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December 11, 2009

Mr. Automatic Man
Friday. OK, you are there, we are here, the weather is very much as it was (overcast verging on rain, streets wet), breakfast is done (waffle, mixed fruit and toast), the day is ahead. Best to get these things out of the way, right away, don't you think?

Friday, of course, the coming weekend showing some chances for photographs: an off the wall Santa experience at the Civic Center, a photographer's walk about Jack London Square late Sunday afternoon, so nothing to complain about. Nothing so stressful as to have to go forth and find photographs on my own, out there in the city, the damp city, the overcast city, far beyond the warm apartment.

We are done with this, I hope?

We are indeed. We are waking up after a good night's sleep. We've had breakfast (as mentioned) and we are thinking in terms of a nap. Long nights, short days, they suggest one takes to one's bed and sleep, right? From the old days, built into the genes, find thee a cave and hibernate? Make sure you've got a pile of nuts, berries and potato pancakes stashed in the corner lest you get hungry and have to venture forth into the dark, saber toothed tiger dark, hungry saber toothed tiger dark, looking for sustenance? Is that not right? Self? Self? Are we awake?

Later. True to form, we'll call it “habit” rather than “rut”, a bus downtown to have a cup of coffee out at a table in the City Center, a walk back as far as the Madrid Café for another cup of coffee to wait on the bus to arrive across the street, another obsessive photograph of that tree by the lake, back now at the apartment, the sky dark, the air with just an edge of something like mist suggesting we're well on our way to rain. So we're here in the apartment for the rest of the day, maybe some more indoor picture shooting, albeit something a little different.

Walking back, turning the corner to start up my hill, I discovered this on the sidewalk. His head had been broken off and was lying beside him, but it slipped right back into place easily enough. Something simple to while away the time, a photograph or two at f 1.4. How easy it is to put but one small plane into focus, even on something this small. The Derek and the Dominos “Let It Rain” from the live In Concert album is playing in the background at the moment, all seventeen and some minutes of it. There was a time when I played that many many times at very high volume, but haven't played it or much of anything else in the last decade. A good sign, perhaps. The Holidays? Minerva's prediction of a good Pisces year ahead coming true?

You're easily amused.

One of life's secrets. Why make it hard?

Later still. Listening to Tim Buckley's “Sweet Surrender” from the Greetings From L.A. album, another song I played many many times. That seems forever ago. What a waste for Buckley who O.D.'d in the seventies, I seem to recall. All that time gone out of his life, years missed, songs never written, never sung. Those are symptoms and side effects of today's financial mess, of course, many a youngster not going to live any kind of life. Still, that really isn't my mood or thought at the moment. I still like the song, can listen to it with some of the same pleasure today. Well today certainly since it's playing. Who knows how I'll feel tomorrow?

But then “tomorrow never comes”.

Oh, Christ. Who said that? What did it ever mean? The day is overcast, the sinus-palate is doing its thing, but I'm in a good mood and playing things on a turntable that's still working. I wonder if you can still buy the big rubber band that loops around in its innards, a band that's broken more than once in the past? How long have I got before it goes kur-fling!? Hmmm. Let's try Roy Buchanan's cover of Neil Young's “Down By The River”, for the moment, Mr. Automatic Man.

The photograph was taken through an art gallery window at Broadway and Telegraph in Oakland with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 135mm f 2.0 Nikkor DC lens at f 2.8 at 1/800th second, ISO 200.