2008 Notebook: Weak IX
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27 February 2008
No. 1,612 (cartoon)
You’re an idiot.

Intelligence is overrated.

28 February 2008
Not Lovin’ It
Paul Tilley killed himself the other day. Although I’d never heard of Tilley, I was familiar with his work. Tilly was the advertising guy who successfully hawked greasy, salty hamburgers by coming up with the phrase, “I’m lovin’ it!”

The forty-year old executive lept from the twenty-seventh floor of the Fairmont Chicago Hotel. Let’s see, someone who jumps from a ninth-story window hits the ground at about eighty kilometers an hour, so when he slammed into the pavement, Tilly would have been traveling about, roughly, well, really, really, really fast.

Obituaties suggested that Tilley wasn’t really lovin’ it, and suffered from depression. If I was known for hawking heart disease and obesity, I think I’d probably be depressed too. Oh well, at least the last seconds of his life must have been exhilarating.

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29 February 2008
Eleven Four-Letter Films
I made eleven films since I got my first video camera a few weeks ago. They’re all thirty seconds long, and all have four-letter titles: Bart, Boat, Drip, Fire, Gong, Look, Poke, Pour, Spin, Wind, and Zoom. They are as tedious as they are short; not too bad for a beginner!

Christopher suggested that I make twenty-six films, one for each letter of the alphabet. I initially liked the idea, but then rejected it because I didn’t want to introduce a plot.

Eleven Four-Letter Films are online, don’t forget the popcorn!

1 March 2008
Deer Crossing
Andy, who lives in rural Oregon, wrote to tell me of a confrontation with his new neighbor, “some idiot newcomer from the city.”

Deer are a problem in the country; they eat every plant in sight and tend to jump in front of speeding cars. No one’s figured out how to solve the former problem, or the latter one either.

Nevertheless, county officials haven’t been idle. They posted “Deer Crossing” signs here and there to warn motorists about the wayward ruminants. And that’s why Andy is at odds with his neighbor, who’s been urging the local authorities to remove the warning sign on their stretch of road.

“Right after another car hit a buck, the buffoon asked the road department to take down our deer crossing sign,” Andy said. “The nincompoop told them that since so many deer had been hit near the sign, he said he didn’t think it was a good place for them to cross any more.”

“That’s brilliant!” I replied, “even better than when another one of your neighbors reported the farmer to the Humane Society because he left his cows out in the rain.”

Now that people living in urban settings outnumber their rural counterparts, I imagine the stories will just keep getting better.

2 March 2008
The Three Dusks
There’s dusk, and there’s dusk, and then there’s dusk.

When the sun is six degrees below the horizon, that’s civil dusk. We can see the odd planet or two, and objects on the horizon appear as silhouettes. Once the sun sets another six degrees, we experience nautical dusk, the horizon is indistinguishable. After that, it gets even darker, so by the time the sun is eighteen degrees below the horizon no effects from its light are visible. In technical terms, that’s astronomical dusk. Or, in lay terms, “dark,” or “night.”

I wonder if there are three kinds of dawn as well? Probably; everything has too many names.

3 March 2008
Eaten Eaten Cummings
I heard that conservators [sic] at the State University of New York College at Brockport haven’t been taking very good care of canvases painted by Edward Estlin Cummings. Some of the six dozen works have suffered water damage, and mice have chewed some of the paintings.

Mice nibbling away at art has to be some sort of metaphor, most likely something to do with patrons or critics.

4 March 2008
National Grammar Day
Today is National Grammar Day, but I’m giving it the short shift. I know enough about the principal’s of grammar to do what needs to be done without becoming a pendant; everything is cope aesthetic. I’m not going to give the matter farther thought; its too overrated.

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©2008 David Glenn Rinehart