Author Archives: Russel Ray Photos

About Russel Ray Photos

Forty-five years as a photographer, beginning with yearbook staff in sixth grade.

But I don’t know for sure….

Opinion

Yesterday morning I had the privilege of traipsing around a couple’s private garden.

It was a lot of un, and I got a lot of great pictures.

In addition to a beautiful garden, they had a dog and two cats.

Here is one of the two cats:

IMG_1753 abyssinian cat stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That’s Cleo.

Cleo is an Abyssinian cat, 15½ years old and suffering from renal failure.

To me, Cleo doesn’t look happy. In fact, he looks in pain.

Zoey the Cool CatZoey the Cool Cat (picture ►) is a mere 7½ years old but it’s obvious to me that she has slowed down, and she’s continuing to slow down. She’s not a kitty anymore….

I know we all love our pets, but at what point do we decide that it is time for our pets to leave us, to cross over that rainbow bridge?

My mother-in-law’s boyfriend spent several thousand dollars on treatments for his cats when they got old.

I want to think that I would easily spend thousands of dollars to keep Zoey the Cool Cat with me as long as possible, but I don’t think I could.

Instead, I think I would say my goodbyes to her and, from the vet’s office, go right down to the animal shelter and get another loving feline friend.

There are so many which need loving homes, and at that point I would have a loving home to give.

But I don’t know for sure….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Stairs to the birdhouse

Picture of the Moment

From a photo shoot this morning in a private garden. Click on the picture for a huger version.

Stairs to the birdhouse

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Friday Flower Fiesta (4-24-15)

Friday Flower Fiesta

Ten Photographic Art stamps created from pictures of flowers taken in March in San Diego County.

img_0221 day lily stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0222 flower stamp

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img_0410 orchid stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0549 hibiscus stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0555 rose stamp

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img_0565 daisy stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0886 yellow clivia stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0903 yellow cactus flower stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0916 zinnia stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0914 moth yellow flower stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Horseback riding to the beach in San Diego

Out & About

San Diego County encompasses 4,526 square miles, of which 4,207 is land.

The population as of the 2010 census was 3,095,313.

The City of San Diego has 1,345,895 people in its 372 square miles and is the eighth most populous city in the United States.

The County ranks #84 on the list of largest counties by area.

There are 3,143 counties (and county equivalents) in the United States.

The lowest elevation in the County is sea level which probably occurs at the beaches (probably?).

The highest elevation is 6,536 feet.

Within the County one can find anything ranging from snow to sunny beaches,

Snow in Julian, California

Ocean Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

free-ranging cows to urban cows….

Rural cow

Non-standard cow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

And horses….

Horses in a field

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Including urban horses, of course….

Rooftop horse

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Even horses in the snow….

Horses in the snow in San Diego County, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you really want to have fun, though, go down to Imperial Beach and ride a horse to, and on, the beach! Here is a group of riders coming back from the beach:

Horse rides to the beach!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For more on riding a horse to the beach, visit San Diego Beach Rides.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Do Republicans participate in Earth Day?

Did you know?

Today is Earth Day!

Here is what Zoey the Cool Cat is planning on doing today:

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When the first Earth Day occurred in 1970, I was but a sophomore in high school. My first period “class” was Student Government. I was the representative from the Chess Club.

During the couple of weeks leading up to Earth Day, a friend—we’ll call him Ken since that’s his name—came in every morning and tried to get Student Government involved in that first Earth Day. I don’t remember if he was successful. I recently reconnected with Ken on Facebook. He is a minister with the Church of England and lives and works in Germany.

Here is my Photographic Art contribution to Earth Day 2015:

Bicyclists

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

According to Wikipedia, Earth Day events are held “in more than 192 countries each year.”

Which begs the question, “How many more?” One? Ten? A hundred? A thousand?

One hundred and ninety-two is a pretty exact number, so I’m thinking that, at the time the Wikipedia article was last updated, it was exactly 192 countries. Why not just say that Earth Day is held in 192 countries? Alas….

Earth Day events are meant to show support for environmental protections. Sadly, there is no proof that any Republican in the United States supports, celebrates, recognizes, or otherwise participates in Earth Day………

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Chemicals. You can’t get away from them!

Opinion

I thought I would follow up on my Monsanto post of January 14, 2015. It was by far my most controversial post, and a few people decided to unfollow me because of it. One even said in a comment, “I’m saddened and stunned that you have bought into their [Montanto’s] propaganda, so I will take a break from following your blog for awhile.” If I were vindictive, I would have taken a break from following his blog!

If you missed my first Monsanto post, see it here: I’m going with Monsanto on this one, for the moment.

Today’s post was inspired by a conversation with a grade-school friend about the complete and total Blue Bell Ice Cream recall due to listeria contamination. The CEO and President of Blue Bell, Paul Kruse, is an old Texas A&M colleague and Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity Brother. I haven’t spoken to him in 21 years, but 40 years ago, in college, I knew him well.

My grade-school friend, Carol, said on Facebook, “I’m glad they [Blue Bell] are doing the responsible thing by pulling all of their products and trying to figure out the cause for the listeria. I also wish they would pull all of the chemicals out of their recipes so I could buy their ice cream again!”

I responded that there are chemicals in everything. “Not in what I eat!” she exclaimed. That’s where she’s wrong. Grossly wrong. That wrongness comes from either not taking chemistry in high school or college, falling asleep during class, simply not caring or understanding, or listening to Fox (Entertainment) News talking points.

The universe is nothing but a mixture of chemicals. That’s why certain foods are acidic and cause acid reflux, and some foods are basic. As an example, go look at the Wikipedia entry for cucumber, right side. It will show you a list of all the chemicals that make up a cucumber.

As another example, take the common sugar Sucrose. Here’s its chemical makeup:

Sucrose

One great big chemical.

Some will tell me that Sucrose is just a bunch of elements—Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Carbon. That’s true. But many of the elements in and of themselves are bad for people. Arsenic, for example. Chromium. Lead. Mercury. Plutonium. So that argument is moot.

Let’s look at chocolate. Who doesn’t like chocolate? The main ingredient in chocolate is a chemical, theobromine. Looks like this:

Theobromine

Theobromine poisoning can result from the chronic or acute consumption of large quantities of chocolate, especially in the elderly. Theobromine can cause sleeplessness, tremors, restlessness, anxiety, an increased production of urine, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and withdrawal headaches.

Zoey the Cool CatEverything around you is comprised of chemicals. Your desk chair, your desk, windows, curtains, clothes, computer monitor, lightbulbs, even little Zoey the Cool Cat (picture ►).

The fact that the universe is one big mass of chemicals is why I believe there will never be a cure for cancer. Perhaps individual cancers (lung cancer, for example) but not all cancers. There are too many variables involved and we can’t isolate all those variables, especially since each individual body is different, too. That’s why I have O+ blood but someone else has AB-. That’s why people have allergies.

The different mix of chemicals is why we have different foods. It’s only a matter of time before the chemists at Monsanto succeed in creating a cucumber from scratch, using just a bunch of chemicals in a laboratory somewhere.

Monsanto’s problem is not that it wants to feed the world using genetically modified organisms (GMO). Their problem is that they want to rule the world by being the only company that has the food that the world’s population needs to survive. Even that might eventually come to an end—see the packaged and pill foods that the astronauts and fighting military personnel eat.

Meal, Ready To Eat

Meal, Ready To Eat (MRE)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

While we all might like those fresh vegetables, until humanity learns to masturbate, put a condom on it, or take a pill before or after, we’re heading to oblivion due to lack of food and water, or we’re going to have to accept that in order to feed the world’s population, we are going to be eating GMO’s and MRE’s. We are not going to have the room to grow those organic vegetables. I mean, which is more important? A rich person eating an organic salad, or millions of starving children?

Reminds me of the 1973 Charlton Heston movie, “Soylent Green,” where the woman was eating, spoonful by spoonful, a jar of strawberry jam. Strawberry jam was a luxury for them, a very expensive luxury.

I believe that’s where humanity is heading, and simply being against Monsanto isn’t going to stop it. We need to curb population growth or find new ways to feed, clothe, house, and heal that population.

The current crop of Republicans in the United States, however, don’t want anything to do with curbing population growth, or feeding, clothing, housing, and healing the population. All they care about is that the little embryo makes its way out of the vagina. After that, it’s own its own—no food stamps, no health care, no housing—until it’s of military age. Then they will take it for four years of fighting, fighting which will come sooner rather than later if we don’t try to solve this mess now. But simply being against Monsanto because one is a farmer or enjoys chemicals under the “organic” label is not going to solve the problem.

My wise old grandmotherAs my wise old grandmother (picture ►) used to say, “If you’re going to complain, offer a solution.” Well, my complaint is about humanity’s overpopulating the Earth, and my solution is masturbation, condoms, pills, and GMO’s…..

One final thing that my wise old grandmother said, and which I believe is very relevant to enjoying all that life has to offer:

Too much of anything is bad for you

So enjoy life.

Eat, drink, and be merry.

Just don’t do anything excessively.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (4-20-13)—You can’t catch me but we can all come together in Folsom Prison

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Many decades ago when personal computers were just hitting the market, I got a gig with Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Houston’s largest law firm at the time, merging the computer culture with their corporate culture and teaching their secretaries, paralegals, assistants, and attorneys how to use computers and the prevalent software at the time, which was Lotus-1-2-3, PC Write, WordStar, and WordPerfect.

Ever since those days I have had an inordinate interest in the law, often making it an avocation wherever I have been.

Perhaps the aspect of law that I most enjoy is copyright law, so it’s only natural that when my love of music butts heads with the law, I find it interesting. I mean, after all there are only so many notes, chords, and riffs that can be strung together to make music and songs. Over time, then, there’s bound to be a little borrowing here and there, even if only subconsciously.

Here are two music lawsuits involving the very rich and famous, and that the richer and more famous person lost:

The great Johnny Cash was sued by Gordon Jenkins who claimed that Cash used lyrics and melody from Jenkins’ 1953 composition “Crescent City Blues” in his 1955 hit “Folsom Prison Blues.” Even the opening lines are similar. Cash paid up, to the tune of $75,000.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There’s no question that in the realm of music, Chuck Berry was rich and famous. However, he sued someone even richer and more famous, John Lennon, and won.

Berry’s publishing company sued Lennon, claiming that lines and melodies for “Come Together” were taken from Berry’s 1956 song, “You Can’t Catch Me.” As part of the settlement, Lennon agreed to record three songs owned by publisher Morris Levy, including a cover of “You Can’t Catch Me” for Lennon’s 1975 covers album Rock ‘N’ Roll.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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