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Here In Oakland

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Today at the pump

My sister!


Under here.

December 6, 2010

No We Won't

Monday. I noticed the price of gasoline jumped ten cents a gallon yesterday at the station across from my morning café. Gas prices tend to run somewhat higher at other local stations, so this one isn't leading the pack. What's interesting to me is that ten cents a gallon translates into one hundred and twenty nine million dollars in a year. Just in California. Just those ten cents. Real dollars.

I've never believed there's a free market here locally, the big oil companies have a lock. That's what they do, make money, and it's much easier when you keep your market in a lock. The local independent gas stations sued the majors a few years back stating exactly that: they were at the mercy of predatory, controlled pricing. They lost, of course. They were suing the oil companies after all. Globally, well they make no bones about it globally, the “cartels” and such. Money doesn't talk, it screams. But then I suspect you've noticed that.

Is that such a big deal with you?

More for how long they've been able to get away with it (as in, I guess, forever). We just sit and pay. I don't drive much anymore, but there are more than a few people out there who do. When I was younger I was one of them. Yet nothing happens, nothing changes. The press has been emasculated, no help from there. Strange when it's down to some off the wall outfit like Wikileaks to act as your savior. Independent gas stations? Are there any left? It's interesting to watch. So much going on that you'd think it would piss people off.

Now: am I pissed? Do I do anything other than bitch about it? Quibble now and again on Facebook? What's the phrase? “Physician, heal thyself”? Before you prescribe to others? Good advice, I'd say. As long as I don't have to take it. Oh, and Mr. Oilman, while you're at it: please fill ’er up.


Up this morning after a good night's sleep. All that walking Saturday didn't result in sore muscles or a tired back, felt pretty good with all that, but it obviously ground me down a little and it's taken a couple of nights sleep to get back to one hundred percent. An age sixty-seven one hundred percent, but good enough.

I had another ocular migraine last night, came on around six or seven, lasted for perhaps an hour as it has in the past. I lay down and drifted off for a while, hallucinating. Only way to describe it, hallucinating, the world bent in strange and sometimes disturbing ways. Once it was over I was up and futzing around happily until bedtime at ten. Such is life. The mouth has a metallic taste in it when these things come on. Have to remember to mention that to the neurologist the next time.

We did have sun early yesterday morning, but then it rapidly turned into rain, raining throughout the afternoon and night. The sun is coming in through the window this morning as I write, maybe it will last. Looks like clearer skies to the west, could be in luck. Strange weather. Always strange weather around here, part of the California experience, the California dream.

Later. A walk along the lake looking to see how the birds were faring. Quite a few out on the lake, not so many in their protected area where they're fed. A bus then downtown and a cup of coffee out at a table in the City Center, taking but one picture which didn't turn out. Didn't think it would, but I was looking at the shadows on the stone tiles and figured what the hell. What the hell often isn't enough. A walk by the pharmacy to pick up a prescription and then a walk all the way back to the apartment, getting in my exercise for the day I would say. Gotten to the point I need it now, feel weird without it.

A couple of hours work on the old Rip Off Press pictures to post on a page one of the artists is putting together on Facebook, followed by a scan of a much younger me found in the process. I was cute as a little kid, a steep slide thereafter, but that's life.

The day has gone well, some guitar practice in the morning, more later. I can't tell if I'm getting better or worse, sometimes I think worse, but that's the process, means it's going as it should.

Going over the old negatives I'm wondering why they're so crappy. I was a better photographer when I was a teenager, a better photographer now, but in my thirties, shooting 35mm with that camera, not so good. Was it the outfit I used to develope the film? They're really dirty, full of specks. I've kept them in three ring binders in page size photographic plastic sleeves as I keep later photographs that are and remain clean. Should have done my own developing back then. Wasn't thinking. And I was broke. We won't discuss exposure and focus, two elements under my sole control, both of which were at best chancy. No we won't.

The photograph was taken yesterday at the Oakland Holiday Parade with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.