Category: Leica

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Waiting to Cross

From the same North Park corner as yesterday’s jaywalker, we regard a woman looking at her smartphone while waiting to cross 30th Street at University Ave. She wasn’t the target of the shot; I cropped him away for her.

This neighborhood is considered one of the more desirable ones closer to downtown San Diego. I passed a dozen (or more) homeless folks from Meade to University. Streets are dirty, and stinky, but nowhere near as ripe as Hillcrest. Yep, desirable.

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The Jaywalker

If I walk where there are stoplights, someone surely will cross the street against traffic. Nowhere else have I seen such consistently stupid, arrogant behavior. Is it only San Diego? All California? I do wonder. This type of jaywalking isn’t occasional. Every time I venture out, someone strolls into oncoming traffic.

The gentleman in the Featured Image is an offender seen today. He and I walked along 30th Street in North Park—he ahead of me and later behind. Oddly, we would both arrive at Target, but by different routes. At either Lincoln or Polk (not sure which), I crossed to the other side of 30th with a walk sign. That meant green light for the cars going in the same direction as me. Continuing along 30th, he ignored the don’t walk sign and brazenly crossed into oncoming traffic, meaning cars proceeding on a green light.

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Across the Night Room

More than once, I have looked into the window of a closed-for-the-day office on Park Blvd in University Heights and wanted to take a shot. Opportunity presented on the evening of Nov. 30, 2023, when I passed by with Leica Q2, which produced the Featured Image. The red water pot across the room is the point of focus. The scene is quite busy, accentuated by outside reflections on the window glass.

I don’t know which is the San Diego small business; looks something showroom-like to my eyes. For sure, the place is located on the block between Mission and Monroe.

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Pretty, Yes, But What About the Electric Utility Bill?

I want the Featured Image to better, but the discards from last night’s Christmas decor photo walk are worse. This house has beckoned my camera for years. The property, on Florida near Howard here in University Heights, is brazenly lit every December. I must return and seek skills redemption.

Vitals, aperture manually set: f/1.7, ISO 1000, 1/15 sec, 28mm; 7:33 p.m. PST; Leica Q2.

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Shattered Showroom

This Wednesday evening is just warm enough for walking, which was my activity a little earlier. As I write, the outdoors air temperature is a comfortable-enough 12 degrees Celsius (54 Fahrenheit), such that light hoody was warm-wear suitable.

I set out to shoot Christmas decorations and nabbed a few. But the Featured Image takes the night. Walking westward along El Cajon towards Park Blvd, in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, I came upon a gaping hole in the showroom glass of Lusti Motors.

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Delivery @Work

What more appropriate timing than the first few days following Black Friday (ah, weekend) to unveil the next @Work Android Collectible: Logistics / Mail / Delivery / Messenger. All that sales-crazed ordering means massive movement of goods from warehouses to your doorstep. Amazon, FedEx, and UPS trucks are everywhere in my San Diego neighborhood, this week.

Look both ways before crossing streets; the drivers rush from address to address. Do be polite and get out of the way, when the delivery dude or dame appears on sidewalk or stairs carrying a stack of boxes.

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Live at Winslow?

Opening of the 379-unit apartment building—along Park Blvd between El Cajon and Meade—continues to reverberate across my neighborhood of University Heights and nearby Hillcrest and North Park. Winslow’s rentals reset the comparative market rate—a term that I loathe—that other landlords would use to charge their tenants, exiting or new, more.

Another impact is the building, which fills one full block and dramatically changes the character of that stretch of Park Blvd. The residential complex, and other newer multi-unit structures, also increase congestion and traffic—oh, let’s not forget competition for parking spots.

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The Immeasurable Value of Books

The third weekend each month, the book sale room opens at the University Heights branch of San Diego Public Library. Of course, I would forget and come happenstance while walking somewhere else on Sunday about 90 minutes before closure. Inside I went, searching for older titles to take home.

Current cultural, progressive values are imposed all about us, with the greatest casualty being history and how the past is revised and censored to match these same norms. The Telegraph gives good example with Nov. 20, 2023 story (headline and dek): “Roman emperor was trans, says museum. Elagabalus will be referred to as she after claims in classical texts that the emperor asked to be called ‘lady’. Except: “Some historians believe these accounts may simply have been a Roman attempt at character assassination”.

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Hello Samsung, Goodbye SanDisk

During Black Friday week 2022, I bought from Amazon several SanDisk SSDs—2TB Extreme Pro. The discounted selling price is even lower this year. But I have decided to retire all. My experience with the drives is nothing short of satisfaction. But throughout 2023, I have read numerous blogs, forum posts, and news stories about SanDisk drive failures resulting in loss of data. Every time I connect Extreme Pro to my laptop, I am nagged by feeling of playing Russian Roulette.

Consider this chilling headline from PetaPixel, in August: “SanDisk Portable SSDs Are Failing So Frequently, We Can No Longer Recommend Them“. Or this one from The Verge: “We just lost 3TB of data on a SanDisk Extreme SSD“, with dek “My colleague Vjeran is furious”. The big bombshell, just 10 days ago: “SanDisk Extreme Pro Failures Result From Design and Manufacturing Flaws, Says Data Recovery Firm” (Tom’s Hardware re-reporting from German Site FutureZone).

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Tangled Web

Belated topic time: Few months ago, I changed copyright on this blogsite and my Flickr from a Creative Commons non-commercial variant to All Rights Reserved. I did this in response to so-called artificial intelligence algorithms scraping content from websites for various purposes—improving learning models being one of them.

Some of that content can and likely will be repurposed for profit and in manner outside my artistic control. Software developers, many of them large tech companies—think Apple, Google, and Microsoft, for starters—can claim plausible deniability. “Hey, we didn’t know that would happen”.

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The Beat is Gone

For years, we have infrequently heard the playing of drums from a garage off the alley behind our apartment building. I’m a fan, who enjoyed listening to the practice. Has that era come to an end? I ask, because of an awfully nice-looking set of shells stacked behind the aforementioned garage—sans skins—as if being discarded. I know nothing about the percussion instrument. Does that look like a good kit to you?

I spotted the set during an impromptu walk today and used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to mark the moment. But returning home, and looking over the shots, I decided that black and white would be better. About a half-hour later, I returned with Leica Q2 Monochrom, from which comes the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/7, ISO 200, 1/5000 sec. 9:32 a.m. PST.

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The Big ‘Little Library’ Renovation

Whoa, something changed with the LittleFreeLibrary located on Campus Avenue in University Heights. You probably wouldn’t recognize that this is a less-decorative rendition of the one shared in October 2021. But size still commands all other curbside lending boxes situated around the San Diego neighborhood.

My wife and I first spotted the renovated enclosure on Oct. 10, 2023, while walking along perpendicular street Monroe. The Featured Image and companions come from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set for all: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28mm; 11:20 a.m. PDT.