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Don’t Fall Off!

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More posting catch up: On Friday Oct. 19, 2018, Cali climbed up on the bathroom medicine cabinet—as she sometimes does. But on this evening, the Tortoiseshell put on a little show that I had to capture. The Featured Image comes from Google Pixel 2 XL. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 148, 1/125 sec, 4.459mm; 11:02 p.m. PDT.

If you’re looking at me in the mirror and wondering…yes, I’ve put on about 10 pounds since my most recent profile photo. Necessary, too, sadly. I had dropped below normal body mass index for my height and age. Interestingly, my weight started creeping up after a prescribed antibiotic (for diagnosed strep throat) changed my gut flora. Eleven months later, and something still isn’t like before. Problem: After celebrating my 14th birthday with an appendectomy, I no longer have an appendix to repopulate my stomach’s natural collection of beneficial bacteria. Since taking the medicine, my lifestyle hasn’t changed, just my gut (hehe, that’s inside and out).

 

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Android Zombie

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It’s catch-up time for small photos and, in some instances, accompanying stories. Many of them are weeks overdue, like arrival of Android Mini “Zombie Process“, a collectible released on Oct. 29, 2018 that I ordered for Halloween. Trick? Or treat? To first: He’s missing an antenna—by design, must be acknowledged. The other: Yes, yummy.

I shot the Featured Image on Nov. 2, 2018, using Google Pixel 3 XL. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 87, 1/24 sec, 4:44mm; 2:50 p.m. Image is cropped 3:2 but otherwise unaltered, and it is composed as shot. About an hour later, while walking, the phone slipped from my fingers and from pants pocket height fell face down onto the sidewalk. What a mess.

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The Cats of University Heights: Serenity

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During the same Nov. 4, 2018 afternoon that I encountered Usher, several blocks away, along Mission Avenue between Mississippi and Alabama, another Tuxedo presented for portrait. I shot the Featured Image, using Pixel 3 XL, at 3:57 p.m. PST. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 55, 1/313 sec. 4.4mm. Serenity seems like the most appropriate nickname, and so it is given.

Two days earlier, the smartphone slipped from my fingers and fell face down on the sidewalk, shattering the screen. I got my first cellular handset more than 20 years ago, never once damaging one in any way. Until that fateful drop. As I write, due to a monumental Google Store screw up, the Pixel 3 XL has yet to be repaired or replaced.  Read More

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The Cats of University Heights: Usher

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The second Shirley Ann Place kitty, like Triumph, is a rare treat; the two are outdoor onlies. The few other furballs observed along the historic row of Spanish-style homes presented in windows, and none during the series‘ first 20 months.

I captured the Featured Image on Nov. 4, 2018 at 3:48 p.m. PST using Google Pixel 3 XL. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 76,1/870 sec, 4.44mm. The Tuxedo earns nickname Usher, for waiting to greet someone at the door and usher them inside.  Read More

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The Cats of University Heights: Triumph

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Strangely, feline sightings along Shirley Ann Place are rare. I have only ever seen two kitties outdoors, and you will meet both consecutively as the series resumes pace after a deliberate slowdown. The first earns nickname Triumph—chosen for posture and demeanor. Our first encounter was Sept. 24, 2018, sitting atop a recycle can. The Featured Image, from Leica Q, was captured the next day. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/60 sec, 28mm, 5:42 p.m. PDT.

I shot the companion portrait, during the first meeting, using Google Pixel 2 XL. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/289 sec, 4.459 mm; 8:30 a.m. The kitty has triumphantly presented several times since, but these two humble photos are the best ones so far.  Read More

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My Google Store Travail

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Google Store’s bureaucratic ineptitude is beyond belief. My recent, unresolved customer crisis is an experience in artificial unintelligence. For a parent company whose core competency is supposed to be indexing, crunching, and disseminating information, it’s inconceivable that something so simple as fixing a single order error could escalate into a tragically comic Catch-22. I should have abandoned all efforts long before reaching the point of penning this post and looking back to the Apple Way.

To summarize: I received the wrong Pixel phone nearly a month ago. Google Store struggled to process a return authorization, because the device in hand didn’t match the one in the order. I eventually agreed to keep the thang, so long as the retailer could transfer the extended warranty—so-called “Preferred Care”—that I had paid for. But the process proved to be complicated, then necessity, after I unexpectedly needed to file a damage claim. You’ll have to read on for the sordid punchline, but suffice to say it all ends in a comedy of compounding errors.

Problems resolved! Please see:Thank-you, Google StoreRead More

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The Cats of University Heights: Sentinel

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As I write, it’s anyone’s educated guess whether there will be a blue wave or red tide tonight—or neither. The midterm elections are here, and, yes, we voted. On the way to the polling place, my wife spotted a feline in wait along Park Blvd. between Monroe and Madison. In more than 11 years living in this neighborhood and 26 months profiling its kitties, never have I seen even one of the beasties along this stretch of road. Of all nights! Foot and vehicular traffic were busier than usual, surely enough to frighten off any animal.

The cat wouldn’t come close enough for a reading of its pink tag. I asked Annie for nickname, and she suggested Sentinel, which is perfect for posture, location, and timing. I captured the Featured Image, at 4:33 p.m. PST—or 20 minutes before sunset—using Google Pixel 3 XL. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 55, 1/60 sec, 4.44mm.  Read More

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The Cats of University Heights: Pumpkin-Patch

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Along Georgia, between Madison and Monroe, I encountered a demur Calico on Oct. 18, 2018. She earns nickname Pumpkin-Patch for her seasonal orange and black coloration, which I enhanced in Google Snapseed by applying the Accentuate filter, which adds HDR-pop. I captured the Featured Image, at 8:52 a.m. PDT, using Google Pixel 2 XL. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 58, 1/4673 sec, 4.459mm.

A day earlier, I received the Pixel 3 XL “Just Black”, which was supposed to be a Pixel 3 “Clearly White” for my wife. Nearly three weeks later, and more than 10 hours of phone calls endured, Google Store has not fully resolved the ordering mishap, which since has become a disaster. That story is forthcoming, along with photos shot using the phone. Stay tuned!  Read More

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The Book of Our Times

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It’s catch-up time for things I meant to post but put aside, temporarily. Family drama! Perhaps you will read about it in the future, but likely not. Now to the main course: On Oct. 21, 2018—the day after reading that San Diegans spend more on alcoholic beverages than residents of any other city in the United States—I spotted something surprising on a table outside LeStat’s on Park. Did someone forget the book? Was it purposefully left behind—seemingly appropriate commentary about America’s “booziest city”?

For sure, breweries are commonplace, and most eateries serve alcoholic beverages, which also are sold everywhere—not predominantly in liquor stores but from pharmacies, supermarkets, warehouse stores (e.g. Costco), and more.  Read More

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Happy Halloween 2018!

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I am mummified by how many apartments, condos, and homes in the neighborhood are dressed up for Trick-or-Treat day. Many of the decorations are elaborate, and about all are playful. Our Featured Image presents the front lawn inflatable that the owner of Bruce—one of the furballs from my “Cats of University Heights” series—put up; hehe, she paid five bucks for the thing 13 years ago during an after-Halloween sale.

The longhair tiger tabby is deliberately soft-focused, in this portrait captured on Oct. 17, 2018 at 6:29 p.m. PDT., or about 15 minutes after sunset, using low-light trooper Leica Q. Vitals, aperture and shutter manually set: f/1.7, ISO 1600, 1/125 sec, 28mm.  Read More

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The Cats of University Heights: Bashful

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We celebrate National Cat Day with a feline that I nickname Bashful, for cautiously approaching me during our first meeting but pulling back because of passing cars; good thing for saving any (or all) of the nine lives. I captured the Featured Image, using Google Pixel 2 XL during our first encounter on Oct. 1, 2018. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 52, 1/1017 sec, 4.459mm; 4:17 p.m. PDT. The companion portrait is second-to-last photo—the other of the same animal—taken with Leica M10. I since sold the camera, which fate will be explained in another post. Vitals: f/4.8, ISO 200, 1/350 sec, 50mm; 4:14 p.m.

Bashful lives in the same cottage complex as Friends, but along another corridor. I have seen the kitty several times since, often in the same vicinity.  Read More

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The Cats of University Heights: SID

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For six months, I have looked in the area of the Point for ginger tabby SID. Today, we briefly regarded one another after he trotted across Madison near Rhode Island. He posed for three quick portraits, captured with Google Pixel 2 XL. Vitals for the Featured Image: f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/1114 sec, 4.459mm; 9:30 a.m. SID is sister to STAR, who this series profiled in mid-April 2018 a few days before she vanished. She is missing still, so I understand.

BTW, the series passed its 2-year milestone on August 17. Perplexing family matters distracted me from posting to celebrate 4 days ago. This is two-hundred twenty-fifth profile so far. Tip: New photos are rarely added to existing posts, but I do regularly refresh the companion Flickr album with new pics of the kitties. Please take a peek.  Read More