Tag: Google Pixel 2 XL

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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. 

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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. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Snoozy

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.

Need you explanation for the chosen nickname of this blackie, whose mug I captured through a gated fence, which presence greatly determined composition of cropping in post-production? The Featured Image comes from Leica M10 and Summarit-M 1:2.4/50 lens, on Aug. 14, 2018 at 11:33 a.m. PDT. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/90 sec, 50 mm. 

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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. 

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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.

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‘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. 

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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. 

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OK, Google, I Surrender

They say the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. That sentiment is root of a change in progress: Abandoning Apple for Google, choosing one digital lifestyle over the other—and not for the first time. If you’d ask me on May 30th about giving up the fruit logo company for the search behemoth, the response would have been a chuckle. Yeah, right. But, correcting Apple co-founder Steve Jobs’ grammar, in less than 30 days I think differently, which whys this reflection explains.

Like many other decisions, this one didn’t just happen. Like suddenly blossoming Spring, change had been budding for many months, as the cold winter ways of my thinking responded to nurturing warmth and water. I was never really satisfied giving up my Pixel lifestyle—whether Chromebook, smartphone, or tablet—but did so somewhat reluctantly in March 2016 for three simple reasons that today aren’t as important. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Phil

Why are there so many putty-tats along Alabama Street? Phil makes the twentieth featured out of the 191 shot since the series started in October 2016. You will meet yet another tomorrow, and I know of several more living indoors yet to be photographed. I spotted Phil while walking to the Sprouts market late this afternoon.

I chose to shoot the Featured Image with the recently acquired Google Pixel 2 XL rather than Leica M10 slung around my back. The smartphone proved more than worthy. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/176 sec, 4.46mm; 5:51 p.m. PDT. 

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A Florist Uproots

Last night, on the NextDoor social network, I read a post about the University Heights florist moving and asking if anyone knew where. This morning, I stopped into the shop, Florabella, and asked. The 29 year-old establishment will for a time share warehouse space with a large floral distributor off of Morena Blvd. The current location is convenient and charming—inviting for walk-in sales. The temporary space is along a congested, commuting corridor.

The end of Florabella’s 24 year presence in my San Diego neighborhood is a common local retail story. At the end of May, the landlord informed the commercial tenant that the rent would triple, effective July 1st. For that month, though, the increase would be reduced to $1,000. I have heard the three-times figure often over the past 12-18 months. With a difference: The other shops closed up. The florist saunters on.