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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak V


30 January 2014

gratuitous image

No. 1,582 (cartoon)

But what have you done lately?

Why are you torturing me?

31 January 2014

We Can All Get Along

Colleen is Jewish; her husband Colin is Muslim. Over dinner, I asked them if having different religious beliefs made their marriage more difficult than usual.

“Not really,” Colleen replied, “we mostly hate each other for the usual reasons.”

Colin smiled the smile of a man in love.

1 February 2014

Humankind’s Best Friend and Worst Meal

Buelah, my late grandmother, urged me to take a deck of cards with me when backpacking. Should I ever get lost, all I’d need to do would be to play solitaire, then wait for someone to show up within minutes to suggest my next move.

Now, there’s another backwoods navigation tool that, like cards, requires no electricity. I just read an article in Frontiers in Zoology that says dogs align themselves along a north-south axis whilst urinating and defecating.

That’s good, practical news for nature lovers. Taking a dog on a hike provides a cheap compass, and an acrid canine barbecue if you get lost.

2 February 2014

Super Bowl, Not Super Eggplant

Today is the most important American football game of the year. Conversely, it’s not important at all to someone like me who has no interest in competitive sports between bands of millionaire mercenaries.

Almost no one knows where the match will be held. Almost everyone thinks the teams will play in New York City, but that’s not true: they’re playing on the other side of the Hudson River in New Jersey.

And there’s something else almost no one knows about New Jersey: two-thirds of the world’s eggplant is grown in that polluted wasteland. There’s a very good reason this fact is largely unknown: it’s not true. (The Chinese produce over half of the planet’s eggplant. Perhaps the confusion started because the Chinese produce likely contains as many industrial toxins as one would expect to find in vegetables grown in New Jersey’s virulent soil.) And for the last word—at least from me—on eggplant cultivation, the United States isn’t even among the top ten producers of the bland, tubular vegetable.

And now that I have nothing to say about American football, New Jersey, or eggplant, I shall abandon writing for the day and move on to more rewarding pursuits.

3 February 2014

gratuitous image

Rubber Band Dissimilarities

I’m staying with Charlie and Rocky for a few days, and every morning I pick up their daily copy of the San Francisco Comical off the front steps. I don’t read the newspaper because of its mediocre journalism; Charlie and Rocky don’t read it because they can’t.

They’re cats, and they have better things to do.

The newsprint arrives wrapped in rubber bands. Unlike the broadsheets, the stretchy loops are worth keeping, so I did. And that’s when I had the most minor of epiphanies: no two elastic bans are the same, just like snowflakes. (There’s another similarity: both last longer when refrigerated.)

I photographed four of the rubber bands with my cameraphone (phonecamera?) to serve as a visual note.

I should use a more often camera for taking simple notes in addition to making “serious” photographs with purportedly high production values.

4 February 2014

That’s Why They’re Friends

Jerry told me that his seven-year-old daughter Megan had a falling-out with Suzette, her best, er, formerly best friend. It seems that Megan told Suzette that she wasn’t a very good friend. Suzette said she wanted to be a better friend, and said that they’d get along fine if they never talked to each other again.

“Sounds serious,” I opined.

“Not at all,” Jerry replied. “It will all blow over in a week.”

He explained how the drama formula works. A quarrel between seven-year-olds lasts a week, a month when thirty-year-olds spar. I’m skeptical of such simplistic formulae, but Jerry’s belief made a modicum of sense. I can’t be sure, since I don’t fight with my friends. That’s why they’re friends, innit?


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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart