Best Place to See a B-52 Bomber (This Side of Iraq)

Wings Over the Rockies Museum

Watching CNN's war coverage can be overwhelming, with all those talking heads spewing out acronyms and nicknames in some incomprehensible military jargon. There are so many references to Raptors, Falcons and Eagles, Blackhawks and Apaches, F-14s, 15s, 16s, 18s and 22s that you can't tell what the heck they're talking about -- football scores, maybe? But boning up on aviation history is easy at Wings Over the Rockies Museum, located on the former Lowry air base. The museum is a remnant of yesterday's glory, tucked in amid the nascent office parks and unsettlingly serene housing developments that are Lowry's present and future. As you approach the museum, the first thing you see is a massive B-52 bomber, part of an impressive collection of vintage aircraft that will give any aviation buff a lift. You'll find few World War II-era planes here, but the museum's assortment of jet aircraft is quite impressive. Highlights include an F-14 Tomcat, just like the one used in Top Gun, and the sleek B-1 bomber, with its payload of (inactive) cruise missiles. Be sure to check out the gift shop, where you can purchase a model B-52, made in Vietnam. Ah, the ironies of global power.

Best Use for Excess Homeland Insecurity Supplies

Ducti Wallets and Purses

Orange alerts have you a little rattled? Did you get all caught up in the duct-tape-and-plastic-sheeting frenzy, and now your garage looks like the supply shed for Possum Lodge? Take a deep breath and take heart in what others have done with the handyman's secret weapon. David and Joy Pippenger and Wade Morrison took a long look at duct tape and decided to turn it into purses and wallets -- the Ducti products that the rest of the country's rapidly getting stuck on. Ducti's four styles (messenger bags are coming soon) are selling out at Denver's Imi Jimi, as well as surf shops and boutiques across the country. They also make excellent free shwag, as seen on TV with Danny Bonaduce and at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and they were recently featured on the front page of the fashion-forward Wall Street Journal. Orange fashion alert: The edges of regular duct tape tend to fray, the glue leaks, seams lift up, and the whole thing can melt and smell bad, so choose your apparel applications wisely.

Best Use for Excess Homeland Insecurity Supplies

Ducti Wallets and Purses

Orange alerts have you a little rattled? Did you get all caught up in the duct-tape-and-plastic-sheeting frenzy, and now your garage looks like the supply shed for Possum Lodge? Take a deep breath and take heart in what others have done with the handyman's secret weapon. David and Joy Pippenger and Wade Morrison took a long look at duct tape and decided to turn it into purses and wallets -- the Ducti products that the rest of the country's rapidly getting stuck on. Ducti's four styles (messenger bags are coming soon) are selling out at Denver's Imi Jimi, as well as surf shops and boutiques across the country. They also make excellent free shwag, as seen on TV with Danny Bonaduce and at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and they were recently featured on the front page of the fashion-forward Wall Street Journal. Orange fashion alert: The edges of regular duct tape tend to fray, the glue leaks, seams lift up, and the whole thing can melt and smell bad, so choose your apparel applications wisely.


You've got three tons of urban assault vehicle strapped to your back, but it won't get you to your remote mountain sanctuary unless you know how to use it. In fact, it won't get you out of a snowy King Soopers parking lot, either, unless you learn how to handle it on slick roads. Enter Medved Autoplex, which sponsors an ice-driving academy for its new Hummer owners. This winter, thirty gasoline-powered H2s took laps around Georgetown Lake as their drivers dodged cones and practiced emergency braking maneuvers, learning that any four-wheel drive turns into four-wheel slide on ice, even if you did pay sixty grand for the beast.
You've got three tons of urban assault vehicle strapped to your back, but it won't get you to your remote mountain sanctuary unless you know how to use it. In fact, it won't get you out of a snowy King Soopers parking lot, either, unless you learn how to handle it on slick roads. Enter Medved Autoplex, which sponsors an ice-driving academy for its new Hummer owners. This winter, thirty gasoline-powered H2s took laps around Georgetown Lake as their drivers dodged cones and practiced emergency braking maneuvers, learning that any four-wheel drive turns into four-wheel slide on ice, even if you did pay sixty grand for the beast.


If looking sharp helps you be sharp, the U.S. Mint Police are the cutting edge. In October, the 450-officer force received the Best Dressed Police Department Award in the specialized-agency category from the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors. The uniforms, designed by Galls Inc. of Lexington, Kentucky, come in LAPD Blue, with long- and short-sleeved versions that can be worn with a tie or a turtleneck. Check out the Denver Mint contingent -- serving, protecting and styling while the newest statehood quarters clank off the presses.
If looking sharp helps you be sharp, the U.S. Mint Police are the cutting edge. In October, the 450-officer force received the Best Dressed Police Department Award in the specialized-agency category from the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors. The uniforms, designed by Galls Inc. of Lexington, Kentucky, come in LAPD Blue, with long- and short-sleeved versions that can be worn with a tie or a turtleneck. Check out the Denver Mint contingent -- serving, protecting and styling while the newest statehood quarters clank off the presses.


The morel the merrier! This year, the U.S. Forest Service is anticipating an influx of nomadic hunter/gatherers to the Western Slope, all in search of the prized morel mushroom. The fabulous fungi thrive in soils where lodgepole and ponderosa pines have burned, and depending on the amount of moisture they receive in late spring, they could be popping up in enormous numbers by May. At retail prices ranging from $120 to $200 per pound, the bounty of the earth is sure to attract professional morel mavens. But before you pack up your digging sticks and sniffing hound, know that the area of the Hayman fire is not likely to produce much of a crop: It's too high and lacks the right kind of trees.
The morel the merrier! This year, the U.S. Forest Service is anticipating an influx of nomadic hunter/gatherers to the Western Slope, all in search of the prized morel mushroom. The fabulous fungi thrive in soils where lodgepole and ponderosa pines have burned, and depending on the amount of moisture they receive in late spring, they could be popping up in enormous numbers by May. At retail prices ranging from $120 to $200 per pound, the bounty of the earth is sure to attract professional morel mavens. But before you pack up your digging sticks and sniffing hound, know that the area of the Hayman fire is not likely to produce much of a crop: It's too high and lacks the right kind of trees.

Best Corral for Decommissioned Grocery-Store Penny Ponies

T.D. Rowe/ ACE Vending Company

They shoot horses, don't they? The mechanical ponies that grazed for pennies near grocery-store entrances may well be moving from threatened animals to full-blown endangered-species status. For decades, the brightly colored "equus plasticus" has been sufficiently attractive to compel tots to hop aboard for a slow rocking and their first real taste of sheer boredom. Now, as shopping has become our national obsession, most retailers have found that they need to get kids out of the foyer and into the aisles, where they can badger their parents to make purchases. And so many mechanical penny ponies have been put out to pasture. Just north of downtown, the creatures are corraled, nuzzle to hock, in a chain-link enclosed yard to wait out that awkward time between obsolescence and valuable Antiques Roadshow treasure. Bring a camera: They're just waiting to be shot.

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