Monthly Archives: October 2012

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Up from the ground came some bubbling crude

Out & About San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Thank you!” to everyone for the anniversary wishes yesterday.

As far as what Jim and I did, that will have to remain unknown for a little while longer while I catalog the billions and billions and billions of pictures I took.

However, LIKE if you recognize the title of this blog post because Jim and I were mesmerized by the bubbling crude at one place we went, shown in my 40-second video:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

You also have my permission to LIKE if you know where the video was taken.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Zoo

October 30 is one of my anniversaries

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

October 30 is one of my anniversaries. What that means is that since Jim and I are a nontraditional couple (that means we’re gay!) and never expected to be able to get married in our lifetimes, we celebrate several anniversaries:

  • May 26, 1994 — The day we met.
  • November 1, 1995 — The day we moved in together.
  • July 31, 2004 — The day we got domestic partnered in California.

And, since “domestic partnered” just doesn’t have the same ring as “married,”

  • October 30, 2008 — The day we got married in California.

FuchsiaBecause we got married during a period when so-called “gay marriage” was legal in California, the California Supreme Court, in May 2009, ruled that our marriage would remain legal and recognized by the State of California. Yeah!

However, one of the main reasons why we don’t travel outside of California is because of the number of states that don’t recognize our marriage. That means that if something were to happen to one of us while we were in a homophobic state, like my home state of Texas, the other person could, and probably would, be denied the privilege of making health care decisions or recovering a body in the event of death. We have to be realistic.

Angel's trumpet in La Mesa, California, on January 23, 2012It’s those types of situations that will eventually force the United States Supreme Court to pull all the states, some screaming, into the modern age and force them all to recognize the “full faith and credit clause” of the United States Constitution relative to married gay couples. After all, the sky has not fallen in Iowa, New York, Massachusetts, and other States and countries where gay couples can legally marry.

Meanwhile, though, yesterday the United States Supreme Court announced that they would decide on November 20 whether or not to hear the Proposition 8 appeal from the homophobic right-wing nuts here in California. Proposition 8 was the 2008 measure passed by 52% of the people (who voted) to deny gay couples the right to marry. The California Supreme Court already overthrew Proposition 8, as did the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

StapeliaWe should know on Monday, November 26, whether or not the United States Supreme Court will hear the appeal. If they decide not to, which most of us expect, gay couples in California will be able to marry again. The reason why we don’t expect the United States Supreme Court to hear the appeal is because it has such a narrow focus, dealing specifically with the California State Constitution. If they decide to hear it, oral arguments will probably be in March or April 2012 with a decision probably handed down during the final weeks of the 2012-2013 term.

Jim and I are doing some special things today, but you’ll just have to wait until Halloween Day to find out what we did.

P.S. I won’t be camping out in any blogs today, but I’ll be back in camping mode on Halloween Day!

San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Beluga whale at SeaWorld San Diego

Recently cataloged pictures from SeaWorld

Out & About San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Some recently cataloged pictures from a trip to SeaWorld San Diego earlier this year. Wildlife names are in the mouseovers.

Roseate spoonbill at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Monitor at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Beluga whale at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Penguin at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Puffins at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Penguin at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Penguin at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sea turtle at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Egret at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Dolphin at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orca whales at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Black-crowned night heron at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sea turtle at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Rabbit at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sea lion at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved byThis post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sometimes one gets lucky

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I don’t attempt to take a lot of pictures of birds in flight because I don’t have a lens that is fast enough to focus on them as they are flying.

However, with digital cameras, if one just presses the shutter button continuously, sometimes one gets lucky.

Bird in flight

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Feral cat in San Diego, California

October 29 is National Cat Day!

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

October 29 is National Cat Day!

Zoey the Cool Cat wanted me to share some of her favorite pictures of cats that don’t have forever homes.

She hopes that if you have the opportunity you’ll adopt a cat today!

Feral cat in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Feral cat in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Feral cat in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Feral cat in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Feral cat in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Feral cat in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Feral cat on the San Diego jetty

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Feral cat on the San Diego jetty

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Feral cat on the San Diego jetty

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Feral cat on the San Diego jetty

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Feral cat on the San Diego jetty

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tijuana River Estuary kitty cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Alpha Phi Omega

Once I give my money to the government, it is no longer my money

My wise old grandmother

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Texas A&M UniversityDuring the Summer of 1975 when I was a Junior at Texas A&M University, I pledged a Greek organization called Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity (hereafter, “APO”). When my friends asked me the difference between APO and other Greek fraternities and sororities, I explained it thusly:

Fraternities and sororities spend 80% of their time partying. APO spends 80% of its time helping others.

Alpha Phi OmegaFrom August 1973 to June 1975, I was without my wise old grandmother. She was in Kingsville, Texas, and I was 300 miles away at Texas A&M. APO came into my life and continued to remind me, through today, that there is, indeed, always someone worse off than me.

My wise old grandother had always told me, “There is always someone worse off than you are.” She usually said that as I was complaining about pruning the oleanders, mowing the lawn, hanging the laundry, washing the dishes, cleaning my room………. APO continues in me with the words of my wise old grandmother.

So today, for those who love charities and real pumpkins, here’s what I want you to do. Yes, this involves planning and work, but it’s always fun. And I have some work music for you, too:

Before you do anything else, pick a number from 1 to 100. Write it down.

Cancer Survivors Park, San Diego, CaliforniaNow, since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and October 31 is Halloween, take the family out to the pumpkin patch and get a real pumpkin, one that has seeds inside. Take the pumpkin home, cut off the top so you can get to the insides, and get all those seeds out of there. Young children often like this part of our project because they get to get all yukky and oogy.

Take the seeds, separate them from the rest of the pumpkin guts, wash the seeds, and set them aside to dry. Continue cleaning out your pumpkin and carving a face into it for use on the front porch for the next few days.

Cancer Survivors Park, San Diego, CaliforniaWhen the seeds have dried, count them! Write down the number of seeds. I usually get about 300 seeds out of my pumpkins, which are average size. Small pumpkins will have fewer seeds, and those really really really really big pumpkins will have more.

Once you have counted the seeds, roast them! They make great snacks, have lots of good fiber, and your children will be bragging to the neighborhood, “We roasted our pumpkin seeds to eat! I have some here. Do you want one?”

Here’s a good pumpkin seed recipe: Roasted pumpkin seeds.

PumpkinsOkay, remember those two numbers we wrote down? Take the first number, that between 1 and 100, and multiple it by the second number, the number of seeds, to get a final number. For example, if you chose 25 and had 300 seeds, your final number would be 7,500. Drop the two zeroes, and you have 75.

Now I want you to write a check to your favorite charity, or to a cancer charity in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, for $75. If $75 is too much for you right now, that’s okay. Write a check for whatever amount you can. As we have seen in President Obama’s grassroots money-raising, every little bit helps.

MoneyRemember that your donation is often tax-deductible, so in addition to helping people who are less fortunate than you, you just lowered your taxes!

I donate to various charities on a quarterly basis, and since September is the end of the third quarter, I use pumpkin event to donate to cancer organizations during October. I also never complain about how the government spends its money, for two reasons:

  1. Once I give my money to the government, it is no longer my money. It’s the government’s money.
  2. The government rarely gets much money from me because I’m not from the rich 1% and I use deductions to lower my tax burden. I figure I can do a better job of spending my money than the government can do spending its money.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Coaster commuter train, San Diego, California

I felt like an explorer with my new discovery

Out & About San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I went train watching early yesterday morning, specifically trying to get a picture of Amtrak on a long bridge over the San Diego River.

Amtrak usually has trains going north to Los Angeles every hour, and trains coming south from Los Angeles every hour, too. Because some of the tracks through San Diego canyons are single instead of double, the north and south trains meet at the halfway point where there is double tracking, allowing them to pass each other at full speed.

The Coaster, a commuter train between downtown San Diego and Oceanside, about 30 miles, also uses the tracks, so watching trains can be a lot of fun during the day.

During the three hours I was at the bridge, not a single Amtrak train came by. Maybe the Republicans have already cut its funding? (That’s an editorial comment.) However, there were lots of Coasters. Here’s one:

Coaster commuter train, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Only in San Diego does a river have trees and bushes growing in it……..lol

While I was waiting for trains to show up, I also did a little exploring since this was an area that I was not familiar with. I found a newly constructed bike path along the river, and at one entrance to the bike path I found some beautiful murals. Click on the following images for larger sizes.

San Diego River bike path mural, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego River bike path mural, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego River bike path mural, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego River bike path mural, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego River bike path mural, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego River bike path mural, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego River bike path mural, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego River bike path mural, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Each mural here was compiled from three or four pictures and stitched together using the Photomerge function in Photoshop CS6.

Here is where the murals are located:

Location of murals

View Larger Map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Which way is north?

Which way is north again?

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I went train watching early this morning in a place where I’ve never been trainwatching before. It was quite a bit of fun since there was a beautiful bridge over the San Diego River along with lots of train action. However, this directional sign was my prized picture for the day:

Which way is north?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Which way is north again?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Zoo pictures

I’m reminded of Republican politicians

San Diego Zoo logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Why do these pictures remind me of Republican politicians?

San Diego Zoo pictures

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Zoo pictures

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Zoo pictures

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I know. That’s cruel to these three little fellows.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Blog about it!

I have nothing to say

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Dare I admit that I always find it somewhat humorous when a blogger says that s/he can’t think of anything to blog about?

Blog about it!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos