2005 Notebook: Weak XXXIX
gratuitous image
24 September 2005
No. 3,327 (cartoon)
I don’t know who you are any more.

You never knew me.

25 September 2005
A Fuzzy Understanding
“Do you know what fuzzy logic is?” I asked Lily.

“I have a fuzzy understanding,” she replied.

After a pause, Lily added, “Actually, that’s a good example of string theory.”

“I know nothing about string theory,” I admitted.

“And I don’t know anything about fuzzy logic either,” Lily said, “I was just stringing you along!”

26 September 2005
Lab Invaders!
I keep the lab’s location secret, but someone else didn’t.

This morning, a ridiculous looking man rang the hidden doorbell. When queried about his business, he inquired whether we offered any “clubbing.” Answer: only in the spring, and only in Newfoundland. (That was a lie, of course; it’s in the summer, in the Pribiloffs.)

Later, a couple of apparent tourists accosted me when I left for lunch; they asked me if we had lab tours.

“What makes you think there’s anything here to see?” I asked suspiciously.

“This article,” one of the tourists replied as he waved the October edition of Debauched and Depraved magazine.


The odious editors printed a story on the lab, complete with the address, photographs of the exterior, and even a sidebar on how to use the formerly secret doorbell.

I’ll have to discuss options with my learned colleagues, but things don’t look good, especially when Debauched and Depraved hits the newsstands next Saturday.

gratuitous image
27 September 2005
Documenting a Small Monument
Dr. Landweber and I were walking in Oakland along a route he takes almost daily when I spotted a circular metal object embedded in the asphalt.

“Wow, what an unlikely spot for a city monument!” I exclaimed.

“I’ve never seen it before,” Dr. Landweber replied.

We each pulled out a camera to document the object.

After we made our photographs, I remarked that that he made his photographs a few seconds before I did. He knew I was joking because we’re both good artists. An insecure or less mature artist might have worried that one of us might be seen as the creator and the other as the imitator, but we were both knew that we’d each make something that would be ours, not someone else’s.

28 September 2005
Going Virtual
Now that the lab’s location is no longer hidden thanks to an untimely exposé in Debauched and Depraved magazine, my learned friends here and I have decided to jettison the lab, then scatter and work remotely. And so it was that I just bought my first mobile phone.

I never wanted to have a mobile phone; the one attached to my wall has always served me well. I never wanted to have a telephone conversation while in a toilet or taqueria; I enjoyed being untethered.

I bought a phone that does everything my recently retired electronic doodad that translates my handwriting into text did. It also has a mediocre camera built in, one with the same meager capabilities and poor image quality of the digital camera I used over a decade ago.

Of course, it also serves as a telephone, although the audio quality is not very good. Oh well, at least I get to have longer conversations with my friends, since our staticky conversations are punctuated with, “could you repeat that, please?”

That’s progress, I suppose.

29 September 2005
Digital Burying Analog Redux
As part of the hasty exit from the lab, we had to find a new home for four photographic enlargers, unused for years. First, we offered to give them to anyone at the lab.

No one was interested.

We send out a “free enlargers” note to everyone on our collective friends and family mailing list.

No takers.

Finally, we put notices on several electronic bulletin boards offering the enlargers “free to a good home.” (We used the good home clause to keep them from ending up with some scrap metal dealer.)

That worked.

An earnest young man came by to pick them up for his program serving disadvantaged youth. I suppose it’s one of those sturgeon and caviar questions: Are they using a darkroom because they’re disadvantaged, or are they disadvantaged because they’re using a darkroom?

The answer, of course, is neither, but I like the sophistry.

gratuitous image
30 September 2005
Black Beans Beacon
It’s the final day at the lab, and time to clear out the last bits of flotsam and detritus. When it came to emptying out the freezer, I found a liter container of black beans I cooked months ago. Although the powerful legumes were technically edible, I decided to dump them on the roof, an afterthought to my 1997 piece, Extraterrestrial Enticements.

And now, it’s finally time to abandon the lab. If extraterrestrial visitors find it, they can have it as well as the beans.

last weak  |  index  |  next weak

©2005 David Glenn Rinehart