Tag: iPhone XS

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Putty Pairs

While looking for kitties to profile in my “Cats of University Heights” series, I occasionally come upon some hanging out together—as is the case with the Featured Image, captured on Sep. 25, 2021. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 125, 1/125 sec, 28mm, 10:26 a.m. PDT. Daniel Tiger approaches Darth Mew. The cartoon character-named orange lives on Louisiana, while the Star Wars black often hangs out there.

A better pairing with Darth Mew is the photo essay accompanying Jedi (a nickname). The others are less friendly: A stand-off with Ash and Bandit—and another between Goose and Jasmine. They all share territory and are not housemates.

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The Cats of University Heights: A.C.

The seventy-seventh feline found behind door or window made a single appearance on Sept. 14, 2021. I hadn’t seen the beastie before that day and not since. While good at spotting furballs, I am not knowledgeable about cat breeds. If my online sleuthing is accurate, you are looking at the series‘ first American Curl.

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image and iPhone XS for the companion, along Louisiana approaching Adams. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 12:25 p.m. PDT. The other: f/2.4, ISO 25, 1/149 sec, 52mm; 12:25 p.m.

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His and Hers

Not so long ago, I swapped smartphones every few months. Various models and underlying platforms from different manufacturers demanded testing and review. But the pace of innovation has slowed, the overall market reached the “good enough” threshold, and I don’t write about tech on a daily basis. Hence, my wife and I have each carried iPhone XS since June 2019. That is until today, when we migrated to the 13 Pro.

The Featured Image is, appropriately, the last photo I will ever shoot with the XS. The 1TB Silver on the left is mine; the 512GB Sierra Blue on the right is Annie’s. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/122 sec, 26mm; 1:02 p.m. PDT.

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The Cats of University Heights: Ozzie

I met the seventy-third Alabama Street kitty, Ozzie, with his sister Delilah, while they were leash-walked by their friendly owners, on Sept. 5, 2021. I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image. Vitals:  f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/305 sec, 26mm; 9:25 a.m. PDT.

About a dozen other cats live on the same block—that I am aware. Some are yet to be photographed and, thus, are not profiled in the series.

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The Cats of University Heights: Delilah

Where do all these Alabama animals come from? Meet Delilah, the seventy-second kitty profiled from the street since the series started in October 2016. I happened upon a friendly couple leash-walking Delilah and her brother Ozzie on Sept. 5, 2021. Across the way lives Samba, who gets similarly supervised jaunts.

I used iPhone XS to capture the Featured Image. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/266 sec, 52mm; 9:24 a.m. PDT.

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Patriotic Motif or Something Else?

During the same walk that I photographed Crepe Myrtle blossoms, on Aug. 25, 2021, a seemingly patriotic-painted utility box caught my attention at 54th and El Cajon Blvd. While I used iPhone XS to make several shots, a gentlemen coming down the sidewalk asked about my interest in the thing—surprised and maybe a bit amused. Easy explanation: Walking home from the dentist, I saw something interesting.

As I separated from him at brisk pace, because my wife waited for me several blocks farther along, he politely yelled: “Welcome to my neighborhood!” I turned back and thanked him with wave and smile. If only more people in San Diego were so friendly.

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Your Art is Garbage

Honestly, if not for the storytelling value, you would not be looking at the homage to narcissism that is the Featured Image. While walking in the San Diego neighborhood of University Heights on Sept. 6, 2021, my wife spotted something in the middle of the intersection at Georgia and Meade. She fetched what turned out to be a mounted print laying face down on the asphalt. Somewhat shocked by the strangeness of the find, she set the abandoned art against a utility poll, pulled out iPhone XS, and snapped a photo. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 25, 1/530 sec, 26mm; 6:13 p.m. PDT.

I find the thing to be rather repulsive. Near as I can understand from standard web searching, the print is “Armed Forces” from the Hat Series by Chinese painter Yue Minjun. His works depict himself—so, yeah, he is each of the seven smiling weirdos that you see. There’s something oh-so unsettling and insanely appropriate about his style at a time when social media and smartphones propagate narcissists like mold in the damp walls of a leaky house.

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Kitty is Missing!

I am sentimental abut the animals appearing in my “Cats of University Heights” series and feel fondness for their owners when privileged enough to meet them. Two days ago, after photographing the Alfa Romeo parked on Lincoln, I walked by a house where lives a handsome Tuxedo who was profiled in September 2019. Where’s Kitty? I asked myself, strangely not seeing him sunning on the sidewalk or sleeping on his couch on the porch. This afternoon, I ambled past and saw something startling where he might normally be: On a box a homemade sign stating that “Kitty is missing! Have you seen him?” Oh, how I wish.

His owner is a delightful woman in her Seventies who lives in the house her grandmother bought about a hundred years ago. Generational homes are an increasing rarity—as are people who grew up in the neighborhood. She used to play in the canyons and graduated from San Diego High School. The lady is a gem and kitty was her treasure. I will update this post after speaking with her sometime soon. She’s in my heart tonight.

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The Cats of University Heights: Grit

When first seeing this Tortoiseshell, I thought perhaps Dancer reappeared after long absence. But when the cat changed hiding spots, I could see that she is another kitty—and one quite timid by comparison. She might even be feral.

The Featured Image is the best of a half-dozen shots, all taken with iPhone XS on March 16, 2021. Vitals: f/2.4, ISO 16, 1/235 sec, 52mm; 11:46 a.m. PDT. The fearful feline earns nickname Grit, because I had to use it. I misidentified Burglar as two separate cats and the new Grit replaces the other in the series‘ queue.

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Desperate Hunter

About a month ago, I heard some commotion a few streets away and a woman yelling loudly to someone else: “It’s a coyote!” The location is far enough away from a canyon to be surprising. Over the weeks that followed, my wife observed occasional Nextdoor posts about additional sightings—mainly between Alabama and Louisiana either along Madison or Mission.

This morning, as Annie and I walked on Louisiana approaching Mission, she spotted a coyote strutting down the sidewalk on the other side of Madison moving towards Adams. We followed. The animal’s left rear leg was clearly injured, and the skinny beast hobbled on the other three. When she first saw the coyote, it was under the magnificent tree that I shared with you in June 2021.

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Flowers for the Urban Landscape

Dentist day is an opportunity to walk home—8.5 kilometers (5.3 miles)—from College Area to University Heights. My wife dropped me and then drove into Mission Valley for some errands. With no cavities, and quick cleaning, I started pounding the pavement within 30 minutes after arriving at the office.

On El Cajon Blvd, approaching 58th Street, I spotted a crimson-colored flowery-plant standing alone along the sidewalk. So out of place in the urban sprawl of retail, traffic, and wayward homeless, the thing demanded being photographed. Before leaving our place, I strongly considered carrying my camera to the dentist but refrained. So iPhone XS produced the Featured Image and companion, instead.

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Mimi and Sweet Pea are Homeless

If only SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 eviction moratoriums applied to feral felines, the habitat of Mimi and Sweet Pea would not have been utterly destroyed. The luscious, and humungous, yard they shared was intact a few days ago—my wife and I can’t recall if Tuesday or Wednesday (today is the only Friday the 13th of the year). This morning, we peaked in—shocked to see nearly complete clearcutting.

The saga starts as we walked along the alley separating Alabama and Florida. As we moved down the block between Monroe and Madison, I saw a kitty beyond the cross street going towards Adams. From the coloration, and our recently seeing Pace (pronounced paw-chay, according to his owner) in the vicinity, I assumed it must be the aged Norwegian Forest Cat. Oddly, though, the animal disappeared and reappeared, as if going into and out of different backyards along the alley.