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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

June 16, 2010

Now And Again
Wednesday. A clear sky and now bright sun this morning, no fog last night, although it was quite cool and made me think I'd better retrieve the blanket I'd stored away in the closet. A sheet and a comforter weren't enough. Feels like a summer's day in San Francisco.

Back from breakfast, the Wednesday morning business group not meeting for some reason, my waitress saying the person who started it had moved and no one seemed to be taking his place. So an hour and a quarter of quiet to read the papers, back now thinking I'd best get in my walk before heading downtown for another lunch with some favorite ex-APL'ers. Two days of riotous lunching. My, my. Lots of excitement for us older folks.

You've maybe beaten this “older folks” thing to death. Give yourself another ten years, maybe, and it will begin to make sense.

Odd how you blame every little thing on age when most of what you're experiencing is self inflicted, as damaging to you when you're twenty as when you're sixty. Going on seventy (dear lord!). But a fair comment. There's life to me yet. Now about that walk....

Later. An unambitious walk that happened to turn into a decent walk, setting out to photograph the change in gas prices at the 76 station across from my morning café. (It was after eight and, as I was leaving, I noticed for the first time the pricing had changed and the meter maids were out there, I absolutely knew they were out there, waiting for me to cross the street and leave my car unattended so they could pounce!!! Evil, don't you think?)

When I arrived and took the gas price pictures I decided, instead of returning on Grand to the apartment, to head up the hill on Mandana that leads to the Noah's Bagel Shop area, skipping the bagel shop (I'd had breakfast after all) and taking this alternate way back home. A mile or so that turned into more than a mile or so, but with a nice hill (puff, puff) in the middle to, you know, build stamina. I'm not a masochist, I don't give myself gold stars for beating on me, tender me, but it feels pretty good when you get back to the apartment. No aches and pains, but a bit of something or other to let you know you're a good little old coot for all that walking. (Hup! Hup!)

A picture or two passing by the lake as I set out, a decent snapshot of a dead tree silhouetted against the fountain, a picture of a strangely peaceful rock arrangement under construction in the front of a house on the other side of that Mandana hill, another picture of a decoration on a mailbox - why haven't the kids absconded with this? - a stop by a natural foods store to pick up a bottle of fish oil capsules, a more expensive brand than I've bought in the past after reading how the Rite Aid fish oil capsules contain more PCB's than keeping your health will allow. (Maybe I should stop reading those papers.)

A picture sitting for a breather at Splash Pad Park. No, I don't know what I saw in it, I like the palms, I used the ‘No Dogs Allowed’ sign to check the focus adjustment on my camera. Maybe the colors. The colors, although feeling somewhat artificial, are nice. The greens and golds. And then, of course, a picture of that stump along Euclid, just down from the apartment.

I've taken many pictures of that stump, none of them particularly thought out, just snapshots in passing. Maybe they'll lead to further thinking, further ruminating over what's attractive about it (other than some kind of easy to rationalize neurotic behavior) and I'll have a light bulb go off (!!!). Right. But then again you never know.

Later still. A good lunch at a favorite Vietnamese restaurant, six of us in attendance including Mr. McQ who's visiting from Salem, learning that Ms. R starts a new job next Monday That's good to hear; Ms. A made a connection at the table for a project management contract, which is good, and all including your's truly had a fine time. I managed to position myself so the overly bright restaurant windows were right behind the three people sitting across from me, so their photographs didn't turn out all that well, but I've made this mistake before, I'll make it again.

I don't really go to these lunches to shoot photographs, but today for some reason, everyone pulled out a camera and took pictures. To remember us by? Are these lunches coming to an end? They will, at some point, particularly now that everyone seems to be employed again. Mr. E, for example, started a new job on Monday, flying to New York for a week's orientation Sunday before starting his new gig in the city, so, at least, this labor market seems to have finally turned for some of the crew. They're saying the pay isn't so great out there anymore, a bummer, and most of what's available is on contract without health coverage, a bummer if your health insurance is an issue, so it's not the way it was. Still, paying the mortgage trumps hesitation when an offer is made.

And you?

I'm retired. I am retired. Really. If I do any work of note again it will be for charity. Anybody know any charities that need a photographer? I don't think I'll ever have an urge to do IT again. I'm still comfortable enough futzing with the home computers as long as I keep it to about an hour a week. An IT job that requires an hour a week? They may be out there, but not out there anywhere I've ever been.

You did more than an hour's “productive” work at your last job?

Well, “productive”. Actually I did. Once or twice. You work at it hard enough and you'll find that now and again you can succeed. Contributing a hour of actual accomplishment to your company. If they give you a little wiggle room. You can't say that from reading Dilbert, but I suspect even Dilbert would admit to an hour that actually approached accomplishment now and again.

The photograph was taken at the local off shore drilling demonstration in the Temescal district of Oakland with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens at f 5.6 at 1/160th second, ISO 1000.