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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

February 15, 2010

In The Life
Monday. An odd holiday in that government is pretty much shut down, the bus system is on its weekend schedule, but everybody else is off to work. The parking meters aren't being enforced (I don't think, at least I didn't get a ticket parking for breakfast), the American stock markets are closed and the banks, well the banks, won't open until tomorrow. I recall that was our situation at APL, President's Day was not a recognized holiday, although the name of our company was indeed American President Lines.

And so?

And so we've had breakfast, read the papers and the day is ahead; the sun shining, burning through what little low lying fog that was present in the early morning, it's approaching nine and the sky is bright. Something should be done with it other than sit around here playing with pictures on the computer, something other than learning how to use these (#$%^&*) strobe lights. I would think, if thinking is really possible this early.

Later. It's a slower day than I was thinking, getting downtown and seeing how many stores and restaurants were closed, more like a Saturday than a Sunday, the same few restaurants open in the City Center you'd see on a Saturday, Peet's above Broadway and 12th Street open (where I had a coffee and a scone). Most of the markets in Chinatown were closed, one with a sign in the window saying they'd be closed from the 14th through the 17th for the New Year celebration, a bunch of fireworks going off just down 11th Street as I was sitting with my coffee cradling a camera, a store employee sweeping up the red paper as I walked by later. One shoots fireworks out in front of one's place of business for good luck on a Chinese New Year is my guess. What a civilized way to celebrate, this from a certifiable pyromaniac when he was young.

No longer a pyromaniac?

There are still traces. I suspect it's encoded in the genes and never quite leaves. A boy and his toys.

Still, a walk through the Chinatown area finding other evidence of earlier celebrations, a walk through the Asian Cultural Center because I almost always walk through the Chinese Cultural Center, but onward then for a more thorough exploration, the attitude good even carrying the small backpack with a camera and long lens inside. Felt heavy without being uncomfortable and small enough not to be too cumbersome trying to sit comfortably on the bus. The old bathroom scale says it weighs nine pounds (the new one wouldn't register its weight at all). Again, not uncomfortable to carry remembering my days as a bowler and carrying a couple of bowling balls here and there in a bag over my arm, but that's only a seventh of the weight I've lost these last two years. What was it like to carry that around? Less noticeable somehow if my memory is correct.

Again, a good walk, the sun out, a run through Old Oakland to take a couple of pictures of the old (and I assume abandoned) J & M Meats from various angles as there were no cars parked along the street in front. I've always liked the texture of the wall facing the parking lot beside it, although I don't think I've found a way yet to take a proper picture.

A walk then by the newest building in the area, a twin of sorts to the old APL building where I worked a block away, the photograph I took looking like some futuristic rendering propped up on an easel in an architect's office. Would you want to work there? Live there? I'm not sure. My father designed a few like this, many people others consider knowledgeable have said they very good ones, and we lived in a house north of Seattle that he designed in the late 1940's and early 1950's when “modern” houses with glass walls were rare. Was it more comfortable to live in than the more traditional house where we lived in New York? I digress. I do digress.

So, a good morning, much of the day still ahead. A picture I took waiting for the bus heading downtown earlier, what does it signify? Yes, someone walking along last night leaving a bottle on a sidewalk in Oakland, nothing new about that, but an empty Perrier bottle perched on top of a trash can. Mixed messages, I would imagine, too much for me to think about. Too early in the week, in the month, in the life.

The photograph was taken on Telegraph in the Temescal district of Oakland with a Nikon D3S mounted with an 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens at f 9 at 1/400th second, ISO 200.