Category: Apple

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The Cats of University Heights: Quizzical

While walking down Mission, today, I heard constant meowing across the street and wondered: Where? How’s an apartment’s second floor balcony. Closing in, I pleaded with the kitty not to jump. Surely my human talk was gibberish at best.

That said, my approach silenced the shorthair, who cocked its head and posed. Several times—almost like I had been beckoned to come and shoot portraits. Cue the Twilight Zone music for the episode about mind-reading cats.

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No Vision

New Vision Christian Fellowship closed its University Heights building in May 2019, long after selling the property to a developer for as much as $34 million (I couldn’t confirm the amount). If my observation of apparent sparse attendance—except for free food days—indicates anything, the church hadn’t thrived for some time in the location. Proceeds from the sale created opportunity for relocation (Orange Avenue in City Heights) and funds to expand evangelical work.

But the departure nevertheless left a hole in the heart of the San Diego neighborhood, which would be filled with a towering edifice currently under construction. A modest religious institution will be replaced by a towering cathedral for materialistic worshippers.

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The Price of Gas Rose 30 Cents Overnight!

When I drove past the local filling station late yesterday afternoon, a tanker parked and offloaded fuel. I wondered: You don’t suppose the delivery means Valero will charge more? Fleeting thoughts come, go, and never manifest into anything. But on this occasion, I was right to wonder and wish to be wrong. Gas prices had fallen recently and stabilized at $5.30 per gallon.

Ha! And I thought the 24-cent overnight increase, back in February, was a big hike.

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Waiting to Buy an iPhone

On this exact date six years ago (also a Friday), Apple started selling Apple Watch Series 2, iPhone 7, and 7 Plus. Available as of today: timepiece Series 8 and Ultra; iPhone 14 and 14 Plus; iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Starting price for new iPhones in 2016: $649. In 2022: $799 (14) or $999 (14 Pro). A maxed-out Max model, with 1TB storage, sets back buyers $1,599. Does anyone remember when a cheap laptop cost as much?

I used iPhone 6s Plus to capture the Featured Image on Sept. 16, 2016. People wait outside Apple Store Fashion Valley, San Diego, to buy the then newest gadgets. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/60 sec, 29mm; 7:51 a.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Nugget

Look who came to visit as my wife and I walked to Smart & Final today. This friendly fella is the ninety-third putty-tat found along Alabama between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. Nearly six years into the series, I cannot answer why so many kitties are from the one street.

I used iPhone 13 Pro to capture the Featured Image and companion. Vitals: f/1.5, ISO 50, 1/1100 sec, 26mm; 10:20 a.m. PDT. The other is same but 1/1079 sec.

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The Cats of University Heights: Homey

Why would anyone own a camera? I ask because of my unexpected experience this evening with Night Mode when shooting iPhone 13 Pro. A day filled with distraction, including an ant attack on our kitties’ food dishes, disrupted my normal walking routine. Around 8:30 p.m. PDT, I slipped out for fresh air and quick jaunt.

Twelve minutes later, along Texas Street, I passed by a cat curled up on steps before a home’s security door. I kept walking, then turned back. The sleeper was quite illuminated, under the porch light, which created possibly satisfying portrait. When I pressed the shutter button, a countdown timer appeared on the screen. That’s new, I thought, not knowing that Night Mode automatically activates and behaves such.

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Not One Crisis, But Two

Two days ago, I looked upon something surprising inside the Grocery Outlet, located in San Diego neighborhood Talmadge: An empty display case for Mexican Coca-Cola. Shall we blame supply chain disruptions that every fear-mongering pundit has blabbered about for months? The beverage, sweetened with cane sugar instead of corn syrup, is popularly stocked by many grocery stores in this area of SoCal.

But far more unsettling is the price. Mexican Coke, sold in glass bottles, is perennially priced 99 cents. A buck sixty-nine puts inflation and rising food/beverage prices into piercing perspective. That’s a 70.7 percent increase, by the way. Yikes!

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‘They Graffitied It’

This morning, following my semi-annual dentist appointment, I walked from San Diego’s College Area to Talmadge, where is Grocery Outlet. Along the way, at the corner of El Cajon Blvd and 62nd Street, I came upon some religious love art on a utility box. Well, that was worth a shot.

As I pulled up iPhone 13 Pro to take the Featured Image, a big dude smoking a joint thumped down the sidewalk. Downwind to the stink, I smelled his approach before seeing him. Passing by, he pointed and stated: “They graffitied it”. I didn’t say, but thought: Yeah, if you consider Jesus graffiti. I don’t, and that section of the city could use a little spiritual affirmation—the, ah, weed-wacking walker, too.

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The Cats of University Heights: Retro

This morning, I saw someone walking a small dog—until my wife corrected: “No, that’s a cat!” Seconds later, a second kitty appeared—the ever-frolicking Mittens, who energetically engaged the other, which welcomed the play.

Retro (real name) is well-acquainted with Mittens, who has grown into quite the stunning shorthair, since joining the series in March 2022. The two often engage through a window, making something special today’s prancing about.

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The Public Market

Before California’s governor shut down businesses, organizations, schools, and other establishments under the guise of combating SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19, my wife and I frequently visited Liberty Station in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood. The former Naval Training Center offers great space to walk around; I relished the green outdoor area with dirt paths, flanked by buildings of intriguing architectural style.

Nearly 30 months after the first of several “stay-at-home” orders and about a half-year since the last meaningfully oppressive mandates, we have yet to resume some pre-pandemic habits—like Liberty Station, which visit was so long ago that I can’t recall when.

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The Cats of University Heights: August

The month ends with a namesake. Not knowing whether she was adopting a male or female kitten, the caretaker chose something gender-neutral—later learning she had a she. For our series, the putty’s portrait languished nearly seven months for the arrival of today, when August could appear in August.

I used iPhone 13 Pro to capture the Featured Image on Feb. 3, 2022. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 80, 1/120 sec, 77mm; 12:05 p.m. PST. August is the ninety-first Alabama Street cat between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. She also is the one-hundred-first feline found behind either window or door.

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The Cats of University Heights: Lanky

In the alley behind Alabama, but clearly living opposite off of Florida, a tabby waited next to a fence on Aug. 16, 2022. She approached and passed, more disturbed by my pulling out iPhone 13 Pro than interested in visiting me. Some kitties are attention-seekers; not this one.

The Featured Image captures the first sighting and the companion going by to the apartment building where she presumably lives. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/255 sec, 77mm; 9:47 a.m. PDT. The other is same but 1/99 sec.