Category: Media

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Who, or What, Is Buried Here?

What an unfortunate day for me to run an errand out to Ocean Beach. Congestion and traffic marked the afternoon. Wonderful weather—sunny and 21 degrees Celsius (70 Fahrenheit)—was one reason. Kite Festival was another—and what a crowd! Then there was the Pro-Palestinian protest along Sunset Cliffs Blvd to the corner of West Point Loma.

While waiting in traffic on I-8, something odd piqued my curiosity. Where there was nothing but greenery along the highway, a mound rose covered in pink and white flowers. Why there and nowhere else? I wondered. The mound’s shape and size made me think grave—and the flowers, too. Dare I suggest fertilizer?

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I am a Pixel Owner, Once More

May 8, 2024. In my news feed, several tech blogs spotlighted Google Store’s sudden, shocking trade-in offer for Pixel Tablet: Up to $399—equivalent to the price of the 128GB variant—in exchange for one of many, many iPad models. Free plus sales tax is a rather compelling offer.

The device launched a year earlier, making so little positive impression that I ordered two Samsung Galaxy tabs—one for my wife and another for me. Pixel Tablet looks even more inferior than 12 months ago, coming right as Apple released new iPads packing M4 chips. But they do cost mountains of cash more. Got an organ to sell? Kidneys fetch a good return, I hear.

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The Cats of University Heights: Bear Bear

Sharing recent finds does little to profile the kitties lost in the backlog queue. Yet here we are. The Featured Image comes from Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra on May 14, 2024. Vitals: f/3.4, ISO 40, 1/120 sec, (synthetic) 230mm (digital and optical zoom); 5:07 p.m. PDT

Initially, I thought this black might be Rick roamed to another street on his block. But near as either my wife or I could see, the cat had either little or no tail. As such, given apparent shape, I want to nickname Bear, but that one already appeared in the series. Hence the doubling, which actually is better.

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Pay More For Less

Take a good, long look at the Featured Image. This apartment building epitomizes how dramatically have rentals risen in San Diego over scant number of years. Something seems wrong here—and I mean more broadly. This place merely reflects a trend in explosive increases that feels funny—fixed, unnatural—for a typically dynamic capitalist market.

I’ll illustrate. In June 2021, a 1,000-square-foot flat listed for $1,495 monthly and presumably rented, since the listing was removed eight days later. Available now for $2,325, in the same building: 530-sq-foot studio. Oh, and Zillow estimates that if the larger unit was marketed today, the landlord should charge $3,063.

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The Cats of University Heights: Vim

Crunched-time schedule means no post for the previous two days. We resume with another fine feline—the one-hundred-thirty-first found behind door or window. Sighting street is withheld; sorry `bout that.

I used Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra to capture the Featured Image, on May 11, 2024. Vitals: f/3.4, ISO 40, 1/120 sec, (synthetic) 230mm (digital and optical zoom); 3:51 p.m. PDT. Nickname: Vim.

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Bitter Sweet

Memory of my maternal grandmother: Grapefruit for breakfast, regardless of season—and I wonder where she bought the citrus during Northern Maine winters. I never had a taste for the bitter, over-sized oranges but my wife does.

So we were delighted to find some, set out by a neighbor, yesterday. She is caretaker of Rick, one of the “Cats of University Heights“. Annie grabbed two, while I waited and thanked our benefactor. How sweet: She put out bags for people to carry their fruit.

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The Sleeper

I rarely photograph San Diego homeless, as a silent sign of respect. But, today, one gentlemen so surprised me that I felt compelled to take the shot—well, several. Walking East on Meade Ave., I saw him sleeping on the sidewalk across the way, where Mission cuts diagonally—think 45 degrees—from the intersection at Park Blvd.

The sleep mask is what intrigued me. He looked so unusually comfortable, lying on the cement, which was surprising, too. Foot and vehicular traffic is fairly brisk, and noisy, on a Friday afternoon; then there is the bus stop—a couple meters away, at most. Yet he looked so serene and lay motionless, but in an open space where homeless are otherwise uncommon.

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A Moment for Bruce

Seven years ago today, I shot the Featured Image, using Leica Q. Bruce, who shared residence with Guido and Little, waited for his owner. The previous week, I got a glimpse of the woman walking her dog (Dakota), and the short-legged kitty ambling along with them. What a wonderful sight, and I had to know more. Scouting about led me to one of the neighborhood’s handsomest—and most beloved—cats.

A few years later, over the Christmas holidays, Dakota passed away, That put an end to the dog-cat walks, until some months later when Bruce’s owner—now one of our favorite neighbors—rescued the amicable Apple. In some dictionary somewhere, sweetness is defined by a description of that dog. Sigh. She suddenly passed away last week, as was explained yesterday. Bruce is gone, too; he vanished over Memorial Day weekend 2023.

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Goodbye, Apple, We All Miss You

On April 30, 2024, one of our favorite neighbors said sad goodbye to her beloved dog, Apple. Six days earlier, she took the animal to a veterinarian for surgery to remove a mass on the rump. But the procedure had to be aborted, and our neighbor received an overall grim prognosis but still with some months, even longer, of expected life left. Apple declined, however, looks like mainly because of the surgery, and she died. I received the teary phone call one week ago; yes, last Wednesday.

Already our neighbor suffered the loss of University Heights East’s favorite cat, Bruce, who vanished over Memorial Day weekend 2023. Beloved neighborhood runners-up: Pepto and Rick, who Apple visited on her walks. We all loved the dog, and our neighbor had amazing rapport and daily routine with Apple.

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Pop Pie at Night

T long-delayed ophthalmologist appointment finally occurred today. That meant massive dilation to check my optical implants. My pupils were massively large, such that the iris in each eye rimmed so thinly that my best analogy is the muted corona around last month’s total solar eclipse.

As such, I spent most of the day indoors, hiding from sunlight, and only ventured outside after dark—and what a glorious evening, too. Mild: 16 Celsius (61 Fahrenheit). Despite temporarily impaired vision, I brought along Leica Q2 Monochrom.

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Daughter and Mother

Why wait for Mother’s Day (May 12, 2024) to celebrate mom? While rummaging through Google Photos, I happened upon a portrait of my sister Nan with our most beloved parent. Date and locale is unknown to me, but presumably sis could identify both.

I had some fun with the Featured Image. One of Google Photo’s mischievous editing options is something called “Color Pop”. You can see how everything around the women becomes monochrome. But not without imperfections. Look at mom’s left hand and some fingers on her right hand. Color is gone.

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Back to the Earth

They buried my father’s body, today, at a cemetery in Woodland, Maine. Mourners moved on to the local church that he attended, for a service celebrating his life. The event was broadcast live to a members-only Facebook group. My account is self-suspended, thankfully. I didn’t watch.

Before posting, I decided to remove the remaining paragraphs of this missive that explain the last sentence of the previous paragraph. Let the dead, or their memory, rest in peace.