SNIPPETS (10-21-14)


Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts


For the past six months, I have been visiting up to 400 blogs a day and leaving likes and comments. That takes time.

With Julian gone (see Someone’s missing from Photographic Art), I need to use the four hours a day that he was working to find a substitute for home inspections (my main source of income) that will pay my bills. That means I’m going to have to cut down on blog visits.

Since I’m following 3,302 blogs, the result is that it’s going to be a longer time between my visits to your blog.

My records (yes, I really am that AR!) indicate that over the course of my WordPress blogging (since January 7, 2012), I leave one comment for every four LIKEs. I’m going to change that and try to make it one comment for every like.

For the near future, then, blog camping is on an extended vacation, but I hope to make up for it by leaving more comments when I do visit.


Ever since Random Acts of Kindness came about (Wikipedia says it was 1982 or 1983), I have been a huge fan.

Well, last Thursday at 2:40 p.m. I had a tire blow out at a high rate of speed. Having never experienced that before but having visualized it hundreds of times, I had no problem slowing down and getting off the freeway.

I pulled onto a side street in front of a high school and proceeded to try to change the tire. My left shoulder is not capable of provide the torque necessary to operate the jack to raise a 4,400-pound car and untighten the five lug nuts.

I was hot and sweating by the time school started letting out at 3:00. A teenage girl stopped, said hello as she was looking in her backpack, and pulled out a bottle of water, giving it to me along with her kind words, “I know it’s hot out here and you look like you’re struggling.”

Well, I was struggling so I gave up and called AAA to change the tire for me.

I don’t know the girl’s name or even the name of the high school, but I wanted to give a shout-out to some fine parents raising that girl, not to mention to that fine girl herself.


I moved to San Diego in April 1993 specifically so I could live my life as an openly gay man, something I didn’t see myself doing in my native Texas.

Never in my wildest dreams 21 years ago did I think I would ever be legally married, yet that happened when Jim and I got married, legally, in California on October 30, 2008. Prior to that, we had dated for 2 years, lived together for 9 years, and were domestic partnered (such an ugly term) for 5 years.

As of a few days ago, gay marriage is now legal in 31 states and the District of Columbia, covering about 61% of the American population.

gay marriage

It’s only a matter of time before gay marriage is legal across the land. I’m going to guess less than two years.

What amazes me is that gay marriage was legal in Iowa before California, and that Utah won’t be the last state carried screaming and kicking into the modern world. I’m predicting that the southeast will be last, all joining at the same time due to an Appeals Court decision covering those states, basically a repeat of history from June 12, 1967, when the United States Supreme Court declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional:

Interracial marriage


California allows permanent voting by mail:

California mail ballot

It doesn’t mean that I have to return my ballot by mail, but I can. I usually simply drop it off at a polling place on election day since there’s one just two blocks from me.

I was a registered Republican from 1976 to September 2013. I was trying to work within the system to change the Republican Party, but with the advent of the so-called Tea Party taking over control of the Republican Party, I finally gave up and registered as a Democrat last year.

Today I will be filling in those little dots on my ballot.


I have finished my first Photographic Art calendar. This will be the one that I print and hang on my wall:

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I plan on creating several more calendars:

Little cats
Big cats
All other wildlife
Sunrises & sunsets
All other flowers
Scenes from San Diego County
Railroads & Trains
Custom (you pick any 12 Photographic Art from my Fine Art America galleries)
Double Custom (you provide 12 of your own pictures)
Stamps (pictures will be framed like stamps)

Note that calendar weeks begin with Monday and end with Sunday, keeping the weekend together.

I will be offering two versions: one without designations such as New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day…. Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. and one with such designations.

I have plans for one other version but it will be complicated to produce so I’ll not announce that yet, waiting until I’m sure I’m going to do it. I’ll do January this week and then decide.

I have looked at calendar-creating software online and am not happy with any of it. I have also looked at prices to buy calendars and can assure you that I will price my digital calendars for less. I am also considering having some printed for promotional purposes, maybe even for sale. I’ll keep everyone informed.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

31 thoughts on “SNIPPETS (10-21-14)

  1. philosophermouseofthehedge

    Cool stuff. (I still am in awe you can read so many blogs every day…Molly and RC would complain)
    RAK. Would that all participated. Not that difficult and makes a big difference…like vitamins. One a day.
    Someday maybe people will live and let live.
    WOW – you walk your mail-in ballot to the voting place? That is so great. Here anyone can request a mail-in ballot then put any name on it and mail it in to be counted. Big fraud. Happened to me during elections for over 5 years as people kept voting by mail in my name…fought it like crazy – you know when it stopped? When I contacted the state attorney general who ordered the voter register to say in big letters: “Must have Photo ID”
    Found out I wasn’t the only one it was happening to – 8 others in my neighborhood…and even when they found the ones doing the fraud, the authorities didn’t want to file charges – it would get “messy” since the person was a protected class and it would look bad if they went after them.)
    Strong supported of voter photo ID. Fraud is real. It happens. No one really cares – except the one who’s vote is stolen.


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Voter fraud here is difficult, if not impossible, because even without voter ID, you have to register to vote. When you register, you have to sign the registration form. Then, when you vote, regardless of how you vote, you have to sign your ballot and your signature is checked against records. I think in today’s world signatures are much tougher to forge than a picture ID. Underage high school and college students get caught all the time with fraudulent picture IDs. Interestingly, all of them have their legitimate signature…………

      That’s why elections aren’t certified until 7 days to 30 days after the election. While fraud might happen on election day (and even that’s rare in today’s world), it gets caught by the system. The reports of fraud getting through the system are few and far between.


    2. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I always get a kick out of reports on election day like that from Ohio in 2012 which said that busloads of foreign citizens had arrived at a polling place to vote. Well, no. Busloads of people arrived, and although they wore clothes which to Americans are foreign, they were from an ethnic neighborhood and at a polling place in that ethnic neighborhood. So, no, busloads of foreign citizens didn’t vote. They all were Americans of a different ethnicity, and their clothes reflected that ethnicity.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. petspeopleandlife

    I’m glad to know that you were able to move to California to live the life that you were supposed to be living and that you are quite happy there. Everyone should be so fortunate.

    Speaking of legislation, the southern states are Bible thumpers and Texas is right in the middle of it all. I’ts sad to say in that respect that I’m a bred, born, raised, and life long resident of Texas. We are behind the times in many things. Perhaps if we get enough folks moving here from progressive states then Texas will have equality for all mankind.

    I am a life long Democrat and maybe I should not have included that here but welcome to becoming a Democrat. Yes, the party is not in very good shape right now but the repubs are no better off either with the advent of the Tea Partiers.

    I like the close up of the cat, the horses, and the sunrise or sunset the best on your calendar. I hope you have good luck with your endeavors.


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I was born and raised in South Texas except for a short stint from age 6 to 10 in northern Utah, which is very much like South Texas in many respects. I left at the age of 38 in April 1993 because I thought there had to be more to the world than just the Great Nation of Texas………………..LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ViewPacific

    I appreciate you sincerity, integrity, and openness. You’ve shared a lot of kindness in the blogosphere which I’m certain is widely appreciated.
    It’s good to hear you’re going to find your own balance in posting, commenting, liking, calendaring, and even inspecting.
    All the best for a great rest of the year!


  4. lensandpensbysally

    Great post–Can you tell me a bit more about your experience creating the calendar that you like (It’s very visually appealing.). I’ve been wanting to do my own, but am not ready. In the collecting information phase. Thanks.


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I do the layout in Photoshop. Then I save the PSD file so I can use it again; basically a template. Once I have a month, then I save as a JPG. For printing, I will be inserting the JPGs (they are 8×11 inches) into Word and creating both a Word file and a PDF file.


        1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          I tried a couple of the free calendar-making software online but they convinced me that “You get what you pay for.” Since I’m paying ($9.99 a month) for Photoshop, I decided to make use of it.


  5. wolke205

    400 blogs a day.. oh my gosh 😀 How did you manage this? I visit 20 – 30 blogs and sometimes I don’t even have the time for that. I love your photos and your calendars will be awesome ❤


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      My whole life is run by Excel spreadsheets, so at any given moment I can tell you what I was doing, what I was listening to, watching, reading, eating…………. I’m one sick individual. Darn you, Microsoft!


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I use SNIPPETS when my blog subject spreadsheet gets too many little subjects in it. Makes it easy to include a controversial subject so that people can skip over it yet still have something to read when they visit.


  6. peakperspective

    Four hundred a day?? Oh my godfathers, that is a phenomenal accomplishment. Well done you.
    And a massive congratulations on finding someone you could love and cherish for a lifetime. And for finally having the right to be acknowledged as a married couple. Living in Virginia, it was a splendid announcement a few weeks back, and I’m still celebrating with friends. Long awaited, long past due.
    As always, I think your photos are magical, Russel. It’s a true pleasure to see your talent come across my screen.


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  8. Gallivanta

    That’s one part of the US system that really confuses me; that you have to register as a Republican or Democrat or ?. We simply register to vote. Do you think being able to mail ballot papers will increase participation in the elections?


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      It apparently has here in California.

      Oregon, however, adopted vote by mail. There is no other way to vote, and they usually are the national leader in voter participation.

      Registered voters receive a ballot two to three weeks before an election and a security envelope in which to return their completed ballot. The envelope can be stamped and mailed or simply dropped off at any official drop box​ across the state. So instead of polling sites, they have official drop box sites.


  9. Patti Kuche

    Congratulations and best wishes to you and Jim with hopes one day that maybe Texas catches up!
    Seriously impressed with your blogging routine and thank you Russell for your visits to mine!


  10. Pingback: Friday Flower Fiesta (10-24-14)—2015 Orchid Photographic Art calendar | Russel Ray Photos

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