Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Library Book Sale

This morning I decided to take the light rail downtown to the Denver Public Library used book sale.  To save on transportation costs, I drove two miles to a light rail station in the next fare zone, thereby saving myself $4.50 off the round-trip fare.  (The Regional Transportation District would probably look askance at my penny pinching.)

The city commissioned a mural for the station in a faux-Picasso style.  The artist, a fellow named Gregory Gove, did a fine job, especially given the severe pressures of political correctness that he was undoubtedly under.  (It is fortunate for Michelangelo that he was only constrained by the aesthetic standards of sixteenth-century Roman Catholicism.)  My photo here of one of the mural sections is lousy, but it gives you the general idea. 


For more of Gove's work go to

I especially enjoyed the website pictures of Gove's five-part mural for the Whirlpool company.  I recommend that my international blog readership -- that's right, all twelve of you! -- take a look.

One dazzling part of the mural, shown below, reminded me of the kind of technicolor nightmares I suffer when I eat spicy food too close to bedtime.  Brilliant stuff!  (I would consider asking Gove to sell me a poster of this work, except that I fear that the poster would make a rich widow feel ill at ease if she were to visit my townhouse.  I have never met any rich widows, but I have a suspicion that they have little taste for the surreal.)

The light rail dropped me off at Union Station and I walked to the library.  En route I saw this magnificent oak tree.  It is far wider than it is tall.

Then I passed by an remarkably ugly building.  Can you guess the function of the building below? 

A headquarters for our new robot overlords?  A prison along medieval lines?  An easily defended fortress for a paranoid financier?  A monastery for a sect of fanatical computer nerds?  Make your guess.

The answer: an art museum.  One grows weary with despair.

The library had pitched a giant tent to house countless tables of used books.  How do you secure a giant tent on the lawn?  With giant stakes?  No, with massive concrete cylinders.

The book sale advertised 80,000 books for sale, mostly the kind of paperbacks you might find in an airport newspaper and magazine store.  However, I found only one promising book, a thick paperback called On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee (1984).  I slapped my $2 on the table and bought it.

A blurb on the back cover says: "Generously spiced with historical and literary anecdotes, On Food and Cooking discusses all the major food categories, from meat to potatoes to sauce bearnaise and champagne.  With more than 200 illustrations, including startling photographs of food taken through an electron microscope, On Food and Cooking will instruct and captivate all cooks and people who love food."

If you think that the major food categories are meat, potatoes, sauce bearnaise, and champagne, you are a strange cross-breed of Iowa farmer and French bon vivant.  Anyway, I look forward to being startled by the electron microscope photography.

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