Monthly Archives: June 2014

Music on Monday (6-30-14)—…I kind of like The Beatles

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

It should be no secret to my readers that I’m a huge Beatles fan. I often get asked which is my favorite Beatles song, and the answer has been the same since around 1970: Let It Be. However, the single version is much better than the album version.

I thought for today’s Music on Mondays, instead of playing songs by The Beatles, we’d explore some songs that reference The Beatles. These are not all of them by any means, but these are some of my favorites, and I only used songs which I have in my music collection

“I Saw It On T.V.” by John Fogerty, 1985

‘Cause four guys from England took us all by the hand.
It was time to laugh, time to sing, time to join the band

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Never Been To Spain” by Three Dog Night, 1971

Well I’ve never been to England, but I kind of like The Beatles.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“All The Young Dudes” by Mott the Hoople, 1972

And my brother’s back at home with his Beatles and his Stones.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Summer Rain” by Johnny Rivers, 1973

All summer long we spent dancin’ in the sand
And the jukebox kept on playin’
Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Shooting Star” by Bad Company, 1975

Johnny was a school boy when he heard his first Beatles song.
“Love Me Do,” I think it was and from there it didn’t take him long.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel, 1989

British Beatlemania

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“The Seeker” by The Who, 1970

They call me the seeker. I’ve been searching low and high.
I won’t get to get what I’m after till the day I die.
I asked Bobby Dylan, I asked The Beatles,
I asked Timothy Leary, but he couldn’t help me either.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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We come in threes

San Diego Zoo logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Yes, Jim and I made it to opening night for the San Diego Nighttime Zoo yesterday.

In three hours I took 141 pictures and 13 videos.

It was the night of threes, though.

WE COME IN THREES

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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San Diego Nighttime Zoo starts today!

San Diego Zoo logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Today marks the beginning of the San Diego Nighttime Zoo for 2014. Instead of being open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m each day., the Zoo will stay open until 9:00 p.m. each and every day through September 1, 2014.

I love the Nighttime Zoo! Yahoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! (Smile if you think I’m excited!)

Remember that if you come to San Diego on business or vacation, contact me because I often have free tickets to the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, or SeaWorld. With enough notice, I can usually play docent for a day!

Also, if you fly into San Diego, sit on the left side of the plane. The view of downtown San Diego as you are landing is awesome!

Following are some of my favorite pictures from past visits to the Zoo. Eventually, Photographic Art will be created from these pictures and Julian will upload them to my galleries at Fine Art America for purchase in many different forms (traditional prints, prints on metal or acrylic, posters, cell phone cases, etc.).

Komodo dragon at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Necking flamingos at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Albino burmese python at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Shoebill at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Ocellated turkey at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Hippopotamuses at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Giant panda at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bakka, cheetah ambassador of the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Peacock at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Koala female and one-year-old joey at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bald eagle in residence at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Woma at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Maned wolves at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sudanese striped hyena, San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Polar bear at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Flamingo chick at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cape clawless otter, San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Malayan tiger at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Hibiscus blooming in November at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Monkey at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red kangaroo at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Camel at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Panda at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Serval at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Desert Bighorn Sheep at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Knobbed Hornbill at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Meerkat at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Female red-cheeked gibbon at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bornean Sun Bear at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Elephant at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Striped hyena at the San Diego Zoo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Friday Flower Fiesta (6-27-14)—Orchids

Friday Flower Fiesta

All pictures, minus the framing, will be available for purchase in my Flower Gallery at Fine Art America (once Julian gets back from Texas; who knows when that will be?). You can buy matted & framed prints, metallic prints, acrylic prints, greeting cards, cell phone cases, posters, and more!

More orchids from this past week. The San Diego County Orchid Society’s Summer Show in the Park is coming up July 19-20 and will be in Balboa Park. I’ll be there.

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Orchid Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of La Mesa California

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Orchid Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of La Mesa California

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Orchid Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of La Mesa California

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Orchid Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of La Mesa California

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Orchid Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of La Mesa California

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Orchid Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of La Mesa California

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Orchid Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of La Mesa California

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Orchid Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of La Mesa California

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Orchid Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of La Mesa California

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Orchid Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of La Mesa California

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Orchid Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos of La Mesa California

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m Zoey the Cool Cat,
and I approve this post.
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 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
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 (6-26-14)—Drill moms rule!

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

Recently I was at a mall that I had never been to before. After being there, I understood why I had never been there: It’s too difficult to get to unless you happen to live in the area.

As I was walking around the mall, I came across two large, tiled murals:

Tiled murals

Tiled murals

How cool it would be to visit your old neighborhood 20, 30, 40 years later and see a tiled mural comprising tiles of your high school friends, including one tile with YOUR name on it!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #2

I teach chess at after-school enrichment programs for a dozen elementary schools in San Diego County so I’m always pleased when I see people playing chess in unusual places, such as the waterfront in Coronado, across the bay from downtown San Diego.

Chess On The Waterfront

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #3

I don’t enjoy churches or religions because I think they waste too much money on things that don’t have anything to do with helping the poor, the needy, the sick, the homeless…. In fact, a couple of decades ago I quit my church when I found out the pastor had a million-dollar home and drove a Rolls Royce, but the church had no money to help feed the poor at Thanksgiving. You know, then, that I don’t have any patience whatsoever with people like Joel Osteen, living in a $12½ million Houston mansion and making over $40 million annually , tax free, as head of his church.

I have always enjoyed church architecture, though, such as this cute little country-style building in the middle of an older part of the City of San Diego:

Nestor Methodist Church

That’s the Nestor Methodist Church, and here’s Photographic Art of the steeple:

Nestor Methodist Church steeple

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

Jim has a listing at 5745 Friars Road, Unit 107, in Presidio Place, a large condominium complex with beautiful landscaping. They have some old ficus trees, old defined as with roots dangling from the branches, common to ficus trees.

One enterprising soul thought the roots would make a nice hanger for Mr. Sun:

Mr Sun

Jim’s listing is on YouTube, which means that I can embed the video here. Pictures are by, well, do I really need to say?

If you would like to move to Mission Valley, or buy a second home here, Presidio Place is in a great location at the western edge of Mission Valley. It’s quieter than the heart of the Valley yet still just minutes from major thoroughfares and freeways, San Diego Trolley stations, beaches, Old Town, University of San Diego, and SeaWorld.

SNIPPET #5

Speaking of SeaWorld, I try to go once a week, using my annual pass. SeaWorld San Diego opened in 1964, which means they are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary. They have new exhibits, new shows, and new signage.

Seaworld San Diego

Seaworld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #6

My main reason to have an annual pass is to ensure that I see ALL the wildlife because on any one visit, some might not be cooperative. Flamingos always are cooperative.

Flamingo at SeaWorld San Diego

As are the penguins:

Magellanic penguin at SeaWorld San Diego

I got my first good pictures of the African Crested Porcupine and the Nine-banded Armadillo at a recent visit.

African Crested Porcupine at SeaWorld San Diego

Nine-banded Armadillo at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #7

Anytime I see an armadillo, I spontaneously start singing “London Homesick Blues,” written by Gary P. Nunn. The following version by Jerry Jeff Walker is probably the best known version and features the Lost Gonzo Band, which included Gary P. Nunn on keyboards.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #8

Coming up on July 12 & 13 is the Reptile Super Show. Don’t let the name mislead you. Along with lizards, turtles, and frogs, they also always have spiders, such as this beautiful one from two years ago:

Tarantula

That reminds me of Mr. Alexander, my tenth grade biology teacher. He gave extra credit to students who brought in live wildlife for the day. After school, Mr. Alexander would be in the classroom interacting with the wildlife and talking with the students about the creatures.

Someone once brought a tarantula and, after school, Mr. Alexander was letting it walk up and down his arm. It was creepy but continued my wise old grandmother’s teachings about respect for all wildlife.

The advertisement in the San Diego Reader says that it is a fun & educational family event for ages 2-99. I think that if you’ve made it to 100, you should be able to go.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #9

If you are over the age of 55, or are a member of AAA, wherever you go, be sure to ask if they have senior discounts or AAA discounts. It’s amazing how many places do. Unfortunately, the discounts are not cumulative, so it’s one or the other. Hmmm. Alrighty, then, I choose to be a 16-year-old AAA member. Can anyone help me here?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #10

Julian on guitarJulian is in Texas spending money, which means he’s not here earning money working for Photographic Art! He’s only 16 years old but he’s awesome, and even from 1,500 miles away, he motivates this 59-year-old to do things that eventually will help both of us make some cool cash. So let’s see if Julian reads this blog post and finds this little snippet. Julian, if you find this, leave a comment and I’ll add a $10 bonus to your check for this week which means, of course, that since you’re in Texas all this week, your paycheck will be a whopping $10! Hey, that pays for 2½ gallons of gas for your new truck or motorcycle!

SNIPPET BONUS

When I’m working in the wee hours of the morning like this, Zoey the Cool Cat is always close by, either on the printer or on the desk.

Zoey the Cool Cat

It’s been several hours since I last saw her. I take a break every hour, and these past few hours I have used the break to look for her. Of course, she doesn’t come like a dog when you call her, so it’s all or nothing at each break.

She knows how to open cabinet and closet doors, so during my last break I went looking in the closets. Shoes and dirty clothes is all I found………………

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

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We have the beach to ourselves!

Picture of the Moment

I left home at 5:30 this morning to head on over to Warwick’s book store in La Jolla, about 30 miles away, where Hillary Clinton was due to sign copies of her book. I got there at 6:00 and the line was a block long, with 359 people in it. When I left at 9:30, the line was three deep in front of Warwick’s and, as far as I could count, totaled 1,321 people. It was moving, too, so that was a floating number. Took 285 pictures and 10 videos in La Jolla.

For the past decade, harbor seals have created a rookery at La Jolla Cove. Rich, snobby La Jollans have tried to drive the seals away, even to the point of harassing them during pupping season. Harassing marine mammals is a federal crime but no one seems to want to do anything to harass the rich and snobby.

As I walked around La Jolla this morning, I found the beaches empty and got lots of great pictures of the harbor seals. I couldn’t resist making Photographic Art out of this one and adding a caption:

Harbor seals in La Jolla, California

Let’s hear it for Hillary and the harbor seals! Yahoooooooooooooo!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
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Wish I got a three-week vacation…..

Out & About

Julian has deserted me, choosing to go visit relatives in Texas rather than stay here and work for Photographic Art. Imagine if he had gone to work for, say, Target and, after just a couple of months on the job, said, “I’m going to take a three-week vacation”………….. Good thing I’m flexible. 🙂

Since he’s gone, though, I don’t have to figure out how to keep him busy; the State of Texas is doing that for him. Thus I have finished cataloging and processing all the big tree pictures from Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park from when I went to the Spring fundraiser on May 3 for Cat House on the Kings.

Following are Photographic Art from my final batch of pictures. They won’t be available at our Fine Art America galleries until Julian gets back from Texas.

View of the valley from Generals Highway, the loop road that goes through the two national parks:

View from Generals Highway in Sequoia National Park

Part of the Giant Forest, named by John Muir after his first visit to the area:

The Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park

The only Visitor Center that we came across. Generals Highway pretty much is a DIY drive.

Visitor Center

The following picture shows three stages of life for the big trees, dying (with the green lichens on it), dead (left tree), and really dead (right tree).

Stages of Life

There were plenty of benches lining the walkways through the Giant Forest. Jim and I made use of several of them.

Not In Use

Following is the General Sherman tree, often called the largest living organism on planet Earth.

General Sherman tree in Sequoia National Park

For true tree fans like me with my degree in Forest Management from Texas A&M University, that has to be qualified. It is not the tallest, it is not the widest, and it is not the oldest. However, at 275 feet tall, a trunk diameter of 25 feet, an estimated volume of 52,513 cubic feet, and an estimated age of at least 2,300 years, it is among the tallest, widest and oldest of all trees on the planet. Here’s a picture of the base of the trunk of the General Sherman tree:

Base of the trunk of the General Sherman tree in Sequoia National Park

Following is the walkway that took us to the General Sherman tree, a walk among giants.

Walking among giants in Sequoia National Park

On the way out of Sequoia National Park, driving south, there are some spectacular views, such as the following of Deer Ridge and Moro Rock:

Deer Ridge in Sequoia National Park faa framed

Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park

Lastly, a few pictures that I thought made fine, fine, fine Photographic Art:

Been Burned
Been burned

Fissures
Fissures

It’s A Wash
It's A Wash

Down For The Count
Down For The Count

Returning From Whence It Came
Returning From Whence It Came

As the big tree forest merged with the drier forests at lower elevations, cactus started creeping into the mix, such as yuccas which were blooming. I had to do a U-turn to go back and get these three pictures:

Twin Spikes

Yuccas

Yuccas

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 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