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Apr 7, 2021

Here’s a Sneak Peek at Some Summer Apps

“Collect ‘em all!,” says no one in particular

By Ed Goldman

Through a complicated process involving a fair amount of bribery, physical threats and, above all, remembering to say “please” and “thank you so much,” Sylvio Sylvie, The Goldman State’s chief enforcer and thief, has managed to cadge a sneak preview of apps due for summer 2021 release.

While he wasn’t born until 1984, Sylvie’s name was made famous by a 1956 Harry Belafonte recording (“Sylvie, oh Sylvie/I’m so hot and dry/Sylvie, oh Sylvie/Can’t you hear/Can’t you hear me cryin’?”). When I told Sylvie it was written from the viewpoint of a prisoner working on a chain gang, Sylvie became impossible to live with for a few weeks, acting like a tough guy and going so far as to falsely declare that Belafonte was his grandfather—until I pointed out that the singer/actor/activist and sometime movie gangster is still very much alive (he turned 94 on March 1) and we could easily check out Sylvie’s story. “Okay, he said, “he’s not my grandpa. But I really am a tough guy. Just like Harry.”

Edgy Cartoon

Putin on the Ritz

Here are some contraband apps Sylvie purloined on our behalf:

  1. ET TUBE, BRUTUS?: A new sharing app for students of ancient Rome to post video re-enactments of ancient senators stabbing their ancient head of state. Sponsored by Little’s-Left-of Caesar Pizza.
  2. I LIKE IKEA: A website for fans of political nostalgia who, while reviewing President Eisenhower’s action-packed years in office, wouldn’t mind also putting together a home-office console with easy-to-follow instructions, especially if they happen to be Master Carpenters with the patience of Job. (For younger readers: I didn’t just accidentally capitalize the word “job.” Job, pronounced “joab,” not “jawb,”  was a biblical figure (James 5:7-12 and Job 7:11-19) whom God singled out for suffering to ensure that no matter how bad things got for him, he’d still have faith. It’s not unlike how you feel when the Internet goes out or your phone’s battery needs recharging and you rage impotently against the universe.)   
  1. ZOOM FOR ONE MORE: You can now add participants to your Zoom call without reducing their images in the “gallery view” to the size of Forever Stamps. By attaching Ell-Screen®, our easy-to-install cyber annex to either side of your existing computer, you’ll be able to add a minimum of four more homicidally bored attendees to your next meeting.
  2. DESPICABLE HOUSEWIVES/JERSEY SHORE ‘NUFF (Broken-Home Edition): This new app is a spin-off combining and re-branding the worst of two reality shows—in the process adding a totally incongruous Southern twist (see ’NUFF).
  3. THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE: At last, those implacable sentries give you access to their locker room.
  4. MR. PUTIN HEAD: For fans of horseback riding and flagrant displays of male nipples, this app features a series of videos showing Russia’s bare-knuckled, bare-chested CEO (chief execution officer) indulging his lifelong fantasy to be the Soviet Hopalong Cassidy (for younger readers, Hopal—oh, forget it. Stay ignorant of everything that happened in America before 2000. You’ll sleep better).
  1. DOES THIS BODY MAKE ME LOOK PUDGY?: A self-help app that looks and works exactly like a full-length bathroom mirror. In fact, why not just go out and buy an actual full-length bathroom mirror? You’ve needed an excuse to leave the house since you heard they reopened Dairy Queen.
  2. MEIN CRAFT: While its name sounds like the most popular video game ever created, this app in fact features a tutorial by a beloved German pottery maker named Heinrich Månnoover, who originally was thought to have died in a kiln accident shortly after completing this video. Good news: Herr Månnoover is still very much with us. Through a bad translation and misspelling, the ceramicist actually dyed something the wrong color in his baking oven.
  3. XTREME PARCHEESI: Forget X Games and Extreme Frisbee: This is the app wallflowers will most want to deploy as they engage in video home-to-home combat. Played on a cross-shaped board, which some players have interpreted as having Christian significance—but since it’s based on the Indian Hindu game Pachisi, it really doesn’t—Parcheesi is a fun way to spend a very long rainy day while pretending you’re still under pandemic quarantine and have to remain indoors, while the truth is that you simply hate getting fresh air in your lungs and sunshine on your male-pattern bald spot.
  4. GARAGE BANNED: Sylvio Sylvie tells me this isn’t really an app, just a message he sent his teenage son to remind him that he and his band, Grungy Jumpers, would no longer be able to practice until all hours in Sylvie’s garage. “I’ve told the kid that if he defies me,” Sylvie says, “I’ll call Harry Belafonte to deal with him.”

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).

Yes, Virginia

A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela

President and CEO, Golden Pacific Bank

photo by Phoebe Verkouw

Spring brings new life and wonderment. I revel in the warmth of the sun, the blossoms and fragrance in the air, that fresh feeling of a new start each day. This year is especially precious after being holed up with the pandemic and our own personal hibernations.

Spring is a time for renewal, including your business plan. It’s time for spring cleaning, not only in our personal closets, but also at every business. The world is emerging in a new way, and there are some things that changed in the pandemic, and we will likely never go back to the way they (or we) were.

It’s time to clean closets at your workplace. For any business, now is the time to adjust any existing business plan, shake it out, and reanalyze the newly emerging market, post-pandemic, and how it can be tackled. An emphasis on the digital is now ingrained in all of our lives.

With change comes a fresh start. If you own or work at a business, now is absolutely the time to take stock of your work operations and goals, and reframe your strategy, along with a consideration of what business, or part of your business, is a good candidate for going digital. Analyze it! Don’t shy away from all of the change in the world. Face things head-on by providing an updated plan to be your best self and your business’s greatest success story. This is what spring is all about.

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