Category: Leica

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Better Bee Reading

Outside the “1917 House“, where also is the little homes collection, my wife and I came upon something new: cute book-sharing repository. Unlike others around our neighborhood of University Heights, this one doesn’t bear a LittleFreeLibrary label. I’m good what that distinction. This thing is fresh and oh-so Spring. Correction: Early Summer, in San Diego. (The other two seasons are Mid Summer and Late Summer. I know, I know, you don’t have to say it.)

During post-production, I recomposed the Featured Image to give more space to the honeysuckle, which sweet succumbing scent is such a relief from toxic construction dust and stink weed smoke (the latter disgusts my nostrils). Aroma and ambience make Birds, Bees, and Books an appealing pitstop. But do watch out for the stinging insects buzzing by searching for nectar.

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Chopped Before Its Time

While walking West on Monroe Avenue, in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, my wife and I could hear tree cutting as we approached cross-street Georgia. Sure enough, to our left, going towards Mission, a work crew cut and carted two palms. We had to investigate.

As you can see from the Featured Image and companions, all captured using Leica Q2, an extremely healthy-looking palm top is lifted and dumped. I wondered why and what was chopped. Annie and I walk down this street somewhat regularly, not recalling any recent road signs or other indications that the city would destroy more trees.

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Me in the Mirror

I am not one to take selfies but an odd opportunity presented today and the result is better than my expectation. While walking along the alley separating Alabama and Florida, in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, I came upon discarded mirrors between cross-streets Adams and Madison. Initially, I shot sideways, capturing car reflections across the way.

My journey continued. But along Adams and the next parallel alley, I encountered a nasty wind. Chilled, I chose to retrace my warmer path. That brought me back to the mirrors, which pitted, scratched state made me stop and ponder taking a shot from the hip, which I did after manually setting the aperture on Leica Q2.

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Bitter Blue

Earlier today, I came upon a notice warning that my hosting software is using an outdated, meaning unsupported, PHP version. Updating fatally crashed the site—so severely that I couldn’t access via tried-and-true Recovery Mode. Hours later, after reverting versions, the site came back to life. A single plugin presumably toasted everything. With the offender disabled, I will try the newer PHP once again.

But first, I had better fulfill my daily posting goal, which is how we come to the simple Featured Image, which I captured using Leica Q2 on May 13, 2022. I stopped for no particular reason before the flowers, along a sidewalk somewhere near where San Diego neighborhoods North Park and University Heights meet.

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No, It’s Me Watching You

On University Avenue in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood—alongside Bohdi Animal Hospital, across from Smart and Final—is a fitting homeless habitat. That is, if you go for the stereotype of some street-living person paranoid about government surveillance, which could include nanites from SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 vaccines. The sign says it all, in a triumphant tables-turning warning to the spies.

Today, as my wife and I waited for our turn to cross the street, I pulled around Leica Q2 for a single shot. Because, ah, someone watched me, speed mattered. The Featured Image is a close-crop, and, yes, University slopes along that stretch at Mississippi.

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‘Free! To Good Homes!’

Somewhere in my San Diego neighborhood, I passed by these giveaways that aren’t for just anyone. Read the sign. Does your residence rise to the high bar set by “Good Homes” with an exclamation? I couldn’t take anything being among the many unworthy.

There are the makings of a good home, singular, for someone starting out in a first rental, particularly a studio. That’s who would be most worthy recipient. What first furnishings: Sofa, storage rack, pillows, VHS player, cleaning supplies, and more.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Tom and Jerry

For Friday the Thirteenth, we present a lucky find from yesterday. While walking up Meade Avenue in North Park, just beyond the University Heights boundary at Texas, my wife spotted a skinny kitty dash across the street. Annie eventually found him (or her) hiding under a truck on Arizona. We moved along.

Not long later, I spotted a shorthair slunk low in a porch column’s shadow. Annie expressed concern about the beastie acting fearful. That’s when I exclaimed and pointed to the cat’s companion, which had riveted attention: Mouse in a plastic cage. Oh, how I wonder what is the backstory!

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Palm Canyon Misadventure

My wife and I drove over to Balboa Park, today, to explore Palm Canyon Trail, only to find much of the path blocked by chain-link and sign. We covered greater distance walking from the parking lot to the path’s entrance. Well, welcome to the wiles of San Diego’s hidden natural wonders.

Still, I relished having dirt, rather than cement, beneath my shoes—and the outside-the-city feeling of being inside the canyon, beneath the cover of various tree species, with bird call above and the only other sound being the intrusive roar of jets flying overhead to land at the airport (yeah, flightpath).

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Perspective Highway

During the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns, I got into the bad habit of photographing alleys, buildings, and streets—yeah cats, too—but have yet to get back to people. They have come out of their dwellings, so I have no excuse.

That as preface, I present a pair of photos where humans are present but unseen. Hey, these aren’t self-driving cars. The view looks out from the University Avenue bridge in Hillcrest onto slow-moving traffic along California State Highway 163.

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This is Progress?

I am not obsessed with the construction site at El Cajon Blvd and Louisiana Street, despite the number of recent photos and commentaries about it: Cave’s Grave; Wonder Wall; Shattered Serenity; Postal Convenience Center. My interest is what the project represents to San Diego neighborhoods Hillcrest, North Park, and University Heights, where relaxation of zoning rules is bringing down charming businesses and homes and replacing them with high-rises that are way out of character with the area.

The Featured Image, taken on May 7, 2022 using Leica Q2, captures before, during, and after multi-unit construction. Foreground looks across the aforementioned recent demolition to a four-story residential complex at Mississippi, overlooking the recently relocated Red Fox Steak House.

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To Become an Amateur Radio Operator

Nine years after receiving a FRN (FCC Registration Number), I finally sat down for official examination to quality for a Ham Radio Technician Class license. The Featured Image shows one of the study materials used to prepare; alongside is the transceiver that will start my broadcasting journey. But nothing happens until the Federal Communications Commission issues a call sign, which with my name must appear in the agency’s online licensee database.

Before SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 mandates, I would have spent a day in a class, followed by the 35-question test. Scoring 74 percent answers correct is the minimum to pass. Locally, classes are as often as monthly—none during the pandemic lockdowns—and move about San Diego County.

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Decorating the Cave’s Grave

The demolition site at El Cajon Blvd and Louisiana Street in University Heights returns five days later, because of alterations. Remnants remain of the Cave of Wonders building, but somebody has graffitied over some of the doodle drawings of the still-standing inner wall.

In reviewing the Featured Image, I see another change: The livable-looking property that was to the right behind in my previous shots is gone. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/160 sec, 28mm; 4:48 p.m. PDT; Leica Q2.