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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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24 April 2022

gratuitous image

No. 9,384 (cartoon)

I fear I’ll live many more decades.

I fear that too.

25 April 2022

Meteors Only Fall

The French elections are finally over and I’m greatly annoyed, although, surprisingly, my aggregation has nothing to do with the French or the election results. (The least objectionable candidate won; politics don’t get any better than that.)

No, I’m exasperated by all the stories about Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron’s “meteoric rise.” I’m about to make my point, and this is the point I’m about to make, so please read it carefully.

Meteors do not rise; meteors only fall.

Any so-called journalist who uses the phrase “meteoric rise” should be publicly humiliated (as if using such an inane phrase wasn’t humiliating enough), fined at least five thousand dollars or euros, ostracized, and much, much worse. Same for bad editors.

I hope someone creates such a worthy campaign, but, in the words of Robert Zimmerman, it ain’t me. When it’s David—that would be me!—versus the Goliath of Stupidity, I’ve never lost a cent by putting all my bets on Goliath.

26 April 2022

gratuitous image

Black Yucca Sock

If the pope wore my old black socks, I think he’d agree that they’re miraculous. I wore them for years and washed them hundreds of times, yet every time I took them off my feet were covered in little pieces of black lint. That’s really repulsive if you think about it, so it’s probably best not to.

After I realized that I spend over half of my life wearing socks I decided that such cheap ones were false economy, so I retired them years ago and have been luxuriating in fine socks ever since.

But what to do with the crappy socks? I’ll certainly never wear them again and I’m too cheeseparing to send them to the pope, so I decided to photograph them in the desert.

I impaled myself trying to put one on a cactus, so I decided that, as has so often been the case recently, I’d stop with a single image, Black Yucca Sock, instead of the intended series.

And that’s that, lint and all.

27 April 2022

Gimme a Second

I often feel like I’m slowing down these days, but I don’t worry about it. That’s because I am and it’s inevitable: the earth is too. In fact, we’ve “lost” over three hours in the last couple millennia. (That’s why no timepiece, no matter how ridiculously expensive, has a thousand-year guarantee.)

I came across an article today that detailed how scientists are refining the definition of a second to address meteorologists’ dismay at the increasingly annoying timing inaccuracies as the earth decelerates.

That made no sense to me since meteorologists are anything but precise; almost all of the rascals use SWIG (Scientifically Wildly Inaccurate Guess) methodology. Much to my surprise I was right; meteorologists predict the weather untethered by facts.

Metrologists are the ones with their scientific knickers in a twist. Ever since 1957 they’ve defined a second as the length of time it takes cesium to click nine billion one hundred ninety-two million six hundred thirty-one thousand seven hundred and seventy times.

Cesium hasn’t changed in the last sixty-five years but the earth’s rotation has, and that’s a problem. I was delighted to learn that researchers are proposing using ytterbium in optical clocks for better accuracy. At last, a scientific breakthrough I can barely understand!

I never heard of ytterbium before, but I have been using optical clocks ever since I learned how to tell time. They’re plenty precise, especially the one on my wrist that’s connected to the Internet.

I just checked it and it says it’s time for a drink. That’s just spooky accurate, so off I go!

28 April 2022

Relatively Smarter

Stephanie surprised me with a flattering remark; that’s not the sort of thing I’d ever expect from her. She said that she felt appreciably smarter after talking with me over the phone for almost an hour tonight.

I returned the compliment and told her that I felt wiser and more knowledgeable every time we chat. I added that I was surprised that I’d told her anything she didn’t already know unless it was the wombat thing.

She explained that she learned nothing from me tonight and never really has, and that the depth and breadth of my ignorance, wombats notwithstanding, always makes her feel like a genius.

I was as tickled as a trout to hear that. I love to make other people happy, and it was especially satisfying with Stephanie since I didn’t have to do anything out of the ordinary except perhaps talk about wombats, but then everyone has a thing for the wombat thing!

29 April 2022


I’m happy, or am I? I sometimes wonder if there’s such a thing as happiness, or if it’s the natural human state in the absence of worries, problems, and concerns? (Don’t you hate it when people answer their own rhetorical questions? I know I certainly do, so I won’t.)

And that’s more than enough of that. I don’t philosophize; philosophers are paid very well to do that sort of thankless work so I never have to fry such intellectual fritters.

Let’s see; where was I? Happiness isn’t very interesting, so it’s time to move on to more problematic pastures.

Coming next weak: more of the same.


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©2022 David Glenn Rinehart

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