Category Archives: My own little world

Officially an Uber driver!

I livew in my own little world

I’m not a very good hourly employee because companies limit me to working a mere 40 hours a week.

I guess you could say that I’m not a very good 40-hour-a-week employee either.

Thus, since Amazon will only schedule me for a maximum of 40 hours a week, and no more than 5 days a week, that leaves a lot of time over the course of the week to do other things. So……….

As of today, I’m officially an Uber driver!

The only thing I could ever think of regarding Uber was drivers picking up the drunks at midnight. I was pretty sure I didn’t want to do that. When upper-management executives, such as Benjamin Golden of Taco Bell, go into a drunken rage and attack the Uber driver (see Benjamin Golden attacks Uber driver), well, that’s not something that I want to be part of.

However, after talking to some co-workers at Amazon, I thought, “I don’t have to work at the midnight bewitching hour….”

UberThis morning, I made myself available to Uber at 7:00 a.m. just to see what would happen. Almost immediately I had a rider, and as soon as I dropped that rider off, I had another rider. In the course of 32 minutes and 24 miles, I made $14.00. Not a lot, but my Excel spreadsheet tells me that is $26.25 per hour, more than Amazon pays…. My 2015 Toyota Corolla LE Plus gets 35 miles per gallon, and gas right now is $2.659 per gallon, so my expenses there were a mere $1.82, leaving me with a net after expenses but before taxes of $12.18. I can handle that.

After reading more this morning of the Uber documents, tips, and tricks for being a successful Uber driver, apparently I am in a pretty good location. Within a five-mile radius of where Jim and I live are:

Major medical center.
Two major malls.
Two major downtown areas.
Three Walmarts—a super store, a neighborhood market, and a regular Walmart.
A major university with 35,000 students.

I’m going to make myself available to Uber each morning from 6:00 a.m. to noon for a week and see what happens, just how busy I can be and how much money I can make. I’m not anticipating many drunken idiots between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and noon so Benjamin Goldens shouldn’t be a problem….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a special occasion?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Where are all the morning people?

I livew in my own little world

Well, I thought the new job would be one of the more “brainless” jobs I had ever had. I was determined not to let that deter me.

Surprisingly, it’s not brainless. It’s quite interesting and challenging, and the icing on the cake is that I get to listen to my music collection during about 7½ hours of my 8-hour shift.

Since I work the late shift, 2:00-10:00 PM, I have the mornings to run errands, blog…. little things like that.

I have discovered that there is no one at the gas stations at 6:00 AM, no one at Food 4 Less or Walmart at 6:00 AM, few people on the highways and side streets at 6:00 AM…..

Basically I have almost the whole world to myself at 6:00 AM.

Where are all the morning people?

Zoey the Cool Cat Christmas ornamentWith my work schedule pretty much set at this point, I can now get my personal life back on track because it’s been pretty messy. That means that I can return to daily blogging. Yahooooooo! Pictures, pictures, pictures. And I’m making note of interesting places I see during my work travels so that I can return to them and taking pictures. Yahooooooo! More pictures, more pictures, more pictures.

As I was cataloging some pictures this morning I found lots of pictures that I knew I had but which I couldn’t find because they were in the wrong folder and had not been renamed from their generic camera-provided names. Like this one:

Ice in the snow (!)

Last week it snowed in Julian, in the mountains about 40 miles east of me. I didn’t get to go so I was looking for old pictures of Julian in the snow. Couldn’t find them even though I knew I had them. That’s one of them.

Also, after seeing what’s possible with the new camera drones, I have put a camera drone #2 on my wish list. Number 1 was a new DSLR. I was specifically looking for a DSLR that took excellent videos. Did you catch the past tense “was” in those previous two sentences? That means that I bought it, and I just got notice that it has been shipped.

I bought the Canon EOS Rebel T6s, released to the market this past summer. I’m buying the body only since I already have lenses that I’m quite happy with. Looks like this:

canon t6s/760d

Since everyone in the U.S. has it on back order, I am importing it from London. As an import, mine will be like that in the picture, labeled EOS 760D. Same thing. For some reason Canon renames their cameras as Rebel just for the United States market.

I could only find a few DSLR cameras with better video, but they also cost a thousand dollars more than I was willing to spend. I’m saving that thousand dollars for the camera drone….

laptop-computerNumber 3 on my current wish list is a new laptop computer so that I can visit blogs from the car when I’m at work, but waiting for other people to do their jobs so that I can do my job, something that comes with the territory of the new job. I’m specifically looking for a fast laptop, which means 12 GB of memory and an Intel i7-rated computer.

All of this is because not only do I get paid to drive in rush-hour traffic while listening to my music collection (first time I have ever enjoyed rush-hour traffic!), but during an 8-hour shift, I actually only “work” about six hours due to time waiting on other people. That two hours, though, is split into various time increments as short as a few minutes and as the-hollow-hillslong as 90 minutes, and currently is spent sitting in the car listening to music and reading (currently “The Hollow Hills” by Mary Stewart, 1973). I can easily see me alternating so that each time I have to wait, I either read or visit blogs. I could also be cataloging pictures….

So probably sooner than later, possibly even by the end of the year, look for my visits to YOUR blogs to increase to the point where they were just a year ago.

I miss visiting everyone like I used to, but we’ll get there again.

Meanwhile, Happy Thursday, Happy Weekend, Happy December, and Happy Make A Gift Day (more info here: http://updates.daysoftheyear.com/NLI/LE35.ashx?a=E7FDDF7E6AE4FA5485989908DB918342&b=8EB07832405FA92A68EF7BCB85AC2A9A).Zoey the Cool Cat and Christmas tree

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for Christmas or other special occasion?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Yahooooooooooooo!

I livew in my own little world

I have a new job!

It’s definitely not what I thought I would be doing at the age of 60½ but it meets my needs, pays very well, is fun, allows me to drive a lot (which allows me to find new and exciting things of which to take pictures), and allows me to listen to my vast music collection during the times that I work.

The company is a startup subcontractor to Amazon Prime Now, itself a startup here in San Diego.

I have had a 2-hour training session, a 4-hour training session, and a 7-hour training session. Today, I start full-time with four more 7-hour training sessions before Amazon Prime Now launches in San Diego on November 18.

Because I’m a subcontractor to the subcontractor, I can work as much as I want, any day I want, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and midnight.

The holiday season will affect my pay so to start I’ll probably be working 12 hour days, five days a week, and take advantage of the higher rate of pay for the holiday season.

Jim and I are a one-car family, so I will have to schedule my work around taking him to his job Sunday through Thursday at 1:15 and picking him up at 10:30. By the end of the year because of the holiday pay, we just might be a two-car family.

7¢ Poinsettia stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for Christmas or other special occasion?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Two years without cable, and I’m not missing it

I livew in my own little world

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that by 2025, and I won’t be disappointed if it’s earlier, cable television will be officially deceased.

I did away with cable in September 2013. Initially I thought I would miss it, but each time I thought that, I remembered that the only thing I ever watched was sports and reruns of past TV shows.

It wasn’t really difficult to give up live-action sports because nothing I could do or say during the game would alter the outcome of the game, or my life.

And I actually found more time to do more things by watching the 3-minute highlight film rather than the 3-hour game….

When 2015 rolled around, I decided to watch the movies released in 2014 that interested me, starting in January 2014. They are on the Internet, and while some of the less successful ones were hard to find, they are there, just not on the first page of a Google search.

I finished watching the 2014 movies and went to 2015. The 2015 movies are not yet available, a presumption that I made based on not finding a single movie from January 2015 that was available.

So I decided to see what TV series were popular during my first decade on Earth. I came across “The Twilight Zone,” which I remember watching in reruns in the ’60s, and decided to watch it, episode by episode. Seems that everything ever televised is on the Internet, something I can’t say about cable….

All the ones I remember watching those many decades ago had unexpected endings, and many of them had moral or human lessons to be learned, or were thought-provoking concerning the future. Such was the case with Episode 1 from Season 1 which I watched earlier tonight. Its moral was that humans are social animals and enjoy being with other humans. I wouldn’t limit it to humans, though. Many of us humans also like to be with our dogs, our cats, our birds, our guinea pigs, our rabbits, our snakes, our lizards….

The social part of humanity hit home with me because when I came to San Diego on April 27, 1993, at the age of 38, I wasn’t sure who I was or what I wanted to do. I only knew that I probably wasn’t going to work anytime soon, perhaps never again in my lifetime.

Ten months later, while sitting on the sand at Blacks Beach, I realized just how much I wanted to be with other people. I was the only one on the beach that February morning, and it was lonely, even with my chess set, cards, UNO, and books to read.

Right after college I had learned the difference between being alone and being lonely, for one can have many family and friends and still be lonely. I was lonely, lonely, lonely that day on the beach.

I put myself back in the work force and have never looked back. I do need people in my life. I’d die of loneliness if I was the only survivor on a deserted island….

Here are some pictures of Blacks Beach where I spent my first ten months in San Diego, beginning with the steps (I use that word very loosely) down the 300-foot cliffs to the beach below:

Stairs to Blacks Beach in San Diego, California

Blacks Beach in San Diego, California

Blacks Beach

Blacks Beach in San Diego, California

Blacks Beach in San Diego, California

Blacks Beach in San Diego, California

Blacks Beach in San Diego, California

Blacks Beach in San Diego, California

Blacks Beach in San Diego, California

Blacks Beach map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a special occasion?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Imposter! I shall scratch your eyes out!

I livew in my own little world

I wonder if my mentor, Stephen King, would have been proud of my flash fiction yesterday……….

Zoey the Cool Cat’s new home has mirrored closet doors everywhere. Even though the Queen is nine years old, she has never seen her reflection in a mirror….

UNTIL NOW!

She’s not too happy about the imposter invading her new home.

Zoey the Cool Cat sees her reflection for the first time

(The video will open in a new window from YouTube. Rather than embedding the video, since you’re already here at my blog, giving me monetary credit here, I’m sending you to YouTube to watch the video so I’ll get monetary credit there.)

Just a few seconds after Jim recorded his video above, I got a video of Zoey the Cool Cat going after that imposter. The imposter has not been seen since.

Zoey the Cool Cat going after the imposter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Need a unique gift for a wedding, birthday or other special event? Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

photograhic art taking pictures making art

Gratuitous pictures of the Queen

I livew in my own little world

THE BIG MOVE is occurring today and tomorrow.

Beds, desks, computers, and all the small stuff is moving today.

Unfortunately, though, it appears that one cannot get appropriate Internet assistance from the company that provides Internet connection to the 24/7 Internet world.

That just doesn’t make sense to me…….smh.

Thus, as soon as I disconnect the computers I won’t have Internet access until sometime tomorrow, and you know how those windows work with companies in today’s world….

“You should be re-connected between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.”

Well that’s of great help…..smh…….again.

Fortunately, to help get us through this time off the grid, we have WordPress to let us schedule a post in the future, so this post is being scheduled for tonight at one minute past midnight.

Of course, we also have Zoey the Cool Cat to entertain us during this downtime when we’re not being entertained by the news stories about the Republicans….

So here are some gratuitous pictures of the Queen during her seven years here:

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat in her new sack

Zoey the Cool Cat stalking a mourning dove

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat stamp

Zoey the Cool Cat spiral bound book

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat soccer ball

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat and her red ring

A wet Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat on the desk

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat, Olympic boxing champion

Zoey the Cool Cat Rounder

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat exploring the books

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Need a unique gift for a wedding, birthday or other special event?
Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

photograhic art taking pictures making art

DO NOT EAT LIZARDS!

I livew in my own little world

My mother-in-law celebrated her 80th birthday last week. It happened to be the same day as Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, Jim and I did not get to go celebrate with her until yesterday, a celebration that occurred at Famous Dave’s, our favorite barbecue restaurant in San Diego County.

Following are five pictures from our visit yesterday.

First up is this rooster:

img_2010 rooster joan frimmer stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That rooster crows from its spot on top of the refrigerator. I always have liked it so yesterday I took a picture of it while no one was looking. Moral: Never invite me to your house because you know I’ll have my camera with me…. snap! snap! snap!

Next up is Buddy. Looks like this:

img_2008 buddy joan frimmer stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Buddy had to go to the vet last week because he was not feeling well. The vet shaved his little tummy to do an ultrasound, and he had to have an IV, too. You can see a little shaved section on his paw where the IV was. Nothing definitive, but some antibiotics returned him to normal. The only thing that made any sense is that Buddy had been seen eating a lizard just before he got sick. Moral: DO NOT EAT LIZARDS!

Next up is a set of three sunset pictures. Sunset can be quite beautiful from their back yard in Vista because of the trees. Here they are, as well as the time they were taken:

7:20 p.m.img_2001 sunset joan frimmer stamp

7:29 p.m.img_2004 sunset joan frimmer stamp

7:41 p.m.img_2006 sunset joan frimmer stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Need a unique gift for a wedding, birthday or other special event?
Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

photograhic art taking pictures making art