When I wrote “What Happened to This Music?” for a Sony-BMG music contest, I attributed the disappearance of 80s metal to the decision of radio and record companies to cultivate and cater to a younger audience, calling it a “deliberate, calculated campaign to subtly change the musical tastes of teenagers and young adults.” Though I still believe this to be true, it tells only a part of the story. …


Decades, in the cultural sense, seldom begin and end with their numerical designations; the eighties, to cite one such example, didn’t suddenly appear on the first day of January in 1980 or vanish when the last ticks of 1989 flittered from the clock. Eighties rock more or less began in 1978, with the release of Van Halen’s debut album, and ended in 1993, when the tag “alternative” firmly attached itself to popular music.

Early on, contemporary critics predicted an unfavorable legacy for eighties rock, calling it “disposable music made by dilettantes and derelicts.” Yet the decade produced the most diverse…


“The dash is almost excessively versatile,” says Edward Johnson to writers in his Handbook of Good English. “It can interrupt the grammar of a sentence in the same way a colon can, and in a few other ways as well. A pair of dashes can enclose a parenthetical construction, as a pair of commas or parentheses can. It can separate independent clauses, as a semicolon can. And it can do some things that no other mark of punctuation can. …


Lately, I’ve spent time taking pictures of unoccupied farmland before it’s built upon. I’ve also devoted time to getting photos of old buildings, for it seems that they’re knocking structures down almost as fast as they’re developing empty fields.

Malls are crumbling at a rapid rate — I’ve seen Westland, Northglenn, and Cinderella City all bite the dust in recent years — and everything from worn-out sports arenas and stadiums to old airports seem to be on the fast track to extinction as well.

Perhaps nothing tugs at my heart as much as the final demolition of Elitch’s, though. I’m…


Another Father’s Day is upon us. And while I don’t have kids of my own, I do have a father I love and appreciate beyond measure.

But how do I honor the man who did so many things and gave up so much of his time for me?

As a young adult, my dad worked long hours to support his new family. Yet he made time to toss a football around, let me steer the car on empty back roads, and teach me how to play chess.

When I fell in love with basketball, my dad surprised me with a…


Saturday, June 18, 1994

On road from Denver to tour’s launch in Trinidad. My fourth Ride the Rockies in five years. This year’s ride a shorter-than-usual 403 miles. Strangely, not excited. Thinking of February knee operation, lack of steep hill work because of knee, and minimal weight loss after 2000+ miles of training.

An early afternoon arrival in Trinidad. Setup camp in town’s high school gym, then check-in. Many friends from past tours present, but some regulars not here. Visit art gallery and tour two historical residences. Wander town checking-out women and entertainment. On return to gym, explore school grounds…


Say goodbye to the Morgul-Bismark.

The Mogul what? Sink the Bismarck?

No, we’re not discussing ski slopes or World War II naval battles. We’re talking about the demise of Colorado’s famous Morgul-Bismark racecourse, once an all-important stage of the Red Zinger and Coors Classic bicycle races of the 1970s and 80s and site of the 1987 national championships.

Greg LeMond, America’s three-time Tour de France champion, raced here several times, winning the Coors in 1981 and 1985. …


So 50 is the new 40, huh? Okay, great. Awesome. Cool. But wait. There’s just one small problem: 50 is also the new 65.

Yes, it’s true. If you are over 50 and still hold the same job you held 10 or 15 years ago, you’re in good shape. But out in the working world, if you are 50 and are looking for a job or planning on starting a new career, things aren’t so rosy.

Why? Because in today’s workplace, people 50 years of age are thought of as “older” workers. Even though they look and act younger and…


For some time now, I’ve watched the world around me succumb to the allure of today’s computer technology and all the gadgetry that goes with it. It’s occurred to me more recently, though, that this fascination with the exchange, acquisition, and manipulation of information has altered our sensibilities in ways that would have seemed contrary to common sense just a short time ago. When I came across the term “cyber worship,” then, I immediately had an apt label for the phenomenon I was witnessing — an explanation of sorts for this blind devotion to all things digital.

First, we’ve unwittingly…


I’m no tree hugger. And I’d never call myself an environmentalist. But I’m alarmed at the way we’re destroying the planet. More than this, I’m utterly dismayed at the way we’re poisoning ourselves from all sides in spite of all the information we possess and the warning cries from so many knowing voices:

We continue to breathe polluted air, bathe in and drink unclean water, use soaps and shampoos laden with toxins, and fill our minds with unwholesome subject matter.

Worst of all, though, we continue to consume foods full of chemicals, preservatives, and fillers — substances that were never…

Ron Baxendale II

After years of teaching and tutoring student writers in university environments, Ron now works with writers in a pseudo-scholarly setting.

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