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Louisiana Loafing

More manual focus practice is needed with the Leica M10. While walking late this afternoon, as such, I honed in on the Louisiana sign, where the street crosses Monroe Ave., in my San Diego neighborhood.

Taken with Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens attached, the Featured Image is composed as shot. I pulled back highlights to draw out the clouds, but otherwise contrast, dynamic range, etc. are straight up; no adjustments, post-production. Vitals: f/4, ISO 100, 1/180 sec, 50mm; 5:53 p.m. PDT. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Donuts

Eleven days ago, I spotted for the first time a handsome, and lanky, tiger tabby resting in the driveway of a home on Louisiana between Adams and Madison. While we greeted one another on other days, he presented best profile opportunity—and our Featured Image—during that first meeting.

I wanted to immediately add the shorthair to the series but waited, hoping to get his name. For the next week, I purposely walked by the property in search of an owner, whose acquaintance I finally made on May 15, 2018. The eleven year-old cat is Donuts—yes, plural, which makes sense to me, strangely. Donuts’ dad also is from Maine, but down south in Bethel (I grew up in Caribou). It’s a cultural thing. Your sweet thing isn’t singular but in abundance.

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The Cats of University Heights: Ghost

Since April 4, 2018, I have sought a close-quarters portrait of a massive light-grey longhair that lives in the yard of a house along Florida Street near Adams Ave. The kitty earns nickname Ghost, by appearing for one meaningful moment—on the 12th, along with Coon—and not since. I delayed profiling both furfalls, and companion Wily, waiting for another opportunity. I haven’t seen Ghost since.

I used Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens to shoot the Featured Image. Vitals: f/5.6 or f/8, ISO 100, 1/60 sec, 50mm; 8:13 a.m. PDT. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Coon

Along Florida Street, near Adams Ave., is a house with spacious yard where live at least three fairly large felines—and quite possibly, from reviewing photos, four, if not more. Two days ago, we met the tiger tabby nicknamed Wily. The second, I call Coon. If not a Maine Coon, the longhair is size of one.

Among the three different confirmed cats, Coon is the most frequently seen round about the yard. I have stalked the kitty for more than a month, seeking the right portrait—a task that distance and reach of the Leica Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens hampers. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Wily

For more than a month, I have stalked what looked like one large feline but turned out to be three in a lush yard near where Florida meets Adams. Finally, you will meet them, as they are presented consecutively.

We begin with the one seen first, crossing an alley around April 2, 2018. Two days later, I returned to the area, discovered the nearby lovely kitty habitat, and started shooting portraits of his compatriots. The Featured Image and companion were taken on the 28th, using Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens. I nickname the kitty Wily, for avoiding my camera for so long and posing on his (or her) terms. 

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The Worm in Apple’s App Store

Earlier today, I needed to get Skype onto my iPhone X to receive an overseas call. So I hauled over to the App Store, like any sensible iOS user would do. I was shocked—absolutely floored—to see an advert for Google Duo taking up about half the screen, and appearing above Skype.

You got to ask how many people end up downloading the upper one instead. I don’t often go to the App Store and wonder: How long has been this kind of aggressive placement? Looks like since the recent redesign. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Stella

The next four featured felines are those for which I shot passible portraits that were held back with hope of making something better. Time is come to let them loose, like we did with Abby the Bengal, who was profiled one week ago. First among them is Stella—and that is her real name—whose likeness I captured with Leica Q on March 6, 2018 at 11:35 a.m. PST.

On other occasions, I had seen Stella looking out the screen door of a house on Monroe near Alabama but unsuccessfully captured the moment. On this morning, her owner was inside with her, and I asked about taking her photo. “Everyone does”, he answered, opening the door and trying to coax the fluffball outside. She wouldn’t budge. 

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Your Behavior Stinks!

A few days ago, BetaNews Managing Editor Wayne Williams emailed asking if I could contribute content after being silent for ages, especially as the site’s 20th anniversary approaches. He doesn’t fathom the potential terror that request will unleash.

I have written a total of two tech stories for BN in 2018—surely to the delight of my many commenter critics. Reason: Joe Wilcox is on a self-imposed writing hiatus as he looks distrustfully at the many so-called innovations that he championed during a 25-year technology reporting career. He is disgusted to see how we have become commodities stored in the pantries kept by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and most every other advert-licking,  AI-snorting, location-tracking, tech purveyor of promises looking to consume us for profit. Burp. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Kitty

While walking from Adams Ave. along Mississippi, on May 7, 2018, my wife and I met a delightful—and chatty—woman originally from Uruguay out with her two small dogs, which had just returned from their weekly bath. What happy little pups were they! Blind, too, she told us—not that their handicap was obvious as they scurried about, tales wagging with enough swish to generate breeze. 🙂

Near the natural end of our conversation, a gorgeous long-hair tortoiseshell walked out from behind a car. Neighbors, including the friendly lady with the pooches, call her Kitty, but the owner might use another name. Kitty is good enough for today. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Abby

For months, I have pursued Abby, looking to capture a portrait worthy of her beauty. Time has come to go with what I have. She is too wily a rascal for my amateur photographic skills.

The Featured Image starts where sightings began, on Jan. 23, 2018, in a yard on Adams Ave. where she hangs out but doesn’t live. A resident confirmed her name. I captured the moment with iPhone X, using the second camera to 2X zoom. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/873 sec, 6mm; 12:47 p.m. PST. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Choontzy

I really shouuld spend more time looking for alley cats—those that wander along the parallel throughways behind most buildings in the neighborhood. Had I, Choontzy, who also goes by Chootzy, surely would have joined the series sooner than this breezy Monday.

He is the first invited cat, so to speak. Last week, on the NextDoor social network, someone posted inquiring about friendly Snowshoe Willow, whose December 2017 profile I linked to in the replies. Among the responses, Choontzy’s caretaker expressed appreciation for the series and desire for him to join it. So, of course, I went on the hunt for the elder tuxedo—eighteen years old, like Gracie and Precious