Tag: teampixel

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Fido Confections

Among the stereotypes that cling to Californians: Their love of—no obsession with—dogs. Take a peek into this window of a local dog bakery. I could understand meat pie. But cake? Welcome to SoCal, where residents primp tail-waggers and fawn incessantly over them. I am aghast how the fussy folk here let their beasts pee and poop everywhere. Sure, most dog walkers carry baggies to clean up the hard deposits. But the liquid soils sidewalks and anything along them; considering how rarely rain falls, this crap clinging to shoes and dust that becomes airborne can’t be healthy. So why in a state where residents also are lifestyle-profiled as being health-obsessed is there such contradiction?

In County cities Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee, and Solana Beach, there are about 162,000 licensed dogs, according to official statistics. Human population for the same locales is about 2.15 million, says the Department of Animal Services. FYI: San Diego Humane Society assumed responsibility for providing county animal services to these communities during second quarter of this year. If you’re local, and interested in domestic or wild beasties, SDH’s annual report is informative reading. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Serenity

During the same Nov. 4, 2018 afternoon that I encountered Usher, several blocks away, along Mission Avenue between Mississippi and Alabama, another Tuxedo presented for portrait. I shot the Featured Image, using Pixel 3 XL, at 3:57 p.m. PST. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 55, 1/313 sec. 4.4mm. Serenity seems like the most appropriate nickname, and so it is given.

Two days earlier, the smartphone slipped from my fingers and fell face down on the sidewalk, shattering the screen. I got my first cellular handset more than 20 years ago, never once damaging one in any way. Until that fateful drop. As I write, due to a monumental Google Store screw up, the Pixel 3 XL has yet to be repaired or replaced. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Usher

The second Shirley Ann Place kitty, like Triumph, is a rare treat; the two are outdoor onlies. The few other furballs observed along the historic row of Spanish-style homes presented in windows, and none during the series‘ first 20 months.

I captured the Featured Image on Nov. 4, 2018 at 3:48 p.m. PST using Google Pixel 3 XL. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 76,1/870 sec, 4.44mm. The Tuxedo earns nickname Usher, for waiting to greet someone at the door and usher them inside. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Grape

Strangely, feline sightings along Shirley Ann Place are rare. I have only ever seen two kitties outdoors, and you will meet both consecutively as the series resumes pace after a deliberate slowdown. The first earns nickname Triumph—chosen for posture and demeanor. Our first encounter was Sept. 24, 2018, sitting atop a recycle can. The Featured Image, from Leica Q, was captured the next day. Vitals: f/5.6, ISO 100, 1/60 sec, 28mm, 5:42 p.m. PDT.

I shot the companion portrait, during the first meeting, using Google Pixel 2 XL. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/289 sec, 4.459 mm; 8:30 a.m. The kitty has triumphantly presented several times since, but these two humble photos are the best ones so far. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Sentinel

As I write, it’s anyone’s educated guess whether there will be a blue wave or red tide tonight—or neither. The midterm elections are here, and, yes, we voted. On the way to the polling place, my wife spotted a feline in wait along Park Blvd. between Monroe and Madison. In more than 11 years living in this neighborhood and 26 months profiling its kitties, never have I seen even one of the beasties along this stretch of road. Of all nights! Foot and vehicular traffic were busier than usual, surely enough to frighten off any animal.

The cat wouldn’t come close enough for a reading of its pink tag. I asked Annie for nickname, and she suggested Sentinel, which is perfect for posture, location, and timing. I captured the Featured Image, at 4:33 p.m. PST—or 20 minutes before sunset—using Google Pixel 3 XL. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 55, 1/60 sec, 4.44mm. 

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The Cats of University Heights: maow maow

Along Florida, between Madison and Monroe, I encountered a demur Calico on Oct. 18, 2018. She earns nickname Pumpkin-Patch for her seasonal orange and black coloration, which I enhanced in Google Snapseed by applying the Accentuate filter, which adds HDR-pop. I captured the Featured Image, at 8:52 a.m. PDT, using Google Pixel 2 XL. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 58, 1/4673 sec, 4.459mm.

A day earlier, I received the Pixel 3 XL “Just Black”, which was supposed to be a Pixel 3 “Clearly White” for my wife. Nearly three weeks later, and more than 10 hours of phone calls endured, Google Store has not fully resolved the ordering mishap, which since has become a disaster. That story is forthcoming, along with photos shot using the phone. Stay tuned!

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The Book of Our Times

It’s catch-up time for things I meant to post but put aside, temporarily. Family drama! Perhaps you will read about it in the future, but likely not. Now to the main course: On Oct. 21, 2018—the day after reading that San Diegans spend more on alcoholic beverages than residents of any other city in the United States—I spotted something surprising on a table outside LeStat’s on Park. Did someone forget the book? Was it purposefully left behind—seemingly appropriate commentary about America’s “booziest city”?

For sure, breweries are commonplace, and most eateries serve alcoholic beverages, which also are sold everywhere—not predominantly in liquor stores but from pharmacies, supermarkets, warehouse stores (e.g. Costco), and more. 

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The Cats of University Heights: SID

For six months, I have looked in the area of the Point for ginger tabby SID. Today, we briefly regarded one another after he trotted across Madison near Rhode Island. He posed for three quick portraits, captured with Google Pixel 2 XL. Vitals for the Featured Image: f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/1114 sec, 4.459mm; 9:30 a.m. SID is sister to STAR, who this series profiled in mid-April 2018 a few days before she vanished. She is missing still, so I understand.

BTW, the series passed its 2-year milestone on August 17. Perplexing family matters distracted me from posting to celebrate 4 days ago. This is two-hundred twenty-fifth profile so far. Tip: New photos are rarely added to existing posts, but I do regularly refresh the companion Flickr album with new pics of the kitties. Please take a peek. 

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James

For as long as we have been in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood—11 years next week—a homeless man lived near the top of Texas Street before it passes the Valero gas station at Madison. James was a fixture, seen day or night, every day, regardless of weather. If absent from his chair for any length of time, there would be chatter across social networks—in recent years NextDoor—asking where he was. Sickness or even police harassment were the more likely reasons for his absences.

Near the end of September, James vanished again, raising roarous concerns on NextDoor, until someone stated—and later was confirmed—that this homeless man had passed away. I didn’t know James, but some of my neighbors engaged him. “Friendly” and “kind” are two words used to describe him among many NextDoor posts and comments. I just took James for granted. He was as much a part of the scenery as the palm trees. As I would drive up Texas, or walk across the Adams Ave. bridge, he was an expected sight—and refreshing one, too. Something about his presence, and neighbors embracing his homelessness, was a triumph of humanity and dignity. 

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The Cats of University Heights: Clarity

While walking to the library yesterday, I spotted the series‘ twenty-eighth Alabama Street putty-tat, and thirty-second looking out from a window. Blacks are the trickiest subjects shot through mesh screen, and in this instance diminishing daylight. I captured the Featured Image at 5:39 p.m., about 50 minutes before sunset.

Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 85, 1/5848 sec, 4.459mm. I used Pixel 2 XL to capture the moment, near Howard Avenue, and edited in Google Photos. The portrait is close-cropped and auto-enhanced. From the distance, and focal length, the smartphone can’t match either of my Leica cameras for clarity. Oddly then, the nickname explained.