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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

June 10, 2010

Is My Thinking
Thursday. I've been picking up the guitar and going through a set of scales until the finger tips hurt, then putting it down and coming back again, repeating this a number of times throughout the morning and afternoon. I have to admit the actual playing of the thing seems impossible, given how difficult I'm finding pressing properly on a string near a fret and not affecting the strings on either side.

Then there are the two or three chords they start you with. I'm playing them in the sense I'm working to find the correct placement again of the finger tips and the thumb and such, stretching the fingers on the left hand. I can see stretching, limbering up the fingers are a big deal along with creating callouses on the finger tips, which the instructions say will come in a week or so if you keep at it.

So I'm impressed by people who do this without apparent thought. I know this is probably bog standard normal in leaning this instrument, I don't really think it will come quickly, although I suspect playing simple not overly complicated tunes will come relatively soon, particularly if you're not overly anxious and give it time. So we're making progress. No complaints. Too interesting at the moment for complaints. It sets the schedule, so relax, my bucko, relax.

Before I forget. I did put up another Oakland Miscellaneous page on artandlife yesterday along with changing the picture on the entry page. I think I'll play with changing that lead picture over the next month or so, try for something that stretches me a bit and maybe makes more sense. I've already changed it once with a picture taken today.

I'd been warned they're working on the kitchen at my café today and so breakfast can't be prepared until tomorrow. So I slept in later this morning and I'm now thinking of setting forth (on foot) to at least have coffee out on the patio, since the sun is out, and read the papers. The important thing to me is to have a comfortable hour or so reading the papers. A broken routine and it's only just after eight! Feels like an exciting day ahead.

That's too much. Back off, settle down, get your head together.

Indeed. We'll walk to the café, read the papers, come back in better fettle.

Later. A walk down to the café to have a mixed fruit cup and coffee. Well, they call it mixed fruit, but it's pieces of watermelon and cantaloup cut into squares, but I had their mixed fruit and coffee followed by a toasted bagel with cream cheese when I went inside to get out of the sun. They were doing something in the kitchen, but they also seemed to be serving bacon and eggs, so I'm not sure what they meant by the kitchen being closed. The waitress told me there was no charge for the bagel, so maybe they'd gone off schedule or the closing was only for the very early morning (I arrived around nine rather than my usual six-thirty).

A walk back, a picture or two for no particular reason, passed by a gaggle of small school (pre-school?) kids being herded along the lake by a number of scattered looking teachers. Scattered in the sense that's how you look when you're herding a large group of very small children near a lake was my thought, not that I know anything about it, best to keep my distance, let them do whatever they have to do without any thoughts about an old guy who appears to be tagging along with a camera.

Home now, the sun bright, time to take a crack at the guitar again, see if I can relight these finger tips, see if sleeping on it last night makes the fingering any easier. They say it does, but incrementally, over months and years. Well, we've started, we'll know pretty soon, what with the way the months and years tend to flitter by, me oh my, here in Oakland.

Later still. Enough practice to get the fingertips chattering. No masochism here, but enough pressure and stretching to let them know they've been there, done that, need to do more to prepare. Out and a bus then down to Broadway and Grand, a walk the rest of the way downtown to sit out at a table (in the shade) in the City Center. A photograph of a young woman on a cell phone more because that was the only image that I was able to see. Nothing exciting, but I justified it thinking, well, I'll start a photo collection of people on cell phones. Plenty of opportunities about, but not overly innovative was the thought. But a photograph where none otherwise seemed to exist.

Back home on the bus, a photograph of my tree down below the bus stop on the lake, another photograph of something or other twisted around a car antenna. I'm not sure what it is, what the owner was thinking, but it turned out better than I thought it would at the time I took the picture.

Now, time for some more guitar practice. I went my the music store and bought ten picks in various colors. They don't cost much and my online first lesson suggests you acquire a dozen or so as they're easy to lose. A dumb purchase, no reason to have them, really, but for $3.50 out the door I figured I'd gotten away cheap.

And your thoughts on learning the guitar?

More positive than when I started. No thoughts or worries about when I'll be able to make music as opposed to sounds (that remind me of individual notes, except they're not yet quite there), just get the finger tips in shape, do the one scale they suggested over and over and see if I can make my fat middle fingers press against the strings without slopping over onto their neighbors. Nice, when your worries in life revolve around such, fat fingers and guitar frets. Takes the pressure off the photography, let's me experiment without making judgements. Best to shoot your pictures now and then without making judgements is my thinking. Save the pressure for the fingertips.

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 1/250th second, ISO 200.