Under Cloudy Skies

Picture of the Moment

We don’t get a lot of beautiful cloud formations here in San Diego. It’s usually either sunny or a dull, gray, overcast nothingness.

When we do get nice cloud formations, the masses take to the outdoors to capture pictures. The masses, yes, includes me.

Here is downtown El Cajon, California, recently, under a late afternoon partly cloudy sky:

Downtown El Cajon, California, Under Cloudy Skies

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Picture titled “Under Cloudy Skies” is for sale at Fine Art America.

Location of El Cajon, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

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Halls of History (4-15-14)

Halls of History

April 15 is an interesting day in history. To wit:

  1. 1452—Leonardo da Vinci born.
  2. Scott #77 Abraham Lincoln1865—President Abraham Lincoln dies after being shot the previous evening by John Wilkes Booth while at the play, An American Cousin, at the Ford’s Theatre.
  3. 1892—Closing ceremony of the Games of the I Olympiad in Athens, Greece, the first Olympic games of the modern era. The original Olympic games had been held from 776 BD to 394 AD.
  4. General Electric Company is founded. In 2011, by various measurements GE ranked as the 26th-largest firm in the U.S., the 14th most profitable, the fourth-largest in the world, No. 5 best global brand, No. 63 green company, and No. 15 most admired company.
  5. The RMS Titanic sinks in the north Atlantic ocean after striking an iceberg, taking 1,517 people to a watery grave.Rand McNally published its first road atlas.Scott #2016 Jackie Robinson
  6. 1947—Jackie Robinson played in a baseball game for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the so-called color barrier in major league baseball.
  7. 1951—Heloise born. Smile if you or your mom was a great fan of Heloise.
  8. 1965—The first Ford Mustang rolled off the show room floor, two days before it was to go on sale to the general public.
  9. 1990—Gretao Garbo died. Smile if you or your dad had a Greta Garbo poster from the 1940s or ’50s.

Most recently, which means last in this list, but certainly not least:

10. 2013—Two home-made bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring another 264 people.

Boston

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Music on Mondays (4-14-14) – Taking it easy

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Since I will be a vendor at the Cat House on the Kings fundraiser the weekend of May 3, I pretty much decided that I won’t be going to Los Angeles for National Train Day (May 10) this year. I’ll miss it because ATSF 3751, a steam engine built in 1927, is always there since it is housed just a mile south of Union Station.

ATSF 3751 at Los Angeles at National Train Day in May 2012

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Fortunately, ATSF 3751 always shows up a month earlier at San Bernardino Railroad Days. That’s where I went yesterday, taking the
San Diego Trolley from La Mesa to the historic Santa Fe Depot in downtown San Diego,
then Amtrak from San Diego to the historic Union Station in Los Angeles,
then Metrolink from Los Angeles to the historic Santa Fe Depot in San Bernardino.

Santa Fe Depot, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Union Station in Los Angeles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Santa Fe Depot in San Bernardino, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I left the driving to them, which allowed me to take it easy. Ah that peaceful, easy feeling as the train left here yesterday morning. Sadly, none of the trains went by the Hotel California.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Blog love 2 (4-13-14)

I livew in my own little world

If you missed my initial post about blog love, you can read it here.

Friday Flower Fiesta 4-5-13If you travel the blogosphere as much as I do (I visit an average of 85 blogs a day), you might have seen that some themes have an area for “Blogs I follow” or “Blog Roll.” I don’t know if the free WordPress theme I use has such an area, but since I’m currently following 3,732 blogs, my Blog Roll would be a wee bit long. Thus, “Blog Love” each Sunday. If you get mentioned in my Blog Love series, it’s a sure bet that I’m following YOU!

Friday Flower Fiesta 4-5-13So following are the Blog Love honorees for this past week.

Numbers are how many LIKEs and comments I left during my camping trip to the blog, and the following are simply the blogs that got ten or more total.

You’ll notice that those bloggers who post quite a few pictures with very little text to read get the most LIKEs and comments, so it’s not unusual to find pet blogs and photography blogs high on the Blog Love list each week.

Friday Flower Fiesta 4-5-13Click on the link to go visit them, and be sure to tell them that Russel Ray sent you their way!

  1. rommel – 28
  2. slpmartin – 20
  3. doru – 16
  4. munchow – 12
    herman – 12

Zoey the Cool Cat encourages you to adopt from your local animal shelter

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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

Use code FTNSD to get a 20% discount through April 14, 2014.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

I guess blogging wasn’t fun

My wise old grandmother

One of my favorite sayings from my wise old grandmother is “Life is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the journey.” That means to have fun!

SeaWorld San DiegoI don’t have many problems having fun because I like so many things–real estate, music, photography, gardening, chess, travel, reading, history, people….

….and blogging!

Blogging allows me to enjoy real estate, music, photography, gardening, chess, travel, reading, history, people….

SeaWorld San DiegoEver since my WordPress problems got resolved towards the end of March, I have been going on blog camping trips each day. My Excel spreadsheet tells me that I have been camping in 36 to 180 blogs each day, averaging 85 each day.

Unfortunately, my Excel spreadsheet also tells me that of the 1,198 blogs I have visited in 14 days, a whopping 216 of them are inactive. I define “inactive” as publishing fewer than one blog per month. Some people haven’t published anything since September 2013, and in other cases, the blogs have been completely deleted. I guess blogging wasn’t fun for them.

Sea turtle at SeaWorld San DiegoGoing through the blogs of these people who have not visited my blog since last September and October allows me to cull my list, which is a good thing because it takes a lot of time and effort to visit people. It’s something I love to do, but I dislike very much waiting for a blog to load only to have Google tell me that the blog has been deleted, or to find that the blogger isn’t even blogging anymore. Blog camping is very difficult if bloggers don’t blog or blog only once every three months! On the other hand, a shorter list will mean that the time between camping trips to YOUR blog will be shorter!

Pictures taken at SeaWorld San Diego.

Note to the WordPress folks: With your recent upgrade you took away our ability to easily put borders around our pictures. Why?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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 knew I could do it!

How I Did It

In January 2012, I was using several different software programs to edit my digital pictures, mostly Corel Draw X6, Corel Paintshop Pro X6, and Corel Photo-Paint X6.

I also had used Photoshop since version 1.0 was released in February 1990 for the Macintosh. Apple lost me as a customer in 1983, so when the time came to replace my Apple computers, I went the PC route, which didn’t really upset me since PCs were 1/5 the cost of an Apple computer, so I bought five PCs for what would have been the cost of one Apple computer, which meant I could hire four more people for my business! Make more money! Oh, the joy….

Adobe ported Photoshop to the PC/Windows platform with version 2.5, and when that happened, I said goodbye to the last of my Apple products. As Adobe continued to increase the upgrade price for Photoshop, I quit upgrading. I last upgraded to Photoshop version 5.0 in May 1998.

Fast forward to June 2007. Photoshop was in version 10, known as CS3. I had heard good things about it, not to mention that it was the de facto standard for digital photo editing. I decided to learn anything and everything about Photoshop using their free 30-day trial of a fully functional version. At $699, I didn’t want to buy it until I was sure that I could use it, which meant learning it because it did have a pretty good learning curve. So every 30 days or so, I would remove the expired trial version and start over again.

Eventually I decided that I could do everything in Photoshop that previously I had been doing in Draw, Paintshop Pro, Photo-Paint, and a few free, open source programs. Thus I was willing to buy Photoshop. That was in January 2011. Fortunately, upon making my decision and heading to adobe.com to spend my money, Adobe announced that they had a subscription program.

Subscription? Heck yes! Monthly costs, even in perpetuity, are much easier on the budget than a lump sum. So for $35.99 a month with a one-year commitment, I could have Photoshop!  Count me in.

When Photoshop CS6 came out in May 2012, Adobe offered me the upgrade, still on a subscription basis, but the cost fell to $25.99 a month.

Then along came Photoshop CC in June 2013. I knew I would upgrade, especially when Adobe told me that the subscription would be $19.99 a month. Photoshop CC was the first version that would not be sold in the traditional way with manuals and DVDs in a box in a store. It would have to be downloaded from Adobe via the Internet, and there was no purchase price anymore, only a subscription. Didn’t bother me at all, but there was an uproar throughout the world. Adobe responded by lowering the subscription price to $9.95 a month. How I love Adobe.

That brings me to this evening when I wanted to create what is known in philately (stamp collecting) as a First Day Cover. It’s an envelope sent through the mail on the first day of issue of a postage stamp, usually bearing a special cachet and a special First Day of Issue postmark. I can do it quickly and easily in Corel Draw, but I wanted to do it in Photoshop this time. Where Corel Draw took me ten minutes, my first version in Photoshop took me–ready for this?–eight hours! The second version took two hours, and the final version took thirty minutes. I now have a template, though, so the next time I choose to create one, it will probably be five minutes max.

I asked Zoey the Cool Cat to help me create the third First Day Cover, and she was only too happy to oblige:

Zoey the Cool Cat First Day of Issue

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I knew I could do it!

Got margarita?Eventually I’ll be able to do everything in Photoshop and will not have to upgrade Corel Draw (X7 just came out last week; $199 to upgrade), Paintshop Pro, and Photo-Paint. That right there will save me about $300 a year, enough to pay the subscription for Photoshop with many dollars left over for many margaritas!

I am going to fine tune my template over the next few days, as well as get some different types of digital envelopes, and as soon as I have a pretty good work flow down, I’ll be offering First Day Covers to followers here, similar to what I did with my Photographic Art. Don’t miss out!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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 (4-11-14) from Fine Art America

Friday Flower Fiesta

I have been uploading pictures by the dozens to my Fine Art America galleries in preparation for being an approved vendor at the fundraiser May 3 for Cat House on the Kings.

Knowing that flowers are popular at all times of the year with many people, those have been on my priority list for uploading.

I thought I’d share a few of them here in our Friday Flower Fiesta for April 11, 2014, which happens to be my 709th monthabirthday.

You can click on the picture to go directly to the picture in my Flower Gallery at Fine Art America.

DahliaDahlia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SoonAloe flower buds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pretty in YellowPretty in Yellow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Umbrella Tree FlowersUmbrella Tree

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Carnivorous BeautyCarnivorous Beauty

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Mother of ThousandsMother of Thousands

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Raindrops on Geranium FlowersRaindrops on Geranium

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red and YellowRed and Yellow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Flower BudsFlower Buds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SuspendedSuspended

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art stamp offer

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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

Use code FTNSD to get a 20% discount through April 14, 2014.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

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