A window glass reflection at PCB in Oakland.
December 16th, 1998

Back to Work, Break for Lunch
It seems that Oakland, known these days for its election of Jerry Brown as mayor and his "Oakland First" mayoral campaign slogan, came in second the week that the Sole Proprietor was gone. San Francisco managed a total power black out for a large part of a business day and now Oakland, a week late, barely manages a brown (ouch!) out that briefly blows the power in the Sole Proprietor's building at work as well as his circuits at home.

He wondered why all the surge suppressors needed resetting. All but one. When he'd lived in Napa this happened all the time, but out in the sticks, you understand, where everything's done with duct tape and war surplus 50 amp fuses installed by the mayor's son. You expect these little annoyances, part of the cost you incur when you move out of town. He'd wake up and every surge suppressor in his apartment would have to be reset after a power surge the night before, all 18 or 20 of them. These days he's down to around 10, mostly in the living room, but they've been church mouse quiet since he arrived three years ago.

The Sole Proprietor's server lab at work, of course, went down with the brown out as well. All of the surge suppressors were blown and anyone who has ever had to deal with the problem will tell what comes next: when a surge suppressor pops, you have to press the reset switch. When the power comes back on, in other words, the servers don't reboot themselves, you have to go in and physically press the buttons before they'll return.

So the Sole Proprietor was thinking today about how to, um, tighten up his management of the labs, you understand, have someone to fall back on when he's out of town. And his servers pop. And nobody knows who to talk with to get them back on line. And they get a little pissed because some of the passwords don't work. And there's a brown out or a fire out or a corporate take over out while he's out. These were his thoughts, anyway, when he was told his group was going to have a Christmas lunch down at Jack London Square, his manager being on vacation until the end of the month, of course, but at her urging, get out there and chow down. Ah, yes, Christmas approaches. He'll worry about the lab tomorrow. Before lunch. Before the Y2K party scheduled for the afternoon.

Anyone reading this far will notice there are no pictures, yesterday or today. He actually took quite a few 35mm shots, but he won't have the negatives until tomorrow. He may scan a couple and place them here later just for the fun of it or he may not. Either way he's thinking about how to proceed with this, how to feed a steady stream of one or two pictures a day into this journal of his in addition to the banner photographs. The digital camera is one solution, but he needs to refine the concept a little (like carrying it with him, for example), to find the time and energy to go out and make photographs happen now that this beginner stage is ending and its time to move on.

Sound familiar? The end of the year? Rethink your life and situation, real heavy lifting stuff that leads to a list for the New Year, promises and good intentions that last, what, a week? A month? A day? Shame on you, Sole Proprietor, so negative and its not even Christmas yet. You have plenty of time to get loose, write your list and burn it up after January comes. Just carry the digital camera, OK? Get up in the morning, tie your shoes, brush your teeth with the swell tasting baking soda toothpaste your dentist recommends so much and life will work. Futz with the fine tuning later, OK? Right? Are you awake, Sole Proprietor? Is anyone awake thus far?

The banner photograph was taken at Pacific Coast Brewery in the early afternoon last November. The fellow behind the glass is one of the Sole Proprietor's fellow IS workers testing the local brews. Do you notice he shoots a lot of pictures at PCB? Why is that?