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Happy Hangul Day

The official language of South Korean is celebrated today—although it’s already tomorrow in Asia, so my post is belated then. Hangul, or Hangeul (my preference), refers to the alphabet, which conceptualization is scientific compared to, say, Chinese or Japanese.

My wife and I both study the Korean language, although she is far more advanced than me. We both have tried different learning systems, such as Billy Go or Talk to Me in Korean, among others. Some months ago, I accidentally came upon the How to Study Korean website and found the educational program to be approachable, methodical, and sensible. Annie adopted it, too—surprising me.

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Even More Solemn Moment

We return to yesterday’s smirking Jack-O-Lantern grin to update on the devastating Hamas attack against Israel. Something about the wicked smile evokes those worn by terrorists as they paraded living, and deceased, civilians around Gaza. Call it Trick or Terror, if you like. Hence my choice of a second shot, but colorless.

Israel’s confirmed death toll is the largest ever in a single day—more than 600, as I write. Two-hundred-sixty bodies were recovered around and about the site of the Supernova music festival. Hostages, nearly none military, including women, children, and families were hauled off to Gaza.

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A Solemn Moment

I can’t say why this yard appeals to me—at least photographically. We journey there for our fourth visit; the other three, in order by sequential date: “Light the Way“, “Night Garden“, and “Oriental Garden“.

The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2, on this sullen Saturday. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/1.7, ISO 1600, 1/15 sec, 28mm; 8:43 p.m. PDT. I close-cropped and pushed blacks and highlights to create darkened mood.

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More than a Mouthful

How hungry are you? Could you eat enough to save $20? Your answer—and appetite—could make you famous, or infamous, in San Diego neighborhood North Park. Rudford’s wants you to take the “Big Nick” challenge. As the sign suggests, your meal is free if completed within 30 minutes (don’t get sick, now).

What is this massive meal? Two pounds of beef between buns. Easy, right? Wrong. There are four eggs squeezed in, too. On the side, get ready for it: 4 ounces of hashbrowns and another four of French Fries, because you can never have enough carbs. Gravy, salsa, and four slices of American cheese complete the plate full.

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The Cats of University Heights: Marvel

This series started on Oct. 17, 2016 with tentative runtime of perhaps 30 days—because how many cats could possibly be in a neighborhood with so many dogs? I never imagined 551, including this post (more counting doubles featured together). But here we are.

I spotted our newest member earlier today along Florida Street. The Featured Image comes from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 50, 1/300 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 11:43 a.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Marble

If you thought the last kitty, Mochi, was difficult to see behind a security screen, this fine feline is even more obscured. Even so, I couldn’t resist sharing. Location: Alley that separates Louisiana and Texas.

Nickname Marble for coloration and shape of head, this rascal is the one-hundred-sixteenth furball found behind door or window since this series started in October 2016.

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Desolate and Dreamy

On the same evening that I shot “Harvest Moon“, using Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, I tried another using Leica Q2 Monochrom that didn’t come out as anticipated. Nevertheless, something about the street scene is evocative to me so I share it with you. Vitals, aperture and shutter speed manually set: f/1.7, ISO 12500, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 8:25 p.m. PDT, Sept. 29, 2023.

What surprises me is how eerily quiet is the neighborhood during the evenings. With the pleasant weather, I would expect to see more people. Instead, the streets are drearily desolate—dystopian, almost.

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Finally, a Good Use For Cloth COVID Masks

Talk about a day-making moment and wonderful way to kick off first day of the new month. As my wife and I walked down the alley separating North and Campus, in our San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, she stopped and excitedly exclaimed about seeing cantaloupes growing in a community garden.

I saw the masks, smiled, and pointed them out. The Featured Image is for context. The companion is the money shot, so to speak. I used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra to capture both, yesterday. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 50, 1/1200 sec, 70mm (film equivalent); 11:48 a.m. PDT. The second: f/4.9, ISO 50, 1/340 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 11:48 a.m.

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A Solitary Sign

This is different and, honestly, refreshing. In my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, We Believe signs are almost always some variation of rainbow color text on black background professing sentiments like “love is love”; “black lives matter”; and “science is real”—among others.

Today, along Shirley Ann Place, my wife and I passed a placard seemingly meant as an antidote to the others. Given the community’s liberal leanings, and the plethora of the other signs, I must admit surprise seeing one so blatantly contrary. We live where views dissident to progressive feelings-based beliefs and values simply are not tolerated.

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Ghosts Light Up the Dark

Bouncing about San Diego, I am surprised to see some neighborhoods deck out for Halloween and others for Christmas—either/or and neither. Here in University Heights, the former is choice du jour and many residents rarely wait beyond mid-September to decorate their yards.

Yesterday, while walking after dark, I came upon ghostly decor outside an apartment building; this kind of showcase is common among homes but much less so before multi-resident dwellings.

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Harvest Moon

Clouds dominate the sky on this fine Friday evening. But they briefly parted from the full moon as I walked along Monroe Avenue in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. Out came Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, set to 10x optical zoom for the Featured Image.

Noisy? Yes. Not sharp? Yep. But there is detail enough, considering this was a quick point-and-click shot. What matters more—to me, anyway—is character, meaning mood.

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Good Luck Finding a Place for Your Vehicle

While a fervent fan of local news reporting, nevertheless I don’t subscribe to the San Diego Union-Tribune. For folks like me—and maybe you—who can’t get behind the paywall to read stories, OB Rag uses a recent UT story as starting point for its own version. Paul Krueger, who is a “longtime San Diego journalist and a resident of Talmadge”, writes the story: “The Failed ‘Car-Free’ Apartment Project in North Park“.

The city’s zoning approach, which regulations relieve developers from providing parking for apartment buildings or condominiums, is running aground. Proximity to public transportation is the justification and part of a broader strategy of reducing so-called carbon emissions by shifting people from cars to bikes, buses, and trolleys. Good luck with that, because car culture is a California way of life. Residents drive everywhere.