Category Archives: Picture of the Moment

La Jolla panorama at low tide

Picture of the Moment

When you come to the San Diego area, check out the low tide tables and then make sure that you visit La Jolla.

The place is beautiful anytime but even more so at low tide.

Here’s an example, which you can click on to get a monster version:

img_0244-0251 panorama la jolla low tide small

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

la jolla map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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I know where you’ve been and what you like!

Picture of the Moment

Many decades ago, the summer after high school, two friends—Larry and Jaime—and I took a 3-month tour of the land west of the Mississippi River.

We stopped at the Royal Gorge in Colorado, parked in the lot, and toured the Royal Gorge.

When we got back to the car, there was a Royal Gorge bumper sticker on Larry’s brand new 1973 Buick Apollo. Larry was furious. Since the bumper sticker was new, Larry was successful at removing it.

We stopped by the Royal Gorge headquarters on the way out and Larry gave them a piece of his mind about putting bumper stickers on cars without asking permission.

I have never had bumper stickers on my cars, and the only window stickers I have allowed are Texas A&M University stickers and parking permit stickers.

There are people who have so many stickers on their cars that I’m pretty sure the stickers are what’s holding the car together. It’s kind of fun to read them, though, because you know exactly where they live, where they have traveled, their political preferences, and sometimes much more. Here’s one that I saw recently in Ocean Beach:

img_0108 car ocean beach stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

They obviously like Hodad’s, a cool burger joint that I like, too.

Ocean Beach is one of those neighborhoods where the bumper sticker mentality sometimes creeps into the yards, such as this house:

img_0082 ocean beach signs stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I can tell that they like to hang out in Ocean Beach on Sunset Cliffs (beautiful homes with an ocean view), Dog Beach (I’m betting they have a dog), and Newport Avenue (main drag).

They also like to eat at Hodad’s, Pizza Port, and Lucy’s Tavern, all in Ocean Beach.

Considering all the chairs in their front yard, and the little sign that says “Come on in. Leave tracks.” they might never have a need to leave Ocean Beach!

And that very much is the prevailing attitude of Ocean Beach residents—If they never had to leave their little piece of paradise, they wouldn’t.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Ocean Beach

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Sadly, she sits on dry land

Picture of the Moment

Imagine living in an area that has been a navy stronghold for a century.

Imagine living in an area that has one of the world’s largest maritime museums.

Imagine living in an area where big boats are built, big boats like cruise ships, battleships, aircraft carriers.

Imagine living in an area where the first ship visited the current west coast of the United States back in 1542.

You’re in San Diego!

Now imagine that maritime museum (Maritime Museum of San Diego) building a full-size replica of that first ship, the San Salvador. Looks like this:

San Salvador

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Now imagine a sixteenth century ship being built in the 21st century with 21st century technology that is unable to move the ship from drydock to the water.

You’re still in San Diego!

The San Salvador was supposed to be launched on April 19, 2015. Just a couple of days earlier one of the engineers determined that the ship was about 20 tons heavier than predicted.

Sadly, the San Salvador still it sits on dry land at the build site.

Activity dedicated to getting it into the water increased significantly the past two days. San Diego can build aircraft carriers but doesn’t have any cranes that can handle this weight. The closest crane is in Los Angeles, and apparently the folks up there want too much money to come help.

Sadly, the San Salvador continues to sit on dry land.

Tugboat bargeThis morning’s activity, which began at 5:00 a.m., was dedicated to getting the San Salvador onto a tugboat barge (picture ►), off to Chula Vista for leak testing, and then into the water within the next few days.

Sadly, the San Salvador continues to sit on dry land.

The deck of the tugboat barge sits higher than drydock, so there must be a low tide of a certain height in order to get the San Salvador onto the barge. Today at 7:00 a.m. was one of those low tides, with a window up to about 10:00 a.m.

I arrived at 4:30 this morning. At 10:19 a.m. with two words, “Not today,” they informed the crowd that the San Salvador wasn’t moving today. That was it.

Sadly, the San Salvador still sits in drydock….

The next appropriate low tide is two weeks away, sadly.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Mardi Gras, New Orleans, 1995

Picture of the Moment

Moving is like archaeology. You’ll discover things that you never knew you had or that had been lost for years, maybe even decades.

Which reminds me of a home inspection I did many years ago for an 87-year old woman whose children were forcing her to downsize from the large home that her husband had built. After coming out of the attic I commented to her that there still was one piece of luggage in the attic. She exclaimed, “No! Everything was supposed to be brought down. Can you bring it down?”

I did.

She started crying.

The luggage had all sorts of memorabilia and family heirlooms in it that she thought had been lost over 50 years ago when they moved into their new home.

Happiest person in the world at that moment, and her children were pretty happy, too.


Back in 2004 I started scanning photographs in my photo albums and saving them as digital files. Once I had something scanned, I threw the item away.

Then, I suffered the Great Hard Drive Crash of August 2005. Lost everything. All of those pictures—mom, dad, siblings, relatives, pets, places, events, things—all gone.

However, apparently I had not finished scanning everything because yesterday I discovered a stack of old photographs, including this one of New Orleans Mardi Gras in 1995:

1995 Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That was the first Mardi Gras that Jim and I went to together. We had been an item for just ten months at that time, so this is a nice picture for us to have.

Now, of course, all my digital files, especially my collections of music, photos, and Photographic Art are backed up multiple times.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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San Diego County Fair

Picture of the Moment

I left at 5:00 this morning to go up north (defined as anything north of Interstate 8) and meet with the Pacific Photographic Society to take a 2-hour tour of the Encina Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Wow!

The art of treating poop has certainly come a long way since I first toured such a facility in Kingsville, Texas, in 1967 when I was 12 years old.

Whenever I have to go north, I try to make good use of my time and the car (i.e., gasoline!) and visit other things on the way to and from.

And that I did!

It was a cloudy, gray, overcast morning, but that didn’t prevent me from train watching. San Diego County is one of the best places in the world to watch trains because we have a great selection of commuter trains: San Diego Trolley, Amtrak, Coaster, Sprinter, and Metrolink.

I stopped at the tracks going over the San Dieguito River and past the Del Mar Thoroughbred Racetrack where the San Diego County Fair currently is in full swing. Ranked by attendance, the San Diego County Fair is the sixth largest in the United States, and I have been to four of the top six.

Following is a panorama of the San Diego County Fair created from sixteen individual pictures. Click on the picture for a bigger version.

San Diego County Fair, Del Mar, California, June 24, 2015

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos


The Fair ends on Sunday, July 5, so there’s plenty of time to get out there, spend the day, and have some fun.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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This junk is for sale!

Picture of the Moment

When I moved to Houston in May 1977 after four years at Texas A&M University, a friend (I’ll call him Thad since his name was Thad) and I started a company called “Yesterday’s Treasures.”

Yesterday’s Treasures specialized in finding unique junk and antiques, fixing them up, and selling them, usually to specialized antique places in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Beaumont, Houston, Victoria, and Corpus Christi.

Thad was from Corpus Christi and had the “unique junk and antique” knowledge. I was the man with the money. We complemented each other very well.

This morning I went driving up Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 101), stopping here and there to take pictures, which resulted in 259 pictures and 2 videos during a 6-hour drive.

One of the places I visited was the Cedros Avenue Design District in Solana Beach. It’s only three blocks long but definitely one of my favorite areas.

Cedros Avenue Design District in Encinitas, California

Cedros Avenue Design District in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Thad and I didn’t have a store front, but if we did, this sign would have fit us perfectly:

img_2430 cedros design district encinitas junk for sale stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The business looks like this:

img_2340 vintage treasures cedros design district solana beach junk for sale stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I could not determine the actual name of the business, and the Cedros Avenue Design District web site is all messed up right now.

I do like the sign under the arbor that says “Vintage Treasure” and the little pink circle sign above the third window from the right that says “Fancy Junk.”

If you’re in the San Diego area and looking for unique items for your home, check out the Cedros Avenue Design District. For a previous post about the Cedros Avenue District, see “I learned something today….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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