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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

March 21, 2010

Most Certainly OK
Sunday. I got a lot of sleep last night, a nap in the late afternoon and then to bed at eight, up at six-thirty. Arriving at my usual breakfast place somewhat later than usual I was still the only person eating breakfast (and reading the papers) in their dining area. Home now feeling a bit buzzed beyond the norm, but ready for the day ahead I think, our Friday transgressions put to rest.

I was pretty good about whatever it was I drank Friday night, I didn't drink any of the shots of Scotch the bartender offered on the house as we were leaving (good customers, as we are, who take care of our bartenders), but I'm too old anymore for such shenanigans. The younger I would feel just fine this morning after so much sleep, whatever I'd done the day before in someplace called Murphys, California. The older I no longer has the stamina. So we will chalk it up to experience, add it to the long list of lessons learned again and then again, and be more careful the next time we're in an Irish bar on a warm evening before the first day of spring in San Francisco. And, if we aren't, well, we can't say we didn't warn you. My bucko.

I really wasn't into taking pictures at Murphys although there were opportunities aplenty. It was warm, there was no place to sit, the Main Street really was crowded, really crowded, so you had to move in little streamlets of people like eddies in a current, but otherwise it was good photography weather. People being so close makes it easier in some ways for the camera man who's head is clear and his back isn't hurting. And I'm sure somewhere in that crowd such a person existed, taking pictures.

They were all that bad?

Well, there's always something. We are a photographic pretender, after all, there are pretender standards to be upheld, even with the head and eye connection down for the afternoon. The band was under an awning, not the best light for photographs, and the one opportunity to add a cute animal shot flopped, but there was a bag pipe group a-playing in the middle of the crowd, hard not to get one or two worth keeping.

Murphys is 2,100 feet above sea level in the Sierra foothills and we noticed road signs that said the road was closed due to snow at Ebbetts Pass in another fifty miles. What's the snow line then at the end of March in the Sierras? I have no idea. Warm as toast in Murphys, although I understand the winters can be chilly. The trip we made a few years ago now to Bode and Yosemite wouldn't be possible this early in the year, so whatever I'm thinking of doing later had better be done later. I liked Bode, the old mining ghost town, and Yosemite was nice, although I'd just as soon not go during the heavier parts of the tourist season. But we're thinking, we're thinking, as the brain clears this Sunday morning.

Later. I include the walk before noon in my list of habits, in my list of “ruts” when I'm in an unapproving mood - a sour habit mood, anyway - and today was no different. A brief nap, maybe an hour, maybe ten minutes of sleep, the rest a hazy kind of dozing off, then out the door with a camera heading for the bus stop. Did I want to go left and wander around the Grand Lake theater area? No. Nothing much open downtown and the bus had just come, but none of this seemed to matter and I found myself on my way toward the City Center, the attitude pretty good. I had to check twice, of course, the attitude, but pretty good I had to admit.

No pictures, really, a shot of Farley's who've evidently extended their sidewalk table area into the street parking space in front of their building. A good idea, I suppose. I wonder if they can get away with it during the week when the meters are running? It still has a youngsters’ kind of creepy feeling to it, but that, I suspect, is my age kicking in. Too much self conscious body language in the people sitting outside over coffee and digital devices. Students, maybe. Why should that be a problem? Maybe I remember my own student days too well, the much older idiot remembering the much younger idiot with embarrassment. Silly, don't you think? I think.

But we are running on here, the attitude really is better, the Friday night episode now filed under “good times were had except for the day after”. It's a large file, that file, but lately it's growing more slowly.

Again, a desultory picture here, a desultory picture there. Coffee out in front of Peet's on Broadway in front of the old office building, a walk then to the City Center to eat most of a hot dog with relish and mustard (why it appealed I don't know, why I didn't consume the whole thing, I don't know, except I realized it was OK, just, you know, file it with the napkins as you left to catch the bus home).

An afternoon ahead, a Sunday afternoon, even without having to get up and go to work on a Monday it's still a Sunday, a day to oneself, a day to kick back and futz around with what strikes you as something interesting to do, even if it's going downstairs to the garage with paper towels and window spray to get the bugs off the car's windshield, picked up on the road to Murphys. I've got the old farts’ rock and roll channel playing at the moment, CCR, as it happens, and that's most certainly OK.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2010 Chinese Lunar New Year with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens at f 2.8 at 1/160th second, ISO 640.