Monthly Archives: May 2014

Cat House on the Kings—Here a cat, there a cat, everywhere a cat-cat

Out & About

Jim and I don’t travel out of state due to the inconsistency between States of recognizing our marriage. If something happened to either of us while in a hostile State, the other might not be able to make appropriate financial decisions, or life and death decisions. That causes us to pretty much stay in California, specifically Southern California.

On May 2-3, we traveled to Fresno, California, definitely not in Southern California. Our purpose was to have Photographic Art be a vendor at the fundraiser for The Cat House on the Kings.

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

We had some trouble finding the actual location but eventually got there. Here’s the view of the property as we turned the final corner:

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

According to their web site, The Cat House on the Kings comprises 12 acres along the Kings River. Since its founding 22 years ago, they have saved over 24,000 cats and 7,000 dogs (not counting the 40,000 animals that have been spayed and neutered) and currently care for more than 700 cats and kittens, a dozen or so dogs, and a handful of goats. While we were there, I also saw one peacock:

Peacock at Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I parked the car, and as soon as I got out, I was greeted by this cutie:

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It doesn’t look happy, though, perhaps wondering why I, and so many others, were invading its home on a beautiful Saturday.

I checked in and was taken to the area where I would set up my table.

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Everywhere we turned there were cats. Here a cat, there a cat, everywhere a cat!

Cat House on the Kings

Cat House on the Kings

Cat House on the Kings

Cat House on the Kings

That last one is giving me the evil eye, but it was very friendly, as were all the cats that were out and about.

The first thing I did was set up a chair for Jim. Within five seconds, it was occupied….

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

How sweet. Jim and I didn’t have the heart to move it. Chairs were very popular with the cats.

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Next I set up my table. It took five seconds for a second orange-and-white cat to claim it.

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It was a wonderful task to (try to) set up shop with so many cats helping out, but eventually I did get set up.

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Throughout the day, Jim and I took turns exploring the property. The cat house truly is a cat house. Since Jim and I both are in real estate, we estimated that the house was probably about 2,000 square feet, all of it reserved for cats, and they knew it.

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cat House on the Kingsp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My favorite room was the Great Room with its Cat Couch:

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Cat House on the Kings is California’s largest no-cage, no-kill, lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption center.

Their mission is to place rescued cats and kittens into loving, permanent homes; to provide a safe, happy and healthy home for unwanted cats and kittens in a unique, no-cage facility; to prevent pet overpopulation through spaying and neutering; and to educate the public about responsible pet ownership.

It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation (EIN 27-0015288). There are many ways to donate to The Cat House on the Kings, including cash (you can even use PayPal!), eBay Giving Works, sponsorships, memorials, the dedication wall, donating an item on their wish list, leaving a legacy, volunteering, fostering a cat, or shopping with their affiliate partners (AmazonSmile, GoodKitty.com, Bissell, eScrip, GoodSearch.com, Cars 4 Causes).

Cash contributions are tax deductible. Please donate.

To help support
The Cat House on the Kings,
I donate 10% of proceeds from the sale of my
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America
to them as long as you use the discount code
LMYAAR (provides YOU a 20% discount) at checkout.

Cat House on the Kings

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

►►►►◄◄◄◄

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

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

My you are tall

Picture of the Moment

When Jim and I went to the May 3 fundraiser for Cat House on the Kings, we came back through Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Park, Sequoia National Monument, and Sequoia National Forest. The whole area is full of tall, massive trees, specifically redwoods and sequoias.

The loop road we drove took us directly through the Giant Forest of sequoias, where five of the ten most massive living organisms are located. I had to take twelve pictures and then have Photoshop stitch them together to get just a part of the Giant Forest:

Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) averages about 275 feet tall and 25 feet in diameter. The tallest sequoia measured 311 feet tall and the widest measured 56 feet in diameter.

I usually don’t like blogs that have pictures that are so big that you have to scroll to see all of a picture and never can get all of a picture on your screen. However, I thought it would be fun to include here a big picture of the big trees:

giant forest faa 2000 tall at 72 ppi

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?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

SNIPPETS (5-27-14)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

Yesterday I went traipsing along the San Diego River with folks from the Pacific Photography Society, one of the meetup.com groups that I belong to. My best picture was of a snowy egret doing a little fishing. Here it is made into Photographic Art:

Snowy egret

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #2

For our 20th anniversary meal yesterday, Jim and I went to the C Level Lounge. It’s quite a bit out of my preferred price range, but we went there four years ago for our anniversary, and since I wanted to go to the waterfront, we chose the C Level Lounge again. This car was in the parking lot as we were leaving:

Beautiful car

Smile if you know what kind of car it is, and if you do, you’ll understand why the C Level Lounge is out of my preferred price range.

That car goes for about $338,000, has 602 horsepower, and hits a top speed of 202 miles per hour. This specific model was just released, so I had the privilege of seeing in person one of the first. Since there will only be about 100 of them made, it’s a rare sight, indeed!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #3

When Jim and I went to the fundraiser for Cat House on the Kings on May 3, we returned home via the loop road that goes through Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Forest, Sequoia National Park, and Kings Canyon National Park. The loop will take you through several forests of redwoods and sequoias, the largest living organisms on Earth. Throughout the area we found cold, wet, sticky, white stuff on the ground. Looks like this:

Wet, sticky white stuff

Anyone have any idea what that mush is? We didn’t much care for it.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

On the way home from the Cat House on the Kings fundraiser, we hit a traffic jam in Burbank, at 10:30 at night! We moved a whopping 6/10 of a mile in one hour and thirty-three minutes. We knew that there was a serious accident when we saw the coroner’s van drive by on the shoulder. Turns out that it was a one car/two motorcycle accident, with one of the motorcyclists being killed, and the car driver being arrested. While we were stopped on the freeway in downtown Burbank, I took this 57-second video of the lighting display on one of the buildings:

The cars speeding by were northbound on the freeway whereas we were stopped going southbound.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #5

The bar in the C Level Lounge was particularly beautiful in subdued lighting:

C Level Lounge in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #6

At the mouth of the San Diego River is Dog Beach, located in the eclectic community of Ocean Beach within the San Diego city limits. That’s where I wound up yesterday with my Pacific Photography Society outing.

Dog Beach in Ocean Beach, San Diego, California

And here’s my favorite doggie from yesterday made into Photographic Art:

Big doggie

Smile if you know what dog breed that big boy is.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #7

For the last seven years, Zoey the Cool Cat has taken up residence on my printer when I’m working in the wee hours of the morning:

Zoey the Cool Cat

Recently I had to replace that printer. It was seven years old and would not print anymore. I got the new printer a few days ago, and Zoey the Cool Cat is none too happy. She has only laid on it once, but I did get a picture:

Zoey the Cool Cat

Notice how uncertain she looks.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #8

The goal of our Pacific Photography Society outing yesterday was to get some great pictures of a nesting pair of Ospreys with their fledgling. Unfortunately, the marine layer at 7:00 a.m. in May (commonly called “May Gray”) doesn’t make for great pictures of anything with sky in it. Here is the nest, though, showing the two parents watching over their little one:

Osprey nest and birds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #9

After each Pacific Photography Society outing, members upload pictures to the web site. Theoretically, they upload their best pictures. I always find it amazing that people with $10,000 cameras and lenses often don’t have the critical eye to look for, and compose, unique pictures. Proves that the camera and lens do not necessarily make you a photographer. Invariably I upload only a few pictures, but they always get lots of WOW comments. The picture in SNIPPET #1 was the most popular, and this came in second:

Tree trunk

Remember that we went out to look at ospreys and here I am taking pictures of common snowy egrets through a damaged chain link fence, and tree trunks. Ah, well, I never was much good at following assignment instructions, kind of preferring to do my own thing….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #10

C Level Lounge gave me the second largest burger I’ve ever had:

Big burger and fries

It was so large that I couldn’t eat the fries that came with it, so I brought them home. The restaurant put the fries in a Styrofoam box (I thought the world had done away with Styrofoam!) and then put that in a reusable and recyclable bag. Environmentally unfriendly Styrofoam in an environmentally friendly reusable and recyclable bag. Ironic.

The bag looked like it might be just big enough for Zoey the Cool Cat to get into, so I threw it on the bed. It took 2.73117 seconds for her to get inside and make herself at home:

Zoey the Cool Cat

As I was composing this post, Zoey the Cool Cat, normally on the printer next to me, decided to take a catnap in the reusable and recyclable bag. So that’s where she is right now! Happy kitty….

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

SNIPPETS (5-24-14)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

I hope everyone had a happy World Turtle Day yesterday! Let’s have one final turtle picture in honor of turtles throughout the world.

Galapagos Tortoise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #2

Sometimes when I’m doing a home inspection, a child follows me around, often asking, “What are you doing?” My answer never satisfies them because they following up that first question with a second one: “Why?”

Sometimes a cat or dog will follow me around, such as this little cutie:

Cat checking out my home inspection bag

I’m pretty sure she had no interest in becoming a home inspector. Another few minutes and my bag would have been her new home!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #3

Sometimes I get followed around by non-children, non-cats, and non-dogs:

Birds wanting food

Those birds were used to being fed right there. How do I know? Because the property was vacant except for a big jar of bird seed to feed the little ones. How sweet.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

Ever wonder what a butterfly convention looks like?

Butterfly convention

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #5

I ordered a printer from Staples on May 15. A couple of minutes after placing the order, I got an email message that it would be here May 23. The email included tracking information so I could follow its journey to San Diego. The tracking information link never worked.

No notification arrived yesterday, either by phone or email, so I chatted with a Staples rep online. The printer had been here since May 16! No phone call or email notification from Staples telling me that, though. Ack!

Where is our customer service today? Oh, wait. Staples is a company that Mitt Romney set up. Nevermind. (That was a political comment…)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #6

Who was the bright individual who decided that power buttons should be on the back of big, tall, wide printers? In fact, who decided that power buttons, possibly the most used and most critical part, should be on the back of anything? Ack! 

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #7

Zoey the Cool Cat did not like the box the printer came in. It was way too big. However, she did like all the papers that came with it.

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #8

The jacarandas are looking particularly stunning this season, possibly because rainfall was lower than normal. They just really don’t like to be all wet.

Here is Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of my favorite
jacaranda so far this purple season:

Jacaranda in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #9

I realize that all life dies, but I still feel sorry when it happens, as with this poor duck which died at Union Station in Los Angeles.

Dead duck

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #10

Ever find a really neat-looking building and wish you had enough money to buy it just to say that it was yours?

When I went to the Cat House on the Kings fundraiser on May 3, this building was next to the hotel where I stayed:

Cool building

It used to be a restaurant, King’s Buffet, but it is vacant and shuttered now, wanting someone to buy it and bring it to life again.

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

Yahoooooooooooooo! It’s World Turtle Day!

Did you know?

Another World Turtle Day is here!

Started in 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue, celebrations occur worldwide with people dressing up as turtles or wearing “turtle green” clothes, arts & crafts projects, research activities, turtle lesson plans in classrooms….

Did you know that if you find a turtle crossing a road and decide to help it so it doesn’t get hit by a car, you should point it in the same direction it was traveling, so take it to the side of the road that it was traveling to and point it away from the road. If you take it to the side of the road from which it came, even if you point it away from the road, it will turn around and start to cross the road again.

And for your World Turtle Day enjoyment:

Turtle Crossing

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Turtles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Turtles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Turtles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Turtles

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Turtle in the wild

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Turtles at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Alligator snapping turtle at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Alligator snapping turtle at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sea turtle at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sea turtle at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray PhotosGalapagos tortoises at San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Thanks for stopping by! See you next time!

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

Out & About—SeaWorld sculptures created from ocean trash

SeaWorld

One of the things that I really like about aquariums, zoos, and sanctuaries is that they have so many educational programs.

Sometimes the educational programs take a tack that you weren’t really expecting.

Such was the case on a recent visit to SeaWorld where I found four unique sculptures, unique because they are made completely out of trash that has washed up from the ocean.

Take a look:

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SeaWorld San Diego

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

My new memes for (most) Republicans

I livew in my own little world

Many decades ago (1966, to be exact), I discovered Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. It was on my wise old grandmother’s telephone stand (smile if you remember telephone stands).

The process of creating Photographic Art for my galleries at Fine Art America allows me to explore my own creativity, which sometimes means that I’m simply looking for a faster, easier way to do something. Such has been the case with taking pictures and adding quotations to them, and recently I discovered not only how to add quotations quickly and easily, but how to customize them beyond the default formats that Photoshop provides.

Following are some recent pictures to which I added quotations. I’ll be able to use these over on Facebook whenever needed, usually in response to something someone in this current crop of Republicans has said.

Help! These stupid people are driving me crazy!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Oh no! A stupid person!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

OMG! Did she really say that?

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

Why is life so confusing?

Out & About

The home in Rancho Santa Fe where I teach private chess lessons to four children is gated. Not once, though. Not even twice. Three gates!

It takes me 30 minutes to drive to Rancho Santa Fe and then another 30 minutes to get approved three times. The first gate is to the subdivision, the second gate is to a neighborhood within the subdivision, and the third gate is to the property.

Virtually everything in Rancho Santa Fe is gated since only millionaires and billionaires live there. Why do people live in isolation like that? I mean, how do the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormon Missionary Boys get there to knock on your door? Oh, yea. They don’t. Now I understand.

One of the subdivisions which I pass each week has some beautiful garden sculptures welcoming you to the subdivision. Or maybe they are simply welcoming you to the gate to the subdivision. Oh, I don’t know…. Why is life so confusing?

Garden sculptures

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Garden sculptures

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Garden sculptures

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Garden sculptures

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I did find it rather relaxing to simply be sitting there in my car looking at the sculptures while The Beatles were playing on my car stereo. Now I understand.

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

SNIPPETS (5-17-14)—You’re ugly, dirty lyrics, wwjd, and more!

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

Julian gets things done faster than I can create things for him to do, so I’m working fast to create lots of Photographic Art to keep him busy uploading to the Photographic Art galleries of Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Yesterday evening he mentioned my picture of an ugly grey duck. Ducks, of course, are not ugly, nor are any birds. They just have different features, just like people. I couldn’t think of an ugly grey duck, so I went searching in my birds folder and found a picture of a Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex). Ah-ha! Lots of people think the Shoebill is ugly. What say you?

Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)

The Shoebill is a huge bird, getting up to 60 inches tall, weighing up to 15.4 pounds, and having a wing span up to 8½ feet. I think it might be bigger than Julian:

Shoebill and Julian

I’m thinking that Shoebill could take care of Julian real quickly, so I would say, “Beware of name-calling.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #2

As stated in a recent post (Rancho Santo Fe, the Benardo Fire, and my new BFF house), my chess class on Fridays happens to be out where the fires are burning, specifically the Bernardo Fire near Rancho Santa Fe. I had to pass through the burned area yesterday and, of course (you know me!), got a couple of pictures.

Burned hillsides with lots of smoke still rising from the fire on the other side:

Bernardo Fire, San Diego, California, 051614

Lonely mansion overlooking a burned hillside:

Bernardo Fire, San Diego, California, 051614

As you can see in the picture directly above, the fire got pretty close to that mansion. Fortunately, after the October 2003 and October 2007 fires, the County passed ordinances requiring people living in rural areas to create a defensible space around their home. That’s really the main reason why no homes were lost in the Bernardo Fire.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #3

It’s so sad that the worse the fires are, the more beautiful the sunsets. This is from my back patio May 15 where it got up to 104° (F for my Canadian friends) that day:

Sunset during the Bernardo Fire, San Diego, May 15 2014

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

I got my first paycheck from my sales at Fine Art America on May 15! Yahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Zoey the Cool Cat will be able to eat at least one more can of Ocean Whitefish & Tuna! She’s a happy cat.

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #5

On this date in 2004, the first legal same-sex marriage in the United States was performed in the State of Massachusetts. Amazingly, the sky hasn’t fallen, the ground has not risen up to swallow people, and the sun still rises in the east and sets in the west……………

Sunset at the beach

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #6

It’s no secret that the federal government has an interesting past. I had no idea that the lyrics of “Louie, Louie” by The Kingsmen had been investigated by the FBI as pornographic, which would have been a violation of the Interstate Transportation of Obscene Material law. If only they could investigate some of these rap and hip hop lyrics that I hear blasting from the bass-heavy car stereos…………… For more, see The FBI Laboratory weighs in on the “dirty” lyrics of “Louie Louie”. Or just listen to the song and enjoy it:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #7

Zoey the Cool Cat loves to sit and watch (stalk) the mourning doves just inches outside the office window. Yesterday she found a new way to watch (stalk) them.

Zoey the Cool Cat stalking a mourning dove

She was really focused on the shadow for several minutes. The funny thing is, she knows where the mourning dove and feeder are because every 15 seconds or so she would turn around to look at the scene outside the window.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #8

Remember that cool diner I found (see it here: Now I Know What Comfort Food is)? Jim, Julian, and I went to eat there last Saturday. The food was awesome! Definitely worth a return trip when I’m looking for awesome comfort food!

It was very busy, so I only got one picture of the interior, taken just before we left.

Studio Diner, San Diego, California

Food at Studio Diner, San Diego, California

Empty plate

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #9

Jim and I have an anniversary coming up. We celebrate several: The day we met (May 26, 1994), the day we moved in together (November 1, 1995), the day we got domestic partnered (July 31, 2004), and the day we got married (October 30, 2008). So our twentieth anniversary of meeting is in just nine days!

I lost all of my pictures of the building where we met in the Great Hard Drive Crash of August 2005. Here is the building where we got married:

San Diego County Administration Building

Just a few days later, California voters—the ones who voted—voted to disallow gay marriages. Fortunately, the California Supreme Court ruled in May 2009 that since we got legally married, our marriage would remain legal and valid. Ultimately the law disallowing gay marriage was overturned.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #10

I don’t understand hateful Christians. Didn’t Jesus heal the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and house the homeless? Or did I read a poor translation of The Bible? WWJD?

WWJD?

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

Imperial Beach

Rancho Santa Fe, the Bernardo Fire, and my new BFF house

House & Home

On Fridays I teach chess at a private residence for four children, a girl age 8 and a 2 boys/1 girl set of triplets age 6½. The residence is a magnificent 11,700-SF home in Rancho Santa Fe.

Rancho Santa Fe home

The home is just a couple of miles west of where the Bernardo Fire has been burning for several days. On the map below, the blue icon is where the fire started. As you can see, it’s burning south and west, expected because of prevailing winds. The house where I teach chess is at the point of the maroon pin, directly in the path of the fire. Mountains and canyons, which affect winds and fire fighter accessibility, will determine where the fire actually burns.

Bernardo fire

I have told the owner of the academic chess company for which I work that, considering the fire was 50% contained as of ten hours ago and that the roads to the residence are high-traffic four-lane roads or winding country two-lane roads, I think chess tomorrow should be canceled.

Because the property is isolated and the roads are busy or narrow, I usually take my time getting there, often stopping along the way to take roadside pictures of the many magnificent properties. One of my most recent discoveries is my new BFF house. I love it.

The pictures below are panoramas created using 3-6 pictures and Photoshop’s Photomerge function. After getting the stitched-together panorama, I created Photographic Art. Click on the pictures to get a larger version.

Rancho Santa Fe house

Rancho Santa Fe house

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