Tag: Leica Q2 Mono

Read More

A Sign is 25

I can’t imagine how our family still resides in the village of University Heights, which is where we settled upon arriving in San Diego nearly 15 years ago. But here we remain, even as rising rental fees and soaring property values make the area unbearably costly. Exit strategy has been my priority for some time, at least since our decision not to buy the Schoolhouse five years ago. As homeowners, we would have been more natural members of the community.

Still, my wife and I briefly joined today’s block party—along Park Blvd between Adams and Madison—celebrating 25 years of the neighborhood’s iconic sign, which you can see in the Featured Image, taken using Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/8, ISO 100, 1/80 sec, 28mm; 4:41 p.m. PDT. The event officially started at Five.

Read More

The Ready Man

As my wife and I walked up Madison Avenue from the overlook, we passed a man gardening in a yard. “I’m Ready” came a voice behind us. We turned, and he motioned to my camera, which I pulled around. He posed, and I clicked the shutter for a single shot. We exchanged smiles, and I offered thanks. Sometime in the future, I must go back for his name.

The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2 Monochrom. I had planned to complete an errand in Hillcrest, where I usually shoot black and white rather than color. But the day was so pretty after several drizzling overcast and being with my wife was so lovely that I walked with Annie about University Heights instead.

Read More

The Lawn God

I don’t know what to make of this thing. Do you? There is something about the, ah, artwork that conjures images of animal idols worshipped by ancient cultures. As such, I am somewhat hesitant to share the Featured Image, captured today using Leica Q2 Monochrom. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/800 sec, 28mm; 12:44 p.m. PDT. I took another at f/2.8 but prefer this shot.

My understanding is that goats are often associated with the occult or Satan worship. For sure, there is a whole lot of potential symbolic imagery to associate with this thang—and all of it beyond my knowledge to decipher. For example, what’s that emblem on the metal stake through the skull? Are those hanging cogged machine wheels supposed to represent overly large testicles? Or do I make something out of nothing—someone having merely cobbled together junk to make a personal showpiece?

Read More

How Did Guns Come Into This?

Today, while making a purchase at a used bookstore, I spotted a booklet containing the United States Constitution on the counter. I asked the price. “Free”, the owner answered, “from ACLU”. He emphasized the acronym for the American Civil Liberties Union like either I didn’t know what the organization was or that there was special significance by the group producing the handout—perhaps both. Whichever, or neither, he wanted to impart something.

Was either my surprise or interest at all the reason? His next statement, unprompted, perhaps explains: “It says nothing about assault rifles…[but] well-regulated militia. Most militias are illegal”. That was so left-field—politically, not just figuratively—I couldn’t rightly respond. He referred to the Second Amendment: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”.

Read More

Let’s Not Save More Night for the Day

My work blog for JupiterResearch disappeared after Forrester’s acquisition during Summer 2008. I had long left the analyst firm and smartly brought a copy of all the content with me. On April 7, 2005, I griped about Congress’ plan to add two months to Daylight Saving Time, which, incidentally, commenced day before yesterday for 2022.

This afternoon, my newsfeeds flared with a report from Washington, D.C. that our, uhm, illustrious senators unanimously voted for the so-called Sunshine Protection Act, which would make DST permanent. Meaning: Year-round. I am almost impressed by their god-like gall—that they, and they alone, can protect the sun. Okay, they do need cooperation of the House of Representatives drafting like legislation and signature from the President. But aren’t they, as a collective group, one big ego? You don’t need answer.

Read More

Strike That: Nine More Class Days to Freedom

Is the timing deliberate or coincidental? March 11 will be the last day that California school students will may be required to wear face masks. On that date two years earlier, the World Health Organization declared SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 a pandemic. Shall we just call the crisis over, with lifting of the order that compels kids to cover up?

Update, next day: On the morning news, officials from the San Diego school district held firm to masks—meaning students and staff will be compelled to continue wearing them. Reasoning: True that the governor has relaxed rules, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the county to be high risk and the organization’s guidance supersedes that from the state.

Read More

Amazing Grace

While walking along Oregon Street in North Park today, my wife and I unexpectedly came upon free food distribution outside Grace Church. Most of the gathered recipients were elderly, and they are a population often hiding in plain sight. There are many somewhat unkempt houses scattered about this San Diego neighborhood and those adjacent. Within may live someone older, or retired, who owns the property but lives on meager fixed-income in an area with rapidly rising cost of living.

Homeownership isn’t wealthiness if you are aged, attached to where you live (meaning not wanting to move), but barely able to manage ongoing expenses, which could include food. Tell you this: I saw no heavyweights waiting in line. This was a lean lot.

Read More

Desolation Boulevard

Roaming The Boulevard, carrying Leica Q2 Monochrom, on Super Bowl Sunday, I stopped to take photos of brewery patrons and Red Fox Restaurant. But I botched the street shot of El Cajon and Texas, which attempted salvage is the close-cropped Featured Image. Vitals, aperture and shutter speed manually set: f/2, ISO 2000, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 5:51 p.m. PST, Feb. 13, 2022.

The sun set 17 minutes earlier but that intersection is below the horizon, making for a darker dusk and opportunity to spotlight the camera’s lowlight capabilities, which benefit from there being no color overlay on the full-frame sensor.

Read More

The Torn One

Walking along the University Avenue bridge that crosses highway 163 in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood, I passed two remnants of a torn up dollar bill. The shredding surprised because many homeless folks frequent the area and would regard a buck as precious commodity. So what’s the backstory? Did someone panhandle the wrong person, who responded by taking out a dollar and ripping it to pieces? I’ll never know.

I used Leica Q2 Monochrom to capture the Featured Image, feeling rushed but nevertheless taking too long. The bridge is a busy thoroughfare, and I knelt down blocking the way to get the shot. The camera balked about ambient light, which was odd. But being harried and not thinking clearly enough, I chose the smallest aperture opening as quick remedy. Using exposure compensation would have nicked the problem—or my actually paying attention to the settings. I had moved the shutter speed from auto the night before and neglected to switch back the dial.

Read More

Promises, Promises

Who other than perhaps researchers at a Chinese lab could have predicted the global lockdown to combat SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19. Surely, owners of the Red Fox Steak House couldn’t guess when the restaurant and piano bar—long a fixture within the iconic Lafayette Hotellost its lease. Like its crafty namesake animal, the eatery cunningly chose to make a new home directly across El Cajon Blvd in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood.

But building and opening anew during California’s Coronavirus crackdown, when the governor ordered citizens to stay home and prohibited indoor dining, clearly proved challenging. In January 2021, I shared with you a photo of the then unfinished construction with banner “Opening early Fall 2020”. As you can see from the Featured Image, the place is still outfoxed by the virus—even as mandated restrictions relax. Will we ever eat medium-rare amidst the ambience of live music? I really wonder.

Read More

Game Night

As I write, Super Bowl LVI is still underway, with the Cincinnati Bengals ahead of the Los Angeles Rams 20-16. At dusk in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, the cheering and clamoring of groups gathered rise from among the many residences.

Twelve minutes after sunset, 5:43 p.m. PST, I ventured past one of the many local breweries and shot the Featured ImageLeica Q2 Monochrom, from the hip. Vitals, aperture and shutter speed manually set: f/2, ISO 1600, 1/125 sec, 28mm. Photo is cropped about 98 percent.

Read More

Blasting Bureaucratic Bungling

For the first full day since San Diego road crews etched “North Park” into two traffic circles located in University Heights, the correct community name is displayed. I asked “Who Authorized This?” on Oct. 1, 2020, regarding the, ah, mishap at Alabama and Louisiana streets along Meade Ave. The city constructed the roundabouts as part of the Mid-City Bikeways project.

Restoration at Alabama started before Christmas 2021 but was repeatedly delayed by rainstorms. Work there completed last week and at Louisiana yesterday. The process was arduous and messy—and not just from the actual physical disruption; clutter and confusion replace the previous clean etching of letters and design. As such, I wonder if all the money and industry invested to correct the misnaming was wasted.