Tag: Galaxy S24 Ultra

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The Cats of University Heights: Yuki

Where once lived beautiful tortie Penelope, who passed away last year at age 22, two new residents can be found. Meet the first of them, Yuki—and, yes, that is her real name.

We will introduce you to her housemate, Mr. Norris, in a forthcoming profile. All three kitties’ home is about a block from our old apartment within the West side of the neighborhood.

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Microsoft, Copilot This!

Yesterday, I dropped by Best Buy for a quick looksee. My local store, in San Diego’s Mission Valley district, is undergoing changes that started with remodeling last year—or, gasp, was it 2022? Oh, how we lose track of time. Regardless, a dramatic change greeted me.

What can best be described as an Apple mini-store occupies some of the space once dominated by Microsoft, Surface devices, and OEM laptops. The newer setup is all about digital lifestyle, with all-Apple devices gathered together in one area. If there was space being made for Windows Copilot+ PCs packing Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite and Plus processors, I couldn’t find it. But nobody could miss all that fruit-logo fare.

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Big Book Bounty

When I was in high school, my cousin piqued my interested in a Dutch novel published in 1968 that debuted in 1973 translated into English. Every few months, over the past three years or so, I looked for a copy to buy, but prices are generally exorbitant; the book is out of print.

Where Were You Last Pluterday? by Paul Van Herck is satirical science fiction at its comically cringiest. The absolute absurdity of American politics and cultural currents triggered my curiosity about how-true-to-life had the hilariously nonsensical story become. Something about our reality of the absurd was once science fiction. I had to know: How prescient is the 50-year-old-plus novel?

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The Player

This afternoon, my wife and I happened to walk down Madison, in our San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. As we moved East, in the direction of Texas, near the corner of Alabama, I regarded identical statutes of youngsters playing a musical instrument. Someone had put them out between sidewalk and street, on the grassy strip where grow plants.

I escorted Annie home and returned with Leica Q2 Monochrom, which produced the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 200, 1/1250 sec, 28mm; 4:41 p.m. PDT.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Tag and Tig

We shamelessly jump the backlog of unpublished putty-tats to add a pair spotted today in a backyard along the Arizona-Hamilton alley in North Park, which is about one-and-a-half blocks beyond the neighborhood’s boundary. Hence, the honorary designation.

The kittens romped and chased like kids playing tag might. That explains the nickname for the black and Tig for the tabby. The Featured Image comes from Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra, which I had to raise high to clear a fence; the obstruction determined composition. Vitals: f/3.4, ISO 32, 1/340 sec, (synthetic) 230mm (digital and optical zoom); 1:56 p.m. PDT.

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My Cat Wants to Know: Why Use a Digital Camera?

I ask the question, too. I love my Leica Q2, but—increasingly leave it at home. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is good enough shooter for more than 90 percent of any of the photographic opportunities.

The smartphone is always present, quick to use,  and immensely versatile. Consider, for example, the three optical focal lengths—23mm, 70mm, and 115mm—plus the hybrid digital-optical 230mm. Colors are accurate across all four focal lengths; 50– and 200-megapixel options are available; manual controls are outstanding alternative to the excellent auto mode; and RAW shooting is available. Then there are the ever-useful AI-editing capabilities.

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Midday Mourning Cloak

While Annie and I walked yesterday, she delighted about a butterfly fluttering by. It stopped long enough for me to get off a couple quick shots using Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. The Featured Image is best of the set.

I grew up collecting and studying insects and quickly recognized the Mourning Cloak. Certainly, I know the butterfly from Northern Maine and assumed that, like many other Lepidoptera, Mourning Cloak was limited to the East. Wow, my big mistake: The range is broadest among the block of 11 continuous Western states.

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What Happened Here?

My wife and I walked around Mission Valley Mall—no longer a Westfield property—today. More stores are local small businesses, although some big brands are present—like Target.

The big surprise: The apparently permanently closed Temple Custom Jewelers and the mysterious signs you see in the Featured Image and companion. I knew that the establishment was black-owned but have no idea what were the circumstances leading to the signs. Googling gave no answers, tonight.

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Games We (Poorly) Play

Yesterday, one my neighbors expressed surprise about filling out paperwork at a doctor’s office, where she was presented with choice of a dozen genders. I would think that a medical practice would stick to the science: Humans are biologically either male or female. How people feel about themselves is something else.

All through the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns, we kept hearing about the science—physicians and researchers following it, and we should, too. In 2024, should a doctor’s office do no less? Meaning: Put basic biology before social culture?

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The Cats of University Heights: Rainbow

Meet the one-hundred-second kitty seen along Alabama Street, somewhere between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. On May 5, 2024, my wife and I saw two shorthairs chasing one another, playfully. Mittens we immediately recognized, but not the grey. Oh, and how Mittens has grown from a kitten, in two years.

I used Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra to capture the Featured Image and companion. The first isn’t sharp, but the rainbow colors make the moment, nevertheless. Vitals: f/3.4, ISO 40, 1/60 sec, (synthetic) 230mm (digital and optical zoom); 3:49 p.m. PDT. The other is the same but one minute later. Both are composed as shot.

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Croak or Caw?

Along Adams Ave., at the end of the bridge above Texas Street, I spotted some huge birds in the trees below. The vantage point presented another opportunity to see how good (or bad) Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra could be shooting distant objects.

Unlike the S23 Ultra, which packs 10x optical lens, the newer model relies on 5x optical and in-camera close-cropping 50-megapixels to produce something that is supposed to be as good as, or better than, the last-generation smartphone. You judge.