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August 22nd, 2000

Do Better
I walked into work this morning thinking I'd better stop all this giving up and driving into work business (for very good reason, for very good reason) or I was going to develop bad habits. I already have bad habits. The morning was cool and I arrived at a sensible seven thirty. Bought a plastic drinking glass half filled with Raisin Bran and a small container of non fat milk at Briazz, just across from the office, a local chain of restaurants selling ready packaged sandwiches, soups, salads and sides. It says that on their web site. Salads and sides. What can I say? It was open. It was easy. It cost me $1.69. Kills the hunger until about ten.

The pace is picking up at work. Shorter deadlines, all of us working on one part or another of this Windows 2000 project. I will handle the coordination of the software testing to be conducted all over the world in our regional offices, testing some 300 of our own internally developed software programs to be sure they run on the Windows 2000 desktop operating system. The results will be posted daily to our internal web site and setting that up should be interesting, otherwise it's strictly a mind numbing disaster of sending email, making phone calls and filing data in three ring binders. A certain amount of hands on the hardware and software, but nothing to add to my techie skills if I should have to apply for a job in the real world when this is over. Still, one day at a time. No need to get ahead of myself.

As you can see, I shot a roll of color. My local camera shop now sends their slides over to San Oakland City Center concert. Francisco to The New Lab, which shouldn't mean anything to you (and their web site, if you took a look at it, is very funky indeed), but professional photographers know it for its quality and reliability. Not an auspicious beginning. Me, not the lab. One or two shots that I can use, but none of them all that good. The banner photograph would have been much more dramatic in black and white and the photograph of the member of the audience at last Thursday's City Center concert above would have been better if it were exposed properly. (I know, I know, but I had to work overtime in PhotoShop to get it where it is.)

Great photographic secret here, enthusiasts: photographs are better if they're properly exposed. The problem, I discover, is in the doing. I've gotten lazy. I'll shoot another roll this Thursday and do better. And I will do better, but then I'll get cocky and drift off to think about something else - focus is a good subject - and then I'll forget watching my exposures and I'll screw up some rolls and then I'll have to start all over again. And again. And, yes, again. Vaguely depressing music is now heard playing in the distance.

(I detect a certain disconnect here. Maybe I'm writing words just to be writing words. Do I care about shooting better photographs? Yes. But not, I suspect, at this very minute. I shall have a better attitude tomorrow. Or Thursday. After the City Center concert.)

The banner photograph was taken at Lake Merritt last weekend. The audiance member was listening to the Oakland City Center concert last Thursday afternoon. The quote under The Sole Proprietor title is by Jackie Mason.