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September 7, 2010

I'd Surmise
Tuesday. The cell phone now receives calls and the land line is dead. The DSL line is also dead and will be reconnected sometime this evening according to AT&T tech support. Part of the process, they said. You lose your DSL for a day. Me-oh-may. I wish they'd mentioned that.

Still, calling myself from the second mobile phone (the order disconnecting it going in today) the iPhone rings with the first thirty seconds of Layla, which is a little embarrassing as they used a Layla ringtone on a reasonably dumb mobile phone ad some time ago. Something a little more esoteric would be better, but I really like Layla, over used, over played or no.

One thing I did get out of it, though, was I learned how slow my DSL line is here at the house. I walked over to a local coffee shop with WiFi to upload yesterday's entry and it went up lickety split, something it doesn't do here at the house. Could it be the modem I've been using now for the last ten years is obsolete? Might a new modem handle higher speeds or is it the service itself? We will find out. A new modem is easily done, a cable connection rather than a DSL connection over the phone lines can be managed, if that's the solution. Maybe get rid of this specialized IP package I've had since the beginning. I'm not sure there's any advantage to it anymore and I'd guess AT&T would like to get my IP addresses back.

OK, upload the journal at a café down the street (my morning café doesn't have WiFi, which is probably why you don't see people with their heads buried in laptops at their tables), and then drive over to the music store to return the guitar and amp, as the three month rental period ended today. Three months just like that. They didn't ask me if I wanted to buy the guitar or the amp, just checked it in and that was that. If I were running the store I'd suggest they try to sell me the equipment, make me a price, but what do I know about selling musical instruments to the great unwashed? I'd have considered buying the guitar it they'd made me a price. Business must be good in Oakland. That or very bad.

But OK, it's just after noon, the rental gear has been returned, the journal posted, time, maybe, to get outside and do something somewhere with a camera I haven't been to in a while. Which I repeat every day, usually earlier in the mornings. Jack London Square, maybe, although I'd be tempted to pick up a bottle of sake at Beverages & More. The last couple of ocular migraines have come after drinking alcohol. Not a lot of alcohol, but still. If a couple of drinks bring them on then I'm going to have to re-evaluate my attitude toward evenings under the influence. Even just a little bit seems to be trouble. Rude, you'd say, but not as rude as an ocular migraine I'd reply. Me-oh-my..

Later. It looks to be a cool overcast day, none of the heat we've been having. I did get down to Jack London taking one of the green free ride buses that have recently started running every ten minutes up and down Broadway. The first time for me. Jack London was deserted, although the major restaurants on the waterfront seemed at least to have their window tables filled. A walk along the dock in front of Scott's, a picture of a tug (it says it's a tug) because it was made in Burlington, Washington and, as an old Seattllite, I didn't know where Burlington might be. On the water, I would think. A shot from the rear, just to record its name. Out of Napa. A tugboat named the Betty D out of Napa docked in Jack London Square. Seems to be.

So a picture or two along the waterfront with few if any people about, again, the sky overcast, looking but not feeling like it was just about to rain. I hope those containers they were loading on that ship were empties, stacked that high. Loading here, heading for Asia, it wouldn't surprise. A shot of Roosevelt's Presidential yacht. It's been an attraction here since I can remember and I've yet to take the tour.

Two scoops of ice cream in a waffle cone out in front of Ben and Jerry's, a bus back to the old office building to have a cup of coffee and a chocolate bar out on the patio in front of Peet's. I talked about the M&M's, how they tasted like cardboard. Well, this one, three times the price for a similarly modest amount, tasted like better quality cardboard, but nothing worth chancing the onset of an ocular migraine. Testing, you understand. Rationalizing chocolate on a Tuesday.

Sitting on the patio I suddently realized why I should have brought one of the D2X cameras mounted with the 18 - 200mm lens. On the D2X it's the equivalent of a 27 - 300mm lens since its smaller sensor magnifies everything by a factor of 1.5 and gets you real close if you need to shoot something far away. Far away as in the hawk I became aware of on top of the sculpted rock out in front of the building, a raptor ripping at a dead bird it held in its claws. The photograph was taken at 70mm on a D3, so it was the one to one non-magnified equivalent of 70mm, since the D3's have a full frame sensor, and I was only able to get close by cropping a very small section of the image in the computer. The focus is off, the exposure is less than good, but it's interesting to see a raptor in the city, hunting.

He (or she) flew over to a tree beside the rock sculpture, perhaps because I was standing down below shooting pictures. Another shot looking up. You can't always be prepared, but you can try.

Still no internet connectivity, they were saying sometime later this evening. Interesting to be without it. Heading out and about with the camera, nothing different there, but this morning and back now sitting here - no email, no news sites, no journal - there's a certain, well, closing in of the walls. Don't like to admit it, although I'm not surprised. What have we come to? Only old guys like me have such thoughts - what have we come to? - I'd surmise.

The photograph was taken at the Oakland Art & Soul Festival with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.