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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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17 December 2018

gratuitous image

No. 2,337 (cartoon)

You act like there’s no tomorrow.

What makes you think that there is?

18 December 2018

I’m a Millionaire!

After reviewing my first two decades of notebook entries at the beginning of 2016, I predicted that today would be that day I’d write my millionth word here. As usual, I was wrong.

As of yesterday, I’ve typed one million fourteen thousand seven hundred and eighty-two words since I started this ill-advised project on the first day of 1996. Some of them—but only a very few, alas—were fine words indeed, but they were almost buried among the vast preponderance of stinkers, filler, and shameless padding.

I didn’t waste more time figuring out the exact date when I became an Internet millionaire, but ’twould appear to be around the beginning of October. I wish I’d known; a million words and seven dollars will get you a beer in one of the seedier bars here. Or so I’ve heard. Any bar is too expensive, so I always drink with friends in my studio or at their homes.

As is obvious, I like big round numbers; they provide a reason to take a break from finding anything even moderately interesting to say.

19 December 2018

11,111,111 Squared x3

I try not to repeat myself, but sometimes I inadvertently do. I try not to repeat myself, but sometimes I do inadvertently. These things happen.

I try to avoid repetition by writing each of these entries in a database in order to make previous references easy to find. For example, let’s say I had something to say about yak butter. It only took me a few seconds to discover I wrote about that on 27 April 2006. I have nothing to say about that Mongolian delicacy, so here’s another example.

I’ve noted twice that 11,111,111 squared equals 123,456,787,654,321, a numerical palindrome. I mentioned that first on 22 September 1999 and again on 24 February 2011. I won’t do it again, even though I just did.

20 December 2018

Century Britches

At first, I was excited to learn that Vollebak, an apparently legitimate haberdasher, was selling pants guaranteed to last a century for six hundred and forty-five dollars. I don’t care about my attire, so that seems like a bargain if only to avoid ever buying pants again. But then I ran the numbers.

I’d need two pairs of century pants if I wasn’t going to walk around trouserless while I was doing my laundry, so that doubles the price. A pair of decent pants costs around ten dollars at my local thrift store, but I rarely buy any new ones since I wear them until they fall apart. I don’t keep a record of such financial minutia, but I’m fairly certain I’ll die before I spend even five hundred dollars on britches.

I’m quite pleased with my analysis; I’m always happy to rationalize avoiding the addition of anything to my threadbare “wardrobe.” As Henry David Thoreau cautioned, “I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes ...”

21 December 2018

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This Is Not a Photograph

I made this piece in January. Sort of. I didn’t like the resulting photograph very much, and I spent most of the year trying to convince myself that it was marginally acceptable enough for a mostly conceptual piece.

I couldn’t tolerate the mediocre image, and so I made a new and final version of This Is Not a Photograph this week. It’s close enough for art, so it’s time to move on.

22 December 2018

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The Toilet Paper Wars

I’m not sure if there’s such a thing as a smart war. I doubt it, but I haven’t had time to discuss the question with my learned friends. I’m sure they’d all agree, however, that there are indubitably stupid wars.

I’m wondering if the stooopidest wars last the longest. Take the war in Afghanistan, for example. Better yet, don’t. That’s not a proper war, it’s a military occupation, and a remarkably ineffective one at that. At least chess players move on from a stalemate.

I don’t need to leave my bathroom to be reminded of the longest, most ridiculous war in my lifetime; it’s been waged since 1891 with towering rage and frothing vitriol: should the roll of toilet paper be dispensed opposite the wall or flush against it? This is one of those first world problems that doesn’t trouble me at all; I’m just grateful that I’m not among the billion people who live in communities with “open defecation” instead of toilets.

The ersatz war began one hundred and twenty-seven years ago today when Seth Wheeler, of Albany Perforated Wrapping Paper Company fame, patented toilet paper. The patent clearly shows the toilet paper hanging away from the wall. Or does it? The roll of perforated tissue is floating in space, untethered, and without an adjacent surface in sight.

The patent application doesn’t provide definitive proof for either side of the toilet paper war; I predict that it will continue as long as humans are full of crap. I’m ignoring the stooopidity and putting the entire debate behind me.

23 December 2018

Dirty Hot Tub Trick

Another day, another toilet story. Here’s the headline of the week: “Burglars trash home, defecate in hot tub, leave big clue behind”

A very long time ago a headline briefly summarized the accompanying text, but that was before the Internetty thing. Today, the headline is designed to sucker the viewer into spending more time on the publisher’s site, which results in more advertising revenue. Example: “This one crazy trick will let you lose weight while drinking kegs of beer.”

I’m embarrassed to admit that I took the bait. In my defense, what seeker of knowledge wouldn’t want to learn how detectives sifted through feces to gather incriminating DNA to put the yegg in the slammer?

The headline was a clever trick and I fell for it. The big clue was a wallet full of the perp’s contact information. This misadventure should have taught me an obvious lesson, but I have no idea what it is.


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©2018 David Glenn Rinehart

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