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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?

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The old company building lobby on Thursday.

Under here.

November 1, 2008

Often Complicated
Saturday. Gas prices dropped another eighteen cents overnight, this on top of eight cents the night before and another eight cents the night before that. Just like that. Driving over early this morning to Berkeley for a scheduled teeth cleaning at the dentist's office, I passed a Conoco station selling regular for $2.95 a gallon. Not a lot of difference, but having that two in front, even if it's $2.99, has a psychological impact. Interesting. They'll go up again, when we start out of this financial dead end we're heading into at the moment or the Oil Cartel gets its act together and slashes production, but I suspect whichever way it goes I, stalwart photographer, will be there to take pictures. For now, who knows? Maybe habit will out and I'll keep the little red square up next to the main photograph and maybe I'll get my act together and do something entirely different. Possibly even productive.

Natter, natter, natter.

Indeed. It was raining this morning when I awoke, real rain this time, not hard, but the kind where you have to turn your wipers on when you're driving. No traffic on the highway arriving in plenty of time to read the morning paper before my appointment, a drive straight back to my café to have breakfast, the café filling up, every table taken, as I was eating, sitting at a table meant for four. No benefit in taking up a table while people are waiting, although no one gave me any glaring glances, so up and back to the apartment. What to do on a rainy day? Something, I suspect.

The foot and toe continue to ache, but they're getting better, no doubt about it. It's just a matter of time, no need to think in terms of calling a doctor or taking out additional insurance. The sinus-head thing? A bit of vertigo driving this morning, nothing too drastic, no more than a dozen people put in danger of their lives as I passed them. Makes you wonder about people you pass on the street, pass in a car. How fucked up are they really? They look OK, mostly. I suspect I looked like someone with their head in order. The wrong ideas, maybe, but the nerves connected, the reflexes reflexing, not too much alcohol in the system, driving in what is locally considered the normal bat out of hell on the highway condition.

Driving to the apartment after breakfast I passed the Grand Lake theater with the farmer's market underway across the street next to the freeway, people holding up political signs on all four corners, half them with “No” on Proposition 8 signs, half of them with “Yes” on Proposition 8 signs, Proposition 8: a California initiative to ban same sex marriage. The three I found in front of my car, as I was turning at the light, were holding “Yes” on 8 signs and I found myself giving the finger to a smiling ruddy cheeked young man come from somewhere else to put things straight here in Oakland.

I just found myself doing it, giving the finger to the guy. Won't change his mind, he's here to save us from perdition, come to fight the devil's spawn. And I understand that. No arguments made on either side are going to change people's minds, not people who carry signs in the streets, anyway; not people who give them the finger making a left hand turn. So I feel a little guilty, felt a little guilty as I was entering my turn - just for a moment - and then I stepped on the gas. Ruddy cheeked, yes, but no longer smiling.

You didn't do that.

No. I did flip him the bird, though, and in doing so felt in my own eyes I'd lost some credibility. The guy was exercising his free speech rights, after all. The fact I put him with what I consider similar groups: Nazi's, the Clan, anti-Semites the world over is no reason to run him down. At least not while he's still on the sidewalk. Not here in ever so liberal-rational-East Bay Land just across the bay from the city that sits at the end of the rainbow.

You're alienating people.

I'm realizing how much energy people on either side of these candidates and issues have invested in this upcoming election. I'm not particularly worried about Obama winning, worried in that I don't really know to what degree he'll deliver on issues I consider important, but I realize I'd be totally freaked if McCain were to win and continue on in those areas he's promoted over the course of his career. Don't even think to ask how I'd feel if McCain were to win and then keel over dead on one of his gambling expeditions. My realization was that others on the McCain side of the American coin feel similarly freaked to the idea of Obama. End of the earth, stuff. All that rolling back the Bush (and Clinton) tax cuts for the very rich, continuing the war in Iraq, keeping the markets “free of regulation”, skipping out on the Fourth Amendment.

You really don't know what anyone's thinking or why now do you?

This geographic distance, living here again near the end of the rainbow, has its disadvantages. I'm sure these are perfectly nice people, patriots all, who still seem to be voting for Republicans.

Kinda like your father voted for Nixon?

I never really got to talk with him about that. My parents voted for Stevenson over Eisenhower, both coming from a Democratic family, but then my father started hanging around with all those Republicans who hired him to design their buildings. No doubt some kind of mind control was employed. I had and have good friends, while I lived in New York, anyway, who came from Republican families. We, as an aside, stopped talking politics at our family gatherings when my uncle ran for Congress on an anti-Vietnam war platform. Besides, my New York friends as well as my father were all well educated Rockefeller Republicans. They exorcized the Rockefeller Republicans from the Republican Party a long time ago, right? Maybe they all became Libertarians?

I take it you're a Democrat?

I left the party thirty years ago in the seventies and became an Independent when Diane Feinstein was mayor of San Francisco and demonstrated her lack of sympathy for the First Amendment. These things are often complicated.

The photograph was taken in the old company office building lobby Thursday with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens at 1/20th second, f 2.8, ISO 200.