2004 Notebook: Weak XLIII
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22 October 2004
No. 2,943 (cartoon)
Who’s in control?

Control is an illusion.

23 October 2004
That Schwarzenschnitzel
What is it about Californians that leads them to choose actors of very modest talent to govern the state? The Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger may have plans beyond Sacramento; some of his apparatchiks propose changing the U.S. constitution to allow immigrants to run for president. Schwarzenegger’s doing a good job of expectation management; he claims his opponents don’t want “that Schwarzenschnitzel” to be president.

This is one of those cases when that Schwarzenschnitzel is right.

24 October 2004
Bragging Surcharge
I visited Kim Smith’s studio, and noticed she had an innovative price structure for a large map of Paris she was offering for sale.

$240.—if you show me where you stayed
$360.—if you show me where you lived

I thought she was very clever to include a boasting surcharge; I may do the same should I ever try to sell something.

25 October 2004
Beyond Talent
Having run out of ways to inflict new flavors of pain with my bass, I bought a synthesizer with hundreds of different instruments to play through my new six-speaker amplified music system.

“I didn’t know you had any musical talent,” Dr. Allard remarked when he saw me lugging the huge crate up the laboratory stairs.

“I used to,” I replied, “but I’m beyond that now.”

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26 October 2004
Veterinary School Tales
Tia told me incredible stories about a friend who’s studying veterinary medicine. One assignment involved doing a rush autopsy on a fermenting elephant using chain saws. (The procedure had to be completed rapidly because the elephant died on the hottest day of the year.)

And then there was the assignment of putting gerbils in a blender. I don’t recall why the student had to purée the gerbils, but I suppose it doesn’t matter. If memory serves—always a dubious proposition—I believe Dr. Science explained that Avogadro’s Number was the number of liquified moles needed to fill a one-liter beaker. I recall that the number was thirty-one point something.

27 October 02004
Overly Cautious Dating
Frances sent me this statement from a Long Now Foundation publication: “The Foundation uses five digit dates, the extra zero is to avoid the decamillenium bug which will occur in about 8,000 years.”

I used the five-digit date for today’s entry, but don’t plan on ever using it again. In some eight-thousand years I’ll have been dead for some eight-thousand years, and every trace of me will be forgotten. And, in the unlikely event I’m wrong, computers might actually work reliably by then.

28 October 2004
The Belly of the Breast
Pedro gave Larry Sultan’s photographs of pornography film sets a bad review.

“I think he wanted to be a voyeur, but didn’t have the guts to pull it off,” Pedro said dismissively. “He pretended to show us another world, but I never got the feeling I was in the belly of the breast.”

“I think that says it all,” I agreed.

29 October 2004
Picklesimer Reality
“I just read some of your recent drivel,” Rachel announced. “You sure are getting lazy.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked. “You know I’ve always been lazy.”

“I was referring to making up a name like ‘Phyllis Picklesimer’ to get a cheap laugh,” Rachel replied.

“That was her real name!” I protested. “I’ll never be creative enough to come up with a name like Phyllis Picklesimer.”

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©2004 David Glenn Rinehart