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April 28, 2011

Drink Cheap Sake

Thursday. Another nice morning, they're saying sun for the rest of the week and through the weekend, which is good, as there are at least two, maybe three events Saturday and Sunday I want to photograph. To bed before ten last night, although I felt it took me forever to get to sleep. Up at six with the alarm, to breakfast and the papers, back now at eight. Phew! Good to have one's obligations taken care of so early in the morning, now what's ahead?

Everybody knows you're retired. I wouldn't crow you've got what you need to get done during the first hour of your day when you're still getting up like a wage slave at six. Hup, hup doesn't add up.

That's why this is a blog, just another card in an infinite deck.

Later. The late morning and then the early afternoon seem to have stretched itself into a bus ride beyond the City Center not quite to Jack London Square on Broadway where I got off and took a picture of Sweet Jimmy's, a night spot that's opened recently beside Nation's Hamburgers, located beside an old gas station that's been converted into a coffee café on the corner where I sometimes have a cup of coffee at an outside table. I'm big on places with outside tables.

This club was the scene of a shooting last Monday morning just after midnight when two young men, one with an assault rifle, attempted to rob two passersby on the sidewalk and chased them when they ran into the club, killing two patrons and wounding four others. This in an area two short blocks from the main downtown police station and two very short blocks in the opposite direction from the entrance to Jack London Square.

A perverse idea, shooting the picture, but it gave a reason to get off the bus at an unusual stop (for me) and I ended up walking to and around Jack London, taking one or two pictures I've taken in the past, a walk then up to Chinatown and the Chinese Cultural Center, then a walk to Bakesale Betty's for a strawberry shortcake lunch. Ah well, no bus due, so a walk then back home. A real outing of well over three miles, a little fatiguing, but nothing that's lasted for more than about an hour.

I've now spent two sessions on the guitar, one this morning before I left and one just now, going over this D chord to B7 chord business, finding I'm now able to more reliably finger the B7 without error. Not quite fast enough, but much better than I was able to handle it yesterday and so my attitude has considerably improved. Odd sequence, you feel down because you see no progress and then the thing comes around in a blink and you're able to do it blindfolded. I'm not yet able to do it blindfolded, at least not very quickly, but we'll get there with practice. I guess. Seems to work. I talk about it enough. Hup! Hup!

Later still. More guitar as I listened to the news (bombings, killings, tornadoes and a royal wedding), the fingers a bit sore, but not overly sore, fighting the chords, running the scales (I'm better at the scales, but boy-howdy it doesn't feel that way very often). We'll ease into the evening, head out early tomorrow morning for my monthly Protime blood test as well as some esoteric thing my neurologist wanted (“if they don't know what it is have them call my office”), then on to more (what else?) guitar. This evening? Well, maybe I'll avoid heading out for sake, something I easily avoided last night. The real problem with sake is I tend to go down the hill to my sushi place and have it with dinner. Makes for a really expensive way to drink cheap sake.

A footnote. I was curious how long I've been playing a guitar and went back to find when I'd started. Takes a while to find anything in this journal, but it turns out I picked up a rental on June 10th, so I've been “playing” for over ten months, been taking lessons for six. Have we made progress? How much did I practice before I started taking lessons? A fair amount, I think.

I started the lessons to see if they wouldn't re-energize my interest, take it to a next step, but I'd been practicing pretty much daily before then out of a beginner's book. So one year coming in June, two years in June 2012. Looking forward to how far it's gone in June 2012. Or, for that matter, in the first year coming up in June 2011. We're easy to amuse, perched up here on the ski slopes of Oakland.

The photograph was taken of a poster on the outside of a beauty supply store specializing in wigs along Telegraph with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 24-120mm f 4.0 Nikkor VR lens.