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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?

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Lake Merritt, Oakland.

Under here.

February 20, 2009

So Many Things
Friday. Sun, some clouds, breakfast at the usual place followed by filling the car with gas. Boy, howdy. It's only eight o'clock and we're off like a rocket.

Later. A two or so hour nap. I'm not sure why, but I lay down and suddenly it was afternoon. A walk down around the Grand Lake theater area to get a little fresh air before heading back home to the apartment to watch a news segment on Slumdog Millionaire where they interviewed the families of two of the very young kids from the slums of Mumbai who were in the film, both of them better for appearing in the movie, but both of them living lives along with millions of others that make my existence and any thoughts I've had of my own ups and downs a cruel joke.

Where'd that come from?

It came from watching a news program where one of the kids in the movie was living with his family in a “home” that consisted of four poles holding up a plastic sheet for a roof and no walls in a place where this was the norm for millions of people.


And I suspect I'll be more selective in the future in viewing the news. I can see how this financial downturn affects people I know, and that's not good, but how does that translate to a place like Mumbai, or better yet, a place like Bangladesh that's going to be under water in another few decades?

Later still. I watched an interview with Mark Andreessen, the co-author of Mossaic and the founder of Netflix last night on Charlie Rose, and heard the both of them say they couldn't wait for their new Kindles to arrive (evidently having worn the buttons off their old ones), saying this with a degree of enthusiasm that said to me they really meant it. Not only they, but most of the people they knew were enthused over what these very early seven inch screen book readers portended for personal computers in general and for the consumption and dissemination of information. And again, saying it in a way that told me they really meant it.

I mentioned in December I got in line to receive one of the new Kindles from Amazon although I've been thinking I should cancel the order. I have plenty of fashionable toys, have plenty of books at my bedside (that I haven't read), why in the hell do I need to add this thing to the pile? Today the Kindle hit my credit card so it will undoubtedly be arriving next week.

All this is a result of watching the kids on Slumdog Millionaire?

The result of watching what appears to be an idle life of buying things that don't make any sense. Fear not, it will pass. This I say with confidence. This I say as Spring approaches and my attitude is beginning to soar (with the exception of this fucking operation I have scheduled for next month).

You'll love it. It will change your life.

I have no doubt. Half of life's adventures come as a curve ball. And what the hell? I subscribe to two newspapers, one of which, The New York Times, can already be subscribed to on a Kindle. How about The Chronicle? How about The Oakland Tribune if they don't charge too much? One day maybe I can add the four or five news blogs I read and the thing will be great. Andreessen was saying Kindle like devices would merge with cell phones (think an iPhone with a seven inch color screen), laptops and every other damned device you use to get things over the web. A high definition camera? Not today, but, you know, one day. An f 2.8 Kindle.

And so you're saying you're happy with the thing?

I'm doing a sales job on myself as I sit looking at the work table (now cleaned up and ready to go) just across the room with a new mat cutter on top; just sitting there, mind you, with little or no further progress. I can see myself sitting at my morning café reading a Kindle instead of the papers and the image gives me the creeps (I'm not exactly sure why). Too geeky? Too “I've got the latest gadget” insecure? I've heard they've sold a bunch of them, but I don't think I've ever seen anyone reading one in public, an observation I've heard other people express. Do they feel too geeky too or have they futzed with them for a week and then put them up in a closet? Closet Kindle users?

As you said, Spring is coming and all things will be revealed.

I say so many things.

The photograph was taken along Lake Merritt recently with a Nikon D2X mounted with a 18 - 200mm f 3.5 - 5.6 Nikkor VR lens at 1/160th second, f 5.6, ISO 100.