Tag: Leica Q2

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The Loner

Why are you looking at a couple of lonely leaves? Because their grapevine is something of an obsession; I am enthralled by the growing location—on a grassy patch between sidewalk and street somewhere in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights.

Last year, I chronicled the grapes’ progression from green to mixed color to richly ripe. Walking by today, I saw that the branches had been clipped, as they are every autumn, but something remained—making me intriguingly sentimental enough to stop with Leica Q2 and capture the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/2.8, ISO 100, 1/1250 sec, 28mm; 11:45 a.m. PST.

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Are They a Rare Set?

One of my sisters is avid about golf. My interest almost reaches enthusiasm for root canals. Ah, the things siblings don’t share in common, eh? She was already on my mind, because of Thanksgiving Day, when I passed by a set of discarded clubs this morning; more so after I chuckled over them, thinking: How appropriate. Perhaps the previous owner and I share similar sentiments about the, ah, sport. Yuh. Let’s turn the TV channel to curling—another fine slow-moving competition.

Knowing absolutely nothing about golf, or the accruements necessary to play, maybe I missed a magnanimous moment of opportunity—like the yard sale buyer who snags a rare painting or Leica camera that turns out to be worth tens of thousands of dollars—even millions. What if the clubs are a rare set, put out by another non-golfer who is emptying the apartment of some aged relative recently passed away? Sometimes that which looks old and crusty is valuable. Are these clubs? I presume no more than any others in similar condition. But why not speculate?

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Good Grinch or the One with the Tiny Heart?

My wife and I are infrequent Walmart shoppers—at best estimation. But on Nov. 19, 2022, we ventured to the store in La Mesa, Calif., because eyedrops were in stock and priced considerably less than other retailers—whether local or online. We made the trip more meaningful by walking around the quaint downtown district and shopping at two bookstores, one stocking Christian reads (including Bibles) and the other tomes of all varieties; both shops sell new and used inventory.

Inside Walmart, I laughed at—and so had to take the Featured Image of—one of the displays. I can think of so many ways that this Dr. Seuss character is the wrong choice for promoting anything. He steals Christmas from Whoville. That said, some adults (and their kids) might delight in what they see as the good Grinch. No disrespect to them, but he wears a sinister grin.

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Turn a Page

For the longest time, I have wanted to explore Maxwell’s House of Books—and yesterday opportunity presented after Annie and I bought Bible and C.S. Lewis set at the Christian shop a few blocks away. No bookstore can be found in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights, but La Mesa, Calif. has two downtown. Shucks. We are so denied.

You gotta love a chiding George Orwell quote warning anyone who dares to go inside. Given the state of American politics, we’re all accomplices. We entered to see 18-year-old black cat Rorschach cross our path. (Gulp, is that bad luck?) The kitty has his own calendar, which could be yours for fifteen bucks.

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Another Bible Story

I recently realized something is missing from my Harper Study Bible, which is Revised Standard Version. Verses are omitted, which greatly surprises. My go-to Good Book is a compact New American Standard acquired during the mid-1980s. In that translation, verses that scholars suspect were later added to the original text are bracketed. They are omitted, often without explanation, in RSV, I discovered earlier this week. As one of many examples: Mark 15 skips verse 28.

The 1980-edition HSB is a used purchase, from Amazon in April 2017. The seller failed to indicate that a name is gold-embossed on the cover—and not even his own. But that gotcha aside, condition was quite good. But five years later, the leather shows significant wear, cracking and separating some places. As such, retirement was an eventual destination for the book.

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Say, Sunglasses

November is surprisingly sunny and pleasant this year in San Diego. Yesterday, when I captured the Featured Image, temperature reached 23 degrees Celsius (73 F). Tomorrow starts the weekend with promise of low twenties C through Thanksgiving and forecast of 26 C (78 F) for Black Friday shopping (where I won’t be).

The discarded sunglasses set on a cement wall along Meade at Mississippi in my neighborhood of University Heights. Are they police issue, by chance? I ask, wondering if someone from Monday’s armed robber-SWAT standoff left behind the eyewear (hey, better that than forgetting—whoops—rifle or tear gas grenade).

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Sonic Boom of Behavioral Change

Around lunchtime today, when walking home from Von’s supermarket with cheap canned cat food, I got a hankering for a Sonic burger. We rarely eat out and the fast-food place was one of my father-in-law’s favorites. I thought to simultaneously see how the take-out experience has changed and to venture down memory lane. Surprise doesn’t enough express what I found or—stated differently—didn’t.

I stepped inside the restaurant to see chairs stacked on tables in fashion to cordon off most of the dining room. The menu screens were dark, as was the overall ambience. I could enter because roller-skating servers (e.g. carhops) exit through the same doors to deliver meals to parked vehicles. I vamoosed.

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Aftermath: Siege of University Heights

Yesterday’s military-like incursion into my neighborhood ended after about 11 hours, when the last of three suspects surrendered to police. I missed the action, as he was arrested around the same time that I shot my last photo of the day, 7:40 p.m. PST. I was behind the perimeter at Meade and Mississippi, when the standoff ended on the next block, Louisiana, and closer to El Cajon Blvd.

But when walking over to that part of the neighborhood this morning, I hadn’t seen a news story, nor could anticipate what to expect. All the cop cars, portable toilets, and other vehicles—including the armored BearCat—were gone. The area was so peaceful and quiet, one wouldn’t guess what had happened the previous day.

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Barricaded Gunman in University Heights

A few hours ago, while my wife shopped at Aldi, a helicopter started circling above the area where were two drug deaths last week. I could hear commands from a loudspeaker instructing someone to put down the gun and come outside. That couldn’t be good.

After she returned, Annie and I walked over to that part of the neighborhood, where we met massive police presence. Louisiana was blocked at Meade along with the perpendicular alleys parallel to El Cajon Blvd; at Mississippi and Texas.

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Emergency at the Golden Arches

As my wife and I crossed El Cajon Blvd at Texas Street, today, we heard an ambulance approaching from behind. Cars pulled over, and I startled, realizing some came uncomfortably close to us—in the crosswalk! The emergency vehicle turned into the McDonald’s parking lot, which was before us. Sound of another siren brought my eyes to a firetruck coming from the other direction.

I decided to stop and mark the moment, from afar. The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/320 sec, 28m; 9:38 a.m. PST.

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Birds of a Feather That Don’t Flock Together

Around the turn of the last century, Bentley Ostrich Farm relocated to my neighborhood but closed in 1929. The feathers were less in demand as a luxury, and economic crisis began its grip on the nation. Many, but by no means all, of the birds were relocated to San Diego Zoo.

One of the fixtures—or monuments to the past—is this ornamental ostrich located outside a home on Mission Cliff Drive. I walked over there today after seeing a sign that Cupcake—one of the “Cats of University Heights“—disappeared on Nov. 8, 2022. Coyote sightings are way up, and the Norwegian Forest Cat’s owners live nearby along one of the canyons. I hope that Cupcake simply is trapped somewhere.

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Drug Deaths in University Heights

Suspected overdoses is more appropriate assessment—at this time. But sad reality is that paramedics and police responded to an early morning call (before 6 a.m. PST) about unresponsive roommates. Two were revived and hospitalized; two others died. Fentanyl is suspected cause.

My wife saw something on YouTube from one of the local news stations, early this afternoon. Since such tragedy is unusual for our neighborhood and five months ago I photographed cat Conrad on the property, we decided to walk over. I really expected to see nothing unusual, but police still investigated—as you can see from the Featured Image captured using Leica Q2 Monochrom. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/400 sec, 28mm; 2:17 p.m.