Tag: Leica Q2

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The Traffic Circle of Unintended Consequences

As summer began last year, I started seeing some strange change in driving behavior—where my neighbors slowed down and rolled through Stop signs rather than stopping their vehicles. Initially, I attributed the disrespectful and dangerous practice to SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. Many people weren’t working, or if doing so from their residence, and traffic was considerably lighter than usual.

But as San Diego reopened (before later closing again), the no-stopping continued and I recognized the real cause to be something else that is far more disturbing. The Stop-sign roll-throughs started not long after the city opened the first so-called traffic calming measure at Alabama and Meade in University Heights. Where once were Stop signs, the city has placed circles at four-ways where drivers now slow and yield. I first observed the slowing behavior at posted Stops along Meade at Campus and also Cleveland. Coincidence? I think not.

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Which is the Better Guido?

Yesterday, as my wife and I walked down Alabama towards the languishing bearded tree, we were surprised to see Guido approach. He more typically is standoffish with us, but times aren’t normal in his household and maybe he longed for extra affection. The dark-striped tabby lives with Bruce and Little—and on another street. The first two cats, Little less frequently, often walked with their owner and her dog. The troupe was always a delightful sight, and I stopped to talk with the woman whenever possible (as a matter of privacy, neighbors’ names are purposely withheld).

I use past tense, because she let her beloved canine go to doggie heaven around Christmas, following a decline from old-age-related infirmities. The loss caused the tiger tabbies great distress—absence of their larger companion and dramatic change to their walking routine. I know that for a time she tried to continue the practice with the kitties alone. She may have stopped, but I will need to ask to confirm—whenever, if ever, the time feels right. The family’s loss is too soon now. BTW, she put out the Squirrel Italiano feeder that I wrote about 10 days ago.

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The Cats of University Heights: Gleam

Along campus—outside a condominium where once lived Blue, Chipper, and Copper (before a dog mauled her) and where resides Valentine—I spied a black on Jan. 10, 2021. The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f5.6, ISO 125, 1/125 sec, 28mm; 3:21 p.m. PST.

For the shimmer from the fur and glowing green eyes, the kitty earns nickname Gleam.

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Nature Shaves the Bearded Tree

Over the past year or so, I regret not having taken photos of trees that were unceremoniously and needlessly cut down. There is a relentless culling that makes no sense when Southern California society obsesses about Climate Change. Aren’t carbon-dioxide-breathers that exhale oxygen good for the health of the planet and everything living on it? Ah, yeah. So why mercilessly hack them to pieces?

Another tree in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights is in peril of being chopped down—but unlike the others maybe for legitimate safety reasons. Few months ago, during heavy rains and winds, some of the dead fronds covering the trunk ripped away about fourth-tenths the distance to the top. Overnight and throughout this brisk Monday, winds raged 48-64 kilometers per hour (30-40 mph) with fairly consistent gusts to 97 kph (60 mph). The few fallen fronds are now many, exposing the trunk. When viewed a half-block or more away, the top portion of the tree leans from the section laid mostly bare.

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Life Before

A year ago, the Chinese government locked down the city of Wuhan for what would be 76 days in response to a virus later given name SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2); COVID-19 is the disease that results from infection. For some reason, perhaps then-President Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial as distraction, I didn’t see news about China’s action until three days later. I immediately recognized the implications: Supply-chain disruptions being one—and another, as I told my wife: “Fear is the contagion”. That statement is even more true as the Novel Coronavirus crisis enters its second year.

We started stocking supplies—things we anticipated wanting but possibly would be unavailable if SARS-CoV-2 disrupted Chinese manufacturing and shipping, which later occurred. By early February, I religiously watched Prepper videos on YouTube in preparation for a pandemic—either real or result of widespread fear. Annie and I came upon an apartment we wanted to rent, which delayed our buying foodstuffs. On February 28, we chose not to take the place and finally starting stocking up. As such, we beat the long lines and supply shortages resulting from the World Health Organization declaring a pandemic (March 11); Trump proclaiming a National Emergency (Friday the 13th); and Governor Gavin Newsom closing California for business and ordering citizens to stay home (March 16).

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The Cats of University Heights: Grasshopper

What a surprise this kitty is. In the same house where I saw Cricket looking out a window (onto Maryland)—May 27, 2019—here is another but peering out to Monroe. I wonder: Are there two (or more) beasties living in the home and do they territorially sit at windows facing different streets?

This fine feline is the series‘ fifty-eighth seen behind door or window. Because of the nickname given to the (presumed) house mate, let’s call her (or him) Grasshopper. I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image, yesterday. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/1250 sec, 28mm; 10:24 a.m. PST.

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Somebody is a Quick Study of Capitalism

Four days ago, I posted about the clever entrepreneur selling double-layer, home-made face masks for a buck. They’re a bargain no more! Since seeing the unattended sales display on Jan. 9, 2021 along Maryland Street in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, something changed—the price! Four dollars more—a 400-percent increase! Granted, the presentation is fancier, and Venmo payment is now accepted—with QR code option, no less.

Smooth sales tactics, reminiscent of retail operations everywhere, are evident in the “originally $10 each”, too. That’s not the price I photographed last week, hehe. I wonder why the change. Were too many selling at $1? Was the price below product cost? Were passersby abusing the honor system and stealing them? (Behavioral studies show that people are less likely to swipe things that are more valuable.)

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The Cats of University Heights: Demure

The the fifty-seventh beastie seen behind window or door appeared unexpectedly in the alley between Campus and Cleveland off Tyler on Nov. 25, 2020. Yep, we’re still plowing through a backlog of photographed but unpublished kitties. I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 9:27 a.m. PST.

This fine feline earns nickname Demure.

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You’re Not Living in North Park

On the same day—May 20, 2020—that I captured the official Boulevard sign near where El Cajon begins in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, my Leica Q2 also pointed along the comically named BLVD North Park. In real estate, location is everything, and if you can’t get the one you want, pretend and hope no one cares. The apartment complex emphatically is located in UH. But, hey, don’t tell the residents paying as much as $4,295 monthly for the birds-eye view of the graffiti art on abandoned commercial real estate, pandemic-lockdown zombified unemployed, or the ever-perennial homeless.

But from the tidy Featured Image (warning: 23MB file), with manicured sidewalk, big b, l, v, d, letters, and trendy corner brewery, you wouldn’t know what’s across El Cajon or up the way going towards Texas Street. This is my community, and I don’t really mean to diss it so much as croak some snark for people paying exorbitantly for the wrong neighborhood and when doing so driving up rental prices all across UH.