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Oakland 2006 Art & Soul Festival.

Under here.

October 22, 2008

The Gardening Part
Wednesday. The scaffolding has been stalwartly in place now for well over a week, but the people who are due to “fix the wood” have yet to arrive. I asked the manager about it and she said evidently the owners hadn't received the permit from the city yet. And this “fix the wood” business? Well, there was all that “black liquid” that had been seeping out from behind the walls, you understand, and they were going inside to find out what that was about. Oh. OK.

So, up early, a bath, a drive to breakfast, I and one other patron in addition to the Wednesday breakfast group that was discussing the local real estate market, lawyers and web development being the main topics. Not bad. I was hobbling, of course, but I didn't have to hobble far parking in front of the café. I'm wondering about the local business market, though, if people are staying away from restaurants. I probably wouldn't wonder if there wasn't so much of it in the news.

They outlined what's been happening with local real estate prices, home prices, in The Chronicle this morning, overall a drop of just over forty percent in the nine county area. Each county is different, San Francisco, for example hasn't lost all that much, something like fourteen percent, but in one county housing has lost almost sixty percent of its value. Sixty percent? No complaints, here in Oakland, sitting in my apartment.

I don't want to think about having just retired and living in a house way out in the suburbs that's lost sixty percent of its value combined with whatever may be happening in your 401k. We'd be talking stress, even without the need anymore to commute. Still, the percentage of the population that could afford to buy an entry level house one year ago was twenty-four percent, today they're saying it's forty-eight percent. I remember hearing two years ago that twenty-four percent of the population could afford to buy a house in the Bay Area and, of those who were buying, half were buying with interest only loans that required relatively short term balloon refinancing and thinking at the time something was very wrong, best to keep my head down and watch out.

What's that about?

I think I'm reading too much, I'm being jerked around by what I'm reading in the press. They get you all worked up over this and over that. Whether you'll be standing in a soup line in another ten years, if you've still around in another ten years, that sort of crap. Pay no attention.

You haven't had to worry about attention for some time now, my friend.

Later. OK, mid to late afternoon. I've thought of setting out to buy sake, cat food and crackers, but the brain hasn't been able to sell the package to the self. I have enough cat food to get me through tomorrow. The sake is a loss, but then any night you've run out of sake is a little sad I would think.

Adobe PhotoShop CS4 showed up today in the mail and I've installed it on the main computer. Why I needed to buy an upgrade right when it was released I'm not sure and then, while installing it, I realized I was going to have to actually look through the documentation, see what changes have been made, how, in other words, to use it. Consumption without consideration. A true American spirit. Good that I was born when I was, I'm not so sure consumption without consideration is going to work in the future, a realization experienced by the Romans in Britain, I believe, when boys all dressed in blue started to chop up the legions and fertilize their gardens with Roman body parts.

Just stop.

What? Now that we've just gotten to the gardening part?

The photograph was taken at the Oakland 2006 Art & Soul Festival with a Nikon D2X mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at 1/180th second, f 2.8, ISO 100.