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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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10 September 2013

gratuitous image

No. 4,218 (cartoon)

Shall we call it a day?

I call it a farce.

Let’s call it quits.

11 September 2013

Breathe Out Yesterday, Breathe In Tomorrow

Ruth is back from Bulgaria with stories to tell. And photographs too. She showed me a grim image of Bulgartabac Holding Group AD’s headquarters, a grey, imposing building in the Eastern Bloc style. I didn’t think much of it until she translated the company’s motto chiseled in stone, “Breathe Out Yesterday, Breathe In Tomorrow.”

Bulgartabac is the largest tobacco company in Bulgaria.

12 September 2013

No Pink Mist in Iowa

Iowa legislators passed a low allowing blind people to carry guns in public. I, for one, applaud the bold move.

I only use my guns for aesthetic purposes. I don’t think I could ever shoot a living thing, except for perhaps the odd cauliflower. Even if it was a case of my life or my assailant’s, I think I’d be traumatized by the sight of someone’s brains splattered on my studio walls.

Military snipers talk about being debilitated after looking through the telescopes on their rifles and seeing someone’s head explode into a cloud of pink mist after they pulled the trigger. Someone’s son and/or father and/or brother and/or husband just died.

Blind people would never see such a violent death, and thus would make excellent snipers. Similarly, they’d have no image of how gruesome a bullet-riddled body of an attacker is unless they slipped on some entrails.

If I ever lose my sight, I might move to Iowa if only to know that I wasn’t missing anything visually rewarding. And being able to shoot any imaginary corn cob or wooly mammoth would be an added bonus!

As long as I enjoy my vision, though, I’m staying far away from armed blind people.

13 September 2013

The Denali Size Thing

Sixty years ago, scientists calculated that Denali—the highest peak in North America— was 6,193 meters above sea level. New satellite measurements conclude that the summit, is, in fact, only 6,168 meters tall.

This is news?!

I remember the first time I saw the mountain twenty-five years ago; I was hiking with Judith.

“If that’s over 6,170 meters high,” I said, “then I’m Englebert Humperdink.”

“I don’t want to talk about the size thing,” Judith replied, “but I’ve seen 6,193 meters, and that ain’t it.”

Why is there so little news in the news?

14 September 2013

Avoid England

Avoid England; that’s what I say. Tadeusz Dudek should have taken my advice.

Dudek, the captain of the MV Danio, made a slight navigation error sailing from Perth, Scotland to Antwerp, Belgium. He programmed his eighty-meter freighter to take the most direct route, then went to sleep. As did the mate on the bridge, who also failed to turn on the navigational watch alarm system.

All was going well until the ship collided with a large obstacle just before dawn: England. The ship ran aground on the Farne Islands, where it remained for a couple of weeks before it could be dragged off the rocks.

The moral of this story? The shortest distance between two points is still a straight line, but it’s not the quickest route for sailing if there’s an ugly island in the middle.

15 September 2013

gratuitous image

Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Dusty Wine Glass

It’s stupid photograph to publish this photograph, since it’s one of those images that is of no interest to anyone except to my friend who drank from the cheap wine glass and me. It’s a visual memento of an interesting event about which no one else will ever hear.

16 September 2013

Swamp Zombies

I love Louisiana.

Ha! Just kidding. Who’d want to be in that wretched swamp?

Yes, I’ve been to New Orleans, but that was just for the beignets and to visit Clarence John Laughlin’s ghosts.

So what’s wrong with Louisiana, besides the heat, humidity, crime, heat, humidity, and hurricanes? Killer brain-eating amebae, that’s what. Some Louisiana cities have Naegleria fowleri in their water systems. If those little critters get up your nose, say, while bathing or swimming, they literally eat your brains.

I’ve read that sometimes the amebae invaders die before finishing their human meal. That’s as good an explanation as any I’ve heard as to why the bayous are full of zombies.

17 September 2013

Safe Chinese Drinking Strategy

Stewart asked me for advice on his upcoming trip to China, and I was glad he did. It’s always a pleasure to provide my opinion on a subject about which I know nothing.

I was going to tell him not to eat the food, drink the water, or breathe the air there, but instead decided to be more positive.

“Don’t drink the water unless it’s been through a brewery first,” I advised.

“Are you sure?” he asked.

“If I’m right, you won’t catch the dreaded lurgi,” I replied. “And if there was nothing to worry about, well, you enjoyed a lot of beer.”

No one could argue with that, so Stewart didn’t.


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©2013 David Glenn Rinehart

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