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September 28, 2011

To Experience It

Wednesday. Awake fifteen minutes before the alarm was set to sound, not sure why as I got to sleep somewhat after ten. I started reading a new book that arrived that afternoon and threw caution to the wind. Maybe that's a decent excuse as I've not been doing much reading other than the papers over these last several, well, years. Still, up, out and back from breakfast, plenty of time with that extra fifteen minutes to digest the papers on this start of another day.

The guitar lesson is coming at ten. I seem reasonably comfortable with it, although I don't feel I've mastered (conquered, learned, gone through without error more than once or twice) this week's lesson. Still, progress has been made and I see a hint of light at the end of a tunnel. I think. Keep one's attitude up - hup, hup - and figure better stuff is coming with the guitar and (we're taking a big leap here) in the life.

That's enough of that. Best we see you again with a clearer head after your lesson.

Later. Ah, the sound of a guitar playing. Not the sound coming from my guitar, but the instructor sounded pretty good. Do you suppose it was because he was playing a Gibson Les Paul? No, I suppose not. Probably the way it's played. Still, a good lesson, we'll get ready for next week starting this morning, get a leg up, won't flake (hup! hup!). But enough.

Waiting for the lesson to start out on the patio in front of his house I often take a picture. Why, you may ask? After all what's changed on this patio in these last eleven months of lessons that would cause me to take its picture? There are a number of people living in this house, reminds me of the old days in San Francisco at the Rip Off Ranch where a group of us lived in a two flat building on Potrero hill, and one of the residents here smokes. A lot. Out on the patio on a Tuesday night.

Whoever he or she may be leaves an ashtray piled high with cigarette butts (this one today is quite sparse compared to many of the others), a disposable lighter and one or two (or three) empty cigarette packs sitting on a table or a wall every week. For some reason this is the first time I've taken its picture.

Then there's the futzing with the various plants. I take bad pictures in the sense the highlights are usually blown out - particularly in the sun when small areas of lighted flowers/buds sit against a larger mass of shadow and black - and the auto focus is often either not to be trusted or I'm too close for the lens to be able to focus. Now, this is not the kind of picture I usually take, but taking them reminds me of the obvious adjustments any photographer would need to make and, I suspect, I'll eventually work it out if only through embarrassment and shoot them right. So we're learning more than just the guitar at our lessons we are.

Later still. Quite warm out there, too warm even for jeans and a t-shirt, in the low eighties the weatherman says. It's supposed to taper off by the weekend where they say it will drop back into the low sixties, my kind of weather, so I think (after a brief outing just now) I'll lay low for the while. (That pelican keeps coming down to this end of the lake to feed. I need to nail him with a longer lens while either landing, which I missed just before these shots, or taking off starting tomorrow.)

Evening. Tired and a bit hungry, the temperature and humidity not much fun. Easy to intellectually remember it's warm/hot in the spring and fall around here, a totally different thing when you're in the middle of it. Maybe it's another old folks thing, they say temperatures put them/us down more quickly than the youngsters. Then again, a nap, followed by another nap, with a little guitar in between. Not the worst way, I'd say, to experience it.

The photograph was taken at the Folsom Street Fair with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.