Category: Aspiration

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iPhone Turns 15

How many people engrossed in their handhelds remember, or even know, what cellular devices were like before release of the original iPhone on June 29, 2007? Coincidentally, my daughter changed service providers today. She expressed surprise, and glee, at how easy was the process going from one iPhone model to another, including the automatic porting of her number.

When there appeared to be a glitch with that process, I called her carrier to ask about the transfer. My daughter unexpectedly rang, and with one tap I merged her incoming call with the one in progress. How amazing is that? And calling is one of the least used functions, when a plethora of apps and social media demand interaction and get it.

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Can You Say ‘Wicked’?

Kensington is one of the tonier San Diego communities, and dare I guess that privilege comes with money. Six days ago, when waiting to give my daughter a ride, I nipped boredom by pulling out iPhone 13 Pro and launching the SpeedTest app. For security reasons, my cellular carrier is removed from the paired screenshots; download left and upload right.

Wow is 5G wicked fast for the wealthy. The last home sold there, today, went for $2.025 million, according to publicly available records. The runt of the lot for all of June closed for a mere $1.1 million. Both for over asking price: $30,000 and $150,100, respectively. Hey, rising interest rates have slowed down bidding wars a bit.

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Grow Your Own

Along the fence of the house from which grapevines draped over the sidewalk (August 2021), today I saw something unexpected and presumably quite new—as the Featured Image and companions reveal. Little lending libraries with books are all over my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights (Examples: One, Two, Three, Four). But this is the first seen sharing seeds. Small supply there may be but hopefully growing. I know. I know.

Vitals: f/4, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 6:24 p.m. PDT. The trio comes from Leica Q2, and this one is composed as captured. I chose the angled view to diminish glare and reflection off the glass.

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Table Creature

Three minutes before sunset, 7:57 p.m. PDT, I came across a discarded table that piqued my interest, because the thing reminded me of an animal. You disagree? Be a kid for 10 seconds, put on your seeking-creatures-in-the-clouds mind, and take another gander.

The clinical term for finding animals, faces, and the like in clouds or other objects is Pareidolia. I’m not sure that applies to this table, for which no specific beast comes to my mind. Rather, I see something inanimate that could come to movement, when looking at the spacing of the legs and what could be a head sticking from the flat board body.

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Juneteenth is a Terrible Name

The second celebrated Federal Holiday of the oddly-named Juneteenth is nearly over as I write. Oh, remembering the less formally-designated but also wide-celebrated: Happy Father’s Day to all the dads. My fingers are crossed that you’re happy being one and that the kids share the same sentiment.

Back to the other, the name unruly rolls off the tongue, doesn’t at all tell anyone what the celebration is for, and—go ahead and argue—poorly respects what the holiday represents. Quickly: On June 19, 1865, the Union Army rode into Galveston, Texas and announced the end of black slavery. Emancipation deserves better.

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Teachable Murals

If there were alternate realities, in another my wife and I would have purchased what we call the Schoolhouse nearly five years ago. Location, nearby Alice Birney Elementary, was one of the appealing attributes—that and misguided speculation San Diego would never allow any type of overdevelopment nearby the kids.

A block-long, multi-residence high-rise is under construction across from the school and SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 restrictions kept away students for more than a year. Both are ambience-killers. We’re better off with the decision made in this reality.

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On the Rocks

For a second day we stay at Seal Beach in La Jolla and the creatures for which the area is named. Like yesterday’s shallows shot, the Featured Image comes from Nikon D70 and 70mm-300mm telephoto lens. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/1600 sec, 300mm; 5:09 p.m. PDT, Aug. 3, 2004. Composed as shot.

The D70 is my all-time favorite dSLR. The camera started quick, focused fast, and produced super sharp photos. There is something classic about this earlier entry into the prosumer market that Canon carved out with the Digital Rebel. But Nikon one-upped its rival with a body worthy of professionals as well as enthusiasts.

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Bark Art

Trust the wife to have a good eye for the amazing. Today, while walking through Old Trolley Barn Park, which is located in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, Annie stopped to regard tree bark and photograph it with her iPhone 13 Pro. I almost walked past, ignoring her interest. But quick examination revealed a mesmerizing mosaic that could easily be a painting hanging in an art gallery.

When she finished her impromptu shoot, I set to work with Leica Q2. For the Featured Image, I used the Macro control—activated by turning a ring around the lens barrel. Vitals, aperture manually set for both: f/4, ISO 100, 1/50 sec, 28mm; 10:57 a.m. PDT.

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Chevy Cruisers

I wonder: Are the lowriders cruising El Cajon Blvd tonight, or were classic cars merely parked along The Boulevard between Georgia and Florida streets? At 6:46 p.m. PDT, I came across a line of shiny roadsters with whitewalls. My last encounter with the cruisers—many bouncing along as they drove down El Cajon—was years ago.

Circumstance brought me to that part of University Heights on a Friday evening: Dropping off AT&T U-verse equipment at Park Blvd UPS Store for return shipment. Maybe I should get out there more often, and on the next first Friday of the month to see if perhaps there is lowrider cruising.

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Better Bee Reading

Outside the “1917 House“, where also is the little homes collection, my wife and I came upon something new: cute book-sharing repository. Unlike others around our neighborhood of University Heights, this one doesn’t bear a LittleFreeLibrary label. I’m good what that distinction. This thing is fresh and oh-so Spring. Correction: Early Summer, in San Diego. (The other two seasons are Mid Summer and Late Summer. I know, I know, you don’t have to say it.)

During post-production, I recomposed the Featured Image to give more space to the honeysuckle, which sweet succumbing scent is such a relief from toxic construction dust and stink weed smoke (the latter disgusts my nostrils). Aroma and ambience make Birds, Bees, and Books an appealing pitstop. But do watch out for the stinging insects buzzing by searching for nectar.

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Who’s the Fairest of Them All?

When my wife and I set out for a morning walk today, we passed by the same mirrors from whence came my selfie yesterday. She stopped for one, too, and I captured the Featured Image; discretely with iPhone 13 Pro. Vitals: f/1.5, ISO 50, 1/1901 sec, 26mm; 10:26 a.m. PDT.

Annie tends to shoot portrait orientation, and she has a great eye for composition. More than 99-percent of the time, I choose landscape. You could count on one hand my number of vertical shots since acquiring Leica Q2 on the last day of 2019.

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Me in the Mirror

I am not one to take selfies but an odd opportunity presented today and the result is better than my expectation. While walking along the alley separating Alabama and Florida, in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, I came upon discarded mirrors between cross-streets Adams and Madison. Initially, I shot sideways, capturing car reflections across the way.

My journey continued. But along Adams and the next parallel alley, I encountered a nasty wind. Chilled, I chose to retrace my warmer path. That brought me back to the mirrors, which pitted, scratched state made me stop and ponder taking a shot from the hip, which I did after manually setting the aperture on Leica Q2.