Tag: iPhone XS

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The Cats of University Heights: Speckle

Call me surprised for finding another Alabama cat—fifty-fourth seen between boundaries Adams and Lincoln. I don’t walk down the street significantly more often than others, so the number of beasties baffles me. The ginger and I met in the parking lot of the same building where lives Mercy.

The shorthair earns nickname Speckle, for the dash of white in the center of its M-mark—as you can see from the Featured Image and companion, which I captured using iPhone XS on Sept. 8, 2020. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/597 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 9:54 a.m. PDT. The other is f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/193 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:55 a.m.

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Sidewalk Gym

San Diego’s climate is ideal for almost any year-round outdoor activity, something the large number of people riding, running, or walking make obvious. Outside workouts are more common now, even though gyms have reopened following […]

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The Cats of University Heights: Frosty

As I write, the official temperature outside, based on GPS location, is 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius)—and aren’t we lucky: Only 94 F (34 C) inside the apartment. No sensible person in the temperate, San Diego coastal region uses an air conditioner; we live about 10-minute drive to the ocean but even this far away the sea breeze is fairly constant. Not today! Suddenly AC sure seems like a great relief.

On more pleasing Aug. 29, 2020, as my wife and I walked along New Jersey, a handsome Snowshoe Siamese strolled along a front yard. Of course, Leica Q2 was back at the flat. The Featured Image, captured using iPhone XS, would retain greater detail if taken with the camera. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/322 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:13 a.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Chancy

Six weeks or so ago, my wife spotted what presumably is a Russian Blue sleeping along a second-floor balcony railing in the alley between Alabama and Florida. She walked there seeking shade from the ridiculously-named BLVD North Park further along. I joined her on occasional saunters, hoping to photograph the kitty—doing so on several walk-bys, but always with the beastie back to me. Finally, on Aug. 16, 2020, we had a meeting of the eyes, so to speak, that produced the Featured Image captured using iPhone XS. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/355 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 8:53 a.m. PDT.

The shorthair earns nickname Chancy for railing risk-taking and for the first sighting, which was purely by chance.

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CLAWS Dig In

We follow up my neighborhood’s lone Trump-Pence 2020 sign with something even more surprising: Black flag that is the Featured Image, which I captured using iPhone XS on August 16. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/1229 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 11:51 a.m. PDT. The tabby nicknamed Ranger from my “Cats of University Heights” series lives in the same residence.

Have feline families formed a coalition against racism? Nope. It’s the meeting of art, entrepreneurism, and opportunity. “CLAWS is not a group or organization, it’s my idea/message/statement/artwork/design”, creator Ryan Patterson explains on his Cat Magic Punks page. “If you love cats and are against white supremacy, you’re part of it!”

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The Strong Arms of Defiance

Around the corner from where was the Urban Pumpkin is the local gym, which closed during California Governor Gavin “Gruesome” Newsom’s first state-shuttering order in mid-March 2020 but has since defied the second shutdown, started July 13, that restricts indoor activities at many commercial businesses and institutions (like churches). Four days ago, San Diego County issued an order for the “immediate closure of Boulevard Fitness”; compliance “may be enforced by the San Diego Police Department”.

In meaningless sense of solidarity—the way flabby, beer-gut spectators feel good when watching their favorite sports team compete and win—I have checked daily for more than a month to see if the gym is open, silently cheering that it was. But on a Monday morning, following the “cease and desist” order, would Boulevard Fitness welcome patrons of exercise and good health?

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The Cats of University Heights: Snowy

We celebrate International Cat Day with an odd find from Aug. 1, 2020: Snowy, who lives within a block of Benny and John Adams and like them wears a GPS collar. Nowhere else have I seen furballs so outfitted and must wonder: Why these three neighbors?

Snowy (yep, real name) bears some resemblance to poor Maeven, who was killed by a coyote last month. 🙁 I offered condolences to his owner on Nextdoor not long before I quit again; so I am no longer cat connected there.

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Park Your Butt, Not Your Car

Southern California continues to suffer from the self-inflicted economic devastation imposed by our esteemed governor, Gavin “Gruesome” Newsom. He has imposed a partial, second statewide shutdown in response to increasing confirmed SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19—cases. Pandemic deaths aren’t rapidly rising, which, in my journaled opinion, is the metric more important to making policy that harms millions of businesses and leads to massive job losses.

What is the harm? Locally, according to San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation: “Forty-one percent of businesses surveyed saw revenues decline by 81 to 100 percent; 93 percent saw staffing declines of one to 50 employees”. Additionally, “minority-owned small businesses have been disproportionately impacted by COVID”. Explicitly: “More than 90 percent of minority-owned businesses have seen their revenue decline, with most experiencing steep revenue declines of 81 to 100 percent”. EDC released the most recent data—collected May 28 to June 8, when the state started reopening—on July 1, or 13 days before Newsom reimposed new closure measures.

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The Cats of University Heights: Rebel

The fifty-third kitty seen behind door or window appeared as my wife and I walked along Mission, between Georgia and Park, on July 17, 2020. Vitals for the Featured Image: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/452 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:17 a.m. PDT. On inspection, at home, I immediately liked the composition of the iPhone XS shot but not the “Black Lives Matter” sign above him. No amount of cropping could satisfy more—in fact less.

The problem? This series isn’t political, nor is it meant to be. Black Lives Matter isn’t just a slogan—it refers to an organization with political ambitions. For reasons too numerous for the tone of a furry feline profile, BLM is polarizing—or at least in this neighborhood. Since the riots started at the end of May, I have seen an undeniable pattern emerge across University Heights: Signs and posters in windows supporting BLM or American flags hanging outside homes—but not both. Citizens choose to voice whom or what they support by the icon displayed; for some people, that’s nothing whatsoever.

So after careful consideration, fourteen days later, with the qualifications explained above, please allow me to introduce to the series the ginger that I nickname Rebel.

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Welcome to COVID-Safe San Diego Zoo

My wife and I walk around our neighborhood and go to the grocery store but not much elsewhere. That’s the state of our lives, and that of many other Californians, since Governor Gavin Newsom essentially closed down the state on March 19, 2020. Subsequently, “shelter-in-place” and social distancing orders worked, or seemed to, and spread of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19—subsided. In June, California started to earnestly reopen, with restrictions placed to prevent resurgence.

But the pandemic savagely surged, shifting from older citizens to younger ones: People under the age of 40 account for about half of all new confirmed cases. One week ago, Newsom ordered partial reclosing, while Los Angeles and San Diego school districts jointly announced that kids would not return to classes as planned; for the foreseeable future, they will be instructed over the Internet.

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The Cats of University Heights: Friday

Fifty-one: The number of felines found on Alabama between boundaries Adams and Lincoln, since the first three—Anthony, Goldie, and Itchy Valentino—appeared along a single block on the same day: Sept. 5, 2017. The black also is sixty-third seen behind door or window, since the series started in October 2016. Confession: This handsome shorthair lives in a house that, being a whisk beyond Lincoln going towards University Ave., could classify as North Park. Welcome to boundary-bending Caturday!

Not very original, Friday is the beastie’s nickname—chosen for the day of the week for June 19, 2020. I captured portraits using Leica Q2 and iPhone XS but chose the Featured Image from the smartphone shots rather than the camera. Better composition, aided from the secondary lens, is main reason. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/232 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 9:20 a.m. PDT.