Big Storm

February 28, 2009


On the twenty ninth I write in my journal that “the big storm that was supposed to move into California so far has been nothing more than a shift in the wind and a few splatters of cold drops. The weather folks are starting to talk about combined effects and next wave. I’m thinking bad thoughts about their forecasting abilities which will turn out to be an understatement in light of what will happen in the next few days.

I cook some apple slices in butter, sugar, and cinnamon. This, and toast and coffee keep me going until I get the fire started. Everything seems damp, so I dip the ends of the wood in kerosene and light the stove. I’m rewarded by instant blue flame and some heat.

The thirtieth of December finds me enjoying the “regular” original sandwich on jalapeno bread at Schlotzsky’s in Sacramento. I’m on my way to pick up my first test set of pictures of steel panels using my two new flash units. The use of two flash units with the Cannon camera necessitates the use of a special synchronizing connection between the camera and the two units. If all has worked according to plan, these transparencies will be true color and free of extraneous shadows. Will the lavish investment in lighting pay off?

My report on the test slides is exciting. Never have I been able to take such sharp pictures of blasted steel surfaces. The detail is exquisite, the colors are very accurate, and the plate scale on the transparency is extremely precise-measured with my micrometer calipers. Now I’m ready to go to Seattle and shoot real panels! My only reservation is the statement Rene makes about full frame printing. If the machine print is full frame, the scale on the print will correspond (one to one) with the surface. If the print is not full frame, then the print will be slightly larger than the actual surface and I’ll have to adjust the camera-to-panel distance.

The wind moans under the swinging glass door at the photo processing plant. I’m parked under some giant oaks out front, and some limbs have fallen. One of these is large enough to have crushed my little Hyundai. The highway from Sutter Creek has not yet flooded, but the restaurants at Slough House have become islands. A few more inches and I could be wading home.

The thirty-first finds me back in Sacramento looking for a toner cartridge for out laser printer. I’ve just printed three hundred pages without looking, and the last one hundred pages have blank streaks running from top to bottom. Slough house is less than an island, now, and only boats can come and go to the buildings. I expect the houses to go under by tonight.

About charles frenzel

I've been writing all my life. I've also painted, composed, sculpted, contributed to molecular research, advanced some mathematical concepts, lived on a sailboat, and worked for a Nobel Prize winner. Nothing in my life has pleased me more than to share my life with my wife and friend of over forty years.

View all posts by charles frenzel


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