Tag: Galaxy S23 Ultra

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Hanging Houses

A quick, placeholder post replaces the one previously planned. In uncharacteristic fashion, Cali made a bed out of my lap tonight—and I let her. The other musing, dealing with today’s experience at the San Diego Library book sale, must wait.

These bird houses hang from one of two young trees planted where were a magnificent pair of Canary Island Date Palms. A few years ago, the city chopped down both, after the dreaded South American Palm Weevil infected them. Causalities are too many in my neighborhood of University Heights. I still mourn the palm that had been across the street from my office window and which similarly had to be destroyed

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The Cats of University Heights: Zoe

As we walked together along Louisiana on this fine Caturday, my wife spotted a tabby dart across the street nearby where both Ash and Nelson have been photographed. New kitty sightings are rare along that particular block—my guess because more single-family homes than apartments means less turnover of residents.

The shorthair wouldn’t tolerate close approach, so I used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra‘s 10x lens to capture the Featured Image and companion. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 50, 1/220 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 11 a.m. PST. The other is the same but 1/120 sec.

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Deciduous Delight

Six weeks or so since my last haircut and sports medicine specialist appointment today compelled me to get a trim yesterday afternoon from the Barber of Seville, who at 80ish continues to cut clients’ mops. His shop is located along the main business blocks of Park Blvd in University Heights.

I was on time, but George was late—focused on another customer who dragged out the cut with conversation. While waiting outside, I marveled at the turning colors of leaves on several trees. San Diego’s mild Mediterranean climate and Southern latitude (for the Northern Hemisphere) typically mean later-year seasonal change for deciduous trees. Leaves bursting with color, and being shed, is something seen in December for sure. November timing grabbed my attention.

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The Outlier

If  elected, she would be the youngest President-elect in the history of the United States. She also would be ineligible to serve, at time of the election next year, being then 34 and 35 is the Constitutionally-mandated minimum age. However, Taylor Swift was born on Dec. 13, 1989, which means she would be of age to take the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2025.

Despite insane popularity, the singer sure looks like a longshot at this juncture, particularly with no real political experience—although navigating the complicated contractual craziness of the music business and self-managing a multi-million dollar entertainment career isn’t that far removed from taking on Washington.

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An Odd Encounter

I am reminded that life is tough and unforgiving in the urban landscape of wild animals. Today, while talking on the phone to my sister, I came upon a larger rodent stumbling along the alley separating Louisiana and Mississippi streets in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. Rat? Something else? Please, tell me.

The creature was nearby cross-street Meade, and I wondered if it had been struck by a turning car or perhaps even poisoned. The rodent fell over every few steps and once on its back after tripping over a leaf. I chatted with Nan using my Poly Voyager 5200 Wireless Headset purchased in late December last year. That freed up my hands and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra for several shots.

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San Diego Police Return to University Heights

While walking this morning, my wife and I detoured to Adams and Mississippi to see what was up with all the police vehicles. Sharped-eyed Annie spotted a cop car roll through the stop sign at Mission, and we decided to follow.

The Featured Image and companions give glimpse of the activity. We went elsewhere in our neighborhood of University Heights before playing public peeping-toms with the many other onlookers. Police tape was up when we arrived, and going East—closer to Arizona—officers could be seen holding assault rifles pointed in safe directions. Whatever had their attention, ended. Firearms were put away, circling helicopter flew off, and the yellow tape came down.

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The Cats of University Heights: Priceless

I apparently am wrong about this fine feline, being absolutely sure it is already part of the series. But manually looking back through four years of profiles and searching the site for Texas, which is street of the sighting, I find nothing. Perhaps I previously shot something that couldn’t be used.

Honestly, the Featured Image is barely usable, but the cat’s expression is priceless—hence the nickname. I wish the portrait was sharper, but the tree leaves reflected from the glass add character and look like they’re growing out of the fur.

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Witchy Where?

What’s the remedy when a photo doesn’t come out as expected? Experimentation is one answer. When shooting Halloween decor on Oct. 31, 2023, I was sure the eye would follow the line of witches hats—and/or their shadows on the sidewalk. But the late afternoon sun, shining behind me from the West, glared and the hats lacked the contrast to stand out against the busy background of grass, houses, and street.

Tonight, for the first time, I fired up Analog Efex Pro 3, which is part of the DxO Nik Collection. Mucking around, I came across Camera profile Multilens 1, which separated the photo into three panels. A few perspective adjustments later and separation moves the eyes left to right, drawing more attention to the flow of witchy wear. The effect is a workaround. I remain dissatisfied with the result, but use the circumstance to show off the editing tool.

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The Cats of University Heights: Silky

Nearby the hydroponic house, a blackie jaunted across the sidewalk while I was still a half-block’s walk away on Oct. 7, 2023. He (or she) later appeared from under a car, as you can see from the Featured Image taken using Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 80, 1/60 sec, 230mm (film equivalent); 3:04 p.m. PDT.

For sheen of its fur, this fine feline earns nickname Silky.

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Death of a Republic

Foreshadowing is a common storytelling technique. Perhaps in a movie with what I call a “French ending”, the handsome hero stubs his toe early on, only to later die of blood infection. A different kind cuts across genres: In the classic trope from American cinema, a sidekick is introduced with intriguing backstory and quickly developed character, which signals that his or her death is imminent.

My question: What does a hearse parked across from the polling place in North Park foreshadow? The death of our constitutional republic? Or of democracy, if you prefer? Judging by the advanced ages of the people choosing to vote in person, on-call ambulance wouldn’t be unreasonable precaution. Hearse is a bit much, but, hey, surely someone will croak while voting somewhere. “Be prepared” is the Boy Scot motto and that of undertakers everywhere.

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Where She Waits

I don’t have much experience with Catholic religious symbols. But, presumably, the porcelain statue spotted in an alley—between Louisiana and Mississippi in San Diego neighborhood University Heights—is one. You tell me. I can’t say whether the relic is meant to be hidden behind the vine, or if the growth is naturally occurring.

The Featured Image comes from Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, using the 200-megapixel capability, which resulted in a massively large file (Warning: 58MB).

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Esther

For the first Caturday of the month, we leave the neighborhood’s boundaries to introduce seven-year-old Esther. My wife saw the fine feline first and I the school teacher owner, on Utah Street, today. We had a delightful conversation, while I shot a few portraits using Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

I politely asked permission beforehand; not only did Esther’s caretaker grant it but she informed that her pet appears on the “Cats of North Park” Instagram. Say what? Have we been imitated? Either that or like minds are awork. First post there is June 15, 2020. “Cats of University Heights” started Oct. 17, 2016. Ha! There’s are portrait there of one-eye, no-tail Reddy (also known as Jinx) with name Lucky.