Monthly Archives: August 2017

Picture of the Moment—The monster under the bed

Picture of the Moment

Long-time readers know that I don’t have children and never wanted children.

I like to jokingly say that it’s because, being the horrible juvenile delinquent that I was, any children I might have had would probably have been horrible juvenile delinquents, too.

Truly, though, it’s because I can’t imagine explaining to a toddler that there really is a monster under the bed.

Zoey the Cool Cat, the monster under the bed

Zoey the Cool Cat has never been an under-the-bed cat, but it is her preferred hiding place when strangers come over. Today, the window tinting guys came over. Instead of installing curtains and blinds on most of the windows, which seemingly get all dusty and never cleaned, Jim & I chose to put privacy tinting on the windows. The tint keeps out 57% of the heat from the sun, allowing the cooling system to work better in this 100°F+ heat wave we’re having. It also lets us see out but doesn’t let people see in. Pretty nice. And less expensive than curtains or blinds.

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

Picture of the Moment—What fascinates Zoey the Cool Cat each day

Picture of the Moment

This is just some of the early morning wildlife action that Zoey the Cool Cat is fascinated with each day at our new home. Occurs from sunup to about 9:00 a.m., after which Zoey the Cool Cat sleeps for the rest of the day.

Rabbit and squirrels

This is day 35 in our new home and I’m close to getting everything unpacked, cleaned, and into its new space. I’m aiming for September 1 to be complete so I can start exploring Southern California again and blogging about what’s out there.

Meanwhile, if you’re coming to San Diego for any reason, remember that my annual pass to the San Diego Zoo provides me with four free passes. Give me a call when you get here and if I haven’t already given them away, they can be yours. They will get you into either the San Diego Zoo or the Safari Park. I can highly recommend going to the Zoo one day and Safari Park another day.

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

Cats—She still loves me but only under her conditions


I was worried about my relationship with Zoey the Cool Cat. She has her little comfort spots that she rotates to every 3-5 days, but at night, or whenever I needed a nappy, she was always right there with me. Not so in our new home.

I think I found the problem….


She’s got to have a window that she can see out of.

In our new place I put blackout curtains on the bedroom window where I take nappies. Zoey the Cool Cat had never joined me in that bedroom. Not even interested. Just walked on by as if the door was closed.

Until two days ago when I was so tired that I left the curtains open. When I woke up, I couldn’t move. My legs were numb. A-ha! (not the group). Zoey the Cool Cat had jumped up on the bed and made herself comfortable on my legs, oriented so that she could see out the window. I got up and left her on the bed, and this is how I found her a couple of hours later:

Zoey the Cool Cat in bed

This morning I went out at 9:00, which is usually about the time she is worn out from running around window to window to window watching the wildlife. I came back at 11:30, and this is what I found:

Zoey the Cool Cat on bed

Problem solved. Curtains shall remain open and I’ll be adding tinting to the window so we can see out but no one can see in.

Zoey the Cool Cat still loves me but only under her conditions….

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

Entitled hillbillies in the boondocks


I grew up in the boondocks in Kingsville, Texas. In fact, where I lived with my wise old grandmother was considered the “wrong side of the tracks.” Just like Billy Jo Royal sang back in 1965.

After going off to college in 1973 at Texas A&M University, I swore that I would never live in the boondocks again. So where did I move 33 days ago? Yep. The boondocks. The east San Diego County boondocks.

I do like a lot of things about the boondocks: It’s quiet, both during the day and at night. There is more wildlife than you can shake a stick at—ground squirrels, rabbits, fence lizards, birds of every kind. No pink flamingos, though. Sad.

I do have a little friend who comes by every morning to eat, although it looks more like s/he is storing food in those cheeks instead of actually eating it.

Ground squirrel in the boondocks

Generally, it’s the people in the boondocks that I don’t really care for. About 80% of them are Regressives and Twitler supporters. They think liberals, progressives, and Democrats believe themselves to be entitled, yet out here in the boondocks, I find that the Regressives think themselves to be entitled. They seem to be out for themselves, and screw everyone else, including some of their one.

This morning I drove a mile down the road and had six near accidents. These boondocks hillbillies don’t care if there are other people on the roads.

Stop sign? “Honey, what’s that big red thing thar?”

Speed limit 35? “Honey, someone smeared that 8 so it looks like a 3.”

Traffic signal? “Honey, why’s everyone stopped? What are they looking at?”

Parking spaces? “Oh, look, honey. They made the parking lot into somethin’ artsy fartsy.”

I haven’t been carrying my camera for the last 33 days because I need both hands to carry boxes and things, but beginning tomorrow, consider my Canon to be surgically attached to my hand. The boondocks are going to provide some great pictures of these entitled hillbillies….

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

Music on Mondays (8/21/17)—I don’t believe in the sun

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

With all the fascination about the eclipse today, I couldn’t help but wonder why so many Republicans and Regressives didn’t call predictions about the eclipse’s path and its totality as fake news like they do with climate change, vaccines, evolution. Even at the age of 62, I always find myself amazed at people….

Here are seven sun & moon songs from my music collection:

“Eclipse” by Pink Floyd, 1973
When the sun is eclipsed by the moon

“Silver Age” by Pet Shop Boys, 1999
Earthquakes predicted and someday soon,
a total eclipse of the sun and the moon

“Total Eclipse” by The Alan Parsons Project, 1977

“Here Comes The Moon” by George Harrison, 1979
Everybody’s talking up a storm

“Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1969
I see trouble on the way. I see bad times today.

“I Don’t Believe in the Sun” by The Magnetic Fields, 1999
I don’t believe in the sun.
How could it shine down on everyone and never shine on me?

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

Out & About—The Great Stone Church, the Wrightwood Earthquake & dubious construction methods

Out & About

During my early years as a teenager 55 years ago, I wanted to be an anesthesiologist, but only because I could spell that word.

When I was in my mid-teens, I wanted to be a history teacher, but then I found out how much money teachers in Texas made. Not enough….

History, though, very much has been a part of me all my life, so when my husband told me a few months ago that he wanted to go to Mission San Juan Capistrano, well, I’m all there….

So yesterday we drove up to the Oceanside Transit Center (51 miles) and took Metrolink to San Juan Capistrano, about a 40-minute train ride. We spent six hours wandering around the city and the mission, both of which are extraordinarily fascinating.

I’ll have more about both the city and the mission in future blog posts, but today I wanted to share some pictures of the ruins of the Great Stone Church:

Ruins of the Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Ruins of the Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Ruins of the Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Ruins of the Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Ruins of the Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

In the second picture, that long walkway was what one might call the Great Hall inside the church. A model of the church, built in the shape of a cross, provides a better perspective; the Great Hall is the base of the cross:

Great Stone Church model at Mission San Juan Capistrano

The Great Stone Church took nine years to build, 1797-1806. It was used as a house of worship for six years, 1806-1812. Mother & Father Nature destroyed it in mere minutes with one of their earthquakes on December 8, 1812. Forty people died, all Native Americans attending mass and in the process of being converted to Christianity. I wonder why the almighty god would want to kill forty of his converts………….

Earthquakes also have fascinated me throughout my life so I went to find out more about this one. Records are poor (which is just one of the many reasons why I don’t take anything literally that is in the Bible; records from 200 years ago are poor but somehow records from 2,000 years ago are complete?). The earthquake involved here is called the Wrightwood Earthquake or, sometimes, the San Juan Capistrano Earthquake in recognition of the death toll.

While the exact location and size of the earthquake are unknown, evidence from sediments along the San Andreas Fault, as well as analysis of tree rings of pines growing near the fault, has led to the earthquake being identified as one along the Mojave segment of the San Andreas Fault, possibly resulting in as much as 106 miles of surface rupture, and a theorized epicenter near Wrightwood. The magnitude has been estimated at Mw 7.5.

The Great Stone Church was built completely of stone; ergo, its name. The earthquake caused the mortar to fail and the church collapsed. No surprise to me. Look at the stone—no rhyme or reason as to size and placement:

Ruins of the Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Here a stone, there a stone, make it big, make it small…. Each stone will conduct stresses differently, so while one stone might be great at absorbing stresses, another stone might be great at concentrating those stresses. And of the stone and mortar, the mortar will be the weakest part of the construction. Of course, I have the advantage of an extra 225 years of construction knowledge and experience….

The Southern California Earthquake Data Center states:

That even a magnitude 7.5 on the San Andreas fault could have such dire consequences on a structure as far away [about 80 miles] from the fault as the mission church seems unusual, but it was reported that the construction of the church was of dubious quality.

So now I’m wondering why this almighty god would let his people build a church using construction methods of dubious quality…………….

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

Out & About—Mission Bay Park

Out & About

One of my favorite places in San Diego to go for a walk is Mission Bay Park.

San Diego's Mission Bay Park from the air

Mission Bay Park is the largest man-made water park in the nation, and the ninth largest municipally owned park. Interestingly, San Diego also has the largest municipally owned park: Balboa Park.

Following are a few pictures from my most recent walk in Mission Bay Park a few days ago. I was over near the skyscraper hotel at the left side of the picture above. The hotel, a Hilton, is in one of the pictures below, and the bridge pictures below are under the long bridge in the upper center of the picture near the hotel.

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Mission Bay Park, San Diego CA

Along with the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, I can highly recommend Mission Bay Park as a way to spend a day in San Diego.

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