[Journal Menu]

[Home Page]


[100 Books]

[Other Sites]

Here In Oakland

Art & Life


Under here.

June 11, 2012

To You Too
Monday. To bed at ten, to sleep before eleven, up at seven to head off to breakfast. Warm out there after a warm night, we're looking at real heat later today, too warm for even stripping to a t-shirt. I think it's called summer, although summers around here are usually cooler than the spring and the fall, and summer doesn't officially start until the solstice arrives in another nine days.

Every day lately has seemed the longest day of the year.

Now, now. We're wobbly, but not that far gone yet. Give it (one hopes) another decade or so.

Nothing on the schedule. I said the Gay Pride parade kicks off this coming weekend, should have said the weekend following, but hardly an error I can't survive. I do keep a calendar over the kitchen sink, the various events scribbled in the appropriate boxes, ones at least close enough and convenient enough that I say I'm willing to attend. We are indeed slowing down in that sense: the distances we'll travel, the transportation involved, do I have to walk on the streets at night?

Later. So, I set out for the bus thinking to stop by the Broadway ATM on the way downtown, no particular thought to do anything else, but I was early for the bus, so I crossed the street to check out the lake, finding this group of cormorants feeding on the bottom.

They've all been hanging out in the trees on the two small nesting islands this mating season and I haven't seen more than one or two fishing or looking for nest building materials at this end of the lake now for a while, but whatever it was they'd found, they were definitely after it, every one. The pictures show about half the birds, the rest are under the water.

Off then to the downtown to have a cup of coffee out in front of Peet's (I've got to remember to have them cut it with water) before heading by the new Oakland Tribune offices that opened for the first time today across from Sears on my way back. I've read they give classes on how to request information from the various government bureaus and I've been thinking of taking one.

An interesting idea on their part, using people like me to do research for stories. You'd almost think they hadn't hear the news: newspapers and journalism are dead, television news has gone over into the entertainment business (who said what cute-bad-silly thing to whom last night and what was their clever response?) where ratings and ad income are all that matter and the news we really need to know of the world is left hanging in a sea of Internet threads. The Founders, I'm afraid, would not be either surprised or amused.

Enough of the preaching. We know all the little short circuits your brain has suffered, no need to go through them now.

Ah, yes. Well, the street doors were locked (this was their first day in the new offices), but I will indeed take one of those classes to see if a research idea I've been mulling over might pan out. What's the use of having your own web site if you don't have anything to write about?

Otherwise, an interesting, clear headed, bright and bushy tailed start to the day. The vision clear, I was thinking as I was walking, although it began flickering as I was coming back home and the sinus-upper palate thing became more upset as the day progressed. Warm, as noted, up into the eighties, too warm even for my t-shirt and jeans, but this I expected. Home now contemplating a nap and checking the Tribune web site again for that class information. Do something useful for once before two in the afternoon.

Later still. A nap, what else? I've apparently entered the afternoon nap phase of one's life, occasionally augmented with a second nap if there was too much debauchery the night before.


As in a glass of sake and/or staying up past ten.

Still, feel better, we'll listen to the news and start on the guitar, get that new riff in shape. This is the twentieth month I've been taking lessons and there are long periods when I don't really believe I've made any progress, but I have been making progress and I suspect I'll surprise myself by the end of the year. Once you're there, you're there and you can play, well, actual music. I've heard stories. People do this. Really. It's true.

Evening. Started on the guitar, trying to recall when I'd last changed the strings when the B string snapped. Problem solved, change the strings, re-tune the guitar, re-tune it again and then get back to the new barre chords I'm finding it difficult to finger. The new riff, yes, it's given me problems, but I've spent the necessary time to get it sorted out, forgetting there was a second half to the week's lesson. Well, I did work on them in the beginning before the weekend, but the mind and attention obviously drifted, finding them again this evening.

This does go on.

I know, but the afternoon is over and evening has arrived, bringing with it another impossible to watch Italian Father Matteo program at six, a repeat of the first one in the series as it happens, the one that I watched and came away from with a terminal saccharine overdose.

The Fukushima book I ordered arrived, though, Devil's Tango etc. etc. by Cecile Pineda, much recommended by people I don't know who reviewed the book on various now forgotten news sites, so I took a quick look. Oh, dear. It appears, in reading the first few pages and then skipping to the middle to see if the prose at the beginning holds throughout, a stream of consciousness, flying along high on Cloud Nine rendition, not what I thought I was going to find.

There are facts stated with sources listed in the appendix that give me pause: over two hundred thousand Chernobyl workers, all of whom died soon after they'd finished the cleanup, something I haven't heard before and more than grim if true. If true. They're presented like raisins mixed into a bowl of oatmeal, facts swimming in a parallel personal off in the clouds dialogue and not the laying it all out in the one step following another approach I was hoping to find. I was hoping for an exploration by a seasoned reporter who addressed the melt down and the aftermath, the lessons learned, the things said and left unsaid. That was my hope from the reading earlier of one or two reviews.

I'm not saying anything more until I've read the damned thing. The odd way she's chosen to attack the subject may in the end be fine, may ultimately work, but I only read the first ten or so pages last night and need to read the rest before I, in my infinite wisdom, make judgment.

You said there were sources listed. Might be interesting to follow them through.

Doodle-dee-do to you too.

The photo up top was taken at the San Francisco Carnaval Parade with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.