Category Archives: History

Lost time (No, you can’t get it back)

Did you know?

People!
Get off your smartphones
and pay attention
to the traffic signal.
Be prepared for it to turn green
and stomp on the gas!
I don’t want to be honking my horn at you!

I was in La Jolla recently when I saw this sign:

Jean Lowe, Lost Time

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The flyer is dated January 3, 1850, so I didn’t know what to think. Nonetheless, what it said, I found funny, and somewhat true:

LOST, ON MONDAY LAST

Either in the City of LOS ANGELES,
or thereabouts, a sum of Time, Con-
sisting principally of denominations
of Hours and Minutes – the whole
amounting to several Days. Whoever
may have found the same, and will
leave it, or give such information as
shall lead to its recovery, either to
the undersigned, Samuel Keller, Esq.,
or to the Messers. POST & WENT-
WORTH, Alameda Street; shall be
Liberally Rewarded.

January 3, 1850.     ARVIN M. DUNKLE

JEAN LOWE – LOST TIME

When I got home and looked at it more closely, I figured Jean Lowe was an author, her book, “Lost Time,” took place in January 1850, and the main character was Arvin Dunkle.

I went to Wikipedia first. No Jean Lowe. A Google search found her though.

She is an artist, quite an interesting one, too. I found a flyer from two years ago about an art exhibition at the McKenzie Fine Art gallery in New York City featuring her work, titled “Lost Time.” According to the flyer,

….Lowe has created humorous and subversive installations that question intellectual and cultural institutions and societal assumptions. …. Lowe slyly critiques the way society assigns value, and to what, through the creation of a faux auction house showroom. …. From fictional auction houses and websites such as “Roquefort’s,” “Heritage Holdovers,” and “PoliceAuctions.com,“ Lowe’s paintings illustrate items from sales which feature everything from fine watches, love letters, and important old master paintings, to manuscripts and ephemera.

Some of the lots featured in these sales are on display …. These include painted sculptures of an obsolete yellow pages phone book and a volume titled, “If God Loves Me, Why Do I Need a Vibrator?” Additionally, several of the items of faux ephemera are on view:  a 19th-century broadside offering a reward for lost minutes and hours.

In this exhibition, Lowe playfully transforms the banal into the magical and makes the rarified ridiculous by transforming commonplace items into desirable commodities, all in a satirical setting of high commerce.  Through her painted and sculptured recreations the artist humorously questions what is real, what is true, what has value, and why.

Did you catch the last sentence in the second paragraph? A-ha! Obviously her exhibit “Lost Time” made it to La Jolla sometime recently and that “broadside” was mass-produced to bring attention to it.

I love the arts.

But….

While I was searching for information on Madame Jean Lowe, I discovered that there really is such a thing as lost time.

According to Wikipedia,

Lost time is a traffic engineering term for the time during which no vehicles are able to pass through an intersection despite the traffic signal displaying a green (go) signal. The total lost time is the sum of start-up lost time and clearance lost time. Start-up lost time happens when a traffic signal changes from red (stop) to green (go). Some amount of time elapses between the signal changing from red to green and the first queued vehicle moving through the intersection. There is then an additional amount of time for the next vehicle to begin moving and pass through the intersection, and so on. The total time taken for all waiting drivers to react and accelerate is the start-up lost time. Clearance lost time is the time lost to stopping a line of vehicles at the end of a green phase. Lost time is always measured in seconds.

Clearance lost time often is not observable since some vehicles which were waiting at the start of a green phase still be waiting when the green phase ends

Perhaps a repeat is justified:

People! Get off your smartphones and pay attention to the traffic signal. Be prepared for it to turn green and stomp on the gas so all of us will lose less time! I don’t want to be honking my horn at you!

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Maybe I’ll just wonder and have another margarita.

Did you know?

An article at gobankingrates.com really caught my attention on August 29. It was titled “The Most and Least Successful States.” Wow. That’s open to interpretation. Who gets to decide which state is the most successful, the least successful? What criteria? What’s the timeline? Oh, my head was exploding with anticipation of having a few moments to sit down and read the article. Last night I had that opportunity.

Not much in the article surprised me as to the most and least successful states. What did surprise me was the extraordinary amount of data gobankingrates used to come to their conclusions:

  • the average income of the top 1 percent
  • the average income of the bottom 99 percent
  • the states’ poverty rates
  • the percentage of the states’ population in the upper, middle, and lower classes
  • the number of millionaire households
  • the ratio of millionaires to total households
  • and the number of billionaires

The Most Successful States, according to their analysis, are:

  1. Connecticut
  2. Maryland
  3. New Jersey
  4. Massachusetts
  5. New Hampshire
  6. District of Columbia (technically not a State, but whatever)
  7. California
  8. Alaska
  9. North Dakota
  10. Virginia

In the last three presidential elections—2012, 2008, 2004—the top seven of those states voted for the Democratic candidate. Of the last three in that Top 10, Alaska and North Dakota voted Republican three times, and Virginia voted Democrat twice and Republican once. The article didn’t tell me any of that; my research did.

The Least Successful States:

  1. Mississippi
  2. New Mexico
  3. West Virginia
  4. Arkansas
  5. Kentucky
  6. Alabama
  7. South Carolina
  8. Louisiana
  9. Tennessee
  10. Arizona

In the last three presidential elections—2012, 2008, 2004—all except New Mexico voted Republican all three elections! New Mexico voted Democrat twice and Republican once.

The most successful states are predominantly Democratic states and the least successful states are predominantly Republican. Interesting.

Here is a map I created based on the 2012 presidential election; blue states voted for Obama and red states voted for Romney. The number in each state is its place on the most successful state list; low numbers are successful states and high numbers are unsuccessful states.

Most successful states

Look at the South. How depressing, IMHO. Using the Mason-Dixon line as the dividing point, the southern states rank 22, 31, 35, 40 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 48, and 51.

Interestingly, along with the least successful states being Republican states, they also are the most religious states. Here’s the Top 10 most religious states, all red Republican states:

  1. Mississippi
  2. Utah
  3. Alabama
  4. South Carolina
  5. Louisiana
  6. Arkansas
  7. Tennessee
  8. North Carolina
  9. Georgia
  10. Oklahoma

So what gives? Are the religious Republicans not praying for success, for financial well-being? Is that not a goal of theirs? Wouldn’t their greater success and their tithing mean greater success for their churches and religions? I’m just so confused.

As I was pouring over maps and data, I found that the southern states were pretty much blue Democratic states from 1952 to 1976. But there was a change taking place, and it took only one generation for that change to fully occur, starting in 1960 when Alabama and Mississippi voted for a third party candidate.

In 1964, the whole nation except for Arizona and five southern states voted Democratic. Was it a sympathy vote after Kennedy was assassinated?

In 1968, George Wallace, he of Alabama segregation fame (or dishonor, if you will), won the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. It should be noted that Wallace considered himself a Conservative Democrat.

In 1972, the whole nation except for Massachusetts voted Republican, and 1976 was the last time that the South voted Democratic. In 1980 the South turned reliably Republican. Only a few states have broken from the Republican fold since 1980, most notably Florida in the 2012 and 2008 elections.

So the generation that came immediately after World War II effectively changed the outlook of the two parties. Look at the following meme of the 1956 Republican Party platform, exactly the opposite of the GOP’s goals the past 20 years or so.

1956 GOP platform

Of course, politics is not a top down event; there is no trickle down politics. Politics start locally.

What I would love to do is see who was in charge of the cities, counties, and states since World War II. That would probably be much more telling than the presidential election. Unfortunately, I have to work and pay my creditors, and doing wonderful research on who has been in charge of America locally since World War II probably is not going to pay my bills.

Hmmmm. Maybe YOU would sponsor me? Or perhaps I could create a GoFundMe account. Or maybe I’ll just wonder and have another margarita.

If you’re interested in the ranking and how the states voted from 2012 all the way back to 1952, I created that list, too:

Most successful states by presidential vote, 1952-2012

Got margarita?

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Music on Mondays (12-21-15)—Rise & shine, rinse & repeat

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

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This being the first Christmas since 2001 that I have had a new job that requires at least 40 hours of my time each week, I thought we’d explore songs about work.

Everyone probably knows Johnny Paycheck’s 1977 hit, “Take This Job & Shove It,” a sentiment that definitely does not apply to my new job working with Amazon.

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Huey Lewis & The News is one of my favorite groups from the ’80s. Here’s a minor hit from 1982:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in November 1980.

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Tennessee Ernie Ford had a hit the year I was born, 1955, with “Sixteen Tons.” I sang this song in the school talent show when I was in seventh grade.

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Best guitar solo in a working man’s song goes to Aleksandar Živojinović, better known as Alex Lifeson, of Rush in a song titled, coincidentally, “Working Man.”

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A good song about what to do after work: “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett.

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“Five O’clock World” by The Vogues, released in 1966, probably is the first time that I can remember hearing the phrase “it’s five o’clock” and understanding what it meant.

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Perhaps my favorite of all the songs I considered for this post is Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “Taking Care of Business” from 1974. Rise & shine, rinse & repeat, day after day after day….

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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.

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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.)

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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.

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“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….

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“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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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