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Ladies and Gents Who Lunch photos
How Berkeley Can You Be? Parade

October 2nd, 2003

In The Back....
Another grey day, although I slept in later than usual which is always good (IMHO). One of our production machines received an email from Europe with an infected spreadsheet attached. McAfee, the software we use for virus protection, cleaned the virus, but left weird Visual Basic code in some of the cells requiring five hours of fiddling to fix. This has been a day of fiddling (to fix). You feel good because the problem is solved (By a coworker, by the way. One must tell the truth.), you feel crappy because you've spent the hours. Or doesn't that scan? Fiddling? Fixing? It's been a long day. I have a bottle of Cerveza Corona Extra open beside me. La cerveza mas fina.

You sound like a teenager. "La cerveza mas fina."

Flonaise in the nose in the morning, Corona down the gullet at night (pills in between). A camera at the ready with lunch. Is there more to life? What say this "teenager" business? I was never a teenager. I was born sixty-five. People who know me will vouchsafe my statement: "he was always sixty-five". It's written on my birth certificate. "This baby was born into this life with a sixty-five year old's jabber and (oddly enough) a Kodak in his mit." Those people don't lie. Or, at least, they didn't back in the days when I was born. Things may have changed since.

Straighten up.

I have a week's vacation planned for the week after next. I'm thinking of calling one or two of the camera shops in the city to see if I can rent a Leica. Spend a week seeing how I like the Leica compared to the Nikon F3. The big Nikons are fine for things like parades. The F3 is nice to carry during the day (light weight, unobtrusive), but it makes too much noise when you shoot. The F5's are much less noisy, although that's not a problem when your decked out in full tilt photographer mode. The Leica is famous for silence, incredible optics and a very high price. A Leica with a reasonable lens costs about the same as a mid to high level Hasselblad, an amount you could comfortably use for a down payment on a car.

As a younger skunk I wrinkled my nose at the Leica. "The tool of effete upper class never shot a decent photograph in their life preppy Easterners." (And, one must admit, some very famous street photographers working for Life magazine. And Cartier-Bresson. And some other folks.) But now, today, what the hell? Life is short. No kids, no dependents, no brains. Go with a Leica if it makes sense. Use the little Nikon as a backup in case of rain. Or theft.

You're kidding, right? How many times have you written on and on about things you will never buy?

Except for the cameras. I've been buying the cameras. Anything to kid myself into thinking it will allow me to create better photographs. Money over effort. Even a Leica. Now, if they made the Honda Element with a darkroom in the back....

The photograph was taken at the How Berkeley Can You Be? Parade.