posted Aug 20 2015 5:54AM
This morning at 7:30 you'll have two chances to win FREE GASOLINE FOR A YEAR*.
The first person with the correct answer for the on-air Mindbender takes home a $50 gift card from King Soopers, and also qualifies to win free gasoline for a year!
But check this out: Immediately afterward, we'll post a BONUS Mindbender (a different question) on both Facebook and Twitter. And the first person to answer THAT Mindbender correctly will win their own King Soopers gift card, and also qualify for the free gas.
Two chances each weekday, through Friday, August 28th, 2015. It's all brought to you by King Soopers, where Healthy Lunches meet Affordable!
(* Free gasoline up to a maximum of $1200 for the year)
posted Aug 10 2015 6:15AM
I was raised on road trips. I vividly remember spending hours in the back seat of the car, reading, coloring, fighting with my sister. But also watching the scenery rush past, taking in the sights of small towns, and wondering about the people who lived in them.
So when I recently had a few days off, I took another road trip through small towns, this time on my own. My thoughts turned sad for what I saw, but with a touch of hopefulness about the future.
You can read about it here, a piece that I call A Two-Lane Life
posted Aug 7 2015 11:04AM
If You're Upset With Something We Said On Our Show…
The first thing we'd like to tell you is: It was not our intention to upset you.
We broadcast our show each morning to hundreds of thousands of people. If our goal was to anger/upset/offend people every day, our audience would soon be zero. So that's clearly not our mission.
Having said that, there is no way in the world that we can talk about anything – and I do mean anything – without upsetting at least one person. If we laugh about someone falling off their bicycle in a particular YouTube video, we'll get an angry email from someone who says that their uncle died in a bicycling accident, and how can we be so cruel and heartless.
If we laugh about once accidentally choking on gum, and how it shot out of our mouths as soon as our mom did the Heimlich maneuver . . . yes, we get a Facebook message from someone whose niece died from choking, and how can we be so cruel and heartless.
If we joke about being afraid of needles, and joke about how we'd rather die than get a tetanus shot, here come the emails: "My husband died from tetanus. How can you be so cruel and heartless?"
(Each of these is a REAL example; just come read our email someday.)
My point is, we can't know EVERYONE'S story, nor how each and every news item or chat topic runs the risk of ripping a scab off for at least one person.
We don't know you. When we laughed about burning our mouth on hot tea, we didn't know that your aunt once got first degree burns and had to spend a month in the hospital. I swear, we didn't know that happened to your aunt. We were sincerely just trying to have some fun.
You may not care (and people who are pissed off are generally not in the mood to listen to ANY explanation), but my own personal test on something like this is: What was the person's INTENT? Did they intentionally single me out and try to anger me? Or did they innocently say something that just happens to resonate with me this time . . . even though I laughed my butt off when they joked about burning their mouth because I don't know that guy's aunt, either.
What's the intent? Is it to offend? On our show the answer is Probably Not.
We do our best to put on a fun and entertaining show. We don't always hit a home run. But we try our best, and if we wanted to make sure that NOTHING ever offended ANYONE – well, you probably wouldn't be listening to our show. And I wouldn't blame you; it would be the most boring show on the radio, and there are enough of those morning shows in Denver already.
So here is my blanket apology for upsetting you. We always want our listeners to enjoy themselves when they tune in, but sometimes we strike a nerve. It's a live radio show, and things are said. I hope you understand.
If you don't – and if this blanket apology/explanation only made you angrier – then I hope you'll come back and give us another try soon. We're actually pretty nice people who are human.
All the best to you – and your nutty aunt.
posted Aug 4 2015 6:34PM
2015 Jeep Cherokee Latitude
The Jeep brand has long been a popular choice in Colorado for obvious reasons: we pride ourselves on being "rugged" and outdoorsy. Which sometimes strikes me as funny, since the majority of off-road-ready vehicles don't work up much of a sweat going to Costco or dinner out.
That's okay - we'll keep owning the image, at least.
I've whined in the past about mega-sized SUVs, and there's no sense stopping now. The behemoths that muscle their way down city roads and elbow their way into already-cramped parking spaces are almost obscene. I've mourned (okay, maybe that's an overstatement, but you get the point) when smaller-to-midsize sport utility vehicles seemed to gulp steroids and, over the course of a few years, expanded. And expanded some more.
The Latitude has a comfortable feel to it, in part because it's not overcompensating, if you get my drift. Some call it a "small SUV," but I'd label it mid-size. Others claim it's not an SUV at all, but rather a crossover. Whatever. Let's put it this way: it fit easily into my garage, and parking was never an issue.
Having said that, not all is rosy in the Jeep universe. Within months of launching the new 2015 Cherokees, a few issues popped up that had the honchos at Jeep quickly scrambling to address. More than a few consumers were unhappy with transmission issues.
I had no problems with the tranny during my week behind the wheel, but I did have to chuckle at the idea of its 9-speed automatic. NINE? Why not 39, while you're at it?
The Cherokee comes in four trim levels, and you'll find notable differences in standard equipment among them. Nice features in the Latitude include a rearview camera (which most of us are really getting spoiled with), a front passenger seat that folds (and has a nifty storage space beneath, too), and a V6 engine. You'll also score an upgraded audio package.
Speaking of packages, there are options galore. My test vehicle sported the "Customer Preferred Package" - I put that in quotation marks because it just makes me chuckle - which seems to add a bunch of gloss this and gloss that. It also came with the Safety Tec package and its rear-park assist and blind spot blinker.
There was more, though. A comfort/convenience group adds a power lift gate, remote start system, and a bunch of other creature comforts. The UConnect system seems to get a mixture of hot and cold reviews from buyers.
I like the storage inside the cockpit, with little nooks and crannies scattered about; there's even a somewhat-odd bin built into the middle of the dash, which I wondered about at first . . . and then, naturally, used.
Not a ton of storage in the way-back, which Jeep's competitors will be quick to point out. But remember, this is a midsize-crossover-something-or-other; many of us will trade the titanic storage space in the rear for the blessing of not frightening people in a parking lot.
My personal jury is still out on the start/stop function on many new cars - also called auto-idle by some - whereby the car shuts off at an intersection, waiting patiently for you to release the brake and allow it to throttle back to life. I'd like to see some reliable stats on actual gas savings after a few years on the market. Right now my initial feeling is that it's not worth the hype, but it could just be a matter of getting used to it. EPA estimates (since I brought it up) roll in at about 23 combined.
Lastly, the exterior is pretty cool, I gotta say. Jeep's haven't always been lovely critters, but the new Latitude has some pretty lines.
The base price of this model is a smidge over $27k, and with options my Granite Crystal-colored version approached $34k. So perhaps a test-drive is in your future. Take it for a spin to the outlet stores! (winky face)
Reviewed by Dom
Vehicle provided by manufacturer
posted Aug 3 2015 5:20PM
Life After Life
By Kate Atkinson
Reviewed by Dom
It was my son who suggested this book to me. Glancing at a brief description of the plot, my first thought was: Oh, it's Groundhog Day, but set a hundred years ago.
Not quite. Life After Life is not a comedy vehicle, but rather a good author's take on the concept of reincarnation or rebirth. Throw in a serious examination of the horrors of war, and you're way beyond a funny weatherman in Punxsutawney, PA.
In a nutshell, here's the story: Ursula Todd is born in early 1910, but dies immediately. But then we rewind, and she's born again. This time the doctor makes it in time to save her, and she begins to live her life.
When she dies again, she once again goes back to February, 1910, and starts over again. This is a story of a woman who relives her life over and over and over again, with only faint suspicions of an earlier life - deja vu, if you will.
Along the way we'll see her die from drowning, a fall, and at the hands of an abusive husband. Yet she keeps coming back and starting again.
Mix in two wars, however, both The Great War (which later became known as World War I), and then, of course, World War II.
Atkinson, a skilled writer in the first place, leads the reader through life after life (yes, the title), and challenges us to learn something about how we each have different paths that we can take. So do countries as a whole.
It's an audacious read at well over 500 pages, but settle in and watch the pages fly by.
You'll find Life After Life at the three main locations of The Tattered Cover Book Store. Just mention Dom's Book Club at checkout and you'll receive a 20% discount. Happy reading!
posted Jul 6 2015 4:58PM
2015 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible
People read car reviews for lots of reasons. Some people need a big minivan or SUV to haul their kids and gear around; some want the best off-roading choice; others are shopping for a fuel-efficient machine to save them a few bucks.
This review will appeal to the person who values one thing in particular, and I’ll sum it up in one honest sentence: In the fifteen years that I’ve been writing car reviews, no car - not one - has elicited as many comments from strangers as the ’15 Jag F-Type Convertible.
Intersections. Grocery store parking lots. The gas station. My neighborhood. In the week that I drove this car, at least twenty people stopped me to talk about it. So, if the most important criteria for your next car purchase is head-turning, well, your search is over.
Personally, I need a little more than just eye-popping looks, but Jaguar has taken care of most of that. (And I have to admit that every time I parked the damned thing, I’d look back at it as I walked away. It’s like the prettiest girl in town, right?)
You can take your pick from a variety of F-Types, from coupe to convertible (get the convertible), from V6 to V8, from base model to S trim to R. I drove the top-of-the-line R (twist my arm), which putters along (ha ha!) on a mere 550 horsepower. Sheesh, even just STARTING the car makes you wanna put on a racing helmet. The engineers had some fun with that - the car will (on its own, no foot on the gas) rev thru the redline at the start, a rocketing, majestic growl that people hear from blocks away.
(I’m serious about that; I usually leave my house at about 4:30 in the morning to get to the radio station, and I found that I had to start the car with my garage door closed in order to not frighten my sleeping neighbors.)
As far as the exterior . . . wait, never mind. Just look at the photos. C’mon.
Inside, Jaguar has steeped the F-Type in luxury, with handsomely-stitched seats that conform to your butt perfectly, and just the right amount of sparkle and glimmer. The instrument panel is well-adjusted (unlike many of us drivers), and the touch-screen console is sufficiently-user-friendly.
My favorite thing about the cockpit - and something that got comments from more than one guest - was the grab-handle (or whatever you call it) on the passenger side. Dude, with 550 horses - and a zero-to-60 time under 4 seconds - your passenger will want something to grasp.
Like the earlier-reviewed BMW 2-series convertible, the Jaguar sports a soft-top for the convertible. And, just as I felt on the BMW, it’s the right call. The fabric version saves on weight, and doesn’t take up as much room in the trunk as the retractable hardtops out there.
And that’s good - trunk space is already at a premium here. Hell, you aren’t driving this to the airport anyway; with the speed of this car you’d probably be able to drive instead of fly. But the point is, you’re not carrying luggage in this car. (And there’s no back seat at all, not even a tease like you get with some other sports cars.) In fact, there’s no real storage space anywhere. And this time I didn’t care.
The wind deflector does an admirable job, allowing normal conversation, even over the husky tones of the engine.
Mileage . . . okay, for the R and its V8 monster, turned out to be around 18 overall (combo city and highway), but that’s actually better than I expected. When I first drove it out of the ‘hood I figured I might get 14. So that’s a plus.
And while I almost always list the sticker price, I’m not going to this time. Let’s put it this way: the MSRP is exactly twice what I paid for my first home when I was in my 20s, and that had three bedrooms, two baths, and a two-car garage. Just sayin’.
Safe to say that the Jaguar F-Type R Convertible is for someone who has arrived. Ironic, since this is such a fun way to get there.
Reviewed by Dom Testa
Car provided by manufacturer
posted Jul 4 2015 10:39AM
I had an experience this holiday weekend that was at first frustrating, then aggravating, and finally enlightening and VERY fulfilling. And it all involved a barbecue grill and memories of my dad. Wanna dive in? This will take you right there. Enjoy, and happy 4th to you and your family!
posted Jul 3 2015 8:50AM
Well, this is something new. While hosting a book club with The Tattered Cover for fifteen years, I’ve never - not even once - featured one of my own books. It just seemed kinda schmarmy - and maybe even unethical? I don’t know, but I never even considered it.
But now it doesn’t make sense not to, really. The city of Denver bestowed a huge honor upon me by choosing my first book for students, The Comet’s Curse, as their Youth One Book / One Denver selection for 2015. Over 2000 young people are receiving copies of the action/adventure tale, and I’m hosting more than a dozen presentations with Denver students during July.
So The Tattered Cover thought it would be fun to spotlight the award-winning book, too. In fact, you and your kids are invited to a special evening at The Tattered Cover’s new location in Aspen Grove on July 23rd at 6pm. I’ll talk about the book (and the whole Galahad series, for that matter), answer questions, and generally just have a good time with it. I’d love for you and your family to stop by and chat.
Rather than a traditional review, I’ll just tell you that The Comet’s Curse is the story of 251 teenagers who are sent away in a spacecraft to colonize another world. And there are no adults aboard. Why they’re on this mission - and why no grownups are allowed - is revealed in the story. Of course there’s drama, action, suspense, mystery, and even a little bit of romance (hey, they’re teenagers).
The book won the International Grand Prize from Writer’s Digest magazine, as well as an EVVY Award for Best Young Adult Book. It’s the first volume in a six-book collection known as The Galahad Series, and all six of the books are available through the Tattered Cover and other sources. Find out more about the entire series right here.
Hope you and your kids enjoy the book. Yes, I do mean you, the adult, because half of the readers of The Comet’s Curse and the Galahad series are adults. Then I hope to see you on the 23rd. Mention Dom’s Book Club at checkout and The Tattered Cover will take 20% off the cost of The Comet’s Curse.
by Emily Makinzie
posted Jun 25 2015 6:04AM
Love for every body, every size, color, bump, stretch, scar, dimple, and curve.
I have my good days and bad days when it come to body acceptance. But I'm hoping that the good days win over and the bad days become obsolete.
Bless these women for helping us all smile at what we see in the mirror.
posted Jun 25 2015 6:00AM
The timing couldn't be better! On the heels of the mega-successful new Jurassic movie, this Saturday (June 27th) Dom will be hosting a fun day of dinosaurs (and books) at the Barnes & Noble on Colorado Blvd in Glendale.
It's an all-new Get Your Nerd On Day, starring world-famous paleontologist Dr. Scott Sampson, the host of PBS Kids' Dinosaur Train. He'll be signing his books and talking dinosaurs. Plus, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science will be there with their Sculpt-a-saurus project. Kids in grades 2 and up can create their own dinosaurs! Although it's free, you DO have to reserve your spot by calling 303-691-2998.
And, oh yeah, Dom will be there signing his Mindbender books and Galahad books. You can get all of the information right here, so click away!