Category Archives: Picture of the Moment

Urban barn

Picture of the Moment

Now that the days are getting longer, there is time to go exploring after teaching chess at elementary schools in the afternoon, and that’s what I’ve been doing.

I got a surprise the other day when I went exploring in a 1% neighborhood and saw this:

Urban barn

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Usually, in order to see a real barn here in San Diego, one has to travel far out into the boondocks. This barn, however, was in a semi-rural neighborhood of large homes.

Barn location map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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He’s home!

Picture of the Moment

Someone was gone for 213 days, but he’s home now!

Welcome home

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Discovered yesterday as I was exploring on my way to a new elementary school to teach some rugrats how to play chess.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Opinion—People like him are evil

Opinion

I grew up in a family where mom and stepdad were alcoholics.

Although all seven of us kids were the subject of physical and verbal abuse, my oldest stepsister and I bore the brunt of that abuse. That was the main cause of me acting out and becoming one of Utah’s greatest (?) juvenile delinquents.

Once my wise old grandmother adopted me—I was just three months short of age 11—and gave me love & discipline, I recovered.

One thing that my wise old grandmother taught me during the eight years she had me was zero tolerance for abuse, whether that be verbal or physical abuse of people, even adults, or abuse of fauna, flora, or even property.

Early yesterday morning I drove about twenty miles south to visit—and get pictures of!—San Diego Historical Landmark #13. It was pretty cool! Blog post coming soon!

As I walked around SDHL #13, I saw a guy drop an animal over a ballpark fence. At first I thought it was a little fox. Looked like this:

Abandoned dog

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I got over to the fence, I realized that it was a dog, a dog very happy to see me. I found a gap between the fence and a gate and got the dog out. Friendliest little thing, but obviously scared, and emaciated…. no collar.

As I was looking around trying to decide what to do, the guy looked back, saw me with the dog, and came back to us. As he got closer to us, the dog took off after him. I made the presumption that the dog belonged to him, but because of the dog’s emaciation—as well as my first thought of abandonment by the guy dropping the dog over the fence—I followed them for a little ways. All seemed to be well, but as I walked back to my car—a good 30 minute walk—I kept thinking about that emaciated dog.

Back at the parking lot, I found some firemen on break and talked to them about the dog. They gave me Animal Control’s number.

I drove my car back to the ballparks where I had seen the dog, parked, and walked to the ballparks. Sure enough, the dog was back in the ballpark, behind the chain link, trying desperately to get out. The guy was nowhere around, so I called Animal Control and reported an abandoned dog, and what had happened. It took them all of 17 minutes to get to the park. They rescued the dog, confirmed that it was in bad shape from lack of food, and took it away.

I am so sorry that I did not take a picture of the guy to give to Animal Control. People like him are evil, should be prosecuted, and then locked away for at least a little while….That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking with it.

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San Diego beach houses of the extraordinarily wealthy

Picture of the Moment

Yesterday afternoon’s low tide was one of the lowest we’ll have in January, which means that the tide pools along the coast required a visit.

Depending on where you go to see the tide pools, sometimes the little ol’ beach houses command one’s attention, like these two beach houses in La Jolla:

San Diego beach houses

Click on the image for a larger version.

La Jolla is one of San Diego County’s enclaves of the rich and famous. In 2008 & 2009, La Jolla had the highest home prices in the nation, an average price around $2 million.

It’s one of the places politicians stay when they come to San Diego.

John McCain owns a home in La Jolla…. Mitt Romney lives there. Racquel Welch…. Robin Wright Penn…. Shane Harper….

There are rich Republicans and rich Democrats there. Probably some rich Independents, rich Atheists, rich Wiccans, and rich Satanists….

La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Location of the two beach houses:

La Jolla beach houses

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Drill here! Drill now!

Picture of the Moment

Although I have a lot of books and online resources concerning everything in Southern California, last week I discovered an online resource that lists places of which I was not aware, and which aren’t in my books.

I suspect it’s because my books are ca. 1989-1998, and some of the places I discovered at this new online resource were built or created later than 1998.

After browsing online, I picked a site that’s not too far from me to check it out last weekend.

On my leisurely drive, leisurely because I’m always on the lookout for things to photograph, I saw this huge sign on a residential fence:

Drill here! Drill now!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That reminded me of my time at Texas A&M University when I was looking for a Greek organization to pledge. One of the organizations I was considering was Sigma Chi.

Fraternities at Texas A&M University in the mid-1970s were a new thing because previously they were prohibited as recognized student organizations. As fraternities and sororities started establishing chapters at A&M, they had to do so off campus without all the benefits that recognized student organizations got. Thus there are some huge fraternity and sorority houses in College Station, off campus. One of the largest was the Sigma Chi house. If I remember correctly, a rich Sigma Chi alumnus had lent the money to build the house on several acres of land.

Shortly after I had decided to pledge Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity instead of Sigma Chi, they discovered oil under the Sigma Chi land. Rumors at the time were that the oil company which obtained the drilling rights had paid the Sigma Chi chapter $1.2 million, as well as 10% ongoing royalties. Oil companies probably still pay a large sum initially for drilling rights, so the people who own this house are hoping for that initial large sum.

I wonder if drilling rights include fracking rights….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Friday Flower Fiesta (12-26-14)—Electric Avenue

Friday Flower Fiesta

When one takes an average of 300 pictures each day, there will be pictures that look good on the camera’s little LCD screen but, when seen on the much larger computer monitor, they lack the subjective quality known as composition, have something ugly in them that I don’t want to take the time to fix, or have poor backgrounds, something that I also don’t usually like to fix….

Such is the case with today’s Friday Flower Fiesta.

So I made Photographic Art out of them.

I used Redfield’s Fractalius plug-in for Photoshop to create electric flowers. Thus, “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant for your listening pleasure while viewing….

I don’t like all of these, but Fractalius takes several minutes to do its thing on a 5184×3456-pixel image, so I’ll just let you decide.

Fractalius works well when there are good focal points and colors, not to well when there’s too much of one color or not a clear focal point.

I have included the original picture below the Photographic Art so you can see what Fractalius does. I even tell you at the bottom of the original picture what I didn’t like about it so you can see my thought process.

My favorites are #10, #1, #3, and #5.

1Agapanthus or lily of the nile

Agapanthus or lily of the nile

Didn’t like all the bright spots at the left.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

2Agapanthus or lily of the nile

Agapanthus or lily of the nile

Didn’t like the background; too out of focus
and the purple doesn’t go with the blue.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

3Anemones

Anemones

Background too glary.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

4Alstroemeria

Alstroemeria

Dying leaves at left.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

5Anthurium

Anthurium

Too many partial flowers.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

6Alyssum and begonia

Alyssum and begonia

Too many background patterns.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

7Alyssum

Alyssum

A mound of white flowers. Uninspiring.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

8Artichoke

Artichoke

Background too busy;
busy focal points should not have busy backgrounds.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

9Amaryllis

Amaryllis

Almost a perfect example of symmetry…. almost.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

10Azalea

Azalea

Again, busy focal point with busy background.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat