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September 4, 2010

Make That Happen
Saturday. Awoke a bit early before the alarm went off, took my time getting up and getting ready to go to breakfast, feeling pretty good. The usual fare, although my waitress brought me two boxes of a cookie-like thing made in China that she's given me individual pieces of in the past. They're quite good without much in the way of calories. I say “cookie”, but they aren't doughy, but quite thin and crisp. Two boxes. They won't last long.

Looking at this event I was thinking of photographing today in Menlo Park I decided to bag it. Driving across the bridge, finding parking, sounded too complicated on a Saturday to this old fart. The web site for the affair is in Chinese, no English, and, although I believe it's a pageant contest of some kind and would be interesting to shoot, particularly since I was invited (along with a whole bunch of other photographers), I'm just not up for the trip. I figure this local gay pride street festival (“four stages, live entertainment: Latin, Hip Hop, House, Disco, Electronica, R&B, Pop and more!” it says in their flier) tomorrow should be more than enough for me. For pictures.

A bus ride downtown, a cup of coffee out in front of Peet's wondering where that water was coming from, a walk by the pharmacy to pick up a prescription refill I'd called in last night. The antibiotics. I hadn't noticed I was running low and we had a three day weekend coming. It worked out OK, but silly to miss something like that. Don't stop taking your antibiotics until the doctors say stop is the rule. Don't want no half clobbered bacteria recovering and getting a firmer foothold. Not here in Oakland.

I discover, although the iPhone works just fine making calls, they haven't switched my land line over to it yet so it doesn't receive calls at my land line number (or any number), so I suspect that will happen over the weekend or the coming week. I have no idea how they handle such things, but my assumption it's computer driven, a matter of sending a command. We'll see. Otherwise I'll make time today to read the manual. I don't know how to copy from iTunes into the phone and use it to create a ringtone. I downloaded an app that allows you to create a ringtone from an MP3 file and the web site says you can do it, but how do you do it? I followed their instructions (I think) without results. Read the manual if you become desperate, the man said, so I downloaded the manual, all 17 megabytes whatever number of pages of it.

A walk back from the pharmacy taking the odd picture or two along the way. A strawberry shortcake at Bakesale Betty's, my first. Really nice made at their shop whipped cream, thick and buttery, nothing like the stuff you get from a can; an interesting biscuit, crumbly, not bad, and strawberries that were close to tasteless, but that's me and my damaged palate. Might not be tasteless for anyone else. So good. I've had the shortcake and lost my Bakesale Betty cherry, although it's certainly taken me long enough. I wouldn't have waited when I was younger.

Oh, and the “when's the bus arriving?” app for the iPhone works. More on that when I've tested it a couple of more times. I have to admit the very idea of it seems to fascinate me. Real time GPS tracking of the bus fed to your smart phone. And the Guinness app that displays a local map with all the local pubs identified that serve Guinness on draft, pointing out those that serve a full Imperial pint? A necessary application for an iPhone, I would think, particularly since it's free. Deedle-dee-dee.

Later. A nap at one, getting up around two, walking into the living room and realizing something was wrong. The computer was dead. No lights. The wireless transmitter up on top of its bookcase also out. I checked the surge suppressors. Sometimes one or another will get a surge and pop, shutting down that section of the house. And I had just replaced four of them so, you know, maybe there was a problem. Ah. There were no lights in the entire apartment, the power had gone out in the building and, as it turned out, the entire block. In fact, walking down the street later thinking I'd get an iced tea at the usual place and wait out the PG&E people fixing whatever it was, the entire block including a number of the traffic lights were dark. Excitement and we're only a day into the long weekend!

So fine. An iced tea and a bagel, the lights on in my morning restaurant, but the traffic lights on its corner out, the lights in the gas station across the street dark and, walking back, half the block on the opposite side of the street dark. Multiple blocks out over the half mile from my building to my morning café, who knows how far it extended beyond my apartment in the other direction? They'll mention it, I suspect, in the morning paper.

Back now, it's four in the afternoon, a picture or two as I was walking, but nothing to write home about. This poor guy isn't designed for living in California, not in these temperatures, anyway. He and his identical twin brother (out of the picture) are owned by the manager of the book store and spend much of their time splayed out in the shade on the sidewalk. I wonder if they've ever seen snow? They'd probably like Iceland.

So we are unravelling here in the late afternoon. The festival just down the street tomorrow. The temperatures today reasonable, the sun coming out just as I was returning to the apartment at noon. A slight breeze. A little sleepy, but not enough to sleep. So we'll maybe watch a movie, play a little guitar (badly, but with feeling), maybe read this damned iPhone manual. I want a ring tone when this thing is ready to ring and I suspect I'll do whatever I have to this day to make that happen. (Hup! Hup!)

The photograph was taken at the Chinatown Street Fest with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.