2006 Notebook: Weak XXVII
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2 July 2006
No. 2,314 (cartoon)
I’m the arrow and you’re the bull’s eye.

You’re the bullshit.

3 July 2006
Another Apology
After almost a decade since my last apology, I’m afraid it’s again time for another mea culpa. And so I shall not shilly-shally, and go directly to the meat of the biscuit.

I’m sorry I claimed that Chihuahuas are worthless.

There, I said it.

I’m grateful to Lisa Lynn Hopfer of Wentzville, Missouri, and her little Chihuahua Chloe for showing me just how very wrong I was. It turns out that Chihuahuas aren’t completely useless after all; here’s the story.

Linda Hulsey breeds Chihuahuas, and sold a puppy—Chloe—to Hopfer. According the account I read, Chloe was too young to survive without her mother, and died soon after being purchased.

Hopfer was understandably upset, and returned to the breeder to express her dissatisfaction. The disgruntled customer communicated her unhappiness by hitting Hulsey over the head some thirty times with the recently-deceased Chloe. The direct approach worked; Hulsey refunded Hopfer’s money.

And so, the next time I’m tempted to opine that Chihuahuas are worthless, I shall remember wee Chloe. Chloe’s my kind of Chihuahua: dead.

4 July 2006
Artificial Meat Picnic
I enjoyed a pleasant picnic with Dr. Parulis this afternoon; it was perhaps the first time we’d seen each other since we sailed on the Greenpeace boat together decades ago. We had a lovely reunion; the artificial meat was disturbingly accurate. After we threw the Pseudo Steaks in a blender and added lots of vodka, no one could distinguish what used to moo from what once grew at the bottom of the sea.

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5 July 2006
That’s Military Intelligence!
I recently received a letter from an anonymous friend employed by the military who admitted she hadn’t been keeping up with my recently-published work. That’s because the army has blocked my Internet site owing to the fact it allegedly contains “adult content.”

“Are you up to something I haven’t heard about yet?” she asked. (She’s known me long enough to appreciate that my level of sophistication is rarely more erudite than that of an underachieving schoolboy.)

I wonder what kind of important information the army’s missing by censoring “adult content?” For example, a few years ago I published instructions for making a bomb. And since soldiers can’t review my plans, they won’t know how to defuse or otherwise defend against bombs made using my design.

On the other hand, the army’s Internet site tells any visitor—including villains and scalawags—all about its arsenal. For example, take the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

    A lightweight, gas-operated, one-man-portable automatic weapon capable of delivering a large volume of effective fire at ranges up to 800 meters.
    Caliber: 5.56 mm
    Weight: 16.5 lbs
    Max effective range: 1000 m (area target) 600 m (point target)
    Rate of fire: 750 rounds per minute

So all the enemy has to do to disable this gun is to blitz it with 751 evildoers in a minute and one attacker will get through. Or, they can just take pot shots at it from over a thousand meters away, beyond the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon’s range. Or, since the gun’s powered by gas, a saboteur could simply put some sugar in the gas tank to clog the fuel line.

In other words, the army is telling malefactors how to prevent the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon from achieving its stated mission (“Deter, and if necessary, compel adversaries by enabling individuals and small units to engage targets with accurate, lethal, direct automatic fire.”).

Because the army has censored my Internet site, its soldiers can’t take advantage of my technologies to deter—and if necessary, compel—adversaries, yet those same combatants can learn how to disable its high-tech weapons. That’s military intelligence!

6 July 2006
From the Pussarium
I’m in an apartment full of cats. It’s like being in a coral reef, but with air instead of water and furniture instead of coral and cats instead of fish.


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7 July 2006
After Modern Photography
When I was a teenager, I pored over almost every article in the monthly, Modern Photography. I especially liked esoteric darkroom tips, such as Bill Pierce’s suggested to add sodium sulfite to Rodinal to improve acutance when developing Tri-X.

Of course, Modern Photography magazine went out of business some time ago, and modern photography rarely has anything to do with a darkroom. And so, what to do with all that unused hardware?

That’s the problem my friend Arthur faced after inheriting his brother Paul’s darkroom. He came up with a partial solution after he realized the old, metal trays for processing prints would be an ideal receptacle for cat urine and feces.

I’m suspect there’s an important metaphor—if not a valuable lesson—here, but I don’t know what it might be.

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8 July 2006
Remarkably Unobservant
Tijanna’s one of my favorite bass players, and her remarkable screaming abilities are a matter of public record. I’ve known her for years, and photographed her band countless times. (Or at least nine times, which is the same as countless unless I take off my socks.)

She’s left-handed, and plays a left-handed instrument. Or so I thought. We met up tonight in the cellar of a Chinatown bar where she was performing, and that’s when I saw it.

Tijanna doesn’t have a left-handed bass; she has an upside-down, right-handed bass. I wonder why it took me years to notice that? The question is, of course, rhetorical; I know the answer. Despite my increasingly empty claims to be a visual artist, I’m remarkably unobservant.

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©2006 David Glenn Rinehart