Category Archives: SNIPPETS

SNIPPETS (7-18-15)—Will we become maze runners?

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

Today is Jim’s birthday. Happy birthday, love!

Happy Birthday!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #2

We have rain, thunder, and lightning here in San Diego for Jim’s birthday.

I reminder readers of the following facts:

It’s July.
Middle of July.
In San Diego.
Southern California.
It rarely rains here, much less in July.
The last time it rained in July was 1992.
Wait.
I was still in College Station, Texas, then.
IT’S NEVER RAINED IN JULY IN SAN DIEGO!
This is completely unacceptable.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #3

Jim is off work this weekend so we are having a birthday weekend instead of just a birthday.

Yesterday evening we went to the San Diego Night Time Zoo. That’s when the Zoo stays open an extra four hours, until 9:00 p.m. Along with entertainment (music, magic….) throughout the Zoo (wonder how the animals like that….), it’s a great time to see some animals that only come out or become active at dusk. Such as the Fennec Fox (Vulpes zerda).

img_3862 fennic fox zoo stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

At a maximum weight of 3½ pounds, the Fennec Fox is the smallest canine in the world. It lives in the Sahara Desert of North Africa. Its coat, ears, and kidney functions have adapted to high-temperature, low-water, desert environments, and its hearing is sensitive enough to hear prey moving underground. It mainly eats insects, small mammals, and birds, and is itself eaten by the eagle owl.

Milky Eagle Owl

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

The Serval (Leptailurus serval), a small kitty cat but bigger than domestic kitty cats, also was active last night.

img_3914 serval zoo stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Serval is a slender cat with long legs and a fairly short tail with a maximum weight of 40 lbs. It also is native to Africa, south of the Sahara Desert.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #5

The Serval at the Zoo is a mommy. Two little ones born earlier this year. They were just as playful as all little kitties are. Jim and I stood there for thirty minutes watching the little ones play with each other and with their toys, although I think their favorite toy was a pine cone that had fallen from the tree.

img_3912 serval kitten zoo stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #6

atlas shruggedThis past week I watched three futuristic movies based on a book that Republicans seem enthralled with: “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. “Atlas Shrugged,” along with her previous book “The Fountainhead,” developed the philosophical system now known as Objectivism.

According to Wikipedia, “Objectivism’s central tenets are that reality exists independently of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic, that the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness (rational self-interest), that the only social system consistent with this morality is one that displays full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism, and that the role of art in human life is to transform humans’ metaphysical ideas by selective reproduction of reality into a physical form—a work of art—that one can comprehend and to which one can respond emotionally.”

Are you as tired from reading that as I am?

My wise old grandmotherOne of the things that my wise old grandmother (picture ►) taught me 40 years ago is that if you want to see how something will work in reality, take it to its extreme. That has always worked for me, and I think it works with Objectivism, Capitalism, and Socialism.

Objectivism seems to be where the Republicans want to take us, privatizing schools, roads, libraries, food (Monsanto comes to mind) and everything else in the world, which pretty much would be total and complete Objectivism with the rich controlling anything and everything.

Unbridled Capitalism comes very close to Objectivism, in my opinion, but I don’t know of any country anywhere, past or present, that subscribes to unbridled Capitalism. Rather, in capitalist economies, the parties to a transaction typically determine the prices at which they exchange assets, products, and services. Note the word “typically” there. Governments often get involved in capitalism to prevent things like gouging during natural disasters whereby prices for food and water are not allowed to increase exorbitantly due to demand caused by the situation.

Lack of any government at all would, I think, result in Anarchism, no better than Objectivism or Capitalism.

atlas shrugged filmYes, life is not fair, but do we really have to capitalize (pun intended) on that unfairness? Surely intelligent humans can find a happy middle ground that would allow the rich to stay rich, the middle class to have the opportunity to become rich, and government to be able to provide for all of its citizens in terms of transportation and education but also including the unemployed, the sick, the homeless, and the hungry.

I can highly recommend the three movies, “Atlas Shrugged,” “Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike,” and “Atlas Shrugged III: Who Is John Galt?”.

SNIPPET #7

maze runnerOnce you finish those three moves, go a little further to the extreme and watch “The Maze Runner.” All four movies also provide a view into society and what the future might hold as the climate changes, manmade or not.

However, if you’re still confused about the role of mankind in climate change, think about this:

The Holocene interglacial period, which is what we are in now, began about 11,000 years ago. The population of Earth at that time was about a million people. Now fast forward to July 18, 2015, where the population is 7½ billion people. Climate change happens. We know that. With all we are doing in terms of manufacturing and such, and the results of 7½ billion people using the products of that manufacturing, can we really say that we are not having some effect on the climate of the Earth, perhaps causing climate change to get here sooner rather than later? Can we do something, or will be become maze runners?

SNIPPET #8

San Diego gay pride paradeThis is Gay Pride weekend here in San Diego. Started with the Stonewall Rally yesterday evening, continues with a huge 3-hour long parade today followed by a Festival, and continuing with the Festival tomorrow. Parties are everywhere, including Gay Pride parties at the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld.

Jim and I are going to the San Diego Botanic Garden today and to the Gay Pride Festival tomorrow.

Rainbow balloons at San Diego Gay Pride

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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SNIPPETS (4-1-15)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

An open letter to WordPress.

Dear WordPress:

Your new editor is really bad. Very bad. It is as slow as molasses. In fact, sometimes it’s so slow that I have to check my calendar to make sure it’s 2015 and not 1985. There are times when I’m typing something from a book only to look up at the screen and find that it is several sentences behind me. I haven’t been able to type faster than a computer since, well, 1985. The longer my post gets, the slower the editor gets. Is this your attempt to force us to keep our posts short so we don’t use too much of your server space?

And what just happened is really irritating. I’m at the bottom of the editing screen and what I’m typing here is not visible. It’s below the screen. There is always one line at the bottom of the screen that is not visible until one goes to the next line. What’s with that?

The new stats page is even worse than bad. First, it doesn’t give me cumulative totals for views and comments, making me add them up manually. That’s not a huge problem because I simply put past yearly totals in my Excel spreadsheet and then just update 2015. The real problem here, though, is that when I do that, the cumulative totals using the new stats page numbers don’t match the cumulative total shown in the old stats page. Both are substantially lower. Obviously I want the correct total, but how do I know which total is the correct one?

Next: I don’t get a complete list of tags and categories. The list of tags only goes through C, and the list of categories only goes through H.

Lastly, it doesn’t matter where I try to “add media,” 90% of the time it automatically gets inserted at the top of the editing screen, which means I have to cut and paste it where I want it. The editor should add media wherever my cursor is in the document….

Come on, WordPress. You can do better than this….

SNIPPET #2

Here a baby, there a baby, everywhere a baby at the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park. Here is the week-old hippopotamus with his mommy, the first time I have ever seen mommy out of the pool and on land.

Momma and baby hippopotamus

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #3

Zoey the Cool Cat thinks I have been neglecting her here in my blog. So following are three gratuitous pictures of the little princess taken last month. She’s obviously very much abused….

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Zoey the Cool Cat has this interesting obsession about where she lays herself down. When she finds a spot that is acceptable, she continues to use that spot for about five days. Then she’ll find a new spot. She has about twenty acceptable spots after 7½ years living here, and she simply rotates between them. Right now her spot is my desk chair. Doesn’t matter where she is, if I get up, she’s in the chair within a minute.

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

Speaking of Zoey the Cool Cat, one of my greatest problems in life is saying “Thank you” and “You’re welcome.” I guess it’s because I have always though that if you say them too much, they lose their meaning. In fact, I used to have a friend who said “Thank you” after almost every sentence I spoke. It really did get irritating, and when I left Texas, I didn’t bring his friendship with me. I have made no effort to reconnect with him on Facebook either.

One of my recent posts got a lot of “thank you” comments. I felt kind of silly responding to each comment with a simple “You’re welcome.” I asked Zoey the Cool Cat what to do and she had this brilliant idea of becoming my official “Thank you” and “You’re welcome” spokescat. Here’s an example:

You're welcome

Whenever a comment needs a simple “Thank you” or “You’re welcome,” look for Zoey the Cool Cat to make an appearance.

SNIPPET #5

Previously whenever I did a SNIPPETS post, I would have ten SNIPPETS. For today, I’m going to end at five. This editor is just too slow. My last sentence in SNIPPET 4 took over a minute for the editor to type. I can’t do this.

If WordPress can’t correct these problems soon, I’ll be looking for another blogging platform….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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SNIPPETS (12-11-14)—I rest my case

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

I see that people are starting to say things like, “One of my New Year’s resolutions will be…..”

I have never made New Year’s resolutions. I always thought that making New Year’s resolutions was simply a way to procrastinate. If you need to do something, start today! If you need to quit doing something, start today! The best time is always NOW!

SNIPPET #2

Many decades, when I was but 12 (I’m 59.75 now), I had a fight with a good friend. My wise old grandmother told me to write him a letter and tell him exactly how I felt. I did. Then she said, “Now put it in the bottom drawer of your dresser under your socks and leave it there for 24 hours.” Well, drat. I was all excited, ready to put it in an envelope, mail it to him, and never see him again. By the end of 24 hours, I had already forgotten about the letter. My wise old grandmother had not. She made me get it out and read it. After I finished, she asked, “Do you still want to send it?” “No,” I answered. “Do you want to rewrite it?” “No.” “What do you want to do with it?” “Throw it away.” And I did.

I still have the occasional need to write a letter to someone, but I always put it in the bottom drawer of my dresser under my socks. (Yes, I still keep my socks in the bottom drawer!) I leave it there for 24 hours and then re-read it to see if I really want to send it, to really say those things to someone that I usually like, care about, or even love. In 47 years, I have only sent one letter.

That applies to proofreading, too. If you’re working on something significant—a poem, a book, a term paper, a public announcement, a speech, a video—once you’ve finished, put it in a deep, dark place and leave it for 24 hours. Resist the urge to think about it, get it out, and make changes. If you have those urges, simply make notes to look at 24 hours from now.

If only I could get this secret to everyone in the Republican party because they publish so many falsehoods. Hmmmm. Maybe they want to….

SNIPPET #3

I read a lot. I always have a book or magazine (both made out of real paper!) with me so that if I have to wait, I can pull something out and read a little. Makes waiting at the doctor’s office so much easier as the second hour of waiting rolls around….

chimeraWith books, I usually read for 30 minutes or 30 pages, whichever comes first. With Stephen King books, it’s usually 30 minutes.

Recently I finished reading an August 2013 uncorrected proof of Chimera, by David Wellington, published in April 2014. Since Jim has worked at bookstores (Borders, Barnes & Nobel, B. Dalton, Waldenbooks, Brentano) for 45 years, he has lots of uncorrected proofs. They are fun to read because they have typos and other inconsistences that always get corrected before the final book is published.

Chimera made it onto my “too-good-to-put-down” list. I usually read until I could read no more. It’s a science fiction thriller action book but the science fiction is something that’s probably not too far off. Might even be possible in a secret research laboratory somewhere.

In science, a chimera is a single animal organism with genetically distinct cells from two different zygotes. In this book, the chimera are humans with a few genetic modifications. Quite interesting, and a very good read for those who like a science fiction thriller or are fans of David Wellington.

SNIPPET #4

Just before reading Chimera, I read The Crusades, by Zoe Oldenbourg. It was easy to put that book down because the period of the crusades was really an ugly time in world history, not to mention religious history. ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other religious terrorist organizations are just the modern version of the crusades.

SNIPPET #5

The Rackateer by John GrishamSo what am I reading now? I’m glad you asked.

John Grisham has always been high on my favorite author list—The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Rainmaker, The Last Juror….

My current read is The Rackateer, published in 2012. I have read 254 pages but I’ve only been reading since Monday. In other words, it has made it onto my “too-good-to-put-down” list.

SNIPPET #6

I love scouring the Internet for stories about criminals in action, especially if the criminals seem a little incompetent. Here’s my favorite from this past week:

In February 2014, Carlos Ruiz broken into a home in New Jersey and stole many items, including a sound system. He had gotten away originally, but a half hour later he was arrested after returning to the scene of the crime to retrieve the remote control.

I remember someone saying that the criminal always returns to the scene of the crime.

SNIPPET #7

Another example of the criminal returning to the scene of the crime:

Christopher Miller, also of New Jersey (what is it with New Jersey?) was arrested after robbing a Stride Rite shoe store. He had just finished serving 15 years in state prison for robbing, uh, the same Stride Rite store 15 years ago.

SNIPPET #8

Lastly, in the incompetent criminal category:

Colten Green was arrested in Illinois (It wasn’t New Jersey!) for robbing a Circle K gas station. According to police, it was easy to point the finger at Green because he was on probation for robbery and was wearing an ankle monitor.

SNIPPET #9

If you think doing your taxes is are complicated, it might have something to do with the state you live in. Vertex, a tax software company, reports that tax-heavy states like Massachusetts (“Taxachusetts”) often have the simplest tax systems. States like Utah, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Texas have the most complicated.

SNIPPET #10

Many decades ago I went to see George Carlin (1937-2008) live in Houston. Almost every day I see a Carlin meme on Facebook, and they always are worth the read. Here’s the funniest one I found this past week:

George Carlin

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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SNIPPETS (11-18-14)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

I have had WordAds for 3½ months, and I’m averaging about $25 a month. However, in order to get paid, you have to have a minimum of $100, so I’ll get paid about $110.00 next month.

SNIPPET #2

The Internet, especially Facebook, has brought the world’s population closer together. Whether or not that is good is a question that I’ll leave to historians who probably have not been born yet.

When my paternal grandparents adopted me in 1965, we lived in Kingsville, Texas. However, my granddad worked for Missouri Pacific Railroad…. in Taylor, Texas.

Kingsville to Taylor

One of my friends on Facebook has a birthday today. I don’t remember how we became Facebook friends, but we have three things in common: He is in real estate, he graduated from Texas A&M University, and he was born in Taylor, Texas.

Real estate doesn’t surprise me, and neither does meeting someone else from Texas A&M University since it has 55,000 students and about a million alumni. However, after moving from Texas in 1993, I never thought I’d meet someone from Taylor.

SNIPPET #3

Back in 1982, I was running for a volunteer position as Section 42 Chairman of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. It was a one-year position and I already had been Chairman for the previous year, so it was a re-election.

There were 16 college chapters in Section 42, and every chapter, bar none, told me that I was the best Chairman they had ever seen. I had been to their chapter meetings, their service projects, talked on the phone weekly with chapter officers, and had the coolest newsletter (this was in the days when personal computers were just hitting the market, and I had one!).

I lost.

Why? Because with all the positive comments, I thought I was a shoe-in. I forgot to ask people to vote for me. Several people told me after the election that they didn’t vote for me because I didn’t ask them to vote for me.

I learned.

Although I have never run for another position, I have learned to ask people for things that I need or want.

SNIPPET #4

Zoey the Cool Cat has taken to climbing under the bed covers with me, but only when I take a mid-morning nap. No other time. However, my mid-morning naps are usually 30-60 minutes long, and she is quite happy to stay under the covers after I get up, for as long as six hours! As she rolls around and repositions herself during that time, this is what I sometimes see:

Zoey the Cool Cat

When I look under the covers, I see an upside-down cat stretched out as until it can stretch no more. I’ve tried to get a picture, but as soon as I uncover her, she’s up and outta there.

SNIPPET #5

I try to post a daily inspirational quote on Facebook, so if you’re not yet following me on Facebook, click here.

Here are a couple of my favorites from the past week:

Curiosity

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) was an American poet and short story writer.

Butterfly forgets

SNIPPET #6

I have been making daily use of IBOexchange (see my post here). Does it work? I can say unequivocally that it does. I have two places where IBOexchange members can visit, here and my Facebook business page.

On my Facebook business page, it seems that once you get to about 500 likes, Facebook basically shuts you down unless you pay them to promote your business page. Well, most of those business pages and small businesses probably like me, not yet able (or willing) to pay $25 per day to have Facebook promote me. So IBOexchange it is.

I was stuck at 582 likes and averaging one new like per week. Since I have been making use of IBO exchange, 13 days now, I’m up to 762 likes. Take that, Facebook!

SNIPPET #7

So why do we care how many likes we have on our Facebook business pages? Several reasons.

More likes gives the impression of longevity, and longevity in business usually is good. With longevity comes experience, satisfied customers, etc. After all, would you rather have brain surgery from the 24-year-old doctor who graduated yesterday or the 60-year-old doctor who has done 500 brain surgeries?

Over here at my WordPress blog, more visits mean more ad impressions with WordAds, which means more money into my bank account. My creditors like money in my bank account so that they can take it out!

SNIPPET #8

In 1980 when my best friend graduated from Texas A&M University, I was pretty irreligious. He, on the other hand, was active in the First Presbyterian Church of Houston, supervising child care one day a week, working with the elderly, singing in the Chancel Choir.

When I asked him what he got out of church, he didn’t proselytize, which is what I was expecting. Instead, he simply said that church was like a big family, giving him the opportunity to work with people who could be his great grandparents to people who could be his children.

I saw his point and joined First Presbyterian.

SNIPPET #9

I have not been a member of any church since I came to San Diego in April 1993. I spent my first 11 months in San Diego studying the world’s great, and not so great, religions while relaxing on the beaches. I was able to determine that none of them had much to offer a person who had decided to live his live as an openly gay man.

My opinion has not changed in the ensuing 31 years, mainly because of people like Eric Cantor, Ted Cruz, John Boehner, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, and other so-called religious people. If they are people of God, I want nothing to do with that God.

On the other hand, if I sat down for a meal with Pope Francis, he might be able to convince me to return to the Catholic Church, into which I was born in 1955.

SNIPPET #10

A couple of months ago I started collecting memes that showed up on Facebook and which I liked.

Most of them are either political or religious, and they say in much more precise words what I think.

This morning I was cataloging them.

Here are two of my favorites, both religious:

The Dark Ages

Religious freedom

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPETS (8-16-14, #2)—WordAds revenue, and more

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

The earnings report from my WordAds came in. I got approved for WordAds on July 15, so the revenue is for 16½ days.

Drum roll please….

$16.62.

Yep. A measly $16.62. Wait! Measly? NOT measly! I did nothing other than allow their ads to show up on my blog. $16.62 is 97.76¢ per day! That $16.62 for 17 days in July equates to about $30 per month. Julian and I think we can get to $50 per month by the end of the year, if not sooner. And ever since I got WordAds approved, I have been endeavoring to do everything possible to increase readership and views to get us there. I have even……….

SNIPPET #2

………..caught up on my backlog of blog visits. Remember when I was using Internet Explorer 9 from January 2 to March 27 and got so far behind in reading, liking, and commenting on blogs because the LIKE buttons and the comment boxes wouldn’t load? I got nine months behind. I pleased to say that as of today, I’m exactly 30 days behind.Goats at the 2013 San Diego County Fair

I find 30 days to be just about right because not everyone publishes a blog post each day like I do (sometimes two, like today!). The one thing that really gets my goat in the blogging world is when I go to visit someone’s blog only to find that they have published absolutely nothing since the last time I visited.

SNIPPET #3

My wise old grandmotherMy wise old grandmother was a master gardener before there was such a thing. Everything I learned about gardening, I learned from her. So my memories of her are strong when I visit gardening sites and blogs.

Recently I visited a blog that was telling the reader to provide nesting materials to get birds to build nests in your yard. Twigs make great nesting materials, and the article said that the twigs and sticks should be under four inches long.

Hmmmm.

Nest-building osprey

SNIPPET #4

Photographic Art of a rhinoceros at the San Diego Zoo:

Rhinoceros

Created by Julian. Gotta give credit where credit is due.

SNIPPET #5

Would y’all like a blog post by Julian?

If there is strong enough demand, I’ll force him to comply with that demand as part of his ongoing partnership agreement with Photographic Art, but I won’t put any restrictions on what he can blog about. That might prove interesting……….LOL

Let me him know with a comment.

SNIPPET #6

Suicide is in the mainstream news again due to Robin Williams.

About a year ago, Junior Seau, also known as Mr. San Diego, committed suicide.

For readers who might not know, my dad committed suicide when I was six years old, although I didn’t find out about it until much later. Much, much later.

I also have been depressed and suicidal at times in my life, so I get quite disgusted by people with such a cavalier attitude about suicide and the effect on the people it leaves behind. So disgusted that I unfriend, unfollow, and unlike them.

SNIPPET #7

Tony GwynnWith the recent death of Tony Gwynn (see stamp at right) in June at the age of 54 from cancer, and the fact that the San Diego Padres, for whom he played his entire professional baseball career, won’t be going anywhere in the playoffs, people are reminiscing about the best years of the San Diego Padres. Those years are few and far between, with the Padres playing in, and losing, the World Series in 1984 and 1998. Tony Gwynn was with the team both times.

There have been some highlights beyond the team itself, though, such as when Tony Gwynn got hit #3,000 (see stamp above).

Here are two other players who provided lots of highlights for the Padres:

Steve Garvey
Home Run in the 1984 NLCS,
winning the game and sending the Padres to the World SeriesIMG_6979 steve garvey faa stamp

Trevor Hoffman
Save #500Trevor Hoffman

SNIPPET #8

When Jim and I went to watch the Big Bay Boom! fireworks downtown for the fourth of July, the San Diego Country Administration Building had been made into a Tony Gwynn memorial:

Tony Gwynn memorial on the San Diego County Administration Building

SNIPPET #9

A mural, titled “Escalera After Bechi,” in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego:

Escalera After Bechi

SNIPPET #10

Hope you enjoyed the extra blog post today!

Hope you enjoyed the extra blog post and SNIPPETS today

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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SNIPPETS (8-16-14)—Dear WordPress….

 

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

Dear WordPress:

The new editor really [censored], and I say that in all sincerity. The old editor took all of one second to load. Now, depending on the length of the post being edited, the new editor can take as long as 47 seconds to load. Possibly longer, but I only had patience (and 37 minutes!) to test it out on one short post (took 13 seconds to load) and nine longer posts.

So, yes, I was missing the old editor and switched to classic editor. The problem, though, is that one cannot get to the classic editor without first waiting for Beep Beep Boop to load. By that time, one has lost precious seconds and minutes of life that will never be regained………..

Surely y’all can do better.

SNIPPET #2

I’m a pretty easygoing guy, born and raised in the South of South Texas. Lived in that culture for 38 years excepting for 4 years in an even more conservative religious cult(ure) in northern Utah.

LiberalI have lived in San Diego for 21½ years, and while San Diego is a rather conservative area of California, it’s probably twice as liberal as Austin, Texas, the most liberal city in Texas.

So as an adult with logic, reasoning, and thinking skills fully developed, I’ve seen both sides of the conservative/liberal coin. I prefer the liberal side because liberals tend to be more progressive, and my wise old grandmother taught me to care for everyone, something that conservatives don’t like to do.

Thus I wear my liberal/progressive badge with pride.

SNIPPET #3

When I came home from my first day of high school and told my wise old grandmother that I was joining the debate team, she said, “Just remember that when people start calling you names, you’ve won the debate.”

She was right.

Recently on Facebook I got into a discussion about the worst president in the history of the United States. In my mind right now, and I’m willing to bet that history will bear me out, President George W. Bush ranks as the worst. I think President Bush and Vice-President Cheney are war criminals. They invaded two foreign countries with no cause or a false cause; spent $4 trillion on that war, of which Cheney’s companies benefitted to the tune of more than $39 billion in profits; a war which caused thousands of deaths, both American and others, and affected the lives of hundreds of thousands or more in the families of those loved ones who were killed or injured.

Two debating opponents thought Obama was the worst ever. However, they couldn’t come up with any facts to support them. All they could do is say things like, “Obama’s an idiot, just like you.” Or “Obama’s the worst President and you’re the worst home inspector.” And similar things.

Now remember from SNIPPET #2 that I’m a pretty easygoing fellow. Thus, I give people and companies three strikes before calling them, OUT! These two guys got three strikes in three minutes, so I unfriended them and blocked them from posting on my Timeline.

Debate’s okay. Name-calling and bullying is not, and some adults can be every bit as bad as children. I can only imagine what their children are like………..

SNIPPET #4

Now back to something more positive since my wise old grandmother taught me to be positive, to surround myself with positive people, and to get rid of negative thoughts and negative people.

My wise old grandmother also taught me to add laughter to each and every day, and for 49 years I’ve tried to do that. Here’s some laughter for today, at the expense of our little furry feline friends who just want to help.

SNIPPET #5

Julian made Photographic Art—and a stamp!—based on a picture of a capybara:

Capybara

I really like what he created. A capybara, for those who don’t know, is the world’s largest rodent.

Rodent, for those who don’t know, also includes cute little creatures like rats and mice.

So I know you’re thinking to yourself, “That looks kind of big. Just how large is the world’s largest rodent?”

And I’m just the one to answer your question!

A capybara can grow to—are you ready for this?—4.4 feet long, 2 feet tall, and a record 201 pounds. Hmmm. 201 pounds. It can weigh more than me!

SNIPPET #6

Guess what the following is?

Wall of books

If you guessed, “Some sort of path,” well, I’m going to give that to you. Congratulations!

More interestingly, though, it’s a path in the new auditorium of the new San Diego Central Library, and the left side is a wall of books. Looks like this in close-up:

Wall of books

Every time I go there I look at several books to see if I recognize any of the titles or authors. So far, no luck. I’m thinking these probably are not the classics….

SNIPPET #7

Another Photographic Art creation by Julian:

Giraffe Photographic Art

He has a good eye for picking out good pictures to use to create Photographic Art, a good eye for actually creating Photographic Art, and a superb memory. I only have to tell or show him something once and he’s all over it. Wish I had a memory like that. My memory comprises a few billion Excel spreadsheets, Google, and Wikipedia….

SNIPPET #8

How to tell the world that you’re a patriot:

Patriot

SNIPPET #9

Speaking of boats, my wise old grandmother taught me to try to repurpose something instead of throwing it away. As she might have said 50 years ago: “Don’t throw anything away! There is no away!” This is my repurpose picture from recently:

Full boat

SNIPPET #10

Lastly, we’ll stick with a water/boat theme.

Sometimes the dog house is okay.

If I had a dog house like this:

The Dog House

….I might voluntarily banish myself there for weeks at a time….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift?photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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SNIPPETS (7-29-2014)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

I recently read a report somewhere, probably on a blog, that not only is the younger generation supportive of gay marriage, but generally they don’t mind paying higher taxes for things like police protection, fire protection, emergency medical transportation, roads, bridges, teachers, schools, and libraries. Pretty much the things that make a civilized society civil.

Such was proven in 2010 when students at San Diego State University were asked whether or not they supported an extra fee—a tax, basically—that would go to tear down the Student Center, built in 1962 for a campus of 10,000 students, and build a new one for a campus of 40,000 students. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the fee.

Does that show that they were in favor of the tax, or that the old Student Center was grossly inadequate?

Here is Photographic Art based on a picture of the old Aztec Center which served from 1962 to 2011.

San Diego State University Aztec Center 1968-2011

SNIPPET #2

And just for comparison, here’s the new Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Center (click on the picture for a monster image).

The new Aztec Center on the campus of San Diego State University

Conrad Prebys is one of those good billionaires (and there are way too few of the good ones) who gives a lot of money to charitable purposes. In this case, $20 million to provide scholarships to Aztec students.

SNIPPET #3

When I was growing up in Kingsville, Texas, under the watchful eye and whip of my wise old grandmother, a second cousin came by to show us his brand new 1965 Ford Mustang. I loved that car, and I have been enamored of Mustangs ever since. I finally bought a 1989 Saleen Mustang in 1991 and drove it until 1998. Its top end speed apparently was 153 mph because I reached that speed twice, once on the I-8 straightaway between Pensacola and Fort Walton, Florida, and once on the boring stretch of I-10 from Fort Stockton to Van Horn, Texas. Don’t tell anyone, though.

Recently I saw a 40th Anniversary (2004) edition of the Mustang. Here is Photographic Art based on a picture of the 40th Anniversary logo from the side of the car:

Mustang 40th Anniversary logo

SNIPPET #4

Balloons are very popular with children, so when I go to a parade and see balloons, I’m pretty sure that’s where all the rugrats are going to be, making it difficult to get a good picture.

Following is Photographic Art based on a picture of balloons at a recent Gay Pride parade in San Diego. The children were cropped out.

Rainbow balloons at San Diego Gay Pride

SNIPPET #5

Pelicans are my favorite bird that I’ve actually seen out in their native habitat. The awesome Julian says that Russel Ray Photos has to have the largest collection of pelicans in the world (or something like that). Here are three of my recent Photographic Art based on pictures of brown pelicans in La Jolla, a beachside neighborhood of San Diego:

Brown pelican coming in for a landing

Brown pelicans in flight

Brown pelicans in La Jolla, California

Remember in a recent post that I said I cannot be trusted? Well, the second picture is actually Photographic Art based on two separate pictures of brown pelicans in flight. I lifted the pelican from one picture and placed in with the pelican in the other picture. Twins are much better than loner birds!

SNIPPET #6

The original designers of downtown San Diego at the harbor saw fit to install lots of ugly parking lots and ugly buildings. Fortunately, the City is coming to its senses and realizing that since downtown is located directly on the bayfront, it might be a good idea to make everything look snazzy.

The following is Photographic Art one of the new water parks in downtown San Diego, this one on the south side of the San Diego County Administration Building (where Jim and I got married on October 30, 2008).

San Diego Water Park

All of the trees and water you see in that picture used to be a huge, ugly parking lot for the Administration Building. So, you might ask, where do they park cars now?

A-ha! (not the group). The two water parks are on top of an underground parking garage:

Underground parking

The former surface parking lots were so ugly that I don’t even have a picture of them. Must be the only thing in San Diego that I don’t have a picture of!……….. :)

SNIPPET #7

When cruise ships used to arrive in San Diego, there was no real place for them to dock. I think sometimes they just parked in the bay and pushed people overboard. A few years ago we got a new cruise ship terminal, and it is beautiful.

San Diego's cruise ship terminal

SNIPPET #8

Of course, cruise ships always make nice Photographic Art. The Sapphire Princess is my favorite so far because it looks like they stole the engines from the Starship Enterprise and put them on top of the Princess.

Sapphire Princess cruise ship in San Diego, California

SNIPPET #9

A mommy red river hog and her six little ones:

Mommy red river hog and her six little ones

SNIPPET #10

Smile if you can read this:

No cheating

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift?photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray