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Wednesday, Feb 10th

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Alex Baer: Apps, Ops, Oopses

elephants flyToday, we'll take a rest break from the Sham- (I mean) CAMpaign Trail of Shame, Pain, and Champagne, where psychotic breaks from traditional Reality are the unexceptional rule.

It's difficult to believe, all right -- here we are, standing around, and we're NOT talking about the latest app to put everything Candidate Braindrool says on your Facebook's speed-dial-Insta-Twitter-Text-Mail-Fax-Forwarding option!

So, it's Trump and Bernie in New Hampshire.  Sure thing.  How's the family?  Looks like snow...

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Alex Baer: Pinging in the Brain

Pinging in the brainSome stories seem to fade as soon as they appear, while others keep popping back into awareness, wanted or not.

In the language of The Hunt for Red October, which we screened again Sunday, some stories are "one-ping-only," while others pull "Crazy Ivans" for months and months at a whack.

*

Yes, we have no TV access in our Little Boonieville, so our screen is used in a quaint, old-fashioned way, as a monitor for selected discs -- movies, documentaries, TV shows.  Yes, we miss the still somewhat-sane channels, like PBS or BBC, but we do not yearn for the wallet-hosing expenses associated with cable, satellite dishes, pay-per-peek, uplinks, downloads, nor wireless brain-stem implants, where you change channels by winking and wincing.

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Alex Baer: Landmark Decisions

Land MarksAnd now, a word about Landmark Decisions:  Boxy.

(No, not like the hyper vlogger, nor like those who boil down everything to thinking in-or-outside of that very same box -- but, well, squarish.  You know, like a box -- not, um, square-ish, like not being hip or very uncool.  Uh, to quote a Monty Python sketch:  Wait, I'll come in again...)

As I has begun:  Landmark Decisions -- no, wait, hang on, hang on.  No running away in panic is required here.  There'll be no airing of legal briefs, or any other kind, here today -- much to the relief of all concerned.

No, I was starting to warm up on the weirdly interwoven subjects of Time, Change, Culture, Cars, and Architecture.

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Alex Baer: Tales of Doctor Truebeem

Dr. TrubeemIt would be so much easier if election laws specified a new tag line at the end of every candidate's campaign ad:  a one-line summation of what, exactly, the candidate's overall goal, plan, and aim was all about.

I think you'll admit the current format doesn't help much, where the candidate is heard saying, "I'm M. T. Poseur, [or Ecoli Ebola-Zika, or whoever] and I approved this message."

This gets into trickier ground, though, of course.  Who is to say what, exactly, any candidate really, truly stands for -- what he or she really hopes to accomplish?  It triggers the whole who-watches-the-watchers Orwellian nightmare.

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Alex Baer: Good 'n' Plenty

good 'n plentyThis way to the time machine:  Back when one had to fight pterodactyls in the schoolyard at recess, in order to keep hold of one's snacks, there was a terrible candy called Good & Plenty.  It was white and day-glow, neon pink, before there was day-glow anything, and only just as neon was itself being tamed to do electrical tricks.

It was terrible junk -- a chalky outer shell with a hard, black licorice center -- but, it was dirt cheap.  It was also pay dirt for the non-discriminating 5-year-old on a budget.

Yes, the downside was that it was horrible, but the upside was that there was a lot of it.  Somehow, the combination worked.  Such is youth.

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Alex Baer: Checks Bounced Daily

reality checkLet me guess:  You're short of breath, your palms are sweaty, and you're not sure where to run and hide.  In fact, you suspect this could be the Big One, ala Fred Sanford's eternal get-ready warning to the previously departed Elizabeth.  You imagine this must be how the first lungfish felt, when they heaved themselves out of the primordial ooze, and up onto the shore, trying to evolve workable lungs, right on the spot, while hanging out in a Darwinesque While-You-Wait Bait and Tackle Shoppe.

Don't worry about it.  It's only one of a couple things -- or, maybe, today's combo platter.  I mean, it could be your body struggling with a severe disease or sudden medical condition, but, I'd urge caution here.  This is a year evenly divisible by four -- so, your symptoms could mean at least three different things:

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Alex Baer: Phil's Fillips

Phil's FillipsIt's easy for a little guy to get lost in a crazed crowd.

No, not Rand "Really, it's Randal, not like Ayn" Paul, or Donald "Stop Calling Me Rumpo" Trump,  or even Rick "Don't Ask Anything or Look Me Up Anywhere" Santorum.  No, we're talking about Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil here, whose annual foray into the spotlight got overrun by a stampede of frothy-mouthed Iowa mammals, mostly baboons escaping their GOP handlers.

While portents of the American future were being expounded upon in definitive, if overly waffling, back-and-fill, sunny-then-wintry descriptive terms by politcos, high atop their own self-made gabbling pedestals and berms, Phil drew his own single-minded throng at Gobbler's Knob, awaiting his forecasted divinations of the nation's weather, and the possibility of any ray of positiveness, or, at the least, Spring.

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