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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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18 June 2015

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No. 1,286 (cartoon)

Everything I say is a lie.

Including what you just said?

Of course not.

19 June 2015

Dependable Computer Advice

Sonja called me to complain about her latest computer woes. She’s one of several friends who never contact me unless they’re having a problem with their computers. These are my most reliable friends; they will call me regularly for the rest of their lives or mine, whichever comes first.

I give dependable advice when it comes to computers. I’ve been using them—or, rather, trying to use them—for too many hours a day over thirty years, so I know a little bit about how they work or, more often, don’t.

Sonja reported that she failed to note what error message her machine displayed, but she thought it was something like, “core stack buffer overflow.” She had no idea what that meant, and neither did I, but that didn’t stop me from giving her the dependable advice I always provide.

“When you see that warning again,” I advised, “shrug your shoulders, mutter something about it being one of those damnable computer things, then carry on.”

I said that I give dependable advice; I never claimed to give good advice. My generic recommendation is a great placebo; it helps befuddled users ignore the fact that, for most people, computers have never worked reliably and never will.

Carry on!

20 June 2015

A Parody of His Former Self

I don’t follow sports in general or golf in particular. I’m not even sure if golf is a real sport, since it merely involves riding around a well-manicured park in an electric car and occasionally getting out to hit a little ball with a stick. It might be sporting if one or more opponents were trying to interfere, but they never do.

About all I know about golf is the name of the most famous player, Tiger Woods. And that’s mostly because his messy sex life and messier divorce—or was it the other way around?—grabbed kilometers of headlines not too long ago. I recently saw his name in one of the scariest stories I can imagine.

Tiger Woods a Parody of His Former Self

I don’t really care about the wealthy golfer; what terrifies me is the thought that I too might become a parody of myself. I’m always making work that bears some resemblance to what I’ve done before, but what if I cross the line?

Fortunately, I have some trusted, observant friends who will tell me if I’m repeating myself, and will whap me upside the head if I’m parroting myself incompetently or worse.

Poor Tiger Woods, I guess none of his perfidious friends warned him.

21 June 2015

Rainbow-flavored Solstice Balderdash

Selena is rhapsodizing at length about the summer solstice today. The combination of her long, flowing hippy dress and new age (rhymes with sewage) jargon makes her saccharine bliss even more annoying than usual.

“I’m enjoying the solstice as well,” I chimed in, “especially since each of the next one hundred and eighty-three days will be shorter than the one that preceded it.”

“Why do you always have to be such a jerk?” she asked.

“How much time do you have?” I replied.

Answering a rhetorical question with another rhetorical question is a great way to kill an exchange, and that was the end of the rainbow-flavored solstice balderdash.

22 June 2015


Clarissa threatens to—and sometimes does—thwack me if I call a pooch or a moggie a “pet” instead of a “companion animal.” And so, I can safely report that Charlie has adopted one of the latter, Me.

To be clear or perhaps confusing, I’m not talking about me, I’m referring to Me. For reasons Charlie couldn’t or wouldn’t explain, he named the critter Me. He did say that he enjoyed the semantic ambiguity of summoning the beastie, since, “Here Me,” sounds exactly like, “Hear me.” I think that’s a bit of a conceit on his part, since there’s no cat in the world who comes when it’s called.

23 June 2015

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Losers’ Flag

Oh dear, what’s to be done about the Confederate flag? Many Southerners, some of whom are not inbred rednecks—view the banner as part of what passes for their cultural heritage. Others(?), such as Dylann Storm Roof who murdered nine black people as they studied the Christian bible, see the flag as a beacon of Caucasian supremacy.

What’s to be done? Harry Shearer had a brilliant compromise worthy of Solomon hisself. Anyone should be able to fly the flag anywhere all the time as long as it’s clearly identified for what it is: the losers’ flag. Losers like the hundreds of thousands of confederate soldiers who died defending the slavers’ business model, losers like Roof.

Thanks, Harry!

I’m hereby putting my updated confederate flag design in the public domain, and hoping an enterprising toilet paper manufacturer takes advantage of the free graphics.

24 June 2015

A Hundred and Twenty Degrees in the Shade

Jorge bought a beautiful and relatively inexpensive house near Barstow, California, last winter. It took him a rather long time to figure out why his new home was so affordable: it’s in the Mojave Desert.

He sent me a note this morning complaining that it was over a hundred and twenty degrees in the shade. I replied that the solution was obvious; he should get out of the shade. He never responded; I guess this may be one of those rare occasions when someone took my great advice.

Although I don’t promote morality tales, the lesson here is obvious: never buy a house in the desert in December. Or, better yet, never buy an anchor.

25 June 2015

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Thirty-Seven Pellucid Seaweed Sheets

Last September I noted with awe and perhaps a little envy that the entrepreneurs at Dang Foods were selling coconut chips for seventy dollars a kilogram. But that was then and this is, according to my watch, now. The marketing geniuses Trader Joe’s, a chain of specialty grocery stores, sell seaweed in the form of “Roasted Seaweed Snack” for ninety dollars a kilogram. That’s even more expensive than pandaburgers, brilliant!

But I’m not attracted to the seaweed because of its monetary value. As an alleged visual artist, I like the way it looks, which is why I created Thirty-Seven Pellucid Seaweed Sheets. Each greasy sheet (they’re soaked in oil) was a translucent joy to photograph and eat.


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©2015 David Glenn Rinehart

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