Tag: Google Pixel 2 XL

Read More

James

For as long as we have been in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood—11 years next week—a homeless man lived near the top of Texas Street before it passes the Valero gas station at Madison. James was a fixture, seen day or night, every day, regardless of weather. If absent from his chair for any length of time, there would be chatter across social networks—in recent years NextDoor—asking where he was. Sickness or even police harassment were the more likely reasons for his absences.

Near the end of September, James vanished again, raising roarous concerns on NextDoor, until someone stated—and later was confirmed—that this homeless man had passed away. I didn’t know James, but some of my neighbors engaged him. “Friendly” and “kind” are two words used to describe him among many NextDoor posts and comments. I just took James for granted. He was as much a part of the scenery as the palm trees. As I would drive up Texas, or walk across the Adams Ave. bridge, he was an expected sight—and refreshing one, too. Something about his presence, and neighbors embracing his homelessness, was a triumph of humanity and dignity. 

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Clarity

While walking to the library yesterday, I spotted the series‘ twenty-eighth Alabama Street putty-tat, and thirty-second looking out from a window. Blacks are the trickiest subjects shot through mesh screen, and in this instance diminishing daylight. I captured the Featured Image at 5:39 p.m., about 50 minutes before sunset.

Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 85, 1/5848 sec, 4.459mm. I used Pixel 2 XL to capture the moment, near Howard Avenue, and edited in Google Photos. The portrait is close-cropped and auto-enhanced. From the distance, and focal length, the smartphone can’t match either of my Leica cameras for clarity. Oddly then, the nickname explained.

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Sugar

On July Fourth 2018, as my wife and I walked down Florida between Madison and Monroe, I saw a kitty on apartment steps and its owners nearby preparing to barbecue. I snapped a quick portrait with Google Pixel 2 XL and asked the name. How sweet. Sugar. I haven’t seen the shorthair since. Vitals for the Featured Image: f/1.8, ISO 55, 1/4673 sec, 4.459mm; 6:57 p.m. PDT.

I started this series 23 months ago and likely will end it on the two-year anniversary (October 16). Look for an explanation why in about two weeks. 

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Honey

Something like nine months ago, I caught fleeting glimpse of a calico going into an apartment courtyard, up to a second floor landing and being let inside a door. I missed the moment, which returned on Aug. 16, 2018. The shorthair hung outside the building—and not visibly for just the one day that week but several. I seized the first opportunity, as my wife and I carried home groceries, and let alone the kitty on the others.

Earning nickname Honey, the beastie is the twenty-seventh sighted along Alabama Street. As we greeted, and I snapped portraits, No. 11, Cal, looked down from an open window. I shot the Featured Image and the first companion using Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens. Vitals: f/4.8, ISO 200, 1/180 sec, 50mm; 9:12 a.m. PDT. The other is same except for 1/250 shutter speed and 9:10 a.m. timestamp. 

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Olive

The first caturday of the month begins with the twenty-sixth feline seen on Alabama. I know, the number seems endless. Out of the 219 profiles to date, 12 percent are from the one street—and you will meet yet another next. During a twilight walk, I spotted a second cat on the same property—between Howard and Polk—chowing supper; no photo was possible with my phone for distance and darkness; expect to read about that beastie someday.

I captured the Featured Image, using Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens, through a gated fence, which presence greatly determined composition of cropping in post-production. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/90 sec, 50 mm; 11:33 a.m. PDT, Aug. 14, 2018. 

Read More

Quick Update: My Apple to Google Switch

Doubt disturbed my commitment to give up the Apple Way for the Google lifestyle two months ago (yesterday). Preparing to pack up my wife’s 64GB white iPhone X, I was taken aback by how pretty it was. She kept the thing in a case, which protected from damage but also obscured beauty. For fleeting seconds, I wondered why switch. Product design that generates joy is another benefit—and one transcending any, and every, feature.

But the moment passed, and I boxed up Anne’s smartphone along with my 256GB black iPhone X. Google gave great trade-in values, which dispatched the hassle of reselling the devices on Craigslist. Eight weeks later, writing this post on Pixelbook i7, I don’t regret the decision. Confession: The transition isn’t quite complete, but we’re getting there. 

Read More

Finally! A Good Use for the Shopping Mall’s Vacant Anchor Store

Today’s Westfield Mission Valley visit offered up something even more surprising than seeing our first FlixBus. My wife suggested walking around the perimeter of the empty store where once was Macy’s—so we could be more in shade than sun. But turning from the parking lot side back towards the mall proper, we encountered police tape blocking off the area in shadows. Then we came upon the sign that is the Featured Image.

Think of all that empty square-footage an anchor department store leaves behind for SWAT to do God knows what—and he ain’t telling me—to prepare for incidents involving terrorists, Twitter rumormongers, or Trump-haters (of which there are too many in San Diego). Perhaps the police practiced hostage negotiation and rescue tactics. But all seemed quiet when Anne and I meandered by.

Read More

‘On the Bus, That’s Where We’re Ridin’

I feel the generational gap, after spotting my first FlixBus this afternoon. Half-decade ago, I would have written about the company’s start and followed its progress—like so many other wannabe tech and social-behavior disruptors seeking to win over Millennial minds and money.

Bright, bold green and orange buses, mobile app to schedule or pay, on-board Wi-Fi, and budget-friendly pricing scream cool, cost-consciousness for the connected generation—among which car ownership is more Scarlet Letter than merit badge of adulthood. 

Read More

The Cats of University Heights: Tuna

For International Cat Day, we celebrate with a shorthair named for every kitty’s favorite food. We regarded one another from a distance, on July 27, 2018. Just as I crouched down with Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens, a gentleman came out a door above the animal. I asked for a name. He hesitated, then answered: “I call her Tuna”. There you go. Yum. Yum.

I captured the Featured Image at 6:54 p.m. PDT, just after the gent walked by. Vitals: f/4, ISO 200, 1/250 sec, 50mm (EXIF mistakenly reports f/2.5). On two other separate occasions, I saw Tuna on the steps when passing the property, on Georgia between Mission and Monroe. Last night, my wife and I stopped to look, and Tuna surprised by strutting down the steps to great us.