After rummaging through old photos, I wonder why I didn’t post here this flyer fluttering against the breeze. Perhaps the pic was discarded for lacking clarity. But three years later, I value the dreamy soft […]
Tuxedos sure are popular in the neighborhood. Meet the twenty-secondnth to appear in the series, which follows a reclassification allowing kitties with more mixed black-and-white coats. Yesterday, while walking along Florida from Meade to Mission, I heard meowing—the tenor like a feline asking to be let in. I unintentionally passed by the sound, then backtracked, finding the shorthair, who earns nickname Mew, peering down cement steps.
Looking up at the kitty, I felt a pang. While one is safe, another is not. On Feb. 16, 2018, according to a post on NextDoor, a Tuxedo was hit and killed by a vehicle at Cleveland Ave. and Washington Street. Unless some beastie wandered many blocks, the Tuxedo is unlikely to be one previously profiled: Black and White, Boss, Bright, Buddies, Cal, Captain Blackbeard, Charm, Curious, Fraidy, Fresh, Jellicle, Lola, Mittens, Nine, Patience, Pepe, Poser, Sammy, Spot, Seer, and Tux.
For some odd reason, there is an increasing number of kitty-in-the-window sightings, recently, so expect several more ahead. We celebrate Caturday with this handsome black that looked out onto Meade Ave. between Alabama and Florida streets as I walked by this morning.
I hesitated to attempt a portrait, because of the greenery before the glass and my inability to manually focus. I had an ophthalmologist appointment yesterday, and my shooting eye (left) isn’t quite recovered from the dilation (hence, vision not normally sharp yet). But, what the Hell? I had Leica Q with me for a reason.
While walking this morning—for fresh air and exercise on a promised 20-degree celsius day—I passed a couple and dog sitting on a patio, along Mission Cliffs. The woman’s blue, highlighted hair rapped my attention. She is one among several matronly, grey-haired ladies I have seen colored this way. Is that a style now?
I passed, paused, and after a minute mustering courage turned around, approached, and asked to take their portrait. Because of a fence, and distance to the two, I couldn’t capture closeup as would be my preference. Her hair and accompanying scarf and his eyeglasses—pretty much everything about them—stylishly appealed to me. I pulled up Leica Q, and they posed.
Where do they come from—all these putty-tats on Alabama? I have spent more time walking along Campus, Cleveland, or Maryland, for example, and they can’t, combined, match the number of beasties living on—like the Lynyrd Skynyrd song—”Sweet Home Alabama”. Meet the thirteenth cat from the street to appear in the series; there are four others that I have sighted but not presented, for poor photographs or none yet made. Surely, there are more.
The others (so far): Bella, Burglar, Cal, Goldie, Itchy Valentino, Laramie, Lupe, Mr. Kitty, Monkey, Nine, Smokey, and Willow. The newest member of the SHA Club earns nickname Tipsy, because the tip of her tail is bent as if it had been broken but healed crooked. She wore a striking pink collar but without ID tag (damn it). Tipsy and I visited yesterday morning, about midway between Mission and Madison.
Park Blvd. and Mission is a spot where I hadn’t seen flower sellers until this overly pink and red holiday. (Cough, cough, can you believe Pizza Hut sells heart-shaped pies with chocolate-chip cookie or brownie bundle? Hey, baby, let’s make some love handles!) I passed by the gent, then backtracked and asked if I could snap a portrait. He agreed. Obviously.
I am not a flash fan but there are times when fill-flash would be helpful—like when the subject stands under a shady tarp, surrounded by blaring sunlight. Even with manual controls, my amateur inexperience couldn’t manually adjust aperture or exposure compensation enough. That’s where post-production editing of the RAW remedies.
What is it about Tuxedo kitties looking from windows? Are they more likely to stare out than other furballs? Are there more of them living in the neighborhood? Oh, how I wonder. Among the thirteen other watchers featured so far in this series, four are Tuxes: Charm, Curious, Fresh, and Seer. Meet the fifth, whom I nickname Cal, for no particular reason. Seeing his collar, with tag and bells, I’d guess we might meet outdoors some day.
If my count is correct, Cal is the eleventh cat confirmed to reside along Alabama Street between Adams Ave. and Lincoln—that I have featured. There are at least three others of which I’m aware; I recently spotted one going into the apartment across from Cal’s place on the block between The Boulevard and Meade. I haven’t gotten a good photo of that puss. Yet.
HomePod arrived yesterday at 9:40 a.m. PST; thank-you UPS for prompt delivery of my preorder. The device replaces Google Home, which will be dispatched to a new owner (hopefully), via Craigslist or NextDoor. Perhaps Big G’s assistant would have satisfied more if I lived the Google lifestyle like during my Android and Chromebook days. But I walk the Apple Way today, for better or for worse.
My initial reaction: Wow and uh-oh. The wow harkens back to the original iPod, which Apple released in October 2001. The company’s design ethic treated the overall experience as the user interface: Attach FireWire cable to Mac and device, music syncs. iTunes manages music on the Mac; for iPod, a simple scroll-wheel navigates tracks displayed on a small screen. The uncomplicated and understated approach defied the UX of every other MP3 sold by all other manufacturers. HomePod is a defining, roots-return that’s well-deserving of the portion of name in common with its forebear; both share in common emphasis on music listening as primary benefit.
Along Adams Ave., just beyond Panorama, a ginger tabby sprinted across a yard to greet my wife and I, yesterday. The maturing kitten delighted us with his enthusiasm and exuberance. He visited until the roar of a passing city bus compelled retreat under one of two vehicles parked in the driveway.
The kit had no collar, and so no name tag. I dub him Buddy, because of his friendliness. He would make a good companion to us or anyone—and of course hopefully to his owners. Buddy wouldn’t be the first young cat that I’ve seen roaming without a collar, only to wear one as an adult. Surely he belongs to someone.
Another benefit using Leica Q, or any camera without GPS built-in: Location information isn’t captured with photos, and, as such, cannot easily be made available across the Wild Wild Web (yes, that’s what the WWW really represents). I know, from memory, that the Featured Image was shot somewhere along Adams Ave. in San Diego’s Normal Heights neighborhood. But I can’t exactly recall where.
Perhaps because kitties are so popular on the Internet, nearly four-year-old website “I Know Where Your Cat Lives” uses them to make a privacy point, by showing how pics shared online reveal location. Ah, like your residence! “Hey, Look. That’s Jack’s living room, and there’s Frisky”.
While walking along Kansas from 30th Street in North Park towards the University Heights boundary at Texas, I spotted 21-cents change on the sidewalk. I moved about 10 steps before turning back—not to grab the coins but to capture the moment with Leica Q. Why leave dime, nickels, and penny? Doing so is a more interesting story than taking them.
I wondered why the change remained. Had no little kids, or perhaps someone homeless, come by? Surely 21 cents would mean something to someone. Were the coins maybe embedded in the cement (I didn’t check)? Who had left them there? Were they an accidental loss that kept little Johnny from buying ice cream at the corner store? Maybe they were dropped by someone so wealthy picking them up wasn’t worth the time? Oh the questions the forlorn change raised from its fallen, forgotten state.
There are days I long for a reliable, interchangeable-lens mirrorless digital camera, like the Fujifilm X-T2, from which a good telephoto could close the distance to a subject. Then again, I doubt whether such a sophisticated instrument could capture such fine feline. The Summilux 28mm f/1.7 lens of the Leica Q may seem to shoot too wide, but precise manual focus let me cut through branches and full-frame sensor later made possible a moment from close-in crop.
I took the Featured Image and its companion yesterday afternoon, along Florida Street, soon after crossing Howard towards Polk. The kitty was a chance sighting and difficult capture. As I passed a cement wall, with overgrown hedge above, I spotted the cat through the branches, waiting outside a door to be let in.