2005 Notebook: Weak XXVI
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26 June 2005
No. 6,174 (cartoon)
Do you know something I don’t?

You can’t imagine.

27 June 2005
Mistaken Misidentify
Janice asked if Korea was a scary place. I replied that it was the safest country I’ve been in since I visited the Soviet Union. I didn’t see any Soviet-style heavy-handedness, nor did I see any graffiti, trash, and only seven homeless people in as many days.

Having said that, I did have one scary encounter. I was sitting on the sidewalk checking my email thanks to someone who left their wireless Internet connection unprotected. I was merrily corresponding with distant friends when a man in black military attire on a fast motorcycle pulled up in front of me. He glanced at me, then lulled out a meter-long steel baton. When he raised it over his head, I began to suspect that I was in Big Trouble.

“Damn,” I said to myself looking ay my incriminating wireless computer, “these Koreans take their network security seriously.”

The guy in the black outfit laughed when I put my arms up in a gesture of surrender. It turns out that Korean motorcycles have a meter-long steel rod that, when attached to the motorcycle, serves as a kickstand.

And that’s another thing I like about Korea: I didn’t have my pistol with me, so no one got hurt.

28 June 2005
The Sound of Vitality
Darren was less than impressed with the can of Cass beer I carried all the way from Korea.

“What in the hell is ‘Sound of Vitality’ supposed to mean?” he asked after scrutinizing the label.

“Beats me,” I lied.

Darren gulped down the beer, then let out a seventeen-hertz belch that lasted for at least four seconds.

“That, my friend,” I said, “was the sound of vitality.”

29 June 2005
Ungrateful Survivors
Dr. Lusardi and I were talking about this, that, and the other thing the other day when she mentioned a drug I’d never heard of, Narcan. As I understand it, Narcan immediately counteracts the effects of opioides; paramedics use it on people who’ve overdosed on drugs.

Once they administer the Narcan, the medics step back, for the junkies almost always become angry—some violently so—at the loss of their high, even when they’re on the verge of death.

I wasn’t surprised to hear about people being angry at being dragged back into the land of the living. My late father told me he once got caught in the ocean’s undertow, took a breath of water, and knew he was going to drown. He said it was a very peaceful, relaxing feeling. He reported that he was furious with the people who rescued him. It took several more decades and a few heart attacks before he eventually got his wish.

30 June 2005
Not Like Rocket Surgery
Julian, one of my neo-Luddite friends, was amazed when he found out that I have my own Internet server.

“It’s not like rocket surgery or something,” I explained.

I suppose anything’s easy to do if you know how to do it.

1 July 2005
And speaking of rocket surgery, I thought of Werner Magnus Maximillian von Braun today when I read about The V2 Institute for Unstable Media. I don’t know much about the institute in Rotterdam, but I do know a nice anecdote about von Braun and the V2.

Toward the end of his life, von Braun titled his stock lecture, “I Aim for the Stars.” On one poster promoting his talk, someone thoughtfully added, “But Sometimes I Hit London.”


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©2005 David Glenn Rinehart