[Journal Menu]

[Home Page]


[100 Books]

[Other Sites]

Here In Oakland

Art & Life


Under here.

November 15, 2011

My Lesson Tomorrow

Tuesday. To bed early again, up this morning with the alarm, off and back from breakfast at eight. Hup. Hup.

Much to do today, catch up on things shoved aside with the Occupy photographs. I bitch and moan, but I've learned from the experience, setting the eyes in a little different direction maybe and seeming to gain pleasure from it. I have camera gear to clean, a new camera kit arriving next Monday (the new Nikon V1 mirrorless) which may or may not be the best decision I've made in a while.

It's a little different, a camera that's quite small, much less expensive, but many say takes a decent picture. Maybe it will open the eyes a little, put the bank account in more danger, maintain my membership during times of distress in this spendthrift consumer culture and allow me to travel light. The usual balancing act, here on the left coast salt farms, north of Los Angeles.

I seem to recall there was something coming up later today that I thought to photograph, something described on a flier handed out recently at the Occupy site. For all the “street people who don't take a bath” bad behavior described in the press hoopla, there were quite a few Occupy people who seemed serious about getting a political movement off the ground and they were active in describing and promoting their objectives. You know: democracy. We'll see. For the moment, when it comes to feeling generous about this kind of thing, I'm easy.

Later. Haven't done the laundry (what else is new?). I've read the usual papers and blogs, noticed the Italian ten year bonds have jumped thirty-seven basis points today to over seven percent again. They talk about changes in the Italian and Greek governments, about how they're going to do this and do that, as I suppose they should, but that 10 year bond rate is what matters and it's telling us the European Euro is failing. Another vote in supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement.

You do go on.

It's like watching a movie, a slow motion movie. Everything is obvious, everyone is watching, but so far no one is doing anything about it. The political class is swimming around in circles. If a bedrock component of your political philosophy is no more government, your answer to any question whatsoever seems to be: no more government. The cat is caught up in the tree: no more government. People are unemployed: no more government. Your wife has left you for the mailman: no more government. All of it in slow motion and endless detail. Reminds me of the dinosaur who's received a fatal shot through the heart, the rest of the body ambling along as if nothing has happened, the message hasn't arrived yet that the body is dead: no more government.

Stop please.


Later still. The bus I was waiting for didn't come, so a walk toward the downtown passing the Veterans Center and the Occupy people still sitting in front of the building. There was one lone soul sitting off to the side in the photograph, but the people I'd seen yesterday had arrived by the time I passed them on the way back. I didn't get off the bus and take more pictures. By then I was tired.

My thought was I'd get something to eat, take a few pictures of the City Hall area now that it was empty, the last vestiges of the clean up crew finishing up as I walked the perimeter. I found this guy still up in his tree. I didn't ask him if he'd been there through the cleaning out of the plaza, but there or not, the platform he'd built was still in place and in one piece. People would stop for a moment, talk and take the occasional picture. As did I, as did I.

The demonstration in front of the State Office Building protesting cuts to state welfare programs, particularly for the elderly, was to start at noon and I arrived at quarter til. It's a very short walk from the front of the City Hall to the state building and I waited for a while for people to show up if people were really going to show up. Some did, they marched, there was one lone Channel 2 video cameraman photographing and conducting interviews. So.

I walked back thinking I'd catch the next bus, saw the guy in the tree with two or three policemen talking to him from the sidewalk this time, so I stopped to take more pictures, some few people including the Yoga group now having taken up their same places between the plaza and the BART station entrance. I wonder how this is going to develop? I can't believe they'll let any of the tents return, but then I didn't think they'd allow it that first time. Nah. No way. They'd have to be idiots.

A walk then along Broadway. I don't like to sit or stand while waiting for a bus, so I generally keep walking, checking the smartphone to meet it at a stop farther along. In the distance: chanting. Had the small crowd in front of the State Building headed out here down Broadway? Ah. Another group protesting the Israeli intervention in Palestine in front of a building that housed a company they said was facilitating the program, one lone woman counter-demonstrating to the side with an Israeli flag handing out literature. Another bullhorn, another group of people, another batch of fliers. I should collect them if I'm really going to follow these things more closely.

Back home now. UPS is due with one of the new Kindles. Don't ask why, it wasn't very expensive and some of the magazines I subscribe to are available on it now. Excuses. Rationalizations. I apologize, but only a little.

So the day goes reasonably well. I'm a little tired, but tired from all the walking. There are (again) things to be done, maybe we'll get on with some of them, maybe we'll do something else.

Evening. Some guitar, television going in the background, wrestling with the stereo to hook up a CD-tape recorder/player to replace an old one that died a long time back. Not sure why I might want to play any of the old cassette tapes, but the thing will convert them to MPEG's and record them to either a CD or a USB device. I couldn't pass it up as it cost next to nothing given what it's capable of doing. Then again what do I know? Stereo gear isn't something I've paid attention to in a very long time. If something breaks then I'll replace it, maybe, but that's about it.

More guitar, to bed early, my lesson tomorrow. I'm guessing I'm prepared.

The photograph was taken waiting at the Oakland Occupy Wall Street encampment on November 12th with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 24-120mm f 4.0 Nikkor VR lens.