Local Color

A few days ago I found myself in downtown Oakland. I haven’t been in downtown Oakland since the pandemic had us sheltering in place. I was surprised at all the murals on the sides of buildings. It took me a minute to realize that the murals were all on boarded up store fronts. Where there were once glass store fronts there were now murals.

Many of the store fronts in Oakland were boarded up during the unrest in the spring of 2020. Walking up and down a few blocks of Franklin Street seemed like being in an outdoor museum, with a lesson on current events mixed with the creativity and the will of people to adapt.

Here are six images I captured in the few minutes I had to walk a few blocks. You can view additional images here.

Computer Upgrade

Treve in the process of upgrading his computer.

This is not a job I relish. I’d much rather be out in a kayak playing on the water or knocking about in the camper looking for spring wildflowers. Circumstances being what they are, though, perhaps this is an appropriate DIY project. My main computer died last week. I took it to the local repair shop thinking it might be a quick fix, but the diagnosis was a bad motherboard. When I asked for a quote to upgrade, the technician suggested I buy the parts myself. So here I am a week later, with most of the parts in hand to upgrade. New motherboard, new processor, RAM, and various other parts.

I built this machine in 2011 as a beast for processing photos. The fact that I got nine years of service out of a computer is amazing in itself. I’d prefer to do this when cash flow was good, not in the current negative cash flow situation with the stay-at-home order. Even with buying the parts myself, it’s a chunk of change.

I hope to be up and running again by the end of the week. Wish me luck.

Global Cooling Event 2019

Global Cooling Event at Dance-A-Rama 2019.

It remains to be seen what effect our Global Cooling Event will have on global temperatures. If nothing else, we raised some awareness of global warming and had some fun in the process.

The event took place as part of Dance-A-Rama 2019, an annual open studio event with free dance performances. While I do not profess to be a dancer, I have been involved with Dance-A-Rama since 2003. I had been working with dancers on a dance photography project for several years and one of the dancers suggested that I do a performance piece.

At 2:45 this afternoon, I stepped out into the middle of the performance space and invited the audience to join me. After a few minutes assigning roles to the willing audience members, we had one person holding a large inflatable globe, three people with fans cooling the earth, two people holding a scroll with the words of Brother Eagle Sister Sky, an excerpt from a speech by Chief Seattle, and three people with cameras capturing images. At the sound of a chime, the earth begins orbiting the room. The fans, and photographers follow. A reader begins reading the words on the scroll. I continue to use the chime to direct the motion of the earth. When the reading ends I thank the participants and they return to their seats. I have yet to compile the video and still images into something presentable, but here are a few stills from the event.

Dance-A-Rama is sponsored by Terrain A Dance and Performance Collective. I would like to thank fellow Terrain members Mary Reid, Ruth Botchan and former Terrain member Ann Swigart for their help with today’s piece. I would also like to thank the members of the audience that were courageous enough to leave their chairs to join us on stage. Dance-A-Rama marks a 20 year anniversary with today’s event.