2002 Notebook: Weak XXXVII
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10 September 2002
No. 9,462 (cartoon)
This is pointless.

That’s the point.

11 September 2002
Another September Eleventh
One year ago today some cruel men crashed some jets into some American buildings, killing some three thousand innocent people in the process. After that, the Americans attacked the killers’ accomplices, killing perhaps another three thousand or so innocent people in the process.

And today, there’s nothing on the radio except hours and hours and hours and hours of purportedly patriotic—mostly saccharine—tributes to the American dead, with nary a mention of everyone else who’s died.

And, with the American elections coming up soon, the national village idiot installed as president by five supreme court justices is beating the drum for a fresh war. Can a rise in the stock market and cheaper oil be far behind?

It’s a depressing day in a depressing country.

12 September 2002
Adobe Revisited
It’s been over five years since I began a large project, Of What Is Adobe Made? And now, I’m just about done with a set of artist’s proofs for the portfolio of photographs I made at Adobe Systems, Incorporated.

“About” is the operative word in the preceding sentence; I’ve run into a technical obstacle. For the last few years, I’ve planned to separate each of the prints in the portfolio with a sheet of transparent vellum, with a ghost image printed on the interleaf superimposed over the “real” photograph. Unfortunately, I can’t get the two images to align properly. My computer says the two images are in perfect registration, but my digital printer disagrees. Once again, practice trumps theory.

I finally decided to solve the problem by printing small images on the vellum. I made each of them only six centimeters in height, about the same size as the original Hasselblad negative. With the vellum image so much smaller than the one below it, no one can tell that the images are a millimeter or two out of perfect alignment.

I was surprised to find that I liked this approach much better than the one I’d planned on using for years. Nevertheless, I find this happy accident disturbing. I wonder how many of my other ideas in progress would benefit from a similarly thorough reëvaluation?

The answer is this: Even I know enough to never answer rhetorical questions.

13 September 2002
A Note for European Women
Gunther, apropos of nothing, told me that I could, in theory, impregnate every woman in Europe every time I ejaculate. That explains a lot. With a few notable exceptions, European women have generally kept their distance from me. Now I understand that I’ve been inadvertently scaring them.

For the record, I have no intention of impregnating anyone anywhere ever. I apologize for the misunderstanding. I’m sorry; I really had no idea. It won’t happen again.

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14 September 2002
Hammer Ball
I’ve never owned a bowling ball before today, but I have one now. Incredibly, someone left it on the street in front of the lab. What a serendipitous find.

I don’t know much about bowling balls, so I can’t say whether or not the “Hammer” brand is rare or common. I do know, however, that I think Hammer is a great name for a destructive tool. I look forward to dropping in on things from a great height.

15 September 2002
The Seymour Dress
Nan said she was wearing her Seymour outfit.

“I don’t know who Seymour is,” I admitted. “I don’t follow fashion at all.”

“It’s not a designer’s name,” Nan explained; “It’s a generic phrase my mother invented. It’s spelled s-e-e-m-o-r-e.”

“Aha!” I said. “That would explain the tiny, tight dress.”

“That’s what my mother thought,” Nan agreed.

16 September 2002
Jill’s Toothbrush
Whenever I visit Jill, I always ask her about the toothbrush collection in her bathroom. She tells me which one a guest forgot to take, which one belongs to her boyfriend d’jour, which one arrived with a visiting relative, and so on.

Last night I only saw one toothbrush in Jill’s bathroom. That struck me as very sad.

17 September 2002
Rajdhani Express Flashback
I sat beside three men from the Indian subcontinent on today’s flight to London. Soon after the jet left San Francisco, the trio’s patriarch produced a huge cylinder of something wrapped in aluminum foil, twice as large as even a behemoth burrito.

The man unwrapped the parcel and pulled out three massive pieces of oily naan bread. Their staple smelled like a delicacy, especially since all I had was a tiny bag of salty peanuts. I had a pleasant flashback to the meals on the Rajdhani Express. I wonder why airlines can never serve meals as wonderful as the ones on Indian railways?

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©2002 David Glenn Rinehart