Tag: iPhone XS

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The Cats of University Heights: Tang

Walking outdoors is challenging, with so many businesses shut down, and, as such, a large number of San Diegians trying to “shelter in place” but, understandably, going out with their dogs or to grab some fresh air/exercise. The other order for the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2), also known as COVID-19, pandemic: “social distancing“, which for the Wilcox family means mostly walking in alleys behind streets, where fewer people go and making space from them is much easier than would be along cramped sidewalks—or even stepping into bike lanes.

Unsurprisingly, I am discovering a fresh batch of indoor kitties looking out onto the alleys. That brings us to the third consecutive feline that is behind window or door and was seen along/behind Alabama Street—sixtieth and forty-ninth, respectively, for the series to date. On March 22, 2020, I spotted the cat on the stretch between Madison and Mission.

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The Cats of University Heights: Mustachio

The Alabama (number forty-eighth) and behind window or door (fifty-ninth) kitty run continues with the second of three—and maybe four. This handsome second-floor looker earns nickname Mustachio, for what should be obvious reason. While first-in-the-set Mercy looked out onto Alabama, this beastie has a view of the alley from an apartment building on the street.

On March 3, 2020, I spotted Mustachio watching workmen renovate a building on the other side of the alley and facing Mississippi. I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image at 11:24 a.m. PST. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/781 sec, 52mm (film equivalent).

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I Agree

Along several sidewalks in the neighborhood, kids who have been forced home by school closings express in chalk positive sentiments about beating back or overcoming the global crisis presented by the conjoined pandemics: Viral—SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2), better known as COVID-19—and socioeconomic. One message moved me more than the others, for being affirmative against adversity.

“We Can Do This” is a proclamation of will, of determination, of taking responsibility—with the plural meaning everything. We can be two or more all the way up to collective humanity. But the importance is greater, as the sentiment explodes in context: In California, like a handful of other states, Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered all 40-million citizens to “stay at home” and practice so-called “social distancing” behavior as a strategy to slow spread of the contagion. All businesses, but a handful considered to be “essential”, are closed. We are apart physically—separated by six feet or more—but we are close in desire.

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The Cats of University Heights: Mercy

Our fifty-eighth kitty looking out window (or door) also is the forty-seventh seen on Alabama—and first in a series of three (or four) from the street; all of them behind glass (or screen), too.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image, on March 19, 2020, between Adams and Madison. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/1083 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 11:20 a.m. PDT. The nickname comes from my reaction to seeing the Tuxedo peering out from behind a closed window with bars. “Have mercy, and pardon this poor prisoner!”

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Thin Crust Topped with Thick Irony

For days I’ve wondered about making one last Pizza Hut order—a final reach for what was before embarking on what is. Should I take away, like usual, or choose delivery? Last night, on my wife’s advice, I chanced pickup and nearly dropped the pies on the way to the car. Marketing messaging on the box caused me to laugh uncontrollably. Oh, and I desperately needed the chuckle, as do many more of us. “March Madness”: How ironically appropriate for circumstances.

The SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—better known as COVID-19pandemic is upon us. As I started warning family more than a month ago, the contagion is a transformative event unlike anything experienced by human society for many generations. Everyone’s lifestyle will change. The world we knew is gone. Poof!

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Something Stinks Here

There are the photo opportunities that you frustratingly miss, those you purposely pass on, and the ones you use for illustration—even when they’re make-do. That’s the context for our Featured Image, shot today using iPhone XS. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 69, 1/1689 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 10:05 a.m. PDT. Now comes some explanation.

In response to the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19pandemic, federal and state officials have issued orders for citizens to “shelter in place“. Most businesses considered to be non-essential are closed; schools are, too. Staying home is fine most of the time, but some healthy outdoor activity is nevertheless necessary for the Wilcox family’s well-being. Turns out that walks are considered to be safe enough—and my wife and I continue to take them, mindful to try and keep the recommended six feet away from passersby (mostly dog walkers). At 8:50 a.m. PDT, we met someone, or I should say something, that we surely wanted to keep distance from: A skunk scurrying down the Meade Ave. sidewalk approaching us.

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The Cats of University Heights: Shelter

A week ago, the World Health Organization (finally) declared SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19—a pandemic. Next Day, President Trump declared a national emergency. Here in California, most bars, eateries, K-12 schools, shops, and universities are indefinitely closed, while residents are ordered to stay home—a tactic meant to “flatten the curve” of the contagion’s spread. Reasoning: If people avoid one another (so-called “social distancing”), fewer folks will be sick at once. Otherwise, with a nearly 20-percent medical intervention rate, Novel Coronavirus would, or likely still will, overwhelm hospitals. In San Diego, for example, there are not enough beds for the expected number of people desperately in need of invasive care.

Walks are considered safe enough, and my wife and I continue them. If you must “shelter in place“, ocean breezes and sunshine are Southern California comforts that invigorate mental and physical well-being. We might as well take advantage of what the cost of living pays for—while we still can (gulp, considering the economic pandemic also underway). As long as we can still get out, I’ll be on the lookout for fresh felines to add to this series. Hence: The fifty-seventh window watcher, which I saw on March 14, 2020 along Campus between Meade and Monroe.

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The Cats of University Heights: Huck

Is that a neighborhood newcomer I see—but not yet a yearling? As my wife and I walked along Louisiana today, Huck (real name) appeared from behind a car, at the same property where Princess Leia and I first met about 19 months earlier. Last year, the Wilcoxes considered renting an affordable apartment in the same building. But the two bedrooms received no meaningful direct sunlight, making them too cold and dim for our liking.

Anne and I may not be Huck’s neighbors, but he has plenty—some of which may hissy-fit over territory. Among the other profiled, feisty felines seen on the street—along the four blocks between Adams and Meade—or known to live there: Amazon, Bandit, Daniel TigerDarth Mew, DonutsFluffy, Ginger, Gracie (deceased), Jedi, Milo, Nelson, Patriot, Royal, SnowStripe, and Topper.

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The Cats of University Heights: Autumn

On Oct. 3, 2019, I got a far-from-the-sidewalk view of a blackie, while walking along Campus between Tyler and Van Buren. Three-and-a-half months later, and no second-sighting, time is come to add the shorthair, whom I nickname Autumn, to the series.

The Featured Image comes from iPhone XS, as I had hoofed it to the grocery store—expecting to carry back several bulky bags—and left at home my camera. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/390 sec, 52mm (film equivalent; EXIF records 6mm); 2:27 p.m. PDT. The portrait is a 90-percent crop.

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Why Cats?

Anyone looking at this website’s recent posts, and seeing how many are devoted to the beasties, might presume that I am a feline fanatic. Nah. The “Cats of University Heights” series is about something else, and the reasons for it wouldn’t be obvious.

The story starts during late Spring 2016, when rapid onset cataracts in both eyes greatly diminished vision—just recovering, following a series of treatments for macular edema. After consulting an ophthalmologic specialist, I scheduled surgery for the first day of Comic-Con 2016. Attending Preview Night, and being unable to read any of the signs in the venue, I surrendered any regret for missing the event (turns out, I would be there Saturday and Sunday, with one good eye and my daughter as assistant).

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The Cats of University Heights: Spunky

I can’t say why—because the composition, presented as shot, demands recropping—but this portrait appeals to me as is; oh-kay, I tweaked highlights and brilliance, but little else. Something from the backlog of unpublished profiles should go first, and I typically wait to get the real name when the beastie wears collar and tag. For now, I’ll call the kitty Spunky and move him (or her) to front of queue.

We briefly crossed paths on Oct. 9, 2019 along Lincoln, where it parallels Washington, which the Vermont Bridge crosses over. Along the same street stretch, which is a boundary between the neighborhood and another (Hillcrest), you might also see: CoolDainty, Glass, KittyLittle Miss, or Sky. The Featured Image comes from iPhone XS. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/144 sec, 52mm; 3:55 p.m. PDT.