2008 Notebook: Weak VI
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6 February 2008
No. 1,725 (cartoon)
Little things bother me.

You’re a small person.

7 February 2008
The Most Important Things
Suzette seemed puzzled when I told her about my plans to photograph the tubular contents of canned food.

“What is it with you and banality?” she asked.

“You’re underestimating the value of a low entertainment threshold,” I explained, “The most important things in life are the least important things.”

8 February 2008
Spare Credit Card?
I was walking down Valencia Street this evening; that’s where I heard a mendicant asking passersby for spare credit cards. I watched him for a few minutes, and saw that he wasn’t getting any responses.

“How’s business?” I asked. “Any takers?”

“Not yet,” he replied.

“Sorry to hear things are getting worse,” I said. “Times are hard all over.”

“Things ain’t that bad,” the beggar replied. “I didn’t get no credit cards, but then I wasn’t gettin’ no spare change, either.”

As always, economics continue to befuddle me.

9 February 2008
Ships and Boats
I’ve told some people I used to live on a Greenpeace boat. I’ve told others that I used to sail on a Greenpeace ship. That’s because I never knew whether the fifty-meter long oceangoing vessel was a boat or a ship.

But tonight, I heard an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard explain the difference: ships have names, and boats have numbers.


After poking around a bit more, it seems that I aha-ed prematurely. It looks like the names versus numbers solution isn’t widely used. The columnist Cecil Adams had a more useful distinction: ships have to be big enough to carry boats, and boats have to be small enough to be carried by ships.

Thus I was on the Greenpeace ship. I shall continue to occasionally refer to it as a boat, though, since it’s an excellent way to annoy prissy semanticists.

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10 February 2008
An Aesthetic Confession
A number of my learned friends have contacted me to complain that they’ve been unable to even come close to duplicating the results I achieved in my piece, Thirteen Irradiated Wienerwursts.

Dang; I’ve been caught!

I used cheap hot dogs instead of expensive wienerwursts as I claimed. That’s why no one’s been able to get the same results with pricey sausages that I did with cheap biological waste. I’m sure the wide variety of animal detritus scraped off the slaughterhouse floor was responsible for the pleasing variations in the third-rate, rubbishy hot dogs.

Bone appetite!

11 February 2008
No More Polaroids
I read that Polaroid Corporation is going to stop making Polaroid film. The company name will survive (maybe the corporation will sell shampoo and fertilizer?), but the products as I knew them will be history. This doesn’t really bother me, in that I haven’t made a Polaroid photo in years, and have never thought about making one since.

Today’s news sounds familiar. I expect I’ll continue to hear more and more stories about business failures in the analog photographic marketplace. This isn’t a personal loss; I haven’t used film or been in a darkroom in a millennium. The net effect of today’s news is that I feel really, really old. It seems more and more likely that I’ll live long enough to see analog photography become as popular as woodcuts or linoleum prints.

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©2008 David Glenn Rinehart