Tag: decor

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Christmas Bird

To celebrate the new month, and last one of the year, we turn back the clock to Dec.5, 2020, when I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image. For the previously unpublished shot, I take some risk now; the Christmas bird blends too well into the tree’s foliage. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28mm; 3:22 p.m. PST.

I don’t recall seeing the decoration in 2021 and I must watch for it this year. Perhaps its owners flew off to another state—as so many other folks did—during the SARS-CoV-2(severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns.

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Birds of a Feather That Don’t Flock Together

Around the turn of the last century, Bentley Ostrich Farm relocated to my neighborhood but closed in 1929. The feathers were less in demand as a luxury, and economic crisis began its grip on the nation. Many, but by no means all, of the birds were relocated to San Diego Zoo.

One of the fixtures—or monuments to the past—is this ornamental ostrich located outside a home on Mission Cliff Drive. I walked over there today after seeing a sign that Cupcake—one of the “Cats of University Heights“—disappeared on Nov. 8, 2022. Coyote sightings are way up, and the Norwegian Forest Cat’s owners live nearby along one of the canyons. I hope that Cupcake simply is trapped somewhere.

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New Poster Child for the Pro-Choice Lobby

As Halloween approaches, decorations proliferate and some become quite elaborate. This caged kid in a tree had me chuckling, earlier today—for elaborate staging and opportunity for me to be snarky. Disclaimer: My sarcasm is sure to offend somebody. If that’s you, please accept my no apology.

Pro-lifers are giddy as a bear slopping honey from a fallen beehive, following the June 2022 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v Wade. They aren’t too bothered by stings from swarming Pro-choicers, who are losing their minds over the 6-3 decision. Since they are absolutely crazy—uh, crazed—let’s pretend this shrieking girl is their marketing maven—warning about the horror show progeny that you could produce because you can’t legally have a doctor cut it out.

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Wheel of Misfortune

I don’t watch gameshows, but who wouldn’t know the name of the one for which this post’s title is derived? Abandoned, and attached to a fence, this lonely bicycle wheel piqued my photographic interest on July 25, 2022. That afternoon, my wife and I walked along one of the Balboa Park trails that leads to a footbridge that crosses SR-163.

We entered the trail nearby the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America headquarters near Robinson and Upas streets in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood. I made a wisecrack about identity politics as we passed. What is a girl? What is a boy? Does anyone know anymore? Maybe the two organizations should merge, become Scouts of America, and avoid answering those questions or engaging in controversial debate. But I digress.

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Gnomenclature

Earlier today, my wife showed me a Google Street View snapshot from four years ago where we both can be seen cleaning out the trunk of our daughter’s car—the lovely powder blue BMW Z3 that my father-in-law purchased 10 years ago as a high school graduation present. The roadster came to unfortunate end near 2019 New Years. Honestly, the convertible deserved better ownership.

For a change of scenery, we drove over to daughter’s old San Diego neighborhood for a walk that took us down to one of the Balboa Park trails and the foot bridge crossing SR-163. Beforehand, along Herbert Street between Myrtle and Upas, Annie and I came upon a welcoming yard, which will get some attention tomorrow in addition to the post you read right now.

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The Lawn God

I don’t know what to make of this thing. Do you? There is something about the, ah, artwork that conjures images of animal idols worshipped by ancient cultures. As such, I am somewhat hesitant to share the Featured Image, captured today using Leica Q2 Monochrom. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/800 sec, 28mm; 12:44 p.m. PDT. I took another at f/2.8 but prefer this shot.

My understanding is that goats are often associated with the occult or Satan worship. For sure, there is a whole lot of potential symbolic imagery to associate with this thang—and all of it beyond my knowledge to decipher. For example, what’s that emblem on the metal stake through the skull? Are those hanging cogged machine wheels supposed to represent overly large testicles? Or do I make something out of nothing—someone having merely cobbled together junk to make a personal showpiece?

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Who Approved This?

Last week, while walking along Panorama Drive, I passed by what seemed like the strangest holiday decoration: An inflatable, rainbow-colored Christmas tree. The next day, there were three. The day after, my wife and I walked over so that she could see. We found four more—not every one erect but all unmistakably identifiable even when deflated. This will be our fifteenth Christmas in this San Diego neighborhood, and I have never seen such signs like these.

As I opined on July 4th, about seeing more Pride flags than the Stars and Stripes, University Heights has undergone dramatic, observable changes since start of the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns in mid-March 2020. New residents, many of them Northern California escapees, are everywhere. Their emigration contributes to soaring rents and skyrocketing home sale prices. The newcomers also bring different values that are commiserate with adjacent Hillcrest, which is known as a gay enclave. But Pride holiday trees, all on the same street?

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Day of the Dead Rabbits

Rushing out the door, on April 18, 2021, lugging Leica Q2 Monochrom, I stopped: suddenly seemed that our resin rabbits would look quite good in black and white. Hence the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 640, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 6:49 p.m. PDT.

On Halloween 2019, my wife repainted them in her version of a Day of the Dead motif. The cobwebs collected about them add ambience to the photo. Don’t you think? They are supposed to be creatures of the, ah, nice netherworld. Our bunnies were good and would never go to Hell. But they might stand guard.

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The Christmas House

A few years ago, when my daughter shared an apartment in Point Loma, Calif., I drove up Garrison on the way home from her neighborhood. Houses along the way decked out big time for Christmas, such that traffic snarled as drivers slowed to gawk, others searched for parking, and pedestrians admired the decorations. My wife and I visited the street this evening, previewing what’s expected to come. Only one house had spiffed up for the Holiday—and in unbelievably magnificent fashion. The Featured Image and three companions are but a glimpse of the fabulously adorned property.

I captured the set using Google Pixel 3 XL, which proved to be more than a low-light performer. It’s a charmer. I am rather surprised to see character and dimension in these quick snaps. I cropped all four 3:2 and straightened two, but did not otherwise edit. Vitals for the first: f/1.8, ISO 176, 1/24 sec, 4.4mm; 5:35 p.m. PST (about 55 minutes after sunset).