Monthly Archives: October 2015

Friday Flower Fiesta (10-30-15)—This is dedicated to the one I love

Friday Flower Fiesta

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

On this date in 2008, Jim and I got legally married.

Just 5 days later, 13,743,177 votes were cast in California’s general election.

7,001,084 of those votes were cast in favor of taking away the right of same-gender couples to marry, a right that had only been won six months earlier. Kind of sad when rights have to be won, but throughout history the majority has never been kind to minorities….

After numerous lawsuits and court hearings, the California Supreme Court upheld the removal by the majority of the rights of the minority but also ruled, under the grandfather principle, that the marriages of those who had gotten legally married during that six-month period would remain legal.

Thus, our marriage remained valid and legal.

So today is our seventh wedding anniversary. For the record, we’ve been together since May 26, 1994, and got domestic partnered (such an ugly term) on July 31, 2004.

Today’s Friday Flower Fiesta is dedicated to the one I love (Ouch! Zoey! Quit biting!)

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray PhotosFriday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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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

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Happy National Cat Day from Zoey the Cool Cat!

Did you know?

Today is National Cat Day.

Here to help us celebrate is the one and only Zoey the Cool Cat.

img_1101 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1145 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1589 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1592 zoey the cool cat preparing for the weekend img_1619 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1803 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1808 zoey relaxed stamp img_1900 zoey carrier stamp img_1910 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1914 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1941 zoey the cool cat stamp img_1954 zoey the cool cat stamp img_4015 zoey the cool cat sleeping floor stamp img_5257 stamp img_5507 zoey the cool cat stamp img_5621 zoey the cool cat stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Are you happy?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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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

The graffiti is getting better….

Out & About

When I came to San Diego in April 1993, I discovered the San Diego River. Although it is nothing like the mighty Mississippi, it’s hard to miss since it runs right through Mission Valley, possibly the most important area outside of downtown. After all, it’s where the San Diego Chargers claim to play professional football….

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There was talk of turning the river into a San Diego version of the San Antonio River Walk. That talk came from the powers that be, but the masses were having nothing of it. They loved their natural river and wanted it to stay that way.

Sadly, though, there was no way to really enjoy the river. Boating and swimming aren’t allowed in it, and since it likes to flood, there are no river bank walkways.

Mission Valley flood

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The San Diego River Conservancy, founded in 2001, is attempting to create riverside paths so that we can better enjoy the river in all its beauty.

Snowy egret

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

One of the goals of the San Diego River Conservancy is to create the San Diego River Park system from the mountains to the ocean, a 52-mile stretch from its source to its mouth at the Pacific Ocean.

Recently I was at the mouth of the river and saw some of the work that the Conservancy has been doing:

San Diego River pathway

San Diego River pathway

San Diego River pathway

San Diego River pathway

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

All of Mission Valley suffers from a graffiti problem as you can see in the following picture:

San Diego River pathway

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

But much of the graffiti on the River Path is getting better, so to speak.

San Diego River pathway

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Jamul Indian Village “Hollywood Casino” is coming along

Out & About

Powers more knowledgeable than I am say that San Diego County has a lot of gaming places, more popularly known as “casinos.” Those same powers say that San Diego County has the largest concentration of tribal governments in the United States. Those tribal governments love to building casinos on their lands and invite the masses to come lose their money gambling….

I have never been a gambler (or “gamer” as they are called now) so I don’t patronize the casinos other than to go by now and then and check out the magnificence of the buildings and the beautiful landscaping.

A couple of the casinos also have associated outlet malls where I occasionally do some shopping.

Native Americans were shuttled off to reservations many decades ago, and those reservations usually were far out in the boondocks. Those boondocks now are just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the cities, and a mere ten miles down the road from me another huge casino is rising from the ground.

Jamul Casino

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That is so massive that in order to get the whole thing in the picture, I had to go almost three miles away! I could get pictures closer but I couldn’t get the whole building in closer pictures because of the hills and valleys.

It’s the new Jamul Casino, a contentious project at best. The rural folks believe that it will bring crime and traffic to the rural community. However, although the money from the casino will go to the Jamul Indian Village, they have made commitments to traffic control, new roads, more police officers, more fire fighters, etc.

The developer, financier, and manager of the casino is Penn National Gaming, and the casino is projected to cost $360 million and open in mid-2016. It’s unofficial name at this point is “Hollywood Casino Jamul.”

The 3-story, 200,oo-square-feet casino will feature over 1,700 slot machines, 50 live gam(bl)ing tables, several restaurants, bars and lounges, and an underground parking structure with 1,800 spaces. An estimated 2,500 construction and permanent jobs will be created.

The community uproar resulted in the Jamul Indian Village changing the initial design of the facility, significantly reducing its height and footprint, including water and wastewater reclamation facilities, going with earth tone exterior colors and downcast lighting to integrate with and complement the surrounding area.

Jamul Indian Village Casino

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you like gam(bl)ing, I suspect that this is going to be one of the better casinos in the area and will be popular simply because it is closer to the masses than all the other casinos.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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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

Music on Mondays (10-26-15)—On this day in 1881

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

On this date in 1881, Wyatt Earp, Morgan Earp, and Virgil Earp took on the Clanton-McLaury gang at the famous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, immortalized in many movies, arguably the best of which are Frontier Marshal (1939), Gunfight at the OK Corral (1957), Tombstone (1993), and Wyatt Earp (1994).

Frankie Lane sang the title song for the 1957 movie:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Tombstone had become one of the richest mining towns in the Southwest after silver was discovered nearby in 1877.

Despite its name, the gunfight did not take place in or near the O.K. Corral but in a narrow lot on the side of C. S. Fly’s Photographic Studio, six doors west of the O.K. Corral’s rear entrance.

It was the result of a long-simmering feud between Billy Claiborne, Ike and Billy Clanton, Tom and Frank McLaury, and town Marshal Virgil Earp, Assistant Town Marshal Morgan Earp, and temporary deputy marshals Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. Billy Clanton and both McLaury brothers were killed. Ike Clanton claimed he was unarmed and ran from the fight, along with Billy Claiborne. Virgil, Morgan, and Doc Holliday were wounded, but Wyatt Earp was unharmed.

The Earps represented law and order in Tombstone but they also had reputations as being power-hungry and ruthless. The Clantons and McLaurys were cowboys who lived on a ranch outside of town and worked on the side as cattle rustlers, thieves, and murderers.

The gunfight lasted all of 30 seconds and is regarded by some as the most famous shootout in the history of the wild, wild west. It’s still debated who fired the first shot but most reports say that the shootout began when Virgil Earp shot Billy Clanton point-blank in the chest while Doc Holliday fired a shotgun blast at Tom McLaury.

The gunfight was not the end of the conflict. On December 28, 1881, Virgil Earp was ambushed and maimed in a murder attempt by the outlaw cowboys. On March 18, 1882, cowboys fired from a dark alley through the glass door of a saloon and shot Morgan Earp, killing him. The suspects in both incidents had alibis supplied by fellow cowboys, resulting in no indictments.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corrall has come to represent a period in American Old West when the frontier was pretty much an open range for outlaws, largely unopposed by law enforcement spread thin over vast territories.

The gunfight did not get widespread coverage until 1931, two years after Wyatt Earp died, when author Stuart Lake published a biography about him, Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal. The book captured the American imagination during the Great Depression and was the basis for the 1946 film, “My Darling Clementine,” by director John Ford. The shootout became known as the “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” in 1957 with the release of the movie that year by that name.

I remember watching “The Life & Legend of Wyatt Earp” on television in the ’60s. The series originally ran from 1955 to 1961. Here’s the theme song:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Having a dandy good time

Picture of the Moment

When I moved to Houston after my time at Texas A&M University, I discovered wine tasting, wine & cheese parties, and Wine-of-the-Month clubs. It only took about a year to discover that I really was not a wine connoisseur.

With me, it’s white zinfandel, white zinfandel, and white zinfandel.

San Diego County has a few billion vineyards with wine tasting facilities. I have continued to resist trying wines again because I’m quite happy with my white zinfandel.

Recently, though, I was in Solana Beach in the Cedros Avenue Design District when I came across the Winery Queen. Looks like this:

Winery Queen

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Winery Queen belongs to Carruth Cellars, An Urban Solana Beach Winery.  I did not go in since, as I said, I’m quite happy with my white zinfandel. I did like their Winery Queen, though. She looks like she’s have a dandy good time.

Cedros Avenue Design District in Solana Beach, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray PhotosNeed a unique gift for a special occasion?

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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

Friday Flower Fiesta (10-23-15)—A flower is a flower, and that’s enough

Friday Flower Fiesta

If the days don’t stop flying by I’m going to be 60 before I know it.

Wait.

Nevermind.

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for Christmas or a special occasion?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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