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Under Construction
Jack London Square, Oakland

September 26th, 2002

Process Over
Wednesday. I took BART to San Francisco today to buy film at Gasser's. Gasser's is a very large, if not the largest, camera shop in the city, a place where you can buy or rent most anything photographic. I don't much like Gasser's, something about the attitude of the employees, but this undoubtedly has more to do with me than Gasser's. The last time I visited, maybe a year ago this summer, looking for the same film I was looking for today, Kodak TMY 400 and Kodak Ektachrome 100s, both 35mm, 36 exposure, two films popular with professionals and amateurs, they'd been out. I'd been flabbergasted. A big time professional camera store out of TMY 400? So today, looking for the same film, I was similarly flabberghasted I hadn't thought to call ahead. Nada. Not a roll in stock.

The salesman suggested I buy Tri-X. If I wanted to buy fucking Tri-X I'd have asked for Tri-X. I know the difference. One is not better than the other, but any photographer worth his or her salt understands there's a choice between the two and you don't just arbitrarily go from one to the other. Shit, I've got ten rolls of Tri-X in the refrigerator next to the relish. I will buy film in Berkeley tomorrow and go back to B & H when they open. I don't much like the Berkeley shop either, but I'm on the edge of desperate. And I've learned another lesson for the umteenth time. Check. Call ahead. Don't refurbish your film, your brakes, your fire insurance (your camera insurance - ouch!) at the last minute. That's what they invented the refrigerator for: film, Guinness Stout and pickle relish. Dill pickle relish.

I had a few drinks after work this evening with the Wednesday crew. Our conversation centered on the latest happenings at the company. The rumor mill is dead. Not a word. Monday, our CIO was moved from his IT position to replace the head one of our operating divisions who has either resigned to take a job with another company or been (essentially) fired. This is a big deal, but nobody's talking, nobody's guessing. I'm in prostate mode. Get the prostate behind me and it will move back on my burner.

Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment to review the x-rays I had taken Monday. I was told to drink four 8 oz. glasses of water over the two hours prior to the appointment so I can empty my bladder into a beaker (I assume a beaker) at their office. Something about the likelihood of incontenance associated with the operation. OK. Four glasses. I can do that.

Thursday. Got the film at The Looking Glass. I'd forgotten they charged three percent moreBerkeley Solano Stroll for credit card purchases and hadn't brought a check book. Who takes checks anymore" Who writes them? And their credit card machine was down, so I stood there waiting to pay my extra 3%. Still, for all my carping, the guy behind the counter seemed a good sort and, standing, idly thinking, I remembered I needed plastic archival sheets (slides) and a can of (ozone friendly, this store is located in Berkeley) air. And their prices, when you factor in the cost of the next day shipping from New York, were competitive. So I bought forty rolls of film. I'm feeling better.

So, the four or more glasses of water were for a flow analysis. They're doing a flow analysis. No, I don't know either. The x-rays resolved a "very small" kidney stone, too small to blast it with sound ("It may or may not pass through your kidney and be eliminated." Oh. Pretty painful, from what I've heard. "Why yes, it is."). My cardiologist's letter had arrived recommending surgery over radiation ("your cardiologist takes a very aggressive posture") It takes six weeks to recover from this operation. They take the catheter out after two weeks. Oh. Two days in the hospital. Certainly go ahead and talk with another urologist (he suggested the same doctor my cardiologist suggested.) The only way to tell if it has spread is by doing the operation. Come back in a month.

There was more to it than that, but basically I'm thinking get all the homework done over these next two weeks and then schedule the operation. They want to bank three units of blood and that takes three weeks, a unit a week, to accomplish. You get a cold during that period and they have to cancel the operation and restart the process.

The banner photograph was taken in front of Oakland City Hall, the second photograph at the Berkeley Solano Stroll.