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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

June 17, 2010

Be Taking Pictures
Thursday. This computer froze up again requiring a reboot and causing me to lose whatever I'd written as a start. Just three paragraphs, not the end of the world, but boy does it piss me off. Pisses me off at Microsoft, pisses me off at myself. Three paragraphs of undying prose lost to humanity. What comes after will not measure up. What is lost is always better in one's memory than that which is still out there somewhere in the cloud. In the Internet cloud. In the bowels of the National Security Agency, scrubbed and scoured for any mention of Osama bin Laden and his mythical confederates. But this digresses, degenerates. We'll keep our evil thoughts on Microsoft and leave the rest to others. Frozen computers that leave no trace of the reason they froze suck. Just thought I'd mention that.

The sky is clear, the sun is out, they're saying this will be the warmest day of the week with the temperatures falling off beginning this evening. As long as the sun is out I don't care about temperature, the lower, the better. Low temperatures around here are in the high sixties, heaven for an old Icelander. Well, a fellow with Icelander immigrant grandparents. On my mother's side. So we'll look forward to an interesting day once the laundry is done.

The laundry?

Indeed. I feel like giving myself a kiss. You can never stop beating doing the laundry to death, no matter how old, no matter how long you've been groaning about it. A trivial trip to the laundry room in the garage, throw whatever you've got in, take whatever you've got out. The only real downside is having to stick around while it's running, a matter of a couple of hours. But we all know this as well as we know I'll be making a big deal about it in another few weeks when I run out of clean socks. The socks are always the first to run out. Can't be wearing brown socks in a blue jean world, so we do our laundry rather than dressing in brown. Go figure.

The guitar practice continues. The fingertips on the left hand are growing callouses and the fingering doesn't hurt nearly as much. I play the notes, up and down, the chromatic scale they recommend in the first lesson. I'm able to play all three of the chords, but just barely, the fingers slopping onto the strings next to them, the fingers not quite spreading and bending as they need to bend and spread, but better than they have when the week began.

I'm three days into the second week now of my three month trial. I've made progress, but have no conception how any of this will lead to the playing of a simple melody or the strumming of a series of chords. And there are a lot of chords to strum after looking up guitar chords on the web. Lots and lots of difficult to remember, let alone finger, guitar chords.

But that isn't what this is about. We made a pact we'll play this thing every day for three months, follow the instructions and see where it went. Playing the notes, albeit slowly, in order; doing the scale, well, it's OK. You can vary the progression, the timing a bit, remember songs you've liked that have bits and pieces in them from this first to be learned scale, vary it a bit as the fingertips toughen up. Don't think ahead, be with the moment, make no judgements.

Everything I've ever practiced over the years, the writing, the photography, have taught me things totally different from what I expected. Play the instrument, follow the instructions, do it for three months, then worry about whatever there is to worry about.

You do go on.

That's the idea:. whatever you do, do go on.

Later. I've skipped the walk. Heading out the door and crossing Grand, I stood for a while to watch the people circling the lake, watched the geese as they were feeding. I've not seen the two geese with their goslings again since those first two days when I found them waddling along within this larger group. I hope they're in another, safer place. The goslings were about bite size, even for a smaller dog, and I'd hate to think they'd become somebody's breakfast. Maybe best not to think such thoughts.

This standing by the lake lasted for all of five minutes. I crossed back to the bus stop. Did I want to take a ride downtown? Did god want me to take a ride downtown? This went on for a good five or ten minutes before deciding, since I'd already planned to go later to photograph a concert they're holding on a blocked off street near my old office, maybe better to return to the apartment and put off any downtown adventures until then. The bus came around the corner as I was walking toward my hill. I'd bet that might happen. Maybe why I'd turned finally and started back quickly, didn't allow the decision to drag out. Usually, when the bus appears, I feel committed and the decision is sealed and delivered, no going back. Better to be heading home when and should it appear. I was heading home when it appeared.

Later still. The laundry is folded and put away in drawers, in bins and on hangers; the bed is made and I'm ready to go downtown. I think. Why do I say “I think”? The head is clear, the upper palate aches more than I like, but that's never been a deal breaker in the past unless other factors are involved. I think laziness may be working here, we'll see. I'm too comfortable, I've practiced the guitar, I could practice some more guitar. The fingertips can always use more guitar. Hmm. A sunny day, they were right when they said it would be warm. A good time, you'd think, early in the evening, to be taking pictures.

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 1/250th second, ISO 1000.