Category: Aspiration

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Turn a Page

For the longest time, I have wanted to explore Maxwell’s House of Books—and yesterday opportunity presented after Annie and I bought Bible and C.S. Lewis set at the Christian shop a few blocks away. No bookstore can be found in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, but La Mesa, Calif. has two downtown. Shucks. We are so denied.

You gotta love a chiding George Orwell quote warning anyone who dares to go inside. Given the state of American politics, we’re all accomplices. We entered to see 18-year-old black cat Rorschach cross our path. (Gulp, is that bad luck?) The kitty has his own calendar, which could be yours for fifteen bucks.

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Another Bible Story

I recently realized something is missing from my Harper Study Bible, which is Revised Standard Version. Verses are omitted, which greatly surprises. My go-to Good Book is a compact New American Standard acquired during the mid-1980s. In that translation, verses that scholars suspect were later added to the original text are bracketed. They are omitted, often without explanation, in RSV, I discovered earlier this week. As one of many examples: Mark 15 skips verse 28.

The 1980-edition HSB is a used purchase, from Amazon in April 2017. The seller failed to indicate that a name is gold-embossed on the cover—and not even his own. But that gotcha aside, condition was quite good. But five years later, the leather shows significant wear, cracking and separating some places. As such, retirement was an eventual destination for the book.

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The Walker

Two days ago, while walking up Madison into North Park on my way to the pet store in Normal Heights, I came across a mom and her little tyke. I presumed that she let him work his little legs while she pushed his ride. But passing, and saying hello, I saw that the stroller is a two-seater—one facing her and the other forward—with a second, younger child sleeping soundly before her. Ahhh.

Beforehand, I got a single shot—the Featured Image—using Leica Q2 Monochrom. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/640 sec, 28mm; 3:07 p.m. PST.

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Election Stormfront

As I write, Midterm election results roll in around the country. Republicans look for a so-called Red Wave, while Democrats hope to avoid a tsunami. Even a storm surge could flip the House and Senate. Tomorrow will tell, if not later tonight.

For San Diegans, today, the storm is quite literal—rains and gusty winds that continue now. Early risers were denied view of the lunar eclipse. Well, another comes in three years; maybe you can count on clear skies.

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Adventure Advertising

Unless mistaken, my wife and I saw this pull-trailer promoting GoCamp, which rents camper vans, parked on Florida Street here in University Heights. I perused the company’s website: Including duplicates, 46 vehicles are available from San Diego to the destination of your choice.

Based on interior—exterior, not so much—I rather fancy Van Luca: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Gia, which “is a 2009 Ford Econoline 150 Chariot hi-top conversion”. They are available for $179 and $145 per night, respectively. Neither can be driven one-way; got to bring them back. The Benz burns diesel, which is something of a liability because of high costs; the Ford is a gas-guzzler.

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Last Millennium Computing

Every day is a surprise when walking San Diego alleys. Perhaps you remember the art gallery, big face clockfamily roomrustic mirror, rusty typewriter, Seventies stove, snowboarding boots, Victorian-style sofa, or Vitamaster Slendercycle, among many odd items left for scavengers. But today’s sighting flushed up memories. I owned one of these.

Apple released the PowerMac G3 (Blue and White) in 1999, which makes it oh-so last Century. Among the innovations: The side opened out, revealing the innards and opportunity to make modest upgrades (hey, emphasis modest because proprietary is the company’s calling card). In the Featured Image, and companion, the blue circle above the Apple logo is the release latch.

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This is Pat

A year or so before China locked down Wuhan because of SARS-CoV-2(severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19, I saw someone rummaging recyclables from bins in an alley. I had a bag of seltzer cans to put out and gave them to the fellow, whom fit my stereotype of a homeless scrounger. But days later, we passed again—and then less than a week later, once more. He was a regular.

When we had amassed more giveaways and he appeared in the alley, I made a delivery and conversation. He wasn’t homeless! He lives here in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. He is perfectly housed and also nearly blind. Meet Pat. I wish more people showed as much self-reliance, even without a debilitating handicap.

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What’s Not to Like?

I am not a car guy, but even poor pitifully mechanically-challenged me croons over this Land Cruiser. Anyone know the vintage? The color and styling beam classic. My wild, uninformed guess is a model from the 1980s.

On Oct. 21, 2022, I just happened to come upon the vehicle as it was being parked. I waited a bit, rushed back, and grabbed a single shot using Leica Q2. My intention was to get more vantage points. But I returned later to find that the owner had pulled over a protective cover. The off-red and beige beauty is still parked with fitted-tarp. Protection from the Southern sun prevents photo followups. Oh, well.

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The Toes are Woes for Your Nose

Perhaps you recall, from January 2021, the impromptu, Italiano, unshelled peanut diner nearby the home of Bruce, Guido, and Little—all of which appear in my “Cats of University Heights” series? Today, after seeing Halloween signage on the tree, I stopped with Leica Q2 for a quickie.

Coming up the sidewalk, beautifully blurred, a squirrel approaches. The rodent cares nothing about stinky feet but the treat that waits above the skeleton. Go for it, buddy.

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Some Things are Better in Black and White

In late-May 2022, we cut the cord for good—and for real—this time. Our first attempt was during June 2013, and we reconnected not long later. Streaming services couldn’t compare for video quality or, when aggregated, price compared to AT&T U-Verse. Each subsequent effort to cord-cut ended with the Wilcox household returning to IPTV or cable connection.

But recent launches of AMC+, Apple TV, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, and Paramount+, to name a few, along with content improvements from standard-bearers like Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix, make streaming not only appealing but overwhelming. There is too much content. We had opportunity to switch to a local, 5G wireless Internet provider—and ditched U-Verse at the same time. Now we’re cord-cutters in the purest sense since we no longer have wired Internet.

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Admiring God’s Paintbrush

As autumn colors lavish landscapes across the Northeastern United States, but eternal summer simmers in Southern California, I must go back to the past to find something appropriate to share—from our family’s time living a few miles outside the Washington, DC Beltway. On Nov. 2, 2005, I lugged outside Canon EOS 20D, mounted with the EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lens obtained a few days earlier.

The Featured Image and companion, both composed as captured, are picks from a series for each. Looking over the set reveals similar shots at different apertures. Interestingly, for the first, I prefer the renders where the house is less blurred. Vitals: f/18, ISO 800, 1/125 sec, 200mm; 12:51 p.m. EST.

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Celebrating Chess

If not for the controversy shadowing 19-year-old grandmaster Hans Niemann—allegations of cheating in face-to-face play and confirmed behavior online—I wouldn’t know that the second Saturday in October is National Chess Day. A few hours remain for the celebration but the new, news, and social medias will continue to shine a spotlight on the game, which strangely raises the profile enough to increase interest in more people playing. Oh, yeah.

I haven’t sat before a board in years. My last game was with one of my daughter’s high school peers—brilliantly genius kid who was quite good an opponent. He was a constant winner and so quite surprised to lose to an old fogey like me.