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Here In Oakland

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December 8, 2011

Of Any Sort

Thursday. To bed at ten, a good hour, no complaints. Up this morning just before the alarm, to breakfast and back before eight, putting the first two loads of laundry into the washers as soon as I returned. It takes but a couple of minutes, starting the laundry, and, if I start as early as I did today, it's done by the time I'm interested in getting out for a walk. No muss, no fuss, yet I often put it off. Not so long as to run out of clean socks and such, but still, I often wonder why. For about two minutes and then I get on with life.

Overcast with a low lying fog, but I'm assuming there's some sun ahead. We'll see how the day evolves. I got quite a bit of time in on the guitar yesterday, not sure how that evolved, it just “happened”. Be interesting to see if it “happens” today.

I did check and found I had a copy of sheet music of the Stones Wild Horses that I'd downloaded some time back. I mentioned I've been listening to the Burrito Brothers version lately, but discovered why I'd put off learning it on that first go-round. Not sure I understand some of the chords and the melody doesn't sound quite right. I'm sure it's because I'm not advanced enough yet to understand what I'm seeing and so can't play the thing yet, so we'll, um, back off. Maybe time to get back to Layla again, add a little more now that I have the intro down. It's only taken about a million iterations of those first twenty or so notes not to stumble I've discovered. Still, million or no, I can play them now. Just not quite like Clapton.

Good, third and last load into the washer, the first two loads in the drier, we're making progress, the last load will be done by nine. Another hour to finish the drying and we're set for the morning, the sun peeping through some of those clouds as I write. The day starts.

Later. The laundry done without particular effort or incident, the shirts on hangers, the t-shirts folded and in the dresser, the socks yet to be paired and folded into balls.

An amble then along the lake and then on to the morning restaurant to have another cup of coffee and a lemon bar of some kind. Not overly large but good. These days palatable is good, nothing wrong with that. A walk back stopping to sit for a bit, looking to find a picture. You never know, you have to give it a shot. Same with the lake, the church reflected in the water, an age old conceit. Nothing unusual about it except the contrast had to be increased substantially to make it work. No complaints, I'm happy enough with how it all turned out.

I found this as I was crossing Grand on the last leg home, obviously done by the same person or persons who did the flier in the photograph I used for yesterday's entry, the flier posted at 20th and Broadway a good mile down the way from where this one was found.

Whoever's done these, put their energy into doing them, isn't happy with the drive by shootings and such (welcome to the club) - we had a one year old child shot and on life support this week by some group of whom I assume were probably kids shooting at another group of kids, kids anywhere between fourteen and their twenties I'd guess - but I was wondering at the time at how the message was couched on that first original flier, the one posted yesterday. A bit more in your face “let's fight this out” than peace, please, no more people getting shot.

Fighting is what they're upset about. Then again of course they're angry, properly angry. The message maybe isn't as clever as I'd like, but I'm sure it's honest and done by, well, whom? Who has the time? Other kids, I'd suspect. Putting up fliers is a lot better something to be doing after school than getting into gun fights. So best I lighten up.

What brought that on?

There's a web site I look at now and again that lists the various “incidents” reported by the police and plots them on an Oakland map. Usually my area at the north end of the lake is pretty clear, the occasional domestic disturbance or breaking into a parked car after midnight. Thursday someone robbed a pedestrian at gunpoint on the sidewalk at one in the afternoon at a place where I generally walk every day (at one in the afternoon often as not) and I admit it's something I've been thinking about.

This is a reasonably nice area, younger people who are just starting out who want to be near the downtown and who aren't yet worried about schools for their children. Piedmont, the papers today saying it is listed as one of America's 25 richest small towns, is located but a few blocks farther beyond. This isn't Piedmont, but it's hardly the battlefields of West Oakland or East Oakland, not that either of those are all that far away, but a distance measured in miles rather than blocks.

Now that “incident” wasn't noted in the local papers I read every morning or, if it was, it was noted in a line or two that I missed. Without having looked at that web site I wouldn't be thinking about it. I do watch myself when I'm walking with the cameras after all, I babble on often enough here, I don't go out after dark, keep to places where and when there are people about. Still, who robs someone at gunpoint on a busy street at one in the afternoon? What could anyone be carrying that's worth that kind of risk? Twenty years for robbery with a gun on the chance of getting, if you're lucky, a hundred bucks? Twenty bucks? Some credit cards? Wackos, certainly, people in need of drugs, maybe, but who else? Someone I've given money to on the street? There's more than a few.

We live in a crazy world. You may notice that people mention that from time to time.

Well, it got me to thinking. I'll stop the thinking, I'll forget about it, but I'll continue to keep an eye out. Probably a slightly more aggressive eye out as I'm not looking for a street incident for an epitaph. And maybe stop looking at that web site.

Evening. A bus downtown, a walk around the old Occupy area taking a picture or two. They seem to have reached a stasis of some sort, the food line, the meetings, the (now) lady in the tree. And signs. I do like the signs. Some of them are very good.

To bed early again tonight I'd think. More guitar. We'll do more guitar. Learn a couple of more notes in the Layla intro, the objective with the guitar to learn to play Layla in a recognizable way, somewhat recognizable anyway. What the hell, as good an objective as any if the idea is to find a way to keep you practicing. That and two years, we'll take two years of classes and then re-ask the question: what's this about? What is it all about, Mr. Natural? I forget now if Natural ever learned to play the guitar.

No one here knows what you're talking about.

That's not an obstacle of any sort.

The photograph was taken along Grand Avenue with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 24-70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens.