Monthly Archives: November 2014

If at first you don’t succeed….

San Diego Historical Landmarks

I went downtown early Thanksgiving morning because I thought that the world comes to a stop on Thanksgiving (and Christmas Day).

It used to when I lived in Texas. That was 21 years ago, though. Since I was last in Texas in 2002, I don’t know if they have caught up to us here in San Diego because we sure don’t stop just because it’s Thanksgiving.

My plan was to be able to get free parking, not have any traffic, and take lots of pictures for upcoming posts in my San Diego Historical Landmark series.

Ha!

Not only did San Diego not come to a stop, I believe the whole world was in downtown San Diego. Every single traffic signal was blinking red, streets were closed, whole city blocks were closed off, police were everywhere….

Apparently they were going to have a Thanksgiving Day Parade and a 5K/10K/15K/20K/25K/30K/35K/40K/45K/50K crawl/hop/jump/skip/walk/run/bike event.

I didn’t stay around to see any of it. I spent 90 minutes going nowhere and doing nothing. By the time I got out of downtown, I was a physical and mental wreck!

This morning I am going downtown again, attempting to do what I could not do on Thanksgiving. Wish me luck!

Passionflower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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San Diego Historical Landmarks—#6: New San Diego (Dunnell’s Hotel) Site

San Diego Historical Landmarks

The first European to visit San Diego was Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese-born explorer sailing under the flag of Spain and arriving in 1542. He claimed San Diego bay for the Spanish Empire and named it San Miguel.

In November 1602, Sebastián Vizcaíno, also from the Spanish Empire, arrived on his flagship San Diego. He renamed the area after Catholic Saint Didacus, more commonly known as San Diego de Alcalá.

It wasn’t until May 1769 that San Diego became an area of major interest. First, in May, Gaspar de Portola established the Presidio of San Diego on what is now called Presidio Hill. It was the first settlement by Europeans in what is now the State of California. Then, in July, Father Junípero Serra founded Mission San Diego de Alcalá. San Diego history was born.

Old Town San Diego State Historic ParkThe original town of San Diego was located at the foot of Presidio Hill, in the area which is now Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, California’s most visited state park. Old Town, however, was several miles away from navigable water, i.e. the Pacific Ocean. It wasn’t until 1850, though, that someone decided to do something about that: William Heath Davis promoted a new development by the Bay shore called “New San Diego.” It was several miles south of the original settlement, so for several decades New San Diego consisted of just a few houses, a pier, and an Army depot.

According to one source, the one which I’m going to use, the first house was built at the northeast corner of State and F Streets. According to most sources, the first house in New San Diego was one sold to a Captain Knowles and moved to 227 Eleventh Street.

The source I prefer is Seventy-five Years In California, 1831-1906, by none other than William Heath Davis. Page 334: “The first building in New San Diego was put up by myself, as a private residence. The building is still standing, being known as the San Diego Hotel. I also put up a number of other buildings.”

The San Diego Hotel in 1867 was “an old building standing in New San Diego about State and F. It had been braced up to keep it from falling down, it belonged to a man named Wm. H. Davis, “Kanaka Davis.”

captain s s dunnellAlonzo Horton bought the building from Davis for $100 and renovated it. Horton states that after reconstructing the building, “A man named Dunnells (Capt. S. S. Dunnells, picture at right) came to me to ask about the chance of starting a hotel in San Diego … and I wanted to get a hotel started … so I sold it to him, with the lot, for $1,000.”

The San Diego Union of October 17, 1868, published an advertisement for the New San Diego Hotel, calling it a “splendid, new and first-class Hotel … with new furniture throughout…. It is a two-story frame building with a piazza extending partly around and it is one of San Diego’s Palatial structures.”

The hotel was a pre-fabricated house that had been shipped from New England around the Horn of Africa. It was demolished in September 1969, which doesn’t make sense to me because it was designated a San Diego Historical Landmark on January 23, 1969. How can you designate something as historical and then allow it to be destroyed eight months later? Sad, sad, sad. Here is an old picture, ca. 1900 I think, and a drawing of the hotel:

dunnell's hotel picture

dunnell's hotel

The location is listed as 348 West F Street, or the northwest corner of State Street and F Street:

Map

I went down to 348 West F Street to see what is there now. Here’s what I found:

Metropolitan Correctional Center, San Diego

That’s the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal administrative detention facility operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It was opened in December 1974, is 23 stories tall, and can hold 1,300 inmates, both male and female, of all security levels. Current population is about 1,000.

MCC San Diego, along with MCC New York and MCC Chicago, represented the Bureau of Prisons’ shift to high-rise prison buildings.

Imagine you’re in jail and you’re reading my blog post on one of the prison’s computers.

“Wow!” you say, “I’m living where downtown San Diego had its beginnings, the site of the very first building. Wow! Wow! Wow!”

Actually, let’s imagine that none of my readers are in prison….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post
to San Diego’s historical landmarks,
click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the
San Diego Historical Landmarks series,
go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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San Diego Historical Landmarks—#5: Calvary Cemetery Site (follow-up)

San Diego Historical Landmarks

For the initial post on the Calvary Cemetery Site.

After I finished yesterday’s post about the Calvary Cemetery Site, I drove first to Calvary Memorial Pioneer Park looking for the gravestone of Father Antonio Ubach. He was the overseer of Calvary Cemetery in 1876 when it was created.

I had found a picture of the gravestone, taken in 1970, and it was a pretty big gravestone, possibly the biggest in the cemetery.

I figured if it was in good condition in 1970, it was probably somewhere around.

I just had to find it, and I did:

Calvary Memorial Pioneer Park

As soon as I saw it, I realized that I already had a picture, but I was facing into the morning sun and the top of the picture was blown out. So I cropped it and saved just the bottom part of the gravestone which I showed in yesterday’s post:

Calvary Memorial Pioneer Park

I started wondering about Father Antonio Ubach, so I went looking for information about him. I found it also, more from Google than from the indexes in my San Diego history books. He’s connected to a lot of San Diego history and historical landmarks, so we’ll be hearing more about Father Ubach in future posts.

From Calvary Memorial Pioneer Park, I drove to Mount Hope Cemetery, hoping to find the site where several hundred gravestones were dumped in 1970 when Calvary Cemetery was declared abandoned and turned into Calvary Memorial Pioneer Park.

Mount Hope Cemetery location

Mount Hope Cemetery opens at 8:00, so I had an hour to drive around the area. Along with Mount Hope Cemetery, there is Holy Cross Cemetery, Greenwood Cemetery, and Hope of Peace Cemetery. I guess this is the central cemetery district for San Diego. Back in the late nineteenth century when these cemeteries were created, this area was a pretty good distance from downtown San Diego. Now they are simply in an “older” neighborhood.

I drove around the outskirts of Mount Hope Cemetery, looking for that “isolated area” where the gravestones were dumped. Research led me to believe that there were a group of gravestones marking the site, but I found no grouping in any isolated areas.

When the cemetery opened, I stopped in the Raymond Chandler Business Office and met Paulette Crawford, one of the most helpful people I think I’ve ever met. I told her what I was trying to find and she knew exactly what I was looking for, called a staff member for verification, marked it on a cemetery map, and I was on my way. I was excited.

The location in an area that was not visible from a car, so I parked and went walking in the general direction where the site was supposed to be. I came upon this:

Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego

There in the center of the picture—the gravestone group that I was looking for. The only problem was that they are down there and I’m way up here on a cliff. I didn’t see a way down, so I kept walking along the cliff to get closer to them, thinking that there had to be a way down there.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Trolley came by a couple of times, and you know how I am about trains.

Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego

Paulette had told me that the gravestones were visible from the San Diego Trolley, which creeps through the area at about ten miles per hour, maybe less. I don’t know why…. out of respect for the dead or because it’s a long curve through a densely populated area.

Still looking for a way down….

Eventually the cliff ended, and around the edge of the cliff was a gentle slope down to the Trolley tracks. I was pretty sure it would lead me to where I wanted to go, and it did.

Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego

Remember, the gravestones that had been dumped there, up to 400 of them, were visible from the Trolley, and the Trolley goes through there very slowly. I can see the look of horror on Trolley rider faces as they realized that many of the gravestones had markings on them, meaning that they probably belonged to graves somewhere. “Have they no respect for the dead?”

The gravestones remained visible from 1970 to 1988, at which time they were buried and the gravestone grouping was created. As I read on several of the online sites I visited, no one bothered to get the names and other identifying information from the gravestones before they were buried. Sad, but posts like mine might keep them alive (pun intended) so that several hundred years from now, maybe alien archaeologists might stumble upon them.

Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego

Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post
to San Diego’s historical landmarks,
click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the
San Diego Historical Landmarks series,
go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.
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San Diego Historical Landmarks—#5: Calvary Cemetery Site

San Diego Historical Landmarks

San Diego Historical Landmark #5 is site of the old Calvary Cemetery, now Calvary Memorial Pioneer Park. It was declared a historic site on February 29, 1969, by the The City of San Diego Historical Site Board. Interestingly, I could not find a calendar showing 1969 being a leap year so I don’t know what’s going on there.

Mission Hills Pioneer Park

Mission Hills Pioneer Park

Mission Hills Pioneer Park

I have passed by Pioneer Park without knowing its name or history at least a few thousand times since moving to San Diego in April 1993. Across the street are the Mission Hills tennis courts where I played many a game of tennis in 1993-94. A block down the street used to be one of San Diego’s largest real estate offices, where I spent a great deal of time when I started my home inspection business in October 2001.

As one is driving by, though, one sees the playground and the tall trees. That’s it. For someone like me who really doesn’t like children, I never had an interest in checking out the park. Well, exploring San Diego’s Historical Landmarks, especially #5 here, has taught me a lesson: Let no park go unexplored.

San Diego doesn’t have a lot of cemeteries, probably because cremation is the preferred method of taking care of dead bodies. So when I came to Historical Landmark #5, I actually thought I already had pictures of it. When I went to prepare the pictures for this post, I realized that the pictures were of the El Campo Santo Cemetery, which is Historical Landmark #26.

I set out to find Calvary Cemetery, and one of my history books told me that it is located in Mission Hills, Randolph Street at Washington Place. I realized that I knew exactly where it was:

Pioneer Park location

Mission Hills comprises many historical landmark homes, so we’ll be visiting the area a lot throughout my San Diego Historical Landmark series. The area is up on a mesa overlooking the ocean, Mission Valley, the airport, Old Town, and downtown San Diego. It is where California was founded in 1769; see the previous four posts in this series.

I parked at the far end of the park and was getting really discouraged as I walked around the park because there was no sign of tombstones anywhere. The park is hilly, though, and as I crested one of the final hills in the southeast corner, here is what greeted me:

img_8486 stamp

I can’t tell you how excited I was.

I walked around them from my hilly crest to get more pictures.

Mission Hills Pioneer Park

The land that currently is Calvary Memorial Pioneer Park was purchased by the City of San Diego in 1876 specifically to be used as a cemetery. Named Calvary Cemetery, one source says it was to be run by Catholic and Protestant churches. Other sources say that it was a Catholic cemetery run by Father Antonio Ubach.

One source says that it was “the new Catholic cemetery” to differentiate it from the older Catholic cemetery (now called “El Campo Santo Cemetery”; historical landmark #26) in Old Town. After burials began at Holy Cross Cemetery in 1919, Calvary Cemetery was referred to as “the old Catholic cemetery,” a name reflected in mortuary records and newspaper notices of the times.

Calvary Cemetery was used extensively from 1880 to 1919. The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 (“Spanish Flu” or “La Grippe”) killed tens of millions of people worldwide, resulting in more people being buried at Calvary Cemetery in 1918 than in any other year.

The last burial was in 1960, but the cemetery had fallen into disrepair from 1919 to 1960, although the Works Progress Administration, a New Deal Agency of the Great Depression, renovated the cemetery in 1939 according to this Park monument:

Mission Hills Pioneer Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A city resolution converted the cemetery into Calvary Memorial Pioneer Park in 1970. Of the more than 600 gravestones and monuments that remained in the cemetery, 142 were preserved in the park with the others being relocated to Mount Hope Cemetery.

Mount Hope Cemetery location

The intent was for Mount Hope Cemetery to be a temporary holding area until the gravestones could be returned to the new park. My history books say that “opposition prevented this,” but I don’t know who the opposition was.

A different online source (Calvary Cemetery, San Diego, CA) reports that “the removed and discarded gravestones were buried on the grounds of San Diego’s Mount Hope Cemetery. This action destroyed these historic monuments and the only existing record of hundreds of people who were born and died before birth and death certificates became standard.”

I do not think there are 142 gravestones remaining in the Park. I think 142 was the total number of gravestones that were saved, of which some are now in the Park, some at Mount Hope Cemetery, and apparently some even at other cemeteries throughout the area, according to the Calvary Cemetery, San Diego, CA source.

There is a large memorial in the southeast corner of the Park with about 2,000 names listed on its six plaques:

Mission Hills Pioneer Park

Mission Hills Pioneer Park

The Calvary Cemetery, San Diego, CA source states that over 4,000 people are documented as having been buried at Calvary Cemetery, and it has some pretty cool cemetery plot maps on its site.

Sadly, there are no dates of birth or death on the Park memorial, or any other identifying information. I didn’t want to transcribe all the names on the memorial plaques, thinking that somewhere in the world would be a list of all those who had been interred in Calvary Cemetery. The previously mentioned online source and the “Guide to the Calvary Cemetery Collection” available online at the San Diego History Center are the two best resources I could find.

With the pictures in the Collection, as well as other identifying information, I can now visit Mount Hope Cemetery to see what might remain of any gravestones that were relocated there.

The oldest date on the remaining gravestones in the Park was for Julian Ames, born in 1807:

img_8493 stamp

Interestingly, records indicate that the first burial at Calvary Cemetery was in 1875, so I can’t explain Julian’s gravestone. Maybe he was reinterred from elsewhere.

I found it quite interesting to read through the details on the gravestones. There were babies, military from throughout the country, religious leaders, regular people….

Mission Hills Pioneer Park

Mission Hills Pioneer Park

Mission Hills Pioneer Park

Mission Hills Pioneer Park

Lastly, here we have proof of reincarnation:

Mission Hills Pioneer Park

The last person to be buried at Calvary Cemetery was Rose Wilson Mallicoat, buried on March 16, 1960. In addition to being the last, she died on my birthday in 1960; I was five years old.

As I was walking around the park, I had mixed feelings knowing that I was walking on gravesites. I still had mixed feelings as I was researching this post even though I discovered that on June 5, 1957, California Governor Goodwin Knight approved Assembly Bill No. 2751 that amended the state Health and Safety Code (Section 8825-8829) to establish the procedure for allowing a city or county to declare a cemetery abandoned and convert it to a pioneer memorial park. So there we have it: Calvary Memorial Pioneer Park.

According to Calvary Cemetery, San Diego, CA, on February 9, 1988, “A bulldozer was used to bury many gravestones that had been taken from Calvary Cemetery in 1970. They were buried in an isolated area on the property of The City of San Diego’s Mount Hope Cemetery. As a memorial, a small group of the headstones (that had been taken from Calvary Cemetery in 1970) were set in concrete near the site of the buried gravestones at Mount Hope Cemetery.”

With that said, I’m on my way this morning to Mount Hope Cemetery to see if I can find the site of the buried gravestones and the group that might still be standing. Check in tomorrow for the conclusion to this post!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post
to San Diego’s historical landmarks,
click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the
San Diego Historical Landmarks series,
go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Need a unique gift? Have Bare Wall Symdrome?
Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.
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Adobe Falls now off limits

Out & About

San Diego doesn’t have many natural waterfalls. I think it has something to do with needing water to fall from the skies in order for water to flow along the ground and create waterfalls. Just a hunch.

The waterfalls that we do have, however, are pretty nice. The problem is how to get to them safely.

Inevitably when the rains come (another four weeks or so) and the waterfalls start falling, people who have no appreciation for the outdoors tend to make their way to the waterfalls, destroying everything in their path and sometimes destroying the waterfalls, too.

One of the rare year-round waterfalls here in the County is just a mile from me and at the side of Interstate 8, but it is extremely difficult to get to because it’s in a small canyon surrounded by highway and houses.

The reason why it is year-round is because it’s in a small canyon occupied by the San Diego River. It’s called Adobe Falls.

Adobe Falls location

It also happens to be on land owned by San Diego State University.

Because of the damage and destruction to houses and environment caused by those trying to get to the waterfalls, SDSU has decided to make the waterfalls off limits to the extent that anyone caught on that little sliver of land will be arrested.

The grapevine tells me that they mean it and have been backing up their words. Thus, I will not be going to the waterfalls this year, so you’ll simply have to enjoy these pictures from past trips.

Adobe Falls

Adobe Falls

There’s a huge building on the SDSU campus with a magnificent view of the little canyon where Adobe Falls is located, although the Falls is hidden from view in the midst of all the palm trees and brush:

SDSU building overlooking Adobe Falls

Adobe Falls

Even though there is a 12-lane freeway between Adobe Falls and that building, wouldn’t that be a great place for SDSU to station lookouts to keep an eye on trespassers to the Falls?

On my last trip to Adobe Falls, I found this little guy:

Green heron at Adobe Falls

I’m pretty sure that is a Green Heron, and it was not in the least bit frightened of me. It let me get within a few feet to get that picture! Just kept one eye on me, seeming to say, “Yeah, I’ve seen your kind around here before. I’m keeping an eye on you.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Condominium tower for wildlife

Picture of the Moment

A condominium tower for wildlife.

The seagulls have the view but the seals are closer to the swimming pool.

Buoy with seagulls and seals

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Moving the mouse in a straight line in Photoshop

How I Did It

It’s no secret that ever since the advent of the computer mouse, those of us working with drawing programs such as Corel Draw and Adobe Illustrator wanted a way to draw a straight line. It didn’t take too long before Corel and Adobe gave us the ability to draw those straight lines.

Recently I was wanting to draw a perfectly straight line in Photoshop, and that’s when it occurred to me that since Photoshop also is an Adobe product, there just might be a way to draw a straight line.

A simple Google search told me how:

Select the Pen tool.
Position the Pen tool where you want the straight segment to begin, and click to define the first anchor point (do not drag).
Click again where you want the segment to end (Shift-click to constrain the angle of the segment to a multiple of 45°).

I’m pretty much a keyboard person, using the mouse only when the keyboard is awkward, like drawing lines.

While I was drawing lines, I inadvertently hit the shortcut key to get to the eraser. In my haste and not realizing that I had switched to the eraser, I clicked where I wanted the line to begin, Shift-clicked where I wanted the line to end, and voilà!, I erased in a perfectly straight line!

My mind started working.

Some experimentation indicated that I could do anything in a perfectly straight line simply by clicking where I wanted to start and Shift-clicking where I wanted to end….

pen tool – yep
eraser tool – yep
clone tool – yep
spot healing tool – yep
brush tool – yep

Doesn’t seem to matter what you need to do, if you need to do it in a straight line, try Click, Shift-click.

Lastly, does anyone have a recommendation for software that will record my screen while I do things? That would have been very convenient for this post.

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SNIPPETS (11-18-14)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

I have had WordAds for 3½ months, and I’m averaging about $25 a month. However, in order to get paid, you have to have a minimum of $100, so I’ll get paid about $110.00 next month.

SNIPPET #2

The Internet, especially Facebook, has brought the world’s population closer together. Whether or not that is good is a question that I’ll leave to historians who probably have not been born yet.

When my paternal grandparents adopted me in 1965, we lived in Kingsville, Texas. However, my granddad worked for Missouri Pacific Railroad…. in Taylor, Texas.

Kingsville to Taylor

One of my friends on Facebook has a birthday today. I don’t remember how we became Facebook friends, but we have three things in common: He is in real estate, he graduated from Texas A&M University, and he was born in Taylor, Texas.

Real estate doesn’t surprise me, and neither does meeting someone else from Texas A&M University since it has 55,000 students and about a million alumni. However, after moving from Texas in 1993, I never thought I’d meet someone from Taylor.

SNIPPET #3

Back in 1982, I was running for a volunteer position as Section 42 Chairman of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. It was a one-year position and I already had been Chairman for the previous year, so it was a re-election.

There were 16 college chapters in Section 42, and every chapter, bar none, told me that I was the best Chairman they had ever seen. I had been to their chapter meetings, their service projects, talked on the phone weekly with chapter officers, and had the coolest newsletter (this was in the days when personal computers were just hitting the market, and I had one!).

I lost.

Why? Because with all the positive comments, I thought I was a shoe-in. I forgot to ask people to vote for me. Several people told me after the election that they didn’t vote for me because I didn’t ask them to vote for me.

I learned.

Although I have never run for another position, I have learned to ask people for things that I need or want.

SNIPPET #4

Zoey the Cool Cat has taken to climbing under the bed covers with me, but only when I take a mid-morning nap. No other time. However, my mid-morning naps are usually 30-60 minutes long, and she is quite happy to stay under the covers after I get up, for as long as six hours! As she rolls around and repositions herself during that time, this is what I sometimes see:

Zoey the Cool Cat

When I look under the covers, I see an upside-down cat stretched out as until it can stretch no more. I’ve tried to get a picture, but as soon as I uncover her, she’s up and outta there.

SNIPPET #5

I try to post a daily inspirational quote on Facebook, so if you’re not yet following me on Facebook, click here.

Here are a couple of my favorites from the past week:

Curiosity

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) was an American poet and short story writer.

Butterfly forgets

SNIPPET #6

I have been making daily use of IBOexchange (see my post here). Does it work? I can say unequivocally that it does. I have two places where IBOexchange members can visit, here and my Facebook business page.

On my Facebook business page, it seems that once you get to about 500 likes, Facebook basically shuts you down unless you pay them to promote your business page. Well, most of those business pages and small businesses probably like me, not yet able (or willing) to pay $25 per day to have Facebook promote me. So IBOexchange it is.

I was stuck at 582 likes and averaging one new like per week. Since I have been making use of IBO exchange, 13 days now, I’m up to 762 likes. Take that, Facebook!

SNIPPET #7

So why do we care how many likes we have on our Facebook business pages? Several reasons.

More likes gives the impression of longevity, and longevity in business usually is good. With longevity comes experience, satisfied customers, etc. After all, would you rather have brain surgery from the 24-year-old doctor who graduated yesterday or the 60-year-old doctor who has done 500 brain surgeries?

Over here at my WordPress blog, more visits mean more ad impressions with WordAds, which means more money into my bank account. My creditors like money in my bank account so that they can take it out!

SNIPPET #8

In 1980 when my best friend graduated from Texas A&M University, I was pretty irreligious. He, on the other hand, was active in the First Presbyterian Church of Houston, supervising child care one day a week, working with the elderly, singing in the Chancel Choir.

When I asked him what he got out of church, he didn’t proselytize, which is what I was expecting. Instead, he simply said that church was like a big family, giving him the opportunity to work with people who could be his great grandparents to people who could be his children.

I saw his point and joined First Presbyterian.

SNIPPET #9

I have not been a member of any church since I came to San Diego in April 1993. I spent my first 11 months in San Diego studying the world’s great, and not so great, religions while relaxing on the beaches. I was able to determine that none of them had much to offer a person who had decided to live his live as an openly gay man.

My opinion has not changed in the ensuing 31 years, mainly because of people like Eric Cantor, Ted Cruz, John Boehner, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, and other so-called religious people. If they are people of God, I want nothing to do with that God.

On the other hand, if I sat down for a meal with Pope Francis, he might be able to convince me to return to the Catholic Church, into which I was born in 1955.

SNIPPET #10

A couple of months ago I started collecting memes that showed up on Facebook and which I liked.

Most of them are either political or religious, and they say in much more precise words what I think.

This morning I was cataloging them.

Here are two of my favorites, both religious:

The Dark Ages

Religious freedom

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Some things should be shared

Inspiration

When I’m depressed and suicidal, I often resort to reading and listening to lots of music—since October 16 I’ve been averaging over eleven hours a day of music.

My reading in these situations often is stuff that makes me laugh, think, cry, love, wish, share….

My first circumstance with such thoughts came when I was in high school in 1971. Just a lad of 16, I fell in love with two people, one female and one male. I didn’t know what was happening to me. That was when I discovered Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. Coupled with anything and everything Beatles, I worked my way out of depression. Nowadays, of course, they have meds for that, but one has to be able to afford getting to a doctor to get a prescription for such meds, or have very good health insurance.

So that leaves me, still, with music and books.

The book that I am reading through right now is “If Ignorance Is Bliss, Why Aren’t There More Happy People” with the subtitle “Smart Quotes For Dumb Times,” by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson. The authors previously graced humanity with their book, “The Book of General Ignorance.”

Here’s a thought for today that I got from “If Ignorance Is Bliss….”:

Happiness shared

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Look what yesterday brought!

Inspiration

My mother-in-law’s boyfriend was having computer problems. Sounded like a fairly easy fix so I zipped up to his house yesterday afternoon to see what was going on.

Got a nice picture of the sunset:

Sunset in Vista, California, on Veterans' Day 2014

It took about thirty minutes to solve the computer problem, so all is well there.

When I got home, I checked the mail.

One of the items from the mail now is proudly placed on my office whiteboard:

Mail from Japan

The picture, which is a postcard, was in the envelope, and the envelope is from Japan, from Takami.

The sunset was great, but the mail from Japan made my day.

Thank you, Takami!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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