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September 26, 2009

With A Camera
Saturday. A get together at the House of Shields yesterday afternoon at three for a Guinness before walking over to Specs in North Beach for another Guinness and an Irish Coffee. My four companions didn't limit it to three, but then they never do, the swine. Specs was a favorite place whenever we got to North Beach throughout the seventies when I was a part of the underground comix and magazine crowd and we'd talk art and life and such over a Beck's. Specs, of course, was behind the bar and even then it carried a certain history not unlike City Lights across the street, an old Beat hangout in the fifties, so I was mildly wondering how much of what I remembered still remained.

A dozen or so old grey haired guys in funky hats were commiserating at the end of the bar and I realized they'd all probably been drinking at Specs or a place much like it since my days, so maybe it hasn't changed all that much. You still need younger, more active alcoholics to make it work I would think, one reason to have a young attractive woman tending bar, but what the hell? At my age now it doesn't much matter and it was better than I was expecting. Back to Oakland by seven, a bus pulling up just as I was exiting the station, all in all a good evening for an old duff. My compatriots went on into the evening looking for dinner and adventure at another watering hole, their evening just beginning, while I, goodie two shoes I, hopped on BART and, while it was still light, headed for home.

Oh, and a reality check on local concerts. There are tickets available for the Dylan appearance at the Berkeley Greek theater, but at two-fifty a pop. Do I want to spend two-hundred and fifty bucks to see Dylan? Maybe. Why not? I did pick up a ticket to see Snow Patrol at the Fox next month and, as I mentioned, to hear Noam Chomsky speak next Saturday, both tickets coming in at fifty bucks. Nickels and dimes these days I guess. Still, Dylan. How many hours have I spent listening to his music? Many less than in days past, but still. How many more chances to see him perform? And, you know, the Greek theater isn't all that far up the road....

To bed quite early last night, by the way, so up quite early this morning writing this. Another hour before I set out for breakfast. I did have a message from the nurse about the meds on my answering machine when I got back last night, she's faxing a prescription I'll pick up Monday. I'm to take the half dose I've most recently been taking and alternate it with the somewhat less powerful pill prescribed. I'm willing to bet there will be further adjustments needed, but who knows? I'm new to this, the doctor you assume has been down this road.

Later. OK, the usual breakfast at the usual place, a Saturday morning sitting at the computer in the apartment thinking what's next? Some discussion of various festivals coming up over Guinness last night, a big blues thing going on in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco next weekend. I may actually figure out what bus connections to make from BART to go and photograph the thing. One hundred bands they said, people coming from all over.

The Folsom Street Fair (leather boys behaving badly) is coming this Sunday, but I think I'll skip it in favor of a Rockridge street festival they're having just up the street. The Folsom Street thing is, well, unique and the pictures are, well, unique, but there's a real undercurrent of uncomfortable sadomasochism involved that's creepy. Unique, colorful and creepy. Made for photography you'd think. Maybe when it comes to leather I'm not able to handle much more than the Dykes on Bikes when they're doing their good behavior gig at the Gay Pride Parade.

Do you really think you can handle the Dykes on Bikes?

Well, I'm out of my league there, true, but they're cuter and it's easy to pretend.

Later still. A nap (I was up too damned early), a quick blood pressure check (normal), some thought to set out for a walk with a camera.

The photograph was taken at Specs bar on Columbus last night in San Francisco with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 50mm f 1.4 Nikkor DX lens at f 1.4 at 1/5th second, ISO 200.