Against the Grain

Slightly more than just jibba jabba

Archive for the ‘Denver’ Category

Does Beckham have an Injury Clause?

Posted by Patrick on 6 Mar 2007

becks.jpg

After what I’m sure was a nearly heart-stopping moment for LA Galaxy GM Alexei Lalas, when David Beckham injured his knee in the 69th minute, it raises the question on Beckham’s contract. Does he have an injury clause? Looking down the line at a roughly $27.5M base salary with the MLS team, it would be a severe hit to not only the LA Galaxy, but to the entire MLS if it turns out that Beckham can’t play.

Here in Denver, where the Rapids call home, there is already chatter in the community about the August showdown with the Galaxy visiting here. I’m sure the place will sell out by MLS standards, and I will also be making an appearance, since I am a bit of a Rapids fan. But, if Beckham weren’t going to play, how many people would lose interest in attending? Simple answer: lots. It wouldn’t matter if he didn’t even get a single touch in the entire match, people will come if Becks is going to be on the field, and if he isn’t, chances are they won’t “waste” their time attending the match. That’s the simple truth of Americans — if we know in advance we won’t be getting what we want, will we still do a thing?

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Pizza Joint Accepts Pesos, Gets Hate Mail

Posted by Patrick on 11 Jan 2007

Before I begin to go on about this story, let me first say that I do not advocate illegal immigration, nor do I believe that illegal immigration is just some small problem that the US can avoid doing something about for a few decades. In this post, I will merely be explaining how I feel about those people who respond so negatively to a business that is trying to expand its customer base by offering to accept a foreign currency. With that said, please read.

The AP’s Jeff Carlton in Dallas has written an article I saw on comcast.net saying that a Texas-based pizza chain has been receiving lots of hate mail and death threats for offering to accept Mexican Pesos.

The chain is called Pizza Patrón and advertises itself as “truly serving Latino communities”. There are 59 stores in mostly border states, but also in Nevada and Colorado (3 in the greater Denver area). Because the stores posted signs this week saying “Aceptamos pesos” (“we accept pesos”), it seems like the whole illegal immigration hotbutton issue is not only getting out of hand, but getting focused like a magnifying glass in the sun right on this company. Does that sound appropriate, when there are loads of businesses along the north and south borders accepting Canadollars and Mexipesos every day, that we focus such a negative beam on this company who is trying to better accommodate their largely Latino customer base?

I go into Asia to draw a comparison, namely to Japan. For the six+ years I lived in Japan, I never once was refused if I was out of Yen and tried to pay with US dollars; rather, the entrepreneurs in that country were stoked to get a look at the “new” bills we introduced a few years ago (though some shop owners who were generally uninformed thought they were fake, in which case Mr. Visa had to pay). What’s more, the businesses who were accepting my US dollars were turning a profit on the conversion. For example, if the conversion rate was 120yen=1dollar, I’d get a rate of 110yen=1dollar when I had to pay for stuff that cost Yen.

Even though I live in Denver, where the topic of illegal immigration is an immensely sensitive issue and a constantly growing concern; even though there are more illegal immigrants living in Denver than there are legal ones; even though illegal immigrants in Denver account for nearly 10% of its total population, I don’t get upset about this — I can’t be consumed by a topic like a business which caters to Latinos deciding that they will test the waters and accept pesos for a month.

First of all, I’m not Latino, and even if I was, whatever job I was holding down in this country, where I was here legally or not, wouldn’t be paying me in pesos. Secondly, if I was in the US toting a wad of pesos, I probably haven’t been here for more than my allowed 90 days, and chances are that I would have exchanged most of my pesos into US dollars if I was coming into this country to stay — the point being that if I am an illegal immigrant, about the only thing I can buy with pesos around here is a pizza, so I don’t need them. Lastly, it’s the mark of an idiot to be critical of a business for trying to succeed; if you don’t like their policies, just don’t go there.

editors aside feel free to comment, but hatemail will be deleted. You are free to express yourself, but in my blog, you will be censored if you are out of line. And I alone define what “out of line” means.

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Responding to Darrent Williams’ Death

Posted by Patrick on 2 Jan 2007

There aren’t many things that sadden me deep down — I’m a surviving war veteran, and I’ve had many experiences over my adult life which have collectively numbed my sensitivity to things like death and denial. One thing that I’ve still not developed a tolerance for, however, is senseless drive-by shootings. No, I maintain a rather strong distaste for this gangster-style act of cowardice and I continue to feel compassion for the families of drive-by victims and especially “unintended” targets who also suffer as a result of them.

Undoubtedly, you’ve heard that Broncos CB Darrent Williams was a victim of one such drive-by shooting just as 2007 fell from the womb. I live in Denver, and I’m here to say that this painful issue hits very close to home for this entire town. The location where the shooting happened isn’t necessarily what you’d call the Compton district of downtown Denver. Around 11th and Speer Blvd, which is more or less an A to B thoroughfare on the south end of LoDo, the stretch Hummer limo that he and Broncos WR Jevon Walker were in, along with others, was hit by no less than 10 rounds from a car which pulled up alongside it at this traffic light. Jevon wasn’t hit, Williams died, and 2 other guys were injured but not critically (I haven’t heard who they are).

Local news reports that this probably started as an argument at a club in downtown, but that Darrent wasn’t even part of the argument (directly, it’s said). So, here we are again with a true thug-style situation where people argue at a club, and then someone gets stupid afterwards and starts shooting. If I had to guess, I’d probably venture that the argument was about why the Broncos didn’t make the playoffs, since they’d lost a game which sealed their fate earlier in the evening to the struggling 49ers and Denver, as we all know, oozes Broncos football. Throughout the season, people around Denver wrongly laid blame on Darrent for games that the team lost, when in fact I can’t look at any loss this season and say it was purely his fault that they lost.

Part of this bias is that he play alongside Champ Bailey, who is quite simply the best CB in pro football with little argument, and John Lynch, who is just the hardest-hitting, most-capable FS in the league. I saw it as an opportunity for the young Darrent to learn from the masters, and it was evident that he had learned a lot in his 2 seasons with the team. What’s unfortunate is that lots of the media is to blame for this mindset being instilled in the Denver faithful.

Above all, with this awful crime, I have to say that I’m angry it happened, and I’m sad for his family. At 24, he was definitely a rising star in the NFL and had at least 10 more seasons as a pro. Ridiculous events like these make me sick, and as a military sniper I want to be on the execution panel when these thugs are brought to justice.

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Denver Snowstorm Round 2

Posted by Patrick on 29 Dec 2006

I live in Denver, of course. With the 37″ of snow I dug out last week from my back yard, we are being slammed with another blast starting yesterday and continuing through Saturday, probably. As of this morning, I measured 8.75″ to dig out of the back yard and about 14″ of drift behind both of my cars. (These are about half of the totals after day 1 of last week’s blizzard). I was able to dig out and drive to work — the plow guys are doing a great job in my area.

Places to go read about the snowy conditions in Denver:

comcast.net
CBS4 (local CBS affiliate)
CNN.com but the 28″ is not Denver, it’s up in the foothills like Golden, Evergreen and Bailey

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Blizzard Freezes Denver

Posted by Patrick on 22 Dec 2006

I live in Denver, and the blizzard that dumped on the entire eastern half of Colorado Wednesday and Thursday was the worst snow by far that I’ve seen since I’ve been living here (~3 years). You’ll hear reports of people being stuck on the road or folks who can’t get out to get where they need to — I just want to make it clear that those people are idiots with 1 exception.

There were some people who just couldn’t get back home Wednesday, and I don’t fault them for trying to get home. But there were people on the news talking about how they needed to finish Christmas shopping, so they were going out. These people are just plain idiots, and I mean hardcore, soccer mom idiots.

This morning I was driving in to work (it stopped snowing last night, roads are ok today) and I passed no less than a dozen SUV type trucks that were stuck at the bottom of a hill. I just laughed as I rolled past in my 2WD Volvo that has the engine throttle switch and owns snowy conditions.

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Welcome to Denver, Mr. Iverson

Posted by Patrick on 20 Dec 2006

Let me say up front, I’m not a basketball fan per se, but this is big news local to me.
Counting down to the January 2, 2007 game between the Nuggets and the 76ers will now be a news item here in Denver, where the Nuggets, who are not historically known for blockbuster trades, have dealt Andre Miller, Joe Smith and a few draft picks in exchange for Allen Iverson and Ian McFarlin.

Averaging 31+ points per game this season as the bearer of the scoring burden for the 76ers, AI joins Carmelo Anthony, who was leading the entire NBA in scoring until the 15-game suspension started yesterday, and a solid core Denver team that is having a pretty solid season thus far. I hope that once AI gets settled, he provides some veteran mentoring to Melo and helps that kid grow up a little in the league. It’s not about talent, it’s about stuff like what happened in New York where cooler heads should have prevailed.

AI’s first game with the Nuggets is probably this Friday, though there is a home game tonight (sold out, but there’s a freakin’ blizzard in Denver today).

See also: Denver Nuggets @ NBA.com

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