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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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Where are the Oscar Mayer Cold Cuts and Nathan’s Franks?

Someone might blame the so-called supply chain crisis for this unnamed (I won’t say) supermarket’s empty packaged, prepared, processed meat section. I’d like to think that to celebrate the World Series and return to big gatherings before the big screen following more than 18 months of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns that a whopper shopper cleared out the Bologna, hotdogs, and other deli delights for the big game.

The temperature gauge is in the red, which could indicate cooling malfunction—that despite stocked goods on either side of the empty section. As I walked by, a store employee wheeled a cart stacked with boxes of deli-fresh replacements. You’re welcome to blame the supply chain, and who doesn’t these days? I won’t.

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The Cats of University Heights: Spartacus

Blind kitty Petey shares space with Spartacus—and, yes, both are real names. Their residence is just a few doors down from the Schoolhouse, which my wife and I almost bought in late-summer 2017. Click the link for an education in home buying that unfortunate experience teaches better than anything from the classroom.

I used iPhone 13 Pro to capture the Featured Image and companion, on Oct. 24, 2021. The original files were RAW imported to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic, cropped, edited, and exported to JPEG. I am dissatisfied with the color profile changes applied during import for the smartphone and will likely use different software in the future. Vitals for both: f/2.8, ISO 32, 1/602 sec, 77mm; 10:28 a.m. PDT.

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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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Apple iPod Turns 20

On this date in 2001, Apple unveiled iPod, its fourth major endeavor for that year—at great risk, by entering a new product category for which the company had no prior experience and during a time of financial hardship. Recession gripped the United States; Apple had suffered share price and quarterly revenue setbacks as a result.

Six weeks earlier, terrorists flew highjacked American airliners into the World Trade Center (collapsing the Twin Towers) and the Pentagon. There was grim mood around the country, which created poor receptive marketing atmosphere for launching anything. Then there was the distraction dogging the tech industry: Windows XP’s impending global debut two days later.

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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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We’re Negative!

A few days ago, my wife developed a nasty cough, accompanied by flu-like symptoms that include fever; while subsiding, they persist today. SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 is obvious concern. The Delta variant is highly communicable, whether or not somebody is vaccinated. Think nature’s inoculation: Everyone will catch the Novel Coronavirus now. Being vaxxed often will not prevent infection but reportedly minimizes the worst symptoms of the disease. Regardless, everyone is bound to develop some degree of natural immunity if the B.1.617.2 variant continues to be easily transmitted.

Annie’s cough sounds pretty bad. One of my neighbors is an ICU nurse, who asked about my wife and reassured me that her coughing, while frequent, is strong. That’s good. We own an oximeter, which I use to check her blood oxygenation—and it’s excellent! Still, we had to consider COVID-19, since Delta assures SARS-CoV-2 will infect everyone. With Annie hacking so often, and the possibility of spreading the virus—even masked—we decided against going out for a test, like we did eight month ago.

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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.

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Stuffed Buddies

I should have taken photos of these two plushies back when they had more color—before searing San Diego sun and two recent torrential rainstorms weathered them. The pair adorned this yard for months. Faded and ragged from the elements, they appear in black and white, which best presents them.

The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2 Monochrom on Oct. 15, 2021. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/640 sec, 28mm; 12:39 p.m. PDT. Coincidentally, porker Hamlet used to live in the same residence. After Hammy’s family moved away, new renters brought a dog and kitty nicknamed Breezy, who joined my “Cats of University Heights” series in March.