Author: Joe Wilcox

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Pussyfoot

Happy Caturday! We venture beyond boundaries of the neighborhood for yet another honorarian. This fine feline is the thirty-second member of this esteemed group, joining: AI, Boo, Buddies, Chill, Coal, Comber, Cotton, Envy, Esther, Fancy, Floofy, GuapoLibertyLonesomeJadeMonaMoophie, Mousy, NinjaOliver, Too, PromiseQueenie, RascalRavenSammyShakey, Tag and Tig, TimberTom and Jerry, and Tula.

For cautious, stealthy movement along an Arizona-Texas alley in North Park, the cat earns nickname Pussyfoot. I used Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra to capture the Featured Image, which is composed as shot. Vitals: f/3.4, ISO 32, 1/640 sec, (synthetic) 230mm (digital and optical zoom); 10:55 a.m. PDT, June 12, 2024.

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Bee Passionate

The crazy thing about San Diego is the way flowers, plants, and trees grow. Anywhere. Everywhere. Unexpected places. Along an alley across from fencing where grapes grow, I passed passion fruit today. That’s two different neighbors’ fence lines.

I initially whipped out Galaxy Samsung S24 Ultra for a shot of four fruits lined up. But busy bees brought my attention to the flowers, where luck delivered good-enough composition and a bee in flight. What’s not to like about that?

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Welcome to the Cutting (Galaxy Book4) Edge

I haven’t been on the bleeding edge of technology for a while, but here we are on the precipice ready to fall off. This afternoon, UPS delivered Samsung Galaxy Book4 Edge, which I ordered on May 20, 2024, when Microsoft and its OEM partners announced ARM-based Windows laptops packing Qualcomm chips.

Oh, I will review this beastie, and for a couple reasons: I am heavily invested in the Samsung ecosystem, and Qualcomm is a local company (here in San Diego). Out-of-box experience: Outstanding. Display: Superb. Keyboard: Tactile and responsive (contrary to reports from some professional reviewers). Performance: Sportscar, compared to my Surface Laptop Studio. Battery: Too soon to say. Trackpad (okay, so far, but needs more use). Applications: I will let you know about native vs non-native.

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The Cats of University Heights: Mr. Norris

From Yuki (left), we go to her housemate, Mr. Norris. I met both kitties, and their caretaker, on June 7, 2024. Penelope used to live at the same place, but she died last year at age 22.

The Featured Image comes from Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. Vitals: f/3.4, ISO 32, 1/190 sec, (synthetic) 230mm (digital and optical zoom); 2:49 p.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Yuki

Where once lived beautiful tortie Penelope, who passed away last year at age 22, two new residents can be found. Meet the first of them, Yuki—and, yes, that is her real name.

We will introduce you to her housemate, Mr. Norris, in a forthcoming profile. All three kitties’ home is about a block from our old apartment within the West side of the neighborhood.

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Microsoft, Copilot This!

Yesterday, I dropped by Best Buy for a quick looksee. My local store, in San Diego’s Mission Valley district, is undergoing changes that started with remodeling last year—or, gasp, was it 2022? Oh, how we lose track of time. Regardless, a dramatic change greeted me.

What can best be described as an Apple mini-store occupies some of the space once dominated by Microsoft, Surface devices, and OEM laptops. The newer setup is all about digital lifestyle, with all-Apple devices gathered together in one area. If there was space being made for Windows Copilot+ PCs packing Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite and Plus processors, I couldn’t find it. But nobody could miss all that fruit-logo fare.

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Big Book Bounty

When I was in high school, my cousin piqued my interested in a Dutch novel published in 1968 that debuted in 1973 translated into English. Every few months, over the past three years or so, I looked for a copy to buy, but prices are generally exorbitant; the book is out of print.

Where Were You Last Pluterday? by Paul Van Herck is satirical science fiction at its comically cringiest. The absolute absurdity of American politics and cultural currents triggered my curiosity about how-true-to-life had the hilariously nonsensical story become. Something about our reality of the absurd was once science fiction. I had to know: How prescient is the 50-year-old-plus novel?

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The Player

This afternoon, my wife and I happened to walk down Madison, in our San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. As we moved East, in the direction of Texas, near the corner of Alabama, I regarded identical statutes of youngsters playing a musical instrument. Someone had put them out between sidewalk and street, on the grassy strip where grow plants.

I escorted Annie home and returned with Leica Q2 Monochrom, which produced the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 200, 1/1250 sec, 28mm; 4:41 p.m. PDT.

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Seven Movies Every Journalist Should See

Periodically, I update my picks for must-see movies about news reporting. More than eight years have passed since the last list, in February 2016—before the tumultuous Presidential election that thrust Donald Trump into the White House and precipitated disastrous changes across American newsrooms.

Editorialization of news, once taboo, is widespread. Many stories are subjective and slanted, pushing progressive—or, to lesser degree, conservative—values over impartial presentation of facts. The changes are evident in headlines or deks but more earnestly descriptive modifiers used for emphasis, where none should be.

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What Real Camping Looks Like

Welcome back to the North Maine Woods, circa mid-1970s. I am the skinny, short kid to the far left; my father, in the red hat, is to the far right. Next to me, my cousin Dan looks at something; my guess is an insect.

His sister Debbie, sitting up, came along with two obnoxious friends. I spent several weeks as object of their abusive taunts and teasing. Wicked women, they were.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Tag and Tig

We shamelessly jump the backlog of unpublished putty-tats to add a pair spotted today in a backyard along the Arizona-Hamilton alley in North Park, which is about one-and-a-half blocks beyond the neighborhood’s boundary. Hence, the honorary designation.

The kittens romped and chased like kids playing tag might. That explains the nickname for the black and Tig for the tabby. The Featured Image comes from Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, which I had to raise high to clear a fence; the obstruction determined composition. Vitals: f/3.4, ISO 32, 1/340 sec, (synthetic) 230mm (digital and optical zoom); 1:56 p.m. PDT.