Category: Apple

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Raven

How strange that for years, our honorary contingent stayed single digits. But within the span of six months or so, the number unexpectedly jumped to—with today’s addition—twenty. I believe predators are the reason. University Heights hugs several canyons, where live coyotes; sightings are now frequently reported, as are the increasing number of missing kitties. I see fewer felines than what should be typical.

But beyond the boundary at Texas Street, canyons are more distant and the risk—but by no means absent, as the loss of Queenie so shows. Expect to see at least two more members join this special category sometime soon. The others, so far: BooBuddiesChill, Coal, Comber, Envy, Fancy, Guapo, LonesomeJadeMonaMoophie, Ninja, Promise, QueenieSammy, Shakey, Tom and Jerry, and Tula.

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The Swimming Pool

Rising and falling voices coming from outside our front window served as ambient noise as I puttered about the apartment this afternoon. Sometime later, I stepped through the front gate on an errand run, when one of the talkers—a younger woman—approached and asked if she could ask a question. The older lady accompanying her used to live in one of the apartments—50 years ago! The former resident recalled there being a swimming pool, or was she mistaken?

Oh, yes, long ago, a pool was the courtyard centerpiece, but the thing had been retired and filled in decades ago. Where people swam, a tree grows, as you can see from the Featured Image—taken today using Leica Q2—and the companion photo from iPhone XS on Aug. 16, 2019.

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Not Hello, But Goodbye

My 16.2-inch MacBook Pro—Apple M1 Max chip with 10-core CPU and 32-core GPU; 32GB unified memory; 1TB SSD—is gone. This morning, an associate professor and his wife purchased the laptop, which will become her go-to machine for video production. The monster machine will be missed.

On Christmas, parents bought my wife’s 13.3-inch MBP for their college student son. Same day, our daughter inherited my iPhone 13 Pro, which gift I already regret giving because of bad behavior on her part this evening (You don’t need to know, but I do need to remember). Samsung gave great trade-in amount for Annie’s smartphone. She and I now own the Galaxy S22 and S22 Ultra, respectively.

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The Cats of University Heights: Scamp

In the same yard where I first saw Thin and Slim, another black and white kitty appeared on Dec. 15, 2022. The trio are quite possibly from the same litter. However, this one was skittish rather than friendly. But, hey, doesn’t sibling personality often vary—vastly sometimes—even among humans?

I used iPhone 13 Pro to capture the Featured Image. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/99 sec, 77mm; 12:59 p.m. PST. Nickname: Scamp (for no particular reason).

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Great Galaxy!

I don’t believe in the multiverse, but let’s pretend for the sake of narrative. In one reality, my wife and I continue to use the iPhone 13 Pro pair purchased in early autumn 2021. In another, we upgraded to the 14 models released this year. Along another path, we bought Google Pixel 7 for her and Pro for me. But in this here and now, we are unexpected owners of Samsung Galaxy S22 and its, considerably larger, Ultra sibling.

The saga starts with an insane crisis beleaguering our daughter, where, because of incompetence and mischief, she got locked out of her iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Air—and iCloud account! About a month later, and many Apple support calls or Genius Bar visits, she has regained use of the handset and notebook; iCloud is irrevocably lost, or so seems situation as I write. Someone, and she doesn’t recall being that person, activated recovery key, which my daughter does not have. Without it, Apple Support agents continually say she cannot regain access to her iCloud identity. Ah, yeah.

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Last Walk with iPhone 13 Pro

I relished yet another Summer-like day—19 degrees Celsius (66 Fahrenheit)—and walked from my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights to Hillcrest for groceries. The jaunt also served as opportunity to take final photos with iPhone 13 Pro, which will be retired tonight.

This post also marks the last using my beloved 16.2-inch MacBook Pro—by far the most satisfying laptop ever to be in my possession. But, alas, after much discussion, my wife and I have decided to change computing platforms, which reasons will be explained on another day.

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Candy Cane Critters

Please pardon yet more holiday motif—and, pitifully, almost none pertaining to the real spirit of the season (e.g. Christ’s birth). But a computing platform—well, two, if more accurately stated—switch is underway within the Wilcox household. Sudden. Unexpected. Long time brewing. I have been busy backing up and transferring data; not everything resides in the cloud and caution demands redundancy and meticulous review of data before devices are irrevocably wiped.

As such, posting priority is a bit back-burnered but shouldn’t be ignored. While quality is always first objective, quantity matters, too—seeing as I committed to sharing something each and every day of 2022, like last year. For now, please accept my apologies; you’ll read the story about the big transition soon enough.

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Supermarket Santa

Warm weather returned to San Diego this fine Wednesday. While the temperature only reached 16 degrees Celsius (61 Fahrenheit), the experience was much milder; summer-like. Turkey was on super sale at the Ralph’s grocery in Hillcrest. Annie drove us over for the (hefty) bird, and I walked home.

I had to laugh when approaching the entrance and seeing the huge inflatable St. Nick rising above the doors. Say, isn’t that the character from stop-motion TV special “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer“? The juxtaposition of snowy Santa waving to tropical Cutie oranges demanded a photo.

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IKEA Santas

The autumn season has been unusually pleasant here in San Diego—not seen since our first in 2007. Cool and cloudy, while often wet, is more typical. But sunny and mild was the climate’s character until this rainy and wet Sunday. As such, my wife and I decided to keep dry by taking our afternoon walk around IKEA, which is a 4.2-km (2.6-mile) drive from our apartment.

The retailer’s 2022 seasonal collection, VINTERFINT, sprinkled about the store. Most prominent: Santa Claus, in two sizes—$7.99 or $19.99, respectively, for card carrying Family Members. The large dominate the Featured Image and the smaller the companion pic, which odd cropping removes a shopper. The things were stationed everywhere—all departments. This dedicated display was near the checkout lines.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Fancy

The number of new neighborhood sightings is low, while that of missing kitties is unusually high—along with warnings about wandering coyotes. Sadly, and surely, there must be a connection. Across Texas Street, into parts of North Park, I see more felines than is typical—and further distance from canyons is some protection. That said, Queenie, one of the prettiest putty-tats designated Honorary, is missing and, based on circumstantial evidence, presumed to have been taken by a coyote.

I have a backlog of Honorarians to add to the series, including the beauty photographed today. She (or he) joins sixteen others: BooBuddiesChill, CoalEnvy, Guapo, LonesomeJadeMonaMoophie, Ninja, Promise, QueenieSammy, Shakey, and Tom and Jerry. Darth Mew initially belonged to the group, until later turning up in University Heights.

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Please Remind Me, Whose Birthday Do We Celebrate?

As my wife and I were about to leave Fashion Valley Mall today, she pointed out something odd, which you can see in the Featured Image and companion. Santa’s house in the lower center court is extremely non-sectarian.

From one perspective, since St. Nick is a secular invention, I can understand. But from another—and vastly more penetrating—viewpoint, “Merry & Bright” defies the spirit of the season and the birth for which it celebrates. Wouldn’t “Merry Christmas” be resoundingly more appropriate? Or did I miss something about the holiday’s name including that of he whose birthday we commemorate with gift-giving? (And mass consumerism.)

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Bring Your Own Phone

Consider the Featured Image as companion to the one shared on Sept. 13, 2021. The difference is the actual payphone in the other. Here you got an empty space and loads of graffiti. Welcome to North Park, where my wife and I visited on this sunny Sunday.

Not long before we passed the thing, while walking along University Ave., I snarked to Annie about how rundown is an area with reputation for being desirable and trendy. No doubt, some of the homeless camped out on the sidewalks feel that way. The place is relatively clean and spacious compared to the tent cities popping up around San Diego.