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Here In Oakland

Art & Life

Today at the pump


Under here.

August 19, 2010

Thursday. An interesting session with the pulmonary doctor yesterday in the late afternoon. Learned the foot cramps I've been experiencing lately are most probably caused by the Advair inhaler I've been using, quite common he said, although usually it's cramps in the ankles and calves. Who would have thought? I should have asked about one or two other interesting things currently going on. Constipation, for example. I'll ask later. Something even I don't like to bring up, but why now in conjunction with everything else? Could it be related? Who knows? I'm just here at the patient end of what seems to be this never ending line of doctors and (one hopes) minor ailments but, I suspect, we'll all find out soon enough.

Of course he asked if I had a cat. I was expecting that. Cats are usually the source of these problems (he said) and losing my cat recently, as I have, still doesn't tell you the story as it can take a year or more for the cat's hair and such to leave the apartment. Particularly, I added sotto voce, a slovenly bachelor's apartment. He mentioned vacations, a month was discussed, at a place with no cats, that's never had cats, to see if that made a difference. I'm really hoping it's not cats. But we'll see. We always see, even the blind see when it comes to these damned allergies I suspect. Cats, though. A world without cats. What a thought.

Some sort of pulmonary exam later at ten in the same building I got the x-ray yesterday (the results of which were a clean bill of health; no complaints from me, obviously) and once that's out of the way these tests, as such, are done. Nothing but fairs and festivals every weekend this and next month. I'm finding, now that I've been attending more of them and getting leads from other photographers, there are more fairs and festivals out there than I ever imagined and the shooting should be good. I talk about spending time practicing guitar (hup! hup!), but the time on guitar is nothing compared to the time I spend on pictures, both taking them and adjusting them quite happily in PhotoShop. Something you may have suspected.

Breakfast as usual, up at six with the alarm, but to bed early enough to have gotten a good night's rest. A trip by the supermarket for milk, cereal, tomatoes and peaches on the way back. I'm now ready for the coming weekend. I guess I do eat most of my meals out, do little or no cooking, and eat more cereal and the odd apple, tomato and peach than most. A mixed bag. More expensive than cooking at home, even for one, and restaurant food probably not as good as cooking at home would provide, providing whatever I cooked didn't all come out of a can.

Later. A series of breathe and exhale into the tube, breathe and exhale hard into the tube exercises, more of them than I was expecting, but otherwise the lab tests are, for the time being, done. Yes, I have some constriction in the lungs, but nothing too serious, the tests showing pretty much normal results for someone my age and size. Or so the man said. Whatever set them off, set them off, and they're saying “whatever” can be fixed. Just, you know, go out and get this inhaler gear we've prescribed, administer it like a good patient and come back in a month. I seem to recall Mr. M said something recently about his own experience, how none of this stuff really works.

Later still. A bus downtown to drop off the prescriptions at the pharmacy, planning to pick them up tomorrow. A walk back through Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall, seeing they're starting to set up for the Art & Soul Festival coming this weekend. I plan to attend both days and shoot many pictures. Well, shoot as many as I can. Art & Soul doesn't give up its pictures without a tussle, but that's fair, we'll do what we must and have a good time.

A bus then back beyond the apartment to hit the ATM and walk down and around to a local ice cream shop for a scoop of Green Tea in a sugar cone. Pretty exciting stuff for a Thursday, but we're feeling better for various unknown reasons and figure what the hell. A walk by the lake to take maybe my ten thousandth picture of this particular arch (I'm kidding about ten thousand, but I've taken more than a few, generally on the fly. We are lazy and fall into our little photographic ruts.)

On then along the lake, passing a number of notices taped at various convenient and visible places asking us to not feed bread to the birds, as it isn't digestible and causes all kinds of problems up to and including a painful death. OK, no more cheerful descriptions of good hearted people feeding the birds along the lake. No mentions of little old ladies toting bread crumbs without wrinkling our P. C. Nose and saying “tut! tut!”. I'll check what they're saying, but I suspect they're right. They can't digrest it, it has no food value that their system is able to extract and, in some not small number of cases, it plugs them up and kills them dead. Ouch. Why didn't I know this?

On my firm decision to cut the expenses: B&H and then Nikon sent me an email today announcing four new lenses coming down the pike. One is a replacement for the old 85mm f 1.4, a lens I've used with excellent results now for many years, the new lens I would like to have if the old one weren't so good and the new one so expensive. I managed to talk myself out of it. Some things you just can't justify (without more time and rationalization). And then I looked over the other three more closely and noted one that would be very nice at a price significantly less than the new 85. My, my. If I should decide on it I'd end up saving quite a bit of money, now, would I not?

So you bought?

I'm now on their list to get one first thing when they arrive.

Which means you're out of pocket now, but won't have the lens until, well, who knows?



The photograph was taken on the way back to the car after having a chest x-ray yesterday morning with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 135mm f 2.0 Nikkor DC AF lens.