Tag: San Diego

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Once a Home

The relentless renovation and multi-unit expansion claims another residence, and surely more must follow. The Featured Image is the boarded up house on which porch I photographed 20-year-old kitty Rosie. She joined my “Cats of University Heights” series in early April 2022.

A few days before the profile posted, my wife and I met the calico’s owner, as she returned from walking a dog, which was one way she earned money. Business had picked up some from the worst of the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 lockdown period, when people stuck at home could care for their own mutts. Still, she fretted about being evicted when the moratorium on such action expired in a few months. Reason: renovation—or better stated, renovicition.

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Pooky the Aldi Shopper

Samsung kicked off the new month by unpacking smartphones that are available to preorder today for expected delivery on February 17. Even though the Galaxy S22 Ultra has been in my possession only since mid-December, I opted for successor S23 Ultra. Samsung launch discounts, combined with trade-in and freebees, achieve purchase parity with the one from last year. Bonus storage upgrade—same as the S22 Ultra—made the choice all the easier. Why would anyone buy iPhone for two to three times more—remembering that Apple is a rare and stingy discounter. The company operates by the “pay more principle”.

My main interest is the new camera system—contending I haven’t yet taken full advantage of the S22 Ultra capabilities, which ravage the iPhone 13 Pro that my daughter inherited from me or the 14 Pro I chose not to buy. All that said, should smartphone reviewers readily recommend that current model owners stay put, then I will cancel the flagship S23 Ultra order. Camera comparisons will mean much.

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The (Honorary) Cats of University Heights: Timber

The series‘ twenty-first honorary member lives beyond the neighborhood, East of Texas Street into the nebulous zone where Normal Heights and North Park meet. I don’t recall whether this fine feline was seen on parallel streets Meade, Madison, or Monroe but for sure somewhere before 30th.

The tabby joins: BooBuddiesChill, Coal, Comber, Envy, Fancy, Guapo, LonesomeJadeMonaMoophie, Ninja, Promise, Queenie, Raven, Sammy, Shakey, Tom and Jerry, and Tula.

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A Rose by any Other Name…is Wet

Rains returned to San Diego but broken by sunshine long enough for my wife and I to take a morning walk. After going along Panorama Drive, we crossed Adams Avenue to where Alabama Street starts. Few houses along, Annie stopped and regarded a pink rose poking through the open slats of a fence.

I turned Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra to that one, and another, which is the Featured Image—but from when I returned about 30 minutes later for a more deliberate composition. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 12, 1/250 sec, 23mm (film equivalent); 9:48 a.m. PST.

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The Strand

As my wife and I walked on Jan. 12, 2023, she stopped to look at a necklace that either had been discarded or lost. We both wanted photos—me for no particularly reason, but she because it’s her thing; Annie works with beads.

The Featured Image comes from Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/400 sec, 13mm (film equivalent); 1:12 p.m. Look carefully, and you will see an ant, far-left approaching the beaded portion of the stand.

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Don’t You Believe It

I will never be a fan of that narcistic cesspool called social media. The last light of hopefully meaningful online interaction extinguished with the shuttering of Google+ over April Fools 2019. That said, Elon Musk’s buying and revamping Twitter—and releasing through journalists the so-called “Twitter Files”—brings some hope that a bastion of free speech and reasonably intelligent commonsense dialogue can survive and thrive on the Internet; oh, and have room enough for narcissists and the rest of us.

As such, I now spend some time each day on Twitter. I joined during the early days, in late December 2006. Long time, I know. But until a week or so ago, I also had been mostly inactive. This morning, I had a good object lesson in the kind of misinformation that spreads across any social media platform—and in the most innocuous, likely unintentional, but worrisome way.

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The Cats of University Heights: Scorpius

The Featured Image and companion are products of massive post-processing, starting with DxO PureRAW 2 auto-rendering and ending with my manual tweaking done in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Sunset was more than 20 minutes before I met Scorpius being walked by his owner, on March 23, 2022. Deep dusk had set in, and the darkness challenged even Leica Q2.

Vitals are same for both photos, aperture and shutter speed manually set: f/1.7, ISO 25000, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 7:25 p.m. PST. I held back adding this fine feline to the series, hoping for another encounter. But that seems unlikely 10 months later. I wouldn’t share the portraits had not PureRAW 2 restored them so admirably. That said, blurriness remains. I did try remini.ai unblur web app, which instead increased fuzziness.

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Don’t Be Humpty Dumpty

How rude is that? In the midst of a massive shortage, one of my neighbors flaunts that he has a source of eggs. Just kidding, of course. You could raise chickens, too. If someone can keep them in San Diego, where houses pack tightly together with limited outdoor space, you could do as much with a little ingenuity. Then when online and TV commentators rail about bird flu cracking the egg supply chain, you won’t be Humpty Dumpty all broken up because store shelves are empty.

Returning to the topic of my neighbor’s chickens, if they were mine, I would watch them carefully when pecking about the lawn. Because of the so-called egg apocalypse, some passerby might decide to pluck one of the birds. What’s worse than a porch pirate purloining your Amazon delivery? Someone stealing your birds. Don’t expect them to escape the chase or cluck for help. They are an emotional and financial investment that you don’t want to risk losing.

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The Cats of University Heights: Aristocat

After an unexpected hiatus, we return to Alabama Street, from which has come the largest number of kitties to appear in the series since its start in October 2016. Our newcomer is ninety-fourth among the 529 total profiles.

On Dec. 30, 2022, my wife and I passed this cutie, who has the privilege of being the one-hundred-fifth feline found looking out window or door. I used Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra‘s 10x optical zoom for the Featured Image. Vitals: f/4.9, ISO 40, 1/120 sec, 230mm; 10 am PST.

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Who Yelled ‘Fire!’

While walking to Pet Me Please in San Diego neighborhood Normal Heights, today, I passed a mural that demanded photographic attention. Unknown to me at the time: The building’s business is All County Fire, which sells protective equipment for preventing or combating unwanted, ah, flaming events.

The Featured Image is a single shot; my plan to take another was interrupted by a gentleman who asked if I had taken a photo of his car, which was parked on the street. He worried about an accident; perhaps he had experience, but I didn’t ask. After understanding the object of my interest, he praised the artist who painted the mural, explaining another adorned the other side of building. I later looked but didn’t find it.

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Rat-Tat-Tat Goes the CAT

Redevelopment of the half block where meet El Cajon Blvd and Louisiana Street currently is underway. When iconic Postal Convenience Center abruptly closed in July 2021 after 34 years of operation, I wrongly assumed that the business was another casualty of  SARS-CoV-2(severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19 shutdown mandates. Rather, the place lost its lease, as did Cave of Wonders further down The Boulevard.

In additional to commercial properties along El Cajon, on nearby Louisiana, a small collection of Craftsman homes and cottages were emptied of tenants. All the buildings were destroyed in late April 2022. Welcome to more San Diego urban renewal that could create even more unaffordable housing.

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The Cats of University Heights: Peeky

For reasons I won’t even guess, Mississippi isn’t a street where many felines are seen. The series‘ exceptions are notable, like Kittens, Kitty, or Sylvester. On Dec. 9, 2022, I saw one peeking (hence, the nickname) before blinds; single sighting.

Peeky is the one-hundred-fourth profiled putty looking out door or window. The Featured Image comes from Leica Q2. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/640 sec, 28mm; 2:26 p.m. PST.