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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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5 March 2017

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No. 6,527 (cartoon)

You’re a liar.

I’m not a slave to your reality.

6 March 2017

Beer for Breakfast, Unimagined

I don’t know why I bother to gnash my teeth over the pigswill that passes for contemporary “journalism,” but occasionally I see something so ridiculously ridiculous that I have to comment.

Once again, it’s the Los Angeles Times that’s twisted my knickers. I’m thinking of John Verive’s recent article, “Four reasons to drink beer with your breakfast.”

Four? Only four?!

Back in the days when the Los Angeles Times was a legitimate newspaper with real reporters, the editors would have announced that this was Beer for Breakfast month, and provided thirteen excellent reasons every day in March to have beer for breakfast. That’s four hundred and three reasons right there. I can’t really numerically quantify quality, but that’s a good a conceptual example of how the Los Angeles Times was over a hundred times better not that long ago.

And with that, I’m done ranting about a trivial issue and a publication of no consequence. I shall grab my bottle opener and get back to a civilized breakfast.

7 March 2017

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Bee Here Now

There’s a dead bee on the windowsill of my bathroom; she’s savored her last buzz. The bee is dead, but she did not die in vain.

I photographed her diminutive corpse to serve as an inspiration. She died from working too hard, and I’m not going to let that happen to me. I shall certainly pop my clogs one of these days, but it won’t be from overwork.

[Update: she was moving a bit after I prematurely declared her dead.]

[Update: yep, she’s dead dead dead.]

8 March 2017


Three years ago today, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 flew from Kuala Lumpur to ... well, no one knows. The huge jet seems to have disappeared except for a couple of dozen bits of it that have washed up on beaches thither and yon.

I’m not sure what to make of this. If someone dumped the entire state of Kansas into the ocean—what a great idea!—I’d never be able to find it. On the other hand, when three countries spent hundreds of millions of dollars to scour the seas with every flavor of electronic gizmos and couldn’t even find an empty can of beer, that does make my little brain hurt.

One scenario I heard makes a certain amount of sense: the humongous jet was plucked out of the sky by a passing spaceship. Allow me to ’splain ...

Once upon a time, sailors dropped by the Galapagos Islands to stock up on huge huge tortoises to eat. They stacked them alive in the hold, then ate them one at a time. If I was sailing a rocket ship around the universe, I think I might grab a huge, nutritious aluminum can full of human protein to eat on the way to my next stop.

This is one of the many reasons I never fly on Tastes Like Chicken Airlines despite the low fares; it’s too easy of a target for hungry aliens in a passing spaceship. I’m not saying that I’ll never end up on their smorgasbord, but they’re going to have to yank me from my hiding place in a cornfield just like all the other humans on the menu.

9 March 2017

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Reusable Plastic Bag

I have a reusable bag. I know that’s what it is because “reusable bag” is printed on the side. It’s nevertheless confusing, since the plastic bag features the image of a tree in the middle of a recycling pictograph.

What’s going on here?

Will recycling the plastic bag instead of reusing it result in turning the tree into paper bags? Or perhaps the image depicts a tiny shrubbery, the kind one might haul around in a small plastic bag? Or maybe the workers at the bag factory couldn’t find a good recycling logo for plastic and used one for cardboard instead?

I couldn’t decide, so I threw the bag in the trash. It had a hole in it anyway; it was a lousy little bag.

10 March 2017

On Traveling Light

Whether I’m traveling for an overnight trip across town or going far away for a couple of weeks, I always pack the same things: electronic doodads (computers, cameras, and a phone, occasionally all in the same pocket), a change of clothes or two, toiletries, and that’s about it. I use the same small backpack whether I’m traveling by bicycle or jet so I don’t have to waste time thinking about packing.

Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman bin Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud and I are different in at least a couple of ways. I’m a small-d democrat, and he’s the king of Saudi Arabia. I travel light, and he does not.

He recently packed some five hundred tons of luggage for a nine-day jaunt to Indonesia, including a couple of huge Mercedes-Benz limousines. (The cargo probably didn’t even include a camera; he’s not known for his creative work.) His approach ignored the fundamental rule of packing: just enough is—by definition—enough, and way too much is never enough.

Here’s an example: both car engines were ruined when one of his flunkies used the wrong kind of fuel. And of course the king had no spare engines with him: one always forgets something when trying to pack everything. Even worse, he left the royal ax at the palace so he had to wait to return home to behead the unfortunate lackey. (The Saudis practice very tough love.)

The lessons of this story are obvious: travel light and never work for a dictator.

11 March 2017

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Popular Photography Dead at Eighty

Popular Photography magazine is going out of business after eighty years. I can see why the periodical failed after a cursory examination of the première issue from 1937. The first Popular Photography magazine cover featured a woman’s breasts, tastefully done of course. Recent editions have featured majestic landscapes and Japanese cameras; that’s no way to market a periodical.

The other reason for the magazine’s demise was its promise, “Answers All Questions About Photography.” It took the editors eight decades, but they apparently put themselves out of work by finally answering all photographic questions.

Modern Photography magazine vanished in 1989 after only fifty-two years. Modern and/or popular photography is dead, long live photography!

12 March 2017

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One Dozen Dirty Socks

I scattered my clothes on the floor last night. I’m efficient that way; I’ve probably added a week or two to my life by not wasting time folding, stacking, and organizing clothing.

When I woke up the following morning, I was struck by the graphic qualities of a dirty sock casually tossed on a dark t-shirt. On laundry day, I put my socks on the pavement as unconsciously as I could then photographed them, resulting in One Dozen Dirty Socks.

Andrea suggested that I photograph them again after washing them, but I think twelve photographs of socks are more than enough for one lifetime.


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©2017 David Glenn Rinehart

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