Ploafmaster General

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Today is my first day on this silly thing call the "Primary On-Call" rotation at work. This means I have to carry around an insipid Blackberry that may or may not buzz and ding repeatedly for the next week. It could even squawk at me in the middle of the night.

Now I'm told it's not so bad - I'm basically a communication hub, passing information about emergencies and their causes/resolutions to the appropriate parties. But I'm anxious, none-the-less. Anxious because at any second, any time of day, I may have to stop what I'm doing and spend an unknown amount of time shepherding the story of a problem through its lifespan. But really, I'm anxious that on this coming Saturday I'll be interrupted by the stupid Blackberry when I'm trying to make prints in the darkroom during my final day of the large format photography workshop I'm in.

That class, by the way, has been spectacular in its initial two days. If only for the enthusiasm of the teacher and my fellow students, it's been refreshing and inspiring. All 6 of us students are in love with film photography, and the teacher is an extraordinarily knowledgeable professional with a similar mixture of technical and creative emphasis to me. We spent Saturday learning the basics of the view camera movements and their effects on the image, and we spent some time learning to use a light meter to place our subjects within the desired range of the Zone System. Sunday was spent out on the grounds of the VMFA actually using the cameras to take photographs. As I already indicated, this coming Saturday is about printing from our 4x5 negatives. I can't freakin' wait.

So that's a summary of the past few days, pretty much. This weekend also sees the arrival of my wife's sister - typically a herald of many fun times to be had - so Valerie and I are both looking forward to that.

No emergency calls yet, but I feel like that Blackberry is giving me dirty looks...