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San Francisco 2008 Carnaval Parade.

Under here.

July 8, 2008

Lightening To Strike
Tuesday. Cool this morning, which is good; breakfast at the usual place, home after eight; the sun starting to break through the clouds so it's time to close the various doors and windows and trap whatever cooler air I can here inside. Another day, in other words, in Oakland; the head in pretty good shape, who knows how it will evolve as the day progresses, usually for the better than for the worse. I don't feel like getting out of the apartment and walking about, I don't feel like staying in the apartment and hanging out, a not unusual attitude I'm thinking, sitting here at the computer. Maybe a little work around here getting the apartment together? How many times have I asked that question, how many times have I responded with the same predictable less than original answer?

In this decade or the last?

Now, now. Once I'd found a way to make a living that I could get my head halfway comfortably around I settled in quite nicely, I'll have you know. Of course it took me until my fifties to figure most of that out, crossing the finish line well behind my peers (well, many of my peers), but I did (figure it out) and now that I'm retired I'm allowed to sit here idling my engine babbling nonsense as I await further instruction.

I have decided, now that a year has gone by, that I am in fact retired and there are probably opportunities the retired might find if they but look. The other night I scribbled a reminder to buy a beginning book about drawing. I was thinking caricature, cartoon portraits and the like, something with basic approaches to getting what you were seeing down on paper.

When I was a kid I liked to draw. My father was an architect and he was led to become an architect partly because he was a cartoonist in high school, so naturally he and my mother aided and abetted any interest I had in drawing. Another friend's father was also an architect, his mother an artist, so he too was growing up in an environment that encouraged art, so we drew on great big pads of newsprint bought cheaply at the local newspaper office pretty much day in and day out. When we moved to New York, after some fitful attempts to keep it going, I stopped (and turned for those years to photography). Maybe it's time to revisit an old haunt.


And so I ordered a couple of “how to draw stuff” books over the web.

That's it? Two books and your retirement conundrum is resolved?

Ah, no. We are merely examining our navel and looking for lint. Excuse me: hints. A pencil, paper, a couple of hours here, a couple of hours there, to know if there's still a spark. A way of not waiting forever for lightening to strike.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2008 Carnaval Parade with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at 1/1600th second, f 2.8, ISO 200.