Zoey the Cool Cat on her catio

SNIPPETS (7-22-18)



Zoey the Cool Cat has not been the same since Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat was here. She rarely plays; isn’t particularly interested in being with me, either on the bed or in the office, preferring the floor in front of the refrigerator; has gained 6 pounds in 3 months; and is “fur mowing” (more properly known as “psychogenic licking” the area around her nipples.

I have taken her to one vet and one vet hospital so far.


I am going to try one more vet tomorrow, but I fear she might be on her last legs, so to speak.

Yesterday, her bare tummy was so bad that I rubbed some extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO) on her. Everything else that I ever rub on her gets immediately licked off. She did not lick the EVCO off! Not even after 10 minutes, at which time I had to leave.

Saturday night she slept in my office chair, the first time she has done that since Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat was here. Here it is Sunday morning, and Zoey the Cool Cat still is occupying my office chair, resulting in me having to use a different chair so as not to disturb the little queen. I do enjoy having her by my side….

Zoey the Cool Cat in my office chair


2013 San Diego Comic Con InternationalComic-Con International ends today.

This will be the first year that I have not gone downtown to take pictures of the crowds, activities, and costumers.

Here are two of my favorites from past Comic-Cons:

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

2013 San Diego Comic Con International


I have a Client moving here from Madison, Wisconsin. Apparently they don’t have cacti in Madison because he saw pictures of mine and has become absolutely fascinated by them. I spent five hours yesterday planting an assortment of Pachypodium lamerei for him. Here’s what my finished creation looks like. He and his wife are thrilled..

Pachypodium lamerei mass planting


Westfield UTC Shopping Mall in La Jolla is getting a San Diego Trolley station, so they decided to renovate and expand the mall at the same time, nearly tripling it in size with more ground floor space and a second floor throughout.

They started both the Trolley expansion and the Mall expansion a couple of years ago. I went over there to check on their progress and found that the Mall pretty much is going 100% succulents.

Westfield UTC is a very upscale (aka as “snooty”) mall, so I rarely go there. With this new cacti & succulent thing, I might have to go there more often.

Look at this beautiful succulent wall, and the plants are not fake. Westfield UTC has enough money to hire gardeners to make this succulent wall look good 24/7/365 in perpetuity.

Succulent wall


We all have seen honey bees.


Today, I present to you the infamous sunflower bee. These bees are so stealthy that I barely caught it with my smarty pants phone camera.

Sunflower bee


Back on May 1, 2012, I went exploring in the South San Diego County boondocks. I found the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.

Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility near San Diego

Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility near San Diego

I only found out today, while reading “Assassins” by Time Life, that Sirhan B. Sirhan is serving a life sentence at this Facility for assassinating Robert J. Kennedy back in 1968.

In the second picture, I either had a huge telephoto lens or….

….I got a wee bit too close. Yes, a dozen Facility security cars surrounded me to ask me what I was doing. I told them and showed them the hundreds of pictures I already had taken in the Boondocks. They let me go without incident.


Border Field State Park in San Diego County, CaliforniaFive years later, on May 13, 2017, (note to self: Don’t take pictures in far-away places in May), I went on an expedition to take pictures of the new Border Wall which had been built in San Diego County. I parked at Border Field State Park, walked two miles to the beach, and then walked south towards Mexico. There were two walls that extended about 50 yards out into the Pacific Ocean. I went past the first wall only to have a few billion Border Patrol cars descend on me. They told me that no one was allowed past the first wall. The area between the two walls is kind of like a demilitarized zone.

After that encounter, I should have just gone home.


I’m the adventuring type.

I drove along an unnamed yet publicly accessible dirt road from Imperial Beach to San Ysidro, about 7 miles, stopping to take pictures every 100 feet or so. Several Border Patrol vehicles kept passing me, turning around, passing me again, turning around, ad nauseum. Finally, several of them descended on me simultaneously to block me in, and asked what I was doing. I told them and showed them all the digital pictures. They said I couldn’t take pictures like that and offered me two choices, “Delete all the pictures or be arrested.” I deleted the pictures since I wasn’t too sure about that unnamed road being public property. I went the next road over and retook all my pictures.

Border fence


With all the computer hacking going on, many people are calling for a return to paper ballots for voting. The problem with paper ballots is that they are not hackproof at all. As proven in the past in many states, particularly Texas, Louisiana, and Illinois, it’s too easy to destroy them, flush them down the toilet, tear them up and throw pieces in different trashcans, lose them, steal them. And dare I even get started on “stuffing the ballot box”?

Paper ballots would make it even more likely that there could be a “Dewey elected President” headline. As it is, whomever is elected president on the day of the election is not true anyway, notwithstanding what the media says.

All 50 states require their Secretaries of State to certify election results, and that means including mail ballots, absentee ballots, provisional ballots, etc. Most, if not all, states provide for 30 days to do that.

I’m a permanent mail voter here in California. I get my ballot by mail but I can return it by mail, or to the Registrar of Voters, or to ANY voting location by the end of election day.

I also can check online to see if my ballot has been counted. I turned mine in on November 7, 2017. It was counted on November 15.

Fight organized crime


Back on May 5, I went as part of a group of 25 members from the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society on a private tour of Western Cactus. I quit counting the number of greenhouses when I got to 27 because we stopped at what I call their “plant decoration” greenhouse. They were painting cacti & succulents, gluing on straw flowers, gluing top dressing in the pots, everything that I totally despise.

Painted plants

The owner and his General Manager gave us the tour. Finally, I asked the owner why they were doing that since they were an old, well-established, very large, respected nursery. He looked at me, raised his right hand and gave me the “Moulah!” roll of his fingers as he said, “Money! There’s a market for this, and we want to meet that market.”


Sunrise in the East San Diego County boondocks:

Sunrise in the East San Diego County boondocks


Someone failed math….

Someone failed math


Best. Fence. Ever. (Especially if you have an unwanted neighbor with unwanted children or unwanted cats and dogs invading your property.)

Cholla fence


If we pay attention we can learn something new each. and. every. day.

Cactus & succulents have sharp spines


Zoey the Cool Cat loves her catio, even when it’s 115°F out there.

Zoey the Cool Cat on her catio

Zoey the Cool Cat on her catio


Zoey the Cool Cat loves her catio, even when it’s 115°F out there.

Zoey the Cool Cat on her catio


Out here in the East San Diego County boondocks, the soil is a very dry, rocky, sandy clay.

It literally can take a couple of hours to dig a hole 12 inches deep and 12 inches in diameter, possibly longer if the rocks are, say, 15″ x 7″……..

Little rock


My first GIF of Zoey the Cool Cat!

Zoey the Cool Cat

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

17 thoughts on “SNIPPETS (7-22-18)

  1. Pit

    Good morning, Russel,
    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Zooey, that she’ll get completely well again soon. We’ve recently lost one of ours, Fritz [https://wp.me/p4uPk8-1oI]. It’s so sad a moment. Well, not only a moment.
    As to elections and paper ballots: we have them in Germany, and it works well. Everybody interested can watch them being counted. That’s public. Plus: there are official independent people tasked to watch. But the greatest plusin our system: as everyone is required by law to register with the local authorities within 14 days after moving to a new place and since everyone over 18 had to carry their identtity card, everybody automatically is notified where they can vote, and everybody automatically carries proof of identity. In addition to that, parties have no influence at all in shaping the voting districts.
    Have a wonderful Sunday, and again, all the best for Zooey,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Espirational

    Hope the new vet can figure out what’s wrong with Zooey. Glad you didn’t get arrested on your photography adventure. 🙂 Years ago I stumbled onto something I shouldn’t have while driving around lost out in the country trying to take a “shortcut” to work. Armed guards pointing guns are scary. Finally on voting — We vote by mail and I am so glad this is available. It makes voting so much easier for people with disabilities. Getting Bob in and out of our polling place would not be impossible, but also not easy. We don’t even have to drive to town to have them notarized because our next door neighbor is a notary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      Zoey the Cool Cat was spayed back in 2007, and Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat was spayed in 2009. But an interesting thought is that she might actually have enjoyed having a feline companion and is depressed now that she’s all alone again. Prior to Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat’s stay here, Zoey the Cool Cat had no idea there were other felines in the world.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sue W

        I had guessed both had been spayed but it was the licking of the nipples that made me think broody and if the ovaries had been left intact it would follow that some hormones remain.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Photos With Finesse

    Years ago we had a cat with a belly licking issue. Vet put him on an anti-depressant. They’d run out so I had to pick it up from the local ‘human pharmacy’. It came with a printed side effect list including ‘may cause suicidal tendencies. We all wondered how we’d know. This was a particularly uncoordinated cat (we believed neurological issues from birth) so if he missed the leap from the cabinets to the floor would it be klutziness, or would it be an attempt on his own life? Hope Zoey gets her cool back. Maybe it’s just the hot weather – I’m sluggish in much over 80F too!

    Liked by 1 person


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