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February 20, 2012

You'd Think
Monday. Overcast, yes, getting up this morning before the alarm. If I get to bed early, and I got to bed early last night, I wake up early. My, my. One plus one equals two in the sleep world. Except when it doesn't. Still, two rather thin newspapers this holiday morning, to breakfast and back well before eight, the streets empty and the sky looking as if it could rain.

I gave up on that latest Johnny Depp Pirates of.... movie, dropping it essentially unwatched into the mail box on the way to breakfast. I knew it when I ordered it through Netflix, so it's my fault. We'll make do with more of the Deadwood chapters for the while, although I'm wondering if the slap in the face first novelty of the language and outrageous behavior don't get a little stale should the plot begin to falter and drag. Not that it has. We'll see, there are plenty of episodes left. So far, so good.

Are you looking for ways to dislike this stuff?

I'll have to think about it. Maybe, if I'm ordering a movie I pretty much know from the reviews I'm not going to like. Odd behavior for someone other than a curmudgeon I'd think. Odd set of behavior for an old (maybe now curmudgeonly) coot who was once a movie freak.

Otherwise the evening went well. My ration of two small bottles of sake were about right - actually a little more potent than the norm, even though I consumed them over the course of a couple of hours - and I was able to get in quite a bit of time on the guitar. Nothing I wanted to see on television, so to bed before nine.

Later. So much for one plus one equals sleep. A long nap and now it's close to noon. Still overcast, but no rain. The clouds are getting darker, so best I get out for a walk before they (it) arrives. Hungry, for some reason. An ice cream cone is starting to sound nice.

Later still. A walk down the hill and over to the usual place for a lemon something and coffee, a bus from there downtown to look around. That's the best reason I could come up with: to look around. That and the fact the bus arrived just as I was leaving the restaurant. Kismet and all that. A walk through the City Center, most of the restaurants open on the holiday, continuing the walk to Peet's. I haven't been to Peet's in a while, had a small cup of coffee and a scone out on the patio. Ate the scone, couldn't drink the coffee. Sometimes I wonder if coffee and I really do get along.

A walk then through the plaza in front of City Hall, taking another not very well positioned picture of this fellow's memorial, then crossing over to the other side to examine the small tents that were set up on the grass. I'd watched the fellow who'd just begun the project assembling his first few tents on Friday when I'd last walked through and wasn't immediately able to figure out what they spelled. Ah, “Revolt”. OK, I suspect they can read it clearly from the mayor's office. A clever conceit, the tents. They really haven't gotten any press (at least in the press I read), but a clever conceit good for pictures at least.

So, back up Broadway to Grand to wait on the bus. This line of stores and restaurants on Grand that ends at the corner with Broadway has lost a large number of tenants in the last few years. You can see some of the “For Lease” signs in the picture, but essentially everything other than a new cafe, sandwich shop and bar are gone: the used military book shop, the portrait studio, the wheel chair outlet, the art studio that moved up to 25th and one or two others I now forget. This extends around the corner: the funky inexpensive Chinese restaurant fronting on Broadway is now gone and new higher end expensively done restaurants have been moving in.

Is this a function of the economy or is it the product of a changing demographic? I suspect both. The new restaurants and bars around the intersection of Broadway and Grand are all fairly upscale, the shops that have failed or moved are shops not usually found in an upscale market. Different clientele, too much rent. I suspect this is the situation, although there are still a lot of empty storefronts. Just wondering. It made me cross the street to shoot the picture when I noticed the Tempur-Pedic wheelchair outlet - been there since I can remember - had now given up the ghost.

You like the changes?

Well, trendy bars serving a younger clientele are of less interest to me at my age anymore. Just the way it works. The sushi place across the way is quite nice, but a restaurant I'd only visit infrequently as it is indeed pricey. If you get too heavily into their sakes. Not that I'd ever do that. So, no complaints, but interesting to see the changes or I wouldn't be mentioning it.

Still overcast, no rain, the middle of the afternoon. We'll futz with the guitar, see if we can't get to bed early again tonight.

Evening. To bed at nine. Or was it nine-thirty? Was there something else I watched on television after? You'd think, since I'm writing this the next morning, I'd remember. You'd think.

2012 San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade taken with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.