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Here In Oakland

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Under here.

November 22, 2012

Thursday. We did get to bed early last night, probably drifted off to sleep after ten and then up this morning at eight. Not a bad night, the morning sunny, the temperature just fine. Read what I could of the papers in bed, the advertising sections larger than the news sections in the papers themselves. To be expected, I guess. No complaints. More than a few trees gave their all for commerce, but then we all end up giving our all for commerce, it's the price we pay.

Now, now.

The mood is good. Up and then out the door to walk down the way to the 7-11 look-alike for what turned out to be a cup of coffee (actually quite good), an ice cream cone and a Hershey's almond bar. The almond bar was OK, nothing to write home about, but again, the coffee was quite good and the ice cream better than anything else in the store, finishing it all off sitting on a bench down by the lake.

I needed to go by an ATM and, since I wasn't ready to return to the apartment, I walked on over and around to the Lakeshore ATM. A fair number of people about, the sun quite bright and the leaves adding to the color, the lake itself with a number of people running and walking. Not quite as many as you'd see on a weekend I think, but close. Fewer cars on the streets, but again, there were people out and about.

We'll see how the day goes on. For me it's a day to do things a little differently, take a walk to places I've been before, yes, but noting the differences you find on a holiday; futz around with some little thing at the apartment for the fun of it, an old record or two playing in the background. Doesn't have to be anything special, just do what appeals, no marks given for cleverness, no grades on Thanksgiving.

Nothing planned otherwise. We're pretty much solo these days, no connections to people at an office anymore and everyone I know is both much younger and have their own families to take care of. Not a complaint, I've always had choices and I've always rather enjoyed the quiet, the differences you can find in listening and seeing if you pay attention. We'll see.

Maybe I should have planned the meals better though, you're supposed to go over the top on a Thanksgiving, but then again when you're the only one responsible for the decisions, you can go over the top pretty much any day you may want, although there is some sense in maintaining tradition.

Later. It definitely is a nice day, so another walk to my morning café this time to check the gas prices I'd forgotten to check earlier, saw they'd dropped another two cents a gallon and took the required photographs. As good a reason as any to get outside.

Passed by next month's reality returning along Grand, at least they don't open until tomorrow and, I have to admit I've considered, since I'll be here for Christmas, surprising myself and buying a tree. I have all the required ornaments and stand, many ornaments from bygone days I haven't looked at in years, something a little different. I won't, of course, but it's nice for the moment to think about it.

Passed by two street people, one I give money to from time, the other I haven't seen before. I guess my rule is I'm not willing to pass by someone who's out there asking on Thanksgiving and Christmas, so he and the unknown other scored. Watched the one head for the 7-11 look-alike. Maybe he bought something to eat, maybe he bought something to drink. His choice, his holiday. I didn't by a piece of his life for a few dollars. I figure by the time I'm in his position I'll be too old to care.

Where are you going with this?

No place in particular. Makes you think, though, your motivations when you have to put it down on paper the screen. It's something I occasionally think about as I probably give more money than most to the street people I pass and I often wonder about my motives. Why to that one and not the other? One has a better approach, understands my psychology, dances the better dance? Then again, once you've given to someone, how do you refuse in the future when you pass? My issues, not theirs.

With all the walking I do I get a feeling for how many street people are living in my area. More lately? Less? Why images like these make me think. They've been in that building as long as I can remember. Is it the economy (not so good in Oakland) that's done them in? Maybe things are looking up and they're moving to better quarters. I have no idea. I'm not in a down or bad mood here discussing this, but it is Thanksgiving, a time to note the temperature and the wind.

Later still. Well, what the hell. I walked down to the Domino's and brought back a small pizza. I usually get what they call the personal size, quite a bit smaller I'd guess than this small one, as the small costs over twice as much. Still, Thanksgiving, OK to pig out on comfort food, even if pizza really doesn't appeal to me the way it once did.

Spent some time on the printer making a series of prints from this year's J-Pop Festival. I need to calibrate my printer and probably need to use it more often. I have the calibration equipment, I don't want to think about how little it's been used, but nows the time or I'm kidding myself if I think I'm a photographer who knows how to print. Mumble. We mumble on.

Evening. The Thursday night six o'clock was Fat Friends, couldn't watch that. Tuned the guitar, but didn't do a lot of practice. It's now after eight and I see Elementary won't be on this week, so maybe just head for bed. Doing empty calories doesn't mean we have to watch empty television unless there's a little sugar in the mix.

You're babbling again.

I'm able to babble now without any help from alcohol or other drugs prohibited foods that produce hallucinatory side effects. Progress!

The photo up top was taken this morning walking along Lake Merritt under the white pergola columns with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 24-120mm f 4.0 VR Nikkor lens.