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Here In Oakland

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Today at the pump


Under here.

July 13, 2010

Head Up North
Tuesday. Up at about the usual time (again, without the alarm), back now from breakfast feeling pretty good, although I had some trouble sleeping last night, getting up a couple of times and then having trouble getting back to sleep. Don't know why, not tired, but again, less sleep last night than I think is best. This has happened before where I had an uneven night, felt good the next day, crashed the day later. But we'll see, no reason to forecast doom. So many other more interesting ways to forecast doom, no need to cast blame before it's even eight.

I need to get the car washed, pack for the trip, charge some batteries and run a couple of photographs. A reasonable list for a day, no need to rush. I'm having trouble getting my head around getting on the road again, but that will evaporate the minute I start. Rather like getting my butt out of the apartment, although there's a certain primal urge involved, it's often a debate - do I go, do I don't? - before heading out. Bam! The minute I breath that first breath of outside air I'm there and happy for it.

One reason, by the way, I've done various things around here to see if the apartment itself is causing some of these head aches and stuffed up lung problems. An air cleaner running in the bedroom. Now that it's summer, open a window now and again. But alas, to no avail.

Later. Go downstairs after about a half hour nap to take the car over to have it washed and gassed, the wash giving a reasonable discount on gas if you get a wash and fill the tank. A look at the car. OK, I'm thinking I probably don't want to take the trouble to drive over to Berkeley to have the car washed and that may have been a factor, but the car was essentially clean. Doesn't need a wash.

OK, we can deal with that. A walk then to the bus stop to go downtown and have a cup of coffee. No, I was in no particular mood for coffee, but needed to get out of the apartment. Since the bus wasn't due, I crossed the street to the lake where something like a hundred or so geese were spread out in a long line next to the sidewalk eating whatever they eat so avidly in the grass. Were those goslings anywhere in the flock? A walk up the way and there they were. They were starting to get their black feathers in at the head and the neck and they've grown enormously since I first saw them, but certainly worth a couple of pictures for old times sake.

Interestingly, I shot those photographs mechanically like a somewhat clumsy robot. The three I've run here are about the best I could salvage, the rest useless, the geese out of center, out of focus. Not sure why. Shooting with my sunglasses on? Not good, I normally don't do that, but when I do I'm usually pretty careful, today I was not. I knew at the time I was flailing. The head must have been in more of a bubble than I thought.

Downtown, getting off a stop sooner than usual to walk over to Telegraph and approach the City Center through City Hall, a TV crew interviewing someone in the distance.

The city is in tense last minute negotiations with the police force to make benefit cuts their union will approve, the deadline for an agreement five o'clock this afternoon, or they're going to lay off over ten percent of the force. So I suspect the guy is a union representative or an administration guy. Who knows? Who cares? I shot a picture in passing. How could I not? Ten percent of the police force, though. In ever so peaceful Oakland.

Coffee then in the City Center, two photographs of people sitting across from me at their respective tables. I'm a sucker for people sitting alone, doesn't much matter what they're doing, probably has something to do with my own psychological makeup. Well, what am I saying? Of course it does. Dangerous to make too many judgements, though. Unless you're an expert. Which I am not.

A walk back by the Fox theater, Neil Young playing at the moment (I came very close to buying tickets), farther on by Sears, their windows still boarded up, then a bus to the apartment. OK, my go downtown, go out for a walk is done, now to pack, charge batteries and think about what I may have missed. I'm taking the guitar and the small Pig Nose amp with me to compare the guitar to my brother-in-law’s guitars, see how their weight and sound may differ, see if I can tell a difference, put this one guitar I've been playing in context.

Other than that I think this journal day is done. I moved all the various web files from the main computer to the laptop yesterday, did whatever patching was required, whatever patching I hadn't done since I last fired it up, upgraded Photoshop and Dreamweaver (the program I use to write this), all in a kind of hup! hup! hup! We are ready, I think, with but a few remaining chores, to head up north.

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 6.3 at 1/125th second, ISO 400.