Caucus captaincy for sale

It’s turned cold again. And these are the days of our lives. Probably for the best. If you start having enjoyable weather for three days in a row you’d come to expect it, and you really should know better to do that here until mid-April.

Which is depressing.

Sunday’s and, to a lesser degree, yesterday’s weather, were nothing more than an aberration.

Which is also disconcerting.

There’s a lot going on here:

The carefully selected handwriting. This is the sort of thing that’s discussed before it’s done, right? “No one could read my handwriting,” and so on. Then there’s the frowny face. And the first-person. It has grown self-aware. And is sad. Now, is the sadness brought about by the existential dilemma of being a soda dispenser? Is the sadness because the dispenser knows this isn’t her fault, but is rather a faulty hose somewhere between here and the syrup? Maybe the grief comes because it knows a manager — the third shift leader in charge of liquid refreshments — forgot to fill that order.

Or maybe there’s a legal issue. It wouldn’t be the first time. Forty-some years ago Barqs was sold outside of the family, but the heirs, the Robinsons still had some companies with the Barq’s name and so the trademark battles began. The 5th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the family, so it was the root beer’s new owners that were out of order and … here we are.

I just learned that some of the fountain drink versions of Barq’s has no caffeine, which, as I understand it, is the point. But is it any good? I mean relative to other root beers? You’ll have to let me know.

It is the beginning of the other Super Bowl season. Iowa is caucusing and it’s simultaneously a silly demonstrating of nominating candidates and fascinating for journalists. The election is like the Super Bowl, so I suppose this is the first of several weeks of wildcard playoffs or something.

I slept in my car on the night of the 2000 general election, and that was just covering the local stuff. I dozed off listening to the networks being fed to AM radio and went back inside the studio (they didn’t let us sleep in there, for some reason) for my first hit of the morning and saw the same national network guys still plodding through. I’m not sure which of us had a better night, but I know they looked better than I did. And we, somehow, have convinced ourselves this is a good thing.

I don’t have any strong memories from election night, 2004. I sat in a newsroom in shivered in 2008 and convinced a bunch of student-journalists that, maybe, they should go get some reactions. In 2012, more shivering. In 2016 I watched everyone else do things. But I digress.

Tonight, I’m going to sleep long before anything is decided in the confusion that is Iowa. Iowa is confusing in a good cycle, and it is given outsized weight relative to its importance. That’s the media’s fault, really. And everything else is from a bunch of people gathering in gyms and people’s homes and wherever else and using what is, apparently, a poorly designed app.

What could possibly go wrong? Everything tonight, it seems. But I’m not staying up to watch it all. I’m not convinced that is a good thing.

We did television tonight. I recorded a little bit of it. Sure, I’m standing in a studio with five high-definition cameras, four of them controlled remotely from the adjacent control room (there was also a sixth high def camera working at this moment, as well, as we’d gone meta) and I’m holding my phone up at eye level …

This is one of the podcast series I want to do: New things shape ongoing disciplines. Think anyone will want to not want to do this one with me, too?

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