Tag: iPhone XS

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The Cats of University Heights: Lily

This morning, while we walked along Meade, my wife spotted a grey kitty across the street, nearby a gent whom we had spoken to once many moons ago. Turns out, the slender beauty belongs to him. Meet 13 year-old Lily, who appeared in nearly the same spot as Mittens in October 2017.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image and its companion. Both portraits are composed as shot. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/1282 sec, 26mm (film equivalent); 9:24 a.m. PDT. The other is same except for 1/1136 sec.

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The Cats of University Heights: Dusky

Not long after the series featured Steppy seven months ago, I observed his buddy nearby. But Spring 2020 would come before I snagged even a remotely usable portrait. Look carefully at the Featured Image, and you will discern a second cat on the can; the beasties await their supper on April 7. Pardon the mess, which includes strewn wet food cans; heavy rains fell that day and the previous one. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/392 sec, 52mm (film equivalent); 4:59 p.m. PDT; iPhone XS.

The black earns nickname Dusky for color and early darkening of the late-afternoon sky stemming from imposing storm clouds on March 31, when I used Leica Q2 to capture the companion. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/11, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 5:04 p.m.

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From Fallen Flowers the Taco Truck Rises

The Taco Truck is a daily fixture, typically gathering a constant line of customers nearly all day long, at the corner of Meade and Texas in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood. But after California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide “stay-at-home” order on March 19, 2020, the food service operation vanished—for more than three weeks. I wondered why given that eateries offering delivery or take-out were permitted to stay open. What’s not take-away about a food truck serving burritos and tacos?

A few days before April 12, when I shot the Featured Image, the Mexican meals-on-wheels reappeared, but without standing tables alongside for customers and with a whiteboard upon which was scribbled a phone number to place orders to be picked up at the window. I suppose selling something is better than nothing, despite the stolen ambience and charm that made the place popular plus—that is festive and social, and, of course, good eating.

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The Cats of University Heights: Sprint

Sometimes you get one shot—and with some neighborhood felines none other. Such is the case with the tabby I spotted in the alley between Georgia and Park Blvd. on March 29, 2020. The shorthair moved quickly past as I walked in the other direction, stopping briefly when my iPhone XS appeared. One click later, he (or she) disappeared into a carport. I would be surprised to see the animal again.

Sprint seems appropriate nickname—for the kitty’s quick pace and because the Olympics were on my mind at the time; four days earlier, the 2020 games were postponed a year because of the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19pandemic, which has altered my walk routine. Californians are asked to stay at home (e.g., “shelter in place“) and to go out sparingly; exercise is one approved activity, and I mostly use alleys to avoid other people. Hence, the chance Sprint sighting.

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The Cats of University Heights: Pebbles

I sometimes wonder if assigning a number would be best when an animal’s real name is unknown. Cat 1, or 12, or 149. My made-up choice won’t be right and might even offend the beastie’s owner should he or she see the profile. Setting, or perceived character, often determines my choice, which in this instance is Pebbles. I suppose Woody would work, too. Chipper and Rocky already have been used—moniker and real, respectively—and Stone or Stoner seem inappropriate.

While my wife and I walked up Madison, on March 28, 2020, Pebbles appeared from behind some shrubs, strutting deliberately to a determined destination. We were midway between Cleveland and Maryland on the opposite side of the street; I crossed in time to snag three quick snaps using iPhone XS. Turns out the tabby had some, ah, business to do in the wood chips. I stopped shooting soon as that activity became apparent.

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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!