Tag: San Diego

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The Cats of University Heights: Apple

What other nickname could I possibly give this fine feline than Apple? Luckily somebody isn’t putting paws to keyboard. Eh? Among the 148 kitty profiles since the series started in October 2016, Apple is the seventeenth behind a window. But the first sighting was beyond a door, few weeks back—and I almost tried to get a portrait then. But distance and rudness shooting deep inside the apartment kept my finger from the shutter. Hehe, but not yesterday.

I captured the Featured Image and its companion at 3:48 p.m PDT, along Mississippi Street between Adams and Madison, using Leica M (Typ 262) with Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens. Vitals for both, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/2000 sec, 50mm. I shot the second photo first and the other immediately after, when Apple turned. The closeup is a crop; the longer-distance portrait is framed by the window edges. I let Adobe Lightroom Classic CC auto-adjust both. 

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My Leica M (Typ 262) Adventure Begins

I am no fan of Daylight Saving Time, which commenced today. Grumble. But warm breeze and sunlight pouring through billowing clouds, following heavy rains, made me want to walk—and carry along the Leica M (Typ 262); I need to practice manual focusing on the camera, which has been in my possession for a scant three days.

While the rangefinder pleases, a few gripes are unavoidable: Either my focusing skills are really bad, or the Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens that came with the Oberwerth Set isn’t as sharp as the Summilux 28mm f/1.7 lens built into Leica Q. The aperture ring is a bit too smooth for me, such that I inadvertently change the f-stop when moving the manual focus knob. Someday, soon hopefully, muscle memory will keep stray fingers off the Summarit lens. What did I say about the importance of practice? Eh? 

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The Cats of University Heights: Bob

The morning is unusually cloudy and damp here in San Diego as this otherwise fine Caturday unfolds. Meet Bob (real name), whom I encountered on March 7, 2018 along Cliff Street, where he lives. Initially, I thought he was the putty-tat I call Buddy, from nearby Adams Ave., but closer photo inspection reveals they are not the same animal.

A woman taking her daughter to school gave me Bob’s name, and she said that he belongs to one of her neighbors. He surely is a friendly puss. Bengal Abby also lives somewhere on the street. She will appear in the series when I finally capture a portrait worthy of her beauty. Currently, I am zero for four attempts. 

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San Diego Bike Invasion

Like mushrooms suddenly appearing after the rain, ride-sharing bicycles are popping up all around my neighborhood (University Heights East) as well as North Park—and from two separate providers: LimeBike and Ofo. The sightings started several weeks ago, one or two, here or there. Now these things are absolutely everywhere!

The Featured Image makes the point. In the foreground, at Alabama and Madison, two Ofos are parked, while across the way—go ahead, count `em—another four can be seen. Out of view are two more further along towards Adams Ave. Photo vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 8:31 a.m. PST, today. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Penny

Another day, another Alabama kitty. They’re backing up, as I seek better portraits of other recently sighted furballs. Penny (her real name) is the fourteenth feline featured in the series from the street. The others (so far): Bella, Burglar, Cal, Goldie, Itchy Valentino, Laramie, LupeMr. Kitty, MonkeyNine, Smokey, Tipsy, and Willow.

Penny is kind of a courtyard cat. She doesn’t venture into the apartment building’s public area, but she does occasionally look out from the window onto a large tree that attracts birds. Smokey, who lives two houses away, is a common (and beloved) trespasser. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Mew

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, BrightBuddiesCal, Captain BlackbeardCharm, Curious, FraidyFresh, JellicleLola, Mittens, NinePatience, PepePoser, Sammy, SpotSeer, and Tux

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The Cats of University Heights: Peek

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

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You’re Never Too Old

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.

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The Cats of University Heights: Tipsy

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, LupeMr. Kitty, MonkeyNine, 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. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Cal

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, CuriousFresh, 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. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Buddy

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

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The Coins I Left Behind

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.