2007 Notebook: Weak XXII
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28 May 2007
No. 7,293 (cartoon)
You really hate me, don’t you?

Yes, even more than my contempt would suggest.

29 May 2007
LSD and Whales
I thought I knew most of the more interesting Greenpeace stories from the alleged organization’s early days, such as the faceless volunteer, but I was wrong.

In 1977, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency planted one of its agents on a Greenpeace boat, the Ohana Kai. Apparently, the CIA didn’t send one of its better spooks to spy on some drunk and stoned hippies. At least, that would explain why the secret agent took LSD with some of the crew members, then blurted out that he worked for the CIA.

The Greenpeace protesters eventually found the Soviet whaling fleet thanks to others in the U.S. government. It seems that an attractive Greenpeace employee was having an affair with a high-level State Department bureaucrat. Or was it a senator? I don’t recall the details, but I do know that her paramour was kind enough to pass along the coordinates of the Soviet fleet he received from his Pentagon contacts. Whether or not LSD figured into any of these transactions, this I do not know.

30 May 2007
More LSD and Whales
I was visiting with Paul Spong, a dear friend who studies the orcas of Puget Sound. I showed him that he had a biography in an Internet encyclopedia; he’d not seen it before.

He scanned the article, then stopped when he read, “Paul later admitted to taking mescaline during this period.”

“That’s a lie!” he said.

“Who cares?” I replied.

“It was LSD!” he explained. “I hated mescaline!”

He paused, then added reverentially, “There’s nothing like pure LSD, boy!”

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31 May 2007
Climate Change Documented: Eleven Alaskan Ice Cubes, from 27-31 May, 2007
As suggested by anecdotal evidence of the increasingly tiny pieces of glacial ice harvested from Prince William Sound, climate change is rapidly redefining Alaska’s weather, biospheres, and even geography at a measurable rate not seen since the Cryogenian period. After being alerted to the practical ramifications of climate change while flying on Alaska Airlines No. 87, I decided to investigate the matter with an old friend with whom I went to high school, Dr. Min D. Rowse from the University of Anchorage.

I outlined plans for the study, and Min helped me with the practical considerations. She supplied me with eighty-four ISO-2110, forty-milliliter ice cubes, complete with a carrying case refrigerated with dry ice!

After dozens of experiments, I came up with Climate Change Documented: Eleven Alaskan Ice Cubes, from 27-31 May, 2007. (Unfortunately, I can’t reproduce Min’s text until it’s passed peer review and been published in the scientific journal, International Climate Gleanings.)

I may or may not return in a few years for further research.

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1 June 2007
Simplistic Visual Metaphor
As I was leaving Anchorage, I spotted a couple of stuffed polar bears behind glass at the airport. (It wasn’t much of a perceptual achievement; it’s difficult not to notice such huge carnivores, even if they were silent and stationary.)

I’ve just spent nearly a week photographing ice cubes in an unremarkable city, with the “real” Alaska in the distance, untouched, and unreal. I took a snapshot the airport bears; I’ve never been able to resist a diorama or a simplistic visual metaphor.

2 June 2007
Neither Helpless Nor Depressed
Chris, one of the most insightful people I know, provided me with a concise, four-word definition of depression: “I’m helpless, it’s hopeless.” I like this incisive explanation for its elegance as well as its relevance. I’ve never been helpless or hopeless, ergo I’ve never been depressed. This allows me to continue to enjoy Rainier Ale—an alleged depressant—with impunity, modest weight gain notwithstanding.

3 June 2007
Slaughterhouse Surprise
I am again taking care of Dr. Merrill’s cats, Heidi and Fluffy. The kitties are persnickety eaters, so I went to Gertrude’s Grocery to get their favorite canned food, “Slaughterhouse Surprise.” (I like the brand name, the marketing people at Pet Food Corporation of China are disarmingly honest.)

The woman standing in line behind me asked me if I had a cat. The long checkout line was barely moving, so I decided to give her a creative response.

“No,” I replied, “the cat food’s for my sister. She doesn’t have any cats either.”

The woman looked predictably confused, so I explained that my nonexistent sister used Slaughterhouse Surprise as an aphrodisiac.

“Do men really go for that?” she asked.

“I have no idea,” I said, “but women do. My sister’s a lesbian; she works as a dominatrix at House of Distress.”

“Why would a dominatrix need an aphrodisiac?” the woman continued.

“I have no idea, but if you give me your phone number I’ll have my sister call you if you’re interested,” I suggested with a smile.

My insincere offer brought an abrupt and welcome end to the conversation.

4 June 2007
The Day Before Tomorrow
Annette complained that she can’t get anything done today, “because it doesn’t seem like today; it feels like the day before tomorrow.”

I thought she was talking rubbish, but admired her creativity in coming up with a great explanation for procrastination. As if one was needed.

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart