2005 Notebook: Weak IX
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26 February 2005
No. 1,562 (cartoon)
Are you who you say you are?

I am who you think I am.

27 February 2005
Jef Raskin’s Unremarkable Death
I’m writing this on a computer made by Apple Computer, Incorporated. Chances are that, had it not been for Jef Raskin, my computer might not exist in its current manifestation. Or maybe not; historical what-if games are boring.

Maybe Jef Raskin is responsible for the human/machine interface I tolerate, maybe not. I don’t care, and Jef Raskin probably isn’t concerned, either, since he died yesterday.

I shall remember Jef Raskin for his dramatic resignation from his academic employer, a story that has almost nothing to do with my computer. Raskin described it best.

    When I resigned I got into a hot air balloon in the middle of Revelle Plaza and flew over the Chancellor’s residence playing my sopranino recorder so that he would hear the sound. He came out and I yelled down that I was resigning and floated off. I was an art professor at the time and it seemed arty to leave that way.

And so it was that I was disappointed to read in his generic obituary that he “died peacefully on February 26th, 2005 surrounded by his family and loved ones.”

What, no balloon, rocket, or torpedo?

So long, Jef; thanks for the interface.

28 February 2005
No Blue Juice
“They forgot to put blue juice in it.”

That’s the technical reason a flight attendant on United Airlines flight 801 to San Francisco gave me in explaining why one of the toilets is inoperable.

Oh well, at least the ground crew apparently remembered to provide enough jet A fuel, hydraulic fluid, et cetera, or else I wouldn’t be writing this. I can live without blue juice.

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1 March 2005
Horrific Haircut Story
“So David,” Leonora began after assessing my new haircut, “Who butchered you?”

“That would be me, I suppose,” I admitted.

“So just how very drunk were you?” Leonora asked.

“What makes you think I was drunk?” I responded defensively.

“Because you’re too cheap and too much of a wimp to use good drugs,” Leonora replied.

Ah, a simple misunderstanding; it happens all the time. I explained to Leonora I’d never have shaved my head if I was in a chemically-altered state. The only times I make serious judgment errors are when I’m in full control of my faculties. That’s when the delusion of adequacy kicks in, and sanity—for me, at least—rarely proves efficacious.

2 March 2005
But What About Today?
A few days ago, Hunter S. Thompson was talking on the telephone with his wife when he replaced the phone mouthpiece with a .45 pistol. And then he pulled the trigger, and that was that.

His suicide didn’t yield too many accolades in the obituaries, probably because he did his best work over three decades ago. I did, however, come across one memorable quote.

“Yesterday’s weirdness is tomorrow’s reason why.”

But what about today? Since Thompson’s dead, I suppose I’ll never read his answer.

3 March 2005
The Already Dead
Marty introduced me to a guest at her opening tonight, “a woman who really appreciates the arts.”

I talked with Marty’s guest for less than a minute; that’s all the time I needed to realize that she was one of the already dead. I often find myself surrounded by the already dead, but it’s rarely a problem. The already dead tend to leave me alone and vice-versa; we have an unspoken truce that serves all of us well.

4 March 2005
Too Much Fucking Profanity
Glen Matlock, the original bass player for the Sex Pistols quartet, is annoyed by amount of shitty language on television.

“It’s pathetic when people swear for the sake of it,” the old bastard and father of two children opined in a recent interview. “Something ought to be done about it.”

I find it pretty fucking ironic that someone who based his band’s marketing plans on offending conservative assholes is pissed off that others are copying the juvenile approach.

Having said that, I agree with Matlock that profanity has no place in a learned person’s vocabulary. Something really ought to be done about it, fuck yeah!

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©2005 David Glenn Rinehart