Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Space Alien Marches with the Women

Early in the morning on the day after the Presidential Inauguration, your editor noticed the Space Alien leaving the office of the Space Alien Gazette with a bucket and garden hose.

"Where are you going?" asked your editor.

"I'm off to drain the Volo Bog."  said the Space Alien,

"NO!" cried your editor.  That's a treasured Illinois Nature Preserve!  Look here on my computer!"  (And you, loyal reader, may look too by clicking on: Volo Bog.)

"But it looks like a SWAMP," answered the Space Alien, "and our New President says swamps must be drained!"

Your editor shook her head sadly.  "Volo Bog, like many other swamps and bogs, is home to many wonderful plants and animals that need this environment to survive, and it contributes to our environment as well.  Plus it would be against the law to disturb it like that!"

"But maybe most people wouldn't even care!" said the Space Alien.

Your editor shook her head.  That's not the way we do things at the Space Alien Gazette!" she said sternly!  "We play by the rules here!"

The Space Alien slowly nodded with understanding, and set aside the pail and garden hose.

"But then what shall I do today?"

"Come with me to the Chicago Women's March" suggested your editor.  "You'll meet lots of terrific people and have a truly productive day!  Here is the beautiful pin that your loyal reader Beth gave you to wear; it's the theme for the day!"

The Theme for the Day

The Space Alien put on the beautiful pin, but still seemed unsure.

"I'm post-gender; will that be a problem?"

"Certainly not!" said your editor.  "You will be most welcome!  So grab your gear and let's go!"

And off they went!

The Space Alien: all fired up 
and ready to go!

The Space Alien, saw lots of people wearing pink hats with cat ears, and fortunately had brought along knitting needles,  pink yarn and some patterns.

Wielding the knitting needles at tachyonic velocities exceeding the speed of light, the Space Alien soon had a pink hat with cat ears
all ready to go!

(Loyal readers: To find easy patterns, click here.)

The Space Alien on the March

The Space Alien marched in an unexpectedly huge and growing crowd covering Grant Park and the Chicago Loop.

Look carefully and you might catch a glimpse of the Space Alien wearing a pink hat!

The Space Alien was delighted to see signs that brought everyone together, and felt happy and supported in the crowd now covering downtown Chicago.

At last the Space Alien took to the air with a tiny camera/videocam, taking plenty of pictures and generously sharing them with major broadcast outlets for all to enjoy.

See these videos and photos of the Chicago Women's March:   NBC ChicagoABC Chicago, and an independent group Heavy.com.

Sue, Joan, Cyndi, Ellie, 
Lynn and Beth 
Your editor, not as energetic or skillful as the Space Alien, joined friends and marched for hours through Grant Park and the Chicago Loop (which totally shut down to accommodate a reported quarter-million marchers) before stopping for refreshments.

Here is your editor, second from the left,  dressed in black and wearing an orange cap!

So Many New Friends!

What a fine day in beautiful Chicago!

This was reportedly the second largest U.S. Women's March, and it was totally peaceful.

The Space Alien made so many new friends and emerged energized and with a new sense of purpose, returning to the insanely busy newsroom of the Space Alien Gazette all fired up and ready to go!

And the creativity!
The Space Alien will never forget the the wonderful signs!  Here are just a few of them!

https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20170121/downtown/these-were-best-signs-from-womens-march-on-chicago and http://chicagoist.com/2017/01/22/photos_40_of_our_favorite_signs_fro.php#photo-1 and http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/photos-signs-womens-march-on-chicago-411463565.html

Much work lies ahead, but for the moment, the Space Alien is content to enjoy a comforting  mug of Ambassador Organics Egyptian Hibiscus Tea (q.v.) and think deep thoughts!

The Space Alien wishes each loyal reader something equally enjoyable today!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Space Alien Addresses Cyber Security

The President Bids the U.S. Farewell
On January 10 the the entire staff of the Space Alien Gazette watched President Barack Obama's Farewell Address.  The Space Alien has attended dozens of presidential farewell addresses (beginning with President George Washington's) and judged this to be among the best.  Loyal readers are invited to join the Space Alien in standing up to shout "Yes We Can!" and then getting to work!  Here is a link for all wishing to watch it (or watch it again).    PBS Recording of President Obama's Farewell Address.

Turning back to the news, Space Alien resumed an intensive review of the ongoing cyber-security situation, beginning with articles in the Washington Post (here), and New York Times (here), and was pleased to see that the Chicago Tribune had also addressed this dangerous situation in two recent columns.

The Wave of the Future?
The first column was by Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post.  To read this column click here.  Here, the President-Elect was quoted as recommending that in the interest of national security, important messages should be delivered by courier, not online. The Space Alien found this persuasive.

In the second, Chicago Tribune's Rex Huppke (a Space Alien fave), addressed this crisis by offering his burgeoning equestrian skills, valuable time and boundless energy to deliver documents securely by horseback.   The Space Alien was touched by this generous expression of patriotism.  http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/huppke/ct-trump-courier-hacking-huppke-20170102-column.html.

Could Columnist Serve
As Postmaster General?
The Space Alien Wonders:
What's next for the U.S.P.S!

(The Space Alien wondered if this means an entirely new direction for the United States Postal Service.   We may address this at another time.)

Because we take this matter seriously we are currently exploring the possibility of delivering the Space Alien Gazette safe from prying eyes in plain brown paper wrappers.  But we are not stopping there.

The Space Alien Gazette's
 Bikes to be Repainted

Loyal readers will recall our announcement a few weeks ago that the Space Alien Gazette would no longer be delivered by a fleet of environmentally-unfriendly trucks, but rather, by bicycle couriers.  http://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2016/12/the-space-alien-questions-new-direction.html

As soon as these bicycles are repainted, they will be used to deliver the Space Alien Gazette.  We are confident that this will not only protect the environment, but will also keep our publication from falling into the wrong hands.

Serving Loyal Subscribers Everywhere

We are particularly pleased that we will be able to serve our loyal readers overseas and even further afield with our exciting new Extraterrestrial Service. Our very own Space Alien, traveling through space and time at tachyonic velocities exceeding the speed of light, will supervise this operation.

Bicycle couriers (as befits our new greatness) will all be non-union.   Wearing "union suits" will be discouraged.  Couriers requiring the warmth of similar garments in cold weather will henceforth refer to them as "Liberty Longies."
Space Alien Gazette Courier 
Models Liberty Longies
Vintage Ad for Union Suit

Annoying questions about health insurance for our couriers will not be an issue. We are confident that sixteen hour days spent pedaling these bikes in every kind of weather will build up their strength, immunity and general health, rendering such insurance unnecessary.

Our couriers will need no more than basic familiarity with the English language and the Latin alphabet in order to locate street addresses.  No other languages or alphabets need apply.  (Except maybe Cyrllic!)
Happy Couriers Will Deliver
Space Alien Gazette to your Door!

Advanced computer literacy will be unnecessary. The Space Alien Gazette will follow the example of our our national leader in this regard.

We expect no complaint from our couriers regarding salaries, as all will be generously compensated with free subscriptions to the Space Alien Gazette.

We believe everyone will be happier with our new courier service,  securely delivering not only the news you need whether you want it or not, but also the news you want whether you need it or not!
In the Mailbox: 

1. A loyal reader wrote to express deep concern that the Space Alien Gazette would be delivered by non-union couriers, particularly given the contributions unions have made to workplace fairness and safety.   This reader was insistent, claiming to have been told by the departing President not to back down from his beliefs.

However, the Space Alien's top priority right now is making America great again.   As noted previously, the Space Alien suspects that the time of the greatness to be emulated now was when mastodons or perhaps dinosaurs roamed the earth, an era when unions did not exist.  (To see this earlier post please click here.

2. This same loyal reader, was concerned that given the large number of subscribers the Space Alien Gazette might run short of bicycles.  He suggested we acquire the pre-owned bike depicted below.  Clearly the riders of this bicycle, Burl Ives and Woody Guthrie, will not be riding soon again, and so the Space Alien sincerely appreciates the lead.  

3. The same loyal reader, who just won't give up, then sent  indisputable proof that at least some of the animals alive in the "good old days" had a union.

This label, allegedly found in a collection of archaeological artifacts stored away from public view in the Field Museum, was supposedly sewn in a tattered frock, size super XL, determined by carbon dating to be at least 12,000 years old.

The Space Alien, now mentally paralyzed by conflicting views on the union question, has retreated to the Space Alien Gazette's comfortable "time out" room to sort out these feelings while listening to old phonograph records of favorite union songs.

If you, loyal reader, would like to listen and sing along,  click here.

BREAKING NEWS!   1-12-17
Our couriers have just stormed the offices of the Space Alien Gazette with new demands!
Unfurling a banner imprinted with these words:  "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"  they announced that even when the bicycles were ready, and no matter what the weather, they would not perform their delivery duties before finishing their fill of bagels and/or doughnuts and/or round sweet rolls (to be provided by the Space Alien Gazette).   The Space Alien could not be reached for comment.