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Delivery @Work

What more appropriate timing than the first few days following Black Friday (ah, weekend) to unveil the next @Work Android Collectible: Logistics / Mail / Delivery / Messenger. All that sales-crazed ordering means massive movement of goods from warehouses to your doorstep. Amazon, FedEx, and UPS trucks are everywhere in my San Diego neighborhood, this week.

Look both ways before crossing streets; the drivers rush from address to address. Do be polite and get out of the way, when the delivery dude or dame appears on sidewalk or stairs carrying a stack of boxes.

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The Pole Star

The Featured Image won’t win nature photography awards, particularly from pixel-peepers. But it is testimony, once more, that the best camera is the one with you. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra takes credit, or demerits, for this one, only made possible by the 10x-optical zoom.

This afternoon, two parrots squawked across Mission, at Georgia, in my San Diego of University Heights. I walked beneath the one on a pole. The other could be heard, but not seen, in a palm tree. Ten minutes to sunset, last rays shone just enough on the bird.

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Live at Winslow?

Opening of the 379-unit apartment building—along Park Blvd between El Cajon and Meade—continues to reverberate across my neighborhood of University Heights and nearby Hillcrest and North Park. Winslow’s rentals reset the comparative market rate—a term that I loathe—that other landlords would use to charge their tenants, exiting or new, more.

Another impact is the building, which fills one full block and dramatically changes the character of that stretch of Park Blvd. The residential complex, and other newer multi-unit structures, also increase congestion and traffic—oh, let’s not forget competition for parking spots.

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San Diego is No. 1 Among ‘US Cities with the Worst Parking Availability’

America’s “finest city” once again claims a dubious crown. Among the others: Rents higher than San Francisco and being named the country’s most unaffordable city. FINN, which offers cars on a subscription basis (I know, seriously), delivers another unwanted trophy: “San Diego, Calif., comes out as the worst city in the US for parking, with a measly score of just 0.66 out of 10”. Really, the score is that high? I would expect even lower.

San Diego government officials are convinced that increased population density is the cure to all the city’s problems with housing (Hillcrest and Mission Valley are expansion examples). Let’s see, more people mean more cars, thus less parking. Current zoning permits new residential construction without provided parking if within half-mile of public transit (e.g. city bus). More high-rises mean more people with cars and greater need for parking that isn’t. Then there are the bike lanes, which are being added everywhere and parking spots removed as accommodation.

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Hummingbird Visits

Patience pays, but I couldn’t wait to share the somewhat obscured hummingbird with you—four days ago. This afternoon, the same hummer, or another, frolicked about the Bird of Paradise outside my office window. These shots, all from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and through the double-pain glass, are what I wanted on Nov. 20, 2023.

The Featured Image is the last taken of the set. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 64, 1/120 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 1:10 p.m. PST.

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The Immeasurable Value of Books

The third weekend each month, the book sale room opens at the University Heights branch of San Diego Public Library. Of course, I would forget and come happenstance while walking somewhere else on Sunday about 90 minutes before closure. Inside I went, searching for older titles to take home.

Current cultural, progressive values are imposed all about us, with the greatest casualty being history and how the past is revised and censored to match these same norms. The Telegraph gives good example with Nov. 20, 2023 story (headline and dek): “Roman emperor was trans, says museum. Elagabalus will be referred to as she after claims in classical texts that the emperor asked to be called ‘lady’. Except: “Some historians believe these accounts may simply have been a Roman attempt at character assassination”.

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Hello Samsung, Goodbye SanDisk

During Black Friday week 2022, I bought from Amazon several SanDisk SSDs—2TB Extreme Pro. The discounted selling price is even lower this year. But I have decided to retire all. My experience with the drives is nothing short of satisfaction. But throughout 2023, I have read numerous blogs, forum posts, and news stories about SanDisk drive failures resulting in loss of data. Every time I connect Extreme Pro to my laptop, I am nagged by feeling of playing Russian Roulette.

Consider this chilling headline from PetaPixel, in August: “SanDisk Portable SSDs Are Failing So Frequently, We Can No Longer Recommend Them“. Or this one from The Verge: “We just lost 3TB of data on a SanDisk Extreme SSD“, with dek “My colleague Vjeran is furious”. The big bombshell, just 10 days ago: “SanDisk Extreme Pro Failures Result From Design and Manufacturing Flaws, Says Data Recovery Firm” (Tom’s Hardware re-reporting from German Site FutureZone).

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Not This Stingray But Another

To the owner of this Corvette, Stingray is a classic car. To me, it’s a kids TV show (circa 1964). Developed by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, the British sci-fi, underwater adventure combines sophisticated puppetry and models in a production style/technique known as Supermarionation. Stingray is a program most Americans of any age wouldn’t know, nor its contemporaries like Captain Scarlet or Fireball XL5—although the latter was broadcast on this side of the pond by NBC.

But many of these same people easily could know Thunderbirds, which popularity extended beyond the 1960s into the modern era, with several follow-on series and even a live-action feature film. As a kid, I watched all the Anderson Supermarionation shows. You might wonder how, seeing as I am American and, with the exception of aforementioned Fireball XL5, none of them was broadcast in the States.

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Hummingbird of Paradise

During a break from sporadic showers on Nov. 15, 2023, I stood at my office desk surveying the street while studying. A bird of paradise, situated just outside the window, attracted a hummingbird seeking nectar.

Over the course of an hour, I made numerous attempts to nab a good shot of the hummer, which repeatedly flew off. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra shutter is plenty fast enough for the task. But movement, like lifting the smartphone, scared off the little bird. So I don’t have a full-feather shot or fluttering about.

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Hanging Houses

A quick, placeholder post replaces the one previously planned. In uncharacteristic fashion, Cali made a bed out of my lap tonight—and I let her. The other musing, dealing with today’s experience at the San Diego Library book sale, must wait.

These bird houses hang from one of two young trees planted where were a magnificent pair of Canary Island Date Palms. A few years ago, the city chopped down both, after the dreaded South American Palm Weevil infected them. Causalities are too many in my neighborhood of University Heights. I still mourn the palm that had been across the street from my office window and which similarly had to be destroyed

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The Cats of University Heights: Pilgrim

As we walked together along Louisiana on this fine Caturday, my wife spotted a tabby dart across the street nearby where both Ash and Nelson have been photographed. New kitty sightings are rare along that particular block—my guess because more single-family homes than apartments means less turnover of residents.

The shorthair wouldn’t tolerate close approach, so I used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra‘s 10x lens to capture the Featured Image and companion. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 50, 1/220 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 11 a.m. PST. The other is the same but 1/120 sec.

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Deciduous Delight

Six weeks or so since my last haircut and sports medicine specialist appointment today compelled me to get a trim yesterday afternoon from the Barber of Seville, who at 80ish continues to cut clients’ mops. His shop is located along the main business blocks of Park Blvd in University Heights.

I was on time, but George was late—focused on another customer who dragged out the cut with conversation. While waiting outside, I marveled at the turning colors of leaves on several trees. San Diego’s mild Mediterranean climate and Southern latitude (for the Northern Hemisphere) typically mean later-year seasonal change for deciduous trees. Leaves bursting with color, and being shed, is something seen in December for sure. November timing grabbed my attention.