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The Cats of University Heights: Dreamer

Backlog cleanup continues—reaching behind to Feb. 25, 2022, and the ninetieth profiled putty seen behind glass or screen. I spotted the shorthair while walking along Louisiana Street, then discretely but quickly pulling out iPhone 13 Pro for a single shot. I sometimes worry that puttering about for too long might offend a pet owner, and permanently end a cat’s window wanderings.

Vitals for the Featured Image: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/483 sec, 77mm; 11:33 a.m. PDT. For nickname, I choose Dreamer.

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Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

Last week, my wife and I drove out to La Mesa, Calif. to reminiscently walk around Grossmont Center, hoping to beat planned changes that could close many of the stores. Eleven months ago, Federal Realty Investment Trust announced acquiring controlling interest in the outdoor shopping mall from San Diego’s Cushman family. But the new owner won’t become sole proprietor for another three years, which will present a “unique opportunity providing an unencumbered ‘blank canvas’ for redevelopment”.

To my relief, most of the long-time tenants remain, even Barnes and Noble—a marvel of retail survival in the era of Amazon electronic and print book online sales dominance. But missing is what I photographically looked for: Flower beds down the center way separating stores. I clearly remember them, if nowhere else, near the Walmart.

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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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The Cats of University Heights: Sharky

To celebrate yet another Caturday, we are assisted by the stalwart Sharky. I would nickname him Bruiser if not knowing his real identity. He’s a tough-looking beastie—not one to lose a territorial squabble, one could imagine.

I met Sharky once, on April 10, 2022, along Monroe about a half block from where reside Bruce, Guido, and Little. The Featured Image and companion come from iPhone 13 Pro. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/194 sec, 77mm; 4:22 p.m. PDT. The other is same but 1/233 sec.

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Who’s the Fairest of Them All?

When my wife and I set out for a morning walk today, we passed by the same mirrors from whence came my selfie yesterday. She stopped for one, too, and I captured the Featured Image; discretely with iPhone 13 Pro. Vitals: f/1.5, ISO 50, 1/1901 sec, 26mm; 10:26 a.m. PDT.

Annie tends to shoot portrait orientation, and she has a great eye for composition. More than 99-percent of the time, I choose landscape. You could count on one hand my number of vertical shots since acquiring Leica Q2 on the last day of 2019.

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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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He Knows No Limit

I can’t explain why the Featured Image appeals to me. Maybe the gent’s mouth caught in speaking motion is reason combined with tilt of head, necklaces hung around neck, and one presented in hand. Is he selling the beaded strings? Seeking donations? I want to know.

The moment is from the Labor Day Parade on Sept. 5, 2005 in Kensington, Md. I used Canon EOS 20D for the portrait, which is composed as shot. Vitals: f/10, ISO 400, 1/500 sec, 40mm; 10:26 a.m. EDT.

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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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The Cats of University Heights: Apricot

Some single sightings simply must be enough. As I crossed Monroe along Georgia on Feb. 5, 2022, a ginger strutted down the sidewalk and diagonally cut across grass and stopped at a sunny spot near the back stairs of an apartment complex. Two portraits taken using Leica Q2 flopped because the animal had turned away. One of a pair from iPhone 13 Pro has the shorthair showing his face, but even cropped 100 percent reveals little detail.

Since I am not hopeful about another meeting, so comes the decision to publish. Vitals for the Featured Image: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/254 sec, 77mm; 12:46 p.m. PST. Drumroll for nickname—Apricot!

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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.