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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

May 3, 2010

Before I Go
Monday. To bed last night just after nine, something I've done now for the last few days. Can't remember when I got to sleep, but not that long thereafter, up at six. So I'm assuming a good night's sleep. Hard to know when you finally nod off at night. Up to retrieve my morning papers, off to breakfast, back after going by the supermarket for cat food.

I know, I know, why so many trips for cat food? Why not just buy a bunch and save the wear and tear? Well, because I can never tell what she'll eat. One day she's fine with this brand and that particular combination of chicken, fish, turkey or what, then she won't touch it. Even when I push and leave it out until she either eats or turns up her nose in a way that makes it final. Period. End of question, take it further and you're abusing your cat.

How much of that is persnickety cat and how much of that is lack of quality control by the cat food conglomerates? I ask the question seeing these big outfits recalling their drugs marketed to kids. Something's gone wrong with the quality control of a company that sells to a company that sells to them. If they're not paying attention to their children's products, what chance for dogs and cats? But I'll let this go before I get riled and start on the oil companies.

No lack of unhappiness at the moment with the oil companies. They're even bouncing Wall Street off the front page. It seems to be a race between Wall Street, the energy companies and the Taliban for attention. Remember Al Qaeda and the Taliban? Big news at one time? Iraq? Afghanistan? Hundreds of thousands dead? Millions displaced? Right. Neither do I. They'd have to pop a bomb in Times Square before they'd make the news again. Oh? Right. Times Square. I will indeed stop.

Not much other than black humor in any of this. We like our black humor, but not when it's applied to current scary events. “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?” Relatively safe. Times Square goes pop! Too close for comfort. Adds tension when riding on BART. Reminds me of my misspent youth, how much fun I had with explosives, how easily they fit into small spaces such as a trunk.

Is any of that true?

Fireworks were childhood friends. Not everyone found my friends delightful. I generally don't worry when I'm riding on BART and won't, I suspect, until another of these Times Square attempts ends in more than a fizzle. I seem to remember they tried twice before they got the twin towers. Times Square. We live in a complicated world.

Later. Got in the walk, checking out an address between Telegraph and Broadway I've been meaning to get to, an interesting neighborhood of (very) small businesses, art galleries, auto repair shops and a café or two. A walk by Bakesale Betty's, since it's close by, but they were closed. Monday. Not surprising. Best they get something in their window, though - open, closed - hard to see through the glass, maybe list the time - seven to seven, seven to four - but one can't have everything during a store's first week. Well, actually you can, particularly when it's a second store, the original two miles up the street, but let's be generous here until we've sampled their fare and come to a decision about all the hype.

Bakesale Betty's is famous for no signs, no indication what it is, no place to sit.

True. I knew that. I'll be curious to see if they follow through with this new one too. Maybe it's a superstition thought to bring luck, a speakeasy for strawberry shortcake and chicken in a roll.

Not unsurprisingly it's noon, breakfast done, the walk completed and an afternoon ahead. I need something to do in the afternoons. Yes, this is not the first time this thought has occurred. It's been almost three years since I left the old company, my afternoons no longer booked. I have tripods and lights and things, but there's only so many self portraits you can take before you lose focus. I have a table full of picture framing equipment - remember the picture framing equipment? - obtained at no small expense, we were thinking of a small display at the morning café, was that all done because I was kidding myself? No, but still, there it sits.

I do listen to a whole lot of news programs, they're usually playing in the background, and that leads to the occasional global warming, peak oil, anti-war (of the moment) screed. And those are fun. But again, how many news programs can you listen to, how many screeds can you write? I'm not much into conspiracy theories, they, from what I've seen, absorb the waking hours of those who've drunk the Kool Aid, but, like the news, none of it seems worth the time. Or the effort.

You nailed it with your lack of effort. You remember Don Juan's advice to Carlos Castaneda when he asked how to find his next step: choose something, even if you doubt it makes any sense, and follow it, pursue it as if it were and that will lead to where you need to be. Deedle-dee-dee.

I do the deedle-dee-dee's. Effort. I can relate to lack of effort and, whatever I may think of Castaneda and Don Juan, that advice has always made sense. Set out! Set out! Set out, damned Prop! Get a clue! Get a hint!

The picture framing, though. That's been on the plate for over a year. All I really need to do to make it happen is design a frame, order the pieces and pick out the prints. A frame by the end of the week? Go online, see what's out there? Push a button? Order them up? Might happen. Might.

Later still. I took a look online at frames. No way to really tell was my thought. Not the first time I've looked, not the first time I've come to that conclusion. I live near framing supply shops and they'll have a selection I can pick up, look at, turn over, get a feel for, so that should be enough. Same way for mats. Easy enough to pick out, pick up, bring home to make one or two frames. See what they look like. I can do that. A trip to a frame supply shop. Right?

The photograph was taken at the re-opening of the Oakland Museum of California Saturday with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 135mm f 2.0 Nikkor DC lens at f 5 at 1/200th second, ISO 200.