Picture of the Moment—Itsy bitsy, teeny tiny, little, & beautiful

Picture of the Moment

It’s amazing how having a great macro lens for one’s camera causes one to see things that one has never seen before, like these itsy bitsy teeny tiny little beautiful flowers.

Itsy bitsy teeny tiny little beautiful flowers

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

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Gull taking home some food

You can take some home

My wise old grandmother

Whenever my wise old grandmother (MWOG) took me out to eat, inevitably I could not eat everything that the restaurant served me. MWOG often told me, “Just because the restaurant served it to you doesn’t mean you have to eat it all now. You can take some home.”

In her afterlife, I believe she has been counseling some fauna here on Earth:

Squirrel taking home some food

Gull taking home some food

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

Agave utiliensii

Picture of the Moment—The very rare Agave utiliensii

Picture of the Moment

The city of San Diego, as well as its suburbs, love to paint their streetside utility boxes.

I’m not complaining.

I love ’em, and I’m always on the lookout for the coolest of the cool ones.

Utility boxes are usually at street corners or in heavily trafficked areas where there is no parking so they often are difficult to get a picture of.

I have been known, however, to go around the block several times looking for parking so I can get out and take a picture.

Here’s one of my favorites from this past weekend:

Agave utiliensii

I believe it’s the very rare Agave utiliensii, not normally seen in cultivation.

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

IMG_7761 Coco

Picture of the Moment—Meet Coco

Picture of the Moment

I’m the incoming newsletter editor for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society (SDCSS) .

With over 700 members, it’s the largest chapter of the Cactus & Succulent Society of America.

So I was obligated (not that anyone had to twist my arm) to attend the SDCSS Winter Show & Sale.

I heard that it’s the second largest cactus & succulent show & sale in the United States, right behind the SDCSS Summer Show & Sale.

It looks like I’m going to have a great time meeting lots of people, seeing lots of cool plants, taking lots of pictures, and, of course, compiling the newsletter each month.

Here’s my favorite picture from this past weekend:

IMG_7761 Coco

That’s Coco. She’s just a year old and belongs to one of our SDCSS members. One of her parents was a floppy-eared dog and the other parent was a perky-eared dog. Hence, the floppy ear and the perky ear on little Coco, which I thought was sooooooooooooooo cute.

Fortunately, my assistant, a cutie herself, is not jealous so she did approve this post.

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

Out & About—All auto clinics are not created equal

Out & About San Diego

Ocean Beach is a quaint little neighborhood of San Diego. They believe in themselves, so much so that they want to remain stuck in the twentieth century, and the earlier the better.

The homes along Sunset Cliffs are beautiful ocean-view homes, and many of the businesses at ground level on one side are at the top of the sandstone beach bluffs on the other side. Occasionally, when Mother & Father Nature are fighting, the waves will crash against the bluffs and cause large sections to fall to the beach. Such was the case a few months ago, so I went out to see if I could get some pictures. Nope. The only way the bluffs there were accessible is by boat, and I didn’t have a boat. So I wandered around taking pictures of businesses.

That’s when I found Cliffside Auto Clinic. You might think, “Auto repair shop. Meh.”, but look what’s sitting in front of Cliffiside Auto Clinic:

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

One might think, “Gosh, it takes them six decades to repair a car. The owners are probably dead by now!”

Nope.

Cliffside Auto Clinic specializes in restoring cars. How cool!

The “Horseless Carriage” really got my attention because it was in such bad shape:

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

I think the owner, whom I talked to that morning, said the Horseless Carriage was a 1909 Ford Model T but I’m not 100% sure.

There were other historic car-related items, too:

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

I also found two early Fidget Spinner prototypes:

Cliffside Auto Clinic in Ocean Beach, San Diego

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

Out & About—Ocean Beach veterans memorial

Out & About San Diego

When I came to San Diego in April 1993, I had two favorite beaches that I tended to hang out at: Blacks Beach and Ocean Beach. Ocean Beach ranks #1 because Blacks Beach is extraordinarily difficult to get to, being at the bottom of 400′ sandstone cliffs and isolated from parking lots a couple of miles to the north and a couple of miles to the south. It’s a long walk. Especially on sand. Even though parking is pretty bad in Ocean Beach, at least you can drive there and park, and if you have to walk a few blocks, they have concrete sidewalks. Whomever invented concrete, well, I hope s/he’s in Heaven….

I used to make a daily trip to Ocean Beach, but now, 24 years later, it has dropped off to a monthly trip. Not because I don’t like it as much but because it’s now 25 miles away from me.

When I was there last weekend, I got there early. So there was plenty of parking. The beach crowds were not out yet so I was able to walk around and get pictures of things that I normally can’t get pictures of without hundreds of people being in my picture. Imagine my surprise when I found a veterans momument smack dab on the beach at Ocean Beach. Looks like this:

Veterans monument in Ocean Beach

Veterans monument in Ocean Beach

Sadly, with Twitler occupying the White House and trying to destroy everything that has ever made America great, I’m not real sure that there will be any honor and integrity left when he’s finally indicted for treason, collusion, money laundering, perjury, violation of the emoluments clause of the United States Constitution……….. just a few of the things I think he’s guilty of.

The reason why I had never seen the veterans memorial before is because that’s exactly where hundreds of people gather each day and set up their spot at the beach. Just feet away to the left is the sand, the water, the pier, the surfers…. everything you need when you go to the beach.

Surrounding the memorial are memorials stamped in the concrete.

Veterans monument in Ocean Beach

Obviously one is not going to see those when people are setting up beach towels and day camps on them.

Here’s a couple close-ups:

Veterans monument in Ocean Beach

Veterans monument in Ocean Beach

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

Did You Know?—Book Review: “The Demon in the Freezer” by Richard Preston

Did you know?

Many decades ago I wanted to be a history professor. Then I found out how much money K-12 history teachers made and knew that it would not be enough to keep me in the lifestyle to which I dreamed. So I thought about being a college history professor. Then I found out that I probably would have to go to school for eight more years—four for a bachelor’s degree, two for a master’s, and two more for a doctorate’s. Not in this lifetime, or the next. I resigned myself to being a history buff.

"The Demon in the Freezer" by Richard Preston“The Demon in the Freezer” by Richard Preston is a history book about the eradication of smallpox. Smallpox is considered one of the worst diseases in the history of humanity, killing almost one-third of those infected, and killing about 300 million people just in the Twentieth Century. Pictures on Wikipedia of people with smallpox makes me think that it might have been better to die than to live with the results of smallpox.

Smallpox has been eradicated worldwide with the last known naturally occurring case being a case of variola minor (the more serious smallpox is variola major) in October 1977 in Somalia. However, there are “stocks” of smallpox, both variola major and variola minor and various strains of both, at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and in at the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR in Russia. Theoretically, no one else has any stock of smallpox, but that is assuming that all the countries in the world that once had smallpox stocks either destroyed them or turned them over to the World Health Organization for transmittal to CDC or VECTOR.

After 9/11 and the anthrax letters sent to various officials in Washington, D.C., many researchers started thinking seriously about biowarfare, and smallpox rose to the forefront. Because of the many ways smallpox can travel from human to human, and the population and mobility of the world, many of those same researchers believe that a simple warhead loaded with smallpox could be more damaging to the world than any nuclear bomb. After reading “The Demon in the Freezer,” I can understand why.

One name mentioned in the book that I was quite familiar with was that of Robert S. Mueller III. Currently he is the Special Counsel for the Department of Justice and is investigating the current president and his family for obstruction of justice, collusion with Russia, money laundering, and probably a whole assortment of crimes. The reason why he is mentioned in this book, published in 2002, is because he was the Direct of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from September 4, 2001, to September 4, 2013. He was an integral part of keeping tabs on the anthrax scares at the time, providing then-President Bush with daily updates on bioterror and other terrorist threats.

If you like history, and you have any interest at all in what’s going on in the world with the current U.S. president empowering and enabling all this hatred toward other people, even fellow American citizens, this is a book that might cause you to sit up and take notice.

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