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Under Construction
A photo session in Emeryville

February 13th, 2006

I'm Unaware Of
Monday. I shot a reasonably decent set of photographs at the Chinese New Year Parade Saturday night. I should have arrived earlier, I suppose, but I was tired, a little dizzy and my right eye was going out of focus by the time the parade began and boy-howdy was I was ready to descend into the BART station and return home for some needed recuperation. The parade itself was being broadcast live on my Chinese television station when I got to the apartment and I was able to watch some of the floats pass that I'd photographed not an hour earlier. Well, not so much the floats as the people on the floats and not so much as the people as their faces. I like to shoot faces, you understand, the closer the better. Such are my photographic obsessions, here in the heart of Oakland.

A good day, today, by the way. The mouth hurts, but the right eye is back in focus and the head is reasonably clear. The doctor suggested I switch to Tylenol from Ibuprofen for reasons too complicated to go into here, which would be fine if Tylenol actually worked. This morning I made do with coffee and chocolate, Guinness and more chocolate in the afternoon. More than one person brought various foil wrapped chocolate doo-hickeys into the office to celebrate Valentine's Day tomorrow. I was in pretty good shape until someone opened the gold foil bag of truffles, the swine, and then it was over. I hope nobody took any pictures.

My Bank of America debit card, cancelled last week, one of 200,000 cards cancelled last week by Bank of America because a hacker got into the client database of an office supplies store and stole all of their credit and debit card data (the only office supply store I've used in the past is Office Max, located in Emeryville next to the CompUSA, so I assume they're the culprit), so I've been without access to cash for the last five days. Interesting how much of a pain in the ass this is. No plastic, no cash. How did I do this in the past? Go to the bank and cash a check, I suppose, but the last time I did that it was twenty minutes in line. I'm thinking maybe I need a bank with a better response when their nickel and dime level customers have a problem through no fault of their own.

I wonder how many dollars you have to have in their system, debt or deposit, to get a card right away the next day or even the next week when there's trouble? I wonder how much fraud there really is over the Internet, how much they have to write off in any given month? They suspended my credit card (as opposed to my debit card) twice recently in a two week period telling me I had too many Internet transactions. “Your purchase pattern matches the profile of a stolen card” said the woman, even though I've been buying from the same companies I always buy from: the New York camera shop, the book seller in Seattle, the t-shirt vendor in Land's End. Oh, and my sushi purveyor in Oakland. I don't do sushi over the Internet. Nor do you, I would imagine, unless you know something I'm unaware of.

The photograph was taken at a studio in Emeryville with a Nikon D2x mounted with a 17-55mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens at 1/160th second, f 7.1 and ISO 100.