Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘denver’

Gary Kubiak’s retirement speech

Posted by Richard on January 3, 2017

For health reasons, Gary Kubiak has stepped down as coach of the Denver Broncos. If you’re at all interested in the Broncos, or in football, or just in how a man of great character handles the difficult task of announcing that he’s walking away from his dream job, you might want to watch his retirement press conference.


[YouTube link]

Sports reporter Mike Klis:

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Polar vortex update

Posted by Richard on December 17, 2016

As of 11:23 AM, the temperature in Denver has risen to 0°, with a wind chill of only -11°. There’s a good 6-7″ of fresh snow in my yard.

The “climate experts” assure me that this is due to anthropogenic global warming. So I’m going to do my part and not drive anywhere for the rest of the weekend.

UPDATE, 10:30 PM: We topped out at 3° this afternoon, a new record low high. Earlier this evening, it dropped to -15°, a new record low. But recently the wind shifted from the north to the south, so it’s “warmed up” to -3°. So I guess the worst is over.

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I survived the Blogger/Twitter/Zomby Bash/Fest

Posted by Richard on April 9, 2016

Eight of us (IIRC) spent an enjoyable four hours or so at the Pint Room in Littleton this afternoon sampling some of the 175 or so beers on tap, learning the details of why zombyboy is moving to Florida and when it might happen, and conversing about a wide variety of topics from Trump (“how the eff did this happen?”) to the firing of various projectiles from a compressed-air cannon.

We also enjoyed the Pint Room’s burgers and some appetizers; the food is quite good, slightly upscale pub fare. Oh, and there were some shots. Holding the bash/fest in mid-afternoon proved to be a good plan. It was much quieter than such places are on a weekend evening, so we could mostly hear and be heard. And I managed to get home before dark, not much worse for the wear.

On my way out, two different young women (one outside in her car) complimented me on my t-shirt:

ATLAS
SHRUGGED
NOW, NON-FICTION

Who knew you could attract the attention of pretty young women by wearing an Atlas Shrugged t-shirt?

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BloggerBash … or TwitterFest … or ZombyBash … or something

Posted by Richard on April 4, 2016

Zombyboy (@zombyboy) has threatened to leave Colorado for Florida in the not-too-distant future. He doesn’t seem to understand that life’s a mountain, not a beach. Anyway, a few of us decided we should get together for a blogger/tweeter bash/fest before he leaves. Heck, it’s been forever since the last one (over three years, IIRC).

If you’re a Colorado blogger/tweeter or follow Colorado bloggers/tweeters, you’re welcome to join in the fun. Which will consist of food, beer, distilled spirits (either zombyboy or I, or both, will probably buy shots), humor, political snark and rants, gun talk, good reads, …

Where: Pint Room, 2620 W. Belleview Ave., Littleton (we’ll be in the back or on the patio)

When: Saturday, April 9, 3 PM

Yeah, we’re doing the afternoon thing, so plan for a very late lunch or early supper. What I call “lupper.” It’ll be much quieter than Saturday night, so we can carry on conversations without getting hoarse. Plus, some of us aren’t getting any younger.

If you’re coming, leave a comment or email me (address under my picture).

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Skiing Red Rocks Amphitheater

Posted by Richard on March 25, 2016

We had snow in Denver Wednesday. More accurately, we had a blizzard with 30-50+ mph winds for about 12 hours. It dumped 12-18″ in Denver and 20-30″ or more in the foothills. The airport closed, highways closed in every direction, the National Guard was called out to rescue stranded motorists, and it made the national news.

But the good news is it gave Nick Gianoutsos a chance to check something off on his bucket list: skiing Red Rocks. 7NEWS Denver has the video. Check it out:

They also have a charming video of how a cat named Boots enjoyed the snowstorm. Boots’ owners opened the sliding glass door with snow piled up against it, and … well, just watch:

 

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1965 Denver flood

Posted by Richard on June 17, 2015

Fifty years ago last night, the Plum Creek drainage south of Denver received 14 inches of rain in just 3 hours. That sent a massive amount of water into the South Platte River and right into the heart of Denver. Depending on who’s telling the story and where they were when they witnessed it, the wall of water was somewhere between 20 and 40 feet high. 9News has a pretty good piece on the flood, with videos, if you can read through it without accidentally clicking away (don’t click anywhere to the left or right of the story column).

That flood led to the building of Chatfield Dam southwest of Denver just a few years later. It (along with dams on Cherry Creek and Bear Creek) has prevented a repeat occurrence. Chatfield State Park is a major recreation area. But there’s not much recreating this year because a large portion of the park is covered in water. It’s designed to work that way; by using the surrounding park area for additional water storage, Chatfield Reservoir can cope with copious amounts of rainfall and snowmelt.

This year, it’s had to, and is at the highest level since it was built. Not only is an unusually large snowpack melting very fast, but in the six weeks since May 1, Denver has only had (depending on who’s counting and where they measure) 4-7 days without rain. This has so far been one of the wettest years on record in Denver. And the foothills west of Denver and Palmer Divide to the south have gotten much more rain than Denver.

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Unusual vehicle sighting

Posted by Richard on March 28, 2015

So, I’d just stepped onto my porch to get the mail, when along came a shiny black London taxi cab, a.k.a. hackney carriage. It was right-hand drive, and I could see the meter flag through the front passenger-side window (although I don’t know if it was still connected to a functioning fare meter). It looked a lot like the picture below.

I don’t know if it belongs to a collector, an entrepreneurial Uber/Lyft driver with a unique marketing angle, or what. A search for “london cab denver” failed to turn up anything useful.

London taxi.jpg

London taxi” by Andreas TuscheOwn work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

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Denver’s February snow record is more of a record than it seems

Posted by Richard on February 28, 2015

Officially, Denver set a new record for February snowfall, but just barely. Through Friday, the official total snowfall was 22.4 inches, just edging out the previous record of 22.1 set in 1912. But wait…

Since 2008, the National Weather Service’s official recording site has been Denver International Airport, about 20 miles east of downtown. In 1912, the official site was in downtown Denver. Being so far out on the eastern plains, DIA typically gets less snow than areas farther to the west. That’s because it sees less of the upslope effect that brings heavy snowfall when winds from the east or northeast hit the mountains west of Denver and the Palmer Divide to the south.

According to KMGH-7 meteorologist Matt Makens, the old record for downtown Denver was unofficially broken a couple of days earlier (and subsequent snow no doubt pushed the total there several inches higher). The unofficial City Park recording station, just a couple or three miles from downtown, recorded over 30 inches in February.

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White Christmas in Denver

Posted by Richard on December 25, 2014

It was in the mid-40s at 9 this morning. Then the cold front moved in. We’re in the mid-20s now, and headed near 0° by morning. The snow began around mid-afternoon and is expected to continue until tomorrow afternoon or evening. It’s very lovely and Christmas-y, but I’m glad I don’t have to go anywhere; the roads are a mess.

Historically, Denver has snow on Christmas 14% of the time — a one-in-seven chance. Our last white Christmas was 2007, so this year’s Christmas snowfall is right on schedule. 🙂

Merry Christmas!

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Hawks and pigeons

Posted by Richard on December 11, 2014

On several occasions over the past few months, I’ve seen a hawk hanging around my neighborhood, circling overhead or sitting on a telephone pole. I don’t know if it’s the same hawk each time or various hawks just passing through. If the former, I hope it’s established permanent residence in the area and likes the taste of pigeon. We have far too many pigeons in the neighborhood.

“Too many,” in the case of pigeons, can best be defined as “more than zero.” I hate the little bastards. If Denver laws permitted it, I’d invest in an air rifle with which to dispatch them.

People sometimes refer to pigeons as “rats with wings.” It’s worse than that. They’re rats with wings and diarrhea.

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Celebrate! It’s above zero!

Posted by Richard on November 12, 2014

It’s 12:45 PM in Denver, and we’re no longer below zero! Woohoo?

denver1degree

I don’t think we’re going to make it to that forecast high of 9°.

Hey, Jimmy Buffet, here’s a new verse for that song of yours. You’re welcome.

Boat drinks. I think the cold makes your brain shrink
I don’t really care what Al Gore thinks
Somebody make it get warm!

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Bring back the global warming!

Posted by Richard on November 11, 2014

Today was the coldest November 11th on record in Denver, with a high temperature of 16°. That eclipses the previous record of 19° set on this date in 1916. And the worst of the cold is yet to come!

At 10:30 tonight, it’s 6° (wind chill of -7°). Tomorrow’s high may be only two or three degrees warmer than that.

I’m not leaving the house, except maybe to go to the liquor store. The only adult beverages I have on hand are beer. This isn’t beer-drinking weather. It’s hot toddy or hot buttered rum weather.

Or maybe I should get out of town. Head to St. Somewhere…


[YouTube link]

Boat drinks. Boys in the band ordered boat drinks.
Visitors just scored on the home rink.
Everything seems to be wrong.

Lately, newspaper mentioned cheap airfare.
I’ve got to fly to Saint Somewhere.
I’m close to bodily harm.

I know I should be leaving this climate.
I got a verse but can’t rhyme it.
I gotta go where it’s warm.

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Polar vortex update

Posted by Richard on November 10, 2014

11 AM: Mid-fifties, calm. About 15° cooler than the weekend, but a sweater or light jacket is plenty.

11:30 AM: Sudden strong northerly wind, temperature starts to drop sharply.

12:30 PM: 30°, windy, spitting snow. Bone-chilling.

2:15 PM: 23°, wind chill is 12°, steady light-to-moderate snowfall.

It’s expected to get no warmer than this for several days, with lows in single digits. I guess it’s safe to say Denver’s mild fall is over. I’m going to miss it.

UPDATE (9 PM): 14°, with a wind chill of 3°, and it’s still dropping. About 12 hours ago, it was 62° (CORRECTION: officially 64° at 9 AM).

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Mug shot of the week

Posted by Richard on September 26, 2014

michael-whitingtonMichael Whitington, the charming fellow to the right, robbed a bank on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver on Tuesday. He attempted to get away by boarding the nearby light rail train. Which leads me to my…

PRO TIP of the week: If your getaway plan involves the light rail, make sure no one sees you board the train.

Cops stopped the train a few blocks away and arrested this criminal genius.

Something tells me we taxpayers are going to be on the hook for some dental bills.

UPDATED (9/27/14) to add link to CBS4Denver that I forgot last night (yes, adult beverages were involved).

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Why aren’t THESE people in jail?

Posted by Richard on September 17, 2014

Throughout the country, moms who let their children play outside unsupervised, or supervised from more than a few feet away, have been subjected to investigation by social service agencies and often arrested and jailed. It happened just last month in Austin, Texas.  A cursory search turns up other recent cases in Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. To my mind, this is absurd and outrageous, a sad consequence of our society becoming almost pathologically risk-averse. Ultimately, I think it’s harmful to the kids,  and I encourage anyone with young children or intending to have children to look into  the book and blog Free-Range Kids.

The nanny-state nannies — Social Services, Human Services, Child Protective Services, whatever they’re called in your community — argue that kids aren’t as safe playing outside today as they were in the previous century (that’s simply not true). There could be a pedophile living just down the block (that’s always been true). So all those government nannies must be hyper-vigilant when it comes to the kids for whom they’re responsible, right?

Wrong!

John Ferrugia and the investigative team at KMGH-7News have broken several stories over the past few months about serious failings at the Denver Dept. of Human Services (DDHS) to take even the most basic steps to ensure the safety of children they’ve placed into homes. The most recent is perhaps the most shocking and unbelievable:

In October 2010, the department placed Tiercel Duerson’s son in his custody. Duerson had served time for sexually abusing the boy’s sibling in 2005 and completed parole and treatment just two months prior to the placement.

DDHS had removed the boy and his siblings from their mother’s home months before, when he was 12 and was showing signs of mental illness. Regina Garcia admits at the time, she couldn’t control her son, and was neglecting him, as well as the rest of her children.

The boy, age 12, was sent to a mental health treatment facility. After treatment, DDHS didn’t return the boy to his mother, but placed him with Tiercel Duerson, her ex-husband. And convicted child sex offender.

“They decided for him to be with his dad,” Garcia said. “I was saying I didn’t think it was a good idea for them to put him with his dad, knowing he’s a sex offender.”

Garcia said her older daughter, a victim of Duerson’s abuse, echoed her concerns in a meeting with DDHS.

“That he would be better off with Mom, because Dad is a child molestor, is what she said,” said Garcia.

But Garcia said DDHS employees didn’t listen.

“They’re like, ‘Well, he only did it one time, and he preferred little girls,'” she said.

Over the next year, there were numerous warning signs — reports from the boy’s school, his mother, and the boy himself — that all was not well in the Duerson home. Eventually, Duerson became unreachable and the caseworker was unable to see the boy. Yet DDHS left him there and continued telling the judge overseeing the case that everything was hunky-dory. It wasn’t until another county investigated reports of Duerson abusing other children in his home (he went back to jail) that the boy was removed. This is what that year with dad was like for him:

“The father’s predation involved him compelling both of his sons in the home, an older son and a younger son to both perform sex acts with the father and to perform sex acts with each other,” said Jordan Factor, an attorney with Denver law firm Allen & Vellone, who is representing Garcia and her son in a federal lawsuit against DDHS.

You may be thinking it’s an isolated case, there are a few bad apples in any agency, and at least now that caseworker and supervisor have been found out and given the heave-ho, right?

Wrong again!

The DDHS caseworker and supervisor responsible for placing Duerson’s son in his home are still with the department, and still making decisions about child placement. Sources familiar with DHS caseloads say the caseworker currently has a full caseload, and still reports to the same supervisor, along with four other caseworkers.

Moms go to jail for letting their kids play outside, and this caseworker and supervisor don’t even lose their jobs? They should not only be fired, they should face prosecution. For criminal negligence, if not for aiding and abetting. And the people responsible for letting them keep their jobs should be fired. I don’t understand why there aren’t angry parents in front of the DDHS offices with protest signs. Or tar and feathers.

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