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Ellipse Eclipse Tips for Relationships
by Mike-ODonnell on 

On Monday, August 21, 2017, a total eclipse will cross the ENTIRE country, coast-to-coast, for the first time since 1918.

This total solar eclipse will begin near Lincoln City, Oregon, at 10:15 a.m. PDT (1:15 p.m. EDT). Totality ends at 2:48 p.m. EDT near Charleston, South Carolina. The partial eclipse will start earlier and end later, but the total eclipse itself will take about one hour and 40 minutes to cross the country.  (And it won’t even have to go through a TSA checkpoint, lucky eclipse.)

As both my readers know, solar eclipses occur when the moon blocks any part of the sun. TOTAL solar eclipses, however, are only possible on Earth because of a cosmic quirk of geometry -- the sun’s diameter is 400 times (give or take) wider than the moon’s, but it is also 400 times (give or take) further away. The result is that the sun and the moon appear to be the same size … but they really aren’t, just to drive that point home like an elephant in the back seat of a Mini Cooper.

When they line up just right though, the moon can obscure the sun’s entire surface, creating a total solar eclipse. This line-up occurs once every 12 to 18 months (give or take). Partial solar eclipses, on the other hand, occur when the alignment is such that the moon blocks only part of the sun, and these can occur more frequently.

During a total eclipse, it is possible to look directly at the sun’s outer atmosphere, which people who study these things and don’t stay up late at night partying, refer to as the “corona”. (NO. Not a beer bottle. Pay attention.) The corona appears as pearly white rays and streamers radiating around the lunar disk. The August 2017 eclipse will allow millions across the entire country, and then some, to see this for the first time so you had better get your rear end outside and enjoy it … and it had better not be cloudy around here or someone will be getting a very sternly worded letter from yours truly.

Total solar eclipses provide unique opportunities for scientists as well as nonprofit lenders because it is only in the corona that one can observe giant solar eruptions and the origin of solar winds. (Trust me. There are parallels.) Studying the corona is crucial for understanding not only the relationship between the Earth and the Sun, but also the environment that satellites and astronauts named Bob will sometimes travel through. They occasionally help with underwriting SBA loans too.

But even during an eclipse, just as when completing a loan application, it is not safe to look directly at the sun – except for that very brief phase of totality, when the moon fully obscures the sun. Truly, the only safe way to look directly at the partially eclipsed sun is through specialized eclipse glasses that are fitted with the proper filters to minimize ultraviolet, visible and infrared light. Either that, or you can put a paper bag from the produce store over your head and inhale the aroma of cabbages while looking down at the interplay of shadows on the ground beneath your wings.

Anyway, be that as it may, probably the question that has formed on the lips of both my readers is what has this to do with anything related to Colorado Lending Source? Well, nothing much, as usual, but if the clouds are gone, the chance of you seeing / experiencing something like this ever again are pretty remote, so make the most of this opportunity.  

And as William Shakespeare once wrote in Romeo and Juliet, a classic story about two star-crossed bankers unsure of what type of interest rate option to offer: “O, swear not by the moon, th’ inconsistent moon, that monthly changes in her circle orb, lest that thy love prove likewise variable.”

And aren’t those words that all three of us can live by?

I know I do.

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Just Be Successful
by Colorado Lending Source on 

Making headlines across Denver, Just Be Kitchen is the first completely gluten-free and paleo-based, fast casual restaurant in the city. And just because the food is healthy, doesn’t mean the flavor is sacrificed! With carefully thought out ingredients, Just Be Kitchen is able to serve up American-style dishes that are melt-in-your-mouth delicious.  

The concept for Just Be Kitchen started in 2012 when Jennifer Peters decided to pursue a Masters in Business. She knew she no longer wanted to be shackled by the woes of the corporate world and was determined to close the gap between who she was as a person and what she did within her career.  After completing a business pitch project that verified her proof of concept, she was connected with Brad Bloom, former CEO of Burger King, who mentored her along the way. He told her, “You should always jump in life with both feet, and no matter what happens, doors will open along the way even if you fail.” And with that advice, throughout the years Jennifer has continually jumped in to pursue her dreams.

Jennifer spent her time carefully researching the market, refining her ideas, and interviewing successful fast-casual restaurateurs. Her hard work eventually paid off, and Jennifer’s dream of creating a mindful restaurant focused on wellness and innovation became a reality in April 2017 when Just Be Kitchen officially opened.

There were a few resources along the way that helped Jennifer succeed. She competed in the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center’s Trout Tank Food Frenzy Pitch Competition, where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas in front of the local lending, investing, and business community.  She also obtained funding from Colorado Lending Source’s Community Advantage loan program, which helped finance working capital, inventory, and other startup costs. All of this was made possible, despite not being eligible for a traditional bank loan.

The positive energy at Just Be Kitchen radiates with her dedicated staff of 12 and is seen with the inspiring quotes painted on the walls. The esthetic Jennifer has created is purposefully cozier than a typical fast-casual joint so that customers feel welcomed to indulge on a variety of guilt-free menu items.  

When asked what piece of advice Jennifer would share with other entrepreneurs, she stated,  “Just keep going even when you think it won’t work out. Don’t let roadblocks stop you from achieving your dream.” As Jennifer has realized, success doesn’t come over night, but when it does arrive, it’s worth the wait.

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If you happen to be in New York today, you will be able to observe a unique solar experience that future civilizations will marvel over.
by Mike-ODonnell on 
According to the American Museum of Natural History, at 8:20 pm EDT on July 12 2017, assuming that the rain clouds have moved off to a more deserving location, the setting Sun will align precisely with the Manhattan street grid creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan's brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street in the borough's grid.

This is a rare and beautiful sight in a city that rarely sleeps (and rarely experiences rare and beautiful sights, lest we forget). And I wonder whether either of my two readers, both of whom I know have lived in the Big Apple for a spell, have ever observed it?

There are only two occasions each year where thing exactly line up correctly so that you will see the full Sun shining along the grid, and these two days happen to correspond with Memorial Day and (close to) Baseball's All Star break game. Future anthropologists might conclude that, via the Sun, the people who called themselves Americans worshiped War and Baseball just as present day anthropologists muse on the mysteries and purposes of Stonehenge.

Of course, for Stonehenge, the very special single day is the summer solstice, when the Sun rises in perfect alignment with several of the stones, signaling the change of season. For Manhattan, who always like to do things bigger and better, the two best-full- ball-of- sun-days (Manhattanhenge) sit on either side of the summer solstice and probably have a deeper meaning that future civilizations, potentially even one populated by apes wearing clothes, might divine.

If you happen to be in downtown Manhattan today, position yourself as far east as you can but make sure that when you look west across the avenues, you can still see New Jersey. Don’t stare at it too much though. And certainly avoid making eye contact.

The clearest cross streets include 14th , 23rd , 34th , 42nd , 57th (New Yorkers don’t have very imaginative street names), and several streets adjacent to them.

Unnoticed by some, primarily the ones trying hard not to get run over by taxis, the sunset point actually creeps day to day along the horizon: northward until the first day of summer, then returns southward until the first day of winter. As both my readers know, the Sun rises due east and sets due west only twice per year, on the equinoxes: the first day of spring and of autumn. Every other day, the Sun rises and sets somewhere else on the horizon.

Had Manhattan's grid been perfectly aligned with the geographic north-south line, then the days of Manhattanhenge would coincide with the equinoxes. But Manhattan's street grid is rotated 30 degrees east from geographic north, for some reason that isn’t exactly quite understood. I think that the angle of Batman’s signal lamp oft observed by Commissioner Gordon might be involved.

Of course, any city crossed by a rectangular grid (duh, Denver) can identify days where the setting Sun aligns with their streets but alignment isn’t the end of the story. Beyond the grid, you need to be able to get a clear view to the horizon, like you can get in Manhattan by looking across the Hudson River to New Jersey. You also need a brace of tall buildings to line the streets and crowd out the vertical light, which creates an amazing channel to frame the setting Sun. As a result, Manhattanhenge may be the most unique urban phenomenon in the world, if not the entire universe. But you’ll just have to take my word for that until the officials with the white coats and rulebooks get here.

Both my readers already know that, when viewed from all latitudes north of the Tropic of Cancer (23.5 degrees north latitude), the Sun always rises at an angle up and to the right, and then towards the end of the day, sets at an angle down and to the right. That's how you can spot a fake sunrise in a movie too, BTW. It moves up and to the left. Hollywood types aren’t usually awake in the morning so they mostly film sunsets and play them backwards to pretend that they are sunrises. Which reminds, me, the next time you spot one of these fake sunrises in a movie or television show, please write a sternly worded letter to the director and the film studio letting them know that they aren’t fooling anyone. (I know I do.) I would even recommend boycotting something because they are secretly playing you for a fool.

Anyway, be that as it may, probably the question that has formed on both of your lips is what has any of this to do with anything related to Colorado Lending Source? Well, nothing much, as usual, but if the clouds dissipate and you are one of the hordes that flood the streets of New York after 8 pm on Wednesday evening, watching the mirror-like panes of glass in all the tall buildings reflecting sunlight up and down the sidewalks, please take a few pictures for me. And watch out for the taxi drivers. They might get even more confused than they already are if they happen to be driving into the sun around about then.

And as William Shakespeare wrote: “Love comforteh like sunshine after rain ....”

And aren’t those words that all three of us can live by?

I know I do.

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Swing into Action!
by Colorado Lending Source on 

Need help getting those birdies for your golf game? Swing into action with the help of BirdieBall, a Golden-based manufacturer that produces a limited flight golf ball you can hit anywhere, anytime. This family-owned and operated business also produces top quality putting greens so golf lovers have no excuse not to practice. Colorado Lending Source worked with Horace McCowan from KeyBank National Association to help finance an SBA 504 loan, which allowed Birdie Ball to purchase commercial real estate. Game on!

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Gleam Car Wash
by Colorado Lending Source on 

We love businesses that help the environment...

Which is why we were ecstatic to help fund Gleam Car Wash! With Gleam, customers get a sustainable car wash in a variety of ways. First, only 15 gallons of fresh water per car is used compared to an average of 80 to 140 gallons when you wash at home or at a hand wash facility. Secondly, Gleam acts as a mini water treatment plant, reclaiming almost 100% of all their water and uses solar energy to power various aspects of their business like heating water and turning on LED lights. Through the SBA 504 loan program, Josh Peebles of Collegiate Peaks Bank and Colorado Lending Source partnered to help refinance an existing loan that Gleam used to purchase the business’ property. The funds also helped with construction costs and equipment purchases. All of this has been crucial in helping Gleam succeed as an environmentally friendly neighborhood car wash. 

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This Day in History, June 14...
by Mike-ODonnell on 

Aside from the fact that it is the birthday of both President Trump and Che Guevara, commemorates the last major world conquest in 1287 by Mongolian forces when the grandson of Genghis Khan, Kublai Kahn, crushed the last resistance in southern China to found the (conquest) Yuan dynasty that ruled all of present day Mongolia, China, Korea and other adjacent areas from 1271 - 1368.

I always find it fascinating that the generally accepted view of Kublai Khan was that he made the world a better place because he promoted commercial, scientific, and cultural growth. Historians wax lyrical to explain how he supported the merchants of the Silk Road trade network by protecting the Mongol postal system, constructing infrastructure, providing small business loans to finance trade caravans, and, encouraging the circulation of paper banknotes. The peace the newly arrived Mongols imposed also apparently enabled the spread of technologies, commodities, and culture between China and the West.

Kublai expanded the Grand Canal from southern China to the north, all in the name of commerce and trade. Mongol rule was cosmopolitan too under Kublai Khan because he welcomed foreign visitors to his court, such as the Venetian merchant Marco Polo, who wrote the most influential European account of Yuan China. Marco Polo's travels would also later inspire many others, like Christopher Columbus, to seek legendary wealth and exploit many other parts of the world yet unknown.

And yet, in conquering China and Korea, then invading Japan, Vietnam and other locations in Southeast Asia, before the good life made Kublai morbidly obese, many millions upon millions upon millions of people were killed by his troops. It was the Mongolian custom to offer enemies the chance to surrender, in which case they would be saved, albeit sold into slavery, or, should any resistance be offered, every man, woman, child and often animal in a community would be killed without mercy. So progress at what cost?

This may be too deep a concept to grapple with for my two readers, given how well the Rockies baseball team is doing this season, but the concept of shooting an arrow in the air and then painting a bulls-eye around it wherever it lands, is a concept that intrigues me and begs the question “what if?” …. Indeed!

Anyway, be that as it may, probably the question that has formed on both of your lips is what has any of this to do with anything related to Colorado Lending Source? Well, nothing much, as usual, but there are some clues there for my two readers who realize that history is still a window into the future, albeit one that definitely needs a lot of soap and a goodly expenditure of elbow grease thereupon, from time to time.  

And as William Shakespeare wrote in that Scottish play (which I’m unable to name lest it bring me bad luck): “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

And aren’t those words that all three of us can live by?

I know I do.


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The Vail Valley's Got All the Right Moves!
by Colorado Lending Source on 

The Vail Valley is the quintessential Colorado mountain playground, offering an array of year-round activities for outdoor enthusiasts. And although adventurers do their best to avoid injury, accidents happen. With the help of Movement Physical Therapy, recreational and professional mountain athletes can get back in the action in no time!

Colorado natives Scott Wacker and Megan Riddle-Wacker earned their Doctorate of Physical Therapy degrees from Regis University in 2004. After working in Denver for a few years, the husband and wife team moved to the mountains to pursue their dream of staring their own practice.

In 2010 they opened Movement Physical Therapy in Edwards, Colorado. The duo secured a Small Business Administration 7(a) loan for startup costs and working capital with the help of FirstBank and Colorado Lending Source. After seven successful years in business the Wacker's had the opportunity to purchase the building they were leasing. Again they turned to FirstBank and Colorado Lending Source, but this time for an SBA 504 Commercial Real Estate loan.

Movement Physical Therapy specializes in rehabilitation, injury prevention, and human performance, and offers progressive techniques like the Medical Golf Evaluation, the Melt Method, and trigger point dry needling. The Wacker's believe in building relationships to ensure health success, therefore patients meet with the same specialized Doctor of Physical Therapy each appointment, rather than PT Assistants and Aids, making the business unique from other physical therapy practices.

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Today, May 17th is National Walnut Day...
by Mike-ODonnell on 

but even though a specific nut is mentioned as a component of this incredibly agrarian celebratory occasion, the day itself can be loosely considered a metaphor for nuts of all different stripes, descriptions and convictions. And don’t we have a lot of them these days? (How did you know I was in Washington DC last week?)

From a historical perspective, the day is also one that represents an incredibly diverse stream of historical events that, each in its own small way, shaped who we are and where we are today. This can be considered the essence of chaos theory but forget the butterfly flapping its wings bit because these events were substantially more substantial.

For example, on May 17th in 1395, the battle of Rovine was fought between the Wallachian army and the Ottomans (you know, the sofa people) during which prince Mark “Polo” Mrnjavcevic, one of the mightiest Serbian knights of all time, was killed. His death inspired epic poems, myths, legends, and, even a fandom that still persist even through today.

On this day too, in 1590, Anne of Denmark was crowned queen of Scotland despite the language barrier, a native preference for haggis, and, the knobby-knee-revealing short skirts that ll the Scottish men were wearing that year.

In 1805, Muhammad Ali (and you wondered where that name came from?) became the Wali of Egypt; Aristides won the first Kentucky Derby in 1875; televised hearings into the Watergate scandal began in 1973; and, in 1984, Prince Charles called a proposed addition to the National Gallery in England a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend” causing modern architects everywhere to clamor for his head.

So many significant, life-changing events that truly get to the nut of the problem we imagine we face today.

Anyway, be that as it may, probably the question that has formed on your lips is what has any of this to do with anything related to Colorado Lending Source? Well, nothing much, as usual, but there are some clues there for my two regular readers who realize that history is still a window into the future, albeit one that needs a jolly good wash from time to time and a lot less hail.


And as William Shakespeare once wrote: To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

And aren’t those words that all three of us can live by?

 I know I do.


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On this day in history, in 1111...
by Mike-ODonnell on 

Henry V of German was crowned the Holy Roman Emperor. And I only mention this because the year 1111 is an incredibly amazing year from a nerdy, mathematical perspective (which is the way I am looking at from way over here next to the potted geranium) and I’m sad that I won’t be around for 2222 which will be the next incredibly amazing year that no one here today will be able to experience either.

Now given the precipitous arrangement of single digits, you would expect great things to have happened in 1111 but, no, the historical record is pretty short on amazing happenings that year.

Yes, Henry V, the younger son of Henry IV, who had been crowned the King of Germany in 1099, did become the Holy Roman Emperor. But that was only because his older brother was a bit of a rebel and didn't toe the line according to the dad so had missed out on that kingship – it was a bit like the recent situation in North Korea where the dictator dad preferred Kim Jong-un to his older brother, who subsequently albeit “accidentally” bit the galvanized steel water carrying implement while passing through an airport in Malaysia the other week. But I digress.

Anyway, young Henry V had previously promised to respect the fact that his dad was the Holy Roman Emperor because being the King of Germany should have been enough of a distraction, so Henry V had sworn on a stack of bibles that he wasn’t going to meddle with the dad’s gig. But, as fate would have it, he ended up being talked into changing his mind (kids today!) and thought that sounded more fun than what he was doing. A few battles later, the dad was subsequently forced to step down and died, likely of a broken heart, soon after. After a few more wars with the locals, during which time Henry V had the opportunity to dress down Svatopluk the Lion (what a great name!) amongst other memorable notables, Henry headed for Rome so he could be crowned the Holy Roman Emperor as his dad’s replacement.

The Pope and the boys in red had some different ideas, so Henry’s soldiers seized the Pope and 16 cardinals, there was a bit of a scuffle, and, Henry V took a sword in the arm. He recovered quickly (it was only a flesh wound) but was a bit miffed so he and his boys kidnapped the Pope, carried him back to Germany in a pre-Pope-mobile era conveyance, and, made him crown Henry V as the Holy Roman Emperor at a little ceremony (no flowers by request) on April 13, 1111.

In a happy little twist of fate, Henry V later married Matilda, the daughter of Henry I of England (family reunions must have been challenging with all those Henrys) and died of cancer in 1125 whereupon his body was buried in the Cathedral at Speyer, and, his heart and bowels (the best bits) in the Cathedral of Saint Martin, Utrecht. He left no successors so he was the last of the Henrys even though his illegitimate daughter, Bertha “don’t call me big” (almost) Henry, married Ptolemy II of Tusculum. But that is a whole other story.

The only other things going on in 1111 according to some semi-reliable sources included: the Crusaders and Turks fighting to a stalemate in Syria (sounds familiar); the Berbers cutting a rug in Coimbra; and, Alfonso VII ascending to the throne of Galicia, a country that no longer exists (along with Alfonso).

Anyway, be that as it may, probably the question that has formed on your lips is what has any of this to do with anything related to Colorado Lending Source? Well, nothing much, as usual, but there are some clues there for my two readers who realize that history is still a window into the future, albeit one that needs a good wash from time to time.  

And as William Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet: “These violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like fire and powder which, as they kiss, consume.”

And aren’t those words that all three of us can live by?  

I know I do. Everyday!

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On this day in history, the Ides of March, March 15th 44 BC
by Mike-ODonnell on 

Julius Caesar was stabbed to death during a meeting with about 60 or so senators at the Theatre of Pompey.

(You would have thought that Lincoln would have taken note of this.)

Anyway, Caesar's death was the final event in a political crisis that triggered a civil war that resulted in the rise to sole power of his adopted heir, Augustus. On the fourth anniversary of Caesar's death, in 40 BC, Augustus executed 300 odd senators as part of a series of actions taken to avenge Caesar's death, which just goes to show that political actions often have repercussions. Or, to say it another way, beware of “unintended consequences” or they might sneak up on you in the rotunda when you least expect it.

Although March was the third month of the Julian calendar, in the old Roman calendar it was the first month of the year so keep that in mind when celebrating the Ides of March. You may be doing that in the wrong month.

The series of holidays observed by the Romans from the first through to the Ides of March (aka the 15th of March) often reflect their origin as New Year celebrations because the Romans did not number days of a month sequentially from the first through the last day. Instead, they counted back from three fixed points of the month: the Nones (5th or 7th, depending on the length of the month), the Ides (13th or 15th), and the Kalends (1st of the following month). Many banks use the same method for calculating when loan payments are due. And how much interest to charge a borrower.

The Ides occurred near the midpoint of each month; on the 13th for most months but on the 15th for March, May, July, and October. The Ides were supposed to be determined by the full moon, reflecting the lunar origin of the Roman calendar. Therefore, in the old Roman calendar, the Ides of March would have been the first full moon of the New Year.

Of course, the Ides of each month were sacred to Jupiter, the Romans' supreme deity. Jupiter's appointed mortal high priest led the "Ides sheep" in procession along the Via Sacra to the arx, where it was sacrificed. This is really not much of a life for an ambitious sheep to look forward to. Then again, in those days before PETA, there weren’t that many career opportunities for ambitious sheep. Thanks for mutton.

And in addition to this well attended monthly sacrifice (and who doesn’t like a good lamb burger?), the Ides of March was also the occasion of the Feast of Anna Perenna, a goddess whose festival originally concluded the ceremonies of the New Year. The day was enthusiastically celebrated among the “common people” with picnics, drinking, carousing, poetry readings, discos, corn hole tournaments, and, revelry with revels. There was also, reportedly, a ceremony which involved people beating an old man dressed in animal skins and driving him from the city in an Uber … although the historical record is a little vague on the actual means of driving the old man out of town. It could have been a Lyft or one of those roller skate cars …. or even a #2 ox cart. This ceremony may have been a New Year festival figuratively representing the expulsion of the old year OR it may simply have been a ruse for the Romans to get rid of some of their less desirable and somewhat smelly elderly citizens.

Anyway, be that as it may, probably the question that has formed on your lips is what has any of this to do with anything related to Colorado Lending Source? Well, nothing much, as usual, but there are some clues there for my two readers who realize that history is a window into the future.  

And as Steve McQueen once said: “I hope you find what you’re looking for.”

And aren’t those words that all three of us can live by?  

I know I do.


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