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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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5 June 2015

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No. 1,258 (cartoon)

Never say die!

I’m keeping my options open.

6 June 2015

Fisherman’s Wharf, Not Fishermen’s Wharf

Many of the tourists who journey to San Francisco come here with one goal: to return home and boast that they’ve been to San Francisco. The best evidence of having traveled to San Francisco is to document a cliché: a cablecar ride to visit Fisherman’s Wharf.

Fisherman’s Wharf is the correct spelling; there’s only one commercial fisherman left there. His name is Sid Bertoni. He catches smelt during the brief commercial season, then sublets his slip at the marina for seven thousand dollars a month. That’s more than enough money to allow him to spend the rest of the year in Hawai’i.

Everyone I know here in Sans Frisco loves Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s a concentration camp for tourists, and allows the locals to selfishly enjoy the best parts of this quaint little city.

7 June 2015

The Grammar Vigilantes

I know nothing about Ecuador except that it’s one of those steamy little countries somewhere south of Mexico. After a story I read today, I also know it’s the home of Acción Ortográfica Quito (Quito Orthographic Action).

Agente Diéresis (umlaut), Agente Punto Final (period), and Agente X roam the streets of Quito at night correcting typographical errors in the graffiti that covers the walls. They fix misspellings, add, move, and delete punctuation as appropriate, and generally make the city safe for pedants.

“We will not break,” Agente Punto Final declared, “we will not give up until my city is free of spelling mistakes on the walls.”

They’ve so far eluded the authorities, but raised the ire of authors whose scribbles they corrected. Everyone detests an editor.

8 June 2015

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I was disappointed when I received my new passport a couple of weeks ago. Not only was the new document hideously illustrated with garish “patriotic” imagery such as a bald eagle with a hot dog in each talon, the bureaucrats confiscated my old passport. How am I supposed to know where I’ve been?!

I complained too soon. The State Department eventually did send me my old passport; it arrived today. It turned out to be a less than useful aide-mémoire, though; I can’t remember being in several of the countries I apparently visited. Where in the hell is Nauru?

Oh well, at least I have a fictional photographic memory of how I allegedly appeared in 2005.

9 June 2015

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The Commercial Triumph of “Anarchy”

A large international banking conglomerate now offers credit cards commemorating a musical ensemble, the Sex Pistols. The corporation is promoting two of the combo’s themes that were popular almost forty years ago, “Never Mind the Bollocks” and “Anarchy in the U.K.”

Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

10 June 2015

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Inside the Back End

My technical ignorance is as deep as it is broad, and vice-versa. For example, I have no idea how I can go to Internet Archive’s Internet site, ask to see, say, a video of a dog getting tattooed, then get the file from one of over 20,000 hard disks. All I know is that is has something to do with some damn thing cryptically called, “the back end.”

The scales were lifted from my eyes this morning when I showed up at the Archive drenched after cycling through the rain. One of the engineers took pity on me, and said, “David, it’s finally time to show you how the back end works.” She took me through a hidden door in the Green Room and there I was, deep inside the back end! It was like being in a convection oven; the servers created a windstorm of forty-degree (Celsius) air. She showed me where to hang my wet cycling clothes, and they were dry in less than half of an hour!

That’s all I know about the back end, but that’s more than enough for me.


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©2015 David Glenn Rinehart

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