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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak VI


5 February 2021

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No. 3,538 (cartoon)

Do you remember being madly and passionately in love?

What are you talking about?

Before we met.

6 February 2021

Five-Fourteenths of Joe Cocker’s Life

John Benson Sebastian and John Robert Cocker were born within a couple of months of each other in 1944. If the Germans won the war, who would have lived longer? (Nah, that’s not a real question; I just wanted to make sure you’re paying attention.) Now buckle up and sharpen yer pencil, because this is gonna get real mathy real quick.

John Sebastian recorded Darling Be Home Soon in 1966. His song featured the line, “And now, a quarter of my life is almost past,” so when will he die? (When he’s eighty-eight or so, if he was telling the truth.)

Joe Cocker featured the composition on his eponymously named 1969 album. He died in 2014, so what line should he have sung instead? (“And now, five-fourteenths of my life is almost past.”)

And now you know what Dr. Clem told me: without the right introduction and presentation, math is really boring or worse.

7 February 2021

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Permanent Signature

Back in the early nineties I decided that I’d come up with a unique scanned signature to affix to every digital work I produced in that year. That worked well until 2001; that was the last new one I made. In retrospect, it’s funny—or perhaps not—that it’s easier to do something every day instead of every year.

Meanwhile, back at today ...

No, make that three days ago, when I needed a signature for The Infernal Condition. My handwriting has atrophied after being almost abandoned for decades, and I didn’t like any of the John Hancocks or David Glenn Rineharts I scribbled. Rather than learn to write again, I looked through my old signatures and decided that the 2000 iteration was my favorite I may change my mind, but until I do that’s going to be my permanent signature.

I’m not concerned that I can’t replicate it; the only person who’s asked me for my autograph this millennium was the nice policeman who told me to sign a citation promising to show up in court after he stopped me for ignoring five stop signs in a row zooming down a steep hill on my bicycle.

Did you know that the red octagonal street sign with “STOP” in the middle isn’t just an option for you to consider? The helpful peace officer explained to me that it’s actually a legal requirement. Good to know!

And that concludes my first and final public service announcement for 2021. You’re quite welcome.

8 February 2021

My Kind of Book Club

Colin asked me if I’d like to, “join my group for a little L and L tomorrow night.” I needed to badger him a little to translate that into English, but he did. He explained that he invited me to join his book group for an evening of literature and libations.

He said that a few years ago some friends of his thought discussing books might be an efficacious way to delay the inevitable mental decrapitude, so they decided to first get together at Megan’s place since her father Jerry had a bottomless liquor cabinet. They chose Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code as the book du jour and had a great evening.

“Isn’t that book generally regarded as crap?” I asked.

“It’s total shite,” he replied. “After we agreed it was worthless, we moved on to the libations part of the evening.”

I was more interested in drinks with interesting people than with talking about litterature, but I nevertheless politely asked what book was on the agenda for the next gathering. He explained that The Da Vinci Code was the only book they ever discussed. After they spent a few seconds considering then discarding it, they were free to enjoy the rest of the evening sipping and chatting.

I told him that I looked forward to joining him tomorrow night; that’s my kind of book club!

9 February 2021

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I’m Not a Cat

Texas’s 394th judicial district doesn’t make the news much. Come to think about it, I had no idea that Texas even had a single judicial district, let alone hundreds of ’em. I also have no idea what disputes are settled there, probably stuff like cattle rustlin’, card cheats, and the myriad Texan degeneracies too numerous to mention. I suppose I’ll have to continue to speculate, since today’s “news” story didn’t even mention the reason that attorney Rod Ponton made a video court appearance today.

Or did he?

Judge Roy Ferguson isn’t exactly in Solomon’s league when it comes to judicial wisdom, but he did notice that a kitten was among the participants in the Internet hearing.

Or was it?

“I’m not a cat,” insisted Rod Ponton’s cat, the cute kitten trying to persuade the judge not to believe his own eyes.

The judge let the cat continue to argue the case, and the feline won. Of course it did. Who’s going to win a legal argument against a kitten? No one, that’s who.

10 February 2021

Dawning and Sunsetting Ideas

Suzette confided that she couldn’t remember how to make the Thai chili curry dish with peanuts and ginger that used to be one of our regular meals long ago in our Portland days. I lamented that I forgot the recipe as well.

She seemed a little disconsolate, so I decided to go into good humour man mode.

“You gots to get brainy with numerous numerals,” I advised. “We’re thriving, so as long as more things dawn on us than sunset on us we’re fine.”

I was pleasantly surprised when my specious argument worked.

“To dawn!” she toasted with a smile.

We celebrated enough dawns to take us into March. Somewhere along the way we decided that some ideas need to die, and that the Thai chili curry was one of them. We also concluded that we forgot the recipe because we stopped using it ages ago; it wasn’t really all that good to begin with.

11 February 2021

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Snow Patch, Encantado Circle, Santa Fe, New Mexico

I photographed all that was left from a blizzard a few weeks ago: a long, thin patch of snow by the side of the road. I made eleven photographs and combined them to make a long panorama. I could have used computer whizzerydoo to make it a seamless image, but instead chose to visually mimic the use of scissors, tape, and glue to stitch together the photographs with all the seams showing.

I was cautiously pleased with the results until now, when I realized I created a piece that can’t be shown on the Internet easily, if at all.

First, the proportions are the worst of fits. My panorama is almost fifteen times as wide as it is tall, so it’s a tiny strip on any computer monitor. The detail I published here in my notebook is only three hundred pixels in height; had I reproduced the entire image it would only be less than a tenth of that.

The version of Snow Patch, Encantado Circle, Santa Fe, New Mexico I came up for dissemination was a crude compromise: I took the Procrustes approach and chopped it up into three strips so it would fit on one screen.

If you wanted to see the photograph in full resolution, you’d need ten high-resolution monitors to see the entire thing. Or, better yet, a four and a half meter wide print.

That probably ain’t gonna never happen, and that’s fine with me. I made it for myself, and if no one else can see it as I intended it no one will be the worse off.


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©2021 David Glenn Rinehart