[Journal Menu]

[Home Page]


[100 Books]

[Other Sites]

Art & Life

Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

February 14, 2010

Yes I Did
Pisces (February 18 - March 19): Take note, Pi: The goddess is in her heaven and all's right with your world. Think of that as you blow out those birthday candles. A stronger sense of self will make you attractive to many this year. Consider this the frosting on the cake and go with the flow. After all, not only is this hearts and flowers week but the advent of Year of the Pisces.

Sunday. Ah, yes. The year of the Pisces. And the Tiger, from what I'm hearing. Not sure what the relationship is there.

Another overcast morning, I the only one in the dining area for most of my early morning reading the papers over breakfast, my waitress bringing me a mixed fruit cup and a toasted bagel on the house because the cook was running late. A good start to the day, I think. The attitude good anyway, the weather forecast good (partly cloudy, but sun in the afternoons getting up into the low sixties), the head good. What more can I say?

More has become the problem. A little less might be refreshing, don't you think?

Now, now.

Although gas prices seem to be slowly declining, the problem is the declining price most probably means the economy isn't doing all that well. A better economy leads to more demand (we're talking the world economy here, gas prices are set by demand against a short term inelastic supply and by the various cartels, but lessening demand is, I suspect, what's happening here), a worse economy leads to less demand and lower prices. Gas isn't really cheap if you don't have a job (says the old man on the mountain).


We do not live in a bubble here, what happens out there affects us all. I'm not looking to finish whatever time I have left shooting pictures documenting a depression, the destruction of a generation that's just starting out. Or the crash of the baby boomers, many of whom I've gotten to know, rascals that they are.

Later. The fog, and there was quite a bit of fog there for a while, has broken now that it's just after noon and the sun is shining, the birds may be singing (or honking, as we've gotta lotta geese around the lake here) and I should be up for getting out of the house. But I'm not. I've put on a jacket or two in anticipation, but then decided not. Maybe a run to San Francisco to buy a decent jacket. A summer jacket, one that fits. And since I tend to wear the same damned things over and over, get something nice, something that feels good for at least its first ten years. (I didn't say that - “ten years” - but I have many that qualify. Not all, I'm not totally hopeless, but I'm pretty close.)

Later still. Finally. Out the door. I shouldn't mention this, but I logged onto the Nordstrom web site before leaving and checked out what they had in light summer jackets (for the hip, pseudo-hip and slipped disk set). Going to Nordstrom in the city is about as easy as it gets, there's a BART station in the store's basement, you don't even have to go up to street level to enter the building, but I knew I wouldn't do it. At least not today. And a light summer jacket. You can tell (I told myself more than once) online what they're going to look like, right? Inner, outer pockets, zoom in to see a bigger picture. Right? I ordered two as they weren't all that expensive. There were better bargains on Macy's and Lands End, but they all looked like things nobody buys whether or not the economy is bad.

I wouldn't have mentioned that.

Still, out the door, down to the bus stop much too early so I sat across by the lake for a bit, taking a picture of the same old tree, but more for the crab grass or clover or whatever it is that continues to sprout up through the grass. They've been really good about cutting it, they have these big gang mowers that come around often, but that was then perhaps, before they ran out of money and stopped. I suspect that's it: no money, no mowers, ergo crab grass and clover.

But still, a bus downtown to walk through the City Center area, then over to Chinatown and the Asian Cultural Center passing places out in front of shops on the sidewalk where they'd evidently shot so many fireworks last night the the sidewalks had areas that looked like they'd been covered in a soft scatter rug of bits of red paper. Well, lots of spent firecracker red paper. If I'd known, I'd have been there to take photographs. Maybe.

I have to admit I was in no mood to set any walking records. An avocado ice cream cone in the Cultural Center, sitting, watching what seemed a larger number of people about, the New Year, perhaps, fireworks last night, eating at a restaurant to celebrate today. Small children were popping torpedoes on the sidewalks. Torpedoes on the sidewalks, fireworks, flashes from my misspent past.

I missed a picture for having that avocado ice cream cone in my hand as I sat - it was OK, not as good as green tea for my tastes, this avocado ice cream business - but such is luck. I missed another one, camera ready in hand, when a guy ran toward me straight across Broadway against traffic hailing a bus. I was transfixed by the sight, the look on his face, but didn't think to bring the camera up. OK. I'll internalize that. Sleep on it. Do better on the next one that comes up.

Just a walk, then, on back to the apartment. A picture of the mural done by Rocky Rische-Baird and painted by he and his wife Erica, a photo I've taken many times from across the street. I like it, I like it when people are walking in front of it and you wonder for a second which are painted and which are real. The building itself is a local historical landmark and has been boarded up and empty now for as long as I can remember. Then again the empty lot next to it on 12th Street has been vacant and waiting on construction on a new building to start for a similar amount of time. They drove pilings years ago in preparation, not a small expense, and they've been paying the carrying cost - taxes and the like - now for years since.

Then what else? As I said, a walk back through the City Center again (Top Dog was the only business open with a few people scattered about eating hot dogs they bought for themselves and their kids), across the street to cross in front of the Oakland City Hall and then down Broadway. How many times have I walked this route? How many pictures of the same buildings? Well, a lot.

But again we digress. I digress. I'm home now, it's just after four, I think I'll do something easy and relax. Of pictures I took few, but I did download a book on using Nikon strobe lights (yes, to the Kindle) and read the first three chapters this morning in bed. Maybe I'll read a fourth. I've said I'm going to learn how to use them. Yes I did.

The photograph was taken of a portion of a mural on a record store exterior wall on Channing (I think) at Telegraph in Berkeley with a Nikon D3S mounted with an 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens at f 5.6 at 1/160th second, ISO 200.