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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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28 May 2011

gratuitous image

No. 7,566 (cartoon)

You substitute domination for love.

You’ve replaced love with acquiescence.

Prove it.

29 May 2011

(no reply needed)

Everyone gets too much electronic mail these days, so I’ve come up with a little trick to make sure my missives get a prompt response. It’s simple; I just append “(no reply needed)” to the subject line of every note. Everyone reads such correspondence, since it requires no subsequent action.

Except that it does.

I make a request, then close the letter with a line mentioning that some puppy will die unless I hear from them within twenty-four hours. It works every time!

30 May 2011

Fritos Kahlo

Enrico is always complaining about something; today it’s a missing Woolworths drug store in Santa Fe, New Mexico. That emporium has been out of business for many years, but that doesn’t stop him from lamenting its absence.

“It’s the restaurant I miss,” he complained. “I’ll probably never see Fritos Kahlo again.”

Fritos Kahlo requires an explanation. Fritos is the name of a chemically-enriched corn-based “food product.” They look and taste like something aliens grow on Uranus.

Fritos provided the base for the dish, Fritos Kahlo. The ersatz corn chips were drowned in a paste of canned industrial chili, and that was that: the Fritos Kahlo entrée.

I can’t understand why Enrico is always whining about something; there’s much more to appreciate than there is to lament. And anyway, if he really misses Fritos Kahlo, all he needs to recreate the dish is a bag of Fritos, a tin of chili, and a can opener.

31 May 2011

gratuitous image

The Library of Babel II

I created and published The Library of Babel II, a four hundred and ten page book inspired by La Biblioteca de Babel, a short story by Jorge Luis Borges.

The Argentinean author describes an unimaginably vast de facto library, an interlocking series of hexagonal rooms. Each room contains four walls of bookshelves, with five shelves on each wall. Each shelf contains a row of identically formatted books. Each book contains four hundred and ten pages. Each page contains forty lines. Each line contains eighty characters. Each character comprises one of the twenty-two letters of a foreign alphabet, a space, a comma, or a period.

The Library of Babel II is larger than the original (291,312,000 books versus 261,312,000 books) because it uses the twenty-six letter English alphabet.

A sample page is available.

1 June 2011

Nothing Again


That’s what I said when Abbie asked my what I was going to do today.

“You said that yesterday,” she replied.

“You’re right,” I agreed, “but I didn’t finish.”

2 June 2011

Panda Monium

Almost fifteen years ago, I wrote that every critter on the planet will be either adorable or extinct in a century or two. Recent developments in Thailand support my prediction.

Giant pandas rank just below kittens on the cuteness hierarchy, with elephants and crocodiles way down the list. In order to generate interest in these less appealing creatures, Thai zookeepers use washable black and white paint to give the unprepossessing creatures a “pandalike” appearance.

How long will it be before reptiles get fur implants? Not long; that’s my guess.

3 June 2011

B&H’s Curious Catalog

I spotted a huge camera catalog in Byron’s studio: B&H Foto and Electronics Corporation’s latest offering. I haven’t bought new photography equipment in years; my simple equipment is more than adequate for my simple ideas. But still, who can resist the consumer appeal of all that expensive metal, glass, and electronics?

Not me, that’s who.

The catalog seemed to be more of a Dada piece then a commercial publication. For example, the section on lenses listed each optic’s focal length and maximum aperture, but no mention of weight, filter size, minimum aperture, et cetera. As for prices, there were none. Instead, the publication provided only an Internet address and a telephone number. In other words, over four hundred pages of useless information.

I’m not complaining, though. I don’t need any more paraphernalia or gadgetry, so the B&H Foto and Electronics Corporation’s catalog was exactly what I needed to buy nothing.

4 June 2011

Minty-Fresh Excreta

I read that students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology successfully completed a clever experiment a few years go. They genetically modified Escherichia coli, a bacterium commonly associated with feces, to smell like mint and bananas (sequentially) as it grew.

I haven’t investigated, but I fear their vile idea is in use commercially. My late uncle Russ, a federal meat inspector, told me emetic tales about slaughtered chickens being “washed” in a fecal bath. That’s obviously repulsive, but who would object to buying minty-fresh chicken?

Not Germans, perhaps. A lot of them have died recently from E. Coli poisoning recently, and investigators can’t find the source. Perhaps they should check out foods that smell like mint or bananas but aren’t.


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©2011 David Glenn Rinehart

nothing nothing nothing nothing