Your Quarters Worth

img_2141The Dog Dayz of Boulder

Article and photos by John Andreula

Edited by Kodid Laraque-Two Elk

What’s more Boulder, Colorado than dog owners taking their K-9 friends to the local community pool?

Hosted by the Boulder Parks and Recreation Department, Dog Dayz is an annual event that allows Boulder residents the chance to let their dogs have the experience of swimming at Scott Carpenter Pool, Boulder’s only fifty meter pool. The furry buds are allowed to take a dip but humans are strictly prohibited; an interesting reversal of the normal rules.

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Dog Dayz “Rulez” board

The Parks and Rec Department closed the pool to the hot masses of summer the week after Labor Day. Before they empty the pool to prepare it for the upcoming $14.2 million tax voter approved reconstruction scheduled to begin next year¹, BPR is hosting the two week event that has been running for over a decade.

I went early on the second day to check out the event. I figured it would be entertaining and peaceful. Plus, watching dogs swim and jump in the full size community pool sounded like it would be quite meditative.

Two young ladies clad in yellow volunteer t-shirts greeted me at the entry gate. I introduced myself, and told them I would be writing about the event. Rachel, one of the two volunteers, went looking for some unnamed coordinator or supervisor.

She returned shortly after, unable to find the supervisor, so I picked a spot at a picnic table on the south side of the pool and set up shop. Cassie, the volunteer coordinator of the event, approached and introduced herself.

Cassie explained how the event has been “volunteer run for three years now.” She stated that the Dog Dayz event is “very Boulder” and “community focused and community run.” Volunteers would either sign up to be a lead volunteer, participating in an entire day, or a shift volunteer, working either the morning or the afternoon session.

Cassie told me she works part time for the Boulder Parks and Rec Department. She typically is in charge of one day events hosted by the department. She runs seventy-two other events besides Dog Dayz, her only multi-day event. I inquired what other events were Cassie’s favorites to plan and she mentioned “Prep the Rez,” the annual Boulder Reservoir kick-off event where volunteers get the “Rez”ready for the upcoming season by weeding, painting lines, and cleaning windows. Cassie also communicated passion towards the Y.S.I., or Youth Services Initiative. The Y.S.I. provides recreational opportunities for Boulder’s low income community. They host a holiday dinner with Santa and gives gifts and meals to families. I thanked Cassie for her service to the community and shared my surprise that she did all this within a part time position.

Tennis balls were floating throughout the pool along the edges. One dog owner, Melissa, stood on the opposite side of the pool near the deep end and used a long orange launcher to send a ball three quarters of the way across the width of the pool while Charlotte, her pup, dog-paddled happily across the pool. Charlotte would emit yelps the whole way and would need to be hoisted out of the pool by her collar when she returned to the edge.

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Dogs and their human friends enjoying the event

Melissa also had a small terrier who stood close by her and refused to take the plunge. There were other hold-outs standing with their owners around the pool, but many were willing to jump or get helped in and swim around. Most stayed close to the edge, but like Charlotte, some ventured out quite a ways into the middle.

Cassie pointed out Natalie Meisler, wearing a volunteer shirt and straw hat on the other side of the pool closer to the shallow end than Melissa. She recommended I speak with her about the event as well. Natalie came over a bit later to chat. I asked Natalie if it was weird that I had come without a pooch of my own. She told me people come all the time just to watch.

She told me about the High Flying Dog Expo planned for the upcoming Saturday, September 16th, between 10am and 3pm. During the Expo volunteers set up a ramp and a tape measure. Dogs would run and jump off the ramp and their distance would be measured and recorded for prizes. Vendors set up booths and hand out samples of their products to gain in person exposure for their companies and services. What a unique concept?

Natalie told me she was a second year volunteer. She explained that “little dogs are a little squirrelly” around the pool. She spoke of the importance of people cleaning up after their dogs. She even rose from the bench to watch to see if Melissa was going to pick up Charlotte’s leavings when Charlotte’s time had come to evacuate herself in the bushes. Melissa did her responsible duty and Natalie settled back into her seat.

Natalie told me that the most important thing volunteers do is defuse fights. She stated, “Anyone who gets along in dog parks, they will do fine here.” I asked Natalie how she discovered Dog Dayz. She said years ago she saw an ad and brought her pug, Cici. Cici likes to run around the pool, but doesn’t care for the getting wet part.

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A small dog that didn’t want to swim

As I sat and wrote my notes I witnessed the larger dogs arriving. A chocolate lab dove out about five feet. A golden retriever paddled circles with a tennis ball in its mouth before bringing it out to its owner, who was sporting a 2017 Bolder Boulder shirt. The golden was reluctant to dive back in, but loved it once in the pool. By the time I was leaving the amount of dogs swimming around the shallow end had tripled, as did the owner’s chatting amongst themselves around the edge.

Dog Dayz expected to draw thousands of pups and their owners. The cost was five dollars per dog and passes were available for forty dollars allowing unlimited access throughout the event’s two week span. Multiple dog owners enjoyed additional passes for only $10 per dog.

Dog Dayz 2018 took place between September 10th and the 23rd. Hours were 11am-2pm and 4pm-7pm Monday through Friday and 10am-2pm on Saturday and Sunday. All dogs were welcome, but the first hour of each session was set aside for dogs under fifty pounds, so as to not overwhelm the little guys.

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The daring ones

Scott Carpenter Pool is tucked back on the southwest corner of the busy intersection of 30th St. and Arapahoe Ave. behind the firehouse, graffiti wall, and free skate park. It is an outdoor pool with diving board, lap lanes, zero entry, and a ramp for access for the disabled. The newly renovated pool is set to reopen in 2020².

The pool sits adjacent to the amazing Scott Carpenter Park. Both are named after the late Boulder native, Commander Scott Carpenter, who was one of the first human spacemen and the second man to orbit the Earth after John Glenn.

Dog Dayz for 2018 has now come to a close. If you ever see a similar event in your area I recommend grabbing your dog and leash and heading down. Even if you do not have a dog, like me, it was a pretty cool spectacle to witness. Like Cassie said, it was “very Boulder.”

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Another event sign and a cameo of my shadow 😉

Interested in volunteer opportunities with Boulder Parks and Recreation? Visit www.bprvolunteer.org to see upcoming events and positions needed.

¹https://www.denverpost.com/2018/09/07/boulder-scott-carpenter-pool-closure/
²https://bouldercolorado.gov/parks-rec/scott-carpenter-pool-replacement

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Classic Rock Wednesday

“I don’t belong here”

#CLRW I received a request the other day that may or may not be a gray area when considering classic rock. Granted the band started across the pond in 1985 the song requested is 1992 and are still going strong today. Radiohead has had many different sounds thanks to the multiple influences the band has had. This however is one version that carries the most weight for me.

It’s one thing to create a style from all of your favorite artists, but when you help create and move someone to sing your song in a soul touching way. That is something quite different. It takes a whole new meaning, A life of its own and in hind sight made me love this song even more. The story tells it self when you watch the video, I’m the Listener and here is your Classic Rock Wednesday. #Creep #Radiohead #HomlessMustard #OpieRadio #TheListener #5280Geek    

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXlzci1rKNM&t=0s&index=177&list=FLS6k3LCIpT9R1jE1tBSA9NQ  

 

Smurfs High Five

#NewComicsDay #SmurfsTake #5280Geek The last week of September brings some stranger things to Smurfs High Five. There is a lot out there for sure and DC seems to be running the table this week with some great titles Doomsday Clock and Justice League Dark. Don’t overlook Punisher and Extermination on the Marvel side as well, now if you will excuse me I have a store to get to.

heores in crisis #1Heroes in Crisis #1> There’s a new kind of crisis threatening the heroes of the DC Universe, ripped from real-world headlines by C.I.A.-operative-turned-comics-writer Tom King: How does a superhero handle PTSD? Welcome to Sanctuary, an ultra-secret hospital for superheroes who’ve been
traumatized by crime-fighting and cosmic combat. But something goes inexplicably wrong when many patients wind up dead, with two well-known operators as the prime suspects:
Harley Quinn and Booster Gold! It’s up to the DC Trinity of Superman, Wonder Woman and
Batman to investigate-but can they get the job done in the face of overwhelming opposition? (S) Tom King (A/CA) Clay Mann

 

spidergeddon #0Spidergeddon #0> SPIDERGEDDON IS HERE!
The end of all Spiders doesn’t exclude the star of the most anticipated video game of 2018! Marvel’s Spider-Man is out September 7, 2018 exclusively on PlayStation 4. He makes his Marvel Comics debut on September 26! How does he enter the Marvel Universe and what role will he play in the final chapter of SPIDER-VERSE?!  (S) Christos Gage (A/CA) Clayton Crain

Smurfs Take> My frustration with this is the game only being available on Play Station and everyone talking about how good it is. I want to play too! For now I will settle for the story behind the game.

 

stranger things #1Stranger Things 31> The nostalgia igniting hit Netflix original series comes to comic shelves. Follow Will Byers into a dimension of decay and destruction where he must use his wits and resolve to dodge the pursuit of the Demogorgon and escape the Upside Down.
Written by award winning comics veteran Jody Houser (Faith, Orphan Black, Mother Panic)
Based on Will’s unseen journey during season 1 of hit Netflix show Stranger Things. (S) Jody Houser (A) Stefano Martino (CA) Aleksi Briclot

Smurfs Take> At last! The story of what was going on with Will in the Upside Down. My hope is it gives us just enough to keep asking questions but not spoil anything going on in the show. Can’t wait to see what monsters are lurking down there!

justice league odyssey #1Justice League Odyssey #1> Spinning out of JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE! When a cosmic menace threatens worlds beyond our own in the Ghost Sector, it falls to a new Justice League team to answer the call to battle! Cyborg, Starfire, Green Lantern Jessica Cruz and an out-of-his-element Azrael head to deep space inside a commandeered Brainiac Skull Ship. But as these wildcard teammates try to break through the impenetrable maelstrom imprisoning the desperate collection of planets, they discover something that nothing in the universe could have prepared them for: Darkseid…who says he’s there to help?! (S) Joshua Williamson (A/CA) Stjepan Sejic

Smurfs Take> Oh hey why don’t we do a League in space? Surprise it took them this long to be honest. DC has always done a great job with its space going characters and I have been disappointed they didn’t have more. I think this is a great idea and a perfect way to expand on something DC has been needing to do for some time now

old man logan 48Old Man Logan #48> A GRUDGE MATCH FOR THE AGES!
Logan isn’t the only refugee from a dystopian future loose in the Marvel Universe….THE MAESTRO RETURNS! Gamma vs. Adamantium!  Intellect vs. instinct! It’s “Days of Anger” ROUND TWO! (S) Ed Brisson (A) Ibraim Roberson (CA) Andrea Sorrentino

Smurfs Take> I wanted more when the story ended last time. I loved the Hulks running around and the chaos they caused. But wanted the Banner Logan face off just knowing the back stories for the two characters could make this one of the most epic clashes. I know we have seen this fight many times but never like this, never when they have been this far in life and never with the restriction of keeping a character safe.

Weekend Geek Update

#Podcast #WGU sponsored by Alamo Draft House Little Cinema. The team reacts to the name change of Denver Comic Con and the challenge other cons face in light of the ruling on SDCC. A new con coming to Reno and Neil Patrick Harris is stopping over in Colorado for a new book release.

A new trailer has the team retracting a previous thought and statement; giving them hope for the film. Kingsman 3, Birds of Prey are green lit leading to a bevy of conflicting emotions. Walking Dead and Daredevil return in October and this could be the best month ever. #GeekNews #Marvel #Transformers #DCU #ConLife #VideoGames #5280Geek  

http://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-5nxs4-9abdfc

 

Meat & Potatoes

Predator

#MovieReview #Predator #NewFilm #MeatnTaders #5280Geek   

Arnold Schwarzenegger, was just getting started on his legendary Hollywood career, having just came off the surprise hit, “The Terminator” Hollywood was ready to make him the next leading Man action star. The premise was simple, just have something cool like the Terminator fight Arnold this time around. So, in 1987 the “Predator” came out. It wasn’t the greatest action film, but it was fun and exciting and that’s all you can ever ask for in an action film. Two sequels and two team-ups with the “Aliens” franchise later, they decided to continue the Predator storyline with “The Predator”. Shane Black oversees this one, which gave me reason to be optimistic because he was in the original “Predator” with Arnold but then again, he was the director of “Iron Man 3” so I went in seeing “The Predator” with caution.

*The MEAT* I’ll give them credit, they tried to expand on the Predator storyline, but they did not need to. Now the Predator storyline is even more confusing and I blame director Shane Black for that because he, of all people should know what the basics of what a good Predator movie should be and stick to that. Plus, the action was all over the place and not put together  well at all! It was kind of *Boring* actually.

*The POTATOES* The acting and the characters are *Average and Predictable* at best. But the writing did not help these actors at all. I am a big fan of Olivia Munn, but her character was almost unnecessary because she wasn’t the hero, she wasn’t the one that needed saving because she can take care of herself, and she wasn’t the Love Interest. Her character just did not make sense to me. Sterling K Brown did a very good job and stole every scene he was in.

*The Verdict* “The Predator” was a *Disappointment* to me, and I cannot recommend this movie to see in the theaters. I would say the most glaring problem with it was the fact that it was missing that Lead Actor to help carry the film. You know what I mean? Someone like Chris Pine, Mark Wahlbergh, Jason Statham or even Arnold Schwarzenegger. Someone with the star power to carry an average film and put it up a notch, just like Arnold did all those years ago. But fear not, they did set up a sequel and I will see it as soon as it comes out with some hope that they get it right next time.