Keep your pants up and your drink close with the Beer Buckle

Jay Kriner has invented a way to get people to stare at your crotch and be polite about it at the same time. It's the Beer Buckle — patent pending — and while it may not change your life, it will certainly make you the life of the party.

A Texas boy who liked to rest his bottle of beer on his waistband, Kriner got the idea for the Beer Buckle while he was in college at Texas State University in San Marcos. "I always had to hold the bottle there," he says. "Now, with the buckle, I can hold two more things at the same time." He moved to Breckenridge two and a half years ago, then resettled in Central City, where he could afford a house, enjoy the mountains and still commute to a full-time job in Denver. All along, though, he'd been working on his invention: a belt buckle that folds down with a spring-loaded brass ring that pops up from the inside, allowing you to secure your beer.

Invaluable? Perhaps. Ingenious? Definitely. The Beer Buckle is so cool, in fact, that Kriner convinced the Boulder-based organizers of the Great American Beer Festival to set up a booth during the massive event last month and show his creation to the public for the first time. He sold a couple hundred and got attention from Coors, the makers of Sam Adams and Shiner Bock, and smaller breweries that might be interested in buying Beer Buckles with their company logo on them.

Kriner's company, Beer Clothing Company, gets the buckles, which retail for $25, from a manufacturer in California. It also sells other novelty items, like baseball caps with bottle openers on the inside, and T-shirts.

So can you, um, use the bathroom while wearing one? Kriner recommends removing the beer for that kind of operation — and he's the expert, after all.

The estate of the fourth estate: The Denver Post's Miles Moffeit, 9News anchor Bob Kendrick, Westword's own Jessica Centers, and June Menger, whose son's execution-style murder in Boulder is still unsolved after 25 years, headlined a panel discussion last week about the impact of the media on crime victims. Along the way, however, Kendrick, who recently revealed that his contract at 9News hadn't been renewed, turned the conversation from the effect the media has on crime victims to the effect the media was having on him, lamenting the ways in which the 24-hour news cycle, along with entertainment news shows and websites like www.TMZ.com, had hurt his industry.

He also admitted that one story in particular, a November 3 article by Dusty Saunders for the Rocky Mountain News, had hurt him personally. The piece, which featured an unnamed "broadcasting source," said Kendrick's dismissal was "about 80 percent due to salary." Saunders wrote that Kendrick was making nearly $400,000 annually, which the station could no longer afford while also paying Adele Arakawa's $500,000 per year. The piece also put Kathy Sabine's salary at $400,000.

Kendrick said Saunders hadn't checked his facts or called any of the personalities whose salaries he quoted. The story's information was simply not true, he insisted, but since then, several other publications had run with the numbers, treating them as fact. Kendrick told the group he was appalled that journalistic standards have fallen so low.

Unfortunately, Kendrick didn't use this opportunity to show us the money and set the record straight with the real salary figures.

Scene and herd: Gotta love the confidence of Denver's Kevin Vetter. "Date Kevin Vetter," his entry on www.Meetup.com reads. "Ease back into dating with the company of a great guy — me! Share your insights and friendship — and have fun, too!" To that end, he's scheduled Meetup for no fewer than ten interested parties on November 24. Thus far, only one of the slots is filled, so there are plenty of opportunities for more singles to check out the man himself. It's like an episode of The Bachelor, except without that annoying film crew. We're rooting for you, KV. Hope you find a keeper. Or ten of them.

 
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