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January 1, 2010

Road Hours Out
Friday. Well, here we are. A New Year. I recall hearing, as I was drifting into sleep last night, the sound of fireworks and what were probably gun shots at midnight, having gone to bed at ten. Such is life. A quick look at the scale this morning, the two or three pounds I said I'd gained over the holidays gone and then some. So we'll assume we're back on track and forget it for the time being. It can't go down forever, there is a point at which I become hungry again or my current intake of calories matches my outgo. I've read this in books. I've heard this discussed on television. Intake, outgo. So we'll consider it handled for 2010, something I couldn't say in 2008 and 2009.

It's overcast, they're saying rain later, although some sun as the week progresses. I'll get outside one way or another to get my walk in, see what the city looks like after last night's partying. If there was any partying last night in Oakland. They were projecting a quarter million people along the Embarcadero last night in San Francisco for the fireworks display, I have no idea if they all showed up. There were pictures in the morning papers but I didn't bother to read any of the stories. Pictures are enough for some things, firework celebrations being one of them.

I've been to breakfast, read the papers, been to the supermarket to pick up orange juice, milk, cereal, oranges and apples, so the larder is no longer empty. We are ready for the New Year to begin, I think, making food preparations to take us as far along as Sunday. A sign of advance planning in this household, let me tell you. Babble, babble: new year, old year, resolutions, constitutions, absolutions.

What else? I put up a new calendar in the kitchen, posting various appointments I've already made to include one in November (annual checkup looking for errant moles), this one with photographs by Man Ray. I like Man Ray's photographs, have a framed reproduction of one of his paintings hanged in my living room, but I should have gotten something I'm less familiar with, something with drawings or paintings or photographs less well known. How many times have I seen these particular images? Too many? Can there be too many? I think so. Well. Still, if this is all I can think about with a New Year ahead, we're at least on a less than bumpy path if not a particularly interesting one. Exciting one. We are not really looking for excitement around here in a jump out of an airplane with a parachute sense, more of roller coaster words and pictures one I would think.

Later. Not a walk really, but an amble for about an hour as I looked around and about for pictures, an image of a neophyte with a camera walking along his first time in a strange city coming to mind, a bus ride downtown and an amble through the Old Oakland neighborhood taking in the paucity of people, snapping the occasional picture of a building here and there, why buildings I don't know, a snapshot of an empty store front that has been up until now a distinctive shop for as long as I can remember, some closed art gallery space, something you'd more expect in hard times. How hard the times? Hard to say.

For some reason - the light? the overcast sky? my mood? - I got into the shooting today, even images that may seem very ordinary suddenly took on a different look. Not sure why, but I ended up running all of them through PhotoShop and creating jpegs. The head is more than a little fuzzy, but the image machine seemed to be working whether it was on the track or not. I don't blast away on any given day, so the number of images I take is never all that many, but the fifteen or twenty I shot in the space of an hour seemed, I don't know, more interesting to me than some recent others. I thought of using this one for the top picture, for example, much more appropriate for the day, but decided not. It's not that I wouldn't have used the one up top later, it's good if not overly innovative and there are journal more entries coming. Anyway. A long walk, a good hour's shooting anything and everything just playing about, maybe now a nap, see if I can't get those road hours out of my system.

The photograph was taken at the 2009 Oakland Children's Holiday Parade with a Nikon D3 mounted with an 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens at f 5.6 at 1/540th second, ISO 200.