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Oakland Holiday Parade


Today at the pump

My sister!


Under here.

December 25, 2011

Without The Sushi

Sunday. To bed last night relatively early (I think - at least not overly late) and up this morning after eight. Nice. The papers read in the living room this morning wondering what may be open that serves food on a Christmas day? I'm sure there's someone, I've found them in the past. Right? Just none of the usual places including the nearby dim sum restaurant that closed at the beginning of this month. Not sure if they'd have been open, but it's still a bit sobering to think their operation failed. Lots of people enjoyed eating at that place.

You didn't go there all that often given they were located just down the street.

True, but with the new abbreviated (stripped down to chicken soup) palate and appetite, I find I can't go to many places I once frequented anymore. Or something like that. Still don't like the idea they're gone, Christmas or not.

Later. The walk habit kicked in and I wandered along the lake and on down to the usual restaurant to check the gas prices I have posted for today (as good a reason as any to take a walk, I'm not such a fanatic I'd to go out and check the price of gas on a Christmas Day, hey?) discovering the restaurant next door to mine was open with a line of people out front. This at eleven in the morning. Had I known, I'd have driven there for breakfast when they opened.

Still, the Thai restaurant next to the Grand Lake theater was open for lunch, as was the Starbucks around the loop on Lakeshore, good to know I guess. Yes I was packing a camera, but didn't take any pictures - the brain on stun - and decided, getting back to the apartment all tuckered out, to drive over to the nearby 7-11 look-alike and buy a pint of Hagen Daz Strawberry ice cream and a large cup of coffee. I was thinking maybe my failure to fully start the brain and the body this morning had more to do with not having coffee than anything else. Could be. You never know. Not bad coffee for a 7-11 look-alike.

So, back home, coffee in hand, ice cream rapidly disappearing, I set out with relish to finish the 2004 Oakland Holiday Parade photographs and put them up on artandlife. Nice. The day bright, the air relatively cold (for this California Mediterranean climate) and I'm feeling pretty good as we approach mid-afternoon. We may survive Christmas yet and, in fact, I'm sure we might.

Are we tweetering along the edge of Humbug?

Not at all. It is, however, a family oriented holiday, stressful when you're with the family (all the travel and gifts and such, our disparate family does get along at our parties, we do all party together pretty well) and stressful when you're not. I've had my share of being alone on the holidays and, in what is perhaps a perverse way, enjoyed them all.

If you're truly a loner you generally feel pretty good being alone. It's kind of part of the definition, hard to say you're one if you're not. There's the few women you'll always remember, wish them happiness and success wherever they are, but otherwise it seems to work. Easy to B.S. yourself, of course, but that's the rule of the world. Every ad in every newspaper, magazine and television channel suggests you're not with it if you're without, but then they all say so many things that turn out to be crap. A strange world? Yup. Day in and day out.

Later still. Probably best the sushi shop is closed this evening. It's delivered a couple of ocular migraines lately, but I felt up for sushi and sake - it's Christmas, the hell with the damage; we can call it gaining more experience, medical research and all - walking down the hill to check. Nope. Closed for Christmas. Everyone's open tomorrow on my very short list of places to eat, so we'll continue with our evening level headed unless it turns out we don't.

I scanned some Oakland 2000 Holiday Parade slides through the afternoon, haven't used the scanner in a while, all of them Ektachrome slides. They weren't the greatest for sharpness, although I upgraded and replaced some of the lesser ones with better ones on artandlife. The 2004 photographs were all done with a Nikon D2h, the first digital camera I acquired that would use the Nikon lenses I had for film. Four megapixels, but a nice four megapixels and for the web you really didn't need much more, one reason it was marketed as a news and sports photographer's camera as it could shoot at eight frames per second, one less than the current twelve megapixel D3s. A revelation at the time, let me tell you.

In going through these D2h photographs it reminded me of how much I liked the images it produced at the time. The D2h and the following D2X and D2Xs cameras with their smaller sensors would enlarge the image by a factor of 1.5, making a 200mm lens a 300mm lens, which for candid portrait photography is really nice. Closer is almost always better and it gets you closer without getting into people's faces, drops the consternation level down a notch. So, looking through the images, the film, the older D2h images, I could see where I was with my shooting back then and how it's changed since.

We're heading into a New Year, a time for thinking up projects and making those changes (I talk about ad nauseam), best to know as much as you can about what little craft you've accumulated since, how to make it better and, if not better, then more to your liking. See, I said it's been a good evening. With or without the sushi. And sake. And ocular migraine.

Oakland 2004 Children's Holiday Parade taken with a Nikon D2h mounted with an 80-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor AF lens.