Monthly Archives: April 2012

Rooster

I was completely ignored!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture of the moment
PICTURE OF THE MOMENT

Whenever I do a home inspection, it’s rare that anyone ignores me. After all, my Clients, usually the people buying the home, have a lot of money at stake, and they sure don’t want to buy a money pit. The Sellers are hoping that I don’t find too many problems, especially problems that might cost them a lot of money to fix. The two real estate agents involved, of course, have nice commission paychecks at stake. That puts a lot of pressure on me to be truthful and accurate without being an alarmist or a doomsayer.

At today’s inspection, which was out in the boondocks, I was completely ignored by these two:

Sleeping cat

Rooster

You can see the expression on the rooster’s face wondering just what kind of bug that is and whether or not it’s edible.

After the inspection was complete, I spent a little time trying to get the rooster’s attention because he was too beautiful not to get a couple more pictures. It was much harder than I would have thought, but I was successful:

Rooster

Rooster

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pampered cat

The evidence is in: Pampered cat!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture of the moment
PICTURE OF THE MOMENT

 

I was camping out this morning in Shutterbug Sage’s blog and one of his posts was about pampered pups. I told him that his post reminded me of a home inspection I did a few years ago with one resident cat. Pampered for that cat is a severe understatement!

Here’s the cat:

Pampered cat

 

One scratch pad or post was not good enough for this cat. She had one in every room!

Pampered cat

 

Pampered cat

 

Pampered cat

 

Pampered cat

 

Pampered cat

 

She even had a combination bed and scratch post, with a view no less!

Pampered cat

 

She had her own condominium tower:

Pampered cat

 

Notice that she had two beds in her condo tower, but that’s not enough:

Pampered cat

 

 And behind curtain #1?

Pampered cat

 

Another bed with a view:

Pampered cat

 

Surprisingly there was only one dinner table:

Pampered cat

 

And two litter toilets!

Pampered cat

 

Now I think Zoey the Cool Cat is quite pampered and spoiled. But let’s look at the difference between thinking a cat is pampered and having the evidence that the cat truly is pampered. Following is how Zoey the Cool Cat has to live.

Her beds are newspapers, drawers, sacks, boxes, desks, and laundry baskets:

Zoey the Cool Cat

 

Zoey the Cool Cat

 

Zoey the Cool Cat

 

 Zoey the Cool Cat

 

Zoey the Cool Cat

 

Zoey the Cool Cat

 

Her litter box is, well, a litter box, although she likes to kick most of the litter out of the box and onto the garage floor:

Zoey the Cool Cat's litter box

 

Her toys are red rings from the top of gallon milk jugs. She does have a lot of them, though; 152 at last count at April 1. We’ll find out tomorrow on cleaning day how many she has now.

Zoey the Cool Cat's red ring

 

But, hey, she does get to watch television, preferring tennis and golf. I guess the little ball flying across the screen gets her attention more so than footballs, basketballs, and soccer balls.

Zoey the Cool Cat watching television

 

Now I ask you, which cat do you think is more pampered? Be careful how you answer if you want me to camp out in your blog anytime in the future. :)

 

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Google Maps Street View is kind of neat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Did you know?

 

When I first discovered Google Maps’ Street View, I was not impressed. I saw it as an invasion of privacy. Still do. However, that has not prevented me from using it for my own personal needs. Hypocritical? Probably. Nonetheless. It’s the world we live in. lol

I recently endeavoured to find all the homes that I had ever lived in. What an interesting project.

The following is the home that my parents were living in, in 1955 when I was born. It was my mom’s parents’ home in Kingsville, Texas, all the way up to the mid-1990s:

802 West Alice Avenue, Kingsville, Texas

 

This is the home in Kingsville, Texas, that we lived in ca. 1956 to 1960. At the right side of the house you see a somewhat pointed roof. That’s the living room, and there is a row of windows under the eaves. Birds would always fly into those windows, cracking the windows and killing themselves in the process.

728 Santa Barbara Drive, Kingsville, Texas

 

When my dad got a promotion with Missouri Pacific Railroad, we moved to Palestine, Texas, ca. 1959. This is where we lived until my dad killed himself in January 1961. It took me forever to find this home because no one remembered the address. I finally found a death certificate online which had the address of the home. Imagine 55 years of not knowing the address where you lived when your dad died.

302 Inwood Drive, Palestine, Texas

 

The following is where we lived in Brigham City, Utah, after my mom remarried. I lived here until December 1965 when I was shipped off to Kingsville, Texas, to live with my paternal grandparents.

301 Englewood Drive, Brigham City, Utah

 

My wise old grandmother’s house in Kingsville, Texas. I lived here from December 1965 to August 1973 when I went off to college at Texas A&M University:

420 West Alice Avenue, Kingsville, Texas

 

I helped plant those two Texas live oaks in the Spring of 1967. Nice to see that they are still there. You can see storm shutters on the windows. Granddad and I installed those after Hurricane Beulah had destroyed Kingsville in September 1967. Our house escaped with just shingles torn off the roof, although we lost the two trees that my Great Horned Owl and the Screech Owls lived in. I was so sad. Granddad built that house in 1937, and I can assure you that they don’t build them like that nowadays. By the way, I intensely disliked mowing that lawn twice a week. Explains why I’ve never had a grass lawn.

 

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #2512, Grand Canyon National Park

Missed National Parks Week last week?

Halls of History

 

I was so busy last week that I forgot that it was National Parks Week. All National Parks were offering free admission. I have found in the past that free admission also applies to National Monuments and National Forests, and I usually take advantage of the opportunity here to visit Cabrillo National Monument and to do more in Cleveland National Forest than just drive through on the freeway.

Since I missed it, I thought I’d visit some National Parks right here in my blog!

The first national park in the world was founded right here in the United States, in California even. Yellowstone National Park was established by Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872. Yellowstone is located mostly in Wyoming but extends into Montana and Idaho. Those three states did not exist in 1872; they were territories, which is why the Federal Government took control of Yellowstone as a National Park.

Some people in Arkansas might argue that the first National Park was established there since the Hot Springs Reservation was set asied on April 20, 1832, when President Andrew Jackson signed legislation protecting it. No legal authority was established and federal control of the area was not definitively established until 1877.

The world’s second National Park was established in Australia in 1879 as the Royal National Park. Other significant National Parks throughout the world:

  • Rocky Mountain National Park was created in 1885 as Canada’s first national park in 1885.
  • New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park came along in 1887.
  • Europe’s first National Parks were nine parks  created in Sweden in 1909.
  • Africa’s first National Park was established in 1925 as Albert National Park, now named Virunga National Park).
  • France’s first National Park was Vanoise National Park in the Alps, created in 1963.
  • The largest National Park in the world is Northeast Greenland National Park with 240,000,000 acres, making it larger than 219 countries.
  • The largest National Park in the United States is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska at 13,175,790 acres.
  • The smallest National Park in the United States is Hot Springs National Park at 5,550 acres. It also is the only National Park located in an urban area.
  • The newest National Park is Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, created in 2004.
  • The National Park Service was created in 1916 to administer the growing number of National Parks in the United States, now numbering 58.

The United States started recognizing National Parks on its postage stamps in 1934 with the release of a set of ten stamps, shown below. The Scott number shown with each stamp is an internationally recognized system for identifying stamps of the world.

Scott #740, Yosemite National ParkYosemite National Park
California — Created October 1, 1890
Scott #740, issued July 16, 1934

 

Scott #741, Grand CanyonGrand Canyon National Park
Arizona — Created February 26, 1919
Scott #741, issued July 24, 1934

 

Scott #742, Mt. RainierMount Rainier National Park
Washington — Created March 2, 1899
Scott #742, issued August 3, 1934

 

Scott #743, Mesa Verde National ParkMesa Verde National Park
Colorado — Created June 29, 1906
Scott #743, issued September 25, 1934

 

Scott #744, Yellowstone National ParkYellowstone National Park
Montana, Wyoming & Idaho — Created March 1, 1872
Scott #744, issued July 30, 1934

 

Scott #745, Crater Lake National ParkCrater Lake National Park
Oregon — Created May 22, 1902
Scott #745, issued September 5, 1934

 

Scott #746, Acadia National ParkAcadia National Park
Maine — Created February 26, 1919
Scott #746, issued October 2, 1934

 

Scott #747, Zion National ParkZion National Park
Utah — Created November 19, 1919
Scott #747, issued September 18, 1934

 

Scott #748, Glacier National ParkGlacier National Park
Montana — Created May 11, 1910
Scott #748, issued August 27, 1934

 

Scott #749, Great Smoky Mountains National ParkGreat Smoky Mountains National Park
North Carolina & Tennessee — Created June 15, 1934
Scott #749, issued October 8, 1934

 

Since those ten stamps were issued in 1934, another ten stamps have been issued recognizing National Parks, most recently in 1990 when the Grand Canyon appeared on Scott #2512. The Grand Canyong is so well-known that the name of the National Park wasn’t even on the stamp.

Scott #2512, Grand Canyon National Park

 

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Life’s a garden. Dig it!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture of the moment
PICTURE OF THE MOMENT

 

It’s been a couple of years since I did some work on my back patio so some of the plants were overgrown and looking a little leggy. I’ve been spending about an hour each day this past week pruning plants and removing those which are, well, dead. Things do die, you know.

With a few empty pots needing some plants, I headed over to one of my favorite nurseries, Mission Hills Nursery. Mission Hills Nursery was founded over a century ago by Kate Sessions, the lady who is responsible for much of the landscaping throughout Balboa Park, as well as other parks throughout San Diego.

Right across from the nursery was this property:

Life's a Garden. Dig it!

 

Life's a Garden. Dig it!

 

I don’t know whether or not the owners of the Nursery also own the house, but it’s certainly good advertising since it was by far the most beautiful house in the neighborhood.

Since I’m a home inspector, though, I have to mention that the walkway in the second picture has gaps between the concrete sections, and vegetation is growing in those gaps. Such custom work, while beautiful, creates trip hazards, the #1 cause of accident and injury around our homes. So be careful.

 

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Do not feed Tabasco sauce to your cat!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I livew in my own little world

 

I have a friend who is a

Bad influence

 

Some would say that he is

Reel bonkers

 

He came over and convinced me to feed some hot sauce to Zoey the Cool Cat. Now she’s Zoey the

Tabasco Cat

 

Our spouses have banished us to the

Dog House

 

We don’t mind. We can get get some

Quiet time

 

from all their nagging :).

We decided to relax on the

Poop deck

 

Of course, two guys in the dog house have a different way of relaxing. A little

Steppenwolf

 

reminded us that we were “born to be wild.”

So that our quiet time with Steppenwolf would not be interrupted by anyone, I put up a

Security Warning

 

Disclaimer: The above story is complete fiction.

 

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos