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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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30 October 2010

gratuitous image

No. 3,951 (cartoon)

You just contradicted yourself.

Perhaps, but I’m still right.

31 October 2010


It’s Halloween, and I’m kittysitting in the sleepy little town of Sawmill Valley. As darkness approached, it belatedly occurred to me that a horde of children would soon descend on the house, ring the doorbell, and yell, “Trick or treat!”

Normally they get candy (was the pagan celebration hijacked by dentists?), but I decided to give them a trick instead. I taped a sign to the front gate that said, “Death in family; no visitors please.”

It worked.

Gaggles of children, ushered along by parents, passed by the front window where I was having dinner with friends. No one came through the gate, let alone rang the doorbell.


Speaking as a would-be curmudgeon, in my day any household that failed to deliver the goods on demand would suffer retribution: soap scrawls on the windows, toilet paper strung through trees, and perhaps a volley of rotten eggs.

As I predicted, the children tonight were too lazy to attack the house. And anyway, I wasn’t worried about underestimating the kids: it wasn’t my house.

1 November 2010

“San Francisco” “Giants” Win “World Series”

Today, news outlets report that the San Francisco Giants won the world series. But that’s not exactly true.

First, mercenaries from around the world comprise the team. I doubt any of the baseball players are actually from San Francisco, or will choose to stay here after their contracts expire.

And as for San Francisco, the original name of the “team” is the Troy City Trojans. It was founded in 1879, and has moved from city to city ever since. They could be the Biloxi Giants tomorrow; who knows?

Third, the “giants” look like ordinary humans, not behemoths. A few paunchy guys, a couple that look downright scrawny, but no one over two meters tall. In short, no giants.

And finally, the only baseball teams eligible to play in the “world” series are from the United States. I think there may be one or two from Canada, but that’s virtually the same thing.

Go Giants!

2 November 2010

Monster Raving Loony Tea Party?

It’s election day in the United States, and the “Tea Party” is garnering a great deal of attention. It’s not a proper political party, but rather a broad label for the lunatic reactionary fringe. The teabaggers are almost as funny as they are scary.

When it comes to politics, I prefer the honesty of the teabaggers’ English counterparts. The members of the Monster Raving Loony Party aren’t shy about acknowledging their niche in the political spectrum.

I hesitate to put such a horrific thought into words, but what if the teabaggers and the Monster Raving Loony Party united to form the Monster Raving Loony Tea Party?

I’m not going to speculate about a fourth reich; the third one was horrific enough for a millennium.

3 November 2010

The Five-Dollar Burrito

It’s here, sort of. The price of a burrito has risen to a dime or two south of five dollars. After paying the obligatory sales tax, a burrito now costs over five dollars.

This is the point at which I wish that I had an economist to hold my hand. S/he’d explain that, adjusted for inflation, the price of a burrito hasn’t really changed since I moved to San Francisco in 1984.

I know a statistician, but no economists. That’s a problem that’s not really a problem, in that I can always come up with ten dollars for a burrito or two.

4 November 2010

gratuitous image

Rule of Thirds

My new software for processing photographs has a dubious new “feature.” When I crop an image, the program helpfully provides an overlay showing the new image divided into nine equal segments in order to allow me to apply the rule of thirds to purportedly help me with my composition.

The rule of thirds is one of those academic abominations that exemplify Henry David Thoreau’s observation, “Any fool can make a rule.” Some moron came up with the notion that the subject or horizon of a photograph should be placed one third of the way into an image, generations of imbeciles have repeated it. And now some ignoramus manager at Adobe Systems has added the rule of thirds to my software.

I’m not really complaining, although I might had I purchased the silly software rather than simply acquiring it.


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©2010 David Glenn Rinehart

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