Thursday, December 20, 2007
Extreme Makeover… Squid feels for Marina, really. While some cities struggle with things like, say, violent crime, or multimillion-dollar budget deficits, Marina city officials tackle the hard stuff: a new city logo. Last year, the city paid $30,000 to hire a Sausalito-based design firm, and in December 2006, the sign committee (no, really) approved the concept for a logo including a cypress tree (a la Pebble Beach) with a string of pelicans and a sand dune. During the summer, however, the City Council rejected design proposals, and decided to look at local graphic artists.
This brings Squid to the present, and Marina designer Susan Stensland Boettner’s proposed logo, shaped like a shield, which shows a yellow sun setting behind a blue sea. Sandy dunes roll across the bottom of the logo, and a green… something juts out from the left-hand side. Stensland Boettner says it’s the top of a cypress tree; looks to Squid more like some sickly tentacles.
Still, Squid thinks Marina’s new logo is missing something. It needs to be a bit bigger, and boxier. The dunes are a nice touch, but maybe Kohl’s and Best Buy should replace the sun and surf.
Code Red… Squid’s feeling all anxious and unsettled. It’s not the frivolous spending, the cranky shoppers, the jingling and jangling of odd bells in octaves. Truth be told, it’s the balloons at all the parties. Everywhere. Squid doesn’t get it. And, OK, maybe Squid has this deep-rooted fear of them. They pop. Like really loudly. And that freaks Squid out. BAM! What’s the point?
So Squid just wasn’t all that moved by a helium shortage that the Bureau of Land Management calls a “worldwide crisis.”
Well, it’s worse than Squid thought. Apparently, among the menial tasks accomplished with helium – like, oh, say, the pressurizing of liquid propellants in the space shuttle, or cooling MRI magnets, or computer chip manufacturing (yawn) – the precious, priceless gas is also used in plasma televisions.
In 1996, those greedy folks at NASA and the Department of Defense sat around with their crystal ball envisioning this day, and enacted the Helium Privatization Act, ensuring they get the helium before those sensitive, caring plasma folks.
“You know why this happened?” a party store clerk in Salinas offered. Squid was thinking underproduction, plants off line for repairs, etc. “The war in Iraq,” she finished. “That’s what we’re fighting for – the gas and the oil.”
Squid knew there had to be a plausible reason we were there. Balloon animals and plasma TVs make way more sense than any other explanation Squid’s heard oozing out of the White House.