Category: Photo

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Real Rainbow Rises

Six-color flags are quite common in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. Real rainbows are rare occurrences, and a delight, in part because rain is uncommon. Yearly average precipitation (October to September) is about 25 cm (10 inches). We are already well above that number, following a series of storms.

That explains my seeing two rainbows in the sky on consecutive days—one to the West from the front of our apartment building and the other East in the alley behind. The latter is the Featured Image, taken yesterday using Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

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The Correct Answer Is…

“I don’t know, let me get back to you on that”. The question: What is causing the unusually rainy (or snowy) weather in SoCal? When drought conditions gripped California, pundits blamed Climate Change. Now that torrential precipitation falls, doomsayers also blame Climate Change. You got to love stupidity. They can’t know!

A smart scientist would give some version of the proposed answer in the previous paragraph. Genius would make a hypothesis and begin collecting data to prove or disprove it. Occam’s Razor suggests starting with weather-influencing factors that are atypical and possibly convergent: El Niño and the approaching Solar Maximum of the typical 11-year Solar Cycle.

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You Can’t…

Irony is sometimes what you make it—or not. You decide, regarding my explanation about the Featured Image. Yesterday, I walked by the Sun Bum display inside Ralph’s and gaped. Hillcrest is one of San Diego’s homeless hangouts, and the street folk have, ah, sticky fingers. Yes, thievery.

Local street sleepers are blamed. Meaning: The supermarket doesn’t trust the bum, which is why so many items for sale are in locked displays. Buying batteries? Ask a clerk. Personal hygiene products? You will need assistance getting access to some of those, too. I could go on, but you get the point—right?

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A Rosey Outlook

Torrential rains fall this evening across San Diego County. Officials warn of flooding that will rival or exceed last month’s storm surge. When I checked the forecast before bed, last night, showers would start around 3 a.m. and increase throughout the day.

But the low pressure area either slowed or stalled, allowing my wife and I to walk about 4.2 km (2.6 miles) roundtrip to The Hub in Hillcrest for on-sale tuna fish at Ralph’s supermarket. Light drizzle started minutes after we returned to our apartment. Lucky.

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Professional (Thief) @Work

Four @Work Series Android Collectibles remain in the box—correction, three after today’s debut: Executive / Lawyer / Investor. I can’t imagine why he dresses in purple, other than perhaps some royal, divine-right-of-kings sense of self-importance. He is better than you (and me, too). Well, I never heard such nutty-sense before. What might these three professions share in common? Ah, thievery perhaps?

I must admit to liking the eyeglasses. Can I have a pair, similarly styled? But the briefcase wouldn’t attached as designed. I tucked the thing under an arm, so precariously that heavy breathing could case it to fall down.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Rascal

For the first Caturday of the month, we have something special: beyond boundaries of the neighborhood, a kitty spotted on the same property where another was seen (and added to the series) on July 4, 2023.

The Featured Image and companions are also the first set shot using Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra‘s new 5x optical zoom and 10x hybrid (telephoto and digital); I am almost disappointed to say that the latter look better than any taken with the S23 Ultra’s true optical 230mm (film equivalent).

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The Lamp’s Shadow

This evening, while standing in our living room, I marveled over the shadow cast by the hanging lamp, which we bought with IKEA’s NIPPRIG collection nine years ago. Handmade from natural fibers,  the furniture and accessories are lightweight and durable—and were amazingly affordable. For example, we paid $125 for each of the two sofas (see link above for glimpse).

I used Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra to capture the Featured Image. In post-production, I cropped 3:2, which removed top of our TV from the frame. Then, in post-production, I pushed dehaze slider, which amped shadows and darkened the overall photo.

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California Contraband

Time is way overdue for me to return to a topic started Dec. 23, 2021, when ordering lightbulbs. The Philips LEDs could not be shipped to California by Amazon. Apparently some bulbs are state sanctioned, while others are considered to be hazardous to human health (what isn’t in the Golden State) and thus prohibited.

I eventually found approved Philips LEDs and ordered two variations from separate sellers. Opening the boxes, the 14-watters stated that they were “certified to California Title 20”. As for the others, please take a close look at the Featured Image: “Not for sale in California”. Yikes! I was an unintentional lawbreaker.

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Suspended Spider

I love spiders. What can I say? No one can ever accuse me of killing one, unless by accident—and my rescues of nearly drowned or crushed spiders is legendary in the arachnid community. These eight-leggers know who is their human friend.

So I am surprised to discover the Featured Image, languishing unpublished. Yeah, yeah, the awards-givers won’t be banging on my door, holding trophies immortalizing this shot. But, hey, the thing looks suspended in air, and the photo is excellent smartphone showcase of past capabilities:;10 years ago (almost)—Oct. 11, 2014, using iPhone 6.

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What a Croc!

I don’t much love San Diego neighborhood Hillcrest, so much that if need demands going there, I typically carry Leica Q2 Monochrom—because the dinge, grime, and rainbow flags are better in black and white.

An errand compelled a walk through, ah, Hellcrest on Jan. 24, 2024. Along the way, I passed a discarded Croc shoe lying on University Ave. You would think that with the large number of shoeless homeless, somebody would claim the footwear and its companion, too—not that I saw it nearby.

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Coin Collection

While waiting outside the Smart & Final for my wife, who was grocery shopping (bless her!), I hung out in the parking lot by the wall where, on the other side, homeless folk sometimes hang out. On the ledge, I came upon a small collection of coins.

My question: Did some good Samaritan leave loose change for the unhoused (hate that term) to find, or were the coins perhaps gathered and forgotten? Either, or neither, could be true.

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The Cats of University Heights: Peep

Well, turns out Buchi isn’t the last photo from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra after all. You get one more. While we walked after sunset on Jan. 26, 2024, my wife spotted a kitty looking out a second floor window onto an alley somewhere separating Alabama and Mississippi. UPS delivered S24 Ultra earlier that day, but I hadn’t yet time to set up the newer smartphone.

I turned the S23 Ultra skyward and used the 10x optical zoom lens for the Featured Image. My longstanding gripe: focal length undermines the utility of the telephoto in low light, as is so clearly demonstrated here. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 4000, 1/30 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 5:36 p.m. PST.