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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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26 November 2014

gratuitous image

No. 6,336 (cartoon)

Are you an artist?

I have no talent.

Then make cartoons!

27 November 2014


Luciana prepared a great Thanksgiving dinner. Except for the cranberries and sauerkraut, the baked trout stuffed with sauerkraut and cranberries was the best thing on the menu. Just to be clear, I have no problem with any dish that pairs well with Rainier Ale, which is everything except radishes and chocolate ice cream.

A Rainier Ale float rises to no occasion.

28 November 2014

Two Out of Seven Ain’t Bad

I asked Nell if she’d like a drink; it was a polite, formal question to which I knew the answer. Or rather, I thought I did.

“Sure,” she replied, “I’m not an alcoholic!”


She then pulled out a copy of a page from The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Version IV, which described the seven criteria for being an alcoholic: tolerance for alcohol, withdrawal symptoms, impaired control, inability to cut back or stop drinking altogether, continued drinking despite the problems it creates, neglecting one’s obligations, and spending too much time drinking.

“The head doctors decided that you’re an alcoholic if you have three of the symptoms,” Nell explained, “but I only have two, so let’s celebrate!”

“I propose a toast!” I agreed. “Here’s to the twenty-nine percent solution!”

Glasses clinked and glasses broke and that was that.

29 November 2014

gratuitous image

Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List

Imogen told me that she was offended by my recent suggestion that the scammers and spammers who bombard my mailbox with tens of thousands of attempts to swindle me should be beheaded or forced to work in Ebola clinics. I rarely say this, but she may be right.

I’m thinking of the 2005 research paper Eddie Kohle and David Mazières wrote; it was a minimalist masterpiece. The work comprises only seven words: Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List. It even included a spiffy diagram; brilliant!

Peter Vamplew, an Australian academic, submitted the paper to The International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology, a perfidious periodical that demands that authors pay to be published. To his astonishment, the “editors” accepted the paper.

“They told me to add some more recent references and do a bit of reformatting,” Vamplew reported, “but otherwise they said its suitability for the journal was excellent.”

Unfortunately, this lovely story has a sad ending, or, more accurately, no ending at all. Vamplew refused to pay one hundred and fifty dollars to have the paper published, and the vermin who manage The International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology will not get him off the fucking mailing list.

30 November 2014

World of the Living Dead

Gertrude told me that her goal in life is to live forever until she dies. I told her that sounded like a tautology; she insisted that it was not. She pointed out all the pasty, pudgy human organisms staring numbly into space. She admitted that they’re technically viable life forms, but they stopped living a long time ago.

That was the first time I realized that I was living in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. (I’m surprisingly unobservant for someone masquerading as a visual artist.) This world of the living dead is scarier than any of George Romero’s zombie nightmares.

1 December 2014

Make Believe versus Make Belief

Dr. Arnold gave a cynically illuminating comparison between “make believe” and “make belief.” I came away with a clear understanding of which to embrace and which to eschew. The problem is that now I can’t remember which was which. Come to think about it, it may have been an illuminatingly cynical comparison; I’m not sure about that either.

2 December 2014

Unranked Amateurs

I didn’t know how to react when I read that one hundred brains are missing in Texas. On one hand, that seemed like good news: since Texas is Texas, I would have guesstimated that the number of missing brains were within spitting distance of twenty-five million. On the other hand, the brains in question were missing in Austin, and I haven’t heard from Franz and Julie in rather too long.

In a rare act of diligence, I dug deeper and found that the brains in question had disappeared at the University of Texas. Administraitors there admitted that the brains weren’t really missing; they’d destroyed them.


No surprises there. Universities destroy brains; that’s their raison d’être. The only reason that a hundred missing brains made the news is that the idiots who mismanage the University of Texas have only been doing so since 1883; they’re unranked amateurs.


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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart

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