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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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9 October 2021

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No. 4,623 (cartoon)

I wonder what it will be like when I’m dead?

I doubt you’ll even notice any difference.

10 October 2021

Throw the Dog a Drone

I’ve wanted to use a drone with a Really Good Camera on it for years. I wouldn’t admit this to anyone but everyone, but the only reason is so that I can play with a shiny new toy.

I don’t see any serious artistic use for it. Drones make creating personal images almost impossible. Almost every photograph anyone’s ever seen was taken from eye level, so the novelty of an aerial photograph is always the subject. That’s too easy and predictable to be of any interest to me.

After what I saw on a bike ride this afternoon, though, I might just get a drone after all.

I thought I spotted a frenzied hound on a suburban lawn barking and leaping at the sky, but first impressions can be deceiving. The fat, crazed cur was trying to catch and presumably kill a small drone hissing and hovering a couple of meters above its head. The hissing of suburban lawns!

The beast’s drooping belly barely lost contact with the ground when it tried to leap into the blue yonder with stubby little legs. It was the funniest thing I’ve seen in years that wasn’t on one of my computer monitors.

I now appreciate why having a drone might actually be useful: entertaining and/or humanely torturing mangy mongrels. That’s as much of interest to me as making novelty photographs, i.e., none, so I won’t be spending any money on toys, er, new tools, anytime soon.

11 October 2021

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My Vermeer Brushstrokes

When it comes to art, I never tell anyone that I’m going to create something, since most of my ideas in progress never make it through the gestation phase. That’s why I didn’t tell Sophia that I’ve been painting until I completed my project.

“What did you do,” she asked, “dust off your slingshot and paintballs again?”

“Nope,” I replied, “I used a proper paintbrush, and I think it’s fair to say that my brushstrokes are those of Vermeer.”

“I’m guessing you have a chimpanzee named Vermeer,” she sniffed.

“My work speaks for itself so I’m done,” I sniffed back.

Had she not been so rude I would have told her about my Vermeer paintbrush from China. It was perfectly adequate for slapping some paint on peeling patio furniture. This weekend, friends will be able to plant their derrières on a painting by Vermeer and me; that will a rare aesthetic treat!

12 October 2021

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The Old Pygmy Triceratops Con

Leaving the skull of a pygmy triceratops on your front lawn to attract passing dinophiliacs is the oldest paleontology scam in the book. (Most Talmud scholars agree that even Noah fell for it.)

Once the seller identifies a rube looking for something from the late Maastrichtian stage of the Late Cretaceous period, s/he tries to unload a Patagotitan mayorum skeleton from the Early Cretaceous Period that’s been taking up too much space in the basement. The classic bait and switch!

I knew exactly what would happen when I stopped to take a snapshot of the seventy-million-year-old skull. Yep, sure enough, out pops the owner before I could even remove the lens cap and invites me to have a gander at the good stuff she has in the back room.

I smiled, said “chartreuse jackal biscuits” in Swahili, and kept on walking. Can’t be too careful when it comes to shady dinosaur dealers.

13 October 2021

V is for Geese

Amelie and I were having a nice little picnic lunch by Quansahuxet Pond when a flock of geese flew overhead in a V configuration, as is tradition. I recognized this as an opportunity to show off my vast ornithological knowledge so I took it.

“Do you know why one side of the V formation is longer than the other?” I asked.

“No,” she replied, “but I bet you’re about to tell me.”

“Always happy to oblige,” I agreed. “It’s because there are more birds on that side.”

“I now have a better understanding ...” she responded.

“You’re welcome!” I interrupted.

“... of why you’re the only person I know who boasts about having a high school diploma.”

I ignored her remark since she was lashing out from sheer jealousy at my credentials. I resisted the temptation to remind her of Yogi Berra’s insight, “You can observe a lot just by watching.” I didn’t want to hurt her, and knew that citing another high school graduate would just be rubbing salt in her ulcers.

14 October 2021

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Twelve Charles J. Capen School Windows, Dedham, Massachusetts

The tedium is the message.

I thought of that remark by Brian Eno during the hours it took me to process the dozen photographs in Twelve Charles J. Capen School Windows, Dedham, Massachusetts. I would have needed to spend a few more hours to make them look virtually identical instead of very similar, but it wasn’t worth the effort since I’m not really sure if the twelve images work well together. I may or may not make one series out of the first four and a separate one out of the remainder, but not today.


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©2021 David Glenn Rinehart

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