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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

June 2, 2010

Wednesday. Overcast, but we'll see how the morning and day progress. We usually see sun pretty quickly once we've finished breakfast, returned to the apartment and put our feet up on the table in front of the computer, keyboard on lap. Yes we do. Well fed, on a Wednesday morning. Maybe pay attention today to some of life's broader questions, stay away from the quotidian (did this leg ache, did that picture suck, is this morning's attitude problematic?) and go on to life's wider issues such as where to find a good new place to have lunch? Is there any sake left in the kitchen? When's the last time I walked through Jack London Square? Why not buy that condominium I like the looks of over in the Fruitvale district?

There's a condo you like?

Just on the computer. Nice pictures, though. An old converted warehouse, eighty units, two bedrooms, two and a half baths and high ceilings. Fun to browse, the price reasonable, located two blocks from a BART station, but I'll never do more than look at it. Well, look at it. Maybe drive by, you know, just to see? Get a feel for the neighborhood. Artsy, fartsy without being too slick: good; but undoubtedly full of back street boys, pickpockets and narcotics vendors? The kind of thing you read about Oakland in the papers? The reason none of us would ever live in Oakland, although it turns out the living itself is rather nice and quite different?

Later. I was out long enough, I think, to say I've gotten my walk in for the day. A bus ride halfway to the downtown, a walk the rest of the way ending in a brief excursion through the Old Town area and then a bus back to the apartment punctuated by a small cup of coffee at a café along the way. Feeling good, but also feeling just a bit testy. I've mentioned that in the past. Testy isn't altogether unpleasant, doesn't mean I'm up or down, more probably up, but it makes me sensitive to small things that shouldn't bother an adult.

Better, I guess, than symptoms of Alzheimer's. Of all the possible endings in this world, Alzheimer's is one of the less wonderful, not so much because I live alone and would have to depend on the state or a private home of some kind (if the money hasn't run out) for assistance, but because, well, I suspect I don't have to explain. Nobody's happy seeing it and similar other forms of dementia, everybody pays attention when hearing of signs of progress in its treatment. I do, at least, testy and all as I was sitting, drinking my cup of coffee, wondering why my bagel and cream cheese was taking so long to prepare.

Where'd that come from?

Well, it started with testy and then rapidly degenerated into other less fun territory. I'm an easy mark for a wandering mind. But otherwise no complaints. A bit testy, as mentioned, the nose passages slightly wet without being runny so the air is cooling and bracing as it's inhaled, the energy just fine, a spring in the step, the camera light as a feather with the smaller lens I chose before setting out, Gold's Gym still just down the way and safely ignored. Need to keep that walking going, though. We can become overconfident in our advancing years.

Later still. OK, the day has puttered along, accomplishing nothing, but a nice enough nothing. The sun came out for my walk and it's been doing fine every since, the temperature nice, not too hot. I'm not sure everyone would agree, perhaps because the family line originally came from Iceland (and Denmark), but a high of sixty-five is probably heaven for people who once lived huddled beside a glacier at the base of a volcanic mountain in Iceland. I said a little prayer of thanks he'd decided to pull up stakes and move to the left coast here in San Francisco.

You're grandfather lived at the base of a volcano?

He does when you're making it up as you're writing. I've not been back to the old Icelandic homestead. When the more adventuresome of my cousins and their kids tracked it down many years ago, they found the ruins of a (very) small long abandoned farm house in one of the less traveled (and I assume cold) corners of the country. Could have been a volcano nearby, I dunno, but they didn't mention it.

My three shirts and three pairs of jeans are due from Land's End today, by the way. I mentioned I'd ordered them over a week ago, but it takes time when you buy during a no shipping charges sale. This is as good a definition of high living as any: five pair of jeans (that fit) along with a similar number of matching shirts. Denim. Light. Comfortable. How many old longish haired coots do you see wandering the streets in denim? Oh? Right. Actually that's true. More than a few. I took a look at the jeans they had for sale on the Nordstrom's site, but discovered I'd spent as much for my five pair at Land's End as I'd have had to spend at Nordstrom's for one. When it comes to denim I'm clearly not up to Nordstrom standards.

Well, you've managed to thoroughly meander from subject to subject, from Iceland to blue jeans, none of them of much importance. “Quotidian” I believe you called it?

Well, I'm not touching oil disasters, shipboard conflicts or global warming, let me tell you. A word or two on volcanos, but volcanos are now old and less than controversial.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2010 Carnaval parade with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens at f 8 at 1/500th second, ISO 200.