Author Archives: Russel Ray Photos

About Russel Ray Photos

Photographer career began in sixth grade in 1966.

SNIPPETS (7-15-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

With Twitler and his ilk in the process of destroying everything that has made America great, I have been watching a lot of dystopian movies. I can highly recommend The Maze RunnerThe Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, and Maze Runner: The Death Cure.

SNIPPET 2

Dracula’s cat.

Dracula's cat

SNIPPET 3

I have spent time in Death Valley National Park in California where the temperature hit 123°F. I have spent time in Palm Springs, California, where the temperature hit 116°F. On July 6, the temperature on my shaded catio reached 112°F, making this the hottest place I have ever lived.

If R2-D2 was a bird

SNIPPET 4

I’m a big fan of spirals. When I was young, I had some sort of drawing toy that allowed me to create all sorts of interesting spirals. I wish I could remember what it was called. Anyways, that interest in spirals easily translates to plants. My newest spiral plant is Cereus perianus spiralis. Look how cool this plant is:

Cereus perianus spiralis

SNIPPET 5

Here are two pictures of Senecio rowleyanus in a beautiful glass container. I planted it in this container on May 2, 2018. You can see the new growth since May.

I exhibited this at the meeting of the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society on July 14, 2018, and got more Ooohs and Ahhhhs and I love it’s than anything else I ever have exhibited.

Senecio rowleyanus

Senecio rowleyanus

SNIPPET 6

Throughout my life I have been highly addicted to science, even if my own experiential evidence says otherwise. In this case, my experiential evidence and scientific evidence agree.

Science confirms dogs can recognize bad people

SNIPPET 7

Speaking of spirals, the Mammillaria genus of cacti has some of the best spiral plants in the world. Every time I go to a cactus & succulent show, I see Mammillaria that I wish were in my collection. Recently, I got one, and at a very reasonable price, all things considered, because I know what plants like this go for in plant auctions. This is Mammillaria parkinsonii.

Mammillaria parkinsonii

SNIPPET 8

The other day I went got to Home Depot at 6:00 a.m. and parked in the rear parking lot. As I was walking to the garden entrance, I found this little book on the ground.

How do dinosaurs love their cats?

I picked it up and brought it home. It has 12 pages. Each page is one-tenth of an inch thick. Here’s the text from inside:

How does a dinosaur play with her cat?
Does she throw pillows at it and act like a brat?
Is the litter box left while she watches a show?
If the kitty complains, does she give it a throw?
Does she hand it cat toys and then take them away?
Ignoring her pet after school every day?
No, a dinosaur cuddles her cat in her lap.
She pets it until it falls into a nap.
She remembers to feed it and give it fresh water
And changes the litter box just when she aughter.
She gives it new toys that she makes by herself
And also some catnip she keeps on a shelf.
She loves her dear kitty, and does every chore,
Strokes its fur, hears it purr—
Good dinosaur!

SNIPPET 9

No nickname

SNIPPET 10

Best Facebook comment ever:

“If someone offends you, just picture them naked and afraid. Or think about how miserable their lives must be that they feel the need to insult strangers. Or consider that they might be just having a bad day. Or consider that you might be misunderstanding a poster’s intent. Online forums are not for the faint of heart; it helps to have a sense of humor – or at least a sense of the absurd.”

SNIPPET 11

After going to the San Diego County Fair every year since 1993, this was my first year as an exhibitor, which meant not only did I get four free tickets to give away, but I was eligible for a $20 badge that would let me get in at any time totally. free. It also meant that when it was time to take my exhibits home, I could scavenge all the free stuff that exhibitors and the Fair itself was giving away, like these eight bromeliads. I got two more the next day.
Next year I’m going to exhibit plants and photographs, and probably provide a couple of “Donated” awards, probably in the photography category.

Bromeliads

SNIPPET 12

Zoey the Cool Cat has not been the same since Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat was here from March 19 to April 12. She has been lethargic, doesn’t play anymore, and has put on lots of weight. She now is Zoey the Cool Fat Cat.

I took her to the vet last Monday. She’s like, “Meh.”

Zoey the Cool Cat at the vet

Nothing wrong with her. She’s simply becoming Garfield in her old age.

SNIPPET 13

Where are the investigative journalists in today’s world?
The Dan Rathers,
the Walter Cronkites,
the Bob Woodwards and Carl Bernsteins,
the Ida Tarbells,
the Upton Sinclairs,
the Murray Marders,
the David Halberstams,
the Seymore Hershes,
the Daniel Ellsbergs,
the Florence Graveses,
the Dana Priests & William Arkins?

SNIPPET 14

Mega yacht parking lot in San Diego harbor. Four mega yachts. Most I have ever seen at one time here.

Mega yacht parkingl ot in San Diego

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

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SNIPPETS (7-8-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

Which one should I buy? $24.50 each, so price is not the determining factor.

Mammillaria species

SNIPPET 2

I’m currently cataloging Russel Ray Photos pictures from October 2017. Here are some pictures from the annual Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show here in San Diego in October 2017. The annual air show is said to be the largest air show in the United States.

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

SNIPPET 3

I have spent time in Death Valley National Park in California where the temperature hit 123°F. I have spent time in Palm Springs, California, where the temperature hit 116°F. On July 6, the temperature on my shaded catio reached 112°F, making this the hottest place I have ever lived.

112°F

SNIPPET 4

Here is Zoey the Cool Cat enjoying that 112°F on her catio.

Zoey the Cool Cat enjoying her catio

She is looking at the thermometer after I had taken a picture. Perhaps she’s thinking, “That can’t be right.”

SNIPPET 5

Laughter for your Sunday.

When you do the magic trick for dogs

When you do the magic trick for a cockatoo

SNIPPET 6

Sigh….

Don't leave your kids in the car!

SNIPPET 7

I got addicted to cats back in 2006 when a feral black cat came to visit on Thanksgiving. I gave it food and water; it ate and drank, and left. It returned on Christmas Eve. Hmmmmm. “A cat that knows human holidays,” I thought. I gave it food and water; it ate and drank, and stayed. Sadly, it got run over by a car on September 20, 2007. We got Zoey the Cool Cat on September 21, 2007.

On July 6, around 8:00 a.m., a feral cat came to visit me while I was working in my cacti & succulents gardens. It was very friendly, but no collar and extraordinarily skinny. I gave it food and water; it ate and drank, and left. I had Euphorbia sap on my hands at the time, and since I’m quite allergic to that sap, I went inside to wash my hands. By the time I came back out, skinny kitty was gone. I do hope it comes back.

I did get a picture of skinny kitty.

Skinny Kitty

SNIPPET 8

I thought it was “bombs bursting in air,” not “bombs bursting on ground.”

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

SNIPPET 9

I watched Blade Runner (The Final Cut) the other day. I didn’t like the original Blade Runner back in 1982 when I saw it. I did like it much better this time around, maybe because of those final cuts, but I don’t remember the original that well so I don’t really know. Margaritas were good, though. When was the last time you went to a movie theater that served margaritas?

SNIPPET 10

Out here in the East San Diego County boondocks we don’t have many spiders. I suspect that’s because the billions of lizards eat them. So imagine my excitement when I found a rather large spider while out in my gardens the other day.

Garden spider

SNIPPET 11

I’m not a big fan of posting pictures of surgery scars, blood, etc., online, so I’ll just tell you that this Euphorbia enolpa got me good the other day while I was planting it. And I mean good.

Euphorbia enolpa

I’m quite sensitive to Euphorbia sap, which I discovered back in 1966 when my wise old grandmother made me prune her poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima), so in addition to having a very bloody arm, I had a very swollen arm.

Euphorbia sap often sends people to the hospital and has been responsible for a few deaths as well. If you get this white, milky sap on you, wash it off immediately, and certainly don’t touch your eyes, mouth, ears, or nose while you have sap on your hands.

Euphorbia sap also can be very toxic to your dogs and cats.

SNIPPET 12

Something’s quite wrong if your event results in so many lost children that you have to set up a LOST & FOUND CHILDREN center. Either that or there are some seriously delinquent people called “parents” running around.

Lost and found children

SNIPPET 13

I’m also very sensitive to gas, but you and I can’t smell gas when it’s in the parts per billion. Also, if your gas company hasn’t added odor to the gas, you won’t be able to smell it anyway.

If the gas is strong enough, I still might not smell it per sé but I start coughing, wheezing, snorting, hacking, eyes watering. If that happens unexpectedly, I look around for a gas source. Such happened to me a few years ago while sitting outside the LiveScan office waiting my turn to get LiveScanned so I could teach chess in after-school enrichment programs. The LiveScan clerk came to check on me, I sounded that bad. I told her my suspicion since there was a huge gas tank nearby. Here’s the letter I got from them a few days later:

LivesSan letter

SNIPPET 14

Selfies

SNIPPET 15

I’m sure they specialize in death with dignity.

Death Dealers

SNIPPET 16

Our home with Zoey the Cool Cat is surrounded by three cities, two of them on the smaller suburban size. Both had fireworks on July 4. I couldn’t see them but Zoey the Cool Cat and I certainly heard them. She was not happy. I went to the bedroom and laid down on the bed with her to comfort her, talking to her in a soft, soothing voice and rubbing my hands and head all over her. She was happier but every occasionally there was one of those really loud things and that kept shaking things up for us.

There is such a thing as silent fireworks, and I became a big proponent of them this year.

SNIPPET 17

This was the first year in several decades that I didn’t go somewhere to watch the fireworks on July 4. With Twitler and his ilk destroying everything about the United States—National Parks, EPA, health insurance, families, public education—and the constant lies, I just am not very patriotic right now.

SNIPPET 18

The Bam Boo Inn somewhere in the East San Diego County boondocks.

The Bam Boo Inn

SNIPPET 19

Here’s my latest newsletter creation for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society. Lots of links inside to good Facebook groups and YouTube videos that I have created this past month.

July 2018 newsletter for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society

SNIPPET 20

As many times as I have been to The Huntington Library, Art Gallery, and Botanical Gardens, I had never been to the Desert Garden. It was always so difficult for me to get through the library and art galleries since they are closest to the entrance. On June 29, Jim and I went to The Huntington with my sole goal being to stroll through the Desert Garden. Here’s my video of the stroll:

If you have never been to The Huntington in San Marino, California (east Los Angeles County), put it on your Bucket List. You won’t be disappointed.

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

SNIPPETS (7-1-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

My little Fockea edulis that has two seed pods on it…. and me never having seen the flowers…. and not knowing who the father plant is….

Have been keeping an eye on my little girl.

She had flowers! And since she needs someone of the opposite sex to have progeny, she obviously thought that I was going to take her to another cactus & succulent show so that she could have more unprotected sex.

Fockea edulis flowers

Fockea edulis flower

SNIPPET 2

I was sad to drive by my favorite Sears store and find out that it was closing. I took a detour, parked, and went inside. The store was about 90% empty.

I don’t know what we’re going to do with all these empty buildings. Maybe ICE will turn this one into it into a child concentration camp…. a #TrumpCamp. After all, we’re only about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico. Yahooooooooooooo! Let’s hear it for child concentration camps!

Sears store closing, El Cajon CA

Sears store closing, El Cajon CA

Sears store closing, El Cajon CA

SNIPPET 3

In 1968 I got to go to Hemisfair in San Antonio. Spent 50¢ on a computer personality analysis of my signature. Spent $2 on an analysis at Post Oak Mall in College Station TX in 1997. Spent $4 on an analysis at the San Diego County Fair on June 14, 2018. Here they are. All three of them. And all three eerily accurate.

Anavac Hemisfair signature personality analysis

Televac Post Oak Mall College Station TX personality signature analysis

Televac 2018 San Diego County Fair personality signature analysis

SNIPPET 4

Best things about my smart phone (Samsung Galaxy S8):

  1. Makes and receives phone calls
  2. Google Maps—Doesn’t matter where I’m going, how near or how far, Google Maps is tracking me, know where I am, knows where I’m going, and knows when I’m going to get there.
  3. The ability to block phone numbers. O.M.G. My phone used to ring every other minute with calls from
    Florida,
    Ohio,
    Texas,
    Pennsylvania,
    Wisconsin,
    Nevada,
    California,
    Oregon,
    Idaho,
    Washington,
    Virginia,
    Indiana,
    and probably a few others that I have left off.
    All of them from Google.
    EVERY.
    SINGLE.
    DAMN.
    ONE.
    OF.
    THEM.
    I have blocked all of their numbers and now I get auto rejected calls every other minute. The phone doesn’t even ring. Just automatically hangs up on their asses. I hope the person who invented call blocking has a lifetime supply of margaritas.

SNIPPET 5

San Diego Zoo animals

SNIPPET 6

I have learned to check out anyone who sends me a friend request on Facebook. For the longest time I was getting them from women who wanted to have sex with me or trade nude pictures. Uh, no. Occasionally I still get one from a Twitler-supporter. Why, I have no idea. So I checked out a friend request today and found this as one of his posts:

“I refuse to put any libtard up on a pedal stool.”

I declined his friend request. If he’s not going to put me up on a pedal stool, he’s no friend of mine!

SNIPPET 7

I got a free plant at a huge nursery the other day because it was on the ground in the midst of about 100 huge Agaves planted in 35-gallon wood boxes. No one knew what it was so the manager said, “Just take it.”

When I put it in the Cacti & Succulent Identification group, all I got were obscene comments, obscene videos, obscene GIFs, and obscene memes. So I deleted my post.

Today a friend told me what the plant is. Lophocereus schottii forma mostruosa (smooth form). AKA “Big Penis Cactus.” Well, okay then. Now I understand the obscene comments.

I wonder if the ladies at the nursery knew what it was but no one wanted to tell a guy that it was a “Big Penis Cactus.” I could see how that might be a little awkward.

I had an oblong rock which looks very nice next to the Lophocereus schottii forma mostruosa (smooth form).

Lophocereus schottii cv. Big Penis Cactus

SNIPPET 8

Back in Spring 1976 I took Economics 301 at Texas A&M University. I had Professor Phil Gramm (Google him). He had a tenured position making $125,000 a year, but quit to go into politics. I despised his economics but I do remember one thing he said in class: “All politicians lie. You just have to determine whose lies you like the best.” For most of my life, I was a Me! Me! Me! person, preferring Republican lies. Since April 1993, I have been an Us! Us! Us! person, prefering Democratic lies.

SNIPPET 9

Poor little ground squirrels. In the morning many of them line up at the fence separating their open space preserve from my cactus/succulent gardens. I love watching them, as long as I’m not watching them eat my plants. I can see their little brains whirling and dreaming, trying to figure out how to get to the banquet…..

Ground squirrel on the other side of the fence

SNIPPET 10

The Cactus & Succulent Society of America had their annual Show & Sale at The Huntington Library, Art Gallery, and Botanical Gardens June 29-July 1. As many times as I had been to The Huntington, I had never been to the Desert Garden. It’s at the far side from the parking lot, and after visiting the Library and the Art Gallery, I just never made it to the Desert Garden. This past Friday, the Desert Garden was my goal. I was amazed. Wow. Just wow. Here is a video created from 149 pictures:

SNIPPET 11

If you need a quick laugh, watch the CATalunia Boy’s Choir.

SNIPPET 12

I bought $350 worth of cacti & succulents at the CSSA sale at The Huntington. I took them to the car while my husband, Jim, sat in the shade among the ferns doing whatever on his smarty pants phone. Snapped this picture without him being aware that I was anywhere close by.

Jim Frimmer at The Huntington

SNIPPET 13

My wise old grandmother always was out on the dance floor at family reunions, dancing up a storm. As she told me in 1978, you’re never too old to rock ‘n’ roll, proven yet again this past Thursday when I went to see The Ideas Rock ‘n’ Roll Trio (friends of mine) at the fundraiser for the El Cajon Animal Shelter at the Downtown Cafe in El Cajon, California. The El Cajon Animal Shelter is where we got Zoey the Cool Cat back on September 21, 2007.

SNIPPET 14

By far my favorite plants are the Stapeliads. This book, which I bought a couple of days ago, is the BEST. PICTURE BOOK. EVER.

Stapeliads

SNIPPET 15

Even though I’m a huge fan of margaritas and Agave tequilana, I’m not averse to trying new things. So at the Huntington Botanical Gardens on Friday, I got a taste of potato rum. I liked it. I brought it home with me. Here it is. Agave potatorum. (It’s proper pronunciation is pot-a-tor-um. I like potato rum better.)

Agave potatorum

SNIPPET 16

The clock in my doctor’s office last week.

Doctor's clock

SNIPPET 17

Hello Farmers my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again….

Or as a friend said, “Good insurance is like a bridge over troubled water.”

Simon Gurfinkel Agency

SNIPPET 18

I like to work in my cactus & succulent gardens for a couple of hours in the early morning before it gets too hot. Sadly, the path to the gardens was blocked this morning. I was stuck inside.

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 19

One of the reasons why parking is scarce and at a premium in Southern California is because some people, when they get a parking spot, absolutely refuse to give it up.

Parked car

SNIPPET 20

Every morning when I work in my cactus & succulent gardens, I have a little friend who is close by. He watches me intently, and every time I plant something where he couldn’t see it, he would climb up the block and peer over. He is so friendly that I can get him to eat bugs out of my fingers. Eventually I’m going to get a video of that.

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

SNIPPETS (6-17-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

I read a lot. Always have. Which means that I (used to) go through a lot of bookmarks. After I decided that dog-earing the pages was not a good way to mark where I was. I have about 20 bookmarks similar to this one but all with different bird pictures. It fits over a page and is magnetized so that it doesn’t fall off. The reason why I have 20 is because I bought them at The Birdwatcher in Julian, about 80 miles from me round trip. I thought I’d go through them like other bookmarks. Nope. This thing is durable. Best. Bookmark. Ever.

Magnetic bookmark

SNIPPET 2

Comment on Facebook:

If [Twitler] had been US president in 1938, he would have sought to appease Hitler and compliment him as an “honorable man.”

SNIPPET 3

I have not had an Echinopsis cactus since 1973. Although their flowers are beautiful, their pokey pokey things are ouchy. Yesterday I just couldn’t resist buying this Echinopsis oxygona at Lowe’s because of the delicate pink/white flowers.

Echinopsis oxygona

SNIPPET 4

Jim, Zoey the Cool Cat, and I moved to a new house in July 2017 without checking the USDA zone for the new place. Sadly, it’s virtually impossible to grow ferns here. Ha! Problem solved. Three different ferns, a sensitive plant, and a Hypoestes all quite happy in their terrarium home on the catio.

Fern terrarium

SNIPPET 5

Best Twitler meme from this past week:

Twitler

SNIPPET 6

I’m going through old boxes and finding stuff from long ago.

These were the three bitches in my life ca. 1990, left to right, Penny, Kerrie, Sugar. Penny & Sugar were the better of the three.

Penny, Kerrie & Sugar

Kerrie was a Southern Baptist religious nut. She had a personal relationship with her god, so personal that said god would tell Kerrie when to take a bath or a shower, what time to go into work even if she was late, when to take vacations, when to call in sick even if she was not sick, when to listen to music or watch television or go to the movies, when to come over to my house.

Late one Saturday night when I had a home word processing business, she was in my room with Penny & Sugar studying her Bible lesson for the next day. I decided to take a break so I went back to ask her if she wanted to take Penny & Sugar for a walk with me. She rolled over, looked at me ever so sweetly, and said, “No. The Lord hasn’t told me to take the dogs for a walk with you.” I did not see her on Sunday and broke up with her on Monday. I do hope she’s had a happy life.

SNIPPET 7

Hmmmmmm. My Fockea edulis has two seed pods on it. This plant is dioecious, which means that it needs pollen from a male plant in order to have progeny. I never saw the flowers on this plant, and the only way it could have had sex with another plant is at a cactus & succulent show, where it has been shown twice. Wonder how I track down the father.

Fockea edulis with seed pods

Fockea edulis seed pods

SNIPPET 8

Best video from this past week. Because, small dogs need a friend their own size.

SNIPPET 9

When I was young I wanted to be an anesthesiologist because I could spell it. Then I found out how much schooling I would have to suffer through. Bye bye anesthesiologist!

SNIPPET 10

Because I have a degree in Forest Management from Texas A&M University, I always enjoy visiting the woodworking exhibit at the San Diego County Fair. This table is now #1 on my list of most expensive items in the exhibit over the years. A mere $11,500. Twenty years ago it would have gone home with me, no questions asked.

Table selling for $11,500 at the 2018 San Diego County Fair.

SNIPPET 11

Since I have eight of my plant displays on exhibit at the 2018 San Diego County Fair, I have an Exhibitor badge which gets me into the Fair free, every day, for as often as I want to visit. I also got three free tickets to give to others. So Jim and I went to the Fair last Thursday. Came home with lots of goodies, one of which was this map of San Diego. It’s laser-etched on pine. Looks great AND smells great!

San Diego map laser-etched on pine

SNIPPET 12

First and second place winners in Youth Robotics at the 2018 San Diego County Fair.

Youth robots from the 2018 San Diego County Fair

SNIPPET 13

Jim and I spent all day at the San Diego County Fair. I have been there several times this year to help set up the exhibit for the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society, where I have eight plants on display, and water the little ones. I have had my eye on one of the plant vendors not too far from the Palomar display, and these are what I came home with. I understand why the one plant is named “prolifica”—I feel like a mamma rabbit there are so many babies.

Pachopodium lamerei (Madagascar palm)
Pachypodium lamerei

Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’
Sedum 'Purple Emperor'

Echeveria prolifica
Echeveria prolifica

Kalanchoe fedstchenkoi variegata
Kalanchoe fedstchenkoi variegata

Crassula ‘Dianne’
Crassula 'Dianne'

SNIPPET 14

My favorite cactus picture. Pay no attention to the critter.

Favorite cactus picture

SNIPPET 15

Long-time readers know of my lifelong fascination with all things trains. I think I shall have to be in Utah around May 10, 2019. I will be driving, so if you’re between San Diego and Salt Lake City UT, let me know. I’ll stop by and say hello!

One of the World’s Largest Steam Locomotives
Is About to Make a Triumphant Return

SNIPPET 16

Sometimes the bed decorations don’t match the quilt. Oh well.

Bed decoration

SNIPPET 17

MOVIE REVIEW—I can highly recommend “Overdrive” starring Scott Eastwood and Freddie Thorp.

Lots of awesome cars.

And Scott Eastwood (Clint Eastwood’s son) and Freddie Thorp.

Did I mention Scott Eastwood and Freddie Thorp?

Well, just in case I didn’t, it stars Scott Eastwood and Freddie Thorp.

Varoooooooooom……….

Scott EastwoodFreddie Thorp

Overdrive

SNIPPET 18

Jim, Zoey the Cool Cat, and I have been in our new home for 11 months. We bought all new appliances when we moved in. Here’s my review of them:

Whirlpool Cabrio Washer – Sucks. 0 out of 10. Washers need an agitator. The cycles are too long, and since there’s no agitator, the soap falls from the soap dish into the washer, turns to paste, and never gets washed out of the clothes.

Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer – 5 out of 10. I like the Steam Refresh cycle.

Whirlpool Cabrio washer and dryer

Bosch Dishwasher – Sucks. 0 out of 10. Doesn’t dry the dishes even on the longest cycle because there is no heating element. Weird. The racks are installed backwards, almost as if a left-handed person built it.

Bosch dishwasher

Samsung Microwave – 5 out of 10. The functions are waaaaaaaaay to difficult to push. Needs to be a wee bit less sensitive.

Samsung Range – Sucks. 1 out of 10. The oven has a special vent that lets out all the heat and, if you’re cooking something, microscopic particles that cause the fire alarms to go off. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Our Toaster Oven is better, and that’s what I use. The griddle is awesome for pancakes. If I made pancakes thrice a day, 7 days a week, I’d give the Range a 10 out of 10.

Samsung microwave and range

LG Refrigerator – Awesome. 10 out of 10. Love the indoor water and ice, the controls for cubed ice or crushed ice, the temperature controls, the door within a door for the refrigerator. It helps that in front of the refrigerator is one of Zoey the Cool Cat’s favorite places to plop herself.

Zoey the Cool Cat plopped in front of the refrigerator

SNIPPET 19

My older brother once threatened to shoot me. I’m estranged from him, as well as 99.9% of my relatives, but I don’t hate my brother like Twitler seems to hate Obama, our allies, women, LGBTQ, blacks, children, the sick, the aged…………

SNIPPET 20

I felt so bad the afternoon and evening of June 10 because I ran over a squirrel while driving to Home Depot. The poor little thing never had a chance.

SNIPPET 21

I bought this as a 2-leaf plant at the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society’s Winter Show & Sale on February 10. Since then it’s put out 2 more big, fat leaves, and one flower on it bloomed for 5 consecutive days, closing at night and reopening the next afternoon. It has another bud that should be opening in a couple of days.

Pleiospilos simulans
Pleiospilos simulans

Pleiospilos simulans

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

Zoey the Cool Wet Cat

SNIPPETS (6-10-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

A+R POTTERY Designer Pot #00111Sorry I missed last Sunday but I was heavily involved in the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Summer Show & Sale all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I was a vendor with A+R POTTERY and got many comments. I was so tired after last weekend that I still haven’t unpacked the inventory to see what sold and what didn’t sell, so I won’t know how many sales I had until Wednesday night when I get paid.

SNIPPET 2

In order to be a vendor at the Summer Show & Sale, I had to have eight entries into the show. I entered eight as a vendor and four as an individual, ten plants and two succulent pictures. My entries garnered one first place, five second place, and three third place. I’m particularly happy with those results because my best eight entries actually are on display at the 2018 San Diego County Fair from June 1 through July 4 (see SNIPPET 5). The first place was an educational exhibit on Pereskia grandifolia:

Pereskia grandifolia

There are three plants in that dish garden. I had ordered them from Uruguay on May 10. They arrived on May 31, just in time for the Show. They were a little ragged after not seeing sunshine for three weeks but it looks like they are going to survive.

The genus Pereskia has nine species and is the only genus in its family. It is more like a rose than a cactus, with non-succulent leaves, spines hiding on the stems behind the leaves, and rose-like flowers. Pereskia is considered the mother of all cacti & succulents because it is believed that the original cacti & succulents were very much like Pereskia.

One of mine even bloomed yesterday. Check out this rose-like flower:

Here is the educational flier that accompanied the dish garden.

Pereskia grandifolia

SNIPPET 3

I’m working on getting the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society to take on renovation of the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden in Balboa Park as part of the Adopt-A-Plot program. This is a significant garden, planted under the direction of Kate Sessions (aka “Mother of Balboa Park”) for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. It’s severely neglected right now. Here’s my video presentation to the SDCSS Board of Directors. They won’t get it until Wednesday, June 13.

SNIPPET 4

I tortured Zoey the Cool Cat on June 6. I didn’t really torture her, but if you were in the house for 10 minutes today while I was giving her a bath, you would have thought I was torturing her. This cat can howl better than any wolf on Earth. She’s so mad at me that when I found her after drying her off, she turned around and wouldn’t look at me.

Zoey the Cool Wet Cat

Zoey the Cool Wet Cat

SNIPPET 5

Here is a video of all the plants in the cactus & succulent exhibit of the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society at the 2018 San Diego County Fair. The exhibit won first place in its category, and I have eight plants in the exhibit, including one awarded a “Noteworthy Plant,” the Peanut Cactus at 2:34 in the video.”

SNIPPET 6

Fires do not “break out.” Fires are caused by something or someone. The fact that Fire Season started June 1, and there were a lot of fires the first weekend in June tells me that quite a few someones were out starting fires.

Fire

SNIPPET 7

There were lots of dogs at the Cactus & Succulent Show & Sale last weekend. Here are my two favorites:

Dog in a backpack

Dog in a backpack

SNIPPET 8

I’m so happy.

Twitler pardons Russel Ray

SNIPPET 9

In 1966, while my wise old grandmother was helping her 11-year-old grandson start his very first business, she told me,

“Surround yourself with positive people and you’ll be positive. Surround yourself with successful people and you’ll be successful.”

She was right.

SNIPPET 10

She also was right when she told me to treat every day the same. That way there are no bad Fridays because of weekend anticipation, no bad Mondays because of the weekend being over, and you can make a lot of money on holidays when most of the people don’t work.

SNIPPET 11

Are sports teaching our children to steal? I mean, they steal bases in baseball, they steal the basketball from the opposing player. So much stealing going on…….

SNIPPET 12

A little squirrel in Balboa Park last week. First one that didn’t scamper away when I said, “I’ll put you in my blog!”

Squirrel

SNIPPET 13

I bought my first skateboard ever this past week. Walked out of the shop with it, got on it, and went zooming down the street. Cars were honking and swerving, yelling obscenities, flipping the bird. Weird.

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

Russel Ray Container Collection

I live in my own little world

It’s been so long since I logged into the back end of my many web sites that I have forgotten how to do it, at a time when I need to do it to upload a video that I don’t want to put on YouTube.

So here I am at my WordPress site which, surprisingly to me, will let me upload a video as “media.”

This is a video of the many plants that I grow in containers without drainage holes.

I am very anti-drainage-hole in plant containers where I control the watering. Once Mother & Father Nature get involved, or the neighbor’s landscape watering system sprays water over the fence onto my property, all bets are off, and I’ll happily accept drainage holes. For more on why I am anti-drainage-hole (just call me ADH Russel), see About Us on my new A+R POTTERY web site.

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

SNIPPETS (5-27-2018)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

Yesterday, Jim and I celebrated 24 years of knowing each other. Since we really never thought that we would be able to get married in our lifetimes, we decided to celebrate our anniversary as the day we met.

Then along came “Domestic Partnerships.” Such an ugly term. Nonetheless, we got domestic partnered on July 31, 2004. We even have a “Certificate of Domestic Partnership” issued by the California Secretary of State.

Then along came “Same-Sex Marriage.” Wrongly named. It should be “Same Gender Marriage.” Why is it always about sex? Nonetheless, when it looked like the voters were going to repeal same-sex marriage on the first Tuesday of November in 2008, Jim and I got married. On October 30.

So, basically, we get to celebrate three times each year. More margaritas for us! Yahoooooooooooo!

SNIPPET 2

Back in 1966, my wise old grandmother was sitting at the dining room table with her scissors, tape, Elmer’s glue, photo albums, scrapbooks, and dozens of pictures. She was cutting pictures apart and taping different sections together to give her the picture and story she wanted.

Pre-Photoshop cropping and merging.

She told me then that what comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with, teaching me to never throw away “throwaway pictures.”

Here is what many would call a throwaway picture of Zoey the Cool Cat:

Zoey the Cool Cat throwaway picture

Not sure what was going on at that time that resulted in such a cruddy picture. Nonetheless….

Here is what I created in Photoshop with that cruddy picture:

Zoey the Cool Cat drawing

I think the result is beautiful, perhaps even hauntingly beautiful.

SNIPPET 3

Beautiful, interesting sunrise this past Friday morning.

Sunrise in El Cajon CA

SNIPPET 4

I usually am not satisfied with panoramas that I create using Photoshop’s Photomerge function. It’s not Photoshop or Photomerge. It’s me not taking enough pictures to fill in the outside areas so I have to crop them.

In this panorama of the Point Loma Submarine Base in San Diego, with me standing smack dab in the middle of the base, I still didn’t take enough pictures but I like the effect that the missing pictures leave:

Point Loma submarine base in San Diego CA

SNIPPET 5

I’m making an educational display for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society’s Summer Show & Sale next weekend. It’s on container gardening, titled “You CAN grow any plant in any pot!”

I’m specifically focusing on containers without drainage holes so I’m making a slide show of all my plants that are growing happily in containers without drainage holes. I was so focused on this Ming Aralia that I did not see that I got photobombed by Zoey the Cool Cat.

Ming Aralia being photobombed by Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 6

The look on Zoey the Cool Cat’s face…..

Zoey the Cool Cat

Either she is upset that I found her, or she’s upset because she knows I’m going to put her on the Internet yet again.

SNIPPET 7

For my zombie friends.

Sticker on the back of a huge F350 pick-em-up truck in East San Diego County boondocks:

Zombie

SNIPPET 8

Ooopsy.

No photography

SNIPPET 9

When I was a freshman at Texas A&M University in 1973-1974, I would not be stretching it to say that I survived on Kraft macaroni & cheese, and PB&J (Peter Pan peanut butter and Bama Apple Butter) sandwiches.

At the age of 63, I could still do that except that Bama is not around here in San Diego.

With the Kraft Mac&Cheese, I modify it somewhat by adding chicken and jalapeños. Couple that with a margarita, and I’m in culinary heaven.

Chicken, jalapeños, and Kraft macaroni & cheese

SNIPPET 10

I have been squirrel- and rabbit-proofing my property. It seems to be working because this squirrel couldn’t get in and had to eat an Opuntia cactus in the Open Space Preserve on the other side of the fence.

Whenever I get in the cactus, I get a lot of thorns in my skin. Wish I were a squirrel!

SNIPPET 11

Zoey the Cool Cat has a rotation that she gets into. She’ll choose a spot and that will be where I can always find her for 3-5 days. Then she’ll choose a different spot. 3-5 days. Different spot. 3-5 days. On and on. When she runs out of spots, she’ll simply start over. Her spot for the past two days provides me with this view from my office:

View from the office

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 12

I just finished reading “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. Published in 1943. Interestingly, I have a hard copy first edition in my library. Not sure where it came from, but since Jim has worked for Borders, Barnes & Noble, Warwick’s, B. Dalton, and Waldenbooks for 40 years, I’m pretty sure it was in his collection when we merged. He claims he doesn’t know where it came from either, though.

When I was trying to decide whether or not to read a book from 1943, I searched for online review. One was from President Dumb Jerk Twitler, saying that he had read it and considered himself Howard Roark, one of the main characters. Ha! The words, sentences, paragraphs, and book are waaaaaaaaay too long for his little brain, and he’s definitely NOT Howard Roark.

SNIPPET 13

Just started reading “The Crooked Staircase” by Dean Koontz. Jim brought home the “Advance Readers Edition” a couple of months ago but I was reading “The Fountainhead” so I just now started “The Crooked Staircase.” It went on sale My, 8, 2018, so check it out. I’ve read 50 pages, and like his two previous Jane Hawk novels, this one is going to be good. Read good.

Next up is “The Forbidden Door,” also by Dean Koontz. Jim brought home the “Advance Readers Edition” a couple of days ago. It goes on sale October 9, 2018, so I’ll definitely have read it by that time, probably by July 9, 2018.

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