Sunday, June 22, 2014

Idea Garage Sale: For the Entrepreneurs

Not all ideas are for stories. I often have a vague wish to be able to put a painting, a business, a program, or something else that I haven't anything like the dedication to make reality out there into the world.

For instance, last Sunday Damon and I were watching what we thought at the time was the finale of Crisis, which we started watching because it had Gillian Anderson in it and kept watching because it is, in fact, a pretty good script. (I have one or two specific beefs but that's not here nor there.) Last Sunday was also the decisive game in some sort of championship thing for the NBA, which the San Antonio Spurs won.

I love San Antonio. I think that, as professional sports teams go, the Spurs are largely inoffensive. They are at least not a bunch of crooks, whiners, abusers, and entitled self-important bullies like some teams I could name (and the entire player base of some sports I could name). But if we'd cared about the damn championship we'd have been taping Crisis and at the arena with the rest of the locals, now, wouldn't we? So we were fit to be tied when, fifteen minutes from the end of the show, when the kidnapper giving Gillian Anderson instructions through her earbud told her to shut up and sit still, and the drugged superweapon soldier she'd gotten into the courtroom stood up behind the guilty CIA director's wife, and started revealing things the CIA director was willing to commit murder to keep everyone (especially Congress and the President) from knowing, and the station overrode the signal with the news that the Spurs had just won and started switching us between commentators saying nothing, nothing, and more nothing, and promising us interviews with people who had even more nothing to say, we were ready to blow a gasket.

So here's an idea for you tech wizards out there. No a story, just an app. One which, if it were available, would be worth the price of any device it was loaded on. (I currently own no devices.) I want an app which allows you to override pre-emptions, so that when stuff like this happens, the moment I realize that the "breaking news" has nothing whatsoever to do with the world I live in, I can go back to what I was watching. Also, so that when something I want to watch overlaps with some stupid game or other, whose length is unpredictable, I will be able to start my show on time! Somebody out there, please, make this happen!

Thanks to the marvels of internet technology, I did get to watch the final 15 online the next day; but it would have been so much better to have been able to watch it straight through. (Also, it turned out that wasn't the finale, though it felt like one; two more episodes aired back-to-back last night and brought it to a mostly satisfactory conclusion. Though I don't buy that the icily competent, unflappable Alicia Dutton was in it for Tahiti or that red-headed jerk. I feel cheated that she died before her character was properly revealed.)

Another enterprise I'd like to see is the Omnivore Cafe, a restaurant with two mix-and-match menus: Carnivore, and Herbivore. (If that sounds familiar, I assure you that a) I thought of this years before Cyn Smith wrote Tantalize and invented Sanguini's "Predator or Prey?" menus; and b) I'm thinking in terms of a place serving office workers in the middle of the day; a very different atmosphere.) Nutritional information would be supplied on each dish, which would be prepared as nearly saltlessly as practical, with choices of salt types (iodized or sea salt) and other seasonings at the table, dressings and other trimmings on the side rather than dumped onto the main course (and no nasty lemon wedges on my tea glass, waste of lemons, grumble). There'd be a Dairy counter (so you could get dairy products a la carte, for the convenience of the kosher as well as the non-Vegan) and a Bakery counter; and the bakery counter would have nutless versions of everything that came with nuts. Some items, like hamburgers, would be available in Low-Fat and Extra Greasy incarnations. And every day there'd be two iterations of Anything Soup available, made up of the previous day's leftovers, one meaty and one meat-free.

In short, I want a restaurant absolutely everybody can eat at, without these endless negotiations that make some of us such a pain the neck to eat out with.

These two things seem to me to be obvious, urgent needs. But I wouldn't know how to go about making either happen.

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