Archive for September, 2013

Trapped In A Canyon

Cindi is trapped in her canyon. Her canyon road, which leads to highway 72, is washed out in three places. In addition, several bridges are washed out on highway 72. If she can get out her canyon she still can’t get into town. Cindi is marooned at home with three big events this weekend. One of her events was moved from a facility in Lyons to a hotel in Boulder. Downtown Boulder has been evacuated so Cindi can’t get her trucks or crew in to set up for the event. She’s pulling her hair out. If Cindi manages to get out of her canyon she’s going stay at my house with her boyfriend for the next few days. It’s a mess.

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Rain, Rain, Rain

It’s still raining. I’m sure you’ve seen the news coverage of the flooding. Thankfully, my house is located on a hill about a quarter mile south of Cherry Creek. The Denver area has not been hit as hard as the surrounding areas. The koi pond is about to overflow into the yard. I’m happy it’s raining and not snowing.

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A Reversal Of Fortune

Mr. & Mrs. C have lived in a house down the street for about forty years. Mr. C is a retired lawyer. Mrs. C is an artist who became a stay at home mom to care for three sons. They are from a generation where the husband managed all of the finances.

Mr. C has dementia which seems to be progressing rapidly. Mr. C’s health is forcing the couple to move into a condo. When Mrs. C took over the financial matters she discovered her husband had not been paying the bills. She also discovered that he mismanaged their investments. The Cs have no money. Mr. C can’t remember what happened to their savings and investments. They need to sell their house, which is their only asset, in order to move into a condo. Mrs. C refuses to move into an assisted living center.

Mrs. C stopped by last week to let me know they will be having a series of garage sales. She also wanted to know if I was interested in buying one or more of her paintings. Mrs. C is a very talented abstract artist. I’ve always loved and admired her work. K bought one of her paintings at a charity art auction which now hangs in his loft in St. Louis. Mrs. C’s painting sell in the 2k to 5k range. Mrs. C offered a substantial discount on her artwork.

I was saddened when I learned about the C’s situation. They are wonderful people who have always been warm and friendly. I always enjoyed talking to Mr. C at Mrs. C’s art openings. Mr. C never failed to have an interesting story to tell.

I stopped by their garage sale this weekend with Sheila. I bought a few on Mrs. C’s silver serving platters while Sheila bought a stack of beautiful handmade paper to be used in a future art project. I would love to buy one of Mrs. C’s paintings. Her gallery prices are more than I can afford at this time. I’m on the fence about buying one of Mrs. C’s paintings. A purchase would help her financially but I feel like I would be profiting on the misfortune of Mrs. C. What would you do?

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I’m Bored

The incredibly inefficient management team that runs my department still has not decided on a schedule for the next twelve production cycles even though the first cycle is almost complete. The last schedule ended on August 7th. There’s a proposed schedule but it does not start for two more weeks. I’ve finished all my work for the current cycle last week. I’ve been sitting here with nothing to do. The company can’t place me on furlough because my contract requires a two notice. I’m getting paid to sit here and answer the occasional email query or respond to IMs. I have work in my queue for the next cycle but I can’t start any of the future projects because the schedule has not been approved. How stupid is that? The management team would rather pay me to do nothing than bend the rules and allow me to work on projects in the next cycle. It’s a complete waste of their money. Don’t be surprised if you find that someone read your blog archives today.

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Art Orgasm

I decided to hit a few art galleries on Friday night. It was First Friday so the galleries on Santa Fe would be packed, while the food truck brigade would be creating additional chaos on the street plying their epicurean delights. I decided to check out the galleries in RiNo since they are not clustered in a two block area like the galleries on Santa Fe.

My first stop was the Dry Ice Factory for a quick tour through the open studios. The Dry Ice Factory is a local mecca for talented female artists. I saw some beautiful, but pricey, abstracts but soon moved on to other galleries. I was in and out the next several stops in about twenty minutes. Gallery hopping is like shopping the Neiman’s sale rack. You never know what you’ll find. You see a lot of crap you would never buy but occasionally find a gem.

My last stop was ArtHaus to see the Michael Gadlin show. Cindi introduced me to Gadlin many years ago when he won the Best Of Show award at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. I’ve followed his career through the years as his art is always stellar. Unfortunately, K and I had a house filled with art so I never made a purchase. The new show is spectacular. I would love to have any of the large pieces in the show but they are priced out of my reach with the most expensive piece being 25k. Seeing Gadlin’s art made my evening. For me, there’s nothing like the rush of walking into a gallery and wanting every piece of art on the wall. It’s like an art orgasm.

It’s inspiring to see a local artist achieve success on this level. Gadlin is an extremely talented artist. I only wish I would have bought a piece the day Cindi introduced me to Gadlin.

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Cindi’s Cash Cow

Cindi called on Tuesday to invite me to a pre-Rosh Hashanah luncheon at Leigh’s house on Wednesday. Cindi was providing the décor for the sit-down luncheon for twenty. Two last minute cancellations left Leigh in a tizzy. Horrified at the prospect of having two empty seats at the table, Leigh was reaching out to the gentiles to fill the seats. I declined the invitation because I couldn’t take off a half day on short notice.

I hadn’t talked to Cindi since her birthday party. She’s been on the go for the last few weeks. Cindi billed what would normally be three months of revenue in the last five weeks. To make matters worse, she leased her warehouse to a commercial cannabis cultivation business and needs to move in ten days.

The growing operation is a cash only business. Financial institutions will not allow marijuana growers to open accounts since they are federally chartered and cannabis is not legal at the federal level. The company agreed to pay rent that equals four times Cindi’s monthly mortgage payment. Most commercial property owners will not lease to a commercial cannabis cultivation business so they have to pay premium rent. Cindi easily leased another warehouse by the coliseum. I questioned Cindi’s decision to get involved with a cash only business since she’s had numerous IRS problems. Her lawyer and accountant advised her to form a second LLC for property management in order separate the rental cash from her special event décor business.

It was good to catch up with Cindi. Her boyfriend’s son is getting married this weekend. Guess who is providing the décor?

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It’s All About Choices

Trish called yesterday to fill me in on her date. She had a wonderful time on the nine hour date. She gave the guy a hug, but didn’t kiss him or invite him in, as she didn’t want the send to wrong message. He seems to be a really nice guy. He’s a twice divorced fifty-three year old with no children. He lives in an apartment and drives battered old car. The guy doesn’t make a lot of money leading hiking and snowshoeing trips. He seems to be happy but doesn’t have a lot to offer.

The guy chose an occupation that provides a lot of personal satisfaction but doesn’t provide a lot of disposable income. I, on the other hand, fell into the telecommunications industry through the introduction to a former girlfriend’s mother, who was the first female Vice President at the “phone company” in Missouri. I started at the bottom and worked my way up. I’ve held positions that I could master and paid well, but never provided any personal satisfaction. In other words, I sold my soul to the corporate devil for a big paycheck. I used my disposable income to provide a lot of extras, such as a decent house, travel, art and sporty cars. I also managed to accumulate sufficient retirement savings so I will not have to rely on a monthly social security check as a single source of retirement income.

So, who is better off? The guy who enjoyed his work years but ends up with nothing and will have to rely on a small retirement income, or, the guy who sold his soul to make money in the hope that one day he will be able to enjoy life, all day, every day? I’m not sure I have the answer. I hope I live long enough to find out.

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