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The Solano Stroll (in a bus)
September 13th, 1999

Do Better
Wuss has small crystals forming in his bladder. They gave me a case of cat food designed to dissolve the crystals which they tell me he may eat or he may not eat, the governing factor being how hungry he becomes. Two months of this tasty diet will either dissolve the crystals or they will need to operate. 50 - 50 says the vet. Sorry Wuss.

I wonder if the diet I've been feeding the poor bastard has contributed. One can of the little Fancy Feast fish related swill each morning (you know from the TV ads you're committing an unnatural act requiring some future form of contrition) with an unlimited supply of IAMS Original Formula for one year and older feline adults dry as dust makes the owner feel good because its recommended by vets comes in a sack costs somewhat more than the rest scientifically correct cat diet. Which, surprisingly, he will actually eat. If he's hungry enough.

This new diet comes in a feed twelve cats for a week size can of Hills Feline s/d prescription "Dietary Animal Food", net weight 404g (14 1/4 oz), 24 cans in a case. Why 14 1/4 oz.? How long will a can that size last? Longer than Wuss, no doubt. I hope their diet technicians are smarter than their marketing department.

So the world turns. I'm sitting in this swell apartment (almost in order) Another photographer at the Solano Stroll with an electric door that lets my car in and out within walking distance of work with a long line of culturally diverse coffee shops and restaurants surrounding a lake just down the hill. I am so fucking happy I may open another bottle of this favored by experts locally brewed beer and get stinking drunk except I don't do that anymore because I'm so fucking calm and collected and tuned into this wired for success plastic charge card existence that I could break into jolly song and dance upon my desk, but I won't because I'll upset my computer. An existence similar to the one I came to know as a youth and finally fled after school straight into the Army. Where they tried to kill me. The world as a wheel, the Zen lesson repeated with devilish humor.

Which is to say I'm stale and I need to get off my butt (with decorum) and figure what's next. I'm still happy with the photography, although I've put off learning stuff that would be useful if I want to continue. Portraits. Why not finally set up the necessary lights and backdrops in the apartment now that I have the space and actually take some? Learn the lighting. I enjoyed shooting the Solano Stroll. I've enjoyed shooting the parades so why not learn to shoot better parade pictures? Get the elephants in focus? Life and learning are not over after two years with a camera. Photographs that could have been better can be better. I feel good about that. Let's not carp. Or crap out.

Same with my miserable climb up the PhotoShop slope. People do learn PhotoShop, Prop. Someone, after all, has to write those books. They may learn it faster and better, but then they could also probably remember their names during the sixties. There's time to apply effort, to figure out layers and histograms and color. Well, to start figuring out layers and histograms and color.

Same with computers. I've gotten stale. I've got a great job where they pretty much say keep up with the latest technology and tell us about it. What's wrong with that? I have four web sites at work I haven't touched. Why not? I've got a journal that meanders all over (in my own head if not in the heads of my three readers), maybe it will settle. Maybe I'll add a second restaurant to my under $10 lunch page, but I won't count on it. We go to a lot of restaurants, but we eat and we don't take notes. Still....

Are we experiencing mood swings here Prop? Flag waving? Ups and downs? Convincing them or convincing yourself? Yeah, yeah. I still approach life like a Kamikaze pilot balanced between bouts of zombie depression, but, you know, it's not like you have to go through life without company. I know plenty of zombies and Kamikaze pilots. This journal is a beginner's journal and I learn as I learn and time passes. Rather as life passes. Go back and look at the earlier entries. Ouch! Get a life. Do better.

The photographs were taken at the Solano Stroll on Sunday.