I’m pretty sure I’m not buying

Picture of the Moment

Recently—last night!—I discovered the publish-in-the-future function of WordPress, so if a post pops up on my blog at, say, midnight plus one minute, that’s not me!

I’m still sorting through the billions and billions and billions of pictures from my 476-mile journey through Southern California on August 12. Here is one of my favorites:

I'm not buying

I don’t know what they are farming out there, but I’m pretty sure that whatever it is, I ain’t buying….

I’m still exploring special Photographic Art effects for that picture because the vastness of the landscape, the beauty of the sky, and the barren “farm” is just begging for some very special effects.

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At least you can tell which way the wind is blowing

Picture of the Moment

Having lived in several large cities—Houston, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego—throughout my life, I am accustomed to large airports with planes landing and taking off every thirty seconds from 6:00 a.m. to midnight.

I find that many smaller airports don’t have quite the amenities of their big brothers, such as the Ocotillo Wells Airport about ninety miles due east of San Diego. Looks like this:

IMG_7869 ocotillo wells airport faa framed

No vending machines…. no outlets to charge one’s phone or laptop computer…. no water fountains…. no restaurants…. no restrooms…. no lounge to catch up on news, weather, and sports…. no hard surface runways…. no baggage claim…. no ticket counters…. no strip search to get into the airport….

….heck, no airplanes!

But at least you can tell which way the wind is blowing.

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The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays (9-15-14)—Life is a rock, but we didn’t start the fire

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Billy Joel hit the top of the pop charts in 1989 with “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” There are 119 places and events listed in the song, starting in 1949, when Joel was born, and ending in 1989. You can find all of them listed and explained at Wikipedia.

Blender magazine (and I don’t read Blender magazine; sourcing Wikipedia here) ranked “We Didn’t Start the Fire” No. 41 on its list of the “50 Worst Songs Ever,” stating that production was “bombastic” and that the song resembled “a term paper scribbled the night before it’s due.”

Personally, I love the song because it mixes my love of history with my love of music, and I’m a huge fan of Billy Joel.

Here’s the song, with lyrics:

At the time, I had to tell many of my younger friends that Billy Joel’s idea for a song like that was not original. An ad hoc group of musicians got together as Reunion in 1974 and recorded “Life Is A Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me).”

Joey Levine was lead singer on the song, written by Paul DiFranco (music) and Norman Dolph (lyrics).

All of the places, things, people, and events are listed and linked in Wikipedia.

Here’s the song, with lyrics:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Fire on the horizon (also called “sunrise”)

Picture of the Moment

When I started composing my post this morning about the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, I realized that I, uh, didn’t have any pictures of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Or at least, none that I could find.

That was at 5:00 a.m., so I jumped in the car and headed to Balboa Park. The sun was due to come up around 6:00 a.m., and the park would not yet be crowded, so I should be able to get back home by 7:30 a.m.

And I did, even though I waited around for 15 minutes to get these two pictures:

Fire on the horizon

Sunrise in San Diego's Balboa Park on Sunday, 9-14-14

There are exactly fifteen minutes between the two pictures.

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San Diego Historical Landmarks — #1: El Prado Area Designation, part 17

San Diego Historical Landmarks

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

#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 1
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 2
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 3
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 4
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 5
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 6
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 7
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 8
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 9
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 10
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 11
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 12
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 13
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 14
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 15
#1: El Prado Area Designation, part 16

El Prado Area Designation

View Larger Map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Our final building to visit in the El Prado Designation Area is the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. Looks like this:

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego's Balboa Park

Also known as “The Fleet,” its mission statement is to inspire lifelong learning by furthering the public understanding and enjoyment of science and technology. I’m presuming today’s current crops of right-wing political religious fundamentalists (also known as Republicans) would not enjoy the museum. I, however, do.

The Fleet has more than one hundred interactive science exhibits in eight galleries, and that doesn’t include the major traveling exhibitions that stop by each year. Since opening in 1973, the Fleet consistently ranks as one of San Diego’s most-visited museums.

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego's Balboa Park

The Fleet is home to the world’s first IMAX Dome Theater; its unique configuration wraps the audience in images and provides the illusion of being suspended in space. Just because it was first, though, doesn’t mean it’s behind the times. The theater was renovated in two phases, 2008 and 2012, to update the interior, and install a modern sound system, a seamless screen, and a art digital projection system to the theater. Major funding for the renovation was provided by the Heikoffs. Renamed The Eugene Heikoff and Marilyn Jacobs Heikoff Dome Theater, it now shows both IMAX films and planetarium shows on the NanoSeam screen, providing audiences with viewing experience like nowhere else in Southern California.

The Heikoff Giant Dome Theater show takes audiences from outer space to under water and every place in between. The theater also plays host to planetarium shows, including the monthly Sky Tonight show, led by an astronomer, and followed by outdoor telescope viewing, courtesy of the San Diego Astronomy Association.

Visit the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center online for current exhibits, hours, and admission costs.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Monochrome photography with a touch of natural color

Picture of the Moment

When I was growing up, color movies and television were not quite mainstream yet. I watched initial episodes of “I Dream of Jeannie” and “Bewitched” in black & white, but being was oh-so-happy when we got a color television and the shows also were in color. After all, the world is in color.

So while I’m not really into black & white photography, or “monochrome” as it seems to be called today, I do occasionally find the really interesting picture that is basically black & white but has a little color thrown in to make things interesting.

Such as this picture:

Rental sailboats

I loved the overcast sky creating dull gray sand and water, contrasted by a slight pinkish tinge in the low sky from the sunset, the green fronds of the palm trees, and those beautiful rental sail boats.

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Christmas is just around the corner

I livew in my own little world

I have a propensity to repeat certain things frequently, so much so that Julian asked me about my “sayings.” I seriously doubt that any of my sayings are original. Rather, I think I picked them up from other people or from TV shows and movies, and through the years they have simply become a part of me.

One of my favorites that I will use when someone is sad or depressed is, “Christmas is just around the corner.” That gets a laugh, or at least a chuckle, in June and July. Time does go by so fast, though, that “Christmas will be here before you know it.”

As I was cataloging pictures this morning, I came across two Christmas trees, albeit not the type of Christmas trees which you probably just visualized. Here are my two Christmas trees:

Plantus unknownii

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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