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San Francisco Carnaval Parade

June 10th, 2004

Shin Pads
We had a virus attack this morning at the office and they pulled four of us back from the class in San Francisco to man the firewalls. Well, something like that. A long day though, these sore chest symptoms fairly intense this morning, going away when I finally left in the middle of the afternoon and could lie down for a while instead of sitting. Standing seems to work as well. The doctors say it's not the heart going out (to lunch), but you wonder. I'm thinking of not eating tomorrow morning as it seems to come on after breakfast. Breakfast? Allergic to breakfast? Too many carbohydrates before nine?

Later. A walk down the way to the ersatz 7-11 for a quart of Miller High Life. Normally I buy Corona, but I figured "what the hell", I'd try something different. Exciting stuff for a Thursday evening, don't you think?

Anyway, walking back with my quart of beer in a brown paper bag I stopped for a moment to shoot a picture. I had the digital with a 180mm lens, which on the digital is the equivalent of a hefty 270mm lens on a 35mm camera and I was wondering what the images would look like. Thump! "Thump!" isn't quite the right sound, but I knew someone had been hit or hit something behind me and I turned to see a young woman (in her late twenties) on the street next to her bicycle. No helmet. The car she'd hit or had hit her was facing the bicycle where it had been waiting to turn into the traffic stream on Grand Lake from a side street.

She seemed dazed and checking herself for damage, touching herself, looking at her hands. Some blood between two of her fingers, otherwise she seemed all right. Another cyclist (a guy in his thirties, I don't think they were riding together) was asking if she was OK. The driver was out of his car and asking her as well. I still had the camera at the ready but thought it would be ghoulish to shoot a picture. So I didn't. A sure sign I don't have the right stuff for street photography. Life's like that.

Not good to be not wearing a helmet. It makes it too easy to die. I'd get a bike again myself if it weren't for the traffic. Too many friends have gone over their handlebars. Still, not a tragedy, an accident; hard to say who was at fault. It's just that prior to walking down to pick up my bottle of beer I'd watched Japanese Story on DVD (yes, I joined Netflix) in which one of the characters, unexpectedly, out of the blue, in an accident, dies. One minute the sun is shining and you're thinking about anything but, in another minute death. So I sanctimoniously say "young lady wear a helmet". And shin pads.

The banner photograph was taken at the San Francisco Carnaval parade with a Nikon D2h mounted with a 28 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens at ISO 200.