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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?

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Near Grand Avenue and Broadway in Oakland.

Under here.

September 24, 2008

On The Cheap
Wednesday. Over to the hospital, finally, for the blood test. A simple single vial, a matter of a minute, a drive then to breakfast where the usual Wednesday morning group was having their breakfast meeting at tables in the back. No problem with a group in a restaurant where everybody is talking, the words and meanings blend together into just noise, but when someone is holding forth to the group - they've had a bunch of web developers touting their products lately - it's hard to concentrate while reading the paper.

The problem customers my waitress mentioned were all in attendance and I listened with some sympathy as the fellow across the isle next to me (number one on the least favored list) placed an order complicated enough by substitutions and additions that even I, with my sixty-five year old sharp as tack ears, was confused. Settle out, it's not your problem, anything you might say would cause nothing but trouble, keep your nose out of other people's business. Good. The gift of a Zen lesson before it's even eight in the morning, how nice is that?

It's interesting to watch the high stakes players fight over 700 billion dollars, the administration making a classic last minute “do it now or die: give us the money without any strings or the terrorists will slaughter our babies in their beds” of a kind they've used so successfully in the past. Hard ball as played in the big leagues. Not often you get to see it displayed so nakedly for all to see. I have no idea if the current financial situation can be fixed by pumping whatever number of dollars into the markets, there are many people with acknowledged expertise out there who say let it sort itself out on its own, the smaller local banks they say are in jeopardy will survive.

The problem is in trusting people who you know have consistently lied to you, who have used these very tactics in the past. “Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!” You were screwed when they lied to you before, now are we going to be screwed because we no longer believe them and they're telling the truth? I'm sure it will pull the financial industry's buns out of the fire, but will it do anything even marginally positive for anyone else?

I'm heartened by the fact Congress is asking questions at all, they've seemed to roll so quickly on everything the administration has demanded in the past. Gives you a glimpse of what hundreds of millions of dollars “donated” to our political structure will get you, though. What kind of clout real lobbying gives you in “our” Congress. Scary, at some level. Hell: scary at all levels. But again, interesting to be sitting in your living room watching yourself on the screen being raped by person or persons that would otherwise be unknown if it weren't for the product placements and corporate logos.

What are you hoping for in all of this?

To be able to pay my rent next month. And maybe buy a condo on the cheap.

Later. Congratulations to Mr. & Ms. R and Miles Joseph, born 9/23/2008 at 6:00am, weight: 8 lbs, length: 20.5 inches, everyone doing well! Get some new blood into this world who'll be ready to replace cranky old farts like me in another, um, number of decades.

The photograph was taken today near Grand Avenue and Broadway with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 50mm f 1.4 Nikkor D lens at 1/250th second, f 2.8, ISO 200.