Monthly Archives: December 2012

Wine a bit -- You'll feel better!

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE!

Wine a bit -- You'll feel better!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you do decide to wine a bit:

  1. do it at home
  2. arrange for a designated driver
  3. have someone deliver you and pick you up
  4. get a hotel room
  5. call a cab.

Don’t take public transportation (like the train or a bus) if you’re inebriated. The train and bus police will be out in force because drunk folks tend to damage mass transit facilities, either intentionally or unintentionally. Also don’t go traipsing down the street all wined up; that is also called public intoxication. You don’t need the financial penalties that come with being drunk in public.

Have fun, and best wishes for health, happiness, peace, and prosperity in 2013 and beyond!

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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

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Action on the San Diego waterfront viewed from Coronado

Action on the Waterfront

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you come to San Diego and want some great pictures of the San Diego skyline, the place to go is Centennial Park across the San Diego Bay in Coronado:

Coronado map

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Action on the San Diego waterfront viewed from Coronado

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Action on the San Diego waterfront viewed from Coronado

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Action on the San Diego waterfront viewed from Coronado

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Action on the San Diego waterfront viewed from Coronado

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Action on the San Diego waterfront viewed from Coronado

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Action on the San Diego waterfront viewed from Coronado

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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

Viejas Outlet Center

Water, water everywhere

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Possibly my favorite place to go shopping in all of San Diego County is the Viejas Outlet Center.

Viejas map

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The reason why I like it so much is because there are billions and billions and billions of flowing streams and water falls. Once one gets tired of shopping (ha!), one can simply sit, relax, and listen to the flowing water.

Viejas Outlet Center

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Viejas Outlet Center

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Viejas Outlet Center

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Viejas Outlet Center

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Viejas Outlet Center

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Viejas Outlet Center

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Viejas Outlet Center

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Viejas Outlet Center

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Viejas Outlet Center

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Viejas Outlet Center

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Viejas Outlet Center

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Viejas Outlet Center

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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

Scott #1660, Texas state flag

History through Philately — Texas becomes the 28th State

History Through Philately stamp

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Scott #1660, Texas state flagOn this date in 1845, the Republic of Texas entered the United States of America as the 28th state.

When the United States bought the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803, the U.S. attempted to include Texas in the Purchase. In 1819, after sixteen years of dispute, the boundary was set at the Sabine River, which is the current border of Louisiana and Texas.

Scott #776, Texas centennialFrom 1819 to 1836, Texas was part of Mexico. On March 2, 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico, becoming the Republic of Texas. As most declarations of independence do, this one resulted in a war between the Republic of Texas and Mexico, including the Battle of the Alamo, lost by the Texans, and the Battle of San Jacinto, which resulted in the Texans soundly defeating the Mexicans.

Scott #1043, The AlamoTexans elected Sam Houston as President of the Republic but also endorsed Texas entering the Union as a State. The likelihood of Texas joining as a slave state delayed formal action by the U.S. Congress for more than a decade. Congress agreed to annex the territory of Texas in 1844, and on December 29, 1845, Texas entered the United States as a slave state. A dispute involving the southern boundary of Texas resulted in the Mexican American War, which the United States won.

Scott #1038, Texas statehoodThe Mexican American War ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in which Mexico ceded the current lands currently comprising California, Nevada, and Utah, as well as parts of Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. The southern boundary of Texas was set as the Rio Grande river.

Other interesting facts about Texas:

  1. 3738 Texas greetingsThe south Texas farming and ranching community of Kingsville welcomed me to the world on March 11, 1955. Kingsville is located in the disputed territory between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande.
  2. Texas is pretty much a red state, which is one of the many reasons why I don’t live there anymore. I left on April 15, 1993, and arrived in San Diego 12 days later, taking a circuitous route to Fargo, North Dakota; over to Seattle, Washington; and down to San Diego.
  3. Scott #1995, Texas mockingbird and bluebonnetTexas has a gross state product (GSP) of $1.307 trillion, second behind California’s $1.936 trillion. If Texas were an independent country, its gross domestic product (GDP) would rank as the world’s 11th largest.
  4. Texas does not have a State income tax. Its money comes from property taxes and sales taxes.
  5. Texas has a population of 26,059,203, making it the second most populous state (behind California).
  6. Texas is the second largest state (behind Alaska), with 268,820 square miles.
  7. Scott #2968, Texas statehoodTexas is headquarters for 57 Fortune 500 companies (tying for first with California).
  8. Texas has three cities ranked in the Top 10 for population: Houston at #4, San Antonio at #7, and Dallas at #9. (California also has three cities in the Top 10: Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose.)
  9. Kingsville, TexasMy hometown of Kingsville has an average high temperature of 65°F in December. However, on Christmas Even 2004, six inches of snow blanketed the city.
  10. Texas has the most farms and the highest acreage in the United States.
  11. Texas leads the nation in livestock production — cattle, sheep, and goats.
  12. Texas leads the nation in cotton production.
  13. Texas A&M UniversityMy alma mater, Texas A&M University, is the state’s first public institution of higher education and has the state’s largest enrollment at 53,337 students (fourth largest in the nation). It is the nation’s only land grand, sea grant, and space grant university. Texas A&M also has the largest main campus of any university, with 5,500 acres.
  14. Two presidential libraries are located in Texas: Lyndon B. Johnson in at the University of Texas at Austin and George Bush at Texas A&M University. A third one is in the workds, George W. Bush at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
  15. Scott #1742, Texas windmillThe Texas healthcare system is ranked third worst in the United States by the Commonwealth Fund; 25% of Texans do not have health insurance, the largest percentage in the nation.
  16. Texas emits more greenhouse gases than any other state, with Port Arthur (a heavy oil refining locale) having some of the dirtiest air in the United States.
  17. I survived many hurricanes and tropical storms while living in Texas, the most significant of which were Beulah (1967), Celia (1970), and Allen (1980).
  18. The deadliest natural disaster in the history of the United States was the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, which killed an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 people.
  19. My childhood home in Kingsville, courtesy of Google Streetview:

420 West Alice Avenue, Kingsville, Texas

I planted the two oak trees after Hurricane Celia in 1970. They were just a foot high.

Scott #2204, Battle of San Jacinto

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #1242, Sam Houston

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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

Friday Flower Fiesta (12-27-12)

Friday Flower Fiesta

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

As much as I love flowers and creating my Friday Flower Fiesta posts, it’s hard to believe we’ve gone three weeks without one. My apologies to all my Friday Flower Fiesta fans.

Thunbergia mysorensis

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Canna 'Yellow King Humbert'

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Canna

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Unknown flower

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Unknown flower

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Zinnia

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Unknown flower

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Tuberous begonia

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Hibiscus

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Unknown flower

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Special Visitor

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I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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 can recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Dead trees in San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Dead can be beautiful

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Long-time readers know that I have a Bachelor of Science in Forest Management from Texas A&M University. My minors (if Texas A&M recognized minors) would have been civil engineering and organic chemistry.

My intent when I enrolled at Texas A&M was to go into structural engineering, i.e., gaining as much from the forest as we could to build our homes and businesses. Research and development with a forestry company like Weyerhauser, Texas Pacific, Louisiana Pacific, or Georgia Pacific. Even though I have never used my degree, I still have a great appreciation for trees, even dead ones.

Dead trees in San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

I found that beauty in the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge where I have been hanging out on a regular basis.

For more about the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge see these posts:

I’m trading in my beach sandals for hiking boots

A lonely sycamore grove

It’s a staredown

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

If Santa didn’t make it to your place, you might have a non-Santa-Claus-friendly chimney

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Look, folks.

Santa is a pretty amazing individual with all he does each year.

And Rudolph is a pretty amazing pilot since he is still navigating by the light of his red nose instead of a GPS.

However, in case you didn’t realize it, Santa is a pretty big individual.

Chargers helmetWith a little practice he could play on Sundays.

Heck, even without practice he could probably play for the Chargers………..

Santa only has about twelve hours to make it to millions and millions of homes with billions and billions of presents.

If he is going to be successful each year, YOU need to do your part!

And I’m not talking being naughty.

Yeah, sure, that can help Santa summarily dismiss you.

I’m talking about the good folks, though.

If you were good this past year and still didn’t get anything from Santa, maybe you have a non-Santa-Claus-friendly chimney like one of these:

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Non-Santa Claus-friendly chimney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post.

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