SNIPPETS (5-13-18)



If it’s cactus, cacti, it should be agapanthus, agapanthi, yes? Well, whatever.

On May 25, 1979, I flew my wise old grandmother (MWOG) and my two oldest nieces from Kingsville to Houston to Los Angeles to visit MWOG’s oldest living son’s family. My dad was her oldest son, but he committed suicide in 1961 when I was 6.

I remember the date because we were going to fly just hours after AA Flight 191 from Chicago to Los Angeles crashed shortly after takeoff, killing 273 people, still the deadliest air crash in the United States. I had to convince MWOG and teenage girls that flying was safer than driving, and that the absolute safest time to fly is right after an air crash. Odds. Statistics. Nonetheless….

Her oldest living, Charles, had the most beautiful yard I had ever seen because it had so many beautiful plants that I had never seen, and they all were blooming. April showers bring May flowers. Little did I know that they didn’t have April showers in Los Angeles; all watering by hand at that time.

One of his plants was an agapanthus. Its flower stalk was taller than me, and I’m 6’3″. I have always wanted one but never got one. In our new home, I have many, planted by the previous owners. Over 20 flower buds, and this one, about four feet tall, was the first to open, the night of May 8-9.


I abandoned Texas on April 15, 1993, winding up in San Diego, California, on April 27, 1993. For the last days of April, I stayed at the KOA in Chula Vista. On the night of April 30, I was watching news/weather/sports at the KOA community room. The weatherman came on to announce that for the third consecutive month San Diego had no rain, not even a trace. Less than two inches for the first four months of 1993. I thought to myself, “This is my kind of weather. Think I’ll stay.” I did.

Although I can definitively say that it’s more expensive to live in California, I can also definitively say that I would never had made the kind of money in Texas that I have made in California. It might have something to do with the entrepreneurial spirit in this state that led to the announcement this past week that California’s economy is now the fifth largest in the world, having surpassed the United Kingdom.

I love it here.


I have a problem with floor spots in our new home. I don’t know what brand vinyl flooring the previous owners installed in the kitchen, but I’m thinking it might be time to rip it out and install tile. Tile’s expensive, though, and I’m not sure it will solve this floor spot problem.

Floor spot


The Summer Show & Sale for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society is coming up June 2-3. I have heard that it is the largest cactus & succulent show and sale in the nation. My new A+R POTTERY business will be a vendor. In order to be a vendor, said vendor has to enter 8 plants in the show. Considering that there are at least 40 vendors, that’s 320 plants right there. However….

There also is an education category, which I’m going to enter because I love doing research. My exhibit will be on Fibonacci numbers and the Golden Spiral/Fermat’s Spiral in cactus & succulents. Longtime readers might remember my blog on the subject from March 9, 2013, using sunflowers:

Speaking of sunflowers, Fermat’s spiral, and Fibonacci numbers….

Sunflower showing Fermat's spirals


Plants grow very slowly relative to other things so you might not notice what they are doing until months, or even years, later. I’m sure this little pot full of Euphorbia obesa started out as just one, the biggest one in the middle. Over the years, momma has had a few babies, and they are stretching this plastic container, trying to get out on their own. Well, I’m here to help them. Can’t stay with momma forever.

Euphorbia obesa


Last July I sat in for Jeff Moore at his boutique nursery, Solana Succulents, in Solana Beach, California, while Jeff visited the Bay Area to talk with cactus & succulent societies up there. I came home from Solana Succulents with an Operculicarya decaryii. Looks like this:

Operculicarya decaryii

It looks kind of dead, but it’s simply been dormant for the winter. This past Tuesday I noticed that it’s waking up. The leaves are very small so even in full leaf it looks almost dead. While I was looking at the first of its little leaves, I noticed that some of the little leaves are not leaves at all.

They are flowers!

Itsty bitsy teeny tiny little really really really small flowers, so small that I could not measure them. I think they’re about a tenth of an inch in diameter.

I got a good picture with my DSLR and the 90mm macro lens, though:

Operculicarya decaryii flower


I have always liked Tillandsias but I’ve never had too many because I had never found a good way to display them. I don’t like bare roots hanging all over the place.

Now I have a way to display them—Designer Pots by A+R POTTERY (that’s me!).

I filled Designer Pot #59 with a couple of big rocks, then a layer of smaller rocks, then smaller pebbles, then even smaller pebbles. I placed some of the pebbles from the top layer over the Tillandsia roots to hold the plant in place, and then poured water in up to the copper ring so that the top layer where the Tillandsia is “rooted” is dry except for the humidity rising up through the rocks.

In just six hours, the Tillandsia responded to the humidity, basically telling me that he loves it!

Here he is in his new home:

Tillandsia in Designer Pot #59 by A+R POTTERY


I have decided to take on a new nickname.

Just call me ADH Russel.

Stands for “Anti-Drainage Hole Russel.”

Here’s the story, from my brand new website for A+R POTTERY, the anti-drainage hole Designer Pots:


Along with the new A+R POTTERY web site, we now have an A+R POTTERY Facebook page!


LIKE us on Facebook!


We added a new book to our classical music library.

New library book


When I rejoined the work force in February 1994 after 10 months of my second retirement, I helped set up offices throughout the nation for Nextel Communications.

I noticed that those beautiful leather, high-back executive office chairs were $1,500 to $2,000.

I always wanted one.

Yesterday, I bought one.

For $129.99.

At Office Depot.

Made in China.

Leather office chair

Zoey the Cool Cat is not yet ready to give up the old chair. She took possession of it while I was assembling the new chair. And I didn’t even buy the new chair at IKEA!

Zoey the Cool Cat


From the best meme seen on Facebook this past week:

My heart goes out to any aspiring dystopian fiction authors who keep having their ideas stolen by the Republican Party.


Best research summary released last week:

People over 40 should only work 3 days a week, experts say


If you missed the Iranian and Israeli missiles flying through the air this past week……… Those missiles are expensive…….. Putin sells missiles to Iran………… The U.S. sells missiles to Israel………… Someone’s making a lot of money!


Got my California ballot in the mail today since I’m a permanent mail voter. When a Republican was in charge of California, the state was billions of dollars in the red. A Democrat took over and now is leaving the state with the world’s fifth largest economy and a billion dollar annual surplus.
With all that money available, 27 people are running for Governor of California.


Yes, 27.


I like meat, especially fish, chicken, and bacon.

I grew up in a ranching/farming family, so we had lots of pigs, cows, and chickens. One thing I learned on that farm is not to name an animal that I intended to eat.

Naming things makes it personal, and one doesn’t want to get personal with the animal one intends to kill and eat.

I applied that thinking to my vegetables, too.

I name my carrots and peas.

Problem solved.


I have been involved in many different industries during my business career. Word processing, computer sales, real estate buying and selling. landscaping, property renovation, roofing, plumbing, office management, project management, editing, graphic design, home inspections. In every one of them, I knew a great deal about a specific industry before every getting involved in it. Such is not the case with my newest business:

A+R POTTERY—Designer Pots for your small cactus & succulents

A+R POTTERY sold two Designer Pots yesterday at the general meeting of the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society. That was a 100% volume increase of April, and a 125% income increase! I’m quite pleased. Especially since yesterday’s meeting was the worst I’ve been to. There might have been 100 members in attendance, and maybe 20 walk-throughs from the general public. Afterwards I found out why. We were competing with many Mother’s Day weekend events in Balboa Park, and three of the biggest were within 50 feet of our meeting. So to get to us, one had to walk through the crowds for the San Diego Youth Opera, the San Diego Youth Symphony, and the annual San Diego Epiphyllum Society Show & Sale.

I can definitively say that one doesn’t want people walking through monster, gigantic, beautiful, luscious Epiphyllum flowers to get to your meeting because they will never make it. Would YOU have made it through several hundred of these flowering plants?

Epiphyllum flowers

So I’m quite pleased with my progress in the two months I have officially been in business.

Here are the two pots that I sold yesterday:

Designer Pot #13 by A+R POTTERY

Designer Pot #14 by A+R POTTERY

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

9 thoughts on “SNIPPETS (5-13-18)

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Back in high school I wanted to be a professor of history. In my research of how to climb out of the lower class rungs of my family, I found that I would have to go to college for about 8 years minimum. That wasn’t going to happen because I didn’t have the money to go to college for 8 years. I resigned myself to being a high school history teacher. Then I found out how much money high school teachers made. Nope. So here I am, decades later.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. europasicewolf

    Enjoyed your snippets immensely! Your cactuses/cacti(??!) made me smile, they look all set to climb straight out of the pot and head out on their own! Your Tillandsia looks very happy and contented – I think he’s a delighted little plant 🙂 …. it’s always good to have a “cat book” lol on your library shelves!! But you really shouldn’t leave your “cat book” lying around on your shiny new chair you know!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Interestingly, ever since Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat left, Zoey the Cool Cat has been a floor kitty. That’s the only time in the last month that she has jumped up into a chair.


        1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          And…………. ever since Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat left, Zoey the Cool Cat has been eating like she’s never eaten before in her 11 years. I think she was jealous of Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat and wants to catch up, thereby becoming Zoey the Cool Fat Cat.



Let your words flow

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.