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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?

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This morning in Oakland.

Under here.

April 16, 2009

Under Control
Wednesday. Another day much like yesterday. The weather fine, breakfast at the usual place, another blood test to see if I'm still in danger of bleeding (the nurse who called later said good and changed the dosage level, go back for another test at the end of the month) and then pretty much vegging out for the rest of the day watching Wong Kar-Wai's 2046 for the second time instigated by watching his Ashes of Time Redux for the first time last week. Strange but compelling stuff. I wouldn't have wanted to have written either script given the emotional pain of the protagonists. That stuff has to come from somewhere and as a writer I'd hate to think I had that bottled up inside. A passing thought of David Lynch.

Thursday. Yesterday I noted a blood pressure reading of 122/80 for the first time. Getting up this morning it was something like 118/76 and the slightly off balance fuzzy headed feeling I associate with it was gone. Now, a couple of hours later, the head is still pretty good and I suspect the blood pressure is holding. Other indicators give me hope: thoughts of doing this or doing that here in the apartment pop into my head. You may think “popping into my head” a pretty low threshold for hope, but believe me, it's a significant step. Yes, yes, these periods come and go, but they seem to be coming more often and lasting longer, a sign I hope this recovery is coming to a conclusion. Yesterday marked the beginning of the sixth week since the operation, the doctor suggesting six full weeks being a “normal” recovery time for someone my age. The stomach isn't supposed to be back to any kind of norm for an additional six weeks, but it too seems to be making progress. Which is good. Believe me.

I have been (slowly) assembling some, um, gadgets useful in taking portraits both in the studio and the field. No great shakes. Some Nikon external battery packs for the strobes, a light diffusing panel, something called a C stand to hold it and a couple of reasonably exotic multi-purpose, multi-use tripod heads for holding the strobes, the battery packs and some other stuff in a neat little package. Again, no big deal, but I've done this before with a purpose in mind and then done nothing about it. I'm curious to see if I follow through with this once the energy is back. Little stuff to think about as the days pass.

Strobe lights. I used my first one when I was a sophomore in high school shooting hockey games. Big nasty beasts you attached to the side of the camera (a medium format twin lens reflex as I recall) with a battery case slung over my shoulder making all kinds of calculations on the fly to get the exposure right. Now that they've automated most of the calculation part it's almost become point and shoot, yet I haven't been willing to spend the time reading the manual and the experimentation necessary to get it under control.

The photograph was taken this morning in Oakland with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens at 1/60 second, f 2.8, ISO 200.