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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

May 24, 2010

To Start A Week
Monday. Overcast, with some fairly dramatic clouds, a bit of a sprinkle for maybe a minute on the way to breakfast, nothing to think about, back home now after a run by the supermarket for cat food, soap, frozen corn and sake. Two of life's essentials. Well, three. Soap allows an easier entrance into mixed company, soap needs to be included. Frozen corn? I like it, mix it with frozen peas and pop it in the microwave in what amounts to a complete one hundred and eighty degree turn around in my cooking and eating habits since I worked in the wine business. One must trumpet one's successes, even when they're failures, as our political class demonstrates in a never ending series of lessons.

Now, now.

The Chronicle web site says overcast with a slight chance of showers, sounds like I'll be able to get outside for my walk. The head is clear, by the way, the upper palate and such aching a bit, but nothing out of the ordinary, nothing to complain about. If the clear head holds through the day as it held and prospered last night, I'll be very pleased. It's eight forty-five. I'll make that appointment with the neurologist at nine. I will. Another fifteen minutes. I'll most certainly do it. (Hup! Hup!)

I have some custom cut metal frames coming today, another step forward with the framing project. At my current rate I'll have all of them done before Christmas. No, I'm not embarrassed. We've discussed this before. Keeping a journal means you're not as susceptible to embarrassment as more sensible others, perhaps a shout of freedom from an earlier more inhibited life. Sounds good, anyway.

Most of life is attaching good sounding reasons to our actions, judge me by my words and not my deeds. Allows all kinds of latitude in how you treat people, particularly strangers. I'm sure Charles Manson has a story of misunderstood innocence and the doing of necessary acts to save the nation that he tells himself, just another angelic innocent sentenced to solitary confinement. Against rationalizations like those, stories like mine don't count but a whit.

Hey! Where's this crap coming from?

Stream of consciousness. A sign of good health, babbling like an idiot. But we'll settle down, your criticism is accepted. We have learned many things, generally the hard way, in not acting and embarrassing others. Has a parallel with the use of soap and deodorant.

Later. Appointment made. The doctor didn't have an opening until the 21st of next month, but that's good enough. Explaining the symptoms to the receptionist was both complicated and interesting. I'm bringing notes when I see the doctor.

Later still. I was futzing around with the 200mm f 2.0 lens last night, a lens I've owned now for some time, but have used very little. I've experimented with shooting portraits off a tripod, but have never carried it into the field because it weighs a ton. It not only looks like it weighs a ton, it does weigh a ton, a ton in this case being 102 ounces, six point six pounds.

But as I said, I took a couple of pictures, just off the cuff last night, no thought involved, and decided, when I left the apartment this morning for the lake, to take it with me. No big deal, a short walk, I'd stand out as it is, as I said, big, but I wasn't all that worried I'd run into anyone (or two) nearby who might think it worthwhile to bop an old duffer over the head and run off with it. Or something like tat. We make up our little reasons to justify our behavior, as I believe I mentioned.

Again, a few desultory pictures, but then again one or two I rather liked for their color. A kind of velvet softness to it, these shot at f 9 rather than f 2.0, but an introduction for me, at least, as to why people buy them, why B & H is sold out half the time.

I don't really need a lens this big, the 70 - 200mm f 2.8 zoom is large, but easy for me to handle, and for the kind of photographs I'm after it's fine. This 200mm is indeed 200mm on the D3 full frame series of cameras, but it's 300mm on the D2X series and 300mm is well beyond anything I'll use in my world. With tele-extenders they'll go, well, they'll shoot birds on the wing in Nevada from the Golden Gate Bridge. I don't have any urge to shoot birds flying in Nevada from the Golden Gate Bridge. Anyway, I took some pictures. Maybe from this experience I'll be taking some more and stop this crabbing.

Another walk with another camera with a more sensible lens to take a bus downtown and then to walk around the area. An espresso fudge something or other (small, but tasty) and a cup of coffee at an ‘It's A Grind’, another coffee shop chain with an outlet over on Clay and 11th, a walk back then as far as Sears before catching a bus back home. You can see it's overcast, but so far no rain. It's after one, I think my outdoor day is done. The news, perhaps, and wait on those frames to arrive. Pretty fast way to start a week, I'm thinking.

The photograph was taken walking along Lake Merritt yesterday in Oakland, Grand Avenue in the background, with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens at f 8 at 1/320th second, ISO 200.