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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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5 June 2011

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No. 4,438 (cartoon)

I wasn’t being disingenuous.

Yes you were.

Fuck you. I was lying.

6 June 2011

Santorum Defined

Rick Santorum, who might charitably described as a cretinous bigot, just announced that he wants to be the next president of the United States. The odious homophobe is perhaps best known for his remark comparing homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality. In discussing marriage between couples of the same sex, he said that the institution has never included “man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.”

Them’s fightin’ words; fightin’ ensued.

One of the great things about the English language is that it’s dynamic. And so, the politician’s opprobrium provided the catalyst for the creation of a new noun. Myriad writers and Internet publishers have repeated the new word enough over the years to make it an accepted part of the popular lexicon.

The sometimes frothy, usually slimy, amalgam of lubricant, stray fecal matter, and ejaculate that leaks out of the receiving partner's anus after a session of anal intercourse.

A search on the Internet shows that variations on the above definition are the first three suggestions for anyone looking for information about Santorum. The loathsome politician will be dead in a few decades, but his name may live forever, an epithet that will terrorize laundry workers for the foreseeable future.

7 June 2011

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Effing and Jeffing

I’ve been to Barnsley once, perhaps even twice. I don’t recall much about the grey village except that it featured the only two positive aspects of English culture: pubs and chip shops. In other words, it was a nondescript working class northern town.

Until now.

The Barnsley politicians in the hardscrabble mining town want people to stop swearing. Violators face a fine of eighty pounds. They’ve launched a campaign with the motivational line, “We don’t want to hear you ‘effing’ and ‘jeffing.’ ”

What the fuck is effing?! Seriously? This has to be some kind of jeffing joke.

8 June 2011

The Intervalometer Problem

One of my little tricks to avoid working is to come up with a project that requires new equipment. That usually provides all the excuses I need to postpone action indefinitely.

I decided I needed an intervalometer for a convoluted art project. I did quite a bit of research, and eventually discovered that my fancy Nikon had an intervalometer built into its electronic innards. It’s been there for years. Dang; so much for that excuse.

I read my camera’s manual for the first time in five years, and discovered it can do a mess of complicated stuff in addition to changing shutter speeds and the aperture of the lens. Interesting conceptual information, but who really needs to do anything except twiddle the aperture and shutter speed knobs?

I abandoned my intervalometer project as soon as I discovered that I already had one. And so, today’s assignment is to come up with another scheme that I can’t possibly achieve in the immediate future. (That’s not as hard as it sounds; I’ve been doing it for decades.)

9 June 2011

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Toasty Molly-Puss

I can’t write anything today because of Molly-Puss. She’s figured out that my computer generates a lot of heat, so she’s warming herself on the keyboard.

Fortunately, cute cat photographs are highly valued in our culture, so an image of a toasty kitty will suffice for today’s notebook entry. (I suspect it provides more entertainment value than anything I would have written.)

And speaking of writing, Molly typed the letter j one hundred and eighty-two times, followed by two hundred and eighty ks. I stopped trying to understand cats decades ago, so I’ll stop here.

10 June 2011

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Petabyte Apple Server (Prototype)

I love being an artist in residence at the Internet Archive; it’s the mad scientists’ clubhouse about which I fantasized as a boy, except that no one here is mad. They’re actually rather jolly.

A number of the brilliant people who comprise the staff here actually liked The Library of Babel II, what a wonderful community. I’m particularly impressed by the PetaBox engineers; they build these fantastic, monumental towers that store all sorts of data. A petabyte, to be somewhat precise. These machines generate a lot of heat, and that gave me an idea, maybe even two.

Years ago, I used an Apple computer as an Internet server. Running a server requires a great deal of technical knowledge, of which I have alarmingly little. The debacle turned into a fiasco (or was it the other way around?), and now I leave the serious computing stuff to the grownups.

Ignorance notwithstanding, the idea of maintaining my own server never lost its perverse appeal. And that was the inspiration for creating and installing a prototype, Petabyte Apple Server. Like the PetaBoxes that supply the heat for my test unit, my server is open source and quite scalable. Unlike the PetaBoxes, though, my analog server doesn’t use electricity, so I’m not out of my scientific depth.

Based on my research and preliminary results, my apple server should be able dry and serve every known variety of apple, from Aceymac to Zuccalmaglio’s Reinette, including, of course, McIntosh.

My friends who knew me as a teenager at Interlochen remember me frequently exclaiming, “Eat art!” It was sort of a Dada thing, even though news of Dada had yet to make it to Michigan. If the production version of my petabyte apple server works as well as expected, my Archive friends and I soon will be eating art.


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©2011 David Glenn Rinehart

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