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March 11, 2012

Time For Bed
Sunday. Up with the alarm (hooray!) only to find the Chronicle didn't make it until I'd returned from breakfast this morning. One step forward, two steps back. Still, what the hell? Daylight savings is history, we're closer on the march toward spring. To breakfast and back, here now before eight under an overcast sky looking like rain. I did awaken in California, right? Or, at least, Oakland?

No sense to that. Maybe do a restart?

We're the ones who come to California and stay, the “not much sense to thats”. We have a union and support lobbyists.

I have no idea what the day may hold, other than a nap or two. I plan to play some guitar and go over old chords. Easy to forget the old chords if you don't go through them routinely and, in my case, repeat their letters to remember them as I play: A minor and the like. A sign of a good mood, I suspect, talking about (or at least thinking about) this stuff.

Later. A walk out the door bundled up for the weather after a little over an hour's nap (sleeping, this time, none of this namby-pamby zoning in and zoning out). No rain, but overcast and reasonably cold for Oakland. Or for this resident of Oakland. A walk across Grand to watch the people walking and running the lake for about four minutes before turning around and heading back to the apartment. Later, maybe, after noon, but the rest of the morning is going to be spent here in the warmth.

I generally follow the news on how Google, Facebook and the like are aggregating customer information by tracking their internet visits, purchases and social media rants, but nothing really brings it home until you look at a product on Amazon or Lands End and then find that exact same product advertised on a news blog right next to a story you're reading.

I got an email from Lands End this morning, followed the link and drilled down to look at a particular pair of pants (I wear the same half dozen pair of identical jeans every day, but do occasionally peep outside the box). That same pair of pants appeared an hour later next to an online news story I was reading. This is hardly the first time. The chair I'm sitting in, ordered from Amazon last month, has been advertised repeatedly as I roam the web. Another seller, same chair.

Obviously, given the journal and my other web sites, I'm not all that sensitive to online exposure. That doesn't mean I'm insensitive to the idea it might come back in some (hopefully small) way to bite. Being retired helps, I'd be a lot more circumspect if I still had to work for a living. It may well be I should be a lot more circumspect in any case, but I've been willing to let it go and, if one or more things should come to pass, learn the error of my ways.

I have friends and relatives who keep a low to no web profile. It isn't just the web, there's an inner aversion to any leakage of personal information into a broader personal, let alone public sphere, and I've learned to recognize and understand (to a degree) that's not an uncommon judgement. Everyone's experience is different. Still, having that exact same pair of pants appear this morning after visiting an online store gave pause. For a minute. And then the minute passes and it's time for a nap.

Later still. A walk this time to the ATM over on Lakeshore, a walk back to have an ice cream cone on the way and then around to the morning restaurant for coffee and a bun. Still the same overcast, the same cold weather, but otherwise a pretty good walk. Can't say as much for that bun. One or two lone photographs. Home now around two in the afternoon. The guitar is sitting in its stand watching me, I can feel its gaze out of the corner of my eye.

Early evening. I've now gotten in time on the guitar. Chord changes, mostly, learning to strike them correctly to get a good clear sound and move between them in some semblance of order. All good. We march on.

What I've been calling a daily Scandinavian police procedural shown at six is really called The International Mystery series and tonight's was another Italian potboiler I've learned to avoid lest I throw something at my perfectly functional TV set. The fall back was In the Mood for Love, a 2001 Kar Wai Wong movie from Netflix instead. Ah, yes. Talk about building personal barriers, this aspect of Chinese culture makes me look like a rank beginner. Still, interesting enough, albeit one I'll not watch again. Of course I have many movies up on shelves that affected me strongly in one way or another that I don't watch either, so I guess saying I won't watch the one doesn't say much.

Where was this going again?

The evening marches on. Watching Bill Moyers at the moment, David Stockman (Reagan's Director of the Budget) describing the mechanics of the financial crisis, followed by a business writer for The New York Times. Nothing's changed and we're looking toward another financial failure in the near future that will probably be larger than this last. The only hope they see is people seem perfectly aware of it, the general outlines of what happened, who did what to whom. Maybe there will be a change for the better, maybe not, but after the next even larger crash. Evidently this last one wasn't enough. Time for bed.

This one was taken crossing Grand along Lake Merritt yesterday with a Nikon D2Xs mounted with a 24-120mm f 4.0 Nikkor VR lens.