SNIPPETS (6-17-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

I read a lot. Always have. Which means that I (used to) go through a lot of bookmarks. After I decided that dog-earing the pages was not a good way to mark where I was. I have about 20 bookmarks similar to this one but all with different bird pictures. It fits over a page and is magnetized so that it doesn’t fall off. The reason why I have 20 is because I bought them at The Birdwatcher in Julian, about 80 miles from me round trip. I thought I’d go through them like other bookmarks. Nope. This thing is durable. Best. Bookmark. Ever.

Magnetic bookmark

SNIPPET 2

Comment on Facebook:

If [Twitler] had been US president in 1938, he would have sought to appease Hitler and compliment him as an “honorable man.”

SNIPPET 3

I have not had an Echinopsis cactus since 1973. Although their flowers are beautiful, their pokey pokey things are ouchy. Yesterday I just couldn’t resist buying this Echinopsis oxygona at Lowe’s because of the delicate pink/white flowers.

Echinopsis oxygona

SNIPPET 4

Jim, Zoey the Cool Cat, and I moved to a new house in July 2017 without checking the USDA zone for the new place. Sadly, it’s virtually impossible to grow ferns here. Ha! Problem solved. Three different ferns, a sensitive plant, and a Hypoestes all quite happy in their terrarium home on the catio.

Fern terrarium

SNIPPET 5

Best Twitler meme from this past week:

Twitler

SNIPPET 6

I’m going through old boxes and finding stuff from long ago.

These were the three bitches in my life ca. 1990, left to right, Penny, Kerrie, Sugar. Penny & Sugar were the better of the three.

Penny, Kerrie & Sugar

Kerrie was a Southern Baptist religious nut. She had a personal relationship with her god, so personal that said god would tell Kerrie when to take a bath or a shower, what time to go into work even if she was late, when to take vacations, when to call in sick even if she was not sick, when to listen to music or watch television or go to the movies, when to come over to my house.

Late one Saturday night when I had a home word processing business, she was in my room with Penny & Sugar studying her Bible lesson for the next day. I decided to take a break so I went back to ask her if she wanted to take Penny & Sugar for a walk with me. She rolled over, looked at me ever so sweetly, and said, “No. The Lord hasn’t told me to take the dogs for a walk with you.” I did not see her on Sunday and broke up with her on Monday. I do hope she’s had a happy life.

SNIPPET 7

Hmmmmmm. My Fockea edulis has two seed pods on it. This plant is dioecious, which means that it needs pollen from a male plant in order to have progeny. I never saw the flowers on this plant, and the only way it could have had sex with another plant is at a cactus & succulent show, where it has been shown twice. Wonder how I track down the father.

Fockea edulis with seed pods

Fockea edulis seed pods

SNIPPET 8

Best video from this past week. Because, small dogs need a friend their own size.

SNIPPET 9

When I was young I wanted to be an anesthesiologist because I could spell it. Then I found out how much schooling I would have to suffer through. Bye bye anesthesiologist!

SNIPPET 10

Because I have a degree in Forest Management from Texas A&M University, I always enjoy visiting the woodworking exhibit at the San Diego County Fair. This table is now #1 on my list of most expensive items in the exhibit over the years. A mere $11,500. Twenty years ago it would have gone home with me, no questions asked.

Table selling for $11,500 at the 2018 San Diego County Fair.

SNIPPET 11

Since I have eight of my plant displays on exhibit at the 2018 San Diego County Fair, I have an Exhibitor badge which gets me into the Fair free, every day, for as often as I want to visit. I also got three free tickets to give to others. So Jim and I went to the Fair last Thursday. Came home with lots of goodies, one of which was this map of San Diego. It’s laser-etched on pine. Looks great AND smells great!

San Diego map laser-etched on pine

SNIPPET 12

First and second place winners in Youth Robotics at the 2018 San Diego County Fair.

Youth robots from the 2018 San Diego County Fair

SNIPPET 13

Jim and I spent all day at the San Diego County Fair. I have been there several times this year to help set up the exhibit for the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society, where I have eight plants on display, and water the little ones. I have had my eye on one of the plant vendors not too far from the Palomar display, and these are what I came home with. I understand why the one plant is named “prolifica”—I feel like a mamma rabbit there are so many babies.

Pachopodium lamerei (Madagascar palm)
Pachypodium lamerei

Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’
Sedum 'Purple Emperor'

Echeveria prolifica
Echeveria prolifica

Kalanchoe fedstchenkoi variegata
Kalanchoe fedstchenkoi variegata

Crassula ‘Dianne’
Crassula 'Dianne'

SNIPPET 14

My favorite cactus picture. Pay no attention to the critter.

Favorite cactus picture

SNIPPET 15

Long-time readers know of my lifelong fascination with all things trains. I think I shall have to be in Utah around May 10, 2019. I will be driving, so if you’re between San Diego and Salt Lake City UT, let me know. I’ll stop by and say hello!

One of the World’s Largest Steam Locomotives
Is About to Make a Triumphant Return

SNIPPET 16

Sometimes the bed decorations don’t match the quilt. Oh well.

Bed decoration

SNIPPET 17

MOVIE REVIEW—I can highly recommend “Overdrive” starring Scott Eastwood and Freddie Thorp.

Lots of awesome cars.

And Scott Eastwood (Clint Eastwood’s son) and Freddie Thorp.

Did I mention Scott Eastwood and Freddie Thorp?

Well, just in case I didn’t, it stars Scott Eastwood and Freddie Thorp.

Varoooooooooom……….

Scott EastwoodFreddie Thorp

Overdrive

SNIPPET 18

Jim, Zoey the Cool Cat, and I have been in our new home for 11 months. We bought all new appliances when we moved in. Here’s my review of them:

Whirlpool Cabrio Washer – Sucks. 0 out of 10. Washers need an agitator. The cycles are too long, and since there’s no agitator, the soap falls from the soap dish into the washer, turns to paste, and never gets washed out of the clothes.

Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer – 5 out of 10. I like the Steam Refresh cycle.

Whirlpool Cabrio washer and dryer

Bosch Dishwasher – Sucks. 0 out of 10. Doesn’t dry the dishes even on the longest cycle because there is no heating element. Weird. The racks are installed backwards, almost as if a left-handed person built it.

Bosch dishwasher

Samsung Microwave – 5 out of 10. The functions are waaaaaaaaay to difficult to push. Needs to be a wee bit less sensitive.

Samsung Range – Sucks. 1 out of 10. The oven has a special vent that lets out all the heat and, if you’re cooking something, microscopic particles that cause the fire alarms to go off. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Our Toaster Oven is better, and that’s what I use. The griddle is awesome for pancakes. If I made pancakes thrice a day, 7 days a week, I’d give the Range a 10 out of 10.

Samsung microwave and range

LG Refrigerator – Awesome. 10 out of 10. Love the indoor water and ice, the controls for cubed ice or crushed ice, the temperature controls, the door within a door for the refrigerator. It helps that in front of the refrigerator is one of Zoey the Cool Cat’s favorite places to plop herself.

Zoey the Cool Cat plopped in front of the refrigerator

SNIPPET 19

My older brother once threatened to shoot me. I’m estranged from him, as well as 99.9% of my relatives, but I don’t hate my brother like Twitler seems to hate Obama, our allies, women, LGBTQ, blacks, children, the sick, the aged…………

SNIPPET 20

I felt so bad the afternoon and evening of June 10 because I ran over a squirrel while driving to Home Depot. The poor little thing never had a chance.

SNIPPET 21

I bought this as a 2-leaf plant at the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society’s Winter Show & Sale on February 10. Since then it’s put out 2 more big, fat leaves, and one flower on it bloomed for 5 consecutive days, closing at night and reopening the next afternoon. It has another bud that should be opening in a couple of days.

Pleiospilos simulans
Pleiospilos simulans

Pleiospilos simulans

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

Advertisements
Zoey the Cool Wet Cat

SNIPPETS (6-10-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

A+R POTTERY Designer Pot #00111Sorry I missed last Sunday but I was heavily involved in the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Summer Show & Sale all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I was a vendor with A+R POTTERY and got many comments. I was so tired after last weekend that I still haven’t unpacked the inventory to see what sold and what didn’t sell, so I won’t know how many sales I had until Wednesday night when I get paid.

SNIPPET 2

In order to be a vendor at the Summer Show & Sale, I had to have eight entries into the show. I entered eight as a vendor and four as an individual, ten plants and two succulent pictures. My entries garnered one first place, five second place, and three third place. I’m particularly happy with those results because my best eight entries actually are on display at the 2018 San Diego County Fair from June 1 through July 4 (see SNIPPET 5). The first place was an educational exhibit on Pereskia grandifolia:

Pereskia grandifolia

There are three plants in that dish garden. I had ordered them from Uruguay on May 10. They arrived on May 31, just in time for the Show. They were a little ragged after not seeing sunshine for three weeks but it looks like they are going to survive.

The genus Pereskia has nine species and is the only genus in its family. It is more like a rose than a cactus, with non-succulent leaves, spines hiding on the stems behind the leaves, and rose-like flowers. Pereskia is considered the mother of all cacti & succulents because it is believed that the original cacti & succulents were very much like Pereskia.

One of mine even bloomed yesterday. Check out this rose-like flower:

Here is the educational flier that accompanied the dish garden.

Pereskia grandifolia

SNIPPET 3

I’m working on getting the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society to take on renovation of the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden in Balboa Park as part of the Adopt-A-Plot program. This is a significant garden, planted under the direction of Kate Sessions (aka “Mother of Balboa Park”) for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. It’s severely neglected right now. Here’s my video presentation to the SDCSS Board of Directors. They won’t get it until Wednesday, June 13.

SNIPPET 4

I tortured Zoey the Cool Cat on June 6. I didn’t really torture her, but if you were in the house for 10 minutes today while I was giving her a bath, you would have thought I was torturing her. This cat can howl better than any wolf on Earth. She’s so mad at me that when I found her after drying her off, she turned around and wouldn’t look at me.

Zoey the Cool Wet Cat

Zoey the Cool Wet Cat

SNIPPET 5

Here is a video of all the plants in the cactus & succulent exhibit of the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society at the 2018 San Diego County Fair. The exhibit won first place in its category, and I have eight plants in the exhibit, including one awarded a “Noteworthy Plant,” the Peanut Cactus at 2:34 in the video.”

SNIPPET 6

Fires do not “break out.” Fires are caused by something or someone. The fact that Fire Season started June 1, and there were a lot of fires the first weekend in June tells me that quite a few someones were out starting fires.

Fire

SNIPPET 7

There were lots of dogs at the Cactus & Succulent Show & Sale last weekend. Here are my two favorites:

Dog in a backpack

Dog in a backpack

SNIPPET 8

I’m so happy.

Twitler pardons Russel Ray

SNIPPET 9

In 1966, while my wise old grandmother was helping her 11-year-old grandson start his very first business, she told me,

“Surround yourself with positive people and you’ll be positive. Surround yourself with successful people and you’ll be successful.”

She was right.

SNIPPET 10

She also was right when she told me to treat every day the same. That way there are no bad Fridays because of weekend anticipation, no bad Mondays because of the weekend being over, and you can make a lot of money on holidays when most of the people don’t work.

SNIPPET 11

Are sports teaching our children to steal? I mean, they steal bases in baseball, they steal the basketball from the opposing player. So much stealing going on…….

SNIPPET 12

A little squirrel in Balboa Park last week. First one that didn’t scamper away when I said, “I’ll put you in my blog!”

Squirrel

SNIPPET 13

I bought my first skateboard ever this past week. Walked out of the shop with it, got on it, and went zooming down the street. Cars were honking and swerving, yelling obscenities, flipping the bird. Weird.

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

Russel Ray Container Collection

I live in my own little world

It’s been so long since I logged into the back end of my many web sites that I have forgotten how to do it, at a time when I need to do it to upload a video that I don’t want to put on YouTube.

So here I am at my WordPress site which, surprisingly to me, will let me upload a video as “media.”

This is a video of the many plants that I grow in containers without drainage holes.

I am very anti-drainage-hole in plant containers where I control the watering. Once Mother & Father Nature get involved, or the neighbor’s landscape watering system sprays water over the fence onto my property, all bets are off, and I’ll happily accept drainage holes. For more on why I am anti-drainage-hole (just call me ADH Russel), see About Us on my new A+R POTTERY web site.

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

SNIPPETS (5-27-2018)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

Yesterday, Jim and I celebrated 24 years of knowing each other. Since we really never thought that we would be able to get married in our lifetimes, we decided to celebrate our anniversary as the day we met.

Then along came “Domestic Partnerships.” Such an ugly term. Nonetheless, we got domestic partnered on July 31, 2004. We even have a “Certificate of Domestic Partnership” issued by the California Secretary of State.

Then along came “Same-Sex Marriage.” Wrongly named. It should be “Same Gender Marriage.” Why is it always about sex? Nonetheless, when it looked like the voters were going to repeal same-sex marriage on the first Tuesday of November in 2008, Jim and I got married. On October 30.

So, basically, we get to celebrate three times each year. More margaritas for us! Yahoooooooooooo!

SNIPPET 2

Back in 1966, my wise old grandmother was sitting at the dining room table with her scissors, tape, Elmer’s glue, photo albums, scrapbooks, and dozens of pictures. She was cutting pictures apart and taping different sections together to give her the picture and story she wanted.

Pre-Photoshop cropping and merging.

She told me then that what comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with, teaching me to never throw away “throwaway pictures.”

Here is what many would call a throwaway picture of Zoey the Cool Cat:

Zoey the Cool Cat throwaway picture

Not sure what was going on at that time that resulted in such a cruddy picture. Nonetheless….

Here is what I created in Photoshop with that cruddy picture:

Zoey the Cool Cat drawing

I think the result is beautiful, perhaps even hauntingly beautiful.

SNIPPET 3

Beautiful, interesting sunrise this past Friday morning.

Sunrise in El Cajon CA

SNIPPET 4

I usually am not satisfied with panoramas that I create using Photoshop’s Photomerge function. It’s not Photoshop or Photomerge. It’s me not taking enough pictures to fill in the outside areas so I have to crop them.

In this panorama of the Point Loma Submarine Base in San Diego, with me standing smack dab in the middle of the base, I still didn’t take enough pictures but I like the effect that the missing pictures leave:

Point Loma submarine base in San Diego CA

SNIPPET 5

I’m making an educational display for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society’s Summer Show & Sale next weekend. It’s on container gardening, titled “You CAN grow any plant in any pot!”

I’m specifically focusing on containers without drainage holes so I’m making a slide show of all my plants that are growing happily in containers without drainage holes. I was so focused on this Ming Aralia that I did not see that I got photobombed by Zoey the Cool Cat.

Ming Aralia being photobombed by Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 6

The look on Zoey the Cool Cat’s face…..

Zoey the Cool Cat

Either she is upset that I found her, or she’s upset because she knows I’m going to put her on the Internet yet again.

SNIPPET 7

For my zombie friends.

Sticker on the back of a huge F350 pick-em-up truck in East San Diego County boondocks:

Zombie

SNIPPET 8

Ooopsy.

No photography

SNIPPET 9

When I was a freshman at Texas A&M University in 1973-1974, I would not be stretching it to say that I survived on Kraft macaroni & cheese, and PB&J (Peter Pan peanut butter and Bama Apple Butter) sandwiches.

At the age of 63, I could still do that except that Bama is not around here in San Diego.

With the Kraft Mac&Cheese, I modify it somewhat by adding chicken and jalapeños. Couple that with a margarita, and I’m in culinary heaven.

Chicken, jalapeños, and Kraft macaroni & cheese

SNIPPET 10

I have been squirrel- and rabbit-proofing my property. It seems to be working because this squirrel couldn’t get in and had to eat an Opuntia cactus in the Open Space Preserve on the other side of the fence.

Whenever I get in the cactus, I get a lot of thorns in my skin. Wish I were a squirrel!

SNIPPET 11

Zoey the Cool Cat has a rotation that she gets into. She’ll choose a spot and that will be where I can always find her for 3-5 days. Then she’ll choose a different spot. 3-5 days. Different spot. 3-5 days. On and on. When she runs out of spots, she’ll simply start over. Her spot for the past two days provides me with this view from my office:

View from the office

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 12

I just finished reading “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. Published in 1943. Interestingly, I have a hard copy first edition in my library. Not sure where it came from, but since Jim has worked for Borders, Barnes & Noble, Warwick’s, B. Dalton, and Waldenbooks for 40 years, I’m pretty sure it was in his collection when we merged. He claims he doesn’t know where it came from either, though.

When I was trying to decide whether or not to read a book from 1943, I searched for online review. One was from President Dumb Jerk Twitler, saying that he had read it and considered himself Howard Roark, one of the main characters. Ha! The words, sentences, paragraphs, and book are waaaaaaaaay too long for his little brain, and he’s definitely NOT Howard Roark.

SNIPPET 13

Just started reading “The Crooked Staircase” by Dean Koontz. Jim brought home the “Advance Readers Edition” a couple of months ago but I was reading “The Fountainhead” so I just now started “The Crooked Staircase.” It went on sale My, 8, 2018, so check it out. I’ve read 50 pages, and like his two previous Jane Hawk novels, this one is going to be good. Read good.

Next up is “The Forbidden Door,” also by Dean Koontz. Jim brought home the “Advance Readers Edition” a couple of days ago. It goes on sale October 9, 2018, so I’ll definitely have read it by that time, probably by July 9, 2018.

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

SNIPPETS (5-20-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

I scored a Trichocereus bridgesii at the Palomar C&SS meeting in Escondido yesterday. It poked me
when I picked it up off the table,
when I set it by my other stuff,
when I picked it up to take it to the car,
when I put it in the car,
when I got it out of the car,
when I set it down in my “to-be-planted” collection,
when I picked it up to take it to a spot to get this picture,
when I set it down,
and when I picked it up to take it back to my “to-be-planted” collection.

I’m thinking it doesn’t like me

I did get the last laugh, though, because it tried to poke me when I set it down for the last time.

It missed!

Ha ha!

Trichocereus bridgesii

SNIPPET 2

When I get depressed, I go talk to my plants. They listen to me. They don’t talk back. Sometimes they do say something to cheer me up, like this Rebutia krainziana did earlier today.

This little dish garden won 1st place plant-of-the-month dish garden at the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society meeting yesterday. Created by me in Designer Pot #8 by A+R POTTERY (also me!).

Left to right: Rebutia narvaecense, Rebutia marsoneri, Rebutia krainziana

Rebutia krainziana

Rebutia krainziana

SNIPPET 3

I have had 8 of my beauties selected for inclusion in the C&S display at the San Diego County Fair.

The first one, Echinopsis chamaecereus (Peanut cactus), will be replanted into a Designer Pot by A+R POTTERY (that’s me!).

All except the last one will be in Designer Pots by A+R POTTERY.

Here they are.

Echinopsis chamaecereus

2018 San Diego County Fair entry

2018 San Diego County Fair entry

2018 San Diego County Fair entry

2018 San Diego County Fair entry

2018 San Diego County Fair entry

2018 San Diego County Fair entry

2018 San Diego County Fair entry

SNIPPET 4

I have found that, if your plants are not blooming, a magic stone placed near them often helps.

Bloom dammit!

SNIPPET 5

Costco is selling their Kirkland brand Premium Golden Margarita for just $6.99 for a 750mL bottle. Ready to drink. That means it already has alcohol in it.

I understand why.

This stuff is nasty, nasty, nasty.

I’m going to have to eat it down with some extra jalapeños.

SNIPPET 6

I always thought this sound was some kind of bird.

Recently, I had a wildlife expert inform me that it’s a ground squirrel.

Here’s one on YouTube

SNIPPET 7

I had to choose yesterday between a San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society Coffee-in-the-Garden or the monthly meeting of the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society (PCSS). Although the Coffee-in-the-Garden was just down the road from me, I chose to drive 40 miles to Escondido for the PCSS meeting, mainly because I’m helping them create their C&S display at the San Diego County Fair this week, and will have 8 of my cactus creations in the display, so I needed to get Fair credentials and such. This will be the first year that I have gone to the Fair FREE since exhibitors get 2 free tickets. Yahoooooooooo!

2018 San Diego County Fair tickets, FREE!

SNIPPET 8

Many decades ago I was on my way from College Station TX to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I stopped at a religious bookstore in Shreveport LA. They had 48 different versions of the Bible but the most interesting one was a Bible that had 8 versions on each 2-page spread so you could compare them. That was the final straw that convinced me that the Bible was a bunch of hooey.

SNIPPET 9

First picture is Meatball, employee of the month at Ottavio’s Italian Restaurant in Lakeside CA, my favorite place to get barbecued chicken pizza. Second picture is Meatball doing what Meatball does best in her favorite spot.

Meatball

Meatball

SNIPPET 10

I can definitively tell you that old age does, indeed, come, and it’s not kind to your ability to clean the house, so get that cleaning out of the way while you’re young.

SNIPPET 11

Tumbleweed growing season is in full swing.

Field of growing tumbleweeds

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

SNIPPETS (5-13-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

If it’s cactus, cacti, it should be agapanthus, agapanthi, yes? Well, whatever.

On May 25, 1979, I flew my wise old grandmother (MWOG) and my two oldest nieces from Kingsville to Houston to Los Angeles to visit MWOG’s oldest living son’s family. My dad was her oldest son, but he committed suicide in 1961 when I was 6.

I remember the date because we were going to fly just hours after AA Flight 191 from Chicago to Los Angeles crashed shortly after takeoff, killing 273 people, still the deadliest air crash in the United States. I had to convince MWOG and teenage girls that flying was safer than driving, and that the absolute safest time to fly is right after an air crash. Odds. Statistics. Nonetheless….

Her oldest living, Charles, had the most beautiful yard I had ever seen because it had so many beautiful plants that I had never seen, and they all were blooming. April showers bring May flowers. Little did I know that they didn’t have April showers in Los Angeles; all watering by hand at that time.

One of his plants was an agapanthus. Its flower stalk was taller than me, and I’m 6’3″. I have always wanted one but never got one. In our new home, I have many, planted by the previous owners. Over 20 flower buds, and this one, about four feet tall, was the first to open, the night of May 8-9.

SNIPPET 2

I abandoned Texas on April 15, 1993, winding up in San Diego, California, on April 27, 1993. For the last days of April, I stayed at the KOA in Chula Vista. On the night of April 30, I was watching news/weather/sports at the KOA community room. The weatherman came on to announce that for the third consecutive month San Diego had no rain, not even a trace. Less than two inches for the first four months of 1993. I thought to myself, “This is my kind of weather. Think I’ll stay.” I did.

Although I can definitively say that it’s more expensive to live in California, I can also definitively say that I would never had made the kind of money in Texas that I have made in California. It might have something to do with the entrepreneurial spirit in this state that led to the announcement this past week that California’s economy is now the fifth largest in the world, having surpassed the United Kingdom.

I love it here.

SNIPPET 3

I have a problem with floor spots in our new home. I don’t know what brand vinyl flooring the previous owners installed in the kitchen, but I’m thinking it might be time to rip it out and install tile. Tile’s expensive, though, and I’m not sure it will solve this floor spot problem.

Floor spot

SNIPPET 4

The Summer Show & Sale for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society is coming up June 2-3. I have heard that it is the largest cactus & succulent show and sale in the nation. My new A+R POTTERY business will be a vendor. In order to be a vendor, said vendor has to enter 8 plants in the show. Considering that there are at least 40 vendors, that’s 320 plants right there. However….

There also is an education category, which I’m going to enter because I love doing research. My exhibit will be on Fibonacci numbers and the Golden Spiral/Fermat’s Spiral in cactus & succulents. Longtime readers might remember my blog on the subject from March 9, 2013, using sunflowers:

Speaking of sunflowers, Fermat’s spiral, and Fibonacci numbers….

Sunflower showing Fermat's spirals

SNIPPET 5

Plants grow very slowly relative to other things so you might not notice what they are doing until months, or even years, later. I’m sure this little pot full of Euphorbia obesa started out as just one, the biggest one in the middle. Over the years, momma has had a few babies, and they are stretching this plastic container, trying to get out on their own. Well, I’m here to help them. Can’t stay with momma forever.

Euphorbia obesa

SNIPPET 6

Last July I sat in for Jeff Moore at his boutique nursery, Solana Succulents, in Solana Beach, California, while Jeff visited the Bay Area to talk with cactus & succulent societies up there. I came home from Solana Succulents with an Operculicarya decaryii. Looks like this:

Operculicarya decaryii

It looks kind of dead, but it’s simply been dormant for the winter. This past Tuesday I noticed that it’s waking up. The leaves are very small so even in full leaf it looks almost dead. While I was looking at the first of its little leaves, I noticed that some of the little leaves are not leaves at all.

They are flowers!

Itsty bitsy teeny tiny little really really really small flowers, so small that I could not measure them. I think they’re about a tenth of an inch in diameter.

I got a good picture with my DSLR and the 90mm macro lens, though:

Operculicarya decaryii flower

SNIPPET 7

I have always liked Tillandsias but I’ve never had too many because I had never found a good way to display them. I don’t like bare roots hanging all over the place.

Now I have a way to display them—Designer Pots by A+R POTTERY (that’s me!).

I filled Designer Pot #59 with a couple of big rocks, then a layer of smaller rocks, then smaller pebbles, then even smaller pebbles. I placed some of the pebbles from the top layer over the Tillandsia roots to hold the plant in place, and then poured water in up to the copper ring so that the top layer where the Tillandsia is “rooted” is dry except for the humidity rising up through the rocks.

In just six hours, the Tillandsia responded to the humidity, basically telling me that he loves it!

Here he is in his new home:

Tillandsia in Designer Pot #59 by A+R POTTERY

SNIPPET 8

I have decided to take on a new nickname.

Just call me ADH Russel.

Stands for “Anti-Drainage Hole Russel.”

Here’s the story, from my brand new website for A+R POTTERY, the anti-drainage hole Designer Pots:

http://www.arpottery.gallery/about-us

SNIPPET 9

Along with the new A+R POTTERY web site, we now have an A+R POTTERY Facebook page!

Yahooooooooooooo!

LIKE us on Facebook!

SNIPPET 10

We added a new book to our classical music library.

New library book

SNIPPET 11

When I rejoined the work force in February 1994 after 10 months of my second retirement, I helped set up offices throughout the nation for Nextel Communications.

I noticed that those beautiful leather, high-back executive office chairs were $1,500 to $2,000.

I always wanted one.

Yesterday, I bought one.

For $129.99.

At Office Depot.

Made in China.

Leather office chair

Zoey the Cool Cat is not yet ready to give up the old chair. She took possession of it while I was assembling the new chair. And I didn’t even buy the new chair at IKEA!

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 12

From the best meme seen on Facebook this past week:

My heart goes out to any aspiring dystopian fiction authors who keep having their ideas stolen by the Republican Party.

SNIPPET 13

Best research summary released last week:

People over 40 should only work 3 days a week, experts say

SNIPPET 14

If you missed the Iranian and Israeli missiles flying through the air this past week……… Those missiles are expensive…….. Putin sells missiles to Iran………… The U.S. sells missiles to Israel………… Someone’s making a lot of money!

SNIPPET 15

Got my California ballot in the mail today since I’m a permanent mail voter. When a Republican was in charge of California, the state was billions of dollars in the red. A Democrat took over and now is leaving the state with the world’s fifth largest economy and a billion dollar annual surplus.
With all that money available, 27 people are running for Governor of California.

27.

Yes, 27.

SNIPPET 16

I like meat, especially fish, chicken, and bacon.

I grew up in a ranching/farming family, so we had lots of pigs, cows, and chickens. One thing I learned on that farm is not to name an animal that I intended to eat.

Naming things makes it personal, and one doesn’t want to get personal with the animal one intends to kill and eat.

I applied that thinking to my vegetables, too.

I name my carrots and peas.

Problem solved.

SNIPPET 18

I have been involved in many different industries during my business career. Word processing, computer sales, real estate buying and selling. landscaping, property renovation, roofing, plumbing, office management, project management, editing, graphic design, home inspections. In every one of them, I knew a great deal about a specific industry before every getting involved in it. Such is not the case with my newest business:

A+R POTTERY—Designer Pots for your small cactus & succulents

A+R POTTERY sold two Designer Pots yesterday at the general meeting of the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society. That was a 100% volume increase of April, and a 125% income increase! I’m quite pleased. Especially since yesterday’s meeting was the worst I’ve been to. There might have been 100 members in attendance, and maybe 20 walk-throughs from the general public. Afterwards I found out why. We were competing with many Mother’s Day weekend events in Balboa Park, and three of the biggest were within 50 feet of our meeting. So to get to us, one had to walk through the crowds for the San Diego Youth Opera, the San Diego Youth Symphony, and the annual San Diego Epiphyllum Society Show & Sale.

I can definitively say that one doesn’t want people walking through monster, gigantic, beautiful, luscious Epiphyllum flowers to get to your meeting because they will never make it. Would YOU have made it through several hundred of these flowering plants?

Epiphyllum flowers

So I’m quite pleased with my progress in the two months I have officially been in business.

Here are the two pots that I sold yesterday:

Designer Pot #13 by A+R POTTERY

Designer Pot #14 by A+R POTTERY

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

SNIPPETS (5-6-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

Back in 1966, I stopped by a field on the way home from school and picked some flowers for my wise old grandmother. She was appreciative but also upset. She told me that if I loved the flowers, I should leave them in the field to grow and produce seeds so we’ll have more flowers. I think that was our first conversation about the birds and the bees………..lol

So I’ve never been a fan of cut flowers. However, when a flower falls off or is pulled of by, uh, a ground squirrel or rabbit, I’m not averse to picking it up and putting it in a glass of water

I bought several cactus and succulents at the Huntington Gardens plant sale last Sunday in San Marino. One had a beautiful orange flower on it. Due to high-speed Southern California driving for two hours (one has to drive with the prevailing speed), the cactus fell over and broke the flower off. Saved the flower, and it’s looked amazing for three days.

Cactus flower

SNIPPET 2

If you have never been to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Garden in San Marino, California (northeast of downtown Los Angeles, near Pasadena), I can highly recommend it. In fact, I think it should be on everyone’s Bucket List.

The property comprises 207 acres, of which 120 acres are gardens. I could spend a day wandering around the gardens. I did spend a day wandering around the gardens! My favorite plant during my visit last Sunday was the Tower of Jewels (Echium  sp.):

Tower of Jewels (Echium sp.)

SNIPPET 3

Yesterday, 25 members of the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society were treated to a private tour of Western Cactus, the nation’s largest cactus grower. Wow! What an experience. Following are a couple of pictures inside two of their 50 green houses. Those are hundreds of trays full of many thousands of cactus seedlings.

Western Cactus of Vista, California

Western Cactus of Vista, California

SNIPPET 4

I accidentally stepped into a low branch of this 4-foot tall “Fat Boy” cactus yesterday. I can definitively tell you that those long spines hurt like hell. I have seven puncture wounds, and that poor ankle still is hurting.

Fat Boy cactus

SNIPPET 5

Out in the wild, only about one in a thousand cactus seeds germinates and grows into a plant. It’s tough out there. It’s only marginally better in a greenhouse simply because caretakers can’t care for each seedling individually, so there will be natural die-off. Here are seed trays containing a thousand cactus seedlings of Astrophytum myriostigma each.

Aastrophytum myriostigma seedlings about 3 weeks old.

SNIPPET 6

And here is a picture from Wikipedia of what those seedlings will grow into; vastly different. Bishop’s Cap photo by Petar43 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27717413

Bishop's Cap

SNIPPET 7

I have 50+ years of botany experience, so I know that cacti are dicots, which means that their seeds will send up two cotyledons to take care of photosynthesis while the seed grows into a little plant and then starts its own photosynthesis.

However, until yesterday, I had never seen the cotyledons of a cactus seed. I used a 90mm macro lens on my Canon 760D to get this picture of two half-inch tall cacti still growing out of their cotyledons, which seem to be quite a bit plumper than, say, sweet pea or corn cotyledons, both of which I’m very familiar with.

Cactus cotyledons

SNIPPET 8

I haven’t had a true passion since 2001 when I started my home inspection business. Sadly, due to the 1% jerk Realtors, the 1% jerk home inspectors in the trade associations, and the 1% jerk buying/selling Clients, that passion lasted only for about 3 years. Then it became just a job, a way to pay the bills, buy a new car every other year, and buy my annual membership to the San Diego Zoo.

It’s just amazing how the 1% can ruin everything for the rest of us. President Twitler and his ilk are great examples.

SNIPPET 9

Western Cactus is  wholesale only. They ship cactus to retail entities throughout the world. The smallest cactus they ship is in a 4-inch plastic pot, which retail nurseries then re-plant into larger pots (so they can charge more) or decorative pots that add perceived value.

The first picture is of cactus in their 4-inch growing trays ready to be pulled and planted in 4-inch pots. The second picture are plants that have been pulled from the growing trays and are ready to be put in 4-inch plastic pots. The third picture are plants in those 4-inch plastic pots and ready to be shipped out to your local nursery. The pictures are of three different cactus species.

Western Cactus

Western Cactus

Western Cactus

SNIPPET 10

Well isn’t Zoey the Cool Cat just a special little queen enjoying her private catio.

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 11

I seem to be noticing cacti & succulents like I’ve never noticed them before. Here’s a huge Opuntia (Prickly Pear) growing in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. I would not be surprised if this one was planted in 1827 when Casa de Estudillo, where it was located, was planted. They certainly never grew this tall in my hometown of Kingsville TX.

Opuntia in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

SNIPPET 12

I had a margarita for Cinco de Mayo. You knew that, though, right? I had it in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park where I was serenaded by a Mexican trio playing “Tequila!” Here’s the trio, surrounded by cacti & succulents, and the song:

Tequila!

SNIPPET 13

Why are we allowing for-profit companies to litter our streets with these ugly bikes? I call them “litter bikes.” One can’t move them if one wants to take a picture, and they are so ugly that one is encouraged not to take the pictures, notwithstanding how expert one might be with Photoshop.

Litter bikes

SNIPPET 14

Today’s “Still Life” by Russel Ray Photos. I might have to question the part about “clean” since this was litter.

Clean, polite, and honest

The fine for littering is $1,000. Here’s my take on the litterer’s conversation with the litter police:

Litterer: Throws litter on the ground
Litter Police: “Hey, you! I just saw you throw that on the ground!”
Litterer: “Wasn’t me.”
Litter Police: “I saw you!”
Litterer: “You can’t possibly have been watching me and only me with these thousands of people here.”
Litter Police: “I don’t have to be watching only you. I only have to have my eyes on you as you’re littering.”
Litterer: “Wasn’t me.”
Litter Police: “All you have to do is pick it up and put it in the trash and we can end this.”
Litterer: “I’m not picking it up. It’s not mine! And who knows where it’s been or how long it’s been there or what kind of germs are on it.”
Litter Police: “I’ll pick it up and put it in the trash. However, I suggest you go home now because once a litterer always a litterer, and I’m going to follow you for the rest of the time that you’re here.”

SNIPPET 15

I grew up in Kingsville, Texas, just 70 miles north of the U.S./Mexico border. Lots of dry, desert land down there, so I’m quite experienced with Opuntia cactus poking holes in my arms and legs. That was 45+ years ago, so it’s been many decades since I had growing experience with Opuntia. In my old age, I’ve been kind of out of the OUCH! stage of my life since I don’t heal as quickly as I did decades ago. Yesterday, though, I saw Opuntia quimilo at Home Depot. I call it Opuntia Wowthosearesomelongspinesii. $14.48. I had to buy it.

Opuntia quimilo

SNIPPET 16

After 24 years with AOL, I’m now ready to close that email account. Unfortunately, AOL provides no way to do that. It’s one of their free accounts.

Anyone have any ideas?

The first 100 pages of a Google search (yes, I went through 100 pages!) provided no help; everything was out of date or not relevant to the free accounts.

SNIPPET 17

In Spring 1976, I had Professor Phil Gramm for Economics 301 at Texas A&M University. He went on to become United States Senator Phil Gramm. I disliked him and his class. One thing he constantly emphasized to us, though, had nothing to do with Economics:

“All politicians lie. It’s part of the job description for getting elected and re-elected. What you have to do is determine whose lies you like the best and then vote for that person.”

Twitler and his ilk, though, have taken lying to a level never before seen. All these liars lying about the lies they told to cover up the lies about the lies. It’s like lies are becoming the norm in America. It’s amazing that I will believe a porn star before I believe the President of the United States.

SNIPPET 18

Here is my third attempt as the Newsletter Editor of the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society:

May newsletter for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society

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