Tag: iPhone XS

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The Benefits of Living the COVID California Crackdown

Thanks to Governor Gavin “Gruesome” Newsom’s dictates demanding that citizens stay home, California is now a fine freeloading paradise where taking responsibility for anything is a crime. But that’s okay, because his do-nothing principle is assured to protect us—locked inside our own living-in-paradise prisons—from SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2), also known as COVID-19.

I have heard some commenters refer to the Gov as Newssolini, but anyone with more than two functioning neurons should see such insinuation insults the dictator. (Say, Mr. Mussolini, how’s the temperature in Hell these days?)

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The Cats of University Heights: Puss

How surprising: I am seeing some new kitties along North, where it intersects Madison, or in the alley between Campus. Four appeared today, but two vanished before I could close the distance for photos (you’ll see them soon). I encountered the series‘ newest addition, nicknamed Puss, for no particular reason, on Oct. 30, 2020. The Featured Image comes from iPhone XS. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 40, 1/122 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:16 a.m. PDT.

Somebody’s outdoor space is luxury. Look at the cat trees and surrounding plants. In perennially sunny San Diego, the cat can have indoor furniture outside for much of the year. What a habitat! My question: Does he (or she) spend time within the caretaker’s residence, too?

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The Cats of University Heights: Prowler

Like Spirit, this fine feline appeared in the alley between Cleveland and Maryland on one side of Meade—not far from our old apartment, actually. Our long, lost Maine Coon-mix Kuma hung out in the same area, favoring his ledge. Real name unknown, I dub the shorthair Prowler, for its cunning, slinky movements.

Unfortunately, I carried along iPhone XS and not trusty Leica Q2. The Featured Image, which is cropped a little more than 100-percent, is good enough from the smartphone but would be great from the camera. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/489 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:15 a.m. PDT; Oct. 5, 2020.

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Look What Parked Next to Me at Costco

For cultural reasons that I don’t understand, Halloween is a big holiday in San Diego. Decorations are everywhere adorning homes and lawns. That’s not enough for some people, as this grim ghoulmobile demonstrates.

The thing spooked from the space adjacent to mine in the Mission Valley Costco parking lot. Proximity made no good way to photograph the entire machine. So I fumbled for composition and ambience, using iPhone XS.

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The Cats of University Heights: Spirit

The main intersection on the neighborhood’s west side is a four-way with stop-signs at Cleveland and Meade. I meandered upon this kitty and the next one profiled on either side of Meade in the alley between Cleveland and Maryland—directions south and north, respectively.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image on Oct. 17, 2020. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/213 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 10:21 a.m. PDT. Coincidentally, the day marked the series‘ fourth anniversary.

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An Unexpected Request

About a month ago, I observed something odd while waiting in line at the pharmacy. The gentlemen standing at the counter, who looked worse for wear, had come to pick up a prescription. But he met an obstacle. The druggist asked for identification, which the customer didn’t have and he was confused why any would be needed. “It’s a controlled substance”,  the pharmacist explained. But in a sad and naively poignant regard, the gent didn’t understand. The medicine had been prescribed for him, but he didn’t possess any kind of identity card. Please, could he have his medicine?

Unkempt, and likely a recovering addict who belonged to San Diego’s ever-growing homeless population, the guy was plaintive rather than abusive—as someone else might have been. “Come back when you have ID”, the druggist informed. The fellow stepped back from the window and approached me, waiting next in line: “Do you have ID I can borrow?”

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Mona

Among the 355 other profiles in this series, seven were seen or live beyond the neighborhood’s designated boundaries. Mona—and that’s her real name—makes eight. She joins special members: BuddiesChill, EnvyMoophie, Ninja, Promise, and Sammy. My wife and I met the kitty and her owner while walking home from Smart and Final on Sept. 22, 2020—along Mississippi, before Lincoln leaves behind North Park.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image, at 9:39 a.m. PDT. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/177 sec, 52mm (film equivalent).

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The Cats of University Heights: Charger

The fourth anniversary of this series is in 11 days, and like last year I consider closing up. So as the seventeenth approaches, expect to see a rush release of kitties photographed but not yet profiled. We continue with the second consecutive alley cat. Spur was the first, sighted behind Alabama and Florida. Another black shorthair, in the alley along Alabama and Mississippi, is next—earning nickname Charger. Sigh, if only the feline had allowed me to read the ID tag.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image on Sept. 17, 2020 at 8:33 a.m. PDT. Vitals: f/24, ISO 16, 1/84 sec, 52mm (film equivalent). The portrait is converted to black and white, which diminishes delightful, but distracting, plants and shrubs.

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Who Authorized This?

Occasionally, metaphors slap you aside the head—as is the case with the Featured Image and companion, captured with Leica Q2 and iPhone XS, respectively. Both images represent the incursion of territory, in most strange manner. Last week, a road crew etched “North Park” into the so-called traffic calming circle at Alabama and Meade. Workers returned for more letter-cutting today, two blocks farther at Louisiana. Problem: Both intersections are located in University Heights, which boundary extends another four cross-streets south to Lincoln. Uh-oh.

I witnessed an older gentleman mark the structure with chalk on Sept. 27, 2020. I returned the next day with camera in hand. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 9:16 a.m. PDT. I selectively saturated orange, using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic, to draw out “Mead and Alabama in University Heights”. The other photo shows some of the sandblasted lettering the day of completion, on the 25th. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 16, 1/1634 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 4:38 p.m.

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The Cats of University Heights: Spur

The third-in-a-row Alabama Street furball—and fifty-sixth for the series seen between boundaries Adams and Lincoln—follows Speckle and Whiskers. At least two more Bama beasties that I have observed, but not yet photographed, are likely coming soon. The shorthair looks down into the alley at the back of the building, where also live Mao and maybe Dizzy, whom I haven’t seen since before the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19pandemic started.

The portrait of this black, who earns nickname Spur, won’t win any awards. Sometimes you go with what you got, not what you wish you had taken. I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image on Sept. 18, 2020 at 8:53 a.m. PDT. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/3690 sec, 52mm (film equivalent).

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The Cats of University Heights: Whiskers

How did we get to 352 profiles without using Whiskers as a nickname? It’s taken now, but I wish the kitty would have let me get close enough to see its tag. Whiskers is the fifty-fifth feline from Alabama between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. There are even more coming to the series, and I remain flummoxed about the number compared to every other street in the neighborhood. Concentration of multi-unit residences is the only explanation that makes any sense. BTW, do look back for an exciting update about another Alabama kitty: Pace (pronounced paw-chay).

My wife spotted Whiskers as we walked from Smart and Final on Sept. 18, 2020. I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/262 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:06 a.m. PDT.