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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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3 September 2010

gratuitous image

No. 8,687 (cartoon)

I’ve never heard of anyone drinking themselves to death.

You won’t have to listen carefully.

4 September 2010

Self-indulgent Art Work

Why do you refer to your work as self-indulgent?” Minnisha asked.

“Because it is,” I replied.

“But why is it self-indulgent?” she continued.

“Because no one else will indulge it,” I explained.

5 September 2010

Death by Capsaicin

I’ve known for quite some time that capsaicin provides the heat in chilies, with some of the fiery fruits being more well-endowed than others. Despite what some of my learned friends say, the humble jalapeño pepper isn’t that hot; it has only one half of one percent of the capsaicin found in the mighty bhut jolokia.

Also contrary to popular belief; I do believe that there can, on very rare occasions, be too much of a good thing. That’s why I’ve never tracked down a bhut jolokia; common jalapeños and habañeros provide enough octane for any meal. I now have an even greater respect for the chilies’ active ingredient after reading that exposure to even small amounts of pure 8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide can lead to blindness, and even death. Scientists (and chefs?) who work with the pure stuff have to wear special clothing and breathe through respirators.

Killer peppers; why, I’ll be. If I’m ever convicted of a capital crime, I shall ask to be executed with capsaicin, one tasty jalapeño at a time.

6 September 2010

The Immensely-Brobdingnagian Telescope?

A couple of months ago I wrote about the Very Large Telescope in Chile, citing it as a paragon of a clear description. Since then, I’ve learned that there is also an Extreme Large Telescope.

But wait! The Overwhelmingly Large Telescope is on the drawing board. Where will the size race end?

Fortunately, astronomers still have many excellent names from which to choose. There’s the Enormous Telescope, the Immense Telescope, the Massive Telescope, the Colossal Telescope, the Gargantuan Telescope, the Mammoth Telescope, the Ginormous Telescope, and, of course, the Brobdingnagian Telescope. And that’s without even using prefixes such as immensely- and mega-.

I wonder what it is about astronomers and the size thing? I wonder, but not much since I fear it’s probably another one of those stupid Freudian things.

7 September 2010

Capitol Swamp

I’m visiting friends in the District of Columbia. They’re very dear friends, or else I wouldn’t be in this vermin-infested swamp. I ended up drenched in sweat walking a humid kilometer from the subway to their house. To make matters worse, the local grocery store doesn’t sell beer.

I think the wretched environment results in bad tempers, which in turn lead to all the nastiness from apoplectic lawmakers. I suppose the United States would be a much nicer and more humane place if the government was based in San Francisco. I’m not going to promote that idea, though, having the densest infestation of politicians on the opposite coast is a good thing.

8 September 2010

gratuitous image

Missile Museum

I saw a couple of nuclear missiles—an SS-20 “Saber” and a Pershing II—in a museum today. That’s where they all should be. Who said museums were lame? (Well, I suppose I did. But I take it back, at least when it comes to nuclear weapons.)

9 September 2010

Constructive Criticism

Annalee wanted to know how I felt about criticism of my personal work. So I told her.

“I’m a legend in my own mind,” I explained, “so I’m fine with any criticism as long as it’s constructive.”

“Constructive?” she asked.

“Praise, adoration, exaltation, that sort of thing,” I explained. “I’m comfortable with anything said in sincere awe and admiration.”

Annalee seemed disappointed; I think she was hoping I’d launch into a tirade against critics. I actually like critics, the constructive ones at least.


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©2010 David Glenn Rinehart

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