Category: Media

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Don’t Be Slave to Hysteria

My wife and I set out for Costco Business Center to stock up foodstuffs, today. Our car is going into the shop for a short stint, and we wanted to grab grub from stores that are too far away to walk. But the entrance ramp onto HR-163 was inexplicitly closed, compelling us to abort. Trader Joe’s was nearby, eggs were on our list, and the grocery sells a dozen for the same price as the warehouse.

But would there be any in stock? For weeks, we’ve watched countless commentators warn about a shortage of eggs and skyrocketing prices (like seven bucks a dozen). Bird flu is blamed. If I learned nothing else from all the SARS-CoV-2(severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 insanity, fear is the virus—and, whoa, is it contagious. My advice to you: Don’t be afraid. Judge by what you see, not by what you hear someone say.

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Who Yelled ‘Fire!’

While walking to Pet Me Please in San Diego neighborhood Normal Heights, today, I passed a mural that demanded photographic attention. Unknown to me at the time: The building’s business is All County Fire, which sells protective equipment for preventing or combating unwanted, ah, flaming events.

The Featured Image is a single shot; my plan to take another was interrupted by a gentleman who asked if I had taken a photo of his car, which was parked on the street. He worried about an accident; perhaps he had experience, but I didn’t ask. After understanding the object of my interest, he praised the artist who painted the mural, explaining another adorned the other side of building. I later looked but didn’t find it.

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Rat-Tat-Tat Goes the CAT

Redevelopment of the half block where meet El Cajon Blvd and Louisiana Street currently is underway. When iconic Postal Convenience Center abruptly closed in July 2021 after 34 years of operation, I wrongly assumed that the business was another casualty of  SARS-CoV-2(severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 shutdown mandates. Rather, the place lost its lease, as did Cave of Wonders further down The Boulevard.

In additional to commercial properties along El Cajon, on nearby Louisiana, a small collection of Craftsman homes and cottages were emptied of tenants. All the buildings were destroyed in late April 2022. Welcome to more San Diego urban renewal that could create even more unaffordable housing.

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The Cats of University Heights: Peeky

For reasons I won’t even guess, Mississippi isn’t a street where many felines are seen. The series‘ exceptions are notable, like Kittens, Kitty, or Sylvester. On Dec. 9, 2022, I saw one peeking (hence, the nickname) before blinds; single sighting.

Peeky is the one-hundred-fourth profiled putty looking out door or window. The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, 28mm; 2:26 p.m. PST.

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‘He Didn’t Make It’

Surely you recall hearing or reading the title of this post somewhere. “He didn’t make it” is such an overly used movie or television trope (books, too). The statement also aptly describes the fate of the fallen Grinch who is subject of the Featured Image. He survived immediate decoration take-down following end of the Christmas holidays, but he was no match for the series of torrential rainstorms buffeting California.

Flooding. Mudslides. Power outages. Record snowfall in the mountains. Sinkholes. Hey, but no wildfires; too wet for that. But, don’t you fret; all that water will soon be forgotten. Sun will dry the place, pretty quickly, and the body politick will want to resume fear-mongering about drought conditions caused (presumably) by Climate Change.

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Soon to be as Popular as Grand Ole Opry?

Today, I did an In-N-Out drive-by while other cars were ridiculously stuck in the drive-thru. What’s up with all this vehicular laziness? Park. Go inside and order. Your food will come faster. Shall we time it so you can see, or is your butt so planted you would never consider the freedom and ease found at the counter?

But I digress. The Featured Image, quickly taken from inside my Honda using Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, is shared solely to illustrate this post—and opportunity to snark vomit all over the fast-foodery’s homeland. This week, In-N-Out announced plans to open its farthest east location(s). In Tennessee. Why the Volunteer State, you might ask. The company doesn’t really answer, but you don’t need more sense than the drive-thru nutters to rightly reason. That’s where the customers are—meaning California expats and refugees. And you thought they all flocked to Idaho and Texas (yes, where many did flee).

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‘That Would Be a Great Story’

Yesterday, as I arrived for my haircut, the barber walked out of the adjacent grocery store with two lottery tickets in hands. Later, after finishing the masterpiece made with razor and scissors, he boasted about giving me a $1.3 billion cut—referring to the Mega Millions drawing later tonight. I would look dapper in a tux ready to collect the prize, he said.

Well, yeah, if I bought a ticket. But I only had cash enough to pay for the haircut, unless he gave up part of his tip. “That would be a great story”, he answered, telling it and agreeing that I should keep back two bucks to play. I walked next store and bought a ticket.

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What Would You Pay to Live Here?

Zillow lists 30 places for rent in my neighborhood of University Heights. You are looking at the most expensive: $5,950 per month. For a rent like that, I think Manhattan or San Francisco—not a somewhat middleclass area of San Diego. But, hey, the deposit is only $5500 (plus another $500, if you have a small pet). Lucky you.

Strangely, the place is a bargain, because half-a-block distance is a $5,450 rental that may be less monthly but poorer value for the size:1,450 square feet, compared to 2,325 sq ft for the pricier property.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Raven

How strange that for years, our honorary contingent stayed single digits. But within the span of six months or so, the number unexpectedly jumped to—with today’s addition—twenty. I believe predators are the reason. University Heights hugs several canyons, where live coyotes; sightings are now frequently reported, as are the increasing number of missing kitties. I see fewer felines than what should be typical.

But beyond the boundary at Texas Street, canyons are more distant and the risk—but by no means absent, as the loss of Queenie so shows. Expect to see at least two more members join this special category sometime soon. The others, so far: BooBuddiesChill, Coal, Comber, Envy, Fancy, Guapo, LonesomeJadeMonaMoophie, Ninja, Promise, QueenieSammy, Shakey, Tom and Jerry, and Tula.

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The World on My Wall

On the last day of 2022, I ordered a giant, world map from Maps International via Amazon. A roll tube containing the item arrived today. Measuring 40 x 80 inches (101.6 x 203.2 cm), the laminated reference fills most of the wall behind me.

Among my 2023 goals: be more aware about global events. That’s an ambitious task, when so much of the U.S. press makes every little minutia into a catastrophic crisis.

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If They Allowed Cats, I Just Might

The house directly across the street from where we used to live in Kensington, Md is available for rent—and for less than what the monthly increase will soon be for our San Diego apartment. My wife discovered the listing last night, and I called about the place this morning. A house. Huge yard. Just outside the Washington Beltway. The Metro-area that for both of us still feels the most like home. Alas, pets aren’t allowed.

Besides, the Featured Image is a gritty reminder that the Mid-Atlantic region most certainly has four seasons, unlike Southern California. I used Canon PowerShot S20 to make the moment twenty years ago! How coincidental: Feb., 17, 2003. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 62, 1/125 sec, 6.5mm; 9:27 a.m. EST.

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The Cats of University Heights: Baron

The sixth kitty seen in adjacent yards doesn’t look anything like the others—all of which are various markings of black on white:  Destiny, Pawky, Scamp, and Thin and Slim. I spotted the ginger on Dec. 29, 2022—for the second instance in several days at the same spot.

At the first sighting, I assumed the fine feline to be another, similarly colored cat that lives within a couple of blocks. But two times, in the same place, and front door of the home wide open convinced me that the putty-tat rests where he belongs.