Category: Media

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Pet Perhaps?

Who is this mysterious Pookie? I want to know. Surely the name refers to an animal. In summer 2020, I saw black cat Cocoa in the yard behind the fence where is this sign. Oh, so you aren’t confused, since San Diego is three summers long, I refer to the “mid” season. We’re in late summer now, with warmer-than-typical temperatures: 29 degrees Celsius (85 F) yesterday and 27 C (80 F) today and dry; low teens humidity.

For the Featured Image, I used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra; today. Portrait mode produces bokeh—not sure if the blur is optical, digitally enhanced, or both. Vitals: f/1.7, ISO 10, 1/240 sec, 23mm (film equivalent); 10:21 a.m. PDT.

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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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Calming Halloween

What kid doesn’t like trick-or-treating? For Halloween, with all the crazy decorations outside University Heights homes and San Diegans of all ages marching the sidewalks, I had planned on posting something of a montage of the Macabre.

But instead, I share something simple and unbecoming. I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image on Oct. 19, 2023. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/1.7, ISO 500, 1/15 sec, 28mm; 8:04 p.m.

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The Cross Cat and Venom

At the house where lives Daniel Tiger, one of the “Cats of University Heights“, the kids have put up drawings for Halloween. I am a big fan of spiders and the black putty-tat’s expression is irresistible—as is the uninhibited artistry of a child.

The family also keeps chickens and puts out a jar of food for neighbors to feed them. There had been three birds, but recently only two roam the yard. What happened to the other one? I must ask sometime.

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The Cats of University Heights: Pumpkin

What do I know? Apparently not enough, by being completely clueless that in the United States October 29 is National Cat Day. Well, that calls for a commemorative kitty. Meet Pumpkin—and, yes, that is his real name. The kitten is something of a stray that his owner inherited about six weeks ago.

Some interesting connections: Pumpkin lives in the same house where was Willow; she and her family moved away during the  SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 mandates. Pumpkin’s mom is also longtime caretaker of ferals Mimi and Sweet Pea. The Maine Coons lost their luscious backyard home when the owner of the property died and relatives sold the place.

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The Cats of University Heights: Forlorn

Happy Caturday, unless perhaps you are this magnificent Tuxedo. In the three portraits quickly taken using Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, he (or she) presents sad eyes in all of them. I passed the kitty on the afternoon of Oct. 10, 2023, basking in sunlight and looking out on the bustling street; I won’t say which one. Vitals, for the Featured Image: f/4.9, ISO 50, 1/400 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 4:52 p.m. PDT.

Nickname Forlorn for obvious reasons, the Tux is the one-hundred-seventeenth furball found behind door or window since this series started in October 2016.

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Don’t Bite Me

I shot the Featured Image using Leica Q2, today, as my wife and I returned to University Heights from grocery shopping in Hillcrest. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 11:39 a.m. PDT.

Spiders hold a special place in my heart, and something about the giant fake one demanded photographic attention. I considered close-cropping but the entire holiday decoration display deserved showcasing. So here we are.

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WCSH Sets Standard for Responsible Reporting

Last night’s mass-casualty shooting in Lewiston, Maine, is somewhat personal. For starters, I graduated from the high school, and today one of my sisters reminded me that when teens we bowled at the alley where the killer started his rampage. Additionally, as a journalist, the reporting about the tragedy interests me, and I am simply stunned by how measuredly responsible the team at News Center Maine has covered the ongoing story.

I have periodically watched the live stream from the station’s dedicated app, on Roku, or from the web browser on my laptop. Last night, when some national news services reported 22 dead and more than 50 injured, the anchors explained they understood that numbers were being reported elsewhere but News Center Maine would wait for official—thereby, verifiable—figures from law enforcement. Hours later, the local station reported 15-20 dead, as provided by police to NBC News. Eighteen is accurate, not 22.

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Mourning Rose

I don’t have much to say tonight. This evening, Eastern Daylight Time, there was a mass-casualty shooting at two separate locations in Lewiston, Maine. I lived in the state’s second-largest city during my latter teen years and graduated from the high school. While I haven’t been to Lewiston for decades, roots there and being Maine-native twist my gut thinking about this tragedy.

As I write, the city is under stay-at-home lockdown, and the shooter is on the loose. Police have released photos of the assault-rifle-carrying suspect and (escape) vehicle taken from surveillance video.

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Monster Mash

Since moving to the San Diego village of University Heights 16 years ago, I have given little attention to Halloween decorations. But in 2023, they are everywhere—and in exponential numbers. Some neighbors seemingly try to outdo others. Ostentatious, expansive, nightly-noticeable are the prevalent themes.

But a few seasonal adornments stand out for being tastefully austere, like these in the windows of a house along Lincoln. Coincidentally, in January, I wrote about the property then being the most costly rental ($5,950) in the neighborhood.

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‘No Contract, No Peace; No Justice, No Peace’

The headline is the slogan I heard chanted by striking workers, seen on the El Cajon Blvd sidewalk between Georgia and Florida streets and alongside—but not on—Kindred Hospital property, which is in San Diego neighborhood University Heights. Last time I saw, and documented, similar picketing was June 2018.

But the tone was different today; hostile even. “No justice, no peace” is more typically associated with cultural and societal protests, particularly regarding equality or race. I always have regarded it as an implicit threat; you may not agree. Putting that aside, how else should “no peace” be interpretated as chanted by unionized workers demanding contract concessions? You tell me.

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Is That a Threat or a Promise?

As Halloween approaches—and the number of ghoulish yard decorations explode like no other year—we return for more. I used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to capture the Featured Image, last night. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 1000, 1/8 sec, 70mm (film equivalent); 7:52 p.m. PDT.

The grave stones are quite elaborate, running outside the cement enclosure and facing the sidewalk. I returned about an hour ago, with Leica Q2, for a sharper shot—but illumination is orange and nowhere as striking as the blue. So I passed the opportunity.