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Through the train window near Portland.
July 25th, 1999

Photograph Smoke
OK it's Sunday and I haven't packed anything and I'm not going to Upstairs neighbor, moving tomorrow pack anything until I do pack something and then I'll let you know when that happens because believe me I don't know when that's going to happen yet. I'll call tomorrow and find out exactly when I will have access to the new apartment and I'll coordinate all the movers and the truck and the storage box (probably), but I don't know when I'll pack that first box. And I'm not sure I give a shit. Obviously this moving business is playing with my head and here I am writing about it. I have an interview coming up this week (finally) for the webmaster job. Or the week following. I realize that has me jacked up and I really don't want to think about moving or interviewing or whatever else. So Prop! Drop it! Take a nap. Take another nap!

I gave up coffee and Coke. Maybe that's part of it. One or two cups of tea a day, none of the other stuff. I really like Coca Cola. Those Pepsi ads with the little girl who goes ballistic if she's served a Coke makes sense to me, but she's got it reversed. Restaurants only serve Pepsi when they're too cheap to serve the real stuff or, like KFC, they're owned by the Pepsi Cola Company so they can't, but they would if they could. And I've quit Coke. And coffee. And packing boxes, I guess.

The news is showing columns of smoke rising from the Oakland hills on television. They promise to keep us informed. I was driving out of San Francisco back home to Napa on the day the big fire occured and I could see the smoke rising from the hill line across the bay. I should have realized at the time they had a real problem on their hands because the wind on that day was gusting around 50 or 60 miles an hour. Today it's calm and I can't see anything out of the ordinary to the east. There's smoke in the air, but it has no obvious source. Without the news program I wouldn't even think about it. I'm assuming without wind the fires will be put out, but you never know and the Oakland hills are right up the street beyond the Claremont hotel which stood its ground against the big one. If I were younger I'd grab a camera and go for a ride. How to you photograph smoke?

The banner photograph was taken from the train in (I think) Portland. The second photograph was taken at the family party in Seattle on Sunday last.