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November 24, 2011

In Other Words

Thursday. To bed at ten awakening this morning at seven. Or was it seven-thirty? The morning café is closed today so a long hot bath followed by a look see at the papers. I'll read some of them, not as much as I would have over breakfast (and coffee - I suspect I need coffee). Otherwise it's now approaching noon.

I've watched a bit of the football game (a football game), turned to a news program after not handling the TV ads at all well. (You forget what they're like after a while if you haven't been watching commercial television, something I suspect others also find if they're into cable - or do they have any/so many ads on cable? I've become an anachronism.) I lay down for a bit hovering close to sleep, up now thinking of going out for an ice cream cone. And checking the gas prices I couldn't check at breakfast.

You're going to walk over to check gas prices? Shoot a picture if they've changed?

Well, however I'm feeling, I'll still want to get in my walk. And if it's an ice cream cone I'm after there is a (real) 7-11 across the street from the gas station, so the idea of walking that far isn't totally idiotic. There's also the movie theater, maybe I'll take in a film, although I'd rather see something other than what's playing, the Johnny Depp Hunter Thompson flick for instance. I won't. Go to a movie. But I've thought about it, I never know at times. Well, mostly I know but say I don't. Probably a bad habit.

Later. A walk down to the local 7-11 look alike to buy that ice cream cone, thinking I'd turn around and go back in the other direction to check out the gas prices. A slow walk passing another bicycle that had been left out parked too long (I wonder what happened, if whomever had left it overnight, it's not a bad neighborhood?) and an interesting flier or two tacked up on a telephone pole. Clearly stated. I will say I was indeed dragging ass. Tired during and certainly after the maybe two mile walk. Sore back muscles tired. Doesn't seem to matter how much sleep I may have gotten last night.

So to cut it short: a walk over to the morning café (closed, of course, although the café next to it was open) to see prices had indeed dropped six cents. Hmm. Six cents in the middle of a long Thanksgiving weekend. How often have we seen that? A drop?

I've been following Paul Krugman's blog and his column in the Times now for some time. He's been saying, given the reality, that the European monetary union is going to go bust more quickly than we realize if they hold their present course and he had an entry in his blog today on this week's increase in German ten year bond prices. I've been following the Italian 10 year bonds with a weird fascination and noted, when it was announced in the press, that a German bond offering earlier this week hadn't sold out completely, the interest rate required to sell those that did sell increasing (they went up to 2.2% today). Krugman is saying even this small increase at this historically low rate foretells of bad things coming.

Still, I suspect for all the bond prices and such, this six cent fall in the price of gas this morning at a small gas station in Oakland across from my morning restaurant has contributed even more to the idea things are not going all that well, more so than the change in interest rates on a bond in Germany. I guess we really are heading into another downturn (not that we're out of the last) and this thing is going to be dragging on for a long time. No guarantee the world will end, of course, I wasn't a particularly good economics student, but then again this really isn't rocket science. The current ideological wars turn economic questions on their head in conducting their battles, always have, and so you get a lot of crap, but just from the numbers things are not good and rapidly worsening.

You need to talk about this on Thanksgiving?

I hadn't thought about that. This is more for me like watching a movie than playing a part, fantasy versus reality. I'm very luckily retired and have what for now is a liveable able to play in my little sandbox income.

It's overcast, not raining, but with the kind of clouds that say it could start at any minute. They say sun through the weekend, some sun anyway. Let's see if I can curl up later and do some reading. Something other than on the financial crisis. I mentioned I got one of the new Kindle tablets when it was released. It knew who I was, labels itself my 2nd Kindle, and it has now (on its own) downloaded all of the books I'd bought over the wire on the first Kindle in these last two or three years.

The old ones are set out in a list on the older Kindle, not so obvious, but this new one shows all of them in living color in a bookshelf format on the screen. In looking at them how many have I read all the way through? Not many. When I was buying (primarily paperback) books during my reading years I read all of them through, good or bad, many read in a single sitting. That was my habit when I was stationed here in the States in the Army, a book a night. And now, and now.... We'll see, it's Thanksgiving, I'm tired, a little reading in bed might be just right.

Later still. Still tired, but this has happened in the past. I'm not sure I've done anything out of the ordinary to set this up this last week, so I'm suspecting they just come along once in a while to keep in touch, a function of age and maybe some other of the usual suspects. So we'll just, you know, take it easy and get to bed tonight earlier than ten.

I haven't done nearly enough with this new camera. I did shoot a couple of pictures yesterday, one of the sushi chef down at Coach Sushi. I don't really do that very often, you wear out your welcome pretty quickly if you're not careful, but we get along, say hello whenever I visit. He took one of me, which isn't one I'd, well, put on my Linkedin page. Normally I wouldn't post it, but I'm the guy that takes the pictures no one has asked me to take and I don't feel I can duck out or complain. What's good for the goose, in other words. Still.

The photograph was taken at the Occupy Wall Street March, November 21, 2011 with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.