2006 Notebook: Weak VI
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5 February 2006
No. 119 (cartoon)
I want to see you dead.

Me too.

6 February 2006
South Dakota Logic
The South Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee recently approved a bill to exempt people riding bicycles from drunk-driving laws.

“If I have to choose ... a problem drunk with 1,500 pounds or 2,000 pounds of metal coming at fifty miles an hour or a two-wheel bike, I’m going to win and my family is going to win,” said Senator Lee Schoenbeck. “I’d much rather have a drunk on the bike.”

It’s that kind of clear-headed thinking that almost makes me want to move to South Dakota.


The problem is this: South Dakota is South Dakota, and who wants to live in South Dakota? I’m sure lots of fine people make South Dakota their home, but I don’t want to be one of them.

I could, however, envision living near Glacier National Park in the neighboring state of Montana. Actually, that might work. Should the Montana police try to stop me for wobbly riding, I could simply pedal a few hundred kilometers until I was over the border in South Dakota. There, I’d slurp whisky from my flask with impunity. (After such a ride, I’d probably be quite thirsty.)

Such theoretical conjectures aside, I’ll probably remain based in San Francisco. The cops here let cyclists get away with murder as long as we don’t actually kill anyone.

7 February 2006
Remembering the Mother of The Chip
I read today that Rebecca Webb Carranza recently died at the age of ninety-eight. I’d never heard of her, but I was most appreciative of her great invention. Here’s why: Rebecca Webb Carranza created the tortilla chip.

Or, at least, she sort of invented the tortilla chip, about which more very soon.

Carranza ran the El Zarape Tortilla Factory, one of the first business endeavors to automate tortilla production. Some of the concoctions coming off the assembly line were too misshapen to be commercially viable, so Carranza cut the aborted tortillas into triangles, fried them, and then ...

Et voilà! The tortilla chip!

For historical accuracy, one of Carranza’s sons noted that she may not have actually invented the tortilla chip, but she was the first person to make them a commercially viable commodity.

And so, for the rest of my days, I shall think of Carranza every time a gaze across a sea of guacamole.

Although this has nothing to do with the story, I nevertheless feel obliged to mention that she never got along with Pancho Villa (the hombre, not the taqueria).

8 February 2006
In the Land of the Blind
Samantha, Joey, and I were having a erudite discussion about this, that, and the other thing, when Joey decided to repeat a hoary cliché (is that repetitiously redundant?).

“In the land of the the blind, the one-eyed man is king,” Joey pronounced.

“In land of the the blind, the one-eyed man is crazy,” Samantha retorted, “because no one else can see that shit.”

“In the land of the blind, perhaps neither of you would be single,” I added.

Fortunately for me, neither Samantha or Joey are unattractive, so I once again got away with yet another stupid remark.

9 February 2006
Practical Medical Ethics
Every time I see Katia she always has an interesting story to tell about her work as a medical doctor. Today, her tales included one about a patient who made subtle but unambiguous amorous advances.

“So what happened?” I asked.

“Nothing, of course,” Katia replied, “that sort of thing’s completely verboten.”

“Was he handsome?” I continued.

“Yep,” Katia answered, “and rich, too.”

“I admire your professional integrity,” I said, “especially since I’ve never let bureaucratic morality override my bad judgment.”

“I’m no saint,” Katia laughed, “the idiot made a pass at me just after I gave him a prescription to address his erectile dysfunction.”

10 February 2006
Good Advice Taken
Michelle was a drunken puddle of drunk drunkenness when she met me at the bar.

“It’s over,” she announced.

“What’s over?” I asked.

“Everything and nothing,” she slurred. “Sex can trump death, just as if death can triumph over sex.”

“I suppose so,” I replied.

It’s like Dr. Hilliard advised me when I was a teenager, “Never have a serious conversation who’s even more fucked up than you are.”

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11 February 2006
Albanian Adventures
This morning, Ranger Dave and I headed off to the other side of San Francisco Bay for some sort of arts adventure scheduled to start at eleven o’clock. En route, we ran into a number of logistical setbacks that led us to conclude that we would not arrive by eleven.

“Don’t worry,” I advised, “artists never start on time.”

“But what if they’re German?” asked Ranger Dave.

That innocent query hurt my little brain when I tried to reconcile the conflicting ideas that artists are always tardy and Germans are ruthlessly punctual.

As it turns out, the artists were neither German nor on schedule. And so, we all arrived late and thus started exactly on time.

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©2006 David Glenn Rinehart