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Here In Oakland

Art & Life

Today at the pump


Under here.

July 12, 2010

Sign Of The Times
Monday. For the way my morning started yesterday, funky as mornings can be, the day finished rather well and this morning seems to be starting just fine. Breakfast at the usual place over the papers, then over to the Honda dealer to drop the car off for a service and a smog check. Need the damned smog check. A thirty minute or so walk back then to the apartment to go through the list of phone calls to make, bills to pay and passport to renew. I notice by putting it off I now have to pay a higher fee, but, of course, that's the way it goes with procrastinators like me. Deedle-dee-dee.

By the way, the boat races yesterday on the lake were the “United States Rowing Association Southwest Masters Regional Championships, drawing 840 athletes and almost 530 boats, mostly from California, Oregon and Arizona...” according to the Oakland Tribune. Sounds impressive. Nice to see people engaged in interesting activities other than photography. I'm thinkin’.

A change in the photograph for Art and Life. About time. Like it much better. We play our little mind games, think with the head rather than the gut. Or the eye. Or some such. We finally come to a better solution. Probably never the best solution unless we get lucky, but a better solution is always better said the man on the mountain.

Actually I'd have to think about that. The man on the mountain handles “better” in ways different from the rest of us. I'd say he handles them “better”, but then I'd be getting in well over my head. I'm thinkin’. Did I mention my attitude is “better” this morning?

Please, please stop!

Later. A bit embarrassing, maybe. I've essentially done all the things I've put off for the last two months in about four hours this morning including getting the car serviced and smogged and registered online with the DMV, called the various doctor's offices to have two prescription refills updated, picked up the two prescriptions an hour later (at, what else, the last minute before the magic little pills ran out), started the laundry, made an appointment with the ophthalmologist (does this ocular migraine business have anything to do with the eyes was the neurologist's question?) and picked up two vitamins I'd run out of this morning (a two-fer since I was there getting the prescriptions). I'm thinking of renewing my passport today as well just for the hell of it. I'll get the car washed tomorrow.

Hup! Hup!

Yeah, but think of all the energy I expended avoiding doing them these last couple of weeks. Months. Oh, and sending in (finally) my annual ACLU dues. Mustn't forget to send in my annual dues lest they stop suing all those bastards in the government (you know, torture, assassinating U.S. citizens, wire tapping and all the other denial of individual rights done to keep us safe and quiescent). I know, makes me a damned liberal and, in many areas I am, although I think of myself as a conservative in many areas no longer addressed by conservatives anymore. Sarah Palin? Good god!

By not capitalizing God you're clearly a heathen and probably a fucking un-American terrorist loving heathen at that!

So many rules to break, so little time. I've been an ACLU'er since high school in the fifties. It came about through too much extra curricular reading of fiction when the big noise in the fifties was about book censorship. Lady Chatterley's Lover unfit for the unwashed masses! And hormonal teenagers. They don't worry about such things anymore because nobody reads books anymore. Still, once you're on board, well, you're on board....

Later still. Whatever this day has brought, may yet bring, it hasn't included any photographs. No complaints (I say that a lot, don't I?) since otherwise the accomplishments are, in my neck of the woods, a bit mind bending. A short walk, a walk too short to be called a walk, over to the lake to sit on one of the benches to take in the sun and watch the people walk (and run) on by. My, my.

Earlier this morning, picking up the prescriptions, I sat out in the City Center and had a cup of coffee and shot a single picture thinking it might look interesting. It turned out it didn't look all that interesting. OK, try a cropped portion of the picture. What's it about? Why would I run it other than to show what? The guy looks down and out. To show a guy who looks like he's down and out? For what purpose if the image has little emotional impact? Have I shot his picture before? I think maybe I have. Right there, in fact, right where he's sitting.

Yet for all your lame cover your butt protestations, you've run the photograph.

Did I mention I didn't get any photographs today?

Anyway, a walk this afternoon down to the lake, a picture of the tree I seem so enamoured of, a picture of a poster to look at later and decide if there are photo opportunities in this bicycle thing. Warriors indeed. On these roads I'd think.

We'll leave it here. The PBS News Hour is running on TV at the moment, but I'm not tuned in, haven't turned on the TV. The News Hour, staple of we older non-Tea Party farts, is making me uncomfortable for its lack of what? Incisiveness, I guess. It's good, way better than the national “straight” media crap with but one or two exceptions, and sometimes it's very good indeed, but lately I've been wondering if they aren't watching their flanks, being supported as they are to some degree by the government, and therefor not coming down as hard as a story would dictate.

Interviews with major political figures are, well, not always, but more often than they should, just puff, allowing the subject to spout whatever the current line is without, you know, the journalist pushing back. “The moon is made out of green cheese your party is saying and we're sending up helium balloons to bring some back? Well, well; my, my.” Who cares, I guess. Just a sign of the times.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2010 Gay Pride Parade with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens at f 4 at 1/160th second, ISO 400.