Category: Leica

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I am a Pixel Owner, Once More

May 8, 2024. In my news feed, several tech blogs spotlighted Google Store’s sudden, shocking trade-in offer for Pixel Tablet: Up to $399—equivalent to the price of the 128GB variant—in exchange for one of many, many iPad models. Free plus sales tax is a rather compelling offer.

The device launched a year earlier, making so little positive impression that I ordered two Samsung Galaxy tabs—one for my wife and another for me. Pixel Tablet looks even more inferior than 12 months ago, coming right as Apple released new iPads packing M4 chips. But they do cost mountains of cash more. Got an organ to sell? Kidneys fetch a good return, I hear.

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The Sleeper

I rarely photograph San Diego homeless, as a silent sign of respect. But, today, one gentlemen so surprised me that I felt compelled to take the shot—well, several. Walking East on Meade Ave., I saw him sleeping on the sidewalk across the way, where Mission cuts diagonally—think 45 degrees—from the intersection at Park Blvd.

The sleep mask is what intrigued me. He looked so unusually comfortable, lying on the cement, which was surprising, too. Foot and vehicular traffic is fairly brisk, and noisy, on a Friday afternoon; then there is the bus stop—a couple meters away, at most. Yet he looked so serene and lay motionless, but in an open space where homeless are otherwise uncommon.

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A Moment for Bruce

Seven years ago today, I shot the Featured Image, using Leica Q. Bruce, who shared residence with Guido and Little, waited for his owner. The previous week, I got a glimpse of the woman walking her dog (Dakota), and the short-legged kitty ambling along with them. What a wonderful sight, and I had to know more. Scouting about led me to one of the neighborhood’s handsomest—and most beloved—cats.

A few years later, over the Christmas holidays, Dakota passed away, That put an end to the dog-cat walks, until some months later when Bruce’s owner—now one of our favorite neighbors—rescued the amicable Apple. In some dictionary somewhere, sweetness is defined by a description of that dog. Sigh. She suddenly passed away last week, as was explained yesterday. Bruce is gone, too; he vanished over Memorial Day weekend 2023.

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Goodbye, Apple, We All Miss You

On April 30, 2024, one of our favorite neighbors said sad goodbye to her beloved dog, Apple. Six days earlier, she took the animal to a veterinarian for surgery to remove a mass on the rump. But the procedure had to be aborted, and our neighbor received an overall grim prognosis but still with some months, even longer, of expected life left. Apple declined, however, looks like mainly because of the surgery, and she died. I received the teary phone call one week ago; yes, last Wednesday.

Already our neighbor suffered the loss of University Heights East’s favorite cat, Bruce, who vanished over Memorial Day weekend 2023. Beloved neighborhood runners-up: Pepto and Rick, who Apple visited on her walks. We all loved the dog, and our neighbor had amazing rapport and daily routine with Apple.

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Pop Pie at Night

T long-delayed ophthalmologist appointment finally occurred today. That meant massive dilation to check my optical implants. My pupils were massively large, such that the iris in each eye rimmed so thinly that my best analogy is the muted corona around last month’s total solar eclipse.

As such, I spent most of the day indoors, hiding from sunlight, and only ventured outside after dark—and what a glorious evening, too. Mild: 16 Celsius (61 Fahrenheit). Despite temporarily impaired vision, I brought along Leica Q2 Monochrom.

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Server @Work

Only one unopened @Work Android Collectible remains, after today’s unveiling: Café Worker / Barista / Roaster. The box is nearly empty. What disappointment that is, too. Maybe I can share some other past purchases from Dead Zebra.

In the real world, this fine fella could either be unemployed or object of customer complaint. On April 1. 2024, California raised the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 an hour, which oddly is four bucks more than the mandate set for everyone else. Cost-cutting layoffs are rampant at burger joints, pizza, places, and the like—as are increased prices (hence, those disgruntled customers).

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Color Me Orange

Chill. Don’t complain about more flowers. Appreciate them—as do I. Walking along an alley today, I passed by clinging-vine Nasturtium that had taken over  a backyard gate and fence.

The simple, cheerful scene charmed me enough to pull out Leica Q2 and take a single shot. Vitals for the Featured Image, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 3:17 p.m. PDT. I reduced orange saturation during post production.

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Pretty Poppy

The calendar hanging on our refrigerator correctly designates April 22 as Earth Day. I consider the celebration to be a year-long event. Our celestial home deserves more than 24 hours out of the 8,760 during a typical year.

So, commemorating today before you do tomorrow, I present the Featured Image, taken because of the California Poppy’s color. Unfortunately, breeze blew by just as I clicked the camera’s shutter, so point of focus isn’t exactly where intended but close enough.

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This is No Fairy Tale

Third weekend of the month means the book sale room is open at my local San Diego Public Library branch (University Heights). My wife and I stopped briefly by, but we didn’t stay long. The crazies, as I call them, are all over the place on Saturday mornings, loading up massive amounts of books into bags and boxes.

Based on the choices, such as physical condition, the early birds appear to be buying books to resell. (Can you say Amazon?) We checked out with two DVDs for Annie and one Aesop’s Fables for me behind some dude paying more than $90—at standard price of buck-a-book, the number is obvious.

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Be a King or Queen for a Night

While black-and-white photography might seem, ah, colorless, it is striking coming from Leica Q2 Monochrom. Take, for example, the Featured Image, which is sharp edge to edge. Pixel-peepers, please, go for it—and to assist you the companion capture is a close-crop for your perusal.

Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 200, 1/160 sec, 28mm; 2:31 p.m. PDT, April 2, 2024. The original is composed as shot. Venue: Lafayette, the recently remodeled, iconic hotel located in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights.

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Changing Priorities

With increasing mayhem—everything from armed robbery to migrant mischief to unpredictable homeless encounters—self-protection gurus council people, particularly among vulnerable populations like older folks, to practice situational awareness. Stated simply: Pay attention to your surroundings.

Most people are clueless, at least around my San Diego neighborhood. Every day, I see dozens and dozens of folks, many of them walking dogs, wearing Apple AirPods—and thus tuning out by tuning in, so to speak. They don’t pay attention—as they should, if for no other reason than the increased amount of traffic precipitated by increased population density. Previously quiet streets suddenly are quite congested.

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Doll and Books

Because Cali overtook my lap—and I let her—posting is later than planned and topic changed. Please pardon another black-and-white Featured Image—from Leica Q2 Monochrom. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4.5, ISO 200, 1/3200 sec, 28mm; 1:01 p.m. PDT, March 26, 2024. Composed as captured.

I came upon the doll and collection of reference books—put out free for the taking—while walking along Madison Ave within the corridor where North Park wedges between San Diego neighborhoods Normal Heights and University Heights.