If you like to over-plan, are looking for a convenient excuse to cancel unwanted road trips or just want to enjoy the hassles of driving without leaving your home, let this Colorado Department of Transportation website put you in the virtual driver's seat. The site offers up-to-the-minute road conditions, weather information and travel times. Nervous drivers will particularly appreciate the one-click access to messages posted on any of the fixed variable signs stationed alongside various roadways, and voyeurs should enjoy the wide array of traffic cameras positioned around the state.
During the 2006 gubernatorial campaign, the highly partisan ProgressNowAction sent those who made a $10 donation something extra for their efforts: flip-flops emblazoned with the phrase "BOTH WAYS" and a photo of Republican Bob Beauprez. Proof once again that only a hypocritical stance and one false letter separate scandals from sandals.
This isn't your father's Conoco station -- unless your father is Jackie Chan. In addition to the usual independent, urban convenience-store hodgepodge of noodle bowls, outdated hair dye, magazines, 3.2 beer, adult diapers and miniature pipes, the sign that greets drivers heading out of downtown on Speer Boulevard promises "souvenirs." And how! Nothing says "I've Been to Denver" more than a jade bracelet, a pair of brass knuckles, an elegantly engraved gutting knife or a throwing star. Okay, maybe a beer-mug magnet, but this Conoco has those, too.
Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody may have been the greatest marketing man ever born, so he'd be proud to know that the Denver park that holds his grave also boasts the state's best souvenir store. Three years after Buffalo Bill was buried on Lookout Mountain, his foster son, Johnny Baker, asked Denver if he could build a structure nearby where he could display historic Buffalo Bill items and also sell some memorabilia -- as well as snacks. In 1921 he opened the Pahaska Teepee, a classic neo-West structure of spruce logs that quickly became a must-stop for Denverites motoring up the mountain to take in the stunning view. While the historic Buffalo Bill collection long ago moved into an actual museum built by Denver in 1977, the Pahaska is still a must-stop for anyone who loves souvenirs both cheesy (cow-chip frisbees) and classy.
Remember the University of Colorado at Boulder before Hank Brown took over as president? The institution's reputation had fallen to subterranean depths after a series of public embarrassments and subsequent investigations, and previous prez Elizabeth "Betsy" Hoffman's ineffectual attempts to set things right only made matters worse. Enter former senator Brown. His steady leadership and open, plainspoken style surprised skeptics and silenced critics. Despite having given his notice -- Brown says he'll leave by early 2008 -- he continues to be CU's best advertisement, and a real recruiter.
Metrosexuality comes naturally to sportscaster Chris Tanaka. Rather than stick with the typical hair helmet favored by style-challenged on-air males, he rocks a spiky/sexy cut that tells members of the younger demographic that he knows about scoring in every sense of the word. There aren't many besuited TV dudes who can pull off such a daring look -- but on Tanaka, this 'do is far from a d'oh!
It's not often that a single station sweeps the much-coveted Best Hair category. But the moment morning forecaster Crystal Egger hit Fox 31's airwaves, her locks made her a lock for this honor. She wears a blond swoop over her right eye that blends boldly into what appear to be yards of silk whose shifting colors practically throb when seen on a high-def set. Her moniker may seem made up -- sounds like a porn name to us -- but her spectacular coiffure is the real thing.
Drew Soicher's the reigning jester of Denver sports anchors, but what happened to his snout back in the day isn't funny. A childhood accident thoroughly scrambled his cartilage, and before the injury had fully healed, he took a softball in the proboscis that damaged it permanently. Today, one of his nostrils is still longer than the other, making his sniffer look as if it's melting la Salvador Dal -- but on Soicher, it looks perfect. He wins this race by a nose.
Talk about growing into a role. During the '90s, when he was on Channel 9's staff, Jim Benemann was a solid TV presence, but the passage of years since then has given him a gravitas only hinted at by his earlier work. That's not to say he's a stiff -- Benemann comes across as downright avuncular at times and can banter with the best of them. When the news is serious, though, he delivers it with a brand of thoughtfulness that only comes with experience.
Although big brother Marc preceded Drew Soicher to Denver, he failed to catch on with viewers at Channel 4, in part because he always seemed a little too slick for his own good. (The same criticism was occasionally leveled against his hair.) But an interim slot with FSN Rocky Mountain showed him to be a more insightful commentator than he'd seemed, and since moving to Channel 2, he's gotten even stronger. In this ESPN age, he's a traditionalist who takes sports seriously -- and that's a nice change of pace.

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