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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XX

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15 May 2014

gratuitous image

No. 7,756 (cartoon)

You’re silent.

You’re deaf.

16 May 2014

Bulletproof [sic] Vest

What’s the point of wearing a bulletproof vest unless someone shoots you? That’s what Blake Randall Wardell may have asked himself yesterday. No one will ever know with certainty if that was the case, because the twenty-five-year old South Carolinian is dead after he asked his friend Taylor Ann Kelly to shoot him.

So she did—blam!—and that was that.

Kelly was either a great marksman or had terrible aim, depending on how you look at it. She targeted Wardell’s chest, but managed to hit the edge of the vest that was just fabric and offered no protection. The bullet tore through his heart; lights out.

The moral of this story is obvious: it’s fine to have a friend to shoot an apple off your head with a bow and arrow, but under no circumstances ask her to shoot you in the chest with a gun.

gratuitous image

17 May 2014

Bacon Alarm Hat

Some of the Internet Archive’s computer servers automatically shut down during last week’s heat wave. One of the engineers described one of the machines as “hotter than the surface of the sun.” I’m pretty sure she was exaggerating. Nevertheless, I took a break from my sloth and designed a safety hat for the technicians to use.

My invention is based on the same concept as the canary in the coal mine, except that it has nothing to birds or fossil fuels. Never mind.

I simply added two strips of bacon to a standard Internet Archive hat. It looks deceptively simple, but it ain’t. The hat I designed features three separate heat alarm systems to alert an engineer to dangerously high temperatures: aural (the sound of frying bacon), tactile (hot dripping grease), and olfactory (the smell of cooking pig). In the event of an emergency, rescuers need only their noses to locate the engineer in danger.

I was pleased with the prototype, but didn’t get to test it before some damn dog ate the raw bacon. I hope the canine gets trichinosis; that would be a nice comeuppance for impeding the march of science and innovation.

18 May 2014

Forty-Three Degrees to Midnight

Cedric is an impudent little urchin, but I tolerate him. I have no choice. I enjoy Antoinette’s inimitable company, so I have to put up with her eight-year-old kid.

Cedric and I have an unspoken agreement: he annoys me, I annoy him, and we grudgingly share the same space when absolutely necessary. It’s far from ideal, but at least it’s a workable détente.

Our latest skirmish started out innocently enough when Cedric asked me what time it was.

“It’s forty-three degrees to midnight,” I replied.

“Do you mean forty-three minutes?”

“If I meant minutes, I would have said so.”

“So what does forty-three degrees mean?”

“It’s advanced trigonometry. Do you understand string theory?

After he admitted that he knew nothing about trigonometry or string theory, I told him that he couldn’t possibly understand what forty-three degrees to midnight meant. Some day, he’ll appreciate that I was just being mean to an irritatingly precocious kid.

19 May 2014

Tomorrow Is Never

Three people spoke Chemehuevi in 2008. I’ve been too slothful to get an update, but the writing on the wall—in English—is clear: Chemehuevi will soon be an extinct language if it’s not already.

That’s too bad. I only know one thing about the Chemehuevi language: “huttvip” means both “tomorrow” and “never.” I wonder what else we’ll lose when the last word of Chemehuevi has been spoken?

20 May 2014

It’s Funny and Interesting

Lots of things—and the people who create said things—annoy me. But what irritates me most are the stupider than stupid things I do involuntarily and effortlessly.

Recently, I’ve noticed that I’m beginning too many sentences with “It’s interesting,” or “It’s funny.” (Once is too many.) If I say something that’s interesting or funny, it should be self-evident. Calling something interesting or funny doesn’t make it so; it just identifies the speaker as an idiot.

That’s me!

Stare.

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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart

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