Music on Mondays (12-11-17)—Lost on a desert island in 1970, part 2

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

There will be no more Beatles songs from here forward so I’ll be able to include YouTube videos for all songs.

Following are the next 22 songs from 1970 that I would take with me if there were a possibility of being lost on a desert island.

In The Summertime by Mungo Jerry
#3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Over 30 million copies sold, making it one of the best-selling singles ever.

Mean Mistreater by Grand Funk
From their album Closer To Home
This song and the next were on their album Mark, Don & Mel: 1969-1971
which I received as a birthday present in 1973 (my 18th)
and which started me on my hard rock journey.

I’m Your Captain (Closer To Home) by Grand Funk
From their album Closer To Home

Make It With You by Bread
#1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Their only #1 hit, surprisingly to me.

Green-eyed Lady by Sugarloaf
#3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
I won an Oldies Contest in 1992 by naming this song in 3 notes.

All Right Now by Free
#4 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Received one million radio plays in the U.S. in 1989
and three million air plays in 2006.

I Think I Love You by The Partridge Family
#1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Dare I admit that this song was a natural for me
since I had my first girlfriend in 1970?

Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin
#16 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
The first of one of their few singles.

The Tears Of A Clown by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
#1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
First released on their 1967 album Makie It Happen

American Woman by The Guess Who
#1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
A hit with all my male friends, too,
since we all were 15 and looking for our American woman.

Share The Land by The Guess Who
#10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

My Sweet Lord by George Harrison
#1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
The subject of possibly the longest-running civil lawsuit in history,
February 1971 to March 1998, claiming copyright infringement
of He’s So Fine by The Chiffons.

What Is Life by George Harrison
#10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

If Not For You by George Harrison
Written by Bob Dylan. Olivia Newton-John’s cover is the only
one with made it to the Billboard Hot 100, at #25.

Knock Three Times by Tony Orlando & Dawn
#1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Rose Garden by Lynn Anderson
#3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
but a #1 hit on the Billboard country charts.

I Hear You Knocking by Dave Edmunds
#4 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Joy To The World by Three Dog Night
#1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Played after every home victory by the Denver Broncos,
although probably just the refrain. I can’t see them playing,
“Jeremiah was a bullfrog….”

Lucky Man by Emerson Lake & Palmer
#48 hit in 1970 on the Billboard Hot 100 and a #51 hit in 1973.
Listen to this song with headphones!

Blue Money by Van Morrison
#23 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Truckin’ by The Grateful Dead
#64 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Their highest charting single until 1987.

Lonely Days by the Bee Gees
#3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
My California cousins got me hooked on the Bee Gees in 1968.

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Friday Flower Fiesta (12-8-17)—San Diego Botanic Garden in December

Friday Flower Fiesta

I like to take my photographs and kind of mess them up in Photoshop and various other programs so that they don’t look like photographs anymore. That means I’m always on the lookout for new digital photo editing programs. One I discovered a few days ago is called “Impresso Pro” by a company called JixiPix. They claim to have

a long and lucrative history developing well-known 3D, Video and Multi-Media software, not to mention an industry of iOS and Android apps. Thanks to the response from our users, we have been recognized as one of the top developers from Apple, Mac World, USA Today and other industry leaders.”

Yet they don’t have a page on Wikipedia….

Nonetheless, following are 24 photographs from my December visit to the San Diego Botanic Garden, messed up a little bit in Impresso Pro.

Which one is your favorite?

1 – BromeliadSan Diego Botanic Garden

2 – AgaveSan Diego Botanic Garden

3 – AloeSan Diego Botanic Garden

4San Diego Botanic Garden

5 – PassionflowerSan Diego Botanic Garden

6San Diego Botanic Garden

7San Diego Botanic Garden

8 – Day Lily & visitorSan Diego Botanic Garden

9 – FigSan Diego Botanic Garden

10San Diego Botanic Garden

11 – Bamboo TunnelSan Diego Botanic Garden

12San Diego Botanic Garden

13 – AgavesSan Diego Botanic Garden

14 – BromeliadSan Diego Botanic Garden

15 – Woodpecker treeSan Diego Botanic Garden

16 – AloeSan Diego Botanic Garden

17 – AloeSan Diego Botanic Garden

18San Diego Botanic Garden

19 – CycadSan Diego Botanic Garden

20 – BromeliadSan Diego Botanic Garden

21 – AloeSan Diego Botanic Garden

22 – Shaw’s AgaveSan Diego Botanic Garden

23 – AloeSan Diego Botanic Garden

24 – SunflowersSan Diego Botanic Garden

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Maybe he’s guilty

Did you know?

I have always wanted to serve on a jury. Tomorrow I might get my chance. I have a summons for jury duty for tomorrow morning, 7:45.

I have received jury summons before but I have always been self-employed and being picked for a jury could have been disastrous for a one-man-shop. So I always took the option out for the self employed.

Now that I’m retired and not yet doing anything other than landscaping the new home, playing with Zoey the Cool Cat, and making plans for when I do start to do something again next year, I’m going to do everything I can to get myself on this jury, regardless of its nature.

Defending attorney: Have you ever served on a jury?
Me: No, but I’m sure he’s guilty.

Prosecuting attorney: Would you like to serve on this jury?
Me: Yes, because I know he’s guilty.

Defending attorney: Have you read anything about the defendant?
Me: Yes. I googled him. He’s guilty.

Prosecuting attorney: Do you have an open mind for these types of crimes?
Me: Sure. Guilty fucker.

Judge: No inappropriate language in my courtroom young man.
Me: Young? You wanna see my driver’s license?

Defending attorney: Are you a college graduate?
Me: Sure as fuck am.

Prosecuting attorney: Judge, he’s still using foul language.
Judge: He is, isn’t he.
Prosecuting attorney: Judge, make him stop. Make him stop, Judge.
Judge: Fuck no. I think he’s on to something. Maybe this fucker is guilty….

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Would you like to be on Facebook?

Out & About

My wise old grandmother told me that it’s alright to talk to myself, but when I start to ask myself questions, and then answer those questions, I might have problems. So I learned to talk to the animals, although not quite Dr. Dolittle style.

I usually either tell them “I’ll put you on Facebook” or ask them “Do you want to be on Facebook?” Here are some of the responses:

Nope. Big Brother is watching.Do you want to be on Facebook?

Sure! I hear you get lots of LIKEs!

Facebook? Hmmmm. Not sure about that.Lizard

Yeah, whatever.

These four decided to take their toys and go home.




Sure! Hold on and let me show you my good side.

This guy decided to show off for the Facebook crowd.

Facebook? Please, please, please. Thank you!

Nope. We’re outta here.

Sure! Facebook likes good-looking birds!

There are always a couple who want what others don’t.

Are you one of those bird molesters?
Great Blue Heron

You’re that Russel guy. I don’t trust you. I’m leaving.
Great Blue Heron

Checking Facebook…
Man at the beach

In some languages “Facebook” means “water.”
Seagull wanting a drink

Will I be the first roach on Facebook?
Will I get lots of likes?


Mr. Chairman?
I move that we let Russel put us on Facebook.


What is Facebook?
Black bird

Sure. Let me get dressed first.

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

Picture of the Moment—The judge has not yet made a decision

Picture of the Moment

Pelican and seagull

No word yet from Judge Pelican whether or not Gull’s improvised flyby is good enough to get Gull into the finals.

We’ll be right back with Judge Pelican’s decision after this word from our sponsor. Stay tuned!

Go Gull!

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

Why the A is worth only one point

Succulent flowers

Zoey the Cool Cat, Jim, and I moved back in July to a ground floor house that actually has property surrounding it. We had been in condominiums from 2007 to 2017 because we liked having a pool and spa without having the maintenance on a pool and spa.

Now that we have property surrounding our house again, I can get back to serious gardening. Serious gardening means spending lots of time again reading through the plant books in my gardening library as well as spending time at the plant nurseries throughout San Diego County.

Most of our property will be dedicated to non-cactus succulents—my body has decided to move on from thorny cactus.

My time at nurseries led me to Solana Succulents, a cool little nursery in Solana Beach, California, which I discovered 15 years ago. A couple of weeks ago as I was wandering around the nursery, the owner, Jeff Moore, was on the phone and telling the caller that he would have to be closed the next day because he was traveling up to Los Angeles to speak to one of the botanical societies there. After he hung up, I told him that I was retired and if he ever needed someone to keep the nursery open for a day while he was gone, he could call on me. Well, he called on me as soon as I finished my sentence, and I got to work the nursery all by myself the next day. Pretty cool. Even though I was in a nursery, I was pretty sure I was in Heaven.\

Jeff has written two books on Succulents: Under the Spell of Succulents and Aloes and Agaves In Cultivation, and has a third book, Soft Succulents, coming out in a couple of weeks. In my continuing conversation with Jeff, I commented on his book as to its design and text fonts. He sent me a PDF of his not-yet-published Soft Succulents to read through and offer comments. I did. I did the same for his first two books in case he gets to reprintings.

It’s been a joy reading his books because of his knowledge, the pretty pictures, and his sense of humor. Some of the pictures almost—almost, I say—convince me to give some of the agaves a try, but they are mean, spiny creatures which have no problem sampling a taste of your blood. That, however, doesn’t prevent me from enjoying the pictures—they don’t bite—and sharing them with you.

The little one in the following picture from Wikipedia has some serious spines and is quite pretty, but it’s the name that caught my attention:

Agave guadalajarana

It’s the reason why the A in Scrabble is worth only one point.

Agave guadalajarana

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