Lum: Renderings and other things |

Lum: Renderings and other things

Su Lum

A week or two ago — probably closer to two — The Aspen Times ran a half-page rendering of the proposed new Pitkin County office building to be located east of the courthouse.

Of course the building was shown as unobtrusively as possible, with the foreground filled with people happily congregating, some with dogs on leashes.

This was all par for the course, but the thing that struck me was that the eyes of the people were blank circles, like “Little Orphan Annie” eyes, but the dogs’ eyes were fully drawn in.

It had to be intentional. If I noticed it (I am not known for noticing things), surely someone at the county did or approved it.

When Alexander King was working as a commercial artist, he said he always made a huge error, such as drawing a woman with two left arms. The art director always found something wrong, and this way King made it easy for him.

So it was no accident that the people were blind but the dogs could see, but what did it mean? Had their eyes been intentionally put out so the people couldn’t see the building and the dogs were allowed to see it because they couldn’t complain and can’t vote?

Maybe it was just cutely copying “Little Orphan Annie,” but the effect was very weird.

As for the building, the county will do what it wants with it and with the airport on its heels.

The copy editors of the Times won’t allow any asterisks or other littler designs called dingbats here to indicate a change of thought, so you’ll have to try to keep up.

There is good news and bad in the bird department. Two bald eagles in Washington, D.C., were filmed 24/7 with a webcam, and a big chunk of the world’s population followed the live reality show from the laying of two eggs to the hatching and the development of the babies from little white fluffs to gray blobs to black chickens to majestic eagles.

The firstborn turned into a bully, grabbing the food from his less aggressive sibling while I whapped at the computer screen and yelled at her. I never could tell the parents apart, but they were gorgeous and swept down to the nest as if there was no thicket of trees on all sides. They brought fish and ripped apart unidentifiable small mammals — I had to turn my head for those feedings.

After about two months, the bully bird stood up and fearlessly soared off the nest, and then the other flew away. They stayed near the nest for a few days, but that was the end of the eagle story.

Meanwhile, the ospreys in Emma were not so lucky. They had two, maybe three eggs just about the time the eagle flew, dutifully sat on them and took turns catching fish, and the eggs were just due to hatch but didn’t. A week after their due date, I began to worry, and two weeks after that the eggs started to look rubbery.

There was a news report that the eggs were kaput but the ospreys would keep hoping and would continue to sit on the eggs, possibly until September. The webcam went on the blink, and I can’t say I was sorry, because it was too sad to watch. Next year!


I’ve been watching the Republican convention and heartily recommend it as the best horror show on TV. The latest development that I saw was that Melania Trump’s speech was word-for-word Michelle Obama’s speech.

Heads will roll.

Su Lum is a longtime local hoping to be amused. Her column runs every Wednesday in the Aspen Times. Reach her at

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