Happy birthday to me!

I livew in my own little world

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you were wondering what happened to me today since I didn’t post anything, well, I was celebrating my last birthday before the sun sets on my life. Yep. Sixty is just 365 days away. I turn 59 at 11:58 p.m. today. As I write this, that is only 34 minutes away. Of course, technicalities aside, I have been celebrating all day. Who needs to be exact in life?

My intent was to go to the San Diego Zoo from 9:00-10:30 this morning, then over to SeaWorld from 11:00-12:30, then to teach my chess class at an exclusive rich private school, then to On The Border for Taco Tuesday and a margarita!

I didn’t make it to SeaWorld because I was delayed at the Zoo due to a fire in a car parked just three cars from me. Here’s the smoke as seen from inside the Zoo, when I thought to myself, “That looks like where I parked my car.”

Car fire at the San Diego Zoo on March 11, 2014

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The police and firefighters had several rows blocked off, including, of course, the row I was parked in, so I stood and watched the fire for 43 minutes. By the time the fire was out and we were allowed to go to our cars, there was no way to get to SeaWorld to make the trip worthwhile.

It’s alright, though, because for my birthday, SeaWorld sent me a buy-one-get-one-free “Dine With Shamu” dinner, so Jim and I will be dining with Shamu real soon. We dined with Shamu a couple of years ago and it was awesome. You get real up close and personal! Here’s Shamu from our last Dine With Shamu dinner:

Dining with Shamu at SeaWorld

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

After eating lunch, I went to teach chess for the first time at Francis Parker school, a rich private exclusive school.  3:30-4:30 class.  A bell rings at 4:00 and my eight students jumped up and went screaming out of the room!

Huh?

Turns out that they get a 10-minute break every hour. What do they do? The school—remember, a rich private exclusive school—feeds them junk food. The kids came back with Cheetos, Fritos, Doritos, cheese & peanut butter crackers, etc.

These are K-6 students, and this rich private exclusive school is serving them junk food?

Confused, I am.

I did, of course, make it to On The Border for Taco Tuesday and margaritas:

Taco Tuesday at On The Border in El Cajon, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Margaritas at On The Border in El Cajon, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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68 thoughts on “Happy birthday to me!

  1. rarasaur

    Happy birthday! 🙂 (I don’t know if you saw, but a few local bloggers are getting together in LongBeach on the 22nd. We’d love to meet you if you can make it! 🙂 )

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        1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          Just feet away from Aquarium of the Pacific! Tentatively count me in, but I have to check with my husband because if I go to AOTP without him, he’ll be angry. Thus, if his chamber music, real estate, CVS Pharmacy, and Barnes & Noble jobs (yes, he works 4 jobs) don’t conflict, I think we’ll be in for a trip to Long Beach!

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        2. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          Well, as much as I wanted this to happen, I just scheduled a home inspection for that Saturday for some Clients flying in from Utah. And since it’s a big house with a pool and spa, meaning big dollars, I can’t turn it down.

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  2. draliman

    Happy birthday!
    I thought junk food in schools was a thing of the past. It’s turned nasty here in the UK. Some schools are banning anything but water to drink, and a little kiddie got suspended recently for bringing in a little packet of snack cheesy biscuits in his lunch box.
    Have fun dining with Shamu 🙂

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  3. operasmorg

    Happy belated Birthday, Russell! 😀 I’m glad your car wasn’t the one that caught fire. Did you at least get a free car wash/rinse out of that?

    That’s some private school! Back in my youthful days we only got a 10 min break after every 3rd class. 😛 I guess that was part of the reasons we stayed pretty slim compared to today’s kids, tho… The only snack shack was a good 3-4 minutes away most of the time, then the waiting in line and the run back. Hardly enough time to make a dent into a bag of crisps! 🙂

    Anyhow, hope you guys will have a blast at the Dinner With Shamu! Many happy returns!

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  4. Darlene Jones

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
    As a former educator I want to know if the other school you teach chess at is a rich community too. I’m interested in the differences you would see between different socio-economic groups. PS There’s a big push in Canada to get away from junk food in schools.

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      There was a big push here 20 years ago to get away from junk food in schools. Junk drinks, too. There are no junk food or soda vending machines on public school campuses. However, private schools can do what they want, but I’m still amazed that this rich, exclusive, private school with a great reputation feeds its students junk food every hour on the hour.

      I’ve always believed that it’s not the school, it’s the students and the parents, and nothing I have seen at the poor schools, the rich schools, and the in-between schools has convinced me otherwise. Interested parents create interested children.

      I have holy terror students at all three types of schools, and I have great students at all three types of schools.

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  5. babso2you

    ♪♫♫♪ Happy birthday to you! ♪♫♫♪ Happy birthday to you! ♫♪ Happy birthday dear Russel, ♫♪ Happy birthday to you! ♪♫♫♪ And, many more! ♪♫♫♪

    Was that the place we ate at? That food looks good as does the margarita! Hugs and have a great birthday! B

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      1. babso2you

        Looks yummy and that was such good food and great margaritas! Not to mention we had a blast with you and Jim that day…thinking we should do this again sometime soon! 🙂

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  6. M-R

    Some birthday. Well, at least it wasn’t boring, eh ? :-}
    I like your style. You’re obviously quite mad; and that speaks to me. Or perhaps I mean for me.
    [grin]

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    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Oh, no, I wasn’t mad by any stretch. I’m a pretty laid-back Southern boy, born and raised. I discovered about 40 years ago that getting angry at things that are out of my control is not a good way to live.

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      1. M-R

        Nononono ! – Aussies mean “bonkers” / “insane” / and similar adjectives when they say “mad”. Not like you lot, who mean “angry” … I forgot that – sorry !

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