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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


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May 19, 2012

Is The Future
Saturday. A good long practice session yesterday broken by maybe twenty or thirty minutes spent changing the strings on the guitar. For some reason it seemed it had been a while since I'd changed them - I think one of them broke the last time - so change them I did, although I couldn't really tell a resulting difference in the sound. But again, a good long close to two hour set of sessions, which is good.

To bed at a decent hour, although I had the feeling it took me some time to get to sleep. Because I had a good night's sleep the night before? No thought or need then for a nap yesterday and now, still on a high, I'm not able to get to sleep tonight? Who knows? I suspect I have not a clue. Go with the flow, the man said ( too many times to count), so we'll see how this day progresses as I got up with the alarm with no problem, took off to breakfast feeling good, the day clear, the sun up, gas prices having fallen.

There's a local farmers market today, I'm thinking of getting over there fairly early to take pictures. They're having what looks like a middle of the month Art Murmur walk later this evening, so I think I'll make do with the two of them for today's photographs.

There's a Bay to Breakers race early tomorrow morning in San Francisco, but it starts at seven, the first train of the day not arriving in San Francisco until six thirty or six forty. I suspect that would be more than enough time to photograph the thing, they don't all clear the starting line at seven, but send them in groups depending on how fast they're able to run the distance. But still. A six-twenty train? Up at five-fifteen or five-thirty and skipping breakfast? Will I, would I, do that? Hell, I'd bet against, but we'll know soon enough.

Later. A brief lie down in bed to allow the endorphin ants to continue scampering around under my scalp. No sleep, as such, but endorphins seem to have a similar refreshing result. It seems to happen more often than I remember in the past, that lazy tingling of the scalp, the world slowing down and smiling. I'm sure they write papers about it somewhere, you'd get very rich if you could invent a pill that would bring one on at will.

I assume I'm describing something here everyone has, at one time or another, experienced, although, come to think of it, I haven't really asked or described it to anyone I now remember in the past. An advantage of living with a partner I'd guess: comparing notes. Another take. “You're an idiot, sir.” My, my. I hadn't quite thought of it in that way before today.

But I digress. A walk then along the lake heading over through the farmers market and looping on around Lakeshore. Felt good walking just after nine under a bright sun, but still low enough on the horizon you needed a light jacket for comfort. A picture or two, nothing to write home about.

Standing by the lake I watched a cormorant dive, as they're always diving, after food or nesting materials. And I stood and watched, and watched, and watched. How long had he been under? Four minutes? Five? How long can they stay under? Not a question I've asked before this. The lake wasn't deep where he'd dived, there were four or five ducks nearby bobbing if not plumbing the bottom, but I finally walked on without seeing him reappear. He'd have had to swim a very long way to have come up near the shore without my seeing him. We'll check the web. How long can a cormorant stay under water? People here need an answer.

From the web: “One species can stay underwater for 5 minutes and reach depths of more than 200 feet.” It said there are about thirty-seven kinds of “cormorants”, although ours are the double breasted kind. OK. The double breasted cormorants are only good for just over a minute and I suspect the depth of the lake at that point was something like three or four feet. It must be true if I found it on the web. You'd think.

A walk back then to futz with the computer before heading downtown on the bus to buy a battery for my Bose radio clicker. It still works, it's battery has lasted now for years, but lately it requires a second or third click to turn it on or off and I figured it needed a battery fix. Six dollars and sixty-something cents at Radio Shack. For a battery the size of a quarter. It's good they seem to last so long.

Anyway, a bagel with cream cheese and coffee out in front of the bagel shop in the City Center, a walk then to Old Oakland taking but one picture and then on to the Asian Cultural Center where I downed an ice cream cone and some of those Japanese candies I like. I'm not sure why so much sugar. Then again, what the hell? The current weight is holding firm, the mind is occasionally clear, might as well enjoy myself. Now and then. Sake and sugar, though. Maybe I should switch to sugar based cocktails and get both in the same go.

So what to say? A nice day, it's after two, time to pick up the guitar and see what I can do. I have been feeling good about the way the playing is going, there have been improvements. I can whip through While My Guitar Gently Weeps pretty much without error. Same with one of the short Layla riffs.

We are talking bare bones picking, now. When I say I can play them in time and pretty much without error they still won't remind you of their recordings. Layla has three guitar parts and I've just been practicing one of the better known short introductory riffs: none of the chords, none of the other two guitar parts and not with any particular soul in the playing. But I suspect you knew that without asking.

Later still. A bit of guitar, a nap, a bit of an ocular experience. Nothing too strong, but still, I'm afraid they have yet to make their exit. What the hell, up from the experience to watch Beck on television at six, a Netherlands police procedural. A little weird, but interesting for that if nothing else.

Better do the guitar now and not fall behind, an ocular migraine (junior grade) should be no excuse. No thought to head over to the Art Murmur event down the way, but I was expecting that. Enough walking earlier. A walk a day, an event a day, maybe, is the future around here.

San Francisco How Weird Street Faire taken with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.