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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak IV


22 January 2015

gratuitous image

No. 5,460 (cartoon)

How do you know?

When you know, you know.

How do you know?

23 January 2015

Pi(e) Day

Colin started a pi(e) fight at the Internet Archive this afternoon. He announced that since the twenty-third day of January is presented as 1.23 in the United States, this is Pie Day, “since pie is as easy as one two three.”

The engineers were outraged, and maintained with more vigor than was necessary that the fourteenth day of March, 3.14, has been, is, and always will be the true pi day. The Pie Day advocates brought in five fruit pies to support their argument; the engineers responded by walking out en masse.

I found the debate tedious; I wanted both sides to lose.

24 January 2015

The IQ Fifty Chronicles

The local San Francisco newspaper continues to explore new horizons in mediocrity. Some of my learned friends claim that the pathetic periodical’s editors have an average IQ of fifty; others claim that the publishers are quite savvy and tailor their daily to readers with an average IQ of fifty.

I find this all quite amusing. The race to the bottom doesn’t have a finish line, and thus has no winners, just losers.

25 January 2015

gratuitous image

Burns Night

It’s Burns Night, the occasion when we celebrate the birthday of the Scottish poet by drinking whisky, reciting Robbie Burns’ poetry, drinking whisky, drinking more whisky, eating haggis, drinking whisky, drinking more whisky, drinking more whisky, and so on.

For years, I’ve been cycling past the huge Robbie Burns statue in Golden Gate Park almost daily. I’ve always imagined perhaps a hundred inebriated acolytes congregating there on Burns Night to celebrate The Great Chieftan o’ the Puddin-race, but tonight was my first opportunity to join in the bacchanalia.

When I arrived with my bottle of cheap whisky, I found myself in the middle of a crowd of one. (Or two, if you include the Burns statue.) And so, I poured a glass of Scotch, toasted the bard, and pedaled off in search of the elusive haggis.

26 January 2015

Dame Edna’s New Books

I just read a news report that Dame Edna bought six new books. (I suppose the purchase of so many books by an individual is a newsworthy event these days.)

I don’t understand why anyone would buy a book printed on paper, and I especially don’t understand why anyone who’s over seventy would buy—instead of borrow or rent—a book. Books aren’t a very efficient way to transfer data, and few people read the same book twice.

I am not disparaging books; books and horses have been the best solutions to certain problems for at least half of a millennium, but now there are much better options for getting data and human meat from one location to another. Dame Edna’s busier than she is old, so I can appreciate why s/he may not have noticed that.

And that’s quite enough pontificating for one day, possums!

27 January 2015

Whale Beer

I’ve never understood all the hoopla about “saving the whales” since they’re big enough to take care of themselves. More to the point, they’re doomed to extinction from pollution, ocean acidification, resource depletion, et cetera, so why not barbecue a few blue whale steaks over a redwood fire while we still can?

After decades, Jerry’s daughter Megan finally gave me a good reason to delay the giant cetaceans’ inevitable extinction: beer.

Steoji, a small brewery in Iceland, has introduced Hvalur Two. I’m reticent to use the word “unique,” but there’s no other way to describe the beverage made from smoked fin whale testicles smoked in sheep excrement.

“We smoke the testicle by the old Icelandic way,” explained Dagbjartur ArilÌusson, “and this method gives the beer a really unique smoke flavor.”

In a world full of marketing hyperbole, I found is understatement quite refreshing. If I’m ever in Iceland, I shall have to try Hvalur Two; nothing’s tastier than an endangered species!

28 January 2015


I met a crazy person sitting on the steps of the Internet Archive today. That’s not particularly surprising; the planet in general and San Francisco in particular is home for many of them. I suppose I may even be crazy myself; I haven’t given it much thought.

“Churches give me the creeps,” the crazy person informed me. “I went to one once, and there were a bunch of guys with short hair praying to some guy with long hair. Creepy.”

I thanked him for his story and walked away. I know enough to avoid theological discussions, especially with someone who’s overtly crazy.

29 January 2015

Kitchen Overload

Suzette suffers from too much time and a creativity deficiency; there may or may not be a correlation.

She invited me over for pizza tonight, and began by showing me the pizza resources in her new monstrosity of a kitchen. She has a pizza board, pizza cutter, pizza gloves, pizza grilling set, pizza oven, pizza paddle, pizza pan, pizza peel, pizza rack, pizza stone, pizza tools, pizza wheel, pizza this, and pizza that.

I stopped her before she could describe all the tools she had for making dough, and pointed out that her life in general and kitchen in particular were much too complicated. I generously described how to make pizza quickly, inexpensively, and easily.

Step one: buy an uncooked pizza at the grocery store in a cardboard box; the container is critically important.

Step two: take the cold pizza out the box and put it in a hot oven.

Step three: slide the baked pizza out of the oven onto the cardboard box, which now serves as a recyclable serving tray that that doesn’t require washing.

Eating the pizza is self-explanatory, so I’ll just add that a pocketknife—which is easily licked clean—is the only other tool needed.

Suzette harrumphed a dismissive harrumph before serving me her homemade pizza, a rubbery crust (close in texture and flavor to my suggested serving tray) covered in a gelatinous, ketchupy, greasy coating. I didn’t complain, though, since the excellent wine more than compensated for the mediocre dinner.


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©2015 David Glenn Rinehart