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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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9 July 2012

gratuitous image

No. 3,990 (cartoon)

Are you washed in the blood of the lamb?

No. I took a shower.

10 July 2012

The Slowest Known Drip

Is tar pitch—or tar—a solid or a liquid? That’s what Australian researchers are asking. Thomas Parnell of the University of Queensland started the experiment in 1927 to prove that an apparent solid is actually a high-viscosity liquid.

Although I don’t have the DNA of a proper scientist, I nevertheless regard this as a lovely piece of work. So far, the experiment has resulted in eight drops: 1938, 1947, 1954, 1962, 1970, 1979, 1988, and 2000. The data show that pitch is some two hundred and thirty billion times as viscous as water. Academics are expecting the next drop sometime this year or next.

My favorite part of the experiment is that no one has ever seen a drop of pitch fall. That’s art!

11 July 2012

Loud and Insecure

I agree with the premise that many men who buy expensive cars do so to call visual and audible attention to their pathetic selves. For example, one can buy exhaust systems for Porsches in three volumes: mild, loud, and aggressive. (I know nothing about the automotive world, but assume that “aggressive” is a synonym for “ass.”)

BMW drivers have a different problem: the car is built so well that drivers can’t hear their oversized engine. The Teutonic engineers have come up with an innovative solution: the automobile’s sound system plays prerecorded engine sounds so that insecure drivers can hear the manly sounds they think their engines should make.

The sophisticated technology is costly, but much less expensive than the extensive therapy needed to help rich idiots overcome their sad insecurities.

12 July 2012

Subaverage White Band

For years, I’ve appreciated the only two songs by the Average White Band in my library. (The Scottish ensemble comprises black and honky musicians, so the name is both hip and ironic, no?) I remembered this gap in my collection, so I asked the Internet to send me everything the group recorded.

The Internet complied by providing dozens of the quintet’s tunes.

I listened to one new acquisition for ten or twenty seconds; it sounded like milquetoast disco bilge. So did the next one, and the next one, and the next one, ad nauseam. I ended up deleting all the recent additions, so I was left with the same two Average White Band tunes with which I started.

I’m sure there’s at least one moral in that story, but that’s of no interest to me.

13 July 2012


I read that the human body uses three hundred muscles to balance itself when standing still. That alleged fact made me think of Newcastle, England, where one of many colorful local phrases for being thoroughly drunk is “legless.”

Would the failure of one of the three hundred standing-up muscles render one legless? Thirty-seven of them? All of them? This is a grant that begs to be written; I hope someone at the Geordie Centre for Culture and Science reads this.

14 July 2012

Our Court Café

The local Chinese joint, known formally as Our Court Café, is closed by government edict. San Francisco health inspectors cited “food contamination” and “rodent infestation,” specifically, “improper hot/cold holding temperatures, food in poor condition (unsafe/adulterated), food contact surfaces not clean/sanitized, rodents/roaches/flies/other animals.”

The result of the bureaucrats’ overzealous crackdown is that I can’t have an eighty-cent mushroom roll for lunch. So what if the food may have been adulterated? I’m tired of unadulterated food, which is why I went there in the first place. A few rat droppings have never killed anyone, and just might be the special ingredient that makes the food there so tasty.

When the restaurant reopens, I’ll probably have to pay a dollar for a mushroom roll because of the dive’s proprietors’ additional expenses of complying with ridiculous government regulations. That’s the price of living in a nanny state, I suppose.

15 July 2012

gratuitous image

Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Abandoned Bicycle

Angelina bought a bicycle with the best of intentions. She forgot about it and them soon thereafter. Soon the weeds will have disappeared it.

16 July 2012

Terrorist Swine

I was carrying my bike down the stairs in the BART subway station this afternoon when I spotted danger ahead. A middle-aged man was facing the railing and unzipping his pants. I thought this couldn’t be happening, then it did. I scrambled past him to avoid the spreading pool of urine at his feet.

“’Scuse me,” he said to a gaggle of young women following behind me. “Sorry ’bout that.”

Oh well, at least he was a polite swine.

There’s no excuse for that behavior, but there are extenuating circumstances. The subway managers closed the public toilets in the station a decade ago “for security reasons.”

I’m sure the thousands of commuters who’d soon migrate down the slippery stairs didn’t feel more secure. And what is it that theoretical terrorists do in a toilet that they couldn’t accomplish elsewhere? There hasn’t been a terrorist event in San Francisco sine the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped/recruited Patty Hearst in 1974, unless you count the idiot urinating on the stairs.


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©2012 David Glenn Rinehart

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