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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak IX


26 February 2014

gratuitous image

No. 1,804 (cartoon)

I don’t fit in.

You don’t stand out, either.

I’m out, standing alone.

27 February 2014

Building Sales and Profits

I have a long, relentlessly tedious story about the new camera lens I just ordered. I shall mercifully not repeat it, and instead provide the manufacturer’s description.

The AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm f/4G ED VR is sure to satisfy the needs of a broad range of shooters and, therefore, is poised to build sales and profits.

I’ve never built sales and/or profits before; I can’t wait for the new glass to arrive!

28 February 2014

Goat-Arousal Experts

The Christian Scientist Monitor, a well-respected periodical, ran a great story today: “Goat hair pheromone puts female goats in the mood, say goat-arousal experts.”

What a great headline! In fact, it was too good: the actual story couldn’t possibly be as entertaining. The best poor Agata Blaszczak-Boxe could do was to come up with some opaque scientific bafflegab.

The researchers also found that when four-ethyloctanal reacts with oxygen, it converts to a related compound called four-ethyloctanoic acid, which is the main ingredient of the goaty odor that plays a crucial role in attracting females to males.


Who cares why goats stink? Perspiring minds want to know about goat-arousal experts. Why was I not told about this career option before?

1 March 2014

The Only Thing We Learn from History

Those pesky Russians are at it again!

The Russkies took a page from Adolph Hitler’s 1938 playbook and invaded Ukraine in order to “protect” the ethnic Russians living in Crimea. No one can know with certainty how—or if—this will end, but I’m predicting tears before bedtime.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel saw the future clearly to the degree to which that’s possible when he wrote, “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”

2 March 2014

Noxious Flatuses, Not Flati

I’m generally not at all conservative, so I don’t know why I usually avoid slang when I write, especially when it refers to the human body. “Fart,” along with far too many other words to mention, is not in my vocabulary. That’s put me at a semantic disadvantage, since “odiferous gaseous intestinal discharge” has a dozen more syllables than “fart.” Who has the patience to listen to a juvenile odiferous gaseous intestinal discharge joke?

I’m grateful for Mary Roach’s latest book, Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal. I now appreciate that “noxious flatus” are the words I want to use when I publish my recipe for bachelor’s black beans. Or, more likely, noxious flatuses. I don’t know why the plural isn’t flati, but that’s neither here nor there.

3 March 2014

Pluck It!

A month ago today I found three hundred dollars on the sidewalk on the edge of the park. Fifteen twenty-dollar bills just sitting there waiting to be plucked.

“Pluck it!” I said, then did just that.

I decided to invest my windfall in cheap wine and Rainier Ale, and today I still have some of the dosh left. Thus, I have clearly demonstrated that the old idiom, a fool and his money are soon parted, isn’t always true.

4 March 2014

gratuitous image

Archival Wall

A demolition crew removed the charred skeleton of the Internet Archive’s scanning center that burned in November. I discovered an amazing sight after the auxiliary building was razed: an incredible artwork on the blackened and seared concrete wall of the main building. The intricate pattern of black carbon on the previously white wall was more visually engaging than most of the visual art I’ve seen.

The found image was perhaps fourteen meters wide by seven meters high. If an artist used a canvas that large, I’d dismiss her or him as being ostentatious and pretentious. I don’t have that problem with Archival Wall, since chance—with help from San Francisco firefighters—created it.


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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart