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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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9 July 2021

gratuitous image

No. 320 (cartoon)

How can you call this true love?

Do you have a better explanation for all this blood?

10 July 2021

The Dawn of The Twilight Zone

Now that I’m back in Sans Frisco after spending fifteen Coronarama months isolating in the New Mexico desert, I feel like a character in an episode of The Twilight Zone who’s just emerged from a fallout shelter after a nuclear war and is seeing what remains of his antebellum world. My learned friend Ted Nelson told me an interesting story when I mentioned that ...

Ted’s father Ralph collaborated with Rod Sterling. When Sterling asked him for a “spooky” title for a project in gestation, Nelson drew on his experience as a flight instructor in the Army Air Corps during World War II. The story is a little hazy, but goes something like this ...

Pilots used Adcock antenna arrays that generated directional radio waves for navigation. An aviator relied on series of bleep bleep bleeps and blip blip blips from a ground station to determine the flight path. The low-frequency radio range network didn’t provide blanket coverage, and the time and space after a flier lost contact with one transmitter and before coming within range of another was known as the twilight zone.

That’s why Nelson suggested to Sterling that he call his new television series, “The Adcock Hour.”

No he didn’t; that never happened. Not even in The Twilight Zone. The rest is history, so I’m done writing for the day.

11 July 2021

The Penultimate Doodad

Helena told me that her mother Mabel was thrilled with her latest purchase, “the penultimate smartphone.” (Is it still possible to buy a dumbphone?)

We were both amused by her misuse of the word “penultimate” as a synonym for “ultimate.” Of course the electronic marvel is the penultimate, or next to the ultimate one. The ultimate gizmo is still being developed, and the moment it’s created it will become the penultimate device since work on the latest model will almost certainly be underway.

12 July 2021

The Last Lesson Huey Learned

Huey died a year ago today. I never asked about the cause of death, I just figured it was one of those things most people do before they’re eighty-eight. I just found out that a book killed him: Something of the Marvelous: Lessons Learned From Nature and My Sixty Years as an Environmentalist.

Yep, completing his three-hundred-plus page memoir did him in. I’m pretty sure my late, irascible, eternally optimistic comrade would not be late if he was still working on his magnum opus.

A corollary from my late friend Robert Cameron: “Retirement is death.”

13 July 2021

A Relatively Good Morning

I had a horrific experience this morning. I realized that I’d completely forgot about my cat, and had left him in an empty flashlight in my jacket pocket days ago without food or water. I was horrified when I discovered that he’d become a shriveled, desiccated feline mummy.

And then I woke up.

I love starting the morning escaping from a nightmare; it makes the rest of the day look great, relatively speaking ...

14 July 2021

Scoring a Hundred of Kilos of Cheap Grass

Dear Diary ...

There’s a very good reason why I’ve never used that phrase before and why I’m not using it now: I’ve never had a diary and doubt I ever will. That’s just the tiniest bit sad, since this would have had a great entry for today:

Dear Diary,

Today I scored a hundred kilos of cheap grass and delivered it without getting caught by the police; very exciting!

What sets this boast apart from perhaps a few my other tales is that it’s fairly true! Dr. Kahle needed covering for the island he’s building, so I borrowed a truck, drove to Sacramento, and picked up a huge roll of plastic artificial turf. The exciting part really happened: I lashed the long roll into the open pickup bed; I thought it might fall off while I drove a hundred nervous kilometers. I may be just a mule since I didn’t actually give the money to the artificial grass dealer, but I’m sticking with my original story that I scored it.

Or maybe it’s not a story at all since I have no diary in which to write it.

15 July 2021

Like a Chickenless Head

Sandra is flummoxed, flustered, and not particularly fluent when it comes to the English language in general and its idioms in particular. That would explain, in part, why she opined that I was, “running around like a head with its chicken cut off.”

I gently corrected her, and pointed out that she meant to say, “like a chicken with its head cut off.” She said I was wrong: she saw a head but didn’t see a chicken.

So there.

I was too busy frantically getting ready for my trip to argue, so I didn’t. Now if I could only find my chicken ...

16 July 2021

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The Jams (Kicked Out)

If you’re not au fait with the five seminal musicians from the Motor City referenced in The Jams (Kicked Out), then this piece needs some ’splainin’. Someone else can do that; I’m done and moving on.


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©2021 David Glenn Rinehart

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