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December 2, 2009

Striving For Irony
Wednesday. Overcast and grey, but not the kind of overcast and grey that makes you think rain. Close, though. They're saying sunny this week with storms starting Monday. OK. We need rain. Breakfast at the usual place, the Wednesday morning business group in session, but less disruptive somehow. Read the papers over the course of an hour and a quarter, finished up, took a picture of the new gas prices at the station, drove home thinking of, well, thinking of nothing. What's to do? Well, whatever it is will come to me soon enough, let's not get too anal about it.

Well, if you don't do anything and you stop thinking about doing anything, what will you then have to write about?

Oh ye of little faith. Or imagination.

Later. It's now noon, back from a trip downtown to walk about the usual areas taking a picture or two, the head, I must admit, wobbly. I don't know how to describe it other than to say it was a bit disorienting: it made me slow down without really worrying it would get out of hand, but I stopped to have a cup of coffee (and three of those chocolate muffins I mention) to think about it, eventually deciding to take a bus the rest of the way back. Walking up the hill from the stop I felt better, an “episode” not unlike others, not all that severe, something I'll test later with another walk. To see.

I've had this upper palate and sinus thing for years now and this is, I assume, part of it, but it doesn't seem to go away. It's not constant, but it's always there and it's almost always to some degree in the way. More tests? I've had them all, but it's been a while. For now a nap. Poke my nose outside later. Add one or two more pictures to the pile. Maybe.

An automated call from UPS just now saying I had two packages arriving tomorrow that needed a signature. They couldn't say when, but it would be some time between eight in the morning and seven in the evening. Great. Still, the first time I've gotten such a call. Something new, maybe. Between eight and seven. I'm meeting some of the usual crew in the city tomorrow at six for Guinness and commiseration. I assume they will arrive in the early afternoon, as they almost always have. What have I learned from this most useful information? Don't answer the land line, your friends will call on your mobile. Don't answer your land line. Get rid of your land line might be better. One down, one to go.

Cranky old bastard.

Now, now.

Later still. A decent nap ended by a hungry cat bumping her head against my neck. This setting the alarm and getting up early (for breakfast) doesn't quite seem to work no matter how early I get to bed, although I do get to bed early and sometimes even get to sleep. A benefit of not working for a living. A major benefit. The sun is out, has been out since noon, the air cool. I wore a sweater as well as a nylon unlined jacket earlier for the walk, a shirt and the nylon shell would be fine right now. If I do go out. The head feels reasonably good. I should, at least, walk around the block. The mail hasn't arrived yet, I could use that as an excuse, pick it up as I returned. Little tasks, little excuses, but useful in getting my ass out the door. My much skinnier ass, I might add. Have I mentioned that? I have?

No comment on the president's decision to send more troops to Afghanistan. We've been sending more troops to wars not worth fighting since I've been able to understand the word. None of this seems to upset anyone much. A war here, a war there: no fuss, no muss. And I have to shut my mouth and agree: none of it seems to strike a spark. No one is out on the streets getting their opposition across. I'm only out there because it gives me an opportunity to shoot pictures. So I'll keep my mouth shut. No, really. I will. Same with global warming. I'm pretty sure I'll be dead before the really bad stuff starts, I don't think these genes of mine are designed for a really long life. So no reason to get upset. My nephew? He's in his early twenties, so he's fucked. Same with the cousin's kids. These things happen. But as I said, enough.

I assume you're striving for irony?

There's no particular reason any of my ideas are “right” as such. It's easy to get full of yourself. It's just I remember the Vietnam period, the arguments made on both sides, the rationales used to continue the war, the rationales used against it. The realities became pretty clear as it evolved, what the local political considerations were that made it almost impossible to stop, even though we all knew we were being hammered. We didn't know until later even the president believed it was a hopeless cause, but obvious is obvious.

Climate change is easier. The science is there. I started college thinking, given my interest in mathematics and science, I'd become an engineer. It's not all that hard to separate “good” science from “bad” science if you have the interest and follow the literature. It's real, it's going to have consequences sooner than most of us think. Europe seems to have figured it out. The sad thing is there's so much we could have done at very little expense if we'd skipped Bush and started the turn around at the beginning of the decade. It takes time. It takes research. Look what California has done without help. Chevron and Shell are not our friends. Big coal is dirty. But then, but then....

This is, at least, an interesting exercise in recognizing the levers of power, who's really in charge. Eye opening for us little ones. That engineering degree I'd been thinking of turned into, over time, a degree in Political Science. Actually, over a period of six years, summers included, I took about three of everything they offered. Maybe you have to be in deep shit before people are willing to take the blinders off and the system's lack of duds becomes obvious. But I promised no more and here I am. Again.

Later later. A short walk, the head seemingly OK. Almost none of the issues I described earlier. I'm guessing that's good.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2009 Veterans Day Parade with a Nikon D2Xs mounted with a 17 - 55mm f 2.8 Nikkor DX lens at f 3.5 at 1/80th second, ISO 100.)