2015 Photographic Art digital calendars are on their way!

curtains coming soon

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have been cataloging pictures like crazy this past week, and with the response I got from offering free calendar pages (choose month, year & picture!), I have decided to make a 2015 digital calendar. I will be offering five different calendars:

1. Scenes from San Diego County
2. Little cats
3. Big cats
4. Birds
5. Wildlife from the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, & SeaWorld
6. You choose 12 pictures from my galleries at Fine Art America
7. You provide up to 12 pictures and choose the others

These calendars, while digital, are sized for 8½x11-inch paper, so they can easily be printed. If you’re in a country where paper size is slightly smaller, you can easily have your printer scale the page to fit your paper size with no loss in quality.

For this first iteration, I will be be selling #1 through #5 for $9.99 each, payment via PayPal preferable, but check, cash, and money order also accepted. Payment with credit card can be done through PayPal, and PayPal does not require you to have an account to send money to someone.

I will be selling #6 and #7 for $19.99. Same payment methods.

Here are two calendar pages that I made for a couple of my blog readers:

January 2015 Photographic Art calendar page

Photographic Art logo

June 2015 Photographic Art calendar page

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

All pages will have six weeks, filled in as displayed. No need to flip backward or forward to see the most recent past or future. Note that the week starts on Monday so that Saturday & Sunday are together, like weekend days should be!

You can print one page and hang it on the wall, or print all pages and hang them on the wall. No more having a calendar that is too heavy and constantly falling off the wall!

In future posts for the next couple of weeks, I will be featuring some of my best Photographic Art that I am considering using for calendar pages, such as this one of a spoonbill:

Spoonbill

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (10-13-14): The only thing you done was yesterday

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

If you’ve been around rock ‘n’ roll music as long as I have, you’re probably familiar with The Beatles, and if you’re familiar with The Beatles, you probably know that their breakup in 1970 was rather nasty, especially between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. That nastiness continued until Lennon took a break from music when Sean was born on October 9, 1975.

Lennon believed that McCartney’s song “Too Many People,” from 1971’s “Ram” album, reeled off a laundry list of complaints directed at him, including most specifically the line, “too many people preaching practices.” Lennon hit back, and he hit back hard with “How Do You Sleep?” from Lennon’s 1971 masterpiece album, “Imagine.”

Here are the lyrics to “How Do You Sleep?”

So Sgt. pepper took you by surprise
You better see right through that mother’s eyes
Those freaks was right when they said you was dead
The one mistake you made was  in your head
How do you sleep?
Ah how do you sleep at night?
You live with straights who tell you, you was king
Jump when your mamma tell you anything
The only thing you done was yesterday
and since you’ve gone it’s just another day
How do you sleep?
Ah how do you sleep at night?
A pretty face may last a year or two
but pretty soon they’ll see what you can do
The sound you make is Muzak to my ears
You must have learned something all those years
How do you sleep?
Ah how do you sleep at night?

The whole song is one big dig at McCartney.

“Those freaks was right when they said you dead” is a reference to the “Paul is dead” hoax of 1967 (and onward).

“The only thing you done was yesterday [a reference to The Beatles' 1965 classic "Yesterday," written and sung by McCartney] and since you’ve gone it’s just another day [a reference to McCartney's 1971 classic "Another Day"]. Since McCartney’s “sound … is Muzak to my ears,” at least we know he liked “Another Day.”

Here are “Yesterday,” “Another Day,” “Too Many People,” and “How Do You Sleep?”.

“Yesterday” by The Beatles, 1965
One of the most covered songs in history
with over 2,200 cover versions so far.

“Another Day” by Paul McCartney, 1971

“Too Many People” by Paul & Linda McCartney, 1971

“How Do You Sleep?” by John Lennon, 1971

There is much more, with each artist getting in digs at the other up until Lennon’s sabbatical beginning in October 1975.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Exploring the past with Google Earth & Google Street View

Did you know?

I think it was the movie Logan’s Run where the camera pans the city and we see that McDonald’s has bought everything—McDonald’s Auto Dealership, McDonald’s Groceries, McDonald’s Drug Store, McDonald’s Gas Station, and, of course, a McDonald’s burger palace….

If I were to lay odds on something like that happening within the next fifty years, I would go 2 to 1 on Google, and 3 to 1 on Apple (Apple’s problems with the iPhone 6 might cause me to redo those odds….).

I didn’t jump on the Google bandwagon until 2008 when I started blogging. Previously, I was MapQuest instead of Google Maps, Yahoo! search instead of Google search….

Zoey the Cool CatTwo really cool Google programs that I discovered a couple of years ago when I started blogging at WordPress are Google Street View and Google Earth. Using both of those programs, from the comfort of my home with Zoey the Cool Cat resting comfortably on the printer, I was able to visit all the places I had ever lived. I didn’t remember all the addresses, but with Street View, I didn’t have to. I just had to remember what streets led where.

Here are the places where I lived for the first 18 years of life on Earth:

802 West Alice Avenue; Kingsville, Texas; 1955-1956
This was my maternal grandparents’ house and where we were living when I was born. Both of these grandparents were teachers, and I had my grandmother for English in ninth grade. One of the reasons I chose not to go to Texas A&I University in Kingsville was because, by that time, my grandmother was teaching required freshman English at A&I, and my granddad was teaching required physical education. After my experience in ninth grade, I was pretty determined never to have a relative as a teacher again….
802 West Alice Avenue, Kingsville Texas

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

728 Santa Barbara Drive; Kingsville, Texas; 1956-1959
This was the first home I remember, although all I remember is that the birds used to fly into the windows (barely visible) under the roof eaves at the front right. I felt so sorry every time I found a dead bird. They did get a proper funeral from this little boy.
728 Santa Barbara Drive, Kingsville Texas

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

302 Inwood Drive; Palestine Texas; 1960-1961
My dad got a promotion with Missouri Pacific Railroad, but it required us to move from Kingsville to Palestine. I remember that I used to love running up and down the front steps to the street.
This was the house we were living in when my dad killed himself because of my mom’s indiscretions. I spent 43 years looking for this house and finally found the address in 2012 on my dad’s death certificate, available online at ancestry.com. No one could (would) tell me the address because I had been lied to all my life about my dad’s death. I suppose they thought that if I found the address, I would find out the truth about my dad’s death.
302 Inwood Drive Palestine Texas

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

185 S 100 W; Brigham City, Utah; 1961-1963
This was where we moved after my dad’s death. (This is the current address; I don’t know if it was the address when we lived there.) Mom’s family were Mormons living in northern Utah and southern Idaho.
This house was directly behind Food Town grocery store, which became Food King and is now named Smith’s Food King. Food Town/Food King is where my juvenile crime career started.
Mom turned to alcohol to deal with my dad’s death, which meant that we three children got neither love nor discipline, much less food. I stole lots of food from Food Town/Food King. Back in 1979, when I went to a family reunion in Utah, I went by and made restitution to the best of my recollection.
185 S 100 W Brigham City Utah

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

626 S 600 W; Brigham City, Utah; 1963
After mom remarried, we moved into the house where my stepdad and his family had lived for several years. We stayed only a few months before moving to a new home that was big enough for two adults and seven children.
I don’t remember much about this home other than it used to have a big, beautiful tree out front where I used to sit and read—Charlotte’s Web, The Boxcar Children, The Secret Garden.
626 S 600 W, Brigham City Utah

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

301 Englewood Drive; Brigham City, Utah; 1963-1965
This is where we moved after mom remarried. My stepdad also was an alcoholic, so life wasn’t any better as far as love, discipline, and food went. My oldest stepsister and I were physically and verbally abused—endlessly—and I can’t say that I was unhappy to leave the family when my wise old grandmother adopted me in December 1965.
301 Englewood Drive, Brigham City Utah

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

420 West Alice Avenue; Kingsville, Texas; 1965-1973
Back to Kingsville, and just four blocks from where my family was living when I was born.
My wise old grandmotherThis was my wise old grandmother’s house. Granddad worked for Missouri Pacific Railroad several hundred miles away in Taylor, Texas. He came home every other weekend, so it was up to my wise old grandmother to give me love, discipline, and food, and turn me from my juvenile ways. I think she succeeded.
The house still has the storm shutters (hurricane country) which my granddad and I installed in 1968 after Hurricane Beulah blew Kingsville apart in September 1967.
I also planted the two oak trees in the front yard at the same time because Beulah destroyed our mesquite, ash, and hackberry trees. I chose oak because oak and palm trees were the only trees to survive Beulah, and I disliked palm trees (still do).
420 West Alice Avenue, Kingsville Texas

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

All of the pictures are from Google Street View. You have to admit that they are decent pictures for historical purposes!

Google Earth is a free program and a lot of fun.

Google Street View is simply part of Google Maps, so when you go to Google Maps, after entering an address, simply click on the picture that shows up under the address; the picture has “Street View” in the lower left corner to help.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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You expect me to swim in that?

Picture of the Moment

I have had so many problems in the past whenever I upgraded Adobe Photoshop. Thus, when Photoshop CC (2014) was released in June, I resisted the temptation to upgrade.

That temptation overcame me today, which means that I started upgrading at around 6:00 this morning and just finished a few minutes ago.

Upgrading for me meant that I had to install a new version of Photoshop CC since it’s a major upgrade and does not install on top of any older versions.

A new version doesn’t recognize Actions, Extension Panels, Plug-ins, etc.

Since I have a lot of that stuff for my Photographic Art enterprise, I had to re-install or re-create everything. So burdensome. One would think that in today’s technological world, a few good programmers would be able to make things go more smoothly. Not the case….

Anyways, everything seems to be working, so I’m back in action. Here’s my first Photographic Art creation using Photoshop CC (2014):

You expect me to swim in that?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Friday Flower Fiesta (10-10-14)—Day lilies

Friday Flower Fiesta

My home inspection this morning was at a house with beautiful gardens.

Each plant had a name plate next to it.

The owners’ speciality was day lilies, so I thought I would feature day lilies in today’s Friday Flower Fiesta.

Until I visited the Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden a year ago, I had no idea that there were so many beautiful day lilies.

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Day lily

2
Day Lily

3
Daylily

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Daylily

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Daylily buds

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Daylily

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Daylily

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden
 Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily at the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Day lily

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Freeway day lily

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Day lily

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Five of my favorite quilt pictures

My wise old grandmother

My wise old grandmother adopted me in 1965 when I was an 11-year-old juvenile delinquent. Through her love and discipline, she created a pretty good person, if I do say so myself.

Along with the spankings I got for being bad, I remember three other specific things about her: (1) she loved to cook, (2) she loved to garden, and (3) she loved to quilt.

She made quilts for all of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Sadly, a college roommate stole mine in 1974. I didn’t have the heart to tell my wise old grandmother that I was so careless with my quilt that I let someone steal it, so I don’t have one of her quilts. Everytime I go to a quilt convention, or see quilts in stores and craft shops, I think of my wise old grandmother.

Following are five of my favorite quilts from all of the quilt conventions I’ve been to. I suspect most readers will know exactly why they are favorites.

Wildlife quilt

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Wildlife quilt

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Quilt Convention

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Quilt Convention

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Quilt Convention

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Halloween’s getting closer

Out & About

I have never been one to decorate the house—inside or outside—for the various holidays, but I sure don’t mind walking and driving the neighborhoods to enjoy what other people do.

Here are three Halloween decorations that showed up on my neighbors’ houses yesterday:

Halloween

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Halloween

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Halloween

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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