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Today at the pump

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September 9, 2010

Into The Dark
Thursday. Up with the alarm at six, to breakfast and the papers, back to check yesterday's journal entry and then lug the laptop to the café just down the street and upload the files. Hup! Hup! Still, doesn't take all that long, back now with an overcast day ahead. They're saying a high today in the mid sixties, which is just fine with me. The clouds breaking up later? I suspect, although it's pretty grey at the moment, here in Oakland.

Later. I bus downtown thinking what in the hell am I doing this for again? How many times have I taken this bus to the same place, sat out in front of the same cafés and taken (the same) pictures? Well, more than a few times, but the physical act of getting outside seems to get the head in gear and add a lightness to the step. A picture or two, literally, nothing jumping out from the void. A building, a corner in Chinatown, the same tree down by the lake, the twin federal towers from Broadway walking toward my bus. The sun is out, it's noon and I'm thinking of going out to find something for lunch, the sinuses stuffed up and aching a bit, as if I had a head cold, but otherwise feeling alright.

Basically I've included everything I shot today. Nothing to write home about, all of them a product of seeing something that had some interest and taking the picture, none of them - I don't know - “jumping out”. So what? I guess I'm good with that, an afternoon ahead with more pictures possible, some of which may turn out. Hup! Hup! I'm afraid the clouds lent themselves to using a graduated filter in the RAW imaging processing and I used it to excess. The first time you use it - great! - and then you realize it usually distorts what you were seeing, rather than adding to it. Kind of like putting a candy apple red coat of paint on everything you own. Or adding ominous drums to every song you write. Sometimes it works, mostly it doesn't. (Hup! Hup!)

I think you're losing me here.

I think I'm losing myself. (Hup! Hup!)

Still the same problem thinking of something to eat. Passing by Bakesale Betty's on the bus I noted it was open and there wasn't a line, plenty of seats out front. Did I want another strawberry shortcake? It is good, I'm sure, but nothing about it called out. A shame? I wonder. The weight has been holding steady now for the last six months, one sixty, a bit above when I go to bed, a bit below when I get up in the morning. A trade? I guess. One I'd make again? I suspect.

Later still. A walk down to the morning café to sit out on their patio and have an iced tea and a BLT with Avocado. I was able to get my head (and my mouth) around that, sitting there out in the sun making some notes on a piece I owe Mr. D on the old Seagull magazine, how it came, what it did, how it went. He informed me he needed no more than 1,600 words rather than the stated 6,000 and I'm feeling much better about that. I've made notes before, maybe just pull them together and see what I've got. A long time ago, the old Seagull, a different person in a different life.

One lone picture walking back. My tree stump has lost the plastic cup top and straw that's been lying beside it now for months. I was wondering how long it might take and how I might use the various pictures I've taken of it (being digital, each one has a date) in a presentation of some sort. We'll see. We're in a good mood. In a good mood I can talk about doing things, not necessarily doing anything about them, of course.

Going by Walden Pond Books there was a copy of a song book in a bin out front published by the people who publish my Learning Guitar, volumes One, Two and Three. Kenny Chesney, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems. Never heard of him, don't know the songs, but it's a bunch of them (for guitar) and for two dollars who cares? I'll play a few and see what they sound like. I've been looking for simple songs to play and these may well fit the bill. And if they don't, well, two dollars. Life will not end.

I'm going to have to admit to this, not something that surprises me particularly, but being cut off from the Internet is a little disconcerting. Cut off in the sense I don't have an easy way to receive and answer email (I'm going to have to respond to a couple today on the iPhone) and I can't, just on a whim, look at one or another of my various news sites. No Paul Krugman, no Glen Greenwald, no Climate Debate Daily, no Huffington Post. I'm obviously able to post, but essentially that's what I'm missing without the net.

You'd think that would be no biggie, but there's a certain fidgety quality about it. I listen to the pundits and authors who describe this new Internet and the less than wonderful changes it's brought to the younger, never been without it, generation and usually there's a certain pooh - pooh'ing coloration to my reaction - they said the same things about television in the day - but I'm seeing some of it demonstrated in myself. Good or bad I don't know. I'm not to the point of giving up my morning papers yet, but I've obviously gone over to twilight, if not actually into the dark.

The photograph was taken at the Oakland Sistahs Steppin’ in Pride Parade with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.