Monthly Archives: June 2015

Out & About—Del Mar Shores beach in Solana Beach CA

Out & About

San Diego County has an overabundance of great beaches, and the fact that all beaches in the State of California are public means that one can enjoy them, providing that one can get to them.

Many wealthy neighborhoods don’t like commoners on their beaches, so they purposely make it difficult for the public to get to the beaches.

The City of Solana Beach is a great example.

Recently I was trying to get to Del Mar Shores beach. I had not been there in about twenty years but knew that there was a beautiful, new staircase leading down to the beach. Finding that staircase without walking up the beach for ten miles proved to be more difficult than I had thought.

I finally found the beach access on a small cul-de-sac:

del mar shores beach access

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Although the sign and walkway are quite visible, that picture is from a web site that I browse looking for unique San Diego. The walkway now is overgrown with bushes and trees, and the sign and walkway entrance are obscured by car parking. Thus, if you’re just casually driving by—and no one is going to casually drive by in a cul-de-sac to begin with!—you’ll miss it. In fact, I missed it twice before finding it the third time. Well, my wise old grandmother always said that the third time is the charm!

The walkway goes around two sides of the Del Mar Shores Terrace condominiums. Here’s the second side leading to the beach:

img_2504 solana beach del mar shores beach access stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Even though I was there on a weekend, you can see that it wasn’t busy. I’m thinking because no one can find it!

At the end of the walkway is a magnificent view of the beach from the top of 150-foot cliffs:

img_2509 beach solana beach stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Then there is the view down the grand staircase:

img_2508 solana beach del mar shores beach access stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It’s absolutely necessary to traverse the stairs to get to the bottom so you can see this view of what you just came down:

img_2513 beach access solana beach stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The “NO DOGS ALLOWED” sign at the beginning of the walkway is confusing because dogs are allowed, albeit only to the south side of the stairs, not the north side.

A walk on the beach provides views of magnificent beachside cliff homes and condominium complexes, as well as the interesting retaining walls that keep them up there.

img_2511 solana beach del mar shores beach stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Map showing access to Del Mar Shores beach in Solana Beach

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Music on Mondays (6-22-15)—Communist music from the Red Scare era….

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

On this date in 1950, Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television was issued. It was compiled by the rightwing journal Counterattack, self-described as the “newsletter of facts to combat Communism.”

Gotta love those rightwing nuts. NOT! They have been creating mass hysteria for decades, and they just go on and on….

Obama is coming for your guns….

Obama is a Socialist….

Obama was born in Kenya….

Obama is invading Texas….

Obama is a Muslim….

….smh….

The Red Scare of the ’40s and ’50s ended the careers of many professionals in Hollywood, obviously a bastion of Communism then and now….

Many in the music industry also were targeted by Red Channels—Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Lena Horne, Pete Seeger, Artie Shaw, Larry Adler, Burl Ives—all named as suspected Communist sympathizers.

Why were they suspected of being Communist sympathizers? Evidence included Lena Horne’s name on the letterhead of a South African famine relief program, Aaron Copland’s 1949 appearance at a Scientific and Cultural Conference for World Peace, and Leonard Bernstein’s affiliation with the Committee to Re-Elect Benjamin J. Davis, a black, socialist New York City councilman, Artie Shaw was a member of the World Peace Council…..

….smh…….again

For today’s Music on Mondays, I thought we should enjoy a few pieces of Communist music from these folks.

“Sonata for Clarinet and Piano,” Leonard Bernstein, 1942
(His first published work. Definitely sounds Communistic.)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Fanfare for the Common Man,” Aaron Copland, 1942
(1942 obviously was the Year of Communism in Music)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Stormy Weather,” Lena Horne, 1943

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Where Have All The Flowers Gone?”, Pete Seeger, 1955

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Concert for Clarinet,” Artie Shaw, 1941

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Genevieve Waltz,” Larry Adler, 1953

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“The Wayfaring Stranger,” Burl Ives, 1944

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I’m pretty sure I’m a Communist since I love all this music………..smh one more time.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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This junk is for sale!

Picture of the Moment

When I moved to Houston in May 1977 after four years at Texas A&M University, a friend (I’ll call him Thad since his name was Thad) and I started a company called “Yesterday’s Treasures.”

Yesterday’s Treasures specialized in finding unique junk and antiques, fixing them up, and selling them, usually to specialized antique places in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Beaumont, Houston, Victoria, and Corpus Christi.

Thad was from Corpus Christi and had the “unique junk and antique” knowledge. I was the man with the money. We complemented each other very well.

This morning I went driving up Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 101), stopping here and there to take pictures, which resulted in 259 pictures and 2 videos during a 6-hour drive.

One of the places I visited was the Cedros Avenue Design District in Solana Beach. It’s only three blocks long but definitely one of my favorite areas.

Cedros Avenue Design District in Encinitas, California

Cedros Avenue Design District in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Thad and I didn’t have a store front, but if we did, this sign would have fit us perfectly:

img_2430 cedros design district encinitas junk for sale stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The business looks like this:

img_2340 vintage treasures cedros design district solana beach junk for sale stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I could not determine the actual name of the business, and the Cedros Avenue Design District web site is all messed up right now.

I do like the sign under the arbor that says “Vintage Treasure” and the little pink circle sign above the third window from the right that says “Fancy Junk.”

If you’re in the San Diego area and looking for unique items for your home, check out the Cedros Avenue Design District. For a previous post about the Cedros Avenue District, see “I learned something today….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Friday Flower Fiesta (6-19-15)

Friday Flower Fiesta

A selection of Photographic Art flower postage stamps that I’ve created this past week.

yellow lily faa stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

yellow flower faa stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

wild iris faa stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

wild iris stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

iris stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

wild iris stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

daisies faa stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

white and purple ice plant faa stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

IMG_1391 water lily faa stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

unknown flower stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Reach out and I’ll be there

Picture of the Moment

It’s no secret that cats like sunshine and Zoey the Cool Cat is no exception.

In our old home there wasn’t much sunshine because of the overhang of the roof eaves and the mature eucalyptus and pine trees, both very tall.

In our new home, there is sunshine galore, and Zoey the Cool Cat knows where all the best sun spots are, as well as what time of the day the sun hits those spots.

Her favorite spot by far, though, is at the sliding glass door to the balcony. The sun hits that spot beginning at about noon and, since it faces west, is there until the sun goes down. So she gets about 8½ hours of sunshine on the balcony and on her cushion by the door.

And it’s that cushion where she can find some very interesting ways to sleep, as shown in the following three pictures. I titled the first one, “Reach Out and I’ll be there.”

img_2313 zoey the cool cat sleep stamp

img_2314 zoey the cool cat sleep stamp

img_2310 zoey the cool cat sleep stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

You don’t think she’s spoiled, do you? I would hate to have to put up with a spoiled cat.

Before the sun comes up and after the sun goes down she can be found on one of the two beds. I call the following picture “Reflection.”

img_2181 zoey the cool cat stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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I’m so confused over religion and war

Halls of History

When I was 10 and told my wise old grandmother that I wanted to be either an anesthesiologist or a history teacher, she advised me to become a history teacher. “How come?” I asked. “Because I don’t know what the other one is, but I know that if you study history, you won’t have to repeat it.”

She had been born in 1911, so she suffered through the Great Depression and World War II, and saw her oldest son go off to the Korean War and youngest son go off to the Vietnam War.

I quit wanting to be a history teacher once I found out how much money teachers made in Texas. I knew being a teacher and making that kind of money would not allow me to escape the poor and low-income families that I had been with for my first ten years of life. Yes, at the age of 10 I was able to determine that one needed money in life….

Nonetheless, I always have enjoyed reading about, and studying, history, especially war history. I find it fascinating what people will do to other people in the name of patriotism and religion…. crucifixions, beheadings, drawn and quartered, iron masks…. all sorts of unique ways to torture and kill.

Ever notice, though, that the sons and daughters of the wealthy and privileged never go off to war. There’s always some sort of exemption for them.

Rebel YellIn the book that I just finished reading about Confederate General Stonewall Jackson (►), one of the themes that ran through the general’s life was his religion. He loved his war, though, believing that everything he did in his life, including killing people, sometimes even his own soldiers after he judged them guilty of whatever sin they had allegedly committed, was directed by God. His god, of course.

So I found the beginning paragraph in Chapter 43 quite interesting. It’s a long paragraph so I have broken it up here to make it more readable:

Eighteen months after the first shot at Fort Sumter, there were certain truths that the soldiers had come to know. Death in war was neither picturesque nor peaceful, and dying bravely didn’t make you any less dead, or mean that you would not be dumped into the cold earth of a mass grave with everyone else, brave and not brave. Nor was there likely to be anyone to hear your last miserable words.

People of the era cherished the idea of a ‘good death’—a peaceful, dignified passing wherein God was embraced and sins repented and salvation attained, preferably in your own bed with your family gathered devotedly around to hear your last murmurs of Christian resignation. War made a mockery of all that. War made a mockery of the idea of a benevolent God. It replaced the family home with the rank, power-scorched horrors of the battlefield. These were the new truths.

In war you lived outdoors like a wild animal. You lived in blistering heat, drenching rains, and knifelike cold. You were exposed and vulnerable. The majority of men who died did not even have the honor of dying in a fight. Two out of three were carried away by diseases that killed them just as surely as minié balls. Those who survived did so on a quarter pound of bacon and eighteen ounces of flour a day—one-third the regular meat ration—with the infrequent small issue of rice, molasses, or sugar. (The rice ration was an ounce.)

Men lived without shoes or coats or blankets. Food was short all over the South. Soldiers hunted up sassafras buds and wild onions to ward off scurvy. Horses died for lack of forage. In Richmond, where much of the eastern army’s far was gathered and transshipped, there were bread riots.

I have never understood why an all-powerful, all-knowing God needs men to fight wars for it. That certainly does not sound like a benevolent God. Wouldn’t a benevolent God make sure that his warriors had shoes and food, the basic necessities? I’m so confused over religion and war.

And yet, get this, the beginning of the second paragraph:

In spite of these hardships, which seemed to multiply as the war dragged on, many of the men in the Confederate States Army remembered the winter of 1862-63 as one of the most extraordinary times of their lives.

Say what?

People are weird, which is probably why there never will be peace on Earth, not unless country boundaries and religion cease to exist.

fabricate supreme being

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray PhotosI'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post