Tag: Galaxy S23 Ultra

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The Cats of University Heights: Diana

Address undisclosed, I spotted this fine feline, seemingly somewhat forlorn. Perhaps its owner stepped out for awhile. The cat tree is more typically unoccupied whenever I walk by, so finding a resident was quite the treat, today.

The Featured Image could be the last photo taken with Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Its successor is scheduled for delivery tomorrow. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 125, 1/60 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 4:30 p.m. PST.

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Squirrel’s Supper

In February 2023, I owned the Galaxy S22 Ultra for such short time that upgrading to the S23 Ultra sure seemed stupid. But, for preorders, Samsung offered appealing trade-in value ($500) and other incentives that reduced price so much that the new flagship cost less than what I paid for my wife’s humbler S22 a few months earlier.

The S23 Ultra turned out to be quite a bit better than its predecessor by way of many refinements, particularly performance of the 10x optical zoom camera—the differentiating feature that appealed most to me.

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Rain Day!

Storm showers pelted San Diego on this mid-month Monday. My unofficial estimate here in University Heights is 7.6 cm (3 inches). Elsewhere, according to the National Weather Service through 3 p.m. PST: Point Loma, 11.04 cm (4.49 inches); Airport, 8.36 cm (3.29 inches); Fashion Valley, 7.32 cm (2.88 inches); Montgomery Field, 6.6 cm (2.58 inches).

In the Mountain View neighborhood, Interstate I-15 flooded out at 32nd Street. TV news footage showed city crews wadding through waste-deep water, trying to free up drains and release the unexpected river crossing the highway. Similarly, rising waters closed businesses along the main thoroughfare through Mission Beach.

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The Cats of University Heights: Puff

We have a winner—or would if there was a contest for the neighborhood’s most gorgeous kitty. My wife and I walk along Mississippi less than other streets, which explains why we hadn’t seen this beauty—unless she is a newcomer, which is possible. For fluffy fur, Puff is our nickname.

The Featured Image marks the first sighting, on Nov. 19, 2023. All the portraits come from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 64, 1/60 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 9:55 a.m. PDT.

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Is the Bird in Hand Better?

Earlier today, Galaxy S24 Ultra launched. Unfortunately, rumors were right. Samsung replaced the 10x optical zoom with 5x; the previous reach remains available, synthetically: artificial intelligence plus 115mm (film equivalent) optical lens and software.

That 230mm (film equivalent) telephoto set apart the two previous Ultras—S22 and S23—from Apple and Google flagships. But the f/4.9 aperture really limited low-light shots at 10x. I hoped for something much better. I am not jumping jacks with excitement over S24 Ultra’s f/3.4 at 5x, particularly when iPhone 15 Pro Max and Pixel 8 Pro are f/2.8.

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What the Devil?

Neither Bing nor Google search could identify the symbol in the Featured Image. ChatGPT-powered Microsoft Copilot came up with nothing, too. So much for the intelligence portion of AI.

Continuing the investigation, I stuck with Copilot, wondering if perhaps a crop that included phone number and symbol would identify something. Part of the response: “If you can provide the complete number or more context, I might be able to assist you further”. So I sent the entire photo with text “more context as required”.

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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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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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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.