[journal menu]

[home page]

[Oakland Cam]

[email the Prop]

[sign guestbook]

[view guestbook]

[100 Books List]

[Other Journals]

OATS in the overhead mirror.
November 18th, 1999

Are You With Us?
I left for home later than usual this evening so it was really dark. Oddly, the street lights made things brighter than it's been in the last couple of weeks walking home just after dusk because turning on the street lights makes a big difference. There were still lots of people on the sidewalks waiting for busses or heading for BART. The boogie man was not in evidence. This is more than a little strange. Yes, I grew up in the suburbs where we didn't worry about walking on the streets in the middle of the night, but I've also lived in tougher areas where you had to be careful.

People I worked with in downtown San Francisco who lived, say, in Sausalito or Mill Valley, didn't like to come to the area I was living in during the day, let alone at night. Yes, I lived in Sausalito up on the hill for a while and that was just fine, thankyou, but I spent a lot more time living with low rent hippie trash over near the projects cause we didn't have any money and low rent hippie trash was where the fun was at. Nothing as nice, you understand, as Broadway in downtown Oakland. We really didn't worry very much. We dressed right (not like some old techie fart stumbling around with a camera), we acted right and we went about our business. We got to know our neighbors just in case we needed help.

Yet here I am worrying out loud about walking along Broadway in downtown Oakland in the early evening after work. Stupid. At least the parts I'm walking in. You get away from the city and live in Napa for ten years with only the newspapers to describe downtown reality and you become frightened of your own shadow.

My scanner is acting up. The banner photograph was one I experimented with last night so I have something to put up with this entry, but I'm not sure about tomorrow. My film scanner has been doing this periodically, giving me a can't find Twain source error. I suspect I will have to reinstall the software and run a defragger on the hard disk. Windows NT doesn't come with a defragger and I'm wondering if that's the problem. Sloth. Laziness. (Kind of nice.) The monitor is occasionally going off color. Nothing serious, just every now and then, one of the color guns. I am a highly paid computer professional who knows his NT desktops, which is depressing, since I'm guessing I've got a problem that is not going to be fixed with a kick in the CPU and a reboot. I need that scanner.

Later, Friday morning. PhotoShop found the scanner this morning and I quickly ran this A telephone techie OAT after lunch. photograph through, did some sizing, some adjusting and saved it to disk so I could finish this up at work. For some reason the hours have been slipping away without engaging my attention. I'm actually kicking things out one after another at work, but my mind is blank or at least my attention level is down when I start writing. I was grumbling about my subject yesterday, happy Prop playing with his credit card and completely unnecessary consumption. Well, what the hell, we all do that, but why write about it? Fiddle-dee-dee, fiddle-dee-do. So what? Could be the reason I don't want to work over the words and make them smoother and easier to read. Who wants to read it? (That's not it either, but I am sitting here during a lull in the morning and typing away to do what? Fill space? Has anyone read this far? Hello? Prop? Are you with us?)

The banner photograph was taken at the bar in Dorsey's Locker, a soul food restaurant on Shattuck Avenue in Oakland. Readers familiar with this journal will recognize the ladies as OATS, computer technical support experts out for a quick bite at a well known watering hole.