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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


May 10, 2013

Start Again Tomorrow
Friday. To bed right after eleven, getting up with the alarm slowly, yes, but without real effort. Off to breakfast and back on what looks as if it will be an overcast and cool Oakland day although the weather people suggest otherwise for later. The pandorea vine was looking unkempt and hanging somewhat precariously off its trellis, thoughts of asking who's responsible for taking care of it, maybe volunteer to tie down some of the loose vines.

You won't do that.

You're right. Customer shows up with a trowel and a watering can for breakfast, much too cartoonish for an old fart who's still trying to fool the crowd he's running on all six cylinders with his foot on the gas.

Anyway, the guitar lesson in an hour, I'll go through the lesson one last time to see if we've really got it down. I do until I get there and the truth comes out. No big deal, you learn to play any way you can and, if you don't, well, you won't.

Oh, and that lens I ordered is due to arrive today. I've been suffering a certain level of anticipation.

Later. Not a bad lesson. Not as smooth as I'd have liked, but then it never is, more to do with hangups than anything of importance. I go on and on about being ready without quite being ready, but I do seem to be learning to play and how our little head comes to grip with the fact doesn't really matter. Our psyche scarred by a rogue clarinet teacher as a youngster? Brain addled pounding the piano well before pubescence?

Anyway, returning to the apartment, walking through the front door, the buzzer sounded and UPS was standing there with the lens. If I'd arrived three minutes later and I'd have missed it, although I'd left a note on the mailbox asking them to buzz one of the managers who would then have signed in my place. If they were in. Still, felt good, luck was with us, no waiting around now for it to arrive.

Mounted it on a camera and headed out (briefly) to give it a run. How sharp is it at the fully extended 400mm? I rationalized the purchase to shoot birds along the lake. Not really useful for people, I've had those needed lenses now for years, but this one, the Nikkor 80-400mm f 4.5-5.6G VR, is light enough to carry and good enough (it seems) to produce a decent picture. OK, so how fast does it focus and how sharp are the results?

Seems OK. No thought I might have to return it. Q.E.D.

You'll actually use this thing?

We may be surprised.

Evening. Nothing on at six so a Netflix movie sitting at the computer, an odd esoteric stream of consciousness thing with just enough novelty to keep me all the way through. Just. The movie half of my brain, once dominant, has atrophied over the decade and I need to find a replacement. Food and drink are the usual substitutes, but they've too packed their bags and left for better climates.

Anyway, winding up the evening, tuning but then putting down the guitar, we'll start again tomorrow.

The photo up top was taken the smoke shop window next to the Grand Lake Theater with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 135mm f 2.0 DC Nikkor lens.