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The Sole Prop's Sister?

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October 29, 2009

Most People Don't
Thursday. Drove off to breakfast before eight thinking it was Friday, soon disabused by the papers (the bridge is still out, indications it will be back later today), then again, what does it really matter? Thursday? Friday? We shall put that aside. No reason for time to go any faster than it already is, here in Oakland.

My local Safeway is providing flu shots today after ten, I'm thinking I'll go get one if the line isn't too long. I need cat food, almost went by just after breakfast, but thought again, remembering one of the local Safeway's was giving shots today, but which one? These are the standard flue shots. I'll get both, if they have them, but they're saying old duffers like me have some immunity to the H1N1 variety that's sweeping the nation. I'm for immunizations. People forget what the world was like before they became available. Dead kids and old folks. Kids in iron lungs. Old folks with pneumonia. Lots of them. Right here in Oakland.

It's more complicated than that.

I know, but I have a cat on my lap as I'm typing at the moment and complicated thought is, well, for the moment, too complicated.

I mentioned I used the D-Lighting feature on my camera yesterday wondering if it worked. I realize it did. Worked just fine, thank you. D-lighting looks at the picture you're shooting and notes the difference in bright areas and dark areas, lightening (giving more exposure to) the dark areas. Think taking a picture of a person at a beach, the sun behind them, they more a shadow than a person. The person becomes more visible with D-lighting. So that's good, although it's taken me well over a year to find and use the function. Same with the horizon setting. I find I often shoot pictures and have to be careful to get the horizon horizontal in the image. This can be tricky, as what may be parallel and vertical in, say, the components of a building, may be off kilter insofar as the ground under it is concerned and I find I have to rotate and crop more often than I should. And here's this horizon thing built into the camera. How long has it taken for me to find it? To figure it out? Go figure.

Didn't you learn to just do these two things on the fly? Learned the hard way using film? Back-lit people? Punch the exposure up a couple of stops, easy to do, no menus involved? Applies to all cameras, whether they've got these clever little D-lighting features or not? And that horizon thing? Only really works on a tripod?

Yes. True. Knowledge from my deep dark past. Knowledge I still remember to apply, even in the heat of the battle.

I thought so.

Later. Got to Safeway ten minutes after the flu shot line opened, stood in line doing paperwork and then waiting for half an hour before they announced they'd run out of vaccine. They couldn't have had very much to start with, given how slowly the line was moving and how few people had moved through. That and the fact they said it would be available for a full four hours. So much for flu shots, I'm thinking. I wish I could say the same for Safeway.

Later still. Well, what else? A walk later, I'm sure, the sun is out and the air is nice. Another email from Genebase saying they'd found two more matches indicating people who were related to me within the last twenty-two generations, nineteen out of twenty markers overlapping. The closest match that's come up so far, within the last twenty generations (twenty is a lot of generations) is an African America guy who lives in Mississippi. I'm sure there's a story there, he's a match through the male Y chromosome line, a liaison, perhaps, when my father's side of the family came over from Denmark in the 1850's and came to Washington state through the south? I don't think any of them had money, being new immigrants and all, so there's never been any whisper of slave ownership or anything really off the wall like that, but they say dna doesn't lie. Unless they screwed up at the lab. After my flu shot this morning, I'm not betting on a lab.

Slave ownership?

Slave ownership and rape come to mind as the least pleasant method of impregnation. A nice happy “hello-goodbye”, give me a kiss roll in the hay would be much preferable, but who knows? My father's line is less clear than my mother's as we have her going back to the fourteenth century and maybe his line was a more “back door” kind of guy tribe. Either way, it's a wise child who knows his own father. Still, unpleasant possibilities aside, I kind of like the idea of an old African American dude sitting down there in Mississippi being my one closest (Genebase dna tested) ancestor.

Later still again. I didn't mention it, but yesterday was a particularly bubble free, clear headed day, today the same. A ride on the bus downtown after noon, a cup of coffee (and a muffin - I seem to be big on these muffins) out on the patio in front of Peet's trying to generate interest in a more ambitious walk, a ride then back on the bus, the day bright with a sharp moving into fall color shifted light that makes it both harder and easier to find photographs. Hard, in the sense there seems to be more contrast, sunlight against shade, gotta watch the angles and such; easy, in that the light is inviting, bringing back old memories of falls gone by. None of this resulted in my finding any photographs, of course, but just saying.

Well, let's modify that. No photographs outside in the color shifted light, but a couple taken on the bus while heading downtown. I hadn't noticed the young woman behind me until she got up to get off, but the bus delayed opening the doors and I was able to take the camera off my shoulder, open the lens all the way up and take two photographs. A gift from the gods. Nothing to win competitions or such, but worth the journey by themselves. Which is why I shoot so many pictures and (probably) why - after looking at them, saying (perhaps) they're nice enough - most people don't.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2009 LovEvolution Parade with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at f 2.8 at 1/2000th second, ISO 200.