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December 27, 2011

The Battery's Dead

Tuesday. Up this morning at seven instead of six, having done some reading last night and then finding it difficult to drop off to sleep. Some of the new Rolling Stone compilation of Hunter Thompson's writings for their magazine. I still have trouble getting a handle on how much of Thompson was the image he created through his writing and how much the reality of the man himself. I always tilted toward a fictional character than an actual character, but in reading everything since his death (including this) I'm thinking now he really was something else.

Hemingway was similar in that sense. Bombs and bullets. Kesey too, come to think of it, brain like a balloon barely tethered to the world, careening about on a bus. Hard to fake bullets in covering a war. Same with LSD. If you're going to take it you're going to trip. Q.E.D.? Maybe. I always preferred acid over bullets as an initiation fee, if writing turned out to be the game I wanted to play.

Anyway, a sunny morning. When I got to breakfast I discovered my reading glasses weren't in their case and had to struggle through some few of the stories before quitting, leaving an hour earlier than I would otherwise after breakfast. Almost brought the papers home to read them here, but I've been in the habit of leaving them with my waitresses and they do seem to appreciative it. I'll survive. What the hell.

Later. A better walk this morning down to the usual place for an apple turnover and another cup of coffee, as I realized I hadn't had a large enough breakfast earlier and I thought to read more of the papers I'd left behind. By better I mean the head wasn't as discombobulated and the weasels were nowhere to be seen. Always best to walk without weasels underfoot. They're not nearly as cute as they look.

Anyway, a picture or two, none of which really quite worked. They have the Menorah (hanukkiyah) up at Splash Pad Park again, the same broken lights they had last year haven't been fixed. Whatever the tradition, however it's celebrated, I'd think you'd have wanted to get out a pair of pliers and fix the damned thing over this last year.

I believe the tradition is: "one candle is lit the first night, two the second, and so on, until the final night when all the candles are lit", the ninth candle (in the higher position at the center), is used to light the eight others that represent the eight days required to purify the Temple after the Jewish revolutionaries took it back from the Syrians. Eight days of burning were required for purification, but they only had one day's supply, the miracle being they proceeded anyway and that one day's supply burned for the eight full days.

There could be a more subtle tradition here, of course, a certain sloppiness with electrical fixtures that represents something more profound, an internal cultural touch of humor, but as someone who's basically only attended churches, synagogues, mosques and warrens at weddings, I'm in favor of a pair of needle nosed pliers and, if necessary, electrical tape.

Why would you even bring this up? There are so many ways here you - as totally unaware as you are - could get people upset. Politics and religion. Remember? Bucko? Skip them both at the dinner table?

I like the idea of other than one of the Christian religions putting up a display (in areas conforming with the separation of church and state, of course, something I'm not too clear on with Splash Pad Park). The Muslims have been active in Oakland lately at the Occupy encampment here in Oakland, and, if only for feeling a little better, I'd like to note a lessening of friction here during the season, if not overseas. News stories about blowing up folks for their religious affiliations are rife at the moment, don't want to encourage it here, given our own history.

And you believe in?

“Watch the birdie and smile when uncle takes your picture” has a certain ring to it. Right up there with ice cream and “do unto others...”. There was a brief interval when we had an affair with The “Cosmic Giggle”, but “do unto others”, for the most part, seems to sum it up.

I think we digress.

I think we've dug as deep a hole as any we've dug in a while.

Later still. I boxed up two cameras to send to Nikon for cleaning, something I've been putting off forever, and boxed the old 50mm f 1.4 to send to my sister. How long have I had the new one? How long ago did I promise her I'd send the old one? A long time, let me tell you.

There are other things outstanding. Paid the last medical bill on the list. Not a large one, not one I couldn't have paid at any time, just one I wasn't sure wasn't covered by my insurance so I let it fester. I'm pretty sure it wasn't. Another one of those scans. There have been many.

Otherwise not much. I crapped out at the bus stop thinking I'd head downtown and pick up another bottle of fish oil capsules, any old excuse will do to get out the door, and returned to the apartment. I can go a whole lot longer without fish oil in this day and age. A walk down to the local UPS store to buy a roll of two inch wide packing tape, the old tape I still had totally unusable. I'm not sure how old it was, but I'd guess it's been a few years. Live and learn.

Otherwise no more Korean soap, the brain might actually regenerate if another doesn't somehow get my interest. I spent more time on the guitar, still can't quite navigate those two four chord sequences without wincing. I suspect that's the primary requirement for a music teacher; an ability to go day in and day out without wincing. “Yes, Johnny, that sounds really nice, but there are still one or two little things you may want to improve....” Yes indeed. Ears of iron and patience of steel. Here in Oakland.

I take it you've totally run out of gas and your day, if it ever started, is done?

Either that or the battery's dead.

Leaving breakfast this morning taken with a Nikon D3S mounted with an 85mm f 1.4 Nikkor AF lens.