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Adventures At CES, Prologue: We Were Somewhere Around Barstow….

With any luck, just about the time this shows up on, I’ll be right here:

“Here” would be Baker, California, the precise middle of nowhere, home to the World’s Tallest Thermometer and the World’s Most Disappointing Roadside Attraction (they’re one and the same). Baker is on the freeway between Barstow and Las Vegas, an oasis of fast food and gas stations and Alien Jerky (really) after miles of empty desert in either direction. You don’t HAVE to stop in Baker, but if you need a bathroom or some gas or Alien Jerky, you WILL stop in Baker. And countless billboards along the highway — THE MAD GREEK, just 15 minutes ahead! — make sure you’re aware that it’s coming.

I’ll be in, or around, or adjacent to Baker because I’m driving from L.A. to Las Vegas for the International Consumer Electronics Show, better known as CES or That Overcrowded Nightmare. After years of avoiding the crush of hundreds of thousands of gadget aficionados, sales people, engineers, deep thinkers, retail representatives, journalists, and others of questionable hygiene, it’s my turn to join the herd, covering the action, as part of my day job, for I’m a little nervous, because while I’m an old and very jaded hand at convention coverage and I do the NAB Show in Vegas, also a large, crowded event, every April, this one’s different. I don’t know too many people at this one. I’m covering it from angles that involve old media — radio, music — and how they’re being overtaken by technology. And I’m never big on crowds and I tend not to do parties.

So, this should be fun.

I’ll be posting observations from CES here, too, over the next few days as time permits and as events in which I’m interested arise. That is to say, I won’t be doing what Engadget or Gizmodo or CNET or Leo Laporte will be doing. I’ll just be observing and complaining, not necessarily in that order. I expect to hit tablet overload by Thursday afternoon at the latest.  And if you’re at CES as well, don’t hesitate to say hello. I could use a friendly face or two at this thing.

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  1. Deltus says:

    Prepare yourself for Nerd Flu, is what I’ve been told.

  2. Almost made it there exactly as the item posted. Fifteen minutes off. If not for traffic on the 605 and police running a break in Hesperia, I would have made it, too….

  3. CK says:

    I hope you have a good time and don’t get claustrophobic like I would. *is insanely jealous*

  4. Sorry that link is dead– here is a pic of Bun Boy:

  5. Oh Baker- former home of Bun Boy ( As a teenager we stopped here after a very long drive and stayed at the Paradise Motel (also gone) and tried to find a decent place to eat. We visited a fast food joint (bun boy) , a sit-down restaurant (bun boy) and a drive thru (yes bun boy again). We thought we were going crazy!.
    I think David Lynch must have spent some time in Baker before he wrote Twin Peaks.
    Have fun!