Off Limits

Disappearing act

Everyone at the Loveland Ski Area knows Al Aragon, at least by sight. He's the 74-year-old swooshing down the slopes on one leg.

After the Denverite lost his leg in a sky-diving accident almost forty years ago, he took up skiing. He now does the sport one-legged, because his prosthesis gave him quite a beating when he hit the bumps. But now Aragon's lost that leg, too.

On January 7, while Aragon was skiing Loveland -- as he does at least 150 days a year -- someone stole his prosthesis. He'd left it under the stairs next to the ski area's administrative offices around noon; when he returned at 3:30 p.m., it was gone.

"I checked Lost and Found, and all these people started looking for it, but nothing," says the retired machinist. "Why anybody would want to take it, I don't know. I'm not sure whether it was a prank or a grudge against me."

Loveland marketing director Kevin Wright had his staff search the area for the artificial limb and sent out a company-wide e-mail asking for clues. But so far, no one has stepped forward. "I'm assuming it's some kids pulling a prank," Wright says.

Neither Wright nor Aragon has given up hope of a full recovery, however. Wright is offering a free season pass to anyone who calls with information leading to the leg. And in the meantime, Aragon can still be found on the slopes, bombing down his favorite blue, black and double-diamond runs. Off the slopes, he's wearing a spare leg and waiting to hear if his insurance will cover the $12,280 replacement cost.


Surf and turf:Want to surf the Web while you munch your pressed-beef lunch? The Arby's at 11th Avenue and Broadway has your order. Last year, Triarc Restaurant Group, which owns the fast-food chain, picked the Broadway store as the national test location for its Cyber Cafe, installing two PCs with Internet access in the dining area. Denver was chosen for the honor because broadband service was cheapest at that spot, not because local Arby's fans are particularly Internet-savvy -- but it turned out that fans of the Cyber Cafe were smart enough to change settings and internal passwords and surf for porn.

"One gentleman even downloaded a picture of his car as the wallpaper on one computer," says Cindy Cahill, head of Triarc Restaurant Group's information technology department.

To cut down on such abuses, Arby's temporarily pulled the plug while it replaced the PCs with new Macs with DSL connections. The unfamiliar system will be tougher for customers to alter, according to Cahill, and the Macs should be up and running this week. Arby's plans to see how well the new protections work over the next six months before deciding whether to expand the program.

It's definitely been a hit in Denver. The Cyber Cafe is "doing good and picking up customers," says manager Maria Marquez.

Just don't spill any Horsey Sauce on the keyboard -- the porn patrol would not be amused.

 
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