Monthly Archives: April 2015

Today is my California anniversary!

I livew in my own little world

Twenty-two years ago today is the day that I decided to live permanently in San Diego, California.

My journey started on April 15, 1993. I was standing in line at the Bank of A&M in College Station, Texas, to transfer money from savings to checking so I could pay my income tax due. That’s when it hit me: “There has to be more to the world than the Great Nation of Texas.” After mailing my tax return, I went home, packed the Mustang GT with enough clothes to last a week, $5,000 in cash, and 100 CDs, which included all of The Beatles, of course.

I drove from College Station over to Shreveport, up to Fargo, over to Seattle, up to Vancouver, down to Sacramento, down to Bakersfield, and down to San Diego, arriving here on April 27. I spent three days at Blacks Beach (↓picture↓), coming up only at night to sleep at the KOA Kampground in Chula Vista.

Blacks Beach in San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

On the evening of April 30, 1993, as I was eating at a restaurant in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego, the weatherman came on the television to announce that for the third consecutive month, San Diego did not have any rain whatsoever, not a trace. I said softly to myself, “I could live here.”

And here I am!

There’s a little more to the complete story should you care to read it: A suicide journey ends in failure.

Happy Anniversary!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Just relax in your favorite spot

Picture of the Moment

Moving starts in earnest on Friday although preparations have been ongoing for a couple of weeks now.

What that means is that I’ll continue to post daily but posts will be shorter. You’re probably not going to see a post in my San Diego Historical Landmark series since each of those posts takes several hours to research and write.

My Picture of the Moment series probably will have quite a few entries during the next 36 days.

Knowing that, I thought I’d share my most recent picture of Zoey the Cool Cat, taken at 10:15 p.m. last night:

Zoey the Cool Cat all relaxed

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

With so many things being moved about, she has all sorts of new places to explore. Such excitement just wore her out yesterday.

Her home comprising a Samuel Adams beer box and a Trader Joe’s sack has been her favorite spot for the last five days.

So when you’ve had a long, tiring day, just relax in your favorite spot!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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I felt honored

Picture of the Moment

The Pacific Photographic Society (PPS) to which I belong is a Meetup group.

That’s how I found out about it.

After each event—and we have billions and billions of events!—each event attendee is allowed to upload no more than ten photos to our Meetup photo album for that event.

Everyone browses the pictures and sometimes comments.

Along with the picture of Cleo (see this post), this picture got the most comments:

Bench

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The owner of the garden, herself an extremely good photographer with equipment far superior to mine, and a member of PPS, had this to say:

“This is an interesting interpretation of this subject. I like what you have done with the texture.”

I felt honored.

The original picture was all drab, some of it having to do with it being a dull, drab, overcast, gray, rainy day. However, I have discovered that within those dull, drab, My wise old grandmothergray colors are many other colors wanting to get out. Photoshop to the rescue!

As my wise old grandmother (picture ►) would say:

“What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (4-27-15)—Curiosity killed the cat

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Many decades ago when personal computers were just hitting the market, I bought ten Apple Macintosh computers for my new word processing company in College Station, Texas. I had owned an Apple III and was happy with it. Unfortunately, all ten Macintoshes were lemons, and Apple refused to fix them. So I simply returned them, got all my money back, and moved on to the PC world. I never looked back, and to this day, nothing Apple has done has encouraged me to give them another try.

There is one area, however, that Apple seems to be doing something that I do appreciate, and that’s in the realm of music.

When George Harrison died in 2001, very few of his albums were available on CD, certainly not as digital downloads. Now all of them are, courtesy of iTunes.

Little River Band is another group that I have been waiting for their early work to be issued digitally, and finally it has been, again courtesy of iTunes.

As I look around today I noticed that there are a lot of groups remastering and re-releasing early work specifically for iTunes. Once the masses get it, of course, it shows up on YouTube, and from there one can make a playlist. Once it’s available on YouTube, it tends to become available elsewhere, such as Spotify, Grooveshark, Rhapsody, and Amazon. Thus, today, I added Little River Band’s first three albums—”Little River Band,” “After Hours,” and “Diamantina Cocktail”—to my music collection.

The second song on their eponymous first album is titled  “Curiosity (Killed The Cat).” You just know I have to share a song about cats, even if curiosity killed the poor feline.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Curiosity (Killed The Cat)” was Little River Band’s first single, released in November 1975 and peaking at #12 on the Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart. The single made no impact in the United States. In fact, it would be another eleven months before Little River Band hit the American Top 40 with “It’s A Long Way There.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The single version of “It’s A Long Way There” came in at 4:17 whereas the album version was a whopping 8:39. Here’s the album version:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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But I don’t know for sure….

Opinion

Yesterday morning I had the privilege of traipsing around a couple’s private garden.

It was a lot of un, and I got a lot of great pictures.

In addition to a beautiful garden, they had a dog and two cats.

Here is one of the two cats:

IMG_1753 abyssinian cat stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That’s Cleo.

Cleo is an Abyssinian cat, 15½ years old and suffering from renal failure.

To me, Cleo doesn’t look happy. In fact, he looks in pain.

Zoey the Cool CatZoey the Cool Cat (picture ►) is a mere 7½ years old but it’s obvious to me that she has slowed down, and she’s continuing to slow down. She’s not a kitty anymore….

I know we all love our pets, but at what point do we decide that it is time for our pets to leave us, to cross over that rainbow bridge?

My mother-in-law’s boyfriend spent several thousand dollars on treatments for his cats when they got old.

I want to think that I would easily spend thousands of dollars to keep Zoey the Cool Cat with me as long as possible, but I don’t think I could.

Instead, I think I would say my goodbyes to her and, from the vet’s office, go right down to the animal shelter and get another loving feline friend.

There are so many which need loving homes, and at that point I would have a loving home to give.

But I don’t know for sure….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Stairs to the birdhouse

Picture of the Moment

From a photo shoot this morning in a private garden. Click on the picture for a huger version.

Stairs to the birdhouse

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Friday Flower Fiesta (4-24-15)

Friday Flower Fiesta

Ten Photographic Art stamps created from pictures of flowers taken in March in San Diego County.

img_0221 day lily stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0222 flower stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0410 orchid stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0549 hibiscus stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0555 rose stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0565 daisy stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0886 yellow clivia stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0903 yellow cactus flower stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0916 zinnia stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0914 moth yellow flower stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage? Anniversary? Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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