Category Archives: Halls of History

Lighthouse of 1854, Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego CA

San Diego Historical Landmarks: #17—Lighthouse of 1854

San Diego Historical Landmarks

The Lighthouse of 1854, San Diego Historical Landmark #17, also is known as the Cabrillo Lighthouse and is located on the grounds of Cabrillo National Monument.

Lighthouse of 1854, Cabrillo National Monument, San Diego CA

Just 19 days after California was admitted as the 31st state of the United States, Congress authorized $90,000 to build six lighthouses along the California coast. By the time they got around to building the Cabrillo lighthouse, there was no money left so congress had to authorize another $59,434. Construction began in April 1854, was completed in October 1855, and was lighted for the first time at sunset on November 15, 1855. Officially it was light number 355 in the Twelfth United States Lighthouse District.

The lighthouse was decommissioned on March 23, 1891, being replaced by a new lighthouse at a lower elevation. During its time in use, it was at the highest elevation of any lighthouse in the United States. However, what originally was considered good turned out to be bad, bad, bad. Being at the top of a 400-ft cliff meant that fog and low clouds blocked the light from ships.

The light was re-lit in 1984 for the first time in 93 years for the site’s 130th birthday.

The lighthouse tower normally is closed off to the public. However, there are two days a year when it is open: August 25, which is the National Park Service’s birthday, and November 15, which is the Lighthouse’s birthday. I can highly recommend trekking to the top of the tower; it’s pretty cool.

Cabrillo Lighthouse stairway, Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma, San Diego

Lighthouse of 1854, Cabrillo National Monument, Point Loma, San Diego CA

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post to San Diego’s historical landmarks, click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the San Diego Historical Landmarks series, go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (12-19-2016)—When people run in circles

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Up until the age of 18 I had always wanted to be a history teacher. Then I  found out how much money teachers made and decided that I wanted more. I still love history, though, so each day at midnight or shortly thereafter, I head to Wikipedia to see what happened on this day in history. I continue to learn some interesting things, and I post my favorites over on my Facebook page.

For example, today is Jake Gyllenhaal’s 36th birthday. I first became aware of him in 2005 when he starred with Heath Ledger, Anne Hathaway, and Michelle Williams in Brokeback Mountain, a movie which I could identify with since I had been a closeted gay male growing up in the wild, wild west of South Texas.

While at Wikipedia, I clicked on the link to Jake Gyllenhaal to see what he’d been up to and discovered that he starred as Donnie Darko in the 2001 movie Donnie Darko. I have not seen Donnie Darko for some strange reason because it sounds like my type of movie. I was familiar with it, though, because of the soundtrack. One of the songs from the soundtrack, “Mad World,” was made famous by Adam Lambert on the 2009 season of “American Idol.” I had already been familiar with “Mad World” because it was written and sung originally by Tears for Fears on their 1983 album, “The Hurting,” and I had a complete collection of Tears for Fears’ music. Adam Lambert, however, said that he didn’t know about Tears for Fears’ version, instead having heard the Gary Jules version from Donnie Darko. Thus I had to go have a listen to the Gary Jules version.

I like all three versions. Each has a unique something that makes it work. So here they are. Have a listen. Later today, I’m watching Donnie Darko.

Tears for Fears, 1983

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Gary Jules, 2001

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Adam Lambert, 2009

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Let’s swing, baby, let’s swing!

Halls of History

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Since Hillary Clinton is currently winning the popular vote by 2,833,224, people are calling for the abolishment of the Electoral College in favor of a direct popular vote. Many are saying that if we went to a direct popular vote there would be no swing states. I think that not only would we still have swing states, but we’d have swing cities, too. So I set out to prove that to myself. Quite interesting.

The main purpose of the Electoral College was, and still is in my opinion, to prevent the most populous states and cities from electing the president every four years. If one chose to ignore the least populous states, then could band together and do you in, something they could not do if it was a direct popular vote. Clinton did not go to Wisconsin at all, and didn’t set foot in Michigan until four days before the election. Two reliably blue states suddenly weren’t so reliably blue anymore; in fact, they turned a light shade of red.

What might have happened in 2016 if we had a direct popular vote? Let’s make some educated guesses.

The total population of the United States is 321,418,820 according to the Census Bureau 2015 estimate.

So far, 136,499,945 votes have been cast for presidential candidates in the 2016 election. So 42.46% of the population voted.

Of those votes, 65,788,567 have been for Clinton and 62,955,343 for Trump.

Let’s see what we would have to do to get to 65,788,567 if we had a direct popular vote.

Here are the Top 25 states by those 2015 population estimates:

California – 39,144,818
Texas – 27,469,114
Florida – 20,271,272
New York – 19,795,791
Illinois – 12,859,995
Pennsylvania – 12,802,503
Ohio – 11,613,423
North Carolina – 10,042,802
Georgia – 10,214,860
Michigan – 9,922,576
New Jersey – 8,958,013
Virginia – 8,382,993
Arizona – 6,828,065
Massachusetts – 6,794,422
Indiana – 6,619,680
Tennessee – 6,600,299
Missouri – 6,083,672
Maryland – 6,006,401
Wisconsin – 5,771,337
Minnesota – 5,489,594
Colorado – 5,456,574
South Carolina – 4,896,146
Alabama – 4,858,979
Louisiana – 4,649,676
Kentucky – 4,425,092

The Top 10 states have 174,137,154 people, 54.18% of the population
The Top 20 states have 241,671,630 people, 75.19% of the population.
The Top 25 states have 265,958,097 people, 82.75% of the population.

That should tell us enough right there that there are going to be swing states with a direct popular vote.

I am going to take some liberties with numbers here because this is not a dissertation. I’m not going to go county by county in each state or city by city. To tedious, and I’m not getting paid for this research. So I’m going to use the numbers I cited above about population, votes, and percentage of the population that votes.

How can we get to 65,788,567 the easiest way?

Presuming that 42.46% of the population votes everywhere, here are the total number of votes in the Top 10, 20, and 25 states:

Top 10 states – 73,938,635
Top 20 states – 102,613,774
Top 25 states – 112,925,808

Quite a few votes there.

So far Clinton has taken 48.1967% of the votes. Trump has 46.1211% and other candidates have the remainder.

Here is what happens if Clinton takes 48.1967% of the Top 10, 20, and 25 states:

Top 10 – 35,635,982
Top 20 – 49,456,452
Top 25 – 54,426,512

With just 25 states, Clinton is 82.72% of the way to her 2016 popular vote total. Bring in those swing states!

Let’s look at cities. I’m going to use the Combined Statistical Area because my whole point here is that candidates want to spend their money wisely, which is why Clinton didn’t go to Wisconsin. It was safely Democratic. Not so wise, in retrospect. Here are the Top 20 Combined Statistical Areas:

New York-Newark – 23,723,696
Los Angeles-Long Beach – 18,679,763
Chicago-Naperville – 9,923,358
Washington-Baltimore-Arlington – 9,625,360
San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland – 8,713,914
Boston-Worcester-Providence – 8,152,573
Dallas-Fort Worth – 7,504,362
Philadelphia-Reading-Camden – 7,183,479
Houston-The Woodlands – 6,855,069
Miami-Fort Lauderdal-Port St Lucie – 6,654,565
Atlanta-Athens-Clarke-Sandy Springs – 6,365,108
Seattle-Tacoma – 4,602,591
Minneapolis-St. Paul – 3,866,768
Cleveland-Akron-Canton – 3,493,596
Denver-Aurora – 3,418,876
Orlando-Deltona-Dayton Beach – 3,129,308
Portland-Vancouver-Salem – 3,110,906
St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington – 2,916,447
Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton – 2,648,605

Total population of the Top 20 CSA’s: 145,888,257

Using our 42.46 voting number again, there are 61,944,153 votes there, and Clinton would have received 29,855,038 of them. Almost half way there with just 20 areas. And look where those 20 areas are: 6 in the Midwest, 5 on the East Coast, 5 in the South, and 4 on the West Coast. Heck, we might have SWA’s, Swing Geographic Areas!

One could just campaign east of the Mississippi River and hit 16 of those CSA’s!

But I would submit that Republicans would never have a chance if we had a direct popular vote because cities are reliably Democratic. Don’t believe me? Go check the cities in the reddest of the red states, like Utah, Alabama, and Georgia. Every other state is just like that. It’s the suburbs and rural areas that decide the elections. Ooops. Back to swing areas, aren’t we? Rural areas are reliably Republican. Go look at Utah, Alabama, and Georgia again. So really we’re to the suburbs as the swing areas.

Now if money and time are important when out on the campaign trail, does anyone really believe that candidates are going to go anywhere other than to the big metropolitan areas with their many suburbs? We would have lots of swing cities.

I’m a reliably blue guy in a reliably red city in a reliably blue state, except that my city this election turned blue. Not only that, but Orange County, a suburb of Los Angeles, has been reliably red since 1932. Ooopsy. It turned blue this election.

The more people have to live in close proximity to people who are different, the more those people are tolerant of differences, even accepting of them. So I should be all for a direct popular vote. I’m not. I will put aside my self interest for the good of the nation. Without the Electoral College, a super majority of those red states would always feel neglected. No candidate would visit them and even if they banded together, they would never have a say. The cities would be too powerful. I do believe that eventually there would be another war between the states.

So instead of going to a direct popular vote, I think we should return to the practices of my generation where each family had four children minimum and up to nineteen, the highest I personally know of—I come from a Mormon (mom) and Catholic (dad) family. The more people we have, the more progressive we become!

Alternately, we could do like Maine and Nebraska do. Each state gets a minimum of three electoral votes, two for its two senators and one for its congressional district. In the case of Maine and Nebraska, the two senatorial electoral votes go to the winner of the popular vote in the states, and the congressional district electoral votes go to the winner of the popular vote in each congressional district. That allows both urban and rural areas to have a say in each state. If we did that here in California, the state would be about evenly split because of our large rural areas.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

The Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California

Out & About

Many decades ago my mom took us kids down to the courthouse to get the latest polio vaccine. I remember it well because it didn’t involve a needle. In fact, the vaccine came via a sugar cube, and as an 8-year-old child, the lack of needles and someone giving me a sugar cube was pretty cool.

What we had received was an oral polio vaccine developed by Albert Sabin in the late 1950s. It underwent human trials in 1957, was selected by the U.S. National Institute of Health as the polio vaccine of preference, and licensed in 1962.

The first widely available polio vaccine, an “inactivated poliovirus vaccine,” was developed in 1952 by Jonas Salk while at the University of Pittsburgh. After two doses, 90% of the people develop protective antibodies to all three types of poliovirus. After three doses, that increases to 99%. Sadly, it is given by injection, which involves needles…….

In 1960, Salk founded the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, a suburban neighborhood of the City of San Diego, about 20 miles north of downtown San Diego.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Salk Institute is an international center for medical and scientific research. Architects and those who know architecture rave about the Salk Institute campus. Personally, I find the architecture dull, boring, and uninteresting, verging on flat-out ugly. But what do I know?

Here are some pictures of the Salk Institute campus:

img_3091 salk institute stamp img_3087 salk institute stamp img_3078 salk institute stamp img_3097 salk institute stamp img_3095 salk institute stampPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Salk Institute consistently ranks among the top institutions in the United States in terms of research output and quality in the life sciences. In 2004, the Times Higher Education Supplement ranked Salk as the world’s top biomedicine research institute, and in 2009 it was ranked number one globally by ScienceWatch in the neuroscience and behavior areas.

The institute employs 850 researchers in 60 research groups and focuses its research in molecular biology and genetics, neurosciences, and plant biology.

The campus was designed by Louis Kahn. According to Wikipedia sources, “Kahn created a style that was monumental and monolithic; his heavy buildings for the most part do not hide their weight, their materials, or the way they are assembled. Louis Kahn’s works are considered as monumental beyond modernism. Famous for his meticulously built works, his provocative proposals that remained unbuilt, and his teaching, Kahn was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century.” Suffice to say that he and his style are not among my favorites.

The original buildings of the Salk Institute were designated as a historical landmark in 1991. The entire 27-acre site was deemed eligible by the California Historical Resources Commission in 2006 for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Salk’s personal papers are stored at the Theodore Geisel Library at the University of California, San Diego. You might recognize the name of Theodore Geisel as that of Dr. Seuss. Geisel’s personal papers also are stored at the Library.

The Geisel Library is what I consider beautiful architecture:

Geisel Library at the University of California San DiegoPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

(More on the Geisel Library can be found here: The Geisel Library at the University of California San Diego.)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays (11-30-15)—Smart man….

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

As I listen to music in my collection, certain songs remind me of certain people from my past. I thought it would be interesting to feature some of those songs for today’s Music on Mondays.

“Help” by The Beatles, released in 1965, reminds me of Barbara.

I met Barbara at the Thomas D. Dee Memorial Hospital in late 1965 when I had been placed in their “troubled youth” program. Barbara was from Bakersfield, California, also a troubled youth. She was near 18 whereas I was 10. She introduced me to The Beatles, and “Help” was my favorite song. Still is near the top of my list of favorite Beatles songs.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Something’s Wrong With Me” by Austin Roberts was a hit in October 1972. Reminds me of Mark.

Mark was the first guy that I had a crush on. I as 17 and supposed to be interested in girls. Wasn’t working. Something was wrong with me….

Mark worked at the Exxon station across from the railroad yards, and since my granddad worked on the railroad, I had no problem hanging around the railroad to watch Mark across the street. I went to Mark’s wedding in 1984 or so…. a bittersweet event.

It took until 1993 before I realized that absolutely nothing was wrong with me. I simply had different interests….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Pieces Of April” by Three Dog Night was a big hit in November 1972.

“Pieces Of April” reminds me of Sarita, one of my closest female friends from high school. She lived not far from me whereas Mark lived on the other side of town. One day Sarita walked to my house and the two of us walked to Mark’s house. As we were walking down one of the city’s major thoroughfares, I was singing songs. Sarita asked if I knew “Pieces Of April.” I did (of course; I knew all the hits!), so I sang it for her.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“In My Life” by The Beatles reminds me of Lynda.

Lynda was the second girl I dated, and I sang “In My Life” to her in high school on Valentine’s Day 1972. In December 1973 I asked her to marry me. Her dad, a Southern Baptist preacher, said no. Smart man………

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Nipple play

Picture of the Moment

I came to San Diego in April 1993 specifically to “come out” and try to reconcile my conflict as a special person with my Mormon (mom) and Catholic (dad) upbringing.

My first 11 months in San Diego were spent enjoying all the beaches in San Diego County, getting a nice tan (which I currently am paying for), meeting other sun bunnies, and studying the world’s great, and not-so-great, religions.

After 11 months, I decided that I really didn’t need religion, didn’t need to reconcile who I am with any manmade religion, only with Mother and Father Nature. I’ll just leave it at that.

The preface is for the following bas relief which I found above the main entrance doors of a monastery here in San Diego:

Bas relief at a San Diego monastery

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The religion to which that monastery belongs was founded in the late 12th century.

Look closely at that bas relief.

We could presume that the lower figure is Christ on the cross.

Let’s presume the figure behind Christ is God.

Notice the placement of God’s left hand?

On Christ’s nipple!

I’m not presuming to know anything about this religion, but what’s with that?

Look at the expressions on the faces.

Here’s my dialogue:

Christ: First tortured, now sexually assaulted.

God: Finally, I get to play with myself.

Upper left child: Ew. Incest. Necrophilia….

Upper right child: Will God do that to us when we grow up?

Is this a foretelling of what would happen in the Catholic Church many centuries later?

Were those activities prevalent all along?

….

And, for the record in response to Monday’s post, thanks for all the tips and tricks. None of them work anymore so I’m stuck with the new WordPress editor. And, to be blunt, it really really bites………

P.S. I expect to lose a few followers who will be upset and offended. That’s okay. Still hope they have a wonderful life.

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San Diego Historical Landmarks—#16: Whaling Station Site

San Diego Historical Landmarks

My plans to explore San Diego’s historical landmarks in numerical order came crashing down this morning when I realized that I could not get to San Diego Historical Landmark #16, Whaling Station Site, because it is smack dab in the heart of Naval Station Point Loma.

Whaling station site location

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In other words, it is inaccessible to the general public. What! How can a historical site be inaccessible? Oh, the nerve….

The site is next to the San Diego Submarine Base, and if you take a boat tour of San Diego harbor you can sometimes get great pictures of submarines.

Submarine and tugboat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

There’s a road, 209 on the map but Rosecrans on all the street signs, that goes through the middle of the naval base and Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery is directly above the submarine base, so if you stop and walk to the edges of the cemetery, you can get good pictures of the submarine base and submarines currently in port.

San Diego submarine base

San Diego submarine base

Submarine base

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Continue on Rosecrans out to Cabrillo National Monument and enjoy the best views of Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Island Naval Air Station, and downtown San Diego.

North Island Naval Air Station and downtown San Diego from Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma

Shelter Island and submarine base

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Whaling Station Site is where shore whaling had its start in San Diego in the 1850s. Shore whaling involved shore sites where whalers cut up the whales they had taken in the harbor and at sea. The blubber was boiled down for oil, which was coopered and stored for shipment at the site. The San Diego whaling station produced as much as 55,000 gallons of whale oil annually.

Shortly after the United States Government took Ballast Point in 1869 for military, quarantine, and lighthouse purposes, the whaling station was forced to move.

I did find out that the Whaling Station Site is accessible one day each year, on October 14, when is when Cabrillo National Monument was founded.

I guess you know where I’m going on October 14, 2016….

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

For the introductory blog post to San Diego’s historical landmarks, click on San Diego’s Historical Landmarks.

For previous posts in the San Diego Historical Landmarks series, go here.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for Christmas or a special occasion?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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