour of so looking at bits of curved metal cladding and glass archways. I figured I could probably get a really good straight-on shot of some of the office windows (I like those shots) if I went up to the roof of the car park I was just passing on my left, which looked like it had an open roof about 13 floors up. great, let’s duck in here and take the elevator up while the sun’s still out. damn, no elevator. ah well, let’s take the stairs, I’m not that unfit, and they’re pretty small. I’m quite excited by the prospect of getting a couple of my favourite kind of shots, so I bound up the stairs, a couple at a time and before I know it, I’m at the 7th floor. now, I knew that Denver was the mile-high city, and I always get out of breath coming from the Sun car park at broomfield 5 to the lobby, so I should have probably figured that what I was currently doing was a one brick short of a load kind of dumbass stupid thing to contemplate, but hey, I was already at the 7th floor. which is about where I thought I shoud stop and catch my breath. but, of course, in Denver, there isn’t any breath. you can’t catch any. so as I’m gasping away between floors and my heart is leaping out of my rib cage and I’m seeing my life flash before me (mainly images of trying to look like I’m not interested in victoria’s secret), I’m thinking I probably should have taken a more sedate approach. I walk very slowly up 2 more floors and things are still a bit grim. I’ve just remembered a couple of things from my childhood, so I figure I’m about to drop dead, but hey, I still haven’t got the shot I was looking for. ok, concentrate. just 5 more floors. slowly, quietly, long breaths. I think we can make it…

I did make it, and the top floor of the car park was empty so I walked to all four sides, took a few shots of the Denver skyline and folks in office windows calling the authorities about a lunatic on the roof of the 13th street car park who’s pointing a laser gun or something at the president, probably. I figured it was probably then that as I’d escaped some kind of uncomfortable internment by 2 fat blokes and death by altitude, I should probably get back to the car, head for the refineries, drop the fucos and check in with homeland security at DIA, where my fingerprints have probably changed into Reece Witherspoons. probably

hard left at nickel

so, I get to go to dinner on the other side of town and eat a bison. not a whole one. just a bit of one. with cheese. the server was sick but continued to put his fingers on our bread until james came along and told us he was now our server and could he help us with anything tonight. yes, you can bring us that fricken infected bread we asked for 10 minutes ago, buddy. and some more water. with straws. dammit, the bison’s here already. do I eat that salad first?

I spend the evening with 2 of my favourite people in the world, and they even give me directions back to the hotel, which I screw up hopelessly and do the loop they warned me about after missing that hard left at nickel. it was worth it though.