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18 March 2001

Swell. Now the rain comes. It came after we had biked downtown to join about 600 other people in a candle light vigil Sunday night, joining spiritually with similar vigils all over the world. Of course we had ridden our bikes--that's a given by now. I packed up the camera and a couple of candles and we rode off to join a group of about 200 people standing in the middle of downtown Davis. About five blocks away, another group of some 400 people was forming a chain along the street which goes around Central Park.

We parked the bikes and locked them to a fence, lit our candles and joined the others. Suddenly I felt some rain drops on my head. Then more rain drops. And pretty soon umbrellas were going up around me.

I remembered that I had left my bike helmet hanging from the handlebars of the bike, which meant it would be acting as a bucket to collect rain water, so I went to get it, and wore it--a built in umbrella of sorts--but it didn't keep the rain from falling on the candle, which sputtered and tried valliantly to stay lit (kinda like the protesters I suspect, given the latest 64% poll approval for the upcoming war).

My friend Ellen was standing next to me with an umbrella, so we huddled together until the rain finally passed.

When the group seemed to have reached its maximum number, we quietly took our candles and marched to Central Park to join the others who were already there.

That's when I discovered I am an idiot.

I had brought the camera to take pictures--hoping against hope that I could get at least ONE that wasn't horrible.

My big problem with my new otherwise very lovely Olympus digital camera is that it doesn't do as well at low lights as my Mavica had done. The Mavica doesn't give crisp, clear pictures, but it handles low light better. I was very disappointed that the Olympus had that little flaw.

I took a few pictures, but they were pretty much this quality:

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I decided not to even bother. It wasn't worth it.

When we got to Central Park someone asked if there were digital cameras in the group. Apparently only one other person had one, so I decided to try my camera again, only use flash. Those pix came out fine, but of course you miss the "ambience" of the flickering candle glow on the faces of the people in the vigil.

Someone made some passing comment about too bad you couldn't use different settings on the camera. Doh! It was a Homer Simpson moment. Settings. Of course I have settings. The camera does lots of stuff and I was too eager to actually USE it when it arrived, so I'd never taken the time to look through the manual (which is on CD, not in a book, so it's more trouble to just flip through).

Let's see do I change settings....?

I pushed a few buttons and suddenly I had a choice of all sorts of speeds to use in manual mode. I started snapping pictures golly...I was getting what I wanted. They aren't the greatest photos in the world, but they aren't half bad.

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After an hour we gathered around in a circle while a woman with a megaphone talked about a rush hour demonstration that was being held on the bike bridge on Tuesday (not possible for me to attend--that's our busiest day at the office). She talked about calling our congressman. She talked about a 24 hour demonstration that is planned for when the hostilities (isn't that such a polite word for "killing"?) begins.

Someone led the group in singing "Thls Little Light of Mine" and then the crowd dispersed. It had stopped raining long ago, but my bike seat was soaked and I squished as we rode back home again.

When the weekend came to an end, I had attended my first two peace demonstrations and though it feels like something ineffectual, it felt like the right thing to have done.

Quote of the Day

Go without hate, but not without rage.  Change the world.

~ Paul Monette

Today's Photo

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One Year Ago
Be on the Alert!
Now, call me crazy, but I've always been able to tell when it's hot, or sunny, or rainy. I wasn't aware that I needed a tower to help me figure it out.

Two Years Ago
Look Out, Martha
She's at it Again

Oh, I’m afraid it’s time to tackle the Boy Scouts of America again. I don’t hate Boy Scouts. I love Boy Scouts. I just hate their leaders. Especially I hate their Executives.

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Pounds Lost:  71.6
(this figure is updated on Tuesdays)

On the Odometer

URL Total 747.5
Blue Angel Total 776.3
2003 YTD Cumulative:  299.6

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