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Pride Parade 2019

In Denver, this was pride weekend. I was invited to walk in today’s parade as part of the Employees of the State of Colorado group, which I did. It was good fun. I got to meet the governor, wave a sign, and get in a nice walk on a nice day.

Here is a photo of Brooke and me, in front of some others in our group. We met up at Cheesman Park before walking out behind a state trooper patrol car that was decorated with rainbow stripes.

After we started moving, we then had to pause just outside the park for about 20 minutes until the parade actually began. Here is the group behind us, Rainbow Alley. The Celebrate Pride sign in the middle of the photo shows the State of Colorado’s new logo, modified for the rainbow theme.

The parade ended at Lincoln and Colfax, and we then went to the festival going on in Civic Center Park. Brooke spotted a tent of people from CSU so had to stop for a photo op, as a proud alum. I kept my mouth shut, being a wise CU alum.

Also, I didn’t take a photo but we were surprised to see my cousin Nashira, who just returned from college two days ago, and is working at NARAL for the summer. She and one other young woman were running the NARAL booth at the festival. I told her how proud I am of her.

Another tent we found was for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. It’s my favorite museum and I’ve been a member for decades. So we had to get this photo.

According to my iPhone, we walked 4.3 miles. That includes walking to the start of the parade, walking in the parade, wandering around the festival, and walking home from the end of the parade.

I met Larry Elmore today

I met the famous fantasy painter Larry Elmore today. We were both waiting for the same late airport shuttle and then rode together on the bus. I got to talk to him for 30 or 45 minutes, about everything from cars to meth to air travel to retirement to the draft. He’s 70 and says he’s never retiring, because he wouldn’t know what to do other than paint.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Elmore

I thanked him for all the great art he’s made that has enhanced fantastic role playing games since the 70s.

Cowboy Chicken

A couple of the locals at the game convention said I need to check out Cowboy Chicken, a restaurant with really good rotisserie chicken. And I needed a walk and had a three hour gap in my schedule. So I walked here.

My order: “quarter white” with green beans, okra, and a glass of ice water. It’s pretty good. The place is a little more fast food-ish than I expected. And their use of Texas cowboy-ness in the decor is a little excessive (like a lot of things in Texas). But I like the food.

first “win” of the con

I’m in Irving, Texas for a small four-day gaming convention called North Texas RPG Con. I attended last year and it was fun enough I came back. The convention is at the Westin hotel by the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, so it’s easy and pretty cheap to get to.

I arrived early this afternoon and got in two games so far. One was Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG and the second was a tournament game of a DCCRPG variant called Umerica, which is mostly modeled on the TV show “Thundarr the Barbarian” and related fantasy and sci-fi shows of the 80s.

I got second place in that second game. Here is my medal and my award-winning character, named Diana Ross.

The back of the medal reads “2019 NTRPG TOURNAMENT – BLOOD BATH AT ALLSVIL”.

why facts don’t matter

This article came out over two years ago, and was very popular, but I didn’t actually read it until this week. It’s amazing and informative and I recommend it, especially if – like me – you are curious what evolutionary advantage humanity gained through confirmation bias (no other species has it, as far as we know). Or, if you’re someone who still thinks you can win political arguments using logic and reason.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/why-facts-dont-change-our-minds

A couple of my favorite parts of the article:

“As a rule, strong feelings about issues do not emerge from deep understanding,” Sloman and Fernbach write. And here our dependence on other minds reinforces the problem. If your position on, say, the Affordable Care Act is baseless and I rely on it, then my opinion is also baseless. When I talk to Tom and he decides he agrees with me, his opinion is also baseless, but now that the three of us concur we feel that much more smug about our views.

And…

The Gormans, too, argue that ways of thinking that now seem self-destructive must at some point have been adaptive. And they, too, dedicate many pages to confirmation bias, which, they claim, has a physiological component. They cite research suggesting that people experience genuine pleasure—a rush of dopamine—when processing information that supports their beliefs. “It feels good to ‘stick to our guns’ even if we are wrong,” they observe.

 

not hot enough for pho

I asked the server at the new neighborhood Vietnamese restaurant which she recommends – the pho or the lemongrass rice noodle bowl. She thought for a moment and said that since it’s not hot outside today, I shouldn’t have the soup. It’s funny how many people think the opposite – that pho is for cool weather.

looking for recipes?

I decided to add a new category to my blog, and that is “Recipe”. So I went back and labeled all the recipes I’ve posted here over the past decades. That means I can now list them all in once place, right here:

My 50th birthday party

My birthday is March 20, which most years is the first day of spring. This year the vernal equinox is at 3:58 PM Mountain Daylight Time. I plan to take the day off work and do some of my favorite things, and then we’ll have a casual gathering at a local bar near my home. If you’re in the area, feel free to stop by.