Author: Joe Wilcox

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You Do Know That Spook Day Has Come and Gone?

Call me a nasty nitpicker. Go ahead, I won’t be offended. You won’t trigger me. I won’t cower and cry: “You make me feel afraid”, like words are acts of violence. By the way, are you as bothered as I by people who do respond in such a way? The described reaction is the epitome of narcissism—of me first behavior.

Oh, and what is my nitpick? The Halloween sign in the Featured Image, which I captured on Dec. 4, 2023 about an event that occurred more than a month earlier. The poster hangs on the playground fence of Garfield Elementary, which is located in San Diego neighborhood North Park. Maybe the sign should come down, rather than taunt kids with the promise of something that ain’t happening because it already has. Hey, just saying.

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Ten Years Ago: Pitch for ‘Responsible Reporting’ eBook

Looking through Google Photos, I came upon the Featured Image (Chromebook Pixel), which was posted on the defunct Google+ seeking response from other folks on the social network. At the time, sometime in late 2013 or early 2014, I conceived an ebook concept tentatively titled Be a Better Blogger that would eventually become Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers (published March 2014).

I initially sought to raise $10,000 crowdfunding, generating really nothing. I was satisfied with the eventual ebook, which concepts and writing guidance hit the bullseye. My concerns about news reporting exploded in importance during, and following, the 2016 election cycle. My advice about branding, reporting, and sourcing all proved to be spot-on accurate.

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Hey, Cottontail

On the way to Smart & Final, today, my wife and I detoured to the renovated and reopened Lafayette. The Christmas decorations had always been so festive and inviting. What would the new owners do to celebrate the season? We wondered.

Answer: Absolutely nothing. No lights. No tree. No wreathes. Instead, we beheld the Hotel’s new interior design, which decor is meant to be retro-something but really is garish gay. I know men whose flamboyant clothing would make them fit in nicely with the furniture. Say, any of you guys need a job as a living mannequin? 

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Waiting to Cross

From the same North Park corner as yesterday’s jaywalker, we regard a woman looking at her smartphone while waiting to cross 30th Street at University Ave. She wasn’t the target of the shot; I cropped him away for her.

This neighborhood is considered one of the more desirable ones closer to downtown San Diego. I passed a dozen (or more) homeless folks from Meade to University. Streets are dirty, and stinky, but nowhere near as ripe as Hillcrest. Yep, desirable.

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The Jaywalker

If I walk where there are stoplights, someone surely will cross the street against traffic. Nowhere else have I seen such consistently stupid, arrogant behavior. Is it only San Diego? All California? I do wonder. This type of jaywalking isn’t occasional. Every time I venture out, someone strolls into oncoming traffic.

The gentleman in the Featured Image is an offender seen today. He and I walked along 30th Street in North Park—he ahead of me and later behind. Oddly, we would both arrive at Target, but by different routes. At either Lincoln or Polk (not sure which), I crossed to the other side of 30th with a walk sign. That meant green light for the cars going in the same direction as me. Continuing along 30th, he ignored the don’t walk sign and brazenly crossed into oncoming traffic, meaning cars proceeding on a green light.

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Across the Night Room

More than once, I have looked into the window of a closed-for-the-day office on Park Blvd in University Heights and wanted to take a shot. Opportunity presented on the evening of Nov. 30, 2023, when I passed by with Leica Q2, which produced the Featured Image. The red water pot across the room is the point of focus. The scene is quite busy, accentuated by outside reflections on the window glass.

I don’t know which is the San Diego small business; looks something showroom-like to my eyes. For sure, the place is located on the block between Mission and Monroe.

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The Cats of University Heights: Gorgeous

For the first Caturday of the last month of the year, we return to Alabama and the ninety-eighth feline from the street between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. This beauty also is one-hundred-nineteenth furball found behind door or window since this series started in October 2016.

I used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to capture the Featured Image on Nov. 10, 2023. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 800, 1/30 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 4:40 p.m. PST, which was 11 minutes before sunset.

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Pretty, Yes, But What About the Electric Utility Bill?

I want the Featured Image to better, but the discards from last night’s Christmas decor photo walk are worse. This house has beckoned my camera for years. The property, on Florida near Howard here in University Heights, is brazenly lit every December. I must return and seek skills redemption.

Vitals, aperture manually set: f/1.7, ISO 1000, 1/15 sec, 28mm; 7:33 p.m. PST; Leica Q2.

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Shattered Showroom

This Wednesday evening is just warm enough for walking, which was my activity a little earlier. As I write, the outdoors air temperature is a comfortable-enough 12 degrees Celsius (54 Fahrenheit), such that light hoody was warm-wear suitable.

I set out to shoot Christmas decorations and nabbed a few. But the Featured Image takes the night. Walking westward along El Cajon towards Park Blvd, in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, I came upon a gaping hole in the showroom glass of Lusti Motors.

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Ode to Chromebook

I scouted Best Buy today, wanting to see just how humungous is Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra. Unfortunately, the slab was strapped down such that handling was impossible—so I couldn’t assess size considerations that matter, like balance in the hands. Do anti-theft measures really need to be so punitive to purchasing?

On the way to the considerably reduced Samsung section (oh, it was grand before the recent store redesign), I passed the Chromebooks, stopping to awe and to gape at them. Not long ago, one might find as many as a half-dozen of the laptops crammed onto a single, tiny table. Wow, three! I counted 17 Chromebooks, all spaciously placed, too. Meaning: There’s room for more, and I don’t doubt they’re coming. The retailer’s website lists 97 items, not all of them discrete SKUs; some are bundles with extras like mesh routers or Pixel Buds.

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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.