Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Good Movie, a Bad Cinema, and a Great View

Work has been slow all month, due to the theatre not being open for July, as well as the fact that everyone's getting out of town enjoying their summer vacations. This is what I would be doing as well, if everything I own that is expensive or electronic didn't decide to break on me at the same time. This means I can't get out of town as much as I'd like, and it is a long, slow journey to fix things...

Generally I show up, get the place set up, and then just retire to my office to read for a few hours until I get sent home. Some of my coworkers are a little more productive I guess, and take better advantage of the oppertunities afforded by their environment.

We had some 'real' musicians come by and that gave us a little business. Can you imagine, musicians, staying at a 5 star hotel, and ordering nice food? Crazy.... I guess not everyone tours with a tent and a camping stove!

My friend Alexis from Trashwire got tickets to see a screening of Step Brothers

So we drove all the way out to the suburbian project of "Belmar" to a megaplex. This is one of these places that anywhere else would have been the final, terminal stage of gentrification, except it wasn't gentrified. The land was all just prarie out in Lakewood and then they just put up a big neighboorhood, all planned out from top to bottom, with the requisite outlets, starbuck's, etc... It's the kind of place you've been to before and then driven by again a year later and it's completely changed, seemingly overnight.

You can learn more about this place under "MASTER PLANNING AND MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENTS" here.

You know the scene in Star Trek IV where the Klingon ship is cloaked in the middle of the park? I think these kind of neighborhoods have that kinda planning going on. All of a sudden, they flip a switch and an entire community is right there in front of you, and it's just too late for you to do anything about it.

"Atlantic Station" (Do you want to live in a neighborhood whose official, marketing website is the first search result in google?) in Atlanta is a lot like that too.... but that place probably has more in the way of traffic congestion and egregious, in-your-face yuppiedom. Anyway, both places have a big theatre you have to drive out to for premieres, against perhaps both your better judgement and ecological sensibilities.

They made us wait in this line:

And then told us that they had given out too many tickets and there was not enough seats for the approximately 35 people waiting in line. The fact that my friend is an official film critic there to review the film did not get her in. The member of the Century 16 Belmar cinema staff who was guarding the end of the line smiled and laughed this off. When I asked if the theatre would pay for the gas we wasted driving all the way out there he jokingly said, "Well, they don't pay for my gas either!" The difference, of being invited by a theatre to attend a premire, and choosing said theatre as a place of regular employment, was lost...

All i have to say about that is that it's a pretty damn good thing we at least still have Star Trek to point the way forward through these dark times.

If you would like to Take Action to help put an end to the environmentally destructive practice of large theatres wasting your gasoline and time by giving out more free tickets to screenings than the theatre has seats for, please join me in calling the managment of the Century 16 Belmar Theatre at (303) 935-3456 and ask them to change their ways. Alternately, you can write them a letter and send it to:

Century 16 Belmar
440 S. Teller St.
Lakewood, CO 80226

So instead of seeing this poorly organized movie, we drove to the headquarters/Starz Theatre of the Denver Film Society at the Auraria Campus, and saw John Cusack's powerful and moving new film, "War, INC". I'd write a review of it, but someone else already did so I don't have to. However, you should make a point to see this film, and take someone with you.

This is also pretty ironic- while setting up the room to feed the party of chiropractors, I sustained a minor injury to the groin area from heavy lifting of tables. I did that before about a year ago carrying a giant thing of silver and I got some pain killers' for it from Wolf Blitzer's urologist. Well I still have some left and I've been eating them, which helps, but what sucks is that I have to 'take it easy' and not do too much excerise or running around outdoors for a while. With slow work, a hot summer, and cooler, beautiful mountains beckoning in the distance, this really blows.

However, with gas already being this high and repair bills piling up it's almost just as well.

One cool thing did get done though, before the incident with the groin... I went for a hike in the foothills off US-6 west of Golden and it was pretty and I could see very far.

I got the idea to climb a bigger foothill...

So I went to Golden Gate Canyon state park and did the coyote trail climb up to the top of Tremont Mtn. This isn't the most tall or challenging or whatever outdoor activity you can do with the Front Range but I think everyone who lives here should do it first before they do anything else. Here's why:

First, it's a nice hike, and a pretty park. The air smells good and there's an old moonshine distillery you walk past.

The trail gets steep and you have to climb to get up it

You can see pretty far in not too long. Here Mt Evans is the grey mountain on the left.

Near the top I went to go climb the summits. It was a bit fun and a little challenging.

I like doing this stuff near Denver because it helps me get in shape for when I really need it somewhere higher and further away. You climb up here near the top. It's steep near the summit cliffs and fun using your mind to figure it out:

I think mountain climbing, playing Tetris, or with Legos, are all great excercises for the mind. I highly reccomend them.

The top of Tremont has three different peaks of ascending height. This is from the top of the first (Southern) peak:

My plan here could now be implimented and it worked out great. From where I stood I could see the whole Front Range, from a dim outine of Pike's Peak way off in the distance, to Long's peak to the North. This view ecompassed most all the popular areas, and you could see from Mt Evans, to Gray's and Torrey's Peaks, to the James' Peak's and Indian Peak's Wildernesses, all the way to Rocky Mountain National Park.

I brought a map of the whole area, a compass, some binoculars, and a notepad and a pen.

For a mountaineering type person I think that here, not in any climbing guide, or online, is probably the best way to plan any hike in this area. From where I stood I instantly identified Torrey's East Face as one of the steepest and most interesting/challenging looking climbs. I saw the Dead Dog Couloir route (1, 2) and wrote it down, and studied the map to get directions to it. I might probably have never heard about this route otherwise. Also I could see the exciting climbing routes' on James' Peak, which I might otherwise have looked over, as a lot of great 13ers don't usually get enough recognition or publicity.

Mt Evan's too I could appreciate from the correct angle finally, as the view was of the traditional mountaineering route. This really helped it regain the proper place in my mind as a worthy climb that it otherwise tends to loose from all the hype surrounding the road up to its top.

Here's the panorama I took on a camera phone and put together in MS Paint. This is the first panorama I've ever tried to do and of course it's not perfect. The first images were taken where I'm sitting in the above picture and the last three images were taken from the second peak distant two images up (hence the different angles, and presence of more clouds). However, everything is aligned with the horizon so you do get the full image.

Click on the image to open it up in it's own window:

Here's the same image with a few labels of the different notable peaks you can see. I could easily identify Gray's and Torrey's visually and see their routes with binoculars but looking back at this slightly fuzzy cameraphone image now I'm less sure of which group it is.... whatever is highest between Evan's and James is it, so, somewhere in there.

That's that. If you like mountaineering and you live in the Denver area, do this hike and get some ideas!

Also, please note: yes, my camera isn't be best quality... but there's already so many great pictures of everything there is to take a picture of to be found online than it's really not quite necessary for me to invest in one. This page, for example, doesn't have the whole Front Range, but it has a lot, and the panorama it links to shows much better detail!

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