Category: Living

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A New Vision

We begin a series of posts looking at what was along Park Blvd between El Cajon and Meade in San Diego neighborhood University Heights and what replaces it. On most Friday afternoons, New Vision Christian Fellowship opened its doors to give away food. Long lines formed, with recipients largely making up two disparate demographic groups: The elderly and Hispanic families.

I used Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens to capture the Featured Image and companion on April 27, 2018. Vitals for both: f/5.6 (guess), ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 50mm; 5:06 p.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Tracker

When seeing this tabby, I assumed that it must be either Defender or Dodger, both of which were photographed within territorial vicinity. But markings are distinctly different. Unfortunately, I couldn’t approach close enough to read name on the tag.

My wife and I encountered the shorthair in the alley separating Campus and North. I shot portraits using iPhone 13 Pro and Leica Q2; the Featured Image comes from the camera. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/80 sec, 28mm; 6:14 p.m. PDT, Sept. 11, 2022.

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‘Keep On Rock’n Me, Baby’

If we lived somewhere else, I would have brought home this rocker, today. But like the giver, we live in an apartment too small (772 square feet) to take on another piece of furniture. How grand and—by my wife’s estimation—”antique” is this fine piece of craftsmanship and upholstery.

Surely giving up something sentimental—”My G’ma’s”—makes the freebee all the more poignantly placed. May the new owner treasure, rather than resell, the chair, in which Annie sat and proclaimed its comfort and sturdiness. Location: Adams Avenue, just East of Park Blvd, in San Diego neighborhood University Heights.

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The Cats of University Heights: Nugget

Look who came to visit as my wife and I walked to Smart & Final today. This friendly fella is the ninety-third putty-tat found along Alabama between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. Nearly six years into the series, I cannot answer why so many kitties are from the one street.

I used iPhone 13 Pro to capture the Featured Image and companion. Vitals: f/1.5, ISO 50, 1/1100 sec, 26mm; 10:20 a.m. PDT. The other is same but 1/1079 sec.

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Remember, Rodents Right of Way

For weeks, I wanted to shoot this sign, but parked cars spoiled the composition. But, finally, on Sept. 12, 2022, I happened by on a street-sweeping day; in fact, unseen out of frame above is warning when parking is prohibited.

I can’t speak for rodent intoxication, but I do see scampering squirrels on Monroe Ave., looking down towards Texas Street, often enough. The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 9:38 a.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Homey

Why would anyone own a camera? I ask because of my unexpected experience this evening with Night Mode when shooting iPhone 13 Pro. A day filled with distraction, including an ant attack on our kitties’ food dishes, disrupted my normal walking routine. Around 8:30 p.m. PDT, I slipped out for fresh air and quick jaunt.

Twelve minutes later, along Texas Street, I passed by a cat curled up on steps before a home’s security door. I kept walking, then turned back. The sleeper was quite illuminated, under the porch light, which created possibly satisfying portrait. When I pressed the shutter button, a countdown timer appeared on the screen. That’s new, I thought, not knowing that Night Mode automatically activates and behaves such.

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Serve One Up for Linus

Shouldn’t September 12 be considered a wee bit early for Halloween? Can we not wait until October? But marketing seasonal spicy drinks knows no bounds. The sign stands on the corner of Alabama and Mississippi, outside Mystic Mocha, which is an iconic coffee shop and eatery in my San Diego neighborhood.

The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2, today, but I first saw the advert on the eighth. I made shots at two different apertures and fiercely debated with myself about which to share. In the end, I prefer the wider depth of field of the narrower aperture, which keeps the University Heights sign and storefront in the range of focus. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 1:02 p.m. PDT.

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Where They Stood

Twenty-one years ago today, terrorists flew commercial airliners into the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. Of course, I vividly remember the unfolding events, like so many Americans. That said, meaning fades with time.

Surely everyone alive when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941 shares similar experience. Think of what occurred during the following 21 years to make the event’s emotional impact diminish. Little things, like the Cuban Missile crisis in October 1962 that brought the world to the precipice of nuclear war.

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The Meowers of Bark Boulevard

Hurricane Kay brought nominal relief, on Sept. 8, 2022, as it skirted along the Pacific coastline of Baja California and San Diego County. Cloud cover made muggy air and peak temperature of 32.7 Celsius (91 F) more tolerable. My wife and I took advantage, setting out on a mid-morning walk. While trudging down a side alley perpendicular to Mississippi Street, we came upon a mural that I hadn’t seen before.

We had passed by Bark Boulevard, which fronts El Cajon Blvd, often enough. The family-owned business provides doggy daycare and overnight boarding services—hence the name. So I was surprised to see some homage to cats, along the back.

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Not One Crisis, But Two

Two days ago, I looked upon something surprising inside the Grocery Outlet, located in San Diego neighborhood Talmadge: An empty display case for Mexican Coca-Cola. Shall we blame supply chain disruptions that every fear-mongering pundit has blabbered about for months? The beverage, sweetened with cane sugar instead of corn syrup, is popularly stocked by many grocery stores in this area of SoCal.

But far more unsettling is the price. Mexican Coke, sold in glass bottles, is perennially priced 99 cents. A buck sixty-nine puts inflation and rising food/beverage prices into piercing perspective. That’s a 70.7 percent increase, by the way. Yikes!

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The Monumental Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II passed away today. Her death, at 96, marks the end of the United Kingdom’s longest reigning sovereign—70 years. Strangely, in the span of days, the nation has a new prime minister (Liz Truss) and constitutional monarch (King Charles III). A new future unfolds, but tonight we honor the past.

Elizabeth II brought quiet dignity and good manners to Buckingham Palace, all while burgeoning grace, exuding fortitude, demonstrating forbearance, and intelligently disseminating common sense—to wit. The Queen’s legacy, and that of her son’s as he ascends to the throne, is many: The 56 countries belonging to The Commonwealth, of which there are 2.5 billion people.