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

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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

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Friday Flower Fiesta (5-30-14)—Peak rose-blooming time is here!

Friday Flower Fiesta

It is peak rose blooming time in San Diego right now so I thought I’d feature roses in today’s Friday Flower Fiesta.

However, I created something a little different for you today. Hope you like it.

Rose Photographic Art by  Russel Ray Photos

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.

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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
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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

Music on Mondays (5-26-14)—It took 43 years?

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Arguably the top story in music news this past week was the lawsuit against Led Zeppelin by the relatively unknown (compared to Led Zeppelin) rock group Spirit. Spirit had its greatest success in the 1960s and ’70s. I have a complete collection of music by both groups.

My high school friends introduced me to the two groups when I was 16. Everyone knew how much I loved music since I played the piano and violin, and sang in the high school choir. When they had a surprise birthday party for me in March 1971, Mark Johnson gave me Spirit’s “The Family That Plays Together” album and Jamie Perez gave me “Led Zeppelin III.”

Happy anniversary to Jim & Russel

Led Zeppelin is in the process of re-mastering and re-releasing their music. The re-mastered Led Zeppelin I, II, and III are out. Led Zeppelin IV, their most famous album since it contains the incomparable “Stairway To Heaven,” was due to be re-released in a few weeks.

The lawsuit claims that Led Zeppelin plagiarized “Stairway to Heaven” from an instrumental section of Spirit’s song “Taurus.” I have known about the supposed similarities since 1997 when Randy California of Spirit discussed it in an interview just before he died. It should be noted that Led Zeppelin and Spirit toured together in 1968 and 1969. “Taurus” was released by Spirit in January 1968. “Stairway to Heaven” was released by Led Zeppelin in November 1971.

Have a listen; it’s the guitar in the introduction of “Stairway to Heaven” that is said to be plagiarized. Listen to “Taurus” beginning at 0:44 and then listen to the guitar in “Stairway to Heaven,” specifically the first 2:15.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

What do I think? Here’s what I think:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“All You Need Is Love”…. One of the greatest plagiarized songs of all time! (LOL). In the beginning you hear a Beatles rendition of the French national anthem, “La Marseillaise,” written and composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in April 1792. Other bits and pieces include “Greensleeves,” first registered at the London Stationer’s Company in September 1580 by Richard Jones (“A Newe Northen Dittye of ye Ladye Greene Sleves”), and Glen Miller’s “In The Mood.” Sources indicate that The Beatles paid royalties to Glen Miller for his contribution.

The Spirit lawsuit seeks to give Randy California writing credit on “Stairway To Heaven” and to block the re-release of “Led Zeppelin IV.”

So it took 43 years for Spirit to realize a similarity and file a lawsuit? Hmmmmmmm. Dubious. Then again, maybe it’s not too late for Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle and Richard Jones!

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

Blog love (5-25-14)

I livew in my own little world

Zoey the Cool Cat waiting for Santa ClausMy on my, where do the days go? Christmas is just seven months away!

If you missed my initial post about Blog Love, you can read it here. If you get mentioned in my Blog Love series, it’s a sure bet that I’m following YOU!

During these past two weeks, I visited 1148 blogs, an average of 82 per day. I’m almost caught up since I’m visiting people today who first visited me on April 1, 2014. As the time lag decreases, more and more of the blogs I’m visiting are active; only 142 were deleted or inactive. That’s good, because I really don’t like to visit blogs that have been deleted, only to get a Google or WordPress message telling me the blog has been deleted. That’s just a waste of time, and each day only provides me with 24 hours, or 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds….

StrawflowerOut of the remaining 1,006 blogs, I left 2,734 LIKEs and 438 comments. The blogs where I left at least ten LIKEs and/or comments are listed below. Those bloggers who post pictures with very little text to read get the most LIKEs and comments, so it’s not unusual to find pet blogs and photography blogs high on the Blog Love list each week.

Orange twinsClick on the link to go visit them, and be sure to tell them that Russel Ray sent you their way!

  1. Cool San Diego Sights – 95 (Pretty obvious why I spent so much time here, right?)
  2. laurie27wsmith (The adventure of writing) – 83
  3. The Bonny Blog – 40
  4. Lily of the NileLife in the foothills – 33
  5. I didn’t have my glasses on – 31
  6. Noir – 29
  7. Googsy Photography – 26
  8. Easy Blog – 24
  9. Denisa Aricescu – 23
  10. Kira Moore’s Closet – 17
  11. The Essence can only be seen with the heart – 16
    Antilandscaper – 16
    Jet Eliot – 16
  12. CollTales – 14
  13. Love poems French & English – 11
    My success is your success – 11
    Emandyves – 11

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

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