Monthly Archives: November 2017

Would you like to be on Facebook?

Out & About

My wise old grandmother told me that it’s alright to talk to myself, but when I start to ask myself questions, and then answer those questions, I might have problems. So I learned to talk to the animals, although not quite Dr. Dolittle style.

I usually either tell them “I’ll put you on Facebook” or ask them “Do you want to be on Facebook?” Here are some of the responses:


Nope. Big Brother is watching.Do you want to be on Facebook?

Sure! I hear you get lots of LIKEs!
Okay!

Facebook? Hmmmm. Not sure about that.Lizard

Yeah, whatever.
Raptor

These four decided to take their toys and go home.

Seagull

Seagull

Surfer

Sure! Hold on and let me show you my good side.
Butterfly

This guy decided to show off for the Facebook crowd.
Surfer

Facebook? Please, please, please. Thank you!
Crab

Nope. We’re outta here.
Paddleboarders

Sure! Facebook likes good-looking birds!
Bird

There are always a couple who want what others don’t.
Seagulls

Are you one of those bird molesters?
Great Blue Heron

You’re that Russel guy. I don’t trust you. I’m leaving.
Great Blue Heron

Checking Facebook…
Man at the beach

In some languages “Facebook” means “water.”
Seagull wanting a drink

Will I be the first roach on Facebook?
Will I get lots of likes?

Roach

Mr. Chairman?
I move that we let Russel put us on Facebook.

Seagulls

What is Facebook?
Black bird

Sure. Let me get dressed first.
Surfer

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

Picture of the Moment—The judge has not yet made a decision

Picture of the Moment

Pelican and seagull

No word yet from Judge Pelican whether or not Gull’s improvised flyby is good enough to get Gull into the finals.

We’ll be right back with Judge Pelican’s decision after this word from our sponsor. Stay tuned!

Go Gull!

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

Why the A is worth only one point

Succulent flowers

Zoey the Cool Cat, Jim, and I moved back in July to a ground floor house that actually has property surrounding it. We had been in condominiums from 2007 to 2017 because we liked having a pool and spa without having the maintenance on a pool and spa.

Now that we have property surrounding our house again, I can get back to serious gardening. Serious gardening means spending lots of time again reading through the plant books in my gardening library as well as spending time at the plant nurseries throughout San Diego County.

Most of our property will be dedicated to non-cactus succulents—my body has decided to move on from thorny cactus.

My time at nurseries led me to Solana Succulents, a cool little nursery in Solana Beach, California, which I discovered 15 years ago. A couple of weeks ago as I was wandering around the nursery, the owner, Jeff Moore, was on the phone and telling the caller that he would have to be closed the next day because he was traveling up to Los Angeles to speak to one of the botanical societies there. After he hung up, I told him that I was retired and if he ever needed someone to keep the nursery open for a day while he was gone, he could call on me. Well, he called on me as soon as I finished my sentence, and I got to work the nursery all by myself the next day. Pretty cool. Even though I was in a nursery, I was pretty sure I was in Heaven.\

Jeff has written two books on Succulents: Under the Spell of Succulents and Aloes and Agaves In Cultivation, and has a third book, Soft Succulents, coming out in a couple of weeks. In my continuing conversation with Jeff, I commented on his book as to its design and text fonts. He sent me a PDF of his not-yet-published Soft Succulents to read through and offer comments. I did. I did the same for his first two books in case he gets to reprintings.

It’s been a joy reading his books because of his knowledge, the pretty pictures, and his sense of humor. Some of the pictures almost—almost, I say—convince me to give some of the agaves a try, but they are mean, spiny creatures which have no problem sampling a taste of your blood. That, however, doesn’t prevent me from enjoying the pictures—they don’t bite—and sharing them with you.

The little one in the following picture from Wikipedia has some serious spines and is quite pretty, but it’s the name that caught my attention:

Agave guadalajarana

It’s the reason why the A in Scrabble is worth only one point.

Agave guadalajarana

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

Music on Mondays (11-27-17)—Lost on a desert island, 1970, part 1

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

My Lost On A Desert Island music collection would have 53 songs from 1970 on it, 8 by The Beatles, all from Let It Be. I’m pretty sure Let It Be ranks as my #2 Beatles album behind Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Original Beatles songs are not available as videos on YouTube so I cannot provide any links to such videos. I leave it to you to search out Beatles videos or simply put on your own music and start singing! Here are the 8 from 1970:

  1. Two Of Us
  2. Across The Universe
  3. Let It Be
  4. I’ve Got A Feeling
  5. One After 909
  6. The Long & Winding Road
  7. For You Blue
  8. Get Back

Following are the next 23 songs from 1970 that I would take with me if there were a possibility of being lost on a desert island. With the breakup of The Beatles, this was the year that I started exploring darker, heavier music, much to the chagrin of my wise old grandmother. She understood Let It Be and The Long & Winding Road. Not so much Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.

25 Or 6 To 4 by Chicago
#4 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Chicago’s first song to reach the Top 5

Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel
#1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Won the 1971 Grammy for “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year”

Cecilia by Simon & Garfunkel
#4 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
I always wanted to date a Cecilia so I could sing this to her.

Colour My World by Chicago
Released twice, both times as the B side to other singles
Make Me Smile in 1970 and Beginnings in 1971
The first non-classical song that I learned on the piano.
video

Easy Come, Easy Go by Bobby Sherman
#9 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

El Condor Pasa (If I Could) by Simon & Garfunkel
#18 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Ma Belle Amie by The Tee Set
#5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Until I went to YouTube for this blog post,
I had no idea that this was a “Gay Tune.”
Should I turn in my Gay Card?

The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel
#7 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Spirit In The Sky by Norman Greenbaum
#3 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Forty years later I won a music trivia contest by being able
to name this song after just 3 notes.

Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) by Edison Lighthouse
#5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Come & Get It by Badfinger
#7 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Written by Paul McCartney.

Shilo by Neil Diamond
#24 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
My aunt in Los Angeles introduced me to Neil Diamond in 1968.

Hitchin’ A Ride by Vanity Fare
#5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Add Some Music To Your Day by The Beach Boys
#64 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
One of my favorite songs about music.

Go Back by Crabby Appleton
#36 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Ride Captain Ride by Blues Image
#4 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Gimme Dat Ding by The Pipkins
#9 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Black Knight by Deep Purple
#66 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Evil Woman by Black Sabbath
#19 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Wicked World by Black Sabbath
From their eponymous debut album

Lookin’ Out My Back Door by Creedence Clearwater Revival
#2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Who’ll Stop The Rain? by Creedence Clearwater Revival
#2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Creedence Clearwater Revival
#43  hit on the Billboard Hot 100
The single was 3:50; it’s this 11:11 album version that really turns me on.

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

Out & About—Eastern San Diego post-apocalyptic folk art

Out & About

I left Zoey the Cool Cat at 5:45 this morning to go find Dead Dolly Lane.

Yes.

Dead Dolly Lane.

I found it.

Happy Thanksgiving from Dead Dolly Lane.

Dead Dolly Lane

Dead Dolly Lane

Dead Dolly Lane

Dead Dolly Lane

Dead Dolly Lane

Dead Dolly Lane

Dead Dolly Lane

Dead Dolly Lane

A Google search for Dead Dolly Lane San Diego wasn’t much help.

One bicyclist/blogger calls it “Eastern San Diego post-apocalyptic folk art.” Alrighty…..

Another blogger asks, “What is it about San Diego’s rural southeast county that attracts the fantastically absurd characters that create these horrible images?” and then ends with “I love it!”

That’s it. I have so many questions but there don’t seem to be any answers.

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

Picture of the Moment—Row boats

Picture of the Moment

I had never seen purposely painted utility boxes and dumpsters until I came to San Diego. Around here, absolutely. everything. is painted. I do admit that they are much more pleasant to look at than the unpainted thing. Here’s the fence surrounding a couple of dumpsters at a ritzy hotel over on Mission Bay:

Real boats and mural boats

Notice that the painting of the row boats is a painting of the row boats sitting just a few feet away. I really liked that. Which is why I took a picture of it. Uh, der.

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

Music on Mondays (11-20-17)—Lost on a desert island, 1969

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

My Lost On A Desert Island music collection would have 22 songs from 1969 on it, 4 by The Beatles, all from Abbey Road. Original Beatles songs are not available as videos on YouTube so I cannot provide any links to such videos. I leave it to you to search out Beatles videos or simply put on your own music and start singing! Here are the 4 from 1969:

  1. Come Together
  2. Something
  3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
  4. Here Comes The Sun

Following are the other 18 songs from 1969 that I would take with me if there were a possibility of being lost on a desert island.

A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash
#2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Johnny Cash’s only Top 10 hit

And When I Die by Blood, Sweat & Tears
#2 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Cold Turkey by Plastic Ono Band
#30 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Cotton Fields by Creedence Clearwater Revival
A non-charting single released in 1982

Day Is Done by Peter, Paul & Mary
#21 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Dear Diary by The Moody Blues
From the album On The Threshold Of A Dream

Honky Tonky Women by The Rolling Stones
#1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Kept Johnny Cash from having a #1 hit

I Can Hear Music by The Beach Boys
#24 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
One of my favorite songs by The Beach Boys

In The Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus) by Zager & Evans
#1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Probably my favorite song from 1969

Laughing by The Guess Who
#10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Lazy Day by The Moody Blues
From the album On The Threshold Of A Dream

Make Your Own Kind Of Music by Mama Cass Elliot
#36 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Marrakesh Express by Crosby Stills & Nash
#28 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

Pinball Wizard by The Who
#19 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Other than chess and 42, I have never been much of a games person.
I did, however, play a lot of pinball at the Dixie Chicken during my college days at Texas A&M University, 1973-1977.

Sugar, Sugar by The Archies
#1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
And they weren’t even a real group!

Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
#4 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Probably my favorite song by Neil Diamond

These Eyes by The Guess Who
#6 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Their first Top 10 hit in the United States.

Undun by The Guess Who
#22 hit on the Billboard Hot 100

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

Out & About—One of only three in Southern California

Out & About San Diego

I think my last hike might have been this past June when I hiked the Lake Calavera South Trail in Carlsbad. The old body just isn’t what it used to be.

In the map below, you can see all sorts of dotted lines representing trails. If only I had discovered Calavera 40 years ago!

Lake Calavera map

Lake Calavera is the dominant feature, but I’ll have more about that a little later.

Calavera means cranium in Spanish. Skull. Wonder who named it that, and why.

Lake Calavera covers about 400 acres, and the Calavera Nature Preserve complements the lake with another 110 acres and 4.9 miles of hiking and biking trails. There is a lot of accessible land that is not in the preserve, though, with many more miles of trails.

The Lake Calavera area is home to an identified 115 plants, 49 birds, 10 mammals, and 7 amphibians & reptile. Six of the various species are classified as threatened or endangered, including the California Gnatcatcher, a bird which has had 85% of its natural habitat, the Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub, destroyed by development.

Although I love lakes, the dominant feature here, what was even more interesting to me at Calavera is this:

Mount Calavera volcano plug

That’s Mount Calavera, far more interesting to me than a lake full of water. Mount Calavera is a volcanic plug. In other words, the inside of a volcano—its throat, full of magma—which went extinct 22 million years ago. Once a volcano goes extinct, it starts eroding, leaving behind the magma plug. Mount Calavera is one of only three volcanic plugs in Southern California.

In the middle of the picture you can see some vertical columns. As the magma cools, it typically forms columns. Here’s a two other pictures of the magma columns:

Mount Calavera magma columns

Mount Calavera magma columns

From the early 1900s to the 1930s, the ancient plug was mined for gravel. Some of it has been left behind.

Mount Calavera gravel

Although the mountain is 513 feet high, there are many trails, some easy and some difficult, that take you to the top. There you’ll see several old lava flows.

Mount Calavera lava flow

You also can see three labyrinths below, which you’ll probably miss on your first visit up the mountain since they are off the beaten path. No one seems to know who or why they were created.

Mount Calavera labyrinths

All in all, a great hike. Too bad that I won’t be going back again, unless it’s by helicopter.

Kudos to those who know the name of what is quite likely the most famous volcanic plug in the world. Take a guess in the comments.

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

Opinion—God’s involved in more than just sports

Opinion

In Jesus name I playThroughout my life I have always been amazed when sports stars thank God and the Lord Jesus Christ for leading them, or their teams, to victory.

With all the dying, death, and destruction in the world, and this God has time to sit back and watch sports. Not just one sport, though. Every single sport. At every level. In every country.

Note that God goes by different names in some countries. Tower of Babel and all that.

This touchdown's for you, Jesus!

Now I find out that God (and, presumably, the Lord Jesus Christ) is involved in more things than just sports.

Texas Tech University won the 2017 National Meat Judging Championship. I’m quite familiar with meat judging and the national championship because one of my rampmates (Jimmy Mazurkiewicz) during my second semester at Texas A&M University in 1974 was on Texas A&M’s national championship meat judging teams. So I proceeded to read the announcement from Texas Tech University about their 2017 national championship. I quit reading when I came to this paragraph:

“The Meat Judging Team was able to achieve perfection because they humbled themselves and trusted God and not themselves,” said Mark Miller, coach of the Meat Judging Team and the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Distinguished Chair in Meat Sciences. “They had great faith in him to deliver the victories. All of the glory goes to their faith and trust in God for this impossible perfect national championship season.”

That doesn’t say too much about Coach Mark Miller’s skills or abilities.

And just think of all those students from so many other universities who now might believe any one of the following:

  1. God doesn’t listen to them.
  2. God doesn’t answer prayers.
  3. God answers prayers but this time said, “Fuck you.”
  4. God doesn’t exist.
  5. I can’t believe someone else prayed more than me.
  6. I can’t believe I’m not God’s favorite.

Imagine if God were to put an end to human and animal suffering; to put an end to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wildfires, heat waves, blizzards, auto accidents, gun deaths…. Little things like that. Instead, he’s sitting back watching sports and rooting on his favorite players….. S.M.D.H.

Religion. The bane of humanity.

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