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February 17, 2011

Gone In A Minute

Thursday. Raining, as they predicted, but a decent morning getting up with the alarm at six, to breakfast and back with a side trip across the street from my morning café for gas, home now wondering what to do for photographs now that I've pretty much run out. I've run the photograph above before, of course, but it was one I ran across and played with yesterday futzing with Photoshop. A good day yesterday futzing with Photoshop.

An appointment with the prostate surgeon later this morning for the annual checkup. There's probably a certain pucker factor involved as much in your life is determined by the result of this particular test, but we're in denial here, just stumbling along.

The San Francisco Chinese Lunar New Year Parade is coming up this Saturday. Hope it doesn't rain. The weather people have been saying partly sunny on Saturday for these last few days, but I notice they're now saying Sunday for partly sunny and the Saturday graphic has rain with a question mark. Will it be clear by the evening? It's rained before, it will rain again, but I need photographs and will attend.

Later. Lots of rain driving the eighty miles down and back from Palo Alto for my doctor's appointment and blood test, a traffic tie up due to an accident on the way down, a traffic tie up due to an accident on the way back. A pro forma examination, really, the intern asking if anything was happening that we should pay attention to? Well no, nothing to do with the prostate. The neurological issues, the ocular migraines and double vision, are holding their own and my attention, but that's about it. OK, get the blood drawn for the PSA test down the hall and come back in another year. Another year, the tenth anniversary of this most interesting operation, time certainly does move along.

This is, of course, the cancer center at Stanford Hospital and the people I'm passing in the hallways aren't there as tourists, they aren't just passing through on their way to lunch or the movies and so, when you pass someone wearing an elaborate filtered face mask you know they're going through a most difficult and fearful period that you yourself could easily one day share.

Similarly with the people waiting for their appointments in the lobbies and in the examining rooms. Slows you down a bit, although I managed a picture while sitting, waiting on the doctor in a small examining room, another again when I was sitting, waiting in the lab at a point with everyone's back to the camera. A bit surreal, these small examining rooms, sitting, waiting, when you've had an unpleasant diagnosis in your past. Gives the picture of an empty room energy it wouldn't otherwise elicit.

But we're back now in the apartment on a rainy day with the calendar clear until the Chinese New Year Parade late Saturday afternoon. If it's raining then, as it's been raining this morning, well, I may still go and photograph it, but in the spirit of documenting wreckage and sparse crowds (hup! hup!). I say that now but I've missed this parade in the past for rain. The cameras, particularly with clear plastic covers, are essentially waterproof and don't make good excuses. Search elsewhere for excuses.

Later still. I ran by a grocery store on the way back from Palo Alto and bought crackers, spreadable cheese, sake, hand soap and popcorn. Crackers, OK. Hand soap and popcorn, two of life's necessary staples, but spreadable cheese and crackers? Sharp cheddar spreadable cheese and crackers? I can still eat the stuff and, in fact, I did. Warnings of cheese induced ocular migraines made no difference.

Once finished I had one of the small 150ml bottles of sake. But why? The cheese didn't taste all that great, not the greatest cheese in the world if, in fact, spreadable cheese is really cheese at all; the sake went down smoothly enough, but didn't taste all that great either and the after effects are OK as far as they go. More would become difficult.

Otherwise another session in Photoshop going through some of the 2010 Carnaval photographs. They aren't very good. The exposures weren't great, the contrast under a bright sun; the images I was able to catch were mediocre and the number I actually posted on artandlife could easily have been cut in half to its betterment. Such is life. I wonder if there's a domain name out there “such is life”? (Yes, it's been taken. The .com extension and most of the others. That saved me some money just now it did.)

But what the hell. We've had some cheese, we've had some sake, we're still in relatively good shape and ready for more time on the guitar as the evening arrives. Another Palo Alto day: here for a day, gone in a minute.

The photograph was taken Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in San Francisco with a Nikon D2X mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens.