Tag: teampixel

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The Cats of University Heights: Mitsie

Our second featured feline of 2019 is the thirtieth seen along Alabama—on the same block where live Harley, Holiday, Laramie, Lupe, and Precious and where were the homes of the departed Monkey and missing Smokey. I have exclaimed about the putty population density on the street, numerous times, and I know of at least four more cats on the block that have yet to be photographed. But there are others of which I am aware along the 1.5 km stretch between Adams and Lincoln.

I met Mitsie (her real name), one of her owners, and three dogs while they sunned on the cool morning of Dec. 29, 2018. She came to one of her current caretakers as a stray about six years ago, when he lived in Imperial Beach, Calif. 

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AMC and I argue the Semantics of A-List Membership

Earlier this week, movie theater chain AMC dumped coal in my Christmas stocking when I attempted to cancel the $19.95-a-month, watch-three-movies-a-week Stubs A-List subscription. One, and then another, customer representative informed me that at signup, the terms of service explicitly states that commitment is for three months. He, then she, warned that cancellation would trigger immediate charge for the remaining two months. But the ToS restriction shouldn’t apply to me, being a returning customer.

Everything comes down to the meaning of one word: Initial. When A-List launched, on June 26, 2018, my wife and I joined. We ended our membership about 90 days later. The ToS states: “A-List has an initial non-cancelable term of three (3) monthly membership periods (the ‘Initial Commitment’)”. We were good with accepting that requirement, which we met. But on November 18, with a few holiday movies of interest, I resubscribed, presuming that by making a second commitment I could cancel whenever. However, AMC service reps claim that my 3-month obligation reset and initial is the applicable word. Oh, did I futilely argue the semantics of that. C`mon? Doesn’t initial mean first time

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Gatto Basket

The folks over at Tuft + Paw saw my “Cats of University Heights” series and asked about my interest in some of their products and “to collaborate with you on a story. We have a talented team of cat behavior experts, designers, and engineers”. In looking over the outfit’s website, the understated designs of the feline furniture and accessories greatly appealed, but not the pricing, which I felt fell into a niche of well-to-do shoppers. Finally, on December 2nd, I seriously responded to founder Jackson Cunningham’s request (it has been a hectic autumn).

The $129, all-wool, Gatto Basket arrived this afternoon (my formal review, with tidbits about the company’s notorious beta tester, appears on BetaNews). Baskets are abundant inside our apartment. My wife loves them. As such, I unpacked the Gatto with great trepidation, wondering: “Why would any cat take to this?” We have so many others inside which our kitties can play, but for the most part neither does. A basket is a basket, right? Apparently, not. I plopped the thing onto the living room floor, and Cali settled inside quite nicely. Immediately, in fact, and she is finicky. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Stark

Meet Stark, who earns his (or her) nickname for my mood while writing (see next paragraph) and ambience of the Featured Image, which I captured using Google Pixel 3 XL on Nov. 18, 2018. The tiger tabby presented for portrait near where Monroe and North avenues meet. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 58, 1/3906 sec, 4.44mm; 3:19 p.m. PST.

This post has the distinction of being my first composed using WordPress 5.0’s so-called Gutenberg editor. I’m not loving it, in the least. Compatibility and reliability top my list of blogging software priorities—and neither is consistent composing with the radically new WP incarnation, using a theme from a reliable designer that supports the new editor. Some other theme authors have sent email warnings recommending against Gutenberg, to which my webhost auto-updated this site middle of last week.

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The Cats of University Heights: Tocino

On the morning of Nov. 1, 2018, as I approached Polk from Georgia, a lithe, tiger-tabby strutted up the sidewalk. I wasn’t the kitty’s interest, but a black-and-white shorthair looking out the window of a house. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough interior light for a good shot of that animal. Even so, I chose the Featured Image because it’s the street shoot’s story: Tocino staring up at the unseen beastie inside. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 73, 1/1020 sec, 4.44mm; 9:54 a.m. PDT.

The second portrait, taken two minutes earlier, captures Tocino at our first meeting, just before greeting and opportunity for me to read the name tag. Tocino is Spanish for bacon, and it is also a surname. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 56, 1/903 sec, 4.44mm. 

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The Christmas House

A few years ago, when my daughter shared an apartment in Point Loma, Calif., I drove up Garrison on the way home from her neighborhood. Houses along the way decked out big time for Christmas, such that traffic snarled as drivers slowed to gawk, others searched for parking, and pedestrians admired the decorations. My wife and I visited the street this evening, previewing what’s expected to come. Only one house had spiffed up for the Holiday—and in unbelievably magnificent fashion. The Featured Image and three companions are but a glimpse of the fabulously adorned property.

I captured the set using Google Pixel 3 XL, which proved to be more than a low-light performer. It’s a charmer. I am rather surprised to see character and dimension in these quick snaps. I cropped all four 3:2 and straightened two, but did not otherwise edit. Vitals for the first: f/1.8, ISO 176, 1/24 sec, 4.4mm; 5:35 p.m. PST (about 55 minutes after sunset).