2007 Notebook: Weak LI
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17 December 2007
No. 3,006 (cartoon)
Why do you drink so much?

To forget I’m an alcoholic.

18 December 2007
Virgule or Solidus, Lemniscate, and Octothorp
I don’t know why I should be so surprised that almost everything has a name; language is one of the basics of being a human or a dolphin. Still, I was taken back to learn that a forward slash (/) is a “virgule,” or “solidus.” The infinity character is called a “lemniscate,” and the pound sign (#) is an “octothorp.” I wonder why I didn’t discover this a year ago when I learned that the dot over the letter “i” is a “tittle.”

19 December 2007
Baby Crucifixion
Seymor told me about an amazing nativity scene at The Church of the Right Christ. Believers there maintain that Mary gave birth to twins, a good son of God and an evil son. The nativity scene shows the evil son crucified in the manger. A crucified baby, imagine that!

According to theologians at The Church of the Right Christ, Mary and Joseph got the babies’ identities confused, and ended up crucifying God’s good son in the manger, which is why the other Christians follow the teachings of God’s evil son.

Beats me; I always steer clear of nuanced theological discussions. Still, I would like to have seen the model of the crucified baby; it sounds like something one would not run into except, perhaps, watching a Luis Buñuel film.

20 December 2007
DRT, not DOA
Rodney told me a horrific story about a man who was electrocuted while hanging holiday lights.

Rodney, who works for the East Palo Alto Paramedic Department, told me he discovered the lifeleless body of man who was electrocuted when he strung a cable of electric lights across a 12,000 kilovolt power line.


“When I got there and saw him welded to the tree with smoke coming out of his feet, I knew he was DRT,” Rodney explained.

I asked Rodney what DRT meant, since that’s a TLA with which I’m unfamiliar.

“It’s not very technical,” Rodney explained. “When you come across an hombre lit up like a Christmas tree, you know he’s going to be more than Dead On Arrival, he’s Dead Right There.”

DRT’s a TLA to remember, but I hope I never have to use it.

21 December 2007
Halcyon Mating Day
Today is the winter solstice, the day when the halcyons mate. In their floating nests on the ocean, big halcyons are making baby halcyons; that’s why the air is still and the sea is calm.

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22 December 2007
Los Angeles Trees and Lines
I’m in Los Angeles, and the grim, gritty city’s full of palm trees and power lines. Why people voluntarily live here, this I do not know.

23 December 2007
Erica’s Curved Shower Rod
I’m staying at Erica’s place and enjoying her amazing shower. The shower itself is unremarkable, but the rod holding the shower curtain is not.

Erica’s shower curtain rod is curved, not straight. As a result, there’s more room inside the tub for elbows, watery flailing, and various variations of hank-panky. I wonder why every other shower curtain rod I’ve seen is straight?

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart