Random high fives and ‘how we’re gonna scale that’: Images from six days in Boulder

Quasi-human sculptural forms in these tree roots in mountain park west of Boulder.

Quasi-human sculptural forms in these tree roots in mountain park west of Boulder, Colorado.

At the Flagstaff summit, about 6,800 feet, my wife said, “I love being on the mountain! I want to do it again!” I said, “we’re still doing it right now.”

We were spending our summer vacation visiting friends and hanging out in Boulder, Colorado.

As we sat on rocks just off the trail to Artist’s Point, I heard a woman’s voice say, “there’s some people over there,” referring to my wife and me, I thought, and somehow it was nice to be “some people” for somebody else.

Peanut butter and Nutella still life, at the hotel pool.

Peanut butter and Nutella at the hotel pool.

Of the peanut butter-Nutella sandwich he’d bought for her, my friend said to his two-year-old daughter, “I know you, and you will like this.”

Every time we started the rental car, I was greeted by the directions-giving device as

Every time we started the rental car, I was greeted incorrectly.

When my wife asked me not to take notes while I drove, I said, eh, it’s a rental car. She answered back, “it’s not a rental life.”

Rocky Mountain trees.

Rocky Mountain trees.

Driving up Baseline Road into the city park in the mountains, we stopped to pay five bucks for a parking pass. “Oh, jeez, it’s the honor system,” my wife said.

Evening, facing west on Walnut Street, downtown Boulder. The silver wall was lit by reflection from the next photo.

Evening, facing west on Walnut Street, downtown Boulder. The silver wall was lit by reflection from silver wall in the next photo.

Evening, looking at a west-facing wall.

Evening, looking at a west-facing wall.

One night about 9:20 p.m., walking west on Pearl Street, I smelled a sweet, dry piney smell, like a perfume for the whole town.

Interlocken (more like inter-retention-ponds) business park. Intersection of Interlocken Loop and Interlocken Boulevard.

Interlocken (more like inter-irrigation-ponds) business park. Intersection of Interlocken Loop and Interlocken Boulevard, possibly the center of the world.

This business park had offices for VMware and Webroot. By the time I left the nearby Starbucks mid-morning Tuesday, I counted 9 other patrons there, 6 men, 3 women, each with a laptop computer. Other than one man and one woman talking about chemistry for a class, the others seemed engaged in work, with one dude in a “LINX” shirt talking into a cable microphone-earpiece.

The light above my journaling spot at the Starbucks nearest my hotel.

The light above my journaling spot at the Starbucks nearest my hotel.

While I wrote journals, I overheard two dudes to my right, saying things like, “when you purchase space and power”, “better economies,” “cross-connected,” and “how we’re gonna scale that.”

My wife said of the waitstaff and patrons of the Walnut Cafe, “Nobody’s wearing any make-up — these are MY people!”

I tried the Florentine coffee and my wife had the Boulder latte, with vanilla, honey, and cinnamon. Her reaction was positive: “I’ve been slayed by a coffee drink.”

A girl, maybe about 13 years old, sat at a table near us with 3 adults. She talked about Japan taking over China, and “…Taoism, they wanted to spread it…” The girl was wearing a t-shirt that said, “That is soy chai latte cute.”

Our waitress, who was wearing a housedress, boots, and partly-long,partly shaved hair, said she “went to Ithaca for a semester…”

A group of several young men and two young women talked about these things: “all the business school books”; “he’ll [or “we’ll”] mentor you as well”; and “…you spilled your beer over the entire…” One young man said, “she’s not hot — she’s attractive at best,” and a young woman said, “yeah, at BEST.”

Mirror behind the cashier station at the Super Mini Walnut Cafe, Lafayette, Colo.

Mirror behind the cashier station at the Super Mini Walnut Cafe, Lafayette, Colo. When my friend’s daughter said of the doll, “I want that, daddy,” my friend said, quoting his own father, “it’s good to want things.”

A cashier at the Super Mini Walnut Cafe said she wakes up and wonders why she should wear makeup. “The espresso machine is just gonna melt it off my face anyway,” she said.

The Boulder area has many breweries and brew pubs, so why not one more?

The Boulder area has many breweries and brew pubs. Here could be one more.

According to the Daily Camera newspaper of 9 August, a third of home sales in Boulder are cash, and average home prices in Boulder county are over $550,000. Below $400,000 is considered the low end.

At first I thought auto-renters such as myself couldn't park here. Then I learned that

At first I thought auto-renters such as myself couldn’t park here. Then I learned that “Auto-Owners” is the incredibly generic name of an insurance business.

This granite slab

This granite slab with handle has been lying on stripmall sidewalk near the Super Mini Walnut Cafe in Lafayette, Colo., for weeks, a staffer told us, adding that it’s weird because “nothing is granite in this building.”

One of our waitresses at Super Mini Walnut Cafe told nearby customers, “When I was a teenager, I lived on the beach in Delaware. My mission was to find the best banana-chocolate shake.”

Another day at the same place, I heard a different waitress say “club sandwich” as she held a food tray and approached a table of three men. “That’s not us,” one of the men said. “That’s, uhh, I don’t know, actually,” said the waitress, looking around.

Iced tea up close.

Iced tea up close.

“Honey, want some avocado?” said a woman outside our hotel to a baby who’s barely walking.

Rocky Mountains, a piece thereof.

Rocky Mountains, a piece thereof.

“Rocks and trees and shit are my friends,” my wife said as we hiked around the mountain.

A strip mall developed by an Ayn Rand devotee, apparently.

A strip mall where we ate breakfast at the Super Mini Walnut Cafe and bought protein bars at the Atlas Valley Purveyors.

We found

We found “Dagny Way” but no “John Galt Avenue.”

Of the Atlas Valley strip mall’s developer, my wife said, “somebody never grew out of their Ayn Rand phase!”

On Pearl Street.

A good question on Pearl Street.

A dude walking toward my wife and me on Pearl Street mall asked my wife, “random high-five?” “No, thank you,” she said, later telling me that his hands were dirty.

While we were checking out of Boulder Bookstore, we heard shouting out on the Pearl Street Mall.

Shouters on the Pearl Street Mall.

While we were checking out at the Boulder Bookstore, a clerk said of the shouting outside, “I haven’t heard any words except ‘blah.'” I heard that, too, and asked those near me, “did he just ‘blah, blah, blah’ a street fight?” When we got outside, we gathered that it wasn’t a street fight but a dude in a white “Abortion is Murder” shirt shouting and being shouted back at. I took video of the bearded dude above asking the dude in white if he had kids, and the white-shirted dude answered that he did have some number of “daughters and 8 grandchildren.”

Pointing to the guy’s signs, Beardy shouted, “AND YOU WANNA SEE THIS, ON THE F__KIN’ SIDEWALK?”

White Shirt shouted: “YES, I HOPE THAT THEY WOULD KNOW BECAUSE EVIDENTLY ENOUGH WOMEN IN AMERICA AREN’T TEACHING THEM THAT MURDERING AN INNOCENT LITTLE BABY IS NOT O.K.”

Beardy: “DO YOU WANT YOUR F__KIN’ KIDS TO SEE THIS?”

White shirt: “IF THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES TO GET THAT INTO THEIR HEADS [hard to hear, maybe “and give ’em the”] TRUTH ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON …”

Beardy: “F__K THAT SHIT. F__K YOU.”

View through the wavy old glass of Trident Cafe, Pearl Street.

View through the wavy old glass of Trident Cafe, Pearl Street.

Early morning at the Trident Cafe, I saw a middle-aged dude wearing a t-shirt that said, “There are two kinds of people in the world: those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.”

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