Author Archives: Russel Ray Photos

About Russel Ray Photos

Forty-five years as a photographer, beginning with yearbook staff in sixth grade.

Music on Monday (1-16-17)—Voting is open for the 2017 San Diego Music Awards!

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I turned 18 in 1973.

Suddenly I was intelligent enough to vote.

I have never missed an opportunity to do just that.

I like to encourage others to vote, too.

So today I want to encourage YOU to vote for our favorite Indie band, Big Bad Buffalo, in the 2017 San Diego Music Awards.

vote now vote right here this is where you can vote
Big Bad BuffaloPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

After you vote—yes, AFTER you vote—you can listen to Big Bad Buffalo, buy their music, even buy a T-shirt, over here at their music site.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Zoey the Cool Cat normally approves my WordPress posts.
That did not occur today because she’s in peaceful bliss listening to
Big Bad Buffalo.Zoey the Cool Cat in peaceful bliss listening to Big Bad Buffalo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

However, she did leave a message for me to post:
Vote for Big Bad BuffaloPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

And this is what she thinks of those who don’t vote:
Pfffffft

How come trains get to do 90 mph?

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Fifty years ago I wanted to be a history teacher. Then I found out how much teachers got paid in Texas. So much for that want. I still love history, though, and when I find history that has been saved, even if it means re-purposing, I get excited.

Recently I found a book titled “The Railroad Stations of San Diego County” by James N. Price. So I used it to go exploring.

I found the historic Encinitas CA depot built by AT&SF in 1887. The book has two pictures of it, one from 1910 and one from 1988, so you get to see three pictures of this beautiful structure that has been saved for others to enjoy.

1910 photo
Credited in the book to the San Diego Historical Society, Ticor Collection)1910 picture of the Encinitas railroad depot built by AT&SF in 1887

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Ca. 1988 photo
No photo credit so photo probably is that of the author, James N. Price.
Ca. 1988 picture of the Encinitas railroad depot built by AT&SF in 1887

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

January 2017 photo by Russel RayJanuary 2017 picture of the Encinitas railroad depot built by AT&SF in 1887

This depot served rail passengers into the 1950s, closing completely in January 1969. Plans were proposed in 1971 to move it to the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Instead, it was bought by an entrepreneur in 1972 and moved to Leucadia (annexed by Encinitas several years ago) where it was turned into a crafts/hobby center called, appropriately, The Station.

It sits at the corner of Atheena Street and North Coast Highway 101 where it currently is the extremely popular restaurant Pannikin Coffee & Tea. And while it no longer sits trackside, it is just across the street from the busy Amtrak tracks so one can watch Amtrak and Coaster trains zoom by at 90 miles per hour.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Cold & wet—not my kind of weather

Out & About

I spent a couple of hours in La Jolla yesterday taking pictures and videos of the splashing waves of the King Tide as well as wildlife that was enjoying the cold, wet weather, something that I was not exactly doing myself.

I know that big waves can be destructive but they sure are fun to watch.

Spring tide in La Jolla CA 1/11/17

One of the better photos of the crashing waves because it also shows the harbor seals and, at the lower right, that little pup seemingly wondering if it’s safe to go in.

Spring tide in La Jolla CA 1/11/17

The stairs down to the beach, except that when the tide is this high, there is no beach.

Spring tide in La Jolla CA 1/11/17

There were many birds and seals hoping to get their 15 minutes of fame in a WordPress blog.

Harbor seal pups at Children's Pool in La Jolla CA

Bird at the Cove in La Jolla CA

About six months ago I bought a new Canon Rebel 760D because it has a tilt/swivel screen which makes it easier to take pictures and videos from weird positions, and auto focusing for videos. I haven’t really learned to use the auto focusing yet. Either that or it just plain is abysmal. That’s one of the reasons why I was out taking videos yesterday, to find out exactly what I have and how to use it. Here is a 55-second video of the crashing waves at the Children’s Pool in La Jolla:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

“Mommy! I’m scared!”

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Although it’s been raining all day today here in San Diego, I set out at 6:30 this morning to go to La Jolla to watch the Spring Tide waves crash against the sea wall protecting the Children’s Pool.

I was not disappointed.

Spring tide in La Jolla CA 1/11/17

In addition to all the seagulls on the beach, you can see five adult harbor seals. It’s pupping season for the seals and sea lions at the Children’s Pool. There were quite a few babies splashing around in the water, or rather the water was splashing them around. The one in the following picture was just deposited on the beach by a large wave, and it doesn’t look too happy, perhaps even looking a little scared.

“Mommy! I’m scared!”

Harbor seal pup at Children's Pool in La Jolla CA

Pupping season goes from December 15 to April 15, with the height of the births occurring in February. If you get to San Diego for any reason, take a couple of hours off and head to La Jolla to see these magnificant creatures in the wild in the city.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

If you know where to look and what to look for

Did you know?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Many decades ago, when I was but 11, I wanted to be an anesthesiologist, probably because I could spell it. Then I discovered that I would have to go to college, followed by medical school, followed by an internship. Hmmm. Too complicated, and too much schooling.

So I decided to be a teacher. A history teacher. Then I realized that I would probably have lots of little Russels in my classes. That might have caused me to become a murderer. (Actually, I discovered how much money teachers made and decided that wouldn’t be enough, especially if I had to put up with a lot of little Russels.)

Then I decided that I wanted to be a writer. I have written so many books, the best books, with really good words, lots of words, the best words, the best sentences, believe me, really good sentences, and paragraphs, the best paragraphs with the best sentences with the best words….

Well, in reality, I only have written about 50 Chapter Ones and then I quit. I guess I really am a quitter!

Writing a book is on my mind again. I’m exploring a book about the history of railroads in San Diego County. That would combine my love of history and trains with writing. I have discovered that it would also require a lot of reading, something that doesn’t bother me in the least.

A couple of days ago I was taking a video of a BNSF freight arriving in San Diego, I got interrupted by a fellow train enthusiast who works for the City repairing/repaving streets. He told me that there is a lot of evidence of the San Diego Electric Railway (SDERy) if you know where to look and what to look for. SDERy operated from 1891 to 1949. Yesterday I went out to a spot he told me about and, sure enough, evidence.

Evidence of the San Diego Electric Railray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I followed the curve and looked down the street. One can see where the railroad tracks are even though covered by asphalt:

Evidence of the San Diego Electric Railray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I found a map of the SDERy system (through research and reading) and put a black arrow on it indicating where these pictures were taken.

Map of the San Diego Electric Railway

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I also discovered in my research that in the poor areas of town which don’t provide a lot of tax revenue for maintenance, shortcuts are taken. In this case, the old tracks were never removed; too labor intensive. They just poured asphalt and concrete on top of them and moved on.

I know a couple of other places where the rails are actually poking through the worn asphalt. Next on my list.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Music on Mondays (1-9-17)—Touch it, stroke it, and undress it

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A birthday yesterday reminded me of one female singer whom I have always liked even though I only have three of her songs. She was born in 1937 and is the only person to have been honored by being chosen to sing the main title theme for three James Bond movies: “Goldfinger” (1964), “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971), and “Moonraker” (1979).

She sang “Goldfinger” at the 2013 Academy Awards to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise. It was her first appearance at an Oscars ceremony as a performer. She didn’t miss a beat, and she received a well-deserved standing ovation.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I started voice lessons when I was 10 and sang in competitions, church choirs, and community choruses and ensembles from 1965 to 2003. I was always a first tenor. Maybe my high voice caused me to think women singers were competitors, so I took a subconscious disliking to them for so many years………….LOL

Click here for my previous post about female singers.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego County claims to have more casinos than any county outside of the State of Nevada. Here’s our newest one, Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego, 10.9 miles from me.

Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego

The $400 million casino was developed in collaboration with the Jamul Indian Village. It opened on October 10, 2016, and has a three-story gaming and entertainment facility of approximately 200,000 square feet; over 1,700 slot machines; 40 live table games; multiple restaurants, bars, and lounges; and an enclosed below-grade parking structure with approximately 1,800 spaces.

Here it is under construction back on October 27, 2015:

Jamul Indian Village Casino

Although the project created an estimated 2,500 construction and permanent jobs in the area, 97½% of the area residents were against it, mostly because of traffic concerns for their rural area.

I did not go inside since I’m not a big casino/gambling person. I only go to the casinos if there is something else to do there, like shopping at outlet malls, eating at the buffet, etc. I’m sure I’ll get there eventually.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat