Tag: Leica Q2

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No Christmas Cheer Here

One of the nearby assuredly festively-decorated houses isn’t this Christmas season. You can get a sense of what’s typical from the profile of Queenie, who joined my “Cats of University Heights” series in December 2021. Sadly, she vanished last month, and her owner assumes coyote.

Sad as that may seem, the family suffered another emotional assault a month earlier, when the homeowner came home to find that the four towering palms outside her house had been marked for removal (e.g. clearcutting). Reportedly, San Diego Gas and Electric ordered the curbside destruction.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Fancy

The number of new neighborhood sightings is low, while that of missing kitties is unusually high—along with warnings about wandering coyotes. Sadly, and surely, there must be a connection. Across Texas Street, into parts of North Park, I see more felines than is typical—and further distance from canyons is some protection. That said, Queenie, one of the prettiest putty-tats designated Honorary, is missing and, based on circumstantial evidence, presumed to have been taken by a coyote.

I have a backlog of Honorarians to add to the series, including the beauty photographed today. She (or he) joins sixteen others: BooBuddiesChill, CoalEnvy, Guapo, LonesomeJadeMonaMoophie, Ninja, Promise, QueenieSammy, Shakey, and Tom and Jerry. Darth Mew initially belonged to the group, until later turning up in University Heights.

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The Fox is Red

Surely someone wanted to display a red Christmas fox outside the restaurant. Orange is considered similar enough on the color palette, yes? I wouldn’t know, which is why I must ask. But, hey, in the current state of our society, does the answer really matter? When people go by what you tell them, not by what they see with their eyes, just say the words to make it true: the fox is red.

I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image on Dec. 7, 2022. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/800 sec, 28mm; 2:53 p.m. PST.

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Mini-Mushrooms Gather

Two days ago, while walking along Panorama Drive in San Diego neighborhood University Heights, I came across an unusual crop—if that word can be used—of mushrooms. They stood out for their number, small size, and very existence. Too many residents replace grass with imitation greenery or rocks/gravel. So it’s also a wonder the fungi had any place to grow.

The Featured Image is the first of only two photos taken. This one uses car tires for perspective showing how tiny, and many, the mushrooms are. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/200 sec, 28mm; 2:16 p.m. PST.

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Let’s Go for a Ride

Back in August 2021, when SARS-CoV-2(severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 still stirred fear in some hearts (not mine), I came across a handsome G400c motorcycle. The manufacturer, Genuine, is better known for scooters—one of which I passed today parked along Adams Avenue in San Diego neighborhood University Heights.

Iconic best describes two-tone Pamplona (color) Buddy 170i that is subject of the Featured Image. Don’t you want to climb on and ride? I sure do. Top speed is 55+ MPH—and I have to wonder what is the upper limit of that plus. With gasoline still caviar costly, 100 miles to the gallon appeals; if accurate, a full tank will get you another 50.

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Not Salsa

On an errand to the Target in North Park today, I passed by a sign seen, and photographed, about three weeks ago. I would have taken a fresh pic but a workman had opened the red pipes to the right, and he clearly didn’t want any interference. Besides, I already had the Featured Image.

This lonely street shot comes from Leica Q2 on Nov. 17, 2022. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/1000 sec, 28mm; 12:13 p.m. PST. During post-production, I pumped up the dehaze setting to emphasize the clouds, which led to also adjusting contrast and shadows.

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Christmas Bird

To celebrate the new month, and last one of the year, we turn back the clock to Dec.5, 2020, when I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image. For the previously unpublished shot, I take some risk now; the Christmas bird blends too well into the tree’s foliage. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28mm; 3:22 p.m. PST.

I don’t recall seeing the decoration in 2021 and I must watch for it this year. Perhaps its owners flew off to another state—as so many other folks did—during the SARS-CoV-2(severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdowns.

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What the Past Means to the Present

Strange sometimes are the things tucked away—and forgotten. Our gas stove is acting oddly, with the clock resetting and occasional, but different, error codes flashing from the control panel. Surely something is in the process of failing; perhaps a fuse or circuit.

Appliances were new when we rented the apartment five years ago, and the owner’s manuals came with them. We stuffed the folder containing each in the cupboard above the range, which is from where I retrieved the lot today. How foolish of me to expect meaningful troubleshooting that reveals what are the codes. Instead, the manufacturer instructs to call for service should one of them appear. Oh yeah? Thanks for nothing.

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Defying COVID-19 Mandates

Today, international news media report that uncharacteristic—and possibly unprecedented—protests are underway across China (See BBC, Guardian, Sky NewsThe Times). Citizens are reportedly taking to the streets because of the government’s zero-SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 policy, which  has brought sweeping, but irregular, lockdowns across some of the country’s regions.

Going on for nearly three years, the restrictions, which include literally locking residents into high-rise apartment buildings as means of combating Coronavirus outbreaks, are as oppressive and severe as the first massive quarantines implemented in late January 2020. While the rest of the world moves to living with an endemic disease, China maintains a pandemic public health policy.

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Elf Tree Peace

Typically, homeless hang out on the sidewalks along the walls outside Sprouts supermarket, located at the intersection of Georgia and Howard in San Diego neighborhood University Heights. As such I wouldn’t have seen—or been able to take the Featured Image of—the tree-hanging lucky charm, whether he be leprechaun or Santa’s elf (you tell me which). But yesterday, the space was uncharacteristically unoccupied.

What a difference 24 hours makes. This afternoon, when I strolled by: One gent lay sleeping, wrapped in a brown blanket. Someone else huddled under a makeshift habitat, of which bicycle hubs were part of the structure. Another fellow crumpled cans collected from recycle bins; he worked from garbage bags carried in, and hanging from, a shopping cart. I couldn’t see the tree, or what was on it.