August 23, 2017 – Special Things

Awhile back I wrote about my sadness that special things aren’t special anymore because of globalization, the Internet and Donald Trump. (Okay, that last part was just a little humor because it’s late, been a long day and I’m overtired.) But this past week has reminded me that even though most things aren’t special anymore (thanks Amazon, BitCoin and WalMart), experiences are still special and sometimes those experiences include special things.

While in Vegas with my coauthors last weekend, we went to an historic little dive bar call Atomic Liquors. It’s an oasis in the middle of the fantasyland crap that permeates the rest of Sin City. It’s nothing fancy–a little hole in the wall place where you have to ring a bell to get in after dark for safety reasons. But it’s been there since 1952 when it served as a package store in the middle of nowhere for the employees at the nuclear test site. Our bartender, Katie, was exactly the kind of bartender you’d expect to see there and when we asked for a dinner recommendation, she naturally said the Atomic Liquor Restaurant was the best place in the Fremont area–old school upselling at its finest. The place also sold merchandise including some really cool t-shirts with radiation symbols and hats. Turns out that you can only get that merchandise in the Atomic Liquors bar (they don’t sell them on-line) which is a shame if you forget to get yours while there, but makes those that do purchase them very special indeed 🙂

The other special experience this week was the solar eclipse. I hope you had a chance to experience it in your own way. In addition to being a very infrequent event, the reason it was special for me was the community it created at work. In the light of all the current vitriol between the left , the right and their surrogates, it was refreshing to see men and women, older and younger, all races and ethnicities, gathering in our agency’s patio area sharing “eclipse-safe glasses,” talking about home made eclipse viewing devices and just having a good time sharing time together. I’m truly glad some things still really are special.

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