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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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20 August 2013

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No. 6,867 (cartoon)

I wonder if I’ll have a peaceful death?

Just die.

21 August 2013

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British Keystone Cops

Two security agents from England’s Government Communications Headquarters—the British version of our National Insecurity Agency—visited the office of the Guardian last month. There, they destroyed two of the publication’s computers. (The machines once held some of the files that Edward Snowdon released documenting that spy agencies keep tabs on hundreds of millions of people who aren’t suspected of any crime.)

Alan Rusbridger, the editor of the Guardian, called the action, “a peculiarly pointless piece of symbolism.” Yes, they destroyed the data on those particular machines, but there are lots and lots of copies of the exact same information hidden in other countries around the world. The most amazing thing about the senseless bit of theatre wasn’t the amazing stupidity; it’s that the bureaucrats were rather pleased with trying—with no success—to intimidate the journalists and teach them a lesson.

I should make it clear that I’m not entirely against stupid, would-be censors; they’re far preferable to the smart, effective ones.

22 August 2013

Baby Beer Smile

Selena showed me her new baby, so of course I had no choice but to praise it.

“I think it’s cute the way babies always look drunk,” I said.

“You really think so?” she asked.

“Even after just a single beer,” I replied.

Selena gave me a nasty look. I guess that was insufficient praise for the most amazing baby ever.

23 August 2013

Beware of the Gut

Clarissa ended her brief courtship with Charlie after just three weeks. Charlie was unpleasantly surprised; he was as sure as one can be about these things that they were developing a symbiotic romantic relationship.

“So what went wrong?” I asked.

“She told me that she had a feeling in her gut that I wasn’t the right partner for her,” he replied.

“That doesn’t leave any room for a logical discussion,” I said.

“The gut!” Charlie exclaimed. “She’s full of organs, and I was trying to give them all attention, but I overlooked the gut.”

“It’s good you found out sooner than later that she listens to her gut,” I suggested. “The gut’s not even very human; it’s mostly filled with foreign bacteria. You really should avoid getting too involved with anyone who takes advice from aliens living in their abdomen.”

24 August 2013

Bad Film Review

A publication of modest repute featured a review of an execrable film with no aesthetic merits, none. I was appalled. Why would anyone waste their time even acknowledging the existence of such cinematic scat?

If I was in a movie theatre and saw a piece of rat excrement, would I talk about it? What if the rat had rabies? What if the feces was bloody from cancer? Perhaps if it was crawling with tapeworms? What if It was shaped in a towering pile not unlike a Giacometti sculpture?

No, never, nope, negatory, and no way. If there’s any bigger waste of time than critiquing excreta, it’s critiquing someone who has.

25 August 2013

Punctuality Redefined

I was raised to be punctual, and I certainly am. It’s not unusual for me to stand at a friend’s front door looking at my watch and waiting until exactly twelve o’clock to ring the doorbell for a noon rendezvous. This behavior amuses some people and annoys others; no one appreciates it. I’m not going to change, though, since I enjoy both amusing and annoying my friends.

That’s why I’m so excited about the new ytterbium clock; it’s ten times more accurate than any other timepiece. The news report I read explained, “... the ticking rate varies less than two parts in one quintillion ... five hundred and eighteen trillion times per second.” Actually, I have no idea what that means, but numbers that large have to be good.

I see that the chronometer uses about ten thousand rare-earth atoms running at a chilly ten microkelvins inside and optical laser grid. That would so great for parties! Ten microkelvins is just the right temperature for making large batches of cocktails, and laser lights never fail to amuse.

Friends will stop making fun of my new watch once they see how figuratively and literally cool it is. Hahaha!

26 August 2013

Clean Sheets Forever!

I never wash my towels for the reasons I described thirteen years ago.

There’s a similar debate going on these days about how often to wash sheets. I suppose if I worked in a coal mine and jumped between the sheets covered in soot, then they’d probably need to be cleaned at least once a month or so. I’ve never been in a coal mine and I’m always clean when I get into bed, so how could the bedding possible get dirty?

Such impeccable logic doesn’t stop alarmists from the powerful washing machine and detergent industry though. Here’s an example of some great fear mongering from the director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University’s Langone Medical Center.

“Human skin cells become food for dust mites; that is one of the biggest problems associated with bedding. Mites accumulate, along with their feces,” Philip M. Tierno Jr. explained. “But there is also animal hair, dander, fungal mold, fungal spores, bodily secretions and bacteria. Also dust, lint, fibers, particulates, insect parts, pollen, soil, sand, and cosmetics.”

Fungal spores, insect parts, and cosmetics?! Anyone who goes to bed covered in all that crap deserves to have dirty sheets. Personally, I prefer the good hygiene that obviates the need to wash bedclothes.

27 August 2013

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Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Paula Sharp Remembered

It’s been over thirty-five years since I last visited with Paula, and some fifteen years since I made an image of her, Paula Sharp (binhexed). I wondered what she looks like today, so I went to her publisher’s Internet site. Her digital photograph showed only the top of her forehead; the rest was blank. That’s more or less how I remember her, so it was a great portrait.


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©2013 David Glenn Rinehart

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