Friday, January 13, 2006

Time and Temperature

A few times a year I go to the doctor's office for a check-up. When my old physician retired I started seeing Larry Katz, M.D. Larry seemed like the kind of guy I could relate to, and wasn't put off by the fact that I "know too much" about medicine because I was married to a doctor once. His office was only a few blocks from my girlfriend's house and I was living there, which was probably the deciding factor in seeing him. I split up with the girlfriend a dozen years later and moved back into my own house, but I still use Larry as my doctor.

My ex-wife doctor with whom I maintain a civil relationship is now practicing in South Carolina-otherwise I'd probably see her.

In this photo, I am going through the routine of having my vital signs checked by the office nurse before seeing the doctor. She's just finished telling me "no tricks this time please", referring to the first time she took my "time and temperature" and was convinced that I nearly had the blood pressure of a corpse.

Years ago when I did a lot of pistol shooting I learned how to calm myself down like that to get a steadier aim, and need I say it helps with 1/15 sec and over exposures, which I must say I'm pretty good at. I can also send it instantly higher than what should be normal. Because of this talent, I'm not sure that I've had an accurate reading in years. I always seem to manage giving them one in the "normal range" and I'm not so sure it isn't with some effort on my part!

The ability to calm myself that much is useful when I'm shooting the camera at very slow shutter speeds. 1/8 or 1/15 with a 35 on my Leica is no problem, and slower than that I can usually get 1 out of 3 that's more than sharp enough for publication, even down to 1/2 if I lean against a building or post, or brace my elbows on the table. With the 15mm on the Bessa I shoot a lot of those self-portraits at arms length at 1/15, sometimes as low as 1/4, but we're back to the shoot 3 and try for the 1 that's sharp enough.

The nurse finished up with me, Larry asked me a mess of questions, as usual, about the medication and doseage that the neurologist had switched me to. He muttered "You shouldn't be driving on that stuff!" It's our routine. Right after he says that I remind him that the neurologist tells me not to risk driving unless I am taking it!

Talk about a second opinion. He renewed my prescriptions as usual, and told me to cut back on fatty foods. And that finished up our visit, his examination, and often, my allowance for the month!

I wrote the check for the visit and off I went.


Anonymous Mike Connealy said...

Great stories and pictures on this blog. Your w/a self-portraits remind me of the perspective I get from my pinhole, though it would take some speedy film to hand-hold.

12:28 PM  
Blogger James Mitchell said...

Great stuff here, Al. You mention my name, but no pics, huh?

3:58 AM  

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