Vendor at the Gay Pride Parade, Summer 1998.
January 1st, 1999

OK, I'll Go For It: New Year, New Start
I turned on the computer this morning and looked over some of the old entries under "Photographs of Events, Fairs and Trips". In the beginning I called it "Photographs with Comments". Easy to understand why I never made it in the ad business. They should have been called "Chicks 'n Pix" or ""Forbidden Shit".

I guess they were the first entries in this journal. They read about the same, but with more photographs. Since I shoot color slides and black and white on contact sheets, I never have any prints, so the only way I could think to display them then was on my old NBBC business site.

This morning they didn't look so bad. I get too close to this stuff. I wrestle with it like a dog with a bone. It puts my head in a place where I can't step back and see anything in context.

It's always been that way. I worry out loud and moan and groan it looks like shit, it reads like shit and it tastes like, well, shit. I don't think I do it for sympathy. I don't take sympathy well. In fact, I generally run when its offered, but that's another journal for another day. Its just, I looked at some of the old stuff for the first time in a long time, recognized where they could have been better, but thought "yeah, what the hell, they're OK."

So this morning, when I took one of the Nikons loaded with black Mediterranean Cafe, Berkeley. and white and went over to the Mediterranean Cafe for breakfast, I went out with a little "shoot some pictures" blood in my eye. I always carry a camera, but lately it's been just another piece of luggage you have to schlepp, find a spot where it won't fall on the floor when you sit down at a restaurant, find a spot you can lock it up when you're at the office.

But today was different. After breakfast I went back to the apartment and packed a camera bag with a second camera loaded with color, a couple of lenses and film. I drove to downtown Oakland, parked in my usual spot, went over to the office and dropped off the camera bag, took one of the cameras and went into Chinatown.

The sun was out, it was 60 degrees at the Asian Cultural Center. Families were walking with their kids and older people sat watching the crowd. I moved near the fountain and started shooting, using the fountain as a frame. I was using a 135mm lens and that can be a little constricting, but it has its strengths too, so you work with what you've got. Some hours later I'd shot maybe three rolls and felt good about it, looking forward to seeing how they turn out.

A good day and a good start.

Rien Post suggested that I get rid of this Sole Proprietor "he" thing and I think he's right. We'll see how it goes.

Same with making some changes to the site. I have some really ancient stuff that's a little embarrassing, so maybe its time it went away. I like the Oakland Cam, but that's real low maintenance anyway. I like the recipes and restaurants section, but little if anything is getting done. It needs a lot of work just to tighten it up, let alone adding anything new. The recipes stay, but I need to be realistic and decide do something with it or not. Poor old Red Ink Railroad will probably remain forever or until I retire and have the time. The line on forever is 4 to 1.

The banner photograph was taken at the Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco in the summer of 1998. The picture of the Mediterranean Cafe was taken in December, 1998.