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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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1 October 2011

gratuitous image

No. 6,498 (cartoon)

You need to eliminate the problem.

I am the problem.

You need to eliminate the problem.

2 October 2011

An Unusual October

This year, October has five Sundays, five Mondays, and five Saturdays. This won’t happen again until 2834, so enjoy it while you can.

3 October 2011

Posthumous Prize

It’s one of those bittersweet plots from a bad short story: researcher finally wins Nobel prize three days after his death. I doubt Ralph M. Steinman was disappointed that he never received that particular honor; all the stories I read described him as a dedicated investigator.

Imagine the other scenario, in which the scientist learned the news shortly before his demise. The Nobel officials aren’t serving up ceremonial meatballs and [what else do Swedes eat?] until December, so he’d go to his grave without enjoying that tasty treat, plus he wouldn’t have time to spend many of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money.

4 October 2011

Colourful Delusions of Adequacy

“We are brilliant inventors in this country,” boasted Prime Minister David Cameron of England. “We invented the jet engine, DNA, and the World Wide Web.”


It’s unclear to which country he was referring, since a Brit and a German each invented versions of the jet engine contemporaneously.

It’s true that Tim Berners-Lee, credited with inventing the WWW, was born in London. But, sensible person that he is, he wisely escaped England and moved to Switzerland, where he created the first web site.

And DNA? I’ll have to check, but I’m fairly sure that wasn’t invented in England, or by a human being for that matter.

David Cameron, who clearly suffers from delusions of adequacy, is a logical representative for and of a collapsing England.

5 October 2011

We’re All Going to Die Really Soon

“Life is short, and we’re all going to die really soon. It’s true, you know.”

Steve Jobs said that, and he was right. He died really soon (he was fifty-six); he died today.

Virtually all of the obituaries are lauding his accomplishments in marketing and innovation, so I thought I’d balance that by repeating another of his observations.

“If you look at the artists, if they get really good, it always occurs to them at some point that they can do this one thing for the rest of their lives, and they can be really successful to the outside world but not really be successful to themselves. That’s the moment that an artist really decides who he or she is. If they keep on risking failure, they’re still artists.”

It’s true, you know.

6 October 2011

A Spatula in the Road

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it,” Yogi Berra advised. And that’s what Henri did, even though the fork was a spatula. He thought it would be a perfect gift for Julia, but he thought wrong. Julia rejected Henri’s offering after a prolonged argument over the denotations and connotations of the word “new.”

Henri argued that the spatula looked like it just left the factory, that it didn’t have a single scratch or blemish. And anyway, it was new to her.

Julia insisted that he remove “that thing” from her house. Given its unknown provenance, she posited that the utensil could have been used to flip poodle burgers, as an anal probe, or worse.

Julia prevailed. When you come to a spatula in the road, keep it.

7 October 2011

Texas Tofu

Sandra’s back from Texas with stories to tell. My favorite tale involves Texas tofu, a dish sounds like a joke, an oxymoron in that famously carnivorous state. It is a joke, and here’s the punch line: Texas tofu is actually a tofu substitute made from pureed veal and bacon fat.

I’m glad there’s a Texas; it’s a good place to segregate millions of Texans.

8 October 2011

Not Aggranding Gomez

Eric castigated Gomez for a litany of shortcomings and failures, including being self-aggrandizing.

“Don’t be too hard on Gomez,” I suggested. “After all, no one else will aggrand him.”


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©2011 David Glenn Rinehart

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