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Here In Oakland

Art & Life

Today at the pump


Under here.

August 23, 2010

At The Beginning
Monday. Up at six with the alarm after getting to bed last night after ten. Need to get to bed earlier or get up later, getting to bed earlier the only viable option since I won't give up driving to arrive at my café well before the parking meters start. It takes me a hour and a quarter minimum to get through the morning papers.

I'm a member of a dying breed, people who still read the newspapers, but I plan to read as long as I can over breakfast before the industry folds.

They're saying in the high eighties today in Oakland and, since there's no fog this morning, they're probably right. The papers read, breakfast done, a high eighty degree day ahead. Maybe better to get a walk in early, save the afternoon for guitar practice in front of the fan. (Hup! Hup!)

Too much hup! hup!

We're Californians. It's the only thing that gets us through this blistering heat.

Later. The temperature between ten and noon today was pretty much perfect in a t-shirt, sitting out on the patio in front of Peet's and wandering through the City Center looking for signs of the weekend Art & Soul Festival. Whatever they did to tear it down and clean it up, they did it quickly and well. Not a sign there'd been about a berzillion people, three stages and a whole lot of other stuff in place just twenty-four hours before. Modern life, I guess.

Although I was feeling pretty good wandering around the downtown, I did notice a slight onset of the ocular migraine thing. A bit of double vision when I looked to the side, feeling OK, but less OK as I returned to the apartment. I thought of lying down for a while to let it clear, but it turned around on its own as I was sitting here at the computer with my feet up in front of the fan. I don't know if I should be worried about this stuff or not. It comes, it goes, so far not so often as to really get in the way. Not too much in the way anyway. Still. Living through your sixties i turns out to be an adventure, at least for this old fart here in Oakland.

But again, it's after noon now, feeling pretty good, to be honest, the sinus-upper palate thing letting me know it's there, but otherwise life is pleasant. Back to the guitar for a while, I think, maybe head out much later in the early evening when the temperatures become sensible again. I'm kidding, of course, when I moan about temperatures in the high eighties, knowing full well what's going on on the east coast and such, but there's always a kernel of truth in one's hyperbole. I wonder if there's such a thing as a “truth in hyperbole” index? Well, actually I don't wonder about that at all. Just a sign this ocular migraine thing is gone and the mood has improved.

Later still. It's warm out there, indeed it is. Fine inside as long as I don't get too far from the fan, something I can arrange. Some picking at the guitar. I need to do more with the chords. I'm not sure how you go quickly between them. I can play the individual chords as long as I have maybe five times the time a real guitarist would take to play them, but that was the way it was with the individual notes in the beginning. So I guess I'm making progress, but today, given my performance, I'm not sure I can tell.

But this is background noise, although it absorbs a good deal of my time. The think we're spending the rest of the day inside unless I get hungry enough and finally head for the supermarket. I weighed in at 1556pounds this morning, as low as I think I need to go and maintain some semblance of sanity. Never thought I'd have that for a problem.

I have a couple of larger plug capacity surge suppressors arriving today along with a package of Velcro strips useful in bundling together wires. A test, really, I may order more. I don't need to mention why I might need more surge suppressors, everybody needs more surge suppressors almost all the time. I've had an urge to clean up the clutter around my computer desk and around the bedroom desk where I have all the various battery charging devices. Maybe I don't really need the number I have stacked on the desk. How many do I really use at a time? (Think, my man, it won't do you any harm: how many do you use at a time?)

So maybe we're doing well. The ocular migraine seems to be keeping its distance, no flare ups since the morning, although I still occasionally get the double vision if I go outside on the balcony. The neurologist seemed quite interested when I first reported double vision. I hope his unintended communication of interest doesn't portend anything unpleasant.

I picked up the clear plastic cylinder the pharmacist ordered Friday to use with one of the prescribed inhalers while I was downtown. I'm now using three different inhalers, two dry, one, needing the plastic cylinder, liquid. One hopes they'll collectively kick its allergic butt, although I have my doubts. Well, doubts. I wonder (doubt) that anyone really knows what's going on, but the days are passing and one way or another we're all going to find out, not what it is, but whether this stuff works or not. More excitement at the beginning of a week here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken at the Art & Soul Festival Sunday with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.