Category Archives: A piece missing

These are a few of my favorite memes….

I live in my own little world

In my retirement years, with lots of time on my hand, I spend some (some?) time on Facebook. The memes are getting really good this time of year what with Christmas and so much more. So I thought I would share some of my recent favorites. Some of them are political (some?).

Facebook meme

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

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A piece missing—Am I my father’s son?

A Piece Missing

Over on Facebook, people are asking questions like,

What’s the most interesting thing that happened to you in 2017?
What do you think will be your best memory of 2017?
What do you think will be your worst memory of 2017?

I haven’t answered any of those questions but the first question led me to reflect on the most interesting thing I discovered in 2017.

In April 2017, I got interested in genealogy. Since I’ve been estranged from both sides of my family for 24 years, I sometimes wonder what happened to cousins, nieces & nephews, aunts & uncles, even brothers & sisters.

I got really ambitious last year and took out a membership at Ancestry based on a long-time friend’s genealogy posts on Facebook. It was interesting because Ancestry looks at the names of people you enter and then searches its database to find matches and links to others who have entered the same names.

It was through those links that I was able to find several documents relating to my father. The first was an application for a headstone:

Dad's headstone marker application

The application was made by my wise old grandmother, Mary Agnes Kirk. I learned from that document that my father served in the Air Force from December 18, 1950, to December 17, 1954, as a member of the 728th Squadron, Aircraft Control & Warning, and was discharged as a Staff Sergeant. All interesting but it’s the service dates that I think are critical here, being discharged on December 17, 1954. I tried to find more information about the 728th Squadron because I wanted to see if I could find someone who knew my dad. No luck. So I have to make presumptions, and those could be completely wrong.

The next document I found was my dad’s death certificate which told me that he killed himself on January 18, 1961. I never knew until last year that he had killed himself. I was led to believe that he had died in the Korean War. Hmmm.

A few email messages to survivors who would know about this indicated that my father killed himself due to my mother’s indiscretions. Here’s where it gets interesting. Apparently my father was in the Air Force in Korea. That’s important to know because I was born on March 11, 1955. Nine months earlier would have been June 11, 1954. At that time, from what I can determine, my father was in Korea. Hmmm.

There is a possibility that my father was home on leave. That’s why I wanted to see if I could find someone from the 728th Squadron who was still living and might have relevant records of that kind of stuff.

According to others who might know, my parents fought often. I’m thinking that whether or not he was home on leave, sometime in January 1961, perhaps during a fight, my mother blurted out something like, “Russel’s not even your son! He’s the milkman’s son!”

So, am I my father’s son? Interesting question.

That’s the most interesting thing that happened to me in 2017.

However, related to this and also found during my genealogical research are these juicy tidbits:

  1. I had always been told that my mother had been born in Helena, Montana. Even my mother told me that. Nope. She was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Why the lies?
  2. I had always been told that my oldest brother lived for 13 months. Nope. He lived just over four weeks. Apparently he drowned on his baby bottle in the middle of the night. Sources say that he was crying and that my mother got up and gave him a bottle, and then went back to bed. Why the lies?
  3. Baby Boy KirkI had always been told that my youngest brother died at birth. Nope. He died on the same day he was born but lived long enough to be given a name. I always knew him as “Baby Boy Kirk.” Even his gravestone, which I helped pay for, says “Baby Boy Kirk” on it. His name actually was Randy Kirk according to everything I have found, including the 2012 obituary for my mother. Why the lies?

Was my family the progenitors of the Republican liars of today? The fake news purveyors of today? The alternative facts of today? Inquiring minds want to know.

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

Eliminate prehating by getting an interracial app for use on the world’s seventh mobile phone

A Piece Missing

I quit being a part of the Internet Grammar Patrol more than a decade ago. I figured if people didn’t want to learn how to construct an English sentence, or spell words correctly, or use the proper word, nothing I could do on the Internet would help them. I do wonder, though, when the poor grammar and spelling is in something that should be immaculate.

When I find a good example, I save it for posterity, not that there is, or will be, any posterity for me….

So, following, are three of the best grammar and spelling goofs I found this past week. Click on the images to get a larger version.

This first one from Fry’s Electronics didn’t get off to a good start with its description:

“Toaster Oven featuring double -inchInfrared Light-inch for cooking….”

Sounds futuristic!

As I continued reading, I discovered that it “eliminates prehating.” So that’s why there seems to be so much hate in the world. People are prehating! Eliminate prehating now!

Eliminate prehating

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

With all the interracial problems that we seem to be having here in the United States, it looks like 3D Issue at least has the solution to the “interracial part” of your marketing strategy: Branded Apps!

Interracial part of your marketing strategy

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Lastly, I don’t know if I want to be the seventh person….

Six of the world's seven billion people

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Maybe I can eliminate prehating by getting an interracial app for use on the world’s seventh mobile phone….

Need a unique gift?
Anniversary? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage?
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Someone’s missing from Photographic Art

A Piece Missing

Julian back at workSadly, Julian Rey Saenz is no longer with Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos.

I had capitalized the company as a full-time enterprise for six months, and Julian was working 20-24 hours a week.

We couldn’t get the company to grow as fast as I wanted it to, so I have taken it to a part-time enterprise, which meant that Julian’s job was eliminated.

Of course, I need to find something that will pay the bills. I don’t know what that’s going to be right now. I just know that it can’t be home inspections because my 59-year-old knees and shoulders just don’t like crawling around under houses and up in attics anymore. The money I make from home inspections is being spent on aspirin and Ibuprofen to alleviate the pain. Hmmm. Maybe I should buy stock in the pain-killer manufacturers……..

Julian Rey SaenzI have every confidence that Julian will find his next great job very quickly. In my 48-year business career with 33 companies—most of them startups—and over 1,100 people hired, I would put Julian at the very top, number one with a star.

Never did I have to explain anything to Julian more than once. He has one of the best memories I have ever witnessed, is an extraordinarily good typist, and knows his way around computers, software, and the Internet. For those few things which he did not know, he learned very quickly, and his contributions were always clear and professional.

Thank you, Julian, for all that you did, and helped me do, and for simply being the AWESOME person you are.

thank you

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Zoey the Cool CatZoey the Cool Cat on the desk

Need a unique gift?
Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.
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Halloween

Halloween—You are not forgotten, Timothy

A Piece Missing

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Happy Halloween

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Halloween HouseHalloween is one of those days that is both fun and dangerous at the same time. People of all ages get to dress up as just about anything they want. It’s the fact that faces are hidden that can be dangerous because there are bad people out at all times of the year. Halloween, though, allows them to better hide who they are so they can do bad things, either to animals (keep your black cat safe tonight), people, or property.

On Halloween 1974, I was a sophomore at Texas A&M University, about 100 miles northwest of Houston. On that Halloween night, the fun of Halloween died for many Houstonians, Texans, and Americans. In years to come, children no longer had free reign to dress up in costumes and traipse through their neighborhoods gathering as much candy as they could.

Halloween pumpkinsOctober 31, 1974, brought out the most despicable type of person in Ronald Clark O’Bryan, an optician from Deer Park, a Houston suburb. O’Bryan had taken his two children, Timothy and Elizabeth, to a friend’s house for trick-or-treating. O’Bryan slipped several Pixy Stix candies laced with potassium cyanide into the bags of his two children, as well as several other children.

O’Bryan had clipped off one end of the giant plastic Pixy Stix candy straws, sprinkled the cyanide into them, and stapled them shut. Just before bedtime, still at the friend’s house in Pasadena, O’Bryan offered young Timothy one last piece of candy, the tainted one. Within a few hours, his son was dead.

HalloweenBy the time of his trial, O’Bryan was known as The Candyman. He was tried and convicted of murdering his child for insurance money, having taken out life insurance policies for $10,000 on each child in January 1974, and then additional policies of $20,000 on each child a few weeks before Halloween. O’Bryan was executed by lethal injection in 1984.

The only good thing to this tragic story is that parents are more aware of their children’s safety, not only on Halloween but throughout the year. Treasures gathered on Halloween are usually carefully examined before children, or anyone else, are allowed to enjoy them.

HalloweenCandy tampering apparently peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Usually such tampering involved putting sharp objects (razor blades, pins, needles) in candy and fruit, often candied apples. According to some poisoned candy researchers (what a profession!!), some sharp objects were accidentally inserted into the candy or fruit. Huh? I’m not buying it. How do you accidentally put a sharp object in candy or fruit? Nope. Not buying it.

Candy tampering appears to have died down somewhat in recent years, but it only takes one incident to cause harm. Don’t let that one incident be your child. Accompany your children on their trick-or-treating and note which candy came from which house.

Added with edit: A news story just breaking is about a child who found a rusty razor blade in a package of M&M’s. Police initially say it’s probably a quality control issue because the package appears not to have been tampered with. Doesn’t matter whether or not it’s quality control. It happens! This one probably from a disgruntled or deranged Mars employee! Here’s the report: Razor in Halloween candy.

In remembrance of Timothy. You are not forgotten.

Halloween

Keep your black cat safe!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer,
Realtor Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A Piece Missing

They can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true

A Piece Missing

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My wise old grandmother taught me to add some laughter to my life each day.

Sometimes it’s impossible to quit laughing.

Here are some funnies that have been collecting dust on one of my bookshelves:

  1. Keeping secrets
    Antonio, age 99, filed for divorce in December 2012 from his wife, Rosa, age 96. They had been married for 77 years. Apparently, Antonio became upset when he found letters from Rosa’s affair. The letters and affair were from fifty years ago.
  2. Is it the water?
    Desmond Hatchett of Knoxville, Tennessee, said to be a serial impregnator, has fathered at least 24 children by at least 11 women. However, he is not Tennessee’s most prolific serial impregnator. Terry Turnage of Memphis has 23 children by 13 women, and Richard Colbert, also from Memphis, has 25 children with 18 women.
  3. Our representatives are better than your representatives
    The approval rating of the United States Congress is low, very low. Some polls find their rating to be less than head lice. However, in India’s Parliament, comprising 552 members, 162 are facing criminal charges, including sexual assault.
  4. Bartering is not making a comeback
    Jason Bacon of Eureka, California, was arrested for offering to trade $8,000 of his home-grown marijuana for a used motorcycle. Said Bacon about using marijuana in this way: “I know you can’t sell it, but I thought it was okay to trade it.”
  5. Don’t get mom involved
    Jesse Mathews was arrested and charged with capital murder for killing a Tennessee police officer. Mommy Mathews wrote the judge, saying that Jesse is a “….good man. You do one little thing that pisses people off, and they want to hold it against you forever.”
  6. They can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true
    Ralph Shortey, a state senator from Oklahoma, introduced a bill in January to ban the use of human fetuses in processed food. He said he had been reading up on the practice on the Internet. Maybe he was streaming “Soylent Green.”
  7. Government in action
    Wyoming, preparing for possible secession from the United States, in February considered a bill to establish a state army, navy, marine corps, and air force. A proposed amendment added consideration for purchasing an aircraft carrier. Wyoming is landlocked by does have within its borders the 136-square-mile Yellowstone Lake. Although the amendment was defeated, it should be noted that 27 representatives for it.
  8. More government in action
    Doug Rochow of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, routinely shovels the snow on two paths in a park near his home since the city gives it a low priority. He believes that since so many people use the paths, clearing it would help prevent people from slipping, falling, hurting themselves, and suing the city. The city had a different view when they ordered him to cease clearing the paths:  If Rochow cleared the paths, more people would be encouraged to use them, increasing the city’s exposure to lawsuits.
  9. Economics lesson
    GoAir of New Delhi announced in June that it would hire only females for the cabin crew, stating that they weigh less than men and the lower weight would result in an annual fuel savings of $4 million.
  10. It’s still a man’s world
    Teri James from right here in San Diego filed a lawsuit against San Diego Christian College for firing her. Seems she was pregnant and unmarried, a violation of employee rules. She believes the firing was illegal gender discrimination because her job was offered to her fiancé who had been openly cohabiting with her and is the baby’s father.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved byThis post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Car stuck on railroad tracks

Do not drive on tracks!

A Piece Missing

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I was young and living with my wise old grandmother in Kingsville, Texas, we would gather around the dining room table for dinner, eat, and then watch the local 6:00 news.

Like clockwork.

Occasionally there was a story about someone who did something really stupid, really dumb.

My wise old grandmother would shake her head while tapping on her temple a few times and say, “A piece missing.”

Yesterday evening I got to see a piece missing in person!

To wit:

Car stuck on railroad tracks

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Car stuck on railroad tracks

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Car stuck on railroad tracks

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Jim and I were stuck behind that white SUV at the far end in the last picture. We had been stuck for about five minutes, the third car back, when the first car did some quality manuevering and made it through a small cut in the median and did a U turn. When we moved up from third to second, I saw what was happening across the street at the trolley station. By that time other cars were driving through the cut to make a U turn, and we did the same.

We went through a couple of neighborhoods to get around the accident and to the train station. There we parked, walked over to the accident, and watched the action for thirty minutes until the car was towed away.

There was only one way this guy could get his car where he did: He originally was in the parking lot where Jim and I parked. From there, he went up the handicapped accessibility ramp, through the station (right side of first picture), over the railroad tracks, and then down the railroad tracks.

Three police officers gave him a field sobriety test but I couldn’t stay around to see what the ultimate outcome of that was. They did not immediately cuff him and drag him away, though, so maybe he wasn’t under the influence of anything.

Police officers conducting a field sobriety test

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Western Division headquarters of the San Diego Police Department is just across the street, so there were plenty of police on hand. It was kind of funny watching all the police officers taking pictures with their smart phones. I must admit, though, that it is a picture for the ages.

Since this IS California, I suspect that the next state budget item will be for millions of signs to be placed at the intersections of tracks and streets: DO NOT DRIVE ON TRACKS.

Of course, I got some flash videos, too. Here is the best:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos