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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

February 7, 2010

And Excitement
Pisces (February 18 - March 19): The Sun and new moon do their "same time, this year" number in your house of secrets just as Venus lobs a bolt of divine insight straight at you. Review your life before making a "back to future" decision. However you play it, winter scintillates as your place in the sun plays at a theater near you.
Sunday. Up at seven after getting to bed quite early last night. Hard to say how much sleep, but more than enough is my guess. Back from breakfast, the sky cloudy, but the sun breaking through and the day ahead supposed to be mostly sunny, no more rain as such until the day after tomorrow. And, for all that, I seem to feel pretty good, so let's see what we might do today to forward the condition of mankind and generate a couple of pictures because, as I write, I have nothing to put in the slot above or behind the Sole Proprietor's Journal heading.

Oh, and Minerva's horoscope today in the Chronicle. As good as any I was thinking, nothing particularly usual or unusual about it, but I felt like running it on a Sunday to start. Again, go with any that say life is not only going to be swell, but even better than swell, put out there in any way she may choose, even in the American hup! hup! hup! all is possible delusion. Makes you feel better about yourself, allows you to vote Republican (or Democrat from the sound of them anymore) from the unemployment line, watch every president since Reagan destroy the American middle class and then blame it on Obama. You know, the way it was before people began listening to “Brother Can You Loan Me A Dime” again from the bad old days in the thirties of my parents generation?

You have no idea what you're talking about.

That's why I count on Minerva. Relieves the stress of actual (hup! hup! hup!) thinking.

Later. A short walk down to the lake to sit on the same old bench and watch the people. A guy in his thirties or forties talking to himself as he was walking slowly along the sidewalk, shouting incoherently at the people as they passed him, clearly pretty far gone, but seemingly harmless in any potentially physical sense, I standing off on the path leading to the lake front taking a picture of the seagulls, he seeing me, turning around and going off on a tirade about what he would do should I ever take his picture.

Clearly the guy was disturbed, but clearly he was about a ninety percent chance of being no more than words; still I turned to face and listen, watching. I could feel a certain getting my back up going on, not too strong, maybe an automatic body rather than mind reaction, or an alligator level of the brain sending old long forgotten messages to the body warning of possible raptors around. Didn't say anything, didn't do anything, met the guy's eyes and observed, he finally growing tired of his oration and walking farther on into the distance. It obviously made some impression because I've written about it, but more in the sense of why should I at my age and theoretical level of experience be even marginally affected? My cranky old coot unhappy standing in line reaction? Something I can't control?

Well, again, not a very strong reaction as such reactions go, but I wouldn't suggest the guy try it on a young, physically grown but still immature young man who might think this was a real challenge and a reaction to keep his creds required. Maintaining one's manhood and such. But then I suspect our subject here was aware at that level and knew when keep his mouth shut. Then again, the shouting he did at the young women who were passing him on the sidewalk, all it would take is one boyfriend, one young guy who saw this, and he'd get himself in trouble. All this before ten in the morning. A lesson in something or other this morning in Oakland.

You were just concerned you knew you'd have to bash him a good one with the camera you had in your hand if he was more than words and came after you. Outrunning him was not going to be an option.

That thought did cross my mind. I'm sixty-six years old, sixty-seven next month, and I'm thinking of bopping some guy over the head (because I have no other options) with a rootie-tootie eleventy million dollar insurance doesn't cover it if used as a blackjack camera?

You could always move out to some cheery, safe and somnambulant suburb near a BART station.

Now that is depressing. A phobia of my suburban youth, not to be toyed with, evidently not to be challenged. So much for claimed years of experience.

Later still. A drive to Berkeley to get gas and have the car washed. Why Berkeley for a car wash? I don't know, it's the only place I've found that does a job I like at a decent price. Gas? Well, gas you can get gas anywhere, but they do give you 25 cents a gallon off if you buy one of their washes.

The thing that made this a “trip”, a “trip” in the sense of more than a simple drive not that far up the highway, is the way I fought it. Not just today, a sunny day, an excellent day to get it done, but I've been fighting it for weeks in the same sense I fight to a lesser degree just going out for a walk. There's a kind of hesitancy built in. I've come to think of it as a slight slowing of the synapses so an ordinary going from a to b to c, either walking or driving, becomes, well, slightly off kilter. I'm there, but there's also a kind of , well, bubble that gives the world a slight “tilt”, a kind of isolation. This is probably not good.

Getting on the road finally all was fine, a run through the back streets, get the car washed as I watched sitting in a chair eating some M & M's, a ride then back, but all the way back and beyond to Jack London Square to walk through the area and take a few pictures, ending my walk at Beverages & More for sake and a small block of sharp cheddar.

Not many people today I was thinking, until it struck me this is Super Bowl Sunday, everyone's partying at home at the moment. OK. A picture or two in any case, a walk by Barnes & Noble, a store that's been in the Square since I can remember, now closed, out of business, a casualty of a new time when people (like me) buy, as often as not, at lower prices from Amazon. Hard to feel any sympathy as they themselves put the much smaller and in many ways more interesting book stores of my youth out of business.

Turn on the TV at three. CBS, as I remember, not Fox. Don't like to support Fox. The game is just starting. Maybe a little sake today starting earlier than I was planning. Maybe say the hell with it and take another nap. Another weekend ending in mystery and excitement, here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken at Lake Merritt this morning in Oakland with a Nikon D3S mounted with an 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens at f 8 at 1/500th second, ISO 200.