Category: Food

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For the Love of Pumpkins

The start of November ends the obsession of carving pumpkins for Halloween and begins pie prepping for Thanksgiving. My local Trader Joe’s—at The Hub Plaza in San Diego neighborhood Hillcrest—is all-holiday ready.

Bored, while waiting for my wife as she shopped inside the grocery, I stooped down with Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and captured the Featured Image. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/2900 sec, 13mm (film equivalent); 11:18 a.m., Oct. 27, 2023.

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Who Can It Be Now?

What to say? I don’t drink alcoholic anything, but here we are for a third time romping over Bud Light. Perhaps you know the once popular beer that undergoes the mother of all boycotts—after Anheuser-Busch made the marketing mistake of aligning with a transgender TikToker.

Previously, on this torrid topic: “‘Hey, I Thought There was a Boycott!‘” and “Delivering or Removing?” So with the beer’s sales flushing down a toilet, I was surprised to see—on Oct. 8, 2023—a bag of empties tied up nicely for someone like Pat to grab and cash in at the local recycler. The Featured Image was a compulsory capture, if for no other reason than how cleanly the cans were gathered together and neatly sacked.

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More than a Mouthful

How hungry are you? Could you eat enough to save $20? Your answer—and appetite—could make you famous, or infamous, in San Diego neighborhood North Park. Rudford’s wants you to take the “Big Nick” challenge. As the sign suggests, your meal is free if completed within 30 minutes (don’t get sick, now).

What is this massive meal? Two pounds of beef between buns. Easy, right? Wrong. There are four eggs squeezed in, too. On the side, get ready for it: 4 ounces of hashbrowns and another four of French Fries, because you can never have enough carbs. Gravy, salsa, and four slices of American cheese complete the plate full.

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They All Look the Same to Me

Could Ralphs supermarket make coffee shopping any more confusing? That’s the question I ask regarding the Featured Image, taken today while trying to choose from the selection of on-sale house brands.

Notice that all are “medium roast” but somehow distinct. Supreme Blend is rich and pure, which supposedly differs from Premium that is rich and balanced. Well, both are rich but is balanced therefore not as pure?

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Fox on the Run

If you think there are too many nighttime shots from Galaxy S23 Ultra, I understand. Photos are noisy and not the sharpest, but I like the Samsung aesthetic—colors, light, shadows. Stated differently: Ambiance and mood.

Also motivating: Evening walks are easier during San Diego’s longest season—mid-Summer—but cooler and/or wetter nights will soon come, and I will venture out onto the streets less often. Then there is the dream of moving to the countryside in another state. Moments like this one will then be impossible.

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Golden Arches at Night

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra continues to amaze and delight, as the Featured Image and companion show. Capability and character appeal more than does clarity—at least for low-light photos like these.

Granted, the second shot is grainy but that’s part of the charm. Like the so-called Leica Look, Galaxy captures are dynamic and vibrant rather than flat or color washed out at higher ISO. Sure, sharper is great—as my Q2 would produce—but so is ambiance and painting-like quality.

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Better Than Fish Tacos

I originally had discarded the Featured Image, but pulled it from obscurity unexpectedly. My router lost Internet connection, causing me to be behind posting. Of all reasons: Loose cable connected to the ISP’s gateway. How did that happen?

The night shot, composed as captured, comes from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. I amped dehaze to embolden the darkening sky but otherwise the photo is as shot by the smartphone. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 800, 1/25 sec, 23mm (film equivalent); 8:05 p.m. PDT, Aug. 17, 2023.

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Essential Eating

As Hurricane Hilary approaches Baja California, Mexico, on its way through San Diego County, we make some preparations. Today, my wife and I topped off our non-perishable foodstuffs in the event of electrical failure or even flooding.

Too bad that I bought frozen goods last week that will be ruined should there be prolonged power outage. Well, better to eat up now than let burgers and burritos spoil. I bought both cases at Costco Business Center, where I took the Featured Image, using Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, on Aug. 10, 2023. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 100, 1/120 sec, 23mm (film equivalent); 9:02 a.m. PDT.

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‘I Like That One More’

Last night, when I walked by Gnarly Girl Pizza, a collection of beer glasses and discarded box on an outdoor table caused me to stop and shoot the Featured Image. But, yesterday, I chose to share the other, where cheese appears to drip from the mural behind into each mug. Oh, and that sloppy eater is the slimer from film “Ghostbusters”.

This morning, when I showed both pics to my wife, she surprisingly said: “I like that one more than the photo you posted”—referring, of course, to what you see today. When I suggested straightening the slanted shot, Annie objected. She praised painting-like appearance and cinematic feel that the angle imbues. But I couldn’t resist, nevertheless, which explains the companion capture that is the original composition.

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Lucky Shot

If like me you own Galaxy S23 Ultra, rush to the Samsung Members app and opt-in for the One UI 6 beta. The camera app receives some refinements that are worth trying out. Why wait, if you mustn’t—and testers help improve the software. The changes are topic for another day, after I spend some serious time exploring them.

But I can attest to improved low-light shooting from the walk taken this evening. Colors are richer and more accurate; previously, washed out highlights was a problem. As the shooter in my pocket improves over time, and subsequently I carry around Leica Q2 less often, the question emerges: Is a full-frame camera even necessary?

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Hidden Bunch

I occasionally share some of the things people put out in San Diego alleys, like the Apple PowerMac G3 (circa 1999), art gallery, big face clockfamily room, profane hatrustic mirrorrusty typewriterSeventies stovesnowboarding boots, solid wood dresserVictorian-style sofa, or Vitamaster Slendercycle—to name but a few.

But humans aren’t alone; nature puts out a few surprising finds, too—as the Featured Image demonstrates. These tempting grapes grow along a fence in an alley whose location I choose to withhold other than to say somewhere in University Heights. Interestingly, some vines have riper ones than others.

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Casualty of Killer Coffee

My wife typically buys Café Bustelo in 10-ounce packs of 24 from Amazon—occasionally a dozen one-pounders. In one recent order, the ground coffee cost 33 cents an ounce, but an Amazon coupon code nipped off another dime. Many months later, as supplies dwindle, best bulk price is 43 cents per ounce. Ouch!

So Annie tried something different, and she seems satisfied with the choice: 12-ounce bags of Death Wish for $4.99 apiece from Grocery Outlet. That works out to 41 cents an ounce. Her choice is an anomaly, though. I no longer see this flavor, Gingerdead, on the company’s website. Grocery Outlet carries many odd lots, and this is one of them—and a bargain, too. Death Wish sells the same size bags in other roasts for $19.99 a piece, which is $1.66 per ounce. By comparison, Café Bustelo website’s price per ounce is same as Amazon’s.