Category: Leica

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I Blame the Traffic Circles

This car crash won’t win awards for photographic excellence. I got one shot for the Featured Image before a flatbed truck moved in to take away the vehicles. It’s what the moment represents that matters. But first, quickly, the vitals—aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 2:08 p.m. PDT; Leica Q2.

I passed by the scene on Oct. 30, 2021, at the intersection of Meade and Mississippi in University Heights. On either side of Mississippi are parallel streets Alabama and Louisiana, where San Diego workers completed so-called “calming measures” last year. I call them “traffic circles of unintended consequences“—contending they adversely affect driving habits that will lead to more accidents like this one.

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Gosh, Is Jack-o’-lantern a Taboo Term?

Halloween is past, but remnants remain—and what’s better than pumpkins as Thanksgiving approaches. Already, my local Costco sells massive pumpkin pies. Why now, I cannot fathom. It’s not like they’ll keep.

Yesterday, I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image and companion. The first is nearly a 100-percent crop, shot wider-open than the other to make some bokeh. Vitals, aperture manually set for both: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/2000 sec, 28mm; 11:49 a.m. PDT. The second: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/800 sec, 28mm; seven seconds earlier.

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Chickenbone Slim and the Biscuits

I came upon a blues band playing outside our auto mechanic’s shop on Oct. 16, 2021, while walking to fetch more Orijen dry food for our cats Cali and Neko. The place is closed on Saturdays (and Sundays, too). I listened for a bit before continuing along Adams Avenue, in San Diego’s Normal Heights neighborhood, to Pet Me Please.

My wife met me with the car to take home the 12-pound (5.4 kg) bag of kibble. I plodded back to the service station, where I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image and companion, iPhone 13 Pro to film the one-minute video clip, and my hands to pay for and grab Chickenbone Slim CD “Sleeper”.

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Ripped Rocker

This chair must be valuable—despite its, ah, drop seat. My University Heights neighbors typically put out giveaways in alleys, but the claimed antique was on a street corner—Georgia and Meade. Hey, that’s the same intersection where my wife found an ugly art print facedown in the street.

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image, which is composed as shot. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 3:59 p.m. PDT, Oct. 7, 2021.

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The Maine Coons’ House Sold

A chapter is closed in the saga of the two Maine Coons whose backyard territory was clearcut in early August 2021. Their old residence listed as sold on October 28. Mimi and Sweet Pea occasionally go into their old habitat, but the behavior must stop whenever new construction begins. I expect the owners will demolish the existing house and build an apartment building, based on zoning.

Both kitties appeared in my “Cats of University Heights” series during May 2018. Mimi is mother to the other; both are ferals who lived on the property for about eight years. The woman who fed them has made space in her smaller, fenced outdoor space across the alley—and both go there for food and safety.

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16.2-inch MacBook Pro is a Tank

From writing-technology past—yesterday’s post about the discarded L.C. Smith typewriter—we go to the present-future: The 16.2-inch MacBook Pro that replaces my 23-month-old 16-inch MBP. Apple announced the new laptop, and its 14.2-inch sibling, on Oct. 18, 2021 and started taking orders for October 26 availability. I considered a customized configuration for the smaller model but couldn’t decide based on the information available—particularly considering my current computer’s beefy specs: 2.3GHz Core i9 processor; 32GB RAM; 8GB AMD Radeon Pro 5500M graphics; 1TB SSD. As my indecisiveness increased, so did the ship times for any new MacBook Pro. As they slipped into late November and early December, I abandoned the idea.

But I clung to interest in the new models because of the M1 chip, for which my experience already was quite positive from using 11-inch iPad Pro and buying my wife the newer 13.3-inch MBP. Apple offered generous trade-in for my late-2019 MacBook Pro, while supply chain constraints, rising prices, and burgeoning inflation made case for upgrading earlier than previously planned and future-proofing my investment. So I decided, after long consideration: On the 26th, if local Apple Store stocked the larger laptop, I would make the purchase. If not, I would keep the 16-incher for another year.

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Rustic but Rusted

My handwriting is notoriously bad. Teachers told me during elementary school years and no amount of sincere effort improved my penmanship. I was relieved at the age of 14 to inherit a manual typewriter; I don’t recall why the family owned one or how it came to be in my possession but the thing became my go-to for homework and personal writings. If I rightly recall, Royal was the brand.

I will always be fond of typewriters, even if my typing long ago transitioned to computer keyboard. The appeal grows with age and nostalgia for archaic technology. So I was both delighted and disappointed to see that someone left an old L.C. Smith model in a nearby alley—and I don’t recall which one. As you can see, this old machine is rusted and presumably beyond meaningful repair—although the thang would fit properly on appropriate movie set showing decay and dystopia.

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The Cats of University Heights: Petey

A few doors down from the Schoolhouse, I heard, and then saw, a meowing orange kitty on Oct. 3, 2021: With no eyes. I worried that maybe he got loose. After prowling about, cautiously, the shorthair moseyed into the building’s courtyard and through the open door of an apartment. I knocked and yelled, asking if someone owned a blind cat. I got an affirmative answer to which went my reply about the animal being outside but now gone in.

Assured by the owner’s calm voice, I resumed my walk to the grocery store and deliberately returned along the same route. Timing was excellent, because I met the man who responded to my query. He told me that about four years ago disease crippled the animal’s eyes, which caused so much pain they had to be removed. But despite the handicap, the kitty is adept at finding his away around.

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Marathon Mania is Back

Today here in San Diego, more than 20,000 runners participated in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Series Marathon and Half Marathon, which occurred concurrently. The routes go through and around my neighborhood of University Heights—Hillcrest, Normal Heights, and North Park. Highway 163 partly closes down for participants, too. SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns forced cancellation of last year’s event.

My wife and I walked along Georgia towards the bridge that crosses over University Ave., hoping to see runners below. But the bulk of them had long gone by. The Featured Image shows a small group coming up to the misting and watering station along Georgia Street between Lincoln and the overpass. I used Leica Q2 to make the moment. Vitals, aperture and shutter speed manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 9:40 a.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Winter

Early last month, I passed by a yard with a white kitty lounging. But barking dogs—two of them—convinced me to move along. Quickly. On September 15, the shorthair appeared again, and I haven’t seen it since. The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 10:13 a.m. PDT.

This fine feline, who earns nickname Winter for coat color, lives on Panorama Drive along with: Brick; Buff; CobbyGem; GloryHawk; Herbie, The Love BugPoinsettia; RoadieSparky; and Stern. Yikes! There’s that coyote, too.

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The Haunted Dollhouse

If this scene is to scale, you should be very concerned about the size of the spirits hanging around your place. The question: Are bigger ghosts merely more menacing or do they pose greater threat to the living?

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image and companion on Oct. 16, 2021. Vitals for both, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/30 sec, 28mm; 2:56 p.m. PDT. Whoa, look at that shutter speed and no camera shake—although in this instance a little motion blur would add appropriate ambiance.