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December 17, 2010

December, Is It Not?

Friday. They said rain today and it most certainly is raining. They're also saying a big time storm over the weekend, lots of snow up in the Northern California mountains just about the time I'm taking the train through the mountain passes. Hi, ho. My “comfortable” train ride might be more of an adventure than I'd bargained. One reason for the train (among many) is the ease with which you can carry extra luggage. An electric guitar, a couple of camera bags in addition to the normal luggage you need for a week's adventure out of town. But we'll just see what happens. If they have to take us off the train and put us on buses, well, I'd better have all those bags well marked with name tags. Maybe look at that today.

Breakfast and back from the usual place, going in early to give me more time over the papers. So far I'm still rushed when I get to the Tribune, but then again I've covered most of anything in the Tribune by the time I've gone through the Chronicle and the Times. A haircut at ten, the monthly Protime blood thinner test after. Then laundry. Then dinner in the city. And some thought about packing.

Odd to see what are not overly onerous appointments - a haircut and a blood test at the hospital - confuse the mind and put the head on edge. Not a lot, but what have we come to if these simple conceits make us stumble? Even a minor stumble? I suspect it's called success. The success of the newly retired.

It's been over three years, now. I suspect you've gotten as much as you're going to get out of this “recently retired”business.

Let's not allow truth get in the way of conceit. I will admit I'm seeing light at the end of the retirement tunnel. Things I'm interested in becoming more interesting, projects gaining momentum, feeling more upbeat about getting up in the mornings and going out to do not overly strenuous battle.

Careful now.

Later. A bus downtown to get the haircut, good; a walk then back toward Grand along Broadway thinking if a bus that goes up toward the hospital arrives as I'm passing a stop I'll catch the bus, otherwise I'll drive over later for the blood test, the bus arriving at 20th and Broadway just as I was thinking this. OK, the blood test, easy and quick, another bus that let me off on Broadway across from Bakesale Betty's at Grand, a piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top because there was no line and my number 12 wasn't due for another twenty minutes. Very good pumpkin pie and whipped cream at Bakesale Betty's, by the way, just thought I'd mention it. Again. As I have in the past. Many times.

Home now with the first two loads of laundry in the wash, another two loads to go and I'm done with laundry until I get back from Portland. Nice. It hasn't been raining during these travels and that's good, although it certainly looks like rain outside. We'll worry about snow in the passes when we get to the passes Sunday night. Dinner later this evening, our annual Christmas dinner get together with the usual crew and then maybe some packing this afternoon and tomorrow. Don't want to leave it until Sunday. No I don't.

I hit the bank when I was downtown, so the nephew is taken care of. The presents have been purchased for the immediate family, just need to wrap them later as I seem to recall I have all the Christmas wrapping paper I'll need up in the closet. And if I don't, well, there's another errand for say Saturday. (Hup! Hup! Hup!) Phew. And it's only noon.

Oh, and yesterday I put another page of doors up on my Here In Oakland site. I'm sure everyone's been waiting on another page of doors, evidence of another mental trip around the bend, the photographer as a classic psychological case. The photographer doesn't mind, he rather enjoys himself and is thinking of putting up a page of gaudily and not so gaudily painted delivery trucks. Can't think why I haven't thought of it before.

Later still. OK, dinner in San Francisco coming up. The laundry is done, the errands run, the weekend ahead. Still not raining, but it's really overcast and dark. But then it's December, is it not?

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.