Tag: California Living

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You’re a Mean One, Governor Grinch

One of my University Heights neighbors is ready for Christmas—and that with Thanksgiving still two weeks away. What immediately follows? Black Friday, which will be a bust for many, if not most, local retailers—and perhaps every other business—now that Governor Gavin “Grinch” Newsom has dumped San Diego County back into the most restrictive lockdown tier; aka Purple. The shutdown supposedly will curtail rising COVID-19 infections caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2) and, thus, save lives. But at what cost to livelihoods?

Perhaps the holiday decor isn’t meant to be a commentary on the current state of affairs; either way, I make it one. I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image yesterday. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/800 sec, 28mm; 9:12 a.m. PST. The Grinch is appropriate metaphor for the Gov, while the ravens feed on the economic dead that another shutdown murders. Bones picked clean of flesh by the carrion flock hang nearby. How funny! That is the same skeleton seen sitting in a car—on March 29.

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Flickr a Week 45a: ‘Welcome to Paradise’

Two years ago today, the Northern California town of Paradise largely burned to the ground during the raging Camp Fire, which destroyed in excess of 18,000 structures and displaced more than 26,000 people. Ninety-percent of the community’s residents have fled, and the majority won’t return anytime soon; if ever.

There are several documentaries about the disaster. Tonight, National Geographic will air my pick for best: Ron Howard film “Rebuilding Paradise“, which my wife and I rented and watched about four months ago. The doc tells the story of those who stayed.

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Look What Parked Next to Me at Costco

For cultural reasons that I don’t understand, Halloween is a big holiday in San Diego. Decorations are everywhere adorning homes and lawns. That’s not enough for some people, as this grim ghoulmobile demonstrates.

The thing spooked from the space adjacent to mine in the Mission Valley Costco parking lot. Proximity made no good way to photograph the entire machine. So I fumbled for composition and ambience, using iPhone XS.

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Delivery Door Art?

Surely you’ve come across something and wondered: “How long has that been there?” That is the question I asked on Oct. 6, 2020, while walking down the alley behind Kairoa Brewing Co., which is located along the main commercial area of San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood. The Featured Image is what I saw on the establishment’s rear door, where I presume supplies are unloaded. What does that image bring to your mind?

For me, the goats (or are they rams) immediately flash subliminal recollection, but not something precisely recalled. Looking at the beasts—bathed in blood red, so to speak, with their pointy horns—elicits creepy feeling that I have seen them before. In a horror movie perhaps—something like a “Constantine” or one of the three original “The Omen” films (1976, 1978, 1981). But somewhere. You do know that, biblically and mythologically, goats are associated with symbols of the devil?

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An Unexpected Request

About a month ago, I observed something odd while waiting in line at the pharmacy. The gentlemen standing at the counter, who looked worse for wear, had come to pick up a prescription. But he met an obstacle. The druggist asked for identification, which the customer didn’t have and he was confused why any would be needed. “It’s a controlled substance”,  the pharmacist explained. But in a sad and naively poignant regard, the gent didn’t understand. The medicine had been prescribed for him, but he didn’t possess any kind of identity card. Please, could he have his medicine?

Unkempt, and likely a recovering addict who belonged to San Diego’s ever-growing homeless population, the guy was plaintive rather than abusive—as someone else might have been. “Come back when you have ID”, the druggist informed. The fellow stepped back from the window and approached me, waiting next in line: “Do you have ID I can borrow?”

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Need a Lyft?

Ahead of the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19pandemic leading to California’s statewide shutdown, electric scooters suddenly vanished from many San Diego County communities. Local governments didn’t want the things cluttering the streets. But, as life returns to some semblance of normalcy, scooters creep back onto the streets, something like cockroaches emerging from Nuclear Winter.

Still, sightings are rare enough in my neighborhood that today I was surprised to see this lone Lyft parked at Alabama and El Cajon, where sits BLVD North Park, which is located in University Heights. If you can’t build real estate in the location you want, pretense naming is your solution.

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It’s Like Living in a Dystopian Drama

Late this afternoon, my apartment filled with an eerie orange glow—like nothing ever seen in the nearly 13 years living in San Diego.The aura created an end-to-the-world ambience—something like the approaching solar winter of sci-fi film “Sunshine“, which is among my most favorites.

Already, heat scorched the city; hours earlier, based on GPS weather forecasting, 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 Celsius) outside my residence. A friend up North in Pasadena reported 114 F (45.5 C) at 11 a.m. PDT.

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Party-Pooping Politics

The first of two presidential conventions convening this month is underway. The Democrats are meeting, if you rightly can call it that, in Milwaukee, Wisc. Most of the speeches are being given individually, rather than before crowds, from remote locations, because everyone is scared into a tizzy about spreading—or worse—catching SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2); better known as COVID-19. I suppose that it would be bad form for 77-year-old Joe Biden, running mate Kamala Harris, or anyone among the party’s esteemed elite to catch Coronavirus and die. Surely members of the opposing party can hope.

Speaking of the Republicans, their greet-and-not-meet event starts on Aug. 24, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C.. Flag-waving, MAGA-hat-wearing supporters can likewise stump for their candidates, Donald Trump and Mike Pence, before televised, remotely-given speeches. Every vote counts, unless your constituents catch COVID-19 and die before Election Day; so it’s better they don’t gather together. Eh?

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Newsom’s Gruesome California

Today, while walking along the Campus-Cleveland alley, between Tyler and Van Buren, in the University Heights neighborhood, I saw something stranger than the rubber duck that appeared in mid-July—and on the same rooftop. Were these clothes laid out to dry during another day of scorching heat? (San Diego County is sweltering hot this weekend, and there is a weather advisory.) Maybe someone left them for homeless folks or anyone else wanting, or needing, the garms?

Spring and Summer 2020 are nothing less than alien, societal landscapes—an apocalyptic drama that commenced with Governor Gavin “Gruesome” Newsom’s mid-March order that effectively shut down California to (supposedly) slow spread of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—better known as COVID-19. The sterilization of normal behavior meant few (I saw two) garage/yard sales and little to no opportunity to donate items to thrift stores—or shop in them. Residents’ response: More giveaways placed in alleys for whomever might what them; quality of the stuff is significantly better than typical, too.

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The Strong Arms of Defiance

Around the corner from where was the Urban Pumpkin is the local gym, which closed during California Governor Gavin “Gruesome” Newsom’s first state-shuttering order in mid-March 2020 but has since defied the second shutdown, started July 13, that restricts indoor activities at many commercial businesses and institutions (like churches). Four days ago, San Diego County issued an order for the “immediate closure of Boulevard Fitness”; compliance “may be enforced by the San Diego Police Department”.

In meaningless sense of solidarity—the way flabby, beer-gut spectators feel good when watching their favorite sports team compete and win—I have checked daily for more than a month to see if the gym is open, silently cheering that it was. But on a Monday morning, following the “cease and desist” order, would Boulevard Fitness welcome patrons of exercise and good health?