Category Archives: Uncategorized

Music on Mondays (8-25-14)—Look at granny run (still got run over by the reindeer, though)

 

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

When my wise old grandmother died in 2003, her three living sons (my dad died in 1961) disinvited me to the funeral. Now stupid me didn’t realize that you could only go to funerals if an invitation to attend had been extended to you. Stupid, stupid me.

The funeral was to be in Kingsville, Texas, the farming and ranching community where she had lived since 1937. My three uncles, one from Kingsville, one from Houston, and one from Los Angeles (where he had lived since 1967) all thought that I would bring Jim and we would be dressed in drag and making out in the front pew of the Catholic Church. Seriously, that’s what they were afraid of….

My wise old grandmotherIt was more than that. Much more. You see, Jim and I had been to Kingsville many times (yearly from 1995 to 2003) to see Grandma. Jim knew all three uncles and had been out to eat with them many times. Jim had even been to the family reunion for my Grandma’s side of the family…. Twice! So it’s not like no one knew that Jim and I were an item.

Sadly, my Kingsville uncle (we will call him Rodney since that’s his name) warned me that he couldn’t guarantee that nothing would happen if Jim and I came to the funeral. Then in his next sentence he had the gall to ask me to be a pallbearer. That, of course, would mean going to the funeral without Jim, and since Rodney had more guns than the United States Army, I took him at his word and did not go the funeral. My disappointment was assuaged by a friend who told me, “Funerals are for the living, so don’t go if they don’t want you.”

Not only did I not go, but in September 2004, I legally changed my name to Russel Ray (from Russel Ray Kirk). Names are for the living, too! I wanted to change it to Bryan Lynn Austin but Jim (and others) convinced me to just drop my last name and take my middle name as my last name. So there you have it. To this day, I’m estranged from everyone on my dad’s Catholic side of the family except a gay cousin (and from everyone on my mom’s Mormon side of the family, too).

In honor of my wise old grandmother, and grandmothers everywhere, I thought that we’d listen to songs about grandmothers for today’s Music on Mondays. In order to do this, though, I have to break my rule that songs featured in Music on Mondays are songs that I have in my music collection. After listening to these songs, I understand why none of them are in my collection………..

“Look At Grandma” by Bo Diddley

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Hey, Grandma” by Moby Grape

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Grandma’s Hands” by Bill Withers

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Funky Granny” by Kool & The Gang

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Boomin’ Granny” by The Beastie Boys

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Let’s Go See Gran’ma” by Joy & Dave

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Look at Granny Run, Run” by Howard Tate

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” by Elmo & Patsy

I leave you with this thought that my wise old grandmother told me in 1966:

“Ten percent of the people will love you because that’s the kind of people they are. Ten percent of the people will hate you because that’s the kind of people they are. Eighty percent of the people will love or hate you based on your words and actions, so speak and act lovingly.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Need a unique gift? Choose Photographic Art!

Photographic Art logo

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

About these ads

SNIPPETS (8-14-14)—It’s so confusing

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

Julian convinced me NOT to publish two posts a day here at my Southern California blog. Instead, daily specials on Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America will be announced, more appropriately, at RusselRayPhotos.com. I know, it can get confusing, having a Russel Ray Photos blog at RusselRayPhotos2.com and a separate RusselRayPhotos.com web site. Notwithstanding the web site names, look at the title of the web sites and you’ll see

Russel Ray Photos (here)
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos (there)

For the best access to Daily Specials, though, follow us over at Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos, too.

SNIPPET #2

When I went to the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden a year ago, I got so many pictures that it’s taken Julian and me this long to catalog everything. There is an outdoor dining area called Peacock Plaza. No one was dining there but I did get a (poor) picture of a peacock at Peacock Plaza.

Peacock Plaza

There is so much wrong with that picture. You know me, though. I never throw anything away. Comes from my wise old grandmother constantly saying, “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.”

Note that the tile mosaic above the peacock has two peacocks in it. That mosaic is what I really wanted a picture of. I had another picture of the mosaic, and I tasked Julian with taking the two pictures and making a great piece of Photographic Art out of them. Here’s what he came up with:

Twin Peacocks

Julian keeps doing things that encourage me to keep him around….

SNIPPET #3

During the winter it will actually snow in the mountains of East San Diego County. Sadly, it only snowed there once this past winter. Global warming or something like that….

Here is another Photographic Art created by Julian of Lake Cuyamaca in the mountains covered with ice and snow:

Lake Cuyamaca

If you come to San Diego, try to make time in your schedule to go to the mountain community of Julian via Interstate 8 and State Highway 79. You will go right by Lake Cuyamaca, and it’s a great stopping point to relax and watch the wildlife—raptors, mountain lions, deer….

Remember to have an apple pie by the Julian Pie Company while you’re there. Best apple pie I have ever had. My favorite—ah who am I kidding? I like them all, but I do like the apple/peach crumb, apple/strawberry crumb, apple/raspberry crumb the best. That reminds me that I was going to make some peach cobbler last weekend…. Task for later today.

Google maps says Julian is about 71 miles from downtown San Diego, but the winding roads mean it will take you two hours to get there.

SNIPPET #4

I always feel so sad when I see fish out of water.

Fish Out Of Water

SNIPPET #5

My favorite tree in the world (not that I’ve seen every tree in the world, or even seen the world!) is the Century Oak at Texas A&M University. It’s now about 130 years old. I lost all of my pictures in the Great Hard Drive Crash of August 2005, but this tree at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park reminds me very much of it:

Beneath The Tree

SNIPPET #6

When you to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, take lots of money with you. They have some really interesting rides but they are expensive. They are worth it, but expensive nonetheless, such as the Balloon Ride:

San Diego zoo Safari Park Balloon Ride

The Balloon Ride takes you up about 400 feet into the wild blue yonder, and from there you can see everything for miles around. The best view, though, is directly below you where you can see lions, tigers, elephants, and giraffes, all looking like little ants from 400 feet up.

SNIPPET #7

Speaking of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the new Tiger Trail exhibit opened recently. Financed mostly by Conrad Prebys, one of two of San Diego County’s most generous benefactors (Irwin Jacobs is the other). Tiger Trail is fine, fine, fine, allowing you to get within inches of Malayan Tigers, only a big glass window separating you from them.

Malayan Tiger at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

If you come to San Diego, be sure to contact me. I often have free or discounted tickets to the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, and SeaWorld, and with enough notice, I can usually play docent for a day.

SNIPPET #8

A couple of different pictures from the Tiger Trail exhibit:

The Way Down Blooming Palm

Remember that the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park both are acclaimed botanical gardens, too, so stop to admire the vegetation while walking from exhibit to exhibit.

SNIPPET #9

This is the San Diego County Administration Center:

San Diego County Administration Center

It has the best view of the waterfront. It’s also where Jim and I got married on October 30, 2008.

SNIPPET #10

My wise old grandmother was a master at re-purposing things, although some of her re-purposing, such as her toilet and bathtub planters, never really appealed to my tastes……..LOL

At the San Diego County Fair back in June, I was pretty sure that my wise old grandmother had come back to life and was happily re-purposing tires for the garden exhibits:

Repurposed

As my wise old grandmother often said: “Don’t throw anything away! There is no away!”

SNIPPET #11

Remember to follow us at Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos for daily specials on our work at Fine Art America.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by
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

It’s the largest I’ve ever seen

Picture of the Moment

One interesting thing that I noticed while driving 476 miles throughout Southern California this past Thursday is that crosses are very popular in the desert, specifically crosses marketing spots where people died, probably from car accidents, although all of the crosses I stopped at did not have names or circumstances posted.

Excepting crosses on top of churches, here is the largest cross I have ever seen built as a memorial of some type along the roadside:

Wooden Cross

Julian made a beautiful piece of Photographic Art out of it, and prints (matted, canvas, metal, acrylic, or unframed) are available for purchase in my Religious gallery at Fine Art America.

Be sure to like us on Facebook!
https://www.facebook.com/russelrayphotos?ref=hl

Check out our galleries at Fine Art America, too!
http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-russel-ray.html?tab=artworkgalleries

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by
This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Friday Flower Fiesta (8-22-14)—Throwback

Friday Flower Fiesta

Julian Rey Saenz and I are extraordinarily busy, so I’m going to reach into the past, way into the past, for today’s Friday Flower Fiesta. In other words, you’re getting previously used flowers today!

#1
Friday Flower Fiesta 

#2
 Friday Flower Fiesta

#3
 Friday Flower Fiesta

#4
 Friday Flower Fiesta

#5
 Friday Flower Fiesta

#6
 Friday Flower Fiesta

#7
Friday Flower Fiesta 

#8
Friday Flower Fiesta 

#9
Friday Flower Fiesta 

#10
Friday Flower Fiesta

#11
Friday Flower Fiesta

#12
Friday Flower Fiesta (September 13, 2012)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

click here to like us on facebook

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Of biblical proportions

Picture of the Moment

My trip yesterday (476 miles!) through the wild unknowns of Southern California was interesting, to say the least.

It rained on me in the high desert…. big rain drops…. hard rain drops. I haven’t seen that kind of rain since the last afternoon thunderstorm I went through in Texas back on April 15, 1993.

As the road through the desert was gently undulating, just before we went down into troughs, signs warned us about flash floods. I understood.

Towards the end of the desert but still out of view of civilization, I came across this sign:

Flooded

As far as the eye could see, there was but sand and desert vegetation. I’m thinking the flood was of biblical proportions….

Be sure to like us on Facebook!
https://www.facebook.com/russelrayphotos

Check out our galleries at Fine Art America, too!
http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/1-russel-ray.html?tab=artworkgalleries

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat,
and I approve this post.
Now go like their Photographic Art Facebook page!
This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

I need a favor

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I need a favor.

On a Thursday last July, I went to the La Mesa ’50s Classic Car Cruise and met a woman and her son, Kassandra and Julian, who were playing chess. I stopped to watch and wound up playing a game of chess against Kassandra instead of walking around gazing at classic cars. She beat me. Ack! How could I lose a chess game to a woman? Ack!

Jim and I have become good friends with Kassandra and Julian, and I’m helping her get a WordPress web site and blog up and running. Kassandra is an Alzheimer’s Disease specialist.

I just wrote the first post for her blog. I don’t know whether or not she’ll like it, but I also want to show her the power of WordPress and the power of the WordPress family throughout the world.

Instead of leaving a LIKE or comment on my post here, please visit her new blog and leave a LIKE or comment there. Her web site is http://alzconnectlamesa.com, and my first blog post is at Thoughts from a friend.

I would be thrilled if she woke up in the morning and found twenty or thirty likes on her new blog! Gallivanta and rarasaur already have been over there and left comments because I didn’t have LIKE buttons working at the time. Thank you two, and thanks to everyone else!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photographic art logoVisit Russel Ray Photos.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

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

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Oh, no! I have competition!

photographic art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When Jim and I were at the Wesley Palms Retirement Community for his chamber music performance, I took time to wander around and look at things.

Wesley was a beautiful place with unique glass art everywhere.

Even the ceiling tiles were artistic, having various birds etched into them.

I found some custom wallpaper that had pictures of well-known sites throughout San Diego County.

Then I found framed pictures on some walls farther back near the dining room, also of well-known sites throughout San Diego County. However, the pictures had been Photoshopped! Any one of them could have been from my Photographic Art Catalog! Oh, no! I have competition!

In this case, though, the competition inspires me to do more because there obviously is a market for Photographic Art, even if a specialized market. Thus, I’m encouraged to offer my Photographic Art for sale at places like Zazzle, SmugMug, and Fine Art America, and in larger sizes than my current offerings!

Following is a Photographic Art creation of Zoey the Cool Cat. You can see the original in my blog post from February 1 titled “Finally found a home she likes.”

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Alright! I’m going for it! Wish me luck!

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

Peruse Russel Ray Photos’ Photographic Art Catalog.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photographic art logoVisit Russel Ray Photos.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

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

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos