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In Another Universe…

I like to reminisce and imagine that someone rescued an injured cat, nursed him to health, and kept him—slightly disabled—indoors. If such alternate-universe scenario were true, we wouldn’t know. Kuma wasn’t microchipped, an oversight I have long regretted. He disappeared on this date 12 years ago.

While we lived in the apartment that was Kuma’s home, I looked for him long after city workers found his collar in a nearby canyon, strongly suggesting that a coyote snatched him. When we moved to another part of the neighborhood, in October 2017, I stopped searching and started dreaming of his escape and rescue.

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‘Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution’

These posters suddenly are all about my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. Ah, do these people not know the killing machine that is communism? I did some quick Googling this evening seeking an answer.

Marking a century since the 1917 revolution, Wall Street Journal published, on Nov. 6, 2017: “100 Years of Communism—and 100 Million Dead“. Dek: “The Bolshevik plague that began in Russia was the greatest catastrophe in human history”. Same year, October 28, from Cato Institute: “100 Years of Communism: Death and Deprivation“.

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The New Normal

Hillcrest is San Diego’s gay neighborhood—and I don’t mean happy. Judging by the many miserable-looking homeless folks sprawled across sidewalks, gay describes something other than disposition.

Rainbow flags are everywhere. During June, some fire hydrants are similarly repainted. An inclusive church presents each color on its own door. So I shouldn’t have been so surprised, today, to find a new manifestation: Rainbow crosswalk—and more. There are two. In succession. One is the straight color motif, and the other adds the trans flag. Depending on your opinion about this kind of thing, the colored crosswalks are either appropriately, or ironically, placed at Normal Street.

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When We Wed

Thirty-five years ago, today, Annie and I joined 1,274 other couples in our blessed marriage ceremony. We drank holy wine, signifying change of lineage; marched in procession for sprinkling of holy water; and acknowledged our wedding vows.

As explained in the three previous installments, between Jan. 9-12, 1989, we were matched by the True Parent, became acquainted, and got to know one another—all in Yongin, Korea.

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Where We Posed

The third of four installments for our 35th blessed marriage anniversary is a bit out of sequence. Annie wears a ring in the Featured Image, so the ceremony already had taken place. The official wedding photo, she in her gown, comes tomorrow.

We were matched, became acquainted, and were wed in Yongin, Korea, which is about 43 km (26 miles) south of Seoul. I don’t much remember the locale.

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When We Were Acquainted

Annie smiles for the camera in a portrait probably taken by me. You do remember when film shooting was the only option—not the nostalgia thing that it is today, yes?

We were a newly matched couple in Yongin, Korea. My guess on the date for the Featured Image: Jan. 10, 1989, maybe the 11th. We would be blessed in marriage with 1,274 other couples on January 12. I will share more about that event, and our 35th wedding anniversary, in two days.

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When We Met

Today, Annie and I celebrate 35 years since our matching during a religious gathering in Yongin, Korea. We were no more than a few hours together when someone shot the Featured Image for us.

The companion capture is a day or two later, possible Jan. 10, 1989 or the 11th. We each hold a bottle of McCol, a carbonated barley drink that, honestly, I disliked. The photographer is unknown for both pictures, although he and/or she used one of our film cameras (no digital shooters back then).

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The Vine Wall

Several properties in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights are undergoing or have undergone major renovations lasting years. Some started before or during  SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns. Post-pandemic, construction delays, increased building costs, and lingering supply shortages could explain why these projects take so long.

Today, I stopped to gawk at a magnificently striking overgrown wall that had previously gone unnoticed. The main house and front lawn area have been a noisy construction zone for so long that I either walked by briskly or on the other side of the street. What an overlooked visual treat! Neither the Featured Image, nor the companion photo, adequately capture the scene.

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When Time Runs Out

For weeks, I have seen a sign outside one of the long-time, local University Heights businesses: Relocation moving sale. Today, I walked by and could see men working inside around fixtures, so I stopped by to ask where is the new location. There is none. Yet. Maybe never.

Commercial rents rise like insane homeless people shouting and swearing as they pull along their belongings in shopping carts. The store’s proprietor told me that his rent nearly doubled, leaving him little option other than to close up after first opening—in nearby Hillcrest—in 1974. What worse way to celebrate 50 years, eh?

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Fatman Returns

In February 2014, a researcher from The Graham Norton Show contacted me about licensing one of my costumed portraits from San Diego Comic-Con 2010. She explained: “Our terms are all media worldwide for 5 years, and we would normally pay £175 (about $285) for these. We would pay upon usage of the image, and I would be able to let you know on Monday whether it has made the final cut of the show. If it is included, then we will arrange payment. Would you be happy with this?”

My reply: “I love the show, and, of course, you have my permission to use the photo—and the terms are agreeable. Can you let me know if the pic makes the cut and, if so, when the show will air?” The photo did indeed make the “final cut”, and I was paid for the privilege.

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The Cats of University Heights: Peek-a-Boo Too

Identification can be tricky, particularly when kitties roam. This fine feline could be Peek-a-Boo, who joined the series on Jan. 10, 2021. Similarities are striking but differences matter, too. The previously-seen shorthair was quite dirty and wore a collar. This one is clean and wears nothing but fur.

I certainly have observed cats from the same litter, or completely unrelated, that could be anything from twins to doppelgangers. I spotted this one on Howard, which intersects Florida—where was Peek-a-Boo three years ago.

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Misfit Inflatables

Christmas may be oh-so last year, but some of my San Diego neighbors let the holiday spirit linger on their lawns. Today, I came across some inflatables that are familiar and memorable—from stop-motion special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, which first aired on television in December 1964.

Abominable looms large over a collection of misfit toys; somewhat cut-off, gold-digger Yukon Cornelius stands behind the snow monster. Creatures, people, and things that don’t fit in is the underlying theme of the perennially-broadcast holiday classic. Festive decorations are misfit, too, with Christmas past and their summer-like setting. Nuclear winter would have to come before snow fell in this part of Southern California.