Category: Photo

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The Cats of University Heights: Juicy

So long ago that I can’t recall when, a tabby kitten looked out through the same spot. Glare prevented a portrait. But not on this sighting—and look who grew up! The ninety-third feline found behind door or window resides somewhere West of Park Blvd, but, ssh, I won’t say where.

I used iPhone 13 Pro for a fast Featured Image on May 31, 2022. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 50, 1/99 sec, 77mm; 10:45 a.m. PDT. I chose the nickname for being a synonym to succulent.

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On the Rocks

For a second day we stay at Seal Beach in La Jolla and the creatures for which the area is named. Like yesterday’s shallows shot, the Featured Image comes from Nikon D70 and 70mm-300mm telephoto lens. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/1600 sec, 300mm; 5:09 p.m. PDT, Aug. 3, 2004. Composed as shot.

The D70 is my all-time favorite dSLR. The camera started quick, focused fast, and produced super sharp photos. There is something classic about this earlier entry into the prosumer market that Canon carved out with the Digital Rebel. But Nikon one-upped its rival with a body worthy of professionals as well as enthusiasts.

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A Good Reason to Work From Home

At one of the pricer area filling stations, located where Fourth and Washington meet in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood, the price of gasoline approaches mountaineering heights. Grab your gear and head for the summit of cash required to fill the tank. For context, rounding to the nearest buck, customers paid $6.60 per gallon on May 27, 2022 and $4.94 on Oct. 15, 2021 at this location.

On the same day as the Featured Image, June 8, 2022, at my University Heights-located Valero, I filled up a half-tank for 30 bucks at $6.09 a gallon around Noon. Lady driving an Acura in the queue before my car paid $69 and some change. When I drove past a few hours later, posted price had jumped to $6.16.

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The Cats of University Heights: Fabby

The ninety-second feline found behind door or window made an unexpected, and singular, appearance along the alley between Florida and Alabama, which makes the putty the eighty-ninth from the latter of the two streets to appear in the series. Perhaps I will see her again, but so far not since April 30, 2022.

I shot portraits using iPhone Pro 13 and Leica Q2, but the handset’s telephoto lens produced the better (e.g. larger-size subject) Featured Image. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/602 sec, 77mm; 9:58 a.m. PDT.

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Bark Art

Trust the wife to have a good eye for the amazing. Today, while walking through Old Trolley Barn Park, which is located in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, Annie stopped to regard tree bark and photograph it with her iPhone 13 Pro. I almost walked past, ignoring her interest. But quick examination revealed a mesmerizing mosaic that could easily be a painting hanging in an art gallery.

When she finished her impromptu shoot, I set to work with Leica Q2. For the Featured Image, I used the Macro control—activated by turning a ring around the lens barrel. Vitals, aperture manually set for both: f/4, ISO 100, 1/50 sec, 28mm; 10:57 a.m. PDT.

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Someone Explain This to Me

Please forgive me for being critical, but this is what happens when a state sends mail-in ballots to all (presumably) registered voters: Citizens post on Election Day—that’s for Primaries here in California. I came across this outgoing ballot at 11:09 a.m. PDT and wondered why not mail before the recommended May 31 or take to the dropbox inside the public library, which is a half-mile walk?

Sure, the ballot is valid if postmarked today but why wait until voting day if the plan is to post? Call me confused, which wouldn’t be unusual, but still… My other question: Which is more secure—the vote mailed or cast live? I ask because the local polling place doesn’t check IDs; not today, anyway. At least the mail-in ballot envelope has the citizen’s name and signature. I dunno. You tell me.

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Jeopardy Answer: In California. Question: Where are Bees Fish?

Yep. Last week a court basically reclassified bumble bees as fish. Where else but California could one thing that is be called something it ain’t. Hehe, it’s the craziest, but not necessarily intentional, twist on identity politics yet. Someone tell me: What’s the appropriate pronoun, so I don’t offend anything that flies or swims?

The problem, if you can call California legislative narrowness anything less, is the definition of protected species used in the 1970 Endangered Species Act. Amphibia. Check. Bird. Check. Mammal. Check. Reptile. Check. But, whoops, somebody overlooked insects. Which is how through one court proceeding and appeal the definition of fish now applies to some bees.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Coal

Surprise! Meet yet another beyond boundary beastie. A half-block into North Park along Meade, on April 10, 2022, my wife and I came upon a black that we assumed to be stub-tailed Ninja. But the shorthair had a long tail.

The kitty came close, rolled around, but accepted no pats—being skittish about vehicular noise (damn cars). But she (or he) hung around long enough for 11 photos captured using iPhone 13 Pro. The Featured Image and two companions are favorites. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/227 sec, 77mm; 9:47 a.m. PDT. The others are same but 1/266 sec.

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Yeah, But What About Diesel?

The price of gasoline is now above six bucks at my local Valero, which is one of the more affordable stations in this part of San Diego. Diesel is higher, and that’s a problem for truckers and the cost of transporting goods to retailers.

But there is another dimension that I hadn’t considered. Back home in Northern Maine, farmers are planting crops for autumn harvest. My dad reminded me that tractors and other equipment typically run on diesel. Higher costs transporting food is a bad situation, but the spike to grow food is far worse—especially if some smaller farms simply can’t afford to operate.

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Chevy Cruisers

I wonder: Are the lowriders cruising El Cajon Blvd tonight, or were classic cars merely parked along The Boulevard between Georgia and Florida streets? At 6:46 p.m. PDT, I came across a line of shiny roadsters with whitewalls. My last encounter with the cruisers—many bouncing along as they drove down El Cajon—was years ago.

Circumstance brought me to that part of University Heights on a Friday evening: Dropping off AT&T U-verse equipment at Park Blvd UPS Store for return shipment. Maybe I should get out there more often, and on the next first Friday of the month to see if perhaps there is lowrider cruising.

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The Players

Friends invited me to attend Spirit West Coast at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in 2008. I couldn’t guess what to expect—and, whoa, what a surprise. The atmosphere felt good and the overall ambience refreshed and enlivened. Christian musicians. Families. Young adults. All having fun at a festival where there was no alcohol or illegal substances. I was surprised. Transfixed.

I attended the following year, too. But those days are gone. The music festival no longer comes to San Diego County.