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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?

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September 15, 2009

Tuesday. Up at the usual hour, for the usual breakfast, reading the usual papers, home now with the sun shining and the disposition good. A last lunch later with some of the old APL crew, the APL Oakland office, once the home of eight hundred employees, closing for good at the end of the month. No real nostalgia here, it's been two years now since I was cut loose and the time has long passed in opening another chapter in this life. Well, I'm sure I have indeed opened another chapter, I just haven't quite figured out yet what it's about. But I will, I will. Takes time for stuff to come together, here in Oakland.

The computer managed to stop and reboot itself when I'd finished the first paragraph, rebooting all on its own for reasons I don't really understand. None of the log files show a glitch, although the McAfee anti-virus software was shifting through its gears just before the screen froze and went black. The Internet was slow for the few minutes before it failed, could easily have been the computer rather than my service provider, but we'll chalk it up to the fates and not worry about it unless it happens again. If it happens within, say, the next hour. No reason to freak if it pops its rocks tomorrow. Not too much, anyway, with lunch coming up.

As an ex-techie you know it shouldn't be doing this and you probably have a problem.

Let's stress the “ex” in techie, I'm letting the technical aspects of those days disintegrate without regret. Except when it comes to image software and such. This HTML editor. Keep it simple, keep the mind clear of technical and overly complicated distractions. Sit in my chair with my camera on my lap watching the screen, eyes almost bright, brain spinning somewhere inside waiting for a control-alt-delete.

You've gone over the edge.

Yes, I believe I have.

Later. A bus downtown to sit out in front of the APL building, drink a plastic glass of iced coffee and wait on the lunch group to arrive. The sun bright, yes, but the air just right, the colors seemingly more saturated. Probably a mirage. A good lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant we all like, more expensive than our usual at twenty dollars a pop, but well worth it for a last lunch. Seven of us, they carrying on most of the conversation: two of us retired, two of them mentioning they'd found new employment within the last week, three of the others not yet. A run by the bank after, a walk most of the way home, a bus on the last leg to the apartment.

So how do things go? The chest seems much better, what's there quite loose in a good way, maybe this stuff I'm inhaling is doing good. Takes a couple of weeks they said. The blood pressure seems OK (96/78), no physical symptoms anyway, and the aching sinus-head issue now takes front place. It's been overshadowed these last couple of months. Not sure it's changed any over the years, plenty still there to bitch about from here on out.

So I'm sitting here in front of the computer with the News Hour coming up at three. I've been noticing how much time I've been spending in front of the computer. I've been getting the walking in, that's good, but how much time should you be spending here writing? Reading netroots blogs. Following Mr. Greenwald's column? Checking out The Huntington Post? There's more than that to life I suspect. So we'll see. Eventually.

My picture brain seems to be on the blink. Everything I'm shooting, and I'm not shooting much, seems, well, to be crap. Not good for a photographer you might say, but it isn't really. Wrestling with your pictures in decline is a good first step, maybe even a good second or third step, to let the photo brain take over and show you direction. You've got to find your feet before you can focus. Does that sound right? I'm being upbeat here, maybe I'm just blowing smoke. But I suspect where I am now will get me where I need to go. I won't say any more because I've said it so many times before, but maybe, just maybe....

There's no sympathy left for any of that crap.

Such is life. It has been a good day and the head is reasonably clear and I've been thinking, well, what? A drive up to Napa tomorrow, a drive and a walk around the old neighborhood? I've done my Napa chapter, but it might be nice to make another visit. On a day that's not too hot. Do I really want to do that? Why not farther? The Russian River, maybe. How long has that been, a visit to the Russian River? So long now I have no idea what I'm talking about, have no idea what it looks like anymore, have forgotten everything I ever knew about it. You begin to get the picture. I begin to get the picture. Still....

The photograph was taken through a shop window on Grand near the Grand Lake theater with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens at f 5.6 at 1/320th second, ISO 200.