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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


March 11, 2016

We Digress

Friday. Lights out not long after nine, up once during the night before awakening at just before six in time to catch the short end of the one the hour news on KPFA before they rolled into Democracy Now. It was raining all last night and still raining as I was getting ready to leave, but a light rain now with periods when it briefly stops.

And so a drive to breakfast in a pretty good (clear headed) mood, the gas prices incrementing up another eight cents for a gallon of regular while I was eating breakfast. Three days in a row now from two forty-one to two fifty-seven. Supply? Demand? Playing with the rules? A bit of each I'd imagine, much to their profit.

Now, now.

This gas price fixation of mine played itself out long ago. Habit now.

So this is a day I'm assuming we're going to be staying inside. Those one or two calls I needed to make yesterday will be made this morning. We're out of week days to put them off. I definitely delay tasks more often and with more energy as I get older, but I eventually come through. I'm not sure that deserves a pat on the back but, you know, interesting to watch it wiggle and evolve.

Later. Quite a bit of rain. It's evidently concentrated, has been concentrated, to the north and they've been breaking into local television programs over these last two days giving flood warnings, but we're now starting to see some of that here.

Watched last night's episode of Elementary on the tablet this morning. Liked it well enough, although the plot was, well, inventive. Hound of the Baskervilles set in Silicon Valley. What the hell, if you're going to do a riff, might as well go whole hog. Noon, raining, not sure what I'm going to get up to now.

Later still. Made the two calls I've been putting off. Noticed there seemed to be a break in the weather and so walked down to the bus stop thinking I'd go by Latham Square, but then decided it was probably going to rain and, although I was prepared for the rain, decided to return to the apartment. Not overly adventuresome on this March Friday, I'm afraid.

Watched the last twenty minutes or so of a program about the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Soviet commander of a nuclear armed submarine under extreme pressure deciding against firing his nuclear torpedoes at the American task force that surrounded him above and thereby avoided a full blown nuclear war.

I was in Seattle then, a sophomore in college, and remember the crisis being reported with blaring headlines and serious faces on television thinking, at the time, we were as far away from Cuba as you could get in the contiguous United States and probably, if things did in fact blow up, we'd a better chance than many of not being vaporized during the first exchange. What I don't remember was really feeling all that concerned. I was a sophomore, I was nineteen, young enough to not have a brain in my head that could get around the idea of a change so violent that it would essentially end the world.


And today I sometimes wonder about people who don't seem concerned about climate change, how a significant portion of the populace doesn't consider it real or, if real, a problem that needs addressing. We didn't know back then how close, how very close, our world came to annihilation in that fall of 1962, but we knew we were close to war and yet all the while I was thinking more about classes than I was about Armageddon.

So maybe that helps me to understand how hard it is to get people interested in something like climate change when it will take years instead of minutes to do major harm when I wasn't able to focus on something that came quite close to ending human existence in a matter of hours.

What caused all this rambling nonsense?

I don't know. Still not raining. Maybe musing on such as this helps keep me away from heading out to take pictures at Latham Square.

Evening. Watched The Ninth Gate, an old Johnny Depp movie directed by Roman Polanski on the tablet, one I realized I'd seen back when it was released in 2000. More than half way through it now and I still don't know how it ends, who's done what to whom, although I'm sure I'll recognize the final scenes when I get to them. Some value in that, I guess, allowing me to watch it twice with some interest. Interest in the sense of wondering at the completely incomprehensibly nonsensical choices being made by Depp's character throughout. But we digress.


The photo up top was taken at the San Francisco 2015 Vietnamese Lunar New Year Tet Festival with a Nikon D4s mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 VR II Nikkor lens.