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Out & About—The La Jolla Munchkin House

Out & About

There is so much to see and do in La Jolla. After 21½ years living in the San Diego area, I’m still going to La Jolla to see and do things.

Recently I made a trip to La Jolla just to see the famous Munchkin House. Looks like this:

The Munchkin House of La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Munchkin House of La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Munchkin House of La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There used to be four of these Munchkin Houses, and there are many rumors about them, foremost of which is that after the success of “The Wizard of Oz” movie, released in August 1939, several “Munchkins” took their earnings and built four houses high up on the hillside overlooking La Jolla, houses that were not as tall as traditional homes.

Sadly, the facts aren’t near as exciting as the rumors.

IMG_9271 framedThe last of the remaining houses is located at 7477 Hillside Drive in La Jolla. Public records indicate that the house was built in 1935. That right there destroys the rumor that Munchkins took their earnings from a 1939 movie and had the houses built.

The house was designed by noted architect Cliff May (1909-1989). May grew up in San Diego and is best known for developing the suburban post-war dream home, the California Ranch House. He designed over 1,000 custom residences, and over 18,000 tract homes bear the imprint of his model house prototypes. He died at his mansion in Los Angeles in Brentwood, a neighborhood made famous worldwide by O.J. Simpson in 1994.

The Munchkin House has 1,176 square feet, two bedrooms and one bathroom, and was last sold in August 2003 for $975,000. Although 1,176 square feet certainly is small for a La Jolla home, look at the rear of the house—love the wraparound deck!—as well as the sweeping view it has of La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean:

The Munchkin House of La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Ocean view from The Munchkin House of La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The other reason why the Munchkin rumors hold water (pun intended) is due to the lay of the land. I could easily touch the top of the roof without jumping. The house is built into the hillside, so some of it is below street level, leading to the optical illusion that the home’s height is lower than normal, perfect for Munchkins!

Look at the first picture, paying close attention to the doorway. See the path from the street to the door, below ground level? Then look at the window north of the doorway. See how the ground slopes up, making it look like the window is not as high as normal? It’s just closer to the ground is all.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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San Diego Historical Landmarks—#10: Torrey Pines Area, part 1

San Diego Historical Landmarks

It has taken me a good amount of time to research San Diego Historical Landmark #10, Torrey Pines Area, because there is no good description of where this area is. There is a weird description in one source that defines the area as

One mile strip: both sides of Soledad River from 3 miles north of Del Mar to 5 miles south of Point Pinos.

The problem:

(1) I can locate no Soledad River in San Diego County. There is a Soledad Lagoon but it is south of Del Mar, not 3 miles north.

(2) The only Point Pinos I can find is up near San Francisco.

(3) To me, it sounds like the “one mile strip” is at least an eight mile strip, i.e., from 3 miles north of Del Mar to 5 miles south…. Confusing.

One source has notes which say, “Torry [sic] Pine Trees, one of the largest Torry [sic] Pine reserves.”

Since I can’t find a definitive area, I’m going to make my own map of the Torrey Pines Area as I think it might be, based on what I know about the area along North Torrey Pines Road:

Torrey Pines Area

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In part 2, I’ll start exploring the Torrey Pines Area beginning at the north. On our trek to the south, I’ll take you to:

Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve,

Torrey Pines State Beach and Blacks Beach,

Torrey Pines Golf Course (where Tiger Woods won his last major championship, the U.S. Open, back in 2008),

Torrey Pines Lodge and maybe a couple of other ritzy hotels in the area,

University of California at San Diego,

Scripps Institute of Oceanography,

Salk Institute,

the historic Torrey Pines Gliderport.

Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite:

Torrey Pine (Pinus torreyana)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Blacks Beach in San Diego, California

 Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Torrey Pines Gliderport, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego

Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scripps Institute of Oceanography, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Salk Institute, San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Torrey Pines Glider Port

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post
to San Diego’s historical landmarks,
click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the
San Diego Historical Landmarks series,
go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Happy New Year’s Eve! Be safe!

Picture of the Moment

Zoey the Cool Cat doesn’t much care about New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.

They both have 24 hours and lots of opportunities for her to sleep, eat, and poop.

However, before she went to sleep on my desk, she wished everyone a safe New Year’s Eve.

Be safe this New Year's Eve!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

If at first you don’t succeed….

San Diego Historical Landmarks

I went downtown early Thanksgiving morning because I thought that the world comes to a stop on Thanksgiving (and Christmas Day).

It used to when I lived in Texas. That was 21 years ago, though. Since I was last in Texas in 2002, I don’t know if they have caught up to us here in San Diego because we sure don’t stop just because it’s Thanksgiving.

My plan was to be able to get free parking, not have any traffic, and take lots of pictures for upcoming posts in my San Diego Historical Landmark series.

Ha!

Not only did San Diego not come to a stop, I believe the whole world was in downtown San Diego. Every single traffic signal was blinking red, streets were closed, whole city blocks were closed off, police were everywhere….

Apparently they were going to have a Thanksgiving Day Parade and a 5K/10K/15K/20K/25K/30K/35K/40K/45K/50K crawl/hop/jump/skip/walk/run/bike event.

I didn’t stay around to see any of it. I spent 90 minutes going nowhere and doing nothing. By the time I got out of downtown, I was a physical and mental wreck!

This morning I am going downtown again, attempting to do what I could not do on Thanksgiving. Wish me luck!

Passionflower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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SNIPPETS (11-29-14)—Made it through Black Friday again!

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

How come cats don’t jump any father than necessary?

Zoey the Cool Cat often jumps from the desk chair to the bed, a distance of about three feet.

Zoey the Cool CatThe bed is huge, but Zoey the Cool Cat only jumps far enough to make contact with the nearest edge of the bed.

The chair has rollers, and sometimes it doesn’t say put as she launches herself so occasionally she will not make it all the way to the bed, landing with her front feet clawing at the top of the bed and her back feet on the floor, augmented by a loud (obviously unhappy) meow.

It’s so funny to watch, but at the same time I feel sorry for her because she could easily make it to the bed if she would only plan to land in the middle instead of at the edge.

That way, when the chair gave a few inches, she’d still land on the bed!

SNIPPET #2

Christmas wreathI would like to thank all my followers, old followers who have been with me from my beginning blogging days in 2007, teenage followers who joined me when I came to WordPress in 2012, and the newborn babies who have joined me this past week. For the month of November I am averaging 15 new followers per day.

SNIPPET #3

Zoey the Cool Cat and Christmas treeI have not found a good way to determine how new followers find me. However, each new follower goes into my Excel spreadsheet with a link to the follower’s blog. Then, within a few days of getting that new follower, I visit his/her blog to get to know the person.

If you started following me this past week, bear with me, though, because I’ve been down and out sick, so I’m running behind.

SNIPPET #4

I am past the religious stage of my life, that having occurred from 1955 to 1993.

Christmas wreathI took time off from life, April 15 1993 to April 1 1994, to lay out on the San Diego beaches and study the world’s great, and not-so-great, religions. That’s all I did, every spare minute of every day, and I had about 1,020 spare minutes each day.

Having grown up in the Mormon and Catholic religions, I tried very hard to stay with those religions, so they were the first two I studied. It was pretty obvious after just a couple of weeks immersed in each religion that they weren’t going to be privileged to have me as part of their flock.

SNIPPET #5

I have noticed that many of the new followers this past week have religious blogs with religious blog titles.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!If you are one of my new followers and you have a religious blog with a religious title, I’ll still visit you, but if the only rule you follow is the 100/0 rule, I probably won’t be leaving any LIKEs or comments, and you might not even get a tit-for-tat follow by me.

I don’t mind visiting religions blogs, but I at least would like to see you follow the 80/20 rule at a minimum: 80% posts about your religion and 20% posts about your life, your family, your work, your play, etc. Those 20% will be the posts that I LIKE and comment on because my wise old grandmother taught me that if I can’t say anything nice, not to say anything at all. So I won’t be disparaging of your religion at your blog, but that also means no LIKEs and comments if it’s all about religion.

SNIPPET #6

Christmas wreathHere’s how I see religion: It was humanity’s first attempt to explain the world and universe. As with the first of anything (first car, first movie, first YouTube video), pretty bad.

Why people continue to follow any religion in today’s world of science and reason is, quite frankly, beyond me. However, if religion makes someone feel good and helps prevent them from killing people, pillaging, raping, etc., I’m all for it. I want people to feel good because I think people who feel good are better people.

Unfortunately, religion has been the cause of over 95% of the wars throughout history, religious people killing others in the name of their god. A good study of The Crusades, not to mention Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS, pretty much tells me that I don’t want anything to do with their gods.

SNIPPET #7

Merry ChristmasThe part of religion that I always did like was the part about helping the poor, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, healing the sick, and generally just helping anyone who needed some help getting through a bad time.

Unfortunately, even here in the United States, we have people like Ted Cruz, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, and other “religious conservatives” who could do so much to help the lesser amongst us but who refuse to do so. Instead, they do everything within their power to help make the rich richer, and ensure that the poor remain poor.

Sad….

SNIPPET #8

Merry ChristmasBlack Friday yesterday marked the 41st consecutive year that I have NOT shopped on the day after Thanksgiving.

I succumbed to Black Friday shopping in 1973 when I bought a present for my wise old grandmother.

If not for that one time, I would have a life of 59 Black Fridays on which I did not shop!

SNIPPET #9

The fake “war on Christmas” always makes me laugh, and it was my wise old grandmother who taught me to add laughter to each and every day.

Zoey the Cool Cat Christmas ornamentShe also taught me not to complain unless I could offer a solution. Well, I’m not complaining about the fake war on Christmas, but I do have a solution.

For those of us who have studied the Bible AND science (especially astronomy) AND history, we know that December 25 is not, was not, and could not have been the birthday of Jesus Christ. Here’s a great read about the subject:

When was Jesus Christ born?

One thing the article does not touch on is astronomy. Since scientists have been tracking the stars for many hundreds of years now, it’s actually not hard for them to pick a date in history and show you the night sky for that day. It’s quite interesting.

Thus, all we have to do to resolve the fake war on Christmas is move Christmas to a date when it’s pretty likely Christ WAS born, probably in September. Then we can have Christmas on Christ’s most likely birthday, and end-of-year holidays, gift giving, and crass commercialism on December 25! Yahooooo!

SNIPPET #10

I was so busy forgetting to shop on Black Friday yesterday that I forgot that it was time for a Friday Flower Fiesta.

I started to do a post before I realized that Jim and I were supposed to drive 47 miles to eat a day-after-Thanksgiving meal with his mom, her boyfriend, and Jim’s brother. So I never finished my post yesterday….

I did create one new Photographic Art yesterday specifically for Friday Flower Fiesta, but since it’s only one, I’ll just go ahead and leave it here for you today:

Purple and White Iris

It is available for purchase in my Flower gallery at Fine Art America. Just $49 plus Fine Art America’s printing and shipping costs. You can get it in any size, up to 60″ x 29½”. That’s a whopping five feet by two-and-a-half feet, for just $246.77, printed on metal (metal prints are cool!) but without shipping costs. Other prints are available, too: matted and framed with wood and glass, acrylic, posters, and even greeting cards.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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2015 Photographic Art Rose Calendar

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I think I might have to do more than one rose calendar because I have billions and billions and billions of rose pictures.

Here’s the first one:

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Current list of calendar subjects:

Birds – done
Little Cats I – done
Little Cats II
Big Cats
Dogs
Wildlife Variety I
Wildlife Variety II
Sunrises & Sunsets
Orchids – done
Roses I – done
Roses II
Roses III
Hibiscus
Flower Variety I – done
Flower Variety II
Scenes from San Diego County
Railroads & Trains
Great houses (idea provided by a reader)
Stamps (pictures will be framed like stamps)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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2015 Calendars—Birds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Now that I have templates for the twelve months of 2015, it was fairly easy to create a second calendar.

I chose to do birds today, so I have two calendars finished:

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Below was the first calendar, which I’ll name Standard, and which will be the first one I print and hang on my wall:

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

So now I can cross Birds off my list of calendars, which I guess means I’m doing Butterflies today:

Birds
Butterflies
Little cats
Big cats
Dogs
All other wildlife
Sunrises & sunsets
Orchids
Roses
Hibiscus
All other flowers
Scenes from San Diego County
Railroads & Trains
Stamps (pictures will be framed like stamps)

For more on the calendars, see SNIPPETS 5 in yesterday’s post.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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