Category: Living

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‘They Graffitied It’

This morning, following my semi-annual dentist appointment, I walked from San Diego’s College Area to Talmadge, where is Grocery Outlet. Along the way, at the corner of El Cajon Blvd and 62nd Street, I came upon some religious love art on a utility box. Well, that was worth a shot.

As I pulled up iPhone 13 Pro to take the Featured Image, a big dude smoking a joint thumped down the sidewalk. Downwind to the stink, I smelled his approach before seeing him. Passing by, he pointed and stated: “They graffitied it”. I didn’t say, but thought: Yeah, if you consider Jesus graffiti. I don’t, and that section of the city could use a little spiritual affirmation—the, ah, weed-wacking walker, too.

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Is Today’s Classic Tomorrow’s Stigma?

For years, I have seen this truck parked along an alley located somewhere on the West side of Park Blvd in University Heights (not saying where, exactly). How long before old Fords like this one are taboo? San Diego’s three-summer climate is amazingly kind to vehicles of all varieties—like: Alfa Romeo Spider, battery-converted lowrider, Bel Air, Chevy cruiser, Mini, Nineteen-thirties-era Buick, red Rolls Royce Convertible,  or vintage Volkswagens. They last forever.

But California’s upcoming ban on sales of gasoline vehicles is sure to turn classic into stigma, because these presumed polluters won’t be tolerated by the socially-compliant masses enthralled by Climate Change doctrine. Their fervor is religious, uncompromising, and dogmatically committed to their truth (none other viewpoint is ever considered). Hey, just saying.

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Thanks for the Power

The monsoonal heatwave continues, which means daily emails announcing yet another Power Saver Rewards event between 4 p.m. and 8:59 p.m. PDT: “You can support the California energy grid, and earn $2/kWh for energy use below your typical use, too. The more energy you can save, the more you can earn”. Really?

We don’t have air conditioning, electric vehicle, or in-apartment laundry—all of which are on the curtail-usage list. We never use the dishwasher. But we do have four fans running constantly. I don’t know whether to thank the utility for magnanimously managing the electric grid or San Deigans for being good neighbors and cutting back—perhaps both.

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The Cats of University Heights: Retro

This morning, I saw someone walking a small dog—until my wife corrected: “No, that’s a cat!” Seconds later, a second kitty appeared—the ever-frolicking Mittens, who energetically engaged the other, which welcomed the play.

Retro (real name) is well-acquainted with Mittens, who has grown into quite the stunning shorthair, since joining the series in March 2022. The two often engage through a window, making something special today’s prancing about.

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Bird Formation

If yesterday is a measure, darkness will bring little to no relief from the monsoonal heatwave oppressing Southern California. Muggy air cooled down to 23 degrees Celsius (74 F) outdoors overnight but to 29 C (84 F) in our apartment—first instance since we moved here such imbalance occurred. As I write, outside and inside temps are in near (sorrowful) equilibrium: 31.6 C (89 F) and 32.7 C (91 F), respectively.

Looking for some additional activity, early evening, I walked about parts of San Diego neighborhoods University Heights and North Park. The Featured Image and companion come from the latter—along The Boulevard approaching Texas Street. As I passed by this tree, something hanging on the bark caught my attention. Can you see why?

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The Public Market

Before California’s governor shut down businesses, organizations, schools, and other establishments under the guise of combating SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19, my wife and I frequently visited Liberty Station in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood. The former Naval Training Center offers great space to walk around; I relished the green outdoor area with dirt paths, flanked by buildings of intriguing architectural style.

Nearly 30 months after the first of several “stay-at-home” orders and about a half-year since the last meaningfully oppressive mandates, we have yet to resume some pre-pandemic habits—like Liberty Station, which visit was so long ago that I can’t recall when.

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Who You Gonna Call?

If electric cars are the wave of the future, and California calling for a ban on gas-guzzlers by 2035, is the power grid ready? The question demands an answer during the Labor Day weekend heatwave underway and officials advising citizens to conserve energy between 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. PDT. On the list: “Avoid charging electric vehicles“. Need more be said on the topic than that?

The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2 on Jan. 1, 2022. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, 28mm; 10:15 a.m. PST.

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The Cats of University Heights: August

The month ends with a namesake. Not knowing whether she was adopting a male or female kitten, the caretaker chose something gender-neutral—later learning she had a she. For our series, the putty’s portrait languished nearly seven months for the arrival of today, when August could appear in August.

I used iPhone 13 Pro to capture the Featured Image on Feb. 3, 2022. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 80, 1/120 sec, 77mm; 12:05 p.m. PST. August is the ninety-first Alabama Street cat between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. She also is the one-hundred-first feline found behind either window or door.

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The Band Played

I absolutely have no idea who these guys are. On March 3, 2019, I came upon a parade along The Boulevard in San Diego neighborhood University Heights that ended at the iconic Lafayette Hotel, where festivities continued, including this performance.

The Featured Image comes from Fujifilm GFX 50R and Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens—a kit that I sold about eight months later. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 800, 1/60 sec, 63mm; 3:10 p.m. PST. Slower shutter speed introduces intentional motion blur. Composed as shot, the photo appeals to me for reasons I cannot explain.

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Suit Up!

Oh the things that turn up in San Diego alleys. I can only guess whether someone hung up this wet suit to dry or for some passerby to take. My wife and I saw the water-wear while walking down the alley separating Alabama and Florida streets here in University Heights.

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image, which is the only shot. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 3:58 p.m. PDT, today.

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Easter was Four Months Ago, Right?

Walking up Meade Avenue in San Diego neighborhood North Park, today, I stopped to wonder which “A” month is now. Because this poster reads April but surely it’s August. My wife focused on something else, stepping forward, pointing, and commenting on the absurdity of an egg hunt for anyone “18 and up”. Huh?

Odder still, the location of the poster: Garfield Elementary. That to me precludes anyone over 12. Then there is question why the school promotes an event that occurred more than four months ago. Granted, education should be timeless but this?