Category: Photo

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Last Millennium Computing

Every day is a surprise when walking San Diego alleys. Perhaps you remember the art gallery, big face clockfamily roomrustic mirror, rusty typewriter, Seventies stove, snowboarding boots, Victorian-style sofa, or Vitamaster Slendercycle, among many odd items left for scavengers. But today’s sighting flushed up memories. I owned one of these.

Apple released the PowerMac G3 (Blue and White) in 1999, which makes it oh-so last Century. Among the innovations: The side opened out, revealing the innards and opportunity to make modest upgrades (hey, emphasis modest because proprietary is the company’s calling card). In the Featured Image, and companion, the blue circle above the Apple logo is the release latch.

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Down the Drain

I sit and wonder on Friday evening before Election Tuesday what will be the outcome for the Midterms. For months, gleeful pundits predicted a Red Wave, as an angry and dissatisfied electorate boots Democrats from local political offices all the way to the halls of the U.S. Capitol. If the prognosticators prove right, red will better describe the bloodbath than resurgent Republicans.

Even in deep Blue California, Red rises enough that Joseph Biden stumped for candidates in San Diego County—last night and today. Supposedly, Democratic Rep. Mike Levin risks being unseated by Republican challenger Brian Maryott in the 49th District. If a Dem incumbent can’t defend against a Repub upstart in the Bluest state, the Jackass party is just that before the Elephant in the room (these folks really need better mascots/symbols).

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This is Pat

A year or so before China locked down Wuhan because of SARS-CoV-2(severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19, I saw someone rummaging recyclables from bins in an alley. I had a bag of seltzer cans to put out and gave them to the fellow, whom fit my stereotype of a homeless scrounger. But days later, we passed again—and then less than a week later, once more. He was a regular.

When we had amassed more giveaways and he appeared in the alley, I made a delivery and conversation. He wasn’t homeless! He lives here in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. He is perfectly housed and also nearly blind. Meet Pat. I wish more people showed as much self-reliance, even without a debilitating handicap.

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How Timely

As an educational exercise, tonight, I re-edited the Featured Image, which I captured on June 6, 2021 using Leica Q2. It’s a long-exposure, from which a little camera shake is evident. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 400, 8 sec, 28mm; 9:46 p.m. PDT. Composed as shot.

I acquired the Luminox Automatic Sport Timer 0921 a few days earlier and still almost exclusively wear the watch sixteen months later. I love it. Persistent luminescence is an enormous benefit—and the timepiece is analog, which means mostly perpetual operation; no battery change, ever.

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Warty Witch Remembers

Seven years ago today, I posted a lengthy, revised review of the Nexus 9 tablet. In 2022, I use an 11-inch iPad Pro M1. That’s the state of my current computing life, which is matched by iPhone 13 Pro and 16.2-inch MacBook Pro. Not long ago, I was all-in with Google devices—as recently as 2019. But I eventually bit into the bitter fruit that is Apple, partially because Big G introduced excellent gear that later would be abandoned. Also, I saw increasing need not to be bound to constant Internet access.

That said, I had some satisfying digital lifestyle days using Chromebook Pixel and LS successor, among other Google devices. Pixel C remains one of my all-time favorite tablets, in part for the crisp display and Android utility. I still have one in the closet, languishing; four or five Android versions ago, support stopped. I also still own Pixel 2 XL, which similarly can’t be updated.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Boo

Three consecutive honorary kitties might make you wonder if there aren’t many more in the neighborhood to present. Oh, there are. Coincidental circumstance is reason for this trio. Nothing more.

My wife and I walked to the alley where yesterday afternoon a lonesome tabby hung out at a building site. We hoped to see the animal, but a construction crew prattled about, ensuring no sensible putty would stay anywhere nearby. That said, Annie pointed out a different shorthair lurking about half way there. How lucky! A black cat. On Halloween!

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Lonesome

While walking along Madison towards Texas, I spontaneously changed route down the Arizona alley. Approaching Monroe, I came upon a tabby nestled in the dirt of a recently cleared construction site. Something is being built.

My mistaken first impression: The kitty crouched down in stalking repose. But approaching, I could see the cat waited for something, or someone, else. The tiger mewed pleadingly but didn’t come near, and I wondered: Was the cat’s home the structure that no longer is there? Because that’s my second impression—the animal waiting for its owners to come. Is someone abandoned?

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Sale Sofa or a New Car?

Few San Diego neighborhoods can compete with Hillcrest for the financial gulf between those with means and others with little or none. People pay beaucoup bucks to live and party in what I unaffectionately call Hellcrest, where the homeless camp or roam rampant and the housed sidestep those who aren’t like someone might a piece of dog poop.

Sofa sale at one of the finer furniture boutiques had me laughing on Oct. 13, 2022. I can’t say which is funnier: The 50-percent discount or the original price—both of which you can see in the Featured Image, which I captured using Leica Q2 Monochrom through the display window. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/100 sec, 28mm; 10:37 a.m. PDT.

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What’s Not to Like?

I am not a car guy, but even poor pitifully mechanically-challenged me croons over this Land Cruiser. Anyone know the vintage? The color and styling beam classic. My wild, uninformed guess is a model from the 1980s.

On Oct. 21, 2022, I just happened to come upon the vehicle as it was being parked. I waited a bit, rushed back, and grabbed a single shot using Leica Q2. My intention was to get more vantage points. But I returned later to find that the owner had pulled over a protective cover. The off-red and beige beauty is still parked with fitted-tarp. Protection from the Southern sun prevents photo followups. Oh, well.

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An Oddly Welcoming Warning

What if this wasn’t a Halloween decoration but a declaration to “Keep Out” of the graveyard—that there is no place available for any more, ah, residents. C`mon, who wouldn’t want the Grim Reaper to turn away guests? Put out one of those signs seen at the parking garage when all the spaces are taken.

Someone might argue such could be the situation because of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19—meaning the Grim Reaper has an oversupply of recently deceased. Morbid, don’t you think?

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The Green No Deal

The most common consequence of new home ownership in my San Diego neighborhood is the obliteration of the green outdoor space. Perhaps the lawn is replaced with gravel, rocks, or sand. Shrubs and/or trees are chopped down, replaced by fence. The point: This is more typical occurrence than not, which strangely surprises.

For a community where liberal values reign and residents will rail about the dangers of fossil fuels escalating global warming, too little regard is given to the immense importance of grass, flowers, shrubs, and trees that temperate climate, remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and increase supply of breathable oxygen. Killing these things that grow and replacing them with cement, gravel, stone, or sand that absorb heat surely contributes to the problem the Green New Deal crowd claims to be concerned about. Can you say contradictory behavior?

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Do Your Laundry!

Two weeks from today, Americans officially cast ballots in the Midterms. Early and mail-in voting already is underway in some states. Given the current chaos in the economy, partisan politicking, progressive policy-making, and societal factionalism—among other seemingly endless bouts of turbulence—you have every reason to be an active voice this election.

Party affiliation is immaterial. Consider alternatives and possibly choosing someone other than your state or local government’s career politician(s). I see public service as just that. Elected office should not be a job for life, or even decades. Put in a few years for the greater good, so to speak, and return to private life. Otherwise the wheels of government build up gunk (e.g., conflicts of interest and corruption) that clogs the gears.