Category Archives: Picture of the Moment

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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Reach out and I’ll be there

Picture of the Moment

It’s no secret that cats like sunshine and Zoey the Cool Cat is no exception.

In our old home there wasn’t much sunshine because of the overhang of the roof eaves and the mature eucalyptus and pine trees, both very tall.

In our new home, there is sunshine galore, and Zoey the Cool Cat knows where all the best sun spots are, as well as what time of the day the sun hits those spots.

Her favorite spot by far, though, is at the sliding glass door to the balcony. The sun hits that spot beginning at about noon and, since it faces west, is there until the sun goes down. So she gets about 8½ hours of sunshine on the balcony and on her cushion by the door.

And it’s that cushion where she can find some very interesting ways to sleep, as shown in the following three pictures. I titled the first one, “Reach Out and I’ll be there.”

img_2313 zoey the cool cat sleep stamp

img_2314 zoey the cool cat sleep stamp

img_2310 zoey the cool cat sleep stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

You don’t think she’s spoiled, do you? I would hate to have to put up with a spoiled cat.

Before the sun comes up and after the sun goes down she can be found on one of the two beds. I call the following picture “Reflection.”

img_2181 zoey the cool cat stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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I’m not back full time, but she is

Picture of the Moment

We met our deadline of being out of the old home by midnight on June 4.

Unfortunately I made myself quite sick.

There was 8 years of dander, dust mites, and such in that place.

I have vowed never again to have carpeting unless I have enough money (or am willing to spend the money) to have someone else come in weekly and clean the stuff. Nasty, nasty, nasty. Give me tile or wood so I can just sweep.

Along with organizing the new home, coughing and hacking, and sleeping, I’m not back full-time at the computer.

Zoey the Cool Cat, on the other hand, is back full time at doing what she does best:

img_2127 zoey the cool cat sunshine stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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….fires….sinkings….things like that

Picture of the Moment

I have always wanted to go on a cruise, until recently when so many problems have been happening on cruise ships…. losing power out in the ocean and having to be towed to San Diego by the Coast Guard…. weird sicknesses affecting hundreds of passengers…. fires…. sinkings…. things like that.

The cruise ship industry in San Diego certainly seems to have picked up this year. There are times when I have seen two cruise ships in port at the same time! That’s rare.

One ship, the Star Princess, was in port recently. When I see a ship in port, I always stop to take pictures, note the name, and then go home to find out more about the ship via Wikipedia and Google. Here is the picture, a panorama created in Photoshop from four pictures:

img_1269-1273 star princess cruise ship stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Star Princess was built in 2002. It is a little over 950 feet long

On March 23, 2006, a fire broke out in the passenger compartments. The fire was probably caused by a cigarette left burning….

….cigarette left burning and unattended…
How often has that been a source of fires throughout history?

….on a balcony, which had become hot enough to melt the balcony divides made from plastic polycarbonate, a material that had been approved by international cruise line safety rules. The fire caused scorching damage in about 150 cabins and smoke damage in another 100 more. One passenger, Richard Liffidge, 72, of Georgia, died from “asphyxia secondary to inhalation of smoke and irrespirable gases.” Thirteen other passengers suffered significant smoke inhalation.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
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Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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