Critters Photo Storytelling

Cali is a Fan

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cai-sits-on-dyson-fan-heater-box

Happy Caturday! The wayward Dyson fan-heater I wrote about yesterday finally arrived—and, of course, Cali claimed immediate ownership over the box. Hours later she vacated, and the thing is set up by my desk. I shot the pic using iPhone 7 Plus. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/30 sec, 3.99mm.

Speaking of felines, a tuxedo furball featured in my series the Cats of University of Heights is missing—or so I’m convinced. I posted her portrait, shot three days earlier, on Nov. 4, 2016, giving nickname Patience. If the same kitty, she is called Meja, and she disappeared on November 25th. Today, I saw lost cat signs posted on the same street where I captured her image.

As the unofficial cat photographer of the neighborhood, I’m on the hunt for Meja. May she return home safe to her owners.

Living

Where’s My Dyson?

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FedEx

Should I blame FedEx or the shipper? For Cyber Monday, Dyson discounted a combo fan/heater by $200. The rust and grey color, while a little odd, fits my workspace, and I placed an order expecting three business day delivery. Overnight, arrival pushed from today to tomorrow, and that’s okay because tracking the package is fun; the USA has some strangely named cities.

First off, I rarely track packages. They arrive when they arrive. No amount of time dumped down the “Where is it now? waste bin will accelerate delivery. But in a casual peak, the splendor—no, no oddity—of the route traveled tickled my synaptic pathways.  Read More

Media Money News Media

Outrageous! Digital Wall Street Journal Costs 708% More Today Than Did My First Subscription!

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Money Monopoly

As a journalist, I appreciate the importance of paying for quality journalism—but my budget only can absorb so many paywall subscriptions. I am disappointed to, once again, abandon the digital Wall Street Journal. Cost is too high. I resubscribed this year for a 6-month, election special promotional rate of $87—and received great value. The Journal became my newspaper of record during the brutal, belabored, blood-sucking Presidential campaign.

My sub would have auto-renewed on December 9th. But for how much? Nowhere (that I can find) does the account page disclose this vital information. So yesterday afternoon, I called customer service and received a shock that required the guy to repeat the renewal amount four times. Surely I misunderstood him: $98.97 for three months. That’s $395.88 per year! I pleaded for a deal and got one that isn’t low enough: $130.44 for six months. The WSJ rep compared the monthly costs for the incredible savings: $21.74, rather than $32.99 monthly. But as I told him, the meaningful comparison is to my other paid papers (digitally).  Read More

Digital Lifestyle Media Mobility Science

Say Goodbye to Nature, iPad

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nature

One of the main reasons I own an iPad is the NatureJournals app. Subscription to the fantastic, scientific publication is about $35 per year—versus $200 in print—and the presentation and convenience are outstanding. But the end is nye. Yesterday an alert flashed across the home screen about Nature Publishing suspending development, so I emailed for clarification.

Response arrived today from an account rep: “Unfortunately continued development and technical support for the NatureJournals app has become fiscally unviable and we have therefore made a decision to retire the app”. Bwaaaah! I’m not exactly shocked. How many people read scientific journals in apps? Surely I’m an oddball, and how many others like me can there be? Sigh, the subscription deal was too good to last. Read More

Critters Photo

The Cats of University Heights: Poser

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Tuxedo Cat

There is nothing like lush greenery and ground following heavy rains. Yesterday morning, between downpours, I walked down Campus, where beyond Van Dyke a black-and-white surprise waited. Such a beauty she is, too. The tuxedo furball posed for me and iPhone 7 Plus.

Against the clinging vine and fresh grass, one could easily mistake this Southern California home for the side of a French farmhouse. But the Bird of Paradise creeping in the upper right hints at more tropical locale.  Read More

Critters Photo

The Cats of University Heights: Scratch

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White Cat

Yesterday, while taking a break from writing analysis “You’ve Been Misled About Fake News“, I walked to clear my thinking. I turned down Delaware for a looksee into the canyon, when white flashed in my peripheral. I stepped back to see a furball scratching at a house door to be let in. When she heard my approach down the street, she turned.

I captured the moment with iPhone 7 Plus, at 2:13 p.m. PST. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 20, 1/176 sec, 6.6mm. The day was mostly overcast—better lighting than typical San Diego sun.

In case you missed them, meet: ScruffyRoly PolyCalicoSkullBiscuitThe ColonelWhiteChipper,  Frisky, Stretch, Needy, Farfisa, Mates, Hunter, Pee-PeeBlue, Blue Too, Bonded PairPatience, Fess, Jumper, Frenemy, Looker, Cozy, Scout, Lurks, Skit, Bengal, Betty, Black and White, Stalker, Bell, Chill, and Sammy.

bad news Blogging Ethics Fakes Free Speech Journalism Media New Media News Media Politics Social Media

You’ve Been Misled About Fake News

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Angry

I am ashamed and embarrassed to be a journalist. This past week’s coordinated attacks on so-called fake news sites—largely orchestrated by the mainstream media and supported by Internet gatekeepers like Google and social media consorts such as Facebook or Twitter—is nothing less than an assault on free speech by organizations that should protect it.

They blame so-called fake news sites for influencing the 2016 Presidential election in favor of real-estate mogul Donald Trump and seek to extinguish them. But the Fourth Estate really responds to a perceived threat that looks to upend the mainstream media status quo. More appalling is the rampant advocacy journalism wrapped in cloak of objectivity from news orgs like the New York Times and the Washington Post. Meaning: Anti-Trump editorial policy and reporting slants are as biased as the labeled fakers. Worst of all: Many, if not most, media outlets fail to acknowledge, if even see, how they failed the American public during the campaign. Their accusations should point inwardly, not outwardly to other information disseminators.

So there is no misunderstanding: I am not a rabid Trump supporter, but a journalist who separates personal sentiments from my ethical responsibilities. More of my peers should do likewise. Read More

Critters Photo

The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Sammy

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sammy

Sammy is so special she gets second treatment as special guest to our neighborhood series. Should you ever visit The Hub plaza in Hillcrest, which is adjacent to University Heights, stop by DC Computers. If you’re lucky, a slanky tuxedo furball will be relaxed along a wall—or perhaps she will be in the side room, door ajar, where is her cat tree.

Call her mascot or store mouser. Sammy came to the Mac and PC sales/service shop as a six-week old kitten more than five years ago. Yesterday, one of the clerks pointed to an iMac keyboard, where the little thing lay her first day as a resident. She stays inside even when the outside doors are wide open during the summer heat.  Read More

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Chill

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Chill Cat

On Nov. 5, 2016, my wife Anne and I walked down Adams Ave. and back to Monroe by way of Arizona, where we spotted a kitty who receives my nickname Chill. We had crossed Texas Street, which is where the neighborhood of University Heights ends and North Park begins. As such, the feline really doesn’t belong in this series, but being so handsome how could he be excluded? I captured the moment at 4:36 p.m. PDT using iPhone 7 Plus. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/190 sec, 3.99mm.

The other furry felines featured previously: ScruffyRoly PolyCalicoSkullBiscuitThe ColonelWhiteChipper,  Frisky, Stretch, Needy, Farfisa, Mates, Hunter, Pee-PeeBlue, Blue Too, Bonded PairPatience, Fess, Jumper, Frenemy, Looker, Cozy, Scout, Lurks, Skit, Bengal, Betty, Black and White, Stalker, and Bell.

Critters Photo

The Cats of University Heights: Bell

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Neighborhood Cat Bell

One month ago, I began this series depicting furballs roaming around my neighborhood. The postings will continue but at slower pace than one-a-day. Hell, how many domestic cats can there be here? I don’t expect to find many more new ones. But who knows?

Today’s portrait is a kitty I call Bell (real name unknown). The capture was a rare street-side sighting, at Cleveland and Monroe, shot on June 28, 2014, at 6:47 p.m. PDT using Nokia Lumia Icon. The cat more typically is seen on Kuma’s Ledge, which is visible from the bedroom window that looks down the alley behind our apartment building. I haven’t seen Bell for a few months, though. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 100, 0.04032 sec.

Also featured: ScruffyRoly PolyCalicoSkullBiscuitThe ColonelWhiteChipper,  Frisky, Stretch, Needy, Farfisa, Mates, Hunter, Pee-PeeBlue, Blue Too, Bonded PairPatience, Fess, Jumper, Frenemy, Looker, Cozy, Scout, Lurks, Skit, Bengal, Betty, Black and White, and Stalker.

Critters Photo

The Cats of University Heights: Stalker

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stalker-cat

Where are all these kitties coming from? For years, I hardly spotted any in the neighborhood, and now they appear quite unexpectedly—as did Stalker (my name for him) on Nov. 12, 2016. My wife and I walked along Campus Ave. to her dad’s apartment, when Anne saw the slinky, skinny cat in the distance. I pulled out iPhone 7 Plus, getting off three shots. I vertically cropped two horizontals into a single montage.

I shot both photos at 4:16 p.m. PST, against fading light as the 4:48 p.m. sunset approached. Vitals for both images: f/2.8, ISO 64, 1/60 sec, 6.6mm

The other featured beautiful beasts: ScruffyRoly PolyCalicoSkullBiscuitThe ColonelWhiteChipper,  Frisky, Stretch, Needy, Farfisa, Mates, Hunter, Pee-PeeBlue, Blue Too, Bonded PairPatience, Fess, Jumper, Frenemy, Looker, Cozy, Scout, Lurks, Skit, Bengal, Betty, and Black and White.

Apple Gear Mobility

New MacBook Pro is ‘Wow’

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macbook-pro-2016

A few hours after setting up 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, I can tell you who it’s for. Surely you wondered, and maybe you even considered this pricey portable to be an insane release. Mea culpa, for thinking something similar. But no longer. The laptop lives up to my early expectations—and more.

I ordered new MBP, after serious deliberation, the day Apple announced it; Oct. 27, 2016. Better to get into the front of queue before backorders begin and cancel later should there be second thoughts. Or third. Or fourth. I had them. Often. But in the end took the risk. Apple Store indicated my order would arrive sometime between November 17 and 24. However, after shipping on the 13th, delivery date revised to the 16th but the beauty arrived today. Oh La La.  Read More