Tag: iPhone X

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A Garbage Story

Human behavior perplexes me. This morning while walking towards the Sprouts market, here in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, I observed a grey-haired woman stop walking to pick up a discarded cigarette carton; a wide-brim hat obscured her face. I smiled and thought: “Good for her! How commendable”.

But she soon followed community-minded behavior with inexplicable action. The lady tossed the thing into foliage alongside the sidewalk. Surely, I misunderstood—but, no, her right hand was empty. So much for the goodwill of grabbing unsightly refuse and disposing in a garbage can—which wasn’t more than 46 meters (50 yards) further along. Passing the spot of the drop, I could see other trash. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Penny

Another day, another Alabama kitty. They’re backing up, as I seek better portraits of other recently sighted furballs. Penny (her real name) is the fourteenth feline featured in the series from the street. The others (so far): Bella, Burglar, Cal, Goldie, Itchy Valentino, Laramie, LupeMr. Kitty, MonkeyNine, Smokey, Tipsy, and Willow.

Penny is kind of a courtyard cat. She doesn’t venture into the apartment building’s public area, but she does occasionally look out from the window onto a large tree that attracts birds. Smokey, who lives two houses away, is a common (and beloved) trespasser. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Mew

Tuxedos sure are popular in the neighborhood. Meet the twenty-secondnth to appear in the series, which follows a reclassification allowing kitties with more mixed black-and-white coats. Yesterday, while walking along Florida from Meade to Mission, I heard meowing—the tenor like a feline asking to be let in. I unintentionally passed by the sound, then backtracked, finding the shorthair, who earns nickname Mew, peering down cement steps.

Looking up at the kitty, I felt a pang. While one is safe, another is not. On Feb. 16, 2018, according to a post on NextDoor, a Tuxedo was hit and killed by a vehicle at Cleveland Ave. and Washington Street. Unless some beastie wandered many blocks, the Tuxedo is unlikely to be one previously profiled: Black and White, Boss, BrightBuddiesCal, Captain BlackbeardCharm, Curious, FraidyFresh, JellicleLola, Mittens, NinePatience, PepePoser, Sammy, SpotSeer, and Tux

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The Cats of University Heights: Cal

What is it about Tuxedo kitties looking from windows? Are they more likely to stare out than other furballs? Are there more of them living in the neighborhood? Oh, how I wonder. Among the thirteen other watchers featured so far in this series, four are Tuxes: Charm, CuriousFresh, and Seer. Meet the fifth, whom I nickname Cal, for no particular reason. Seeing his collar, with tag and bells, I’d guess we might meet outdoors some day.

If my count is correct, Cal is the eleventh cat confirmed to reside along Alabama Street between Adams Ave. and Lincoln—that I have featured. There are at least three others of which I’m aware; I recently spotted one going into the apartment across from Cal’s place on the block between The Boulevard and Meade. I haven’t gotten a good photo of that puss. Yet. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Finny

Along Adams Ave., just beyond Panorama, a ginger tabby sprinted across a yard to greet my wife and I, yesterday. The maturing kitten delighted us with his enthusiasm and exuberance. He visited until the roar of a passing city bus compelled retreat under one of two vehicles parked in the driveway.

The kit had no collar, and so no name tag. I dubbed him Buddy, because of his friendliness. He would make a good companion to us or anyone—and of course hopefully to his owners. Buddy wouldn’t be the first young cat that I’ve seen roaming without a collar, only to wear one as an adult. Surely he belongs to someone

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‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’

For weeks, I wanted to capture this sign along Adams Ave., but each passby was in the car. Until today, when I walked to Pet Me Please for cat food. The Featured Image is from Leica Q. For comparison, the other is an iPhone X shot, using the second lens to 2X zoom.

Vitals for the first, aperture manually set for street shooting: f/8, ISO 100, 1/400 sec; 1:42 p.m. PST, today. The other: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/1171 sec, 6mm; 1:43 p.m. Metadata indicates that the Q shot was 1:45, but that is incorrect as I used the X afterwards. Turns out the clock was running three minutes fast; it is now reset-corrected. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Lola

When walking to the grocery store, and expecting to carry back a hefty load, I usually leave camera behind—as was the case this morning. So I had to rely on iPhone X when meeting Lola and her owner, along Polk Ave. between Georgia Street and Park Blvd.

As I trudged up the hill, a lady approached her property fence to the sounds of a meowing cat greeting her from behind a mesh-like security door. I asked about her kitty, who came out into the small yard and promptly attacked a grey furball that neither of us humans had seen. The intruder immediately fled, and Lola returned to rubbing against anything and everything, issuing sweet meows. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Token

Early afternoon yesterday, my wife and I spotted a handsome Bengel-like furball whose portrait I shot with iPhone X in a yard off the alley coming from Cliff Street to Adams Ave. Disappointed with the results, I later returned with Leica Q but ended up at a nearby apartment courtyard capturing another kitty, a blackie.

He rolled in grass neaby the front gate, presenting outstanding opportunity for lovely candids. But as I slowly approached, the feline fled two-thirds-away across the lot. Just after I composed and shot several photos, one of the residents came up to the gate. She knew the shorthair, who belongs to a neighbor, and said the animal is called Token. I presume, thinking of the cat’s color, that his name comes from South Park character Token Black

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The Cats of University Heights: Fresh

Our second, sighted window watcher on Jan. 16, 2018 follows-up Seer (my nickname), along with 10 others since the series started in October 2016: CharmCoolCurious, Glass, KitSeeker, StarStill, Twain, and Watcher. Another, Burglar, climbs into one.

The house next to the American Market, on Cleveland Ave., is a recent renovation and subsequent rental. I dub the kitty in the Featured Image Fresh, for being a neighborhood newcomer. Hehe, she also looks out on freshly growing oranges. I captured the portrait, while walking home with groceries, using the iPhone X second lens to 2X zoom. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/706 sec, 6mm; 1:12 p.m. PST. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Boss

Construction crews return to ripping up our street—so they can place new water (and possibly sewage) pipes—following a three-day break (for the weekend and Martin Luther King Jr. holiday). During December, the contracted company worked on Louisiana, which is where I met this fine feline, on Jan. 14, 2018, appropriately cowering behind one of the many, remaining Burtech signs.

But I am fairly sure we had a near encounter the previous evening. Returning home with Pizza Hut pie, driving up Monroe from Texas Street, I passed a Tuxedo-like kitty, with massive white ruff, sitting upright, beyond a parked car, slightly in the roadway, across from Louisiana. I watch my speed in the neighborhood for a reason: kids and cats. My wife got an earful about the strange sighting while enjoying a mouthful of cheesy crust, zesty tomato sauce, and bountiful toppings (Super Supreme without black olives, baby).

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Piping Project Progress

Call me mistaken.  Pipeline road construction only seemed to start in earnest yesterday. This morning, Burtech heavy-machinery gouged a long narrow trench—what my wife calls “the mote”—down our street. We are overwhelmed with disruption—like the car being blocked from leaving its assigned parking space—and constant noise. But that’s okay, because the road crew clearly makes tremendous progress. Maybe we won’t be besieged for months, as I had feared.

To document the moment, but not make the workers too uneasy, I used iPhone X instead of Leica Q. Smartphone snapping is familiar to most people and less threatening. In the Featured Image, you can see the trench, for new water pipes, going down the street. I wonder: What about the old ones? Do they just stay in the ground? Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 20, 1/2288 sec, 4mm; 10:39 a.m. PST. 

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Buddies

For the third time since this series started in October 2016, kitties living just outside the neighborhood boundaries participate. My wife and I met the first, nicknamed Chill, on Arizona Street—same as the two you see in the Featured Image. Texas separates University Heights from North Park, and Arizona is one street beyond. The other honorary furball, Sammy—and that’s her real name—lives across Washington Street in Hillcrest at DC Computers. Yep, she is the shop cat.

Sometimes exceptions must be made, but rarely—why this is only the third among 131 postings. I found the cats and their (presumably) owner’s house too quaint to resist. That said, had the pair been another street beyond Texas, they wouldn’t make the cut. Lucky for them, too, that it’s the slowest sightings time of year.