Category: Leica

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California’s Christmas Coal Stocking Stuffer

For a state top-heavy with liberal-leaning Climate Change crazies cruising electric cars and demanding the end of carbon emissions, California sure loves coal—as in stuffed by the truckloads into Christmas stockings. Governor Gavin “Grinch” Newsom assures plenty of blackened lumps this holiday, following his most recent order that effectively shuts down most of California and demands that citizens stay home and embark on nothing more than “essential travel”; how odd that trips for alcohol and cannabis are allowed, although I’d like to think that Santa regards them as naughty and worthy of a sack of curbside coal—seeing as how the lockdown order permits deliveries but forbids visits from the likes of Old Saint Nick.

Today marks the first full day of shutdown misery, which will last until at least Dec. 27, 2020. Driving through Ocean Beach this morning, I was struck by how many eateries and pubs had set up outdoor dining areas—some costing tens of thousands of dollars to construct. Now they’re useless monuments to COVID-19, colossal wastes of capital, and resounding lessons that trying to do the right thing for public health is the wrong approach when Governor Newssolini keeps changing the rules by which businesses operate during the pandemic.

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The Cats of University Heights: Sundae

There is a pileup of unpublished furballs in the queue, and it’s long past time for you to meet each of them. We begin with the fifty-sixth beastie seen behind window or door—this one along Madison between Cleveland and Maryland. Candor, PebblesSadie, Sentry, and Swirl live along the same stretch of street, while John Adams, Ludwig, and Snowy can be found closer to North Avenue.

The black and white earns nickname Sundae for appearance and to play on words—or their pronunciation: I captured the Featured Image on Nov. 29, 2020, which was a Sunday, using Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/500 sec, 28mm; 9:53 a.m. PST.

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Let the People Eat

For what did Rudford’s have to be grateful for on Thanksgiving Day last week? I wonder, as the COVID-19 crackdown prohibits indoor dining and imposes a 10-p.m.-to-5-a.m. curfew that impinges on the 24-hour diner’s normal operations. Eateries across California—and the country—are beaten back because of rising confirmed SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2) infections, which are misidentified by politicians and the news media as cases. Most people testing positive are not sick nor will they be hospitalized.

In the weekly report released today: 81,084 people have tested positive (e.g., confirmed cases) for COVID-19 since San Diego County started tracking data in February. Median age: 35. Number of deaths: 997, with a median age of 76. No one died in the week ended Nov. 28, 2020. Case fatality rate: 1.2 percent. Stated differently, if you live in SDC and test positive your chance of surviving the Novel Coronavirus is 98.8 percent.

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What a Sign Foreshadows

Across the country this Thanksgiving holiday, the dire circumstance is businesses closing forever because of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19—local lockdown and stay-at-home orders that keep away customers and choke revenue. In this County, SanDiegoVille keeps a running list of restaurants and pubs permanently shuttered during 2020—the majority since the pandemic’s start. I count 109 entities, but more when accounting for establishments with multiple locations.

Many businesses that had reopened during the summer are closing again as states seek to combat rising Novel Coronavirus cases. For the record, the use of cases is grossly misleading; the numbers actually refer to positive tests, which doesn’t mean that someone is sick—and most likely not. Eighty percent (or more) of people contracting COVID-19 are asymptomatic or mildly ill. Regardless, restrictions are everywhere, placed by (hopefully) well-meaning governors.

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‘It’s Official’

Today begins the end of the Donald J. Trump presidency. Emily Murphy, Administrator for the General Services Administration, sent a letter to Joseph R. Biden, Jr. informing him that resources would now be made available as dictated by the Presidential Transition Act of 1963. Her action essentially declares Biden the apparent winner of the Nov. 3, 2020 national election.

Uncertainty loomed over the outcome as states counted, or recounted, votes, and Team Trump unleashed a torrent of legal challenges. That said, the Associated Press waited only four days before declaring Biden and Kamala Harris the winners and designated them president- and vice-president elect, respectively. Other media-outlets followed; the two candidates gave victory speeches and started announcing immediate policy actions for when they assume office and announcing who will fill key forthcoming administration positions—all while operating before signage reading “Office of the President Elect” (hehe, boastfully with no hyphen).

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You’re a Mean One, Governor Grinch

One of my University Heights neighbors is ready for Christmas—and that with Thanksgiving still two weeks away. What immediately follows? Black Friday, which will be a bust for many, if not most, local retailers—and perhaps every other business—now that Governor Gavin “Grinch” Newsom has dumped San Diego County back into the most restrictive lockdown tier; aka Purple. The shutdown supposedly will curtail rising COVID-19 infections caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2) and, thus, save lives. But at what cost to livelihoods?

Perhaps the holiday decor isn’t meant to be a commentary on the current state of affairs; either way, I make it one. I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image yesterday. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/800 sec, 28mm; 9:12 a.m. PST. The Grinch is appropriate metaphor for the Gov, while the ravens feed on the economic dead that another shutdown murders. Bones picked clean of flesh by the carrion flock hang nearby. How funny! That is the same skeleton seen sitting in a car—on March 29.

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The Cats of University Heights: Sadie

Meet the fifty-fourth meow-meow looking out from behind window or door. Sadie is a sweetie, living a less lonely life than in her previous residence. Sickness took Sadie’s owner away, and she stayed alone inside the house for about a year—tended to and fed twice daily by kindly neighbors. Eventually, he passed away, which is how she came to be taken into a new home not long later by a friend of the cat’s caretaker.

A few days ago, I got the full story from the friendly woman with whom Sadie now lives. But the Featured Image, captured along Madison beyond the West side of Cleveland, is from Sept. 28, 2020. I used Leica Q2 to make the moment. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28mm; 8:37 a.m. PDT.

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Delivery Door Art?

Surely you’ve come across something and wondered: “How long has that been there?” That is the question I asked on Oct. 6, 2020, while walking down the alley behind Kairoa Brewing Co., which is located along the main commercial area of San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood. The Featured Image is what I saw on the establishment’s rear door, where I presume supplies are unloaded. What does that image bring to your mind?

For me, the goats (or are they rams) immediately flash subliminal recollection, but not something precisely recalled. Looking at the beasts—bathed in blood red, so to speak, with their pointy horns—elicits creepy feeling that I have seen them before. In a horror movie perhaps—something like a “Constantine” or one of the three original “The Omen” films (1976, 1978, 1981). But somewhere. You do know that, biblically and mythologically, goats are associated with symbols of the devil?

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The Cats of University Heights: Sundown

Four years ago today, I started this series with a presumed stray, sighted only once, that I call Scruffy. Three-hundred-fifty-eight profiles later, the number of furballs to photograph is seemingly inexhaustible. At the start, I expected the series to progress a month, maybe a little longer. Foolish me. In autumn 2016, as explained in post “Why Cats?“, I worked with new eyes, so to speak, following multifocal intraocular lens replacement for cataracts and also ongoing treatment for macular edema—the latter of which is mostly now resolved. Feline field photography acted as a kind of visual therapy.

That brings us to our celebratory kitty, seen in the yard of the home where once lived Giotto and next-door to where you can find Petri (well, until his family moves sometime before Dec. 1, 2020). That makes the black the fifty-seventh putty-tat from Alabama between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. No other street comes close, and I cannot fathom why.