SNIPPETS (11-29-14)—Made it through Black Friday again!


Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts


How come cats don’t jump any father than necessary?

Zoey the Cool Cat often jumps from the desk chair to the bed, a distance of about three feet.

Zoey the Cool CatThe bed is huge, but Zoey the Cool Cat only jumps far enough to make contact with the nearest edge of the bed.

The chair has rollers, and sometimes it doesn’t say put as she launches herself so occasionally she will not make it all the way to the bed, landing with her front feet clawing at the top of the bed and her back feet on the floor, augmented by a loud (obviously unhappy) meow.

It’s so funny to watch, but at the same time I feel sorry for her because she could easily make it to the bed if she would only plan to land in the middle instead of at the edge.

That way, when the chair gave a few inches, she’d still land on the bed!


Christmas wreathI would like to thank all my followers, old followers who have been with me from my beginning blogging days in 2007, teenage followers who joined me when I came to WordPress in 2012, and the newborn babies who have joined me this past week. For the month of November I am averaging 15 new followers per day.


Zoey the Cool Cat and Christmas treeI have not found a good way to determine how new followers find me. However, each new follower goes into my Excel spreadsheet with a link to the follower’s blog. Then, within a few days of getting that new follower, I visit his/her blog to get to know the person.

If you started following me this past week, bear with me, though, because I’ve been down and out sick, so I’m running behind.


I am past the religious stage of my life, that having occurred from 1955 to 1993.

Christmas wreathI took time off from life, April 15 1993 to April 1 1994, to lay out on the San Diego beaches and study the world’s great, and not-so-great, religions. That’s all I did, every spare minute of every day, and I had about 1,020 spare minutes each day.

Having grown up in the Mormon and Catholic religions, I tried very hard to stay with those religions, so they were the first two I studied. It was pretty obvious after just a couple of weeks immersed in each religion that they weren’t going to be privileged to have me as part of their flock.


I have noticed that many of the new followers this past week have religious blogs with religious blog titles.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!If you are one of my new followers and you have a religious blog with a religious title, I’ll still visit you, but if the only rule you follow is the 100/0 rule, I probably won’t be leaving any LIKEs or comments, and you might not even get a tit-for-tat follow by me.

I don’t mind visiting religions blogs, but I at least would like to see you follow the 80/20 rule at a minimum: 80% posts about your religion and 20% posts about your life, your family, your work, your play, etc. Those 20% will be the posts that I LIKE and comment on because my wise old grandmother taught me that if I can’t say anything nice, not to say anything at all. So I won’t be disparaging of your religion at your blog, but that also means no LIKEs and comments if it’s all about religion.


Christmas wreathHere’s how I see religion: It was humanity’s first attempt to explain the world and universe. As with the first of anything (first car, first movie, first YouTube video), pretty bad.

Why people continue to follow any religion in today’s world of science and reason is, quite frankly, beyond me. However, if religion makes someone feel good and helps prevent them from killing people, pillaging, raping, etc., I’m all for it. I want people to feel good because I think people who feel good are better people.

Unfortunately, religion has been the cause of over 95% of the wars throughout history, religious people killing others in the name of their god. A good study of The Crusades, not to mention Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS, pretty much tells me that I don’t want anything to do with their gods.


Merry ChristmasThe part of religion that I always did like was the part about helping the poor, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, healing the sick, and generally just helping anyone who needed some help getting through a bad time.

Unfortunately, even here in the United States, we have people like Ted Cruz, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, and other “religious conservatives” who could do so much to help the lesser amongst us but who refuse to do so. Instead, they do everything within their power to help make the rich richer, and ensure that the poor remain poor.



Merry ChristmasBlack Friday yesterday marked the 41st consecutive year that I have NOT shopped on the day after Thanksgiving.

I succumbed to Black Friday shopping in 1973 when I bought a present for my wise old grandmother.

If not for that one time, I would have a life of 59 Black Fridays on which I did not shop!


The fake “war on Christmas” always makes me laugh, and it was my wise old grandmother who taught me to add laughter to each and every day.

Zoey the Cool Cat Christmas ornamentShe also taught me not to complain unless I could offer a solution. Well, I’m not complaining about the fake war on Christmas, but I do have a solution.

For those of us who have studied the Bible AND science (especially astronomy) AND history, we know that December 25 is not, was not, and could not have been the birthday of Jesus Christ. Here’s a great read about the subject:

When was Jesus Christ born?

One thing the article does not touch on is astronomy. Since scientists have been tracking the stars for many hundreds of years now, it’s actually not hard for them to pick a date in history and show you the night sky for that day. It’s quite interesting.

Thus, all we have to do to resolve the fake war on Christmas is move Christmas to a date when it’s pretty likely Christ WAS born, probably in September. Then we can have Christmas on Christ’s most likely birthday, and end-of-year holidays, gift giving, and crass commercialism on December 25! Yahooooo!


I was so busy forgetting to shop on Black Friday yesterday that I forgot that it was time for a Friday Flower Fiesta.

I started to do a post before I realized that Jim and I were supposed to drive 47 miles to eat a day-after-Thanksgiving meal with his mom, her boyfriend, and Jim’s brother. So I never finished my post yesterday….

I did create one new Photographic Art yesterday specifically for Friday Flower Fiesta, but since it’s only one, I’ll just go ahead and leave it here for you today:

Purple and White Iris

It is available for purchase in my Flower gallery at Fine Art America. Just $49 plus Fine Art America’s printing and shipping costs. You can get it in any size, up to 60″ x 29½”. That’s a whopping five feet by two-and-a-half feet, for just $246.77, printed on metal (metal prints are cool!) but without shipping costs. Other prints are available, too: matted and framed with wood and glass, acrylic, posters, and even greeting cards.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for Christmas?
Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.
photograhic art taking pictures making artOrder today!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

19 thoughts on “SNIPPETS (11-29-14)—Made it through Black Friday again!

  1. Pit

    Hi Russel,
    Thx for the link to that interesting piece about the actual day of Christ’s birth. Haven’t scientists tried to calculate it from the appearance of the “star of Bethlehem”? I need to read up more on that subject.
    Have a great weekend,

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Pit

        I’ve always been interested in reading/interpreting the Bible, ever since I had religious education [in Germany at that time it was a required subject] for 9 years at high school by a priest [later an auxiliary bishop in Aachen] who had a doctorate in religious studies and one in philosophy. That really was education and not indoctrination [we read Marx, e.g., in his classes] and made me somewhat of a free thinker and not exactly in line with the Catholic Church’s doctrine.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yoshiko

    Upon knowing the current Christmas isn’t Jesus’ birthday, I don’t celebrate Christmas. A lot of speculations and deductions are doing research of Jesus’ birthdays. Though this is good, if know His exact birthday, what are we going to do about it?


    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Nothing. The problem, though, is that people who are all riled up about the fake war on Christmas want the rest of us to obey them. Therein lies the problem with religions; they all want to exercise power over not only their own followers, but the rest of the people, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Grace Lessageing

    I’m with you about religion-the cause of so much world horror! But I think perhaps one reason people cling on is fear of their mortality. It must be comforting to believe in an afterlife but it isn’t something I can conjure! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      The whole problem with an afterlife for me is that I don’t find it comforting at all. At least 75% of the people I have met so far in life I would not want to spend eternity with.

      The other problem, probably my biggest problem, is that religions promise eternal life if all you’ll do is accept [insert name of god here] as your personal savior. They will even let the serial killer and serial rapist have eternal life if, as he’s dying, he’ll say, “I accept [insert name of god here] as my personal savior.” So they’ll take someone who has been absolutely evil throughout his (“his” can refer to females, too) lifetime over someone like me who doesn’t not “accept” but has spent a lifetime helping the poor, the sick, the needy, the homeless, the indigent, etc…… Nope. Not a god or religion that I want to be associated with.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. babso2you

    Totally agree with snippet 7. Why don’t they help the poor instead of the rich? Ego and increased wealth for themselves?

    Regarding religion: I find that those who espouse to be very religious are usually the ones who commit a number of the 7 deadly sins. Greed, pride and lust being the most of the sins committed.

    Hugs to you and Jim! I hope that you are feeling better! ^..^

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hillbillyzen13

    Excellent post, Russel, Ms. Zoey’s approval notwithstanding. The paternal side of my family is Mormon, so I completely understand your dismissal of that faith. It didn’t “take” with me, either, as I like to smoke, drink and dance the hoochie-koo on occasion. As a Kentuckian, it baffles and disgusts me to no end that McConnell was re-elected. Blech.

    On to more pleasant things…the photos, as always, are gorgeous. Jesus’ birthday is an interesting subject, and I thoroughly enjoyed the link. Atta boy for not being seduced by “early bird” and “doorbuster” specials!

    Sending some good vibes your way for a complete recovery, and a request to skritch Ms. Zoey behind the ears for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


    I like all your snippets. Cats are very funny creatures. I don’t know how smart they are, but maybe they are just daredevils. Congratulations on all your past, present and future followers. I think I found you from another posts about cats, and or other animals. I can’t remember. I am a born again Christian, but I am far from being perfect. I need to study the Bible more than I do, and do more than I do, but that is probably about as far as I should go on that right now. I think science has it’s place, but I also think that it isn’t always as right as they say it is. Sometimes, but not always. 🙂 Black Friday. I would not go shopping at the malls, stores or anywhere near them if I didn’t absolutely have to. It was bad enough meeting family that morning for breakfast. Thankfully we were early enough, or late enough, however you want to look at it, to get a good table and have a good meal. Your wise old Grandmother sounds like a wonderful person, and truly wise person. Maybe Christmas is in a winter month now, because it was a winter month then. I will follow the link to check it out. I like your blogs. I don’t always get around to liking or commenting on all of them, but then that is because I am trying to keep up with so many of them. 😀 Have a good res of the weekend and keep up the good posts. Love the flowers. Very pretty. Sorry for the long comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      No need to be sorry about long comments. They add to the discussion.

      Science isn’t always right, but it also never claimed to be. In fact, when science is wrong, it corrects itself to make itself more righter. As one of the memes on Facebook says: “Science will admit when it is wrong. Religion will kill to prove it is right.”

      Liked by 1 person

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