Category Archives: Out & About

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

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

Out & About—Free Zoo passes and your own personal docent

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego is a destination for Christmas for those who want to get away from the snow. However, we do have snow in San Diego county, but you have to travel about 60 miles from the airport to play in it.Ice in the snow (!)

If you are traveling to San Diego by plane, sit on the left side. Best views of downtown as you’re landing.

If you are coming by train from Los Angeles, sit on the right side. Best views of the beaches, piers, and ocean.

Giant panda at the San Diego ZooOnce you get to San Diego, if you are looking for things to do, I can highly recommend the San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park. The Zoo is just a couple of miles from the airport and the train station while the Wild Animal Park is about 45 miles northeast.

I have an annual Keeper’s Club membership to the Zoological Society so I get four free passes each year. The four passes on my desk right now expire June 30, 2017. I normally give them away on Christmas Day when Jim and I go to the Zoo or Wild Animal Park, a Christmas tradition for us.

If you are coming to San Diego and would like a free pass, let me know. And if you want your own personal docent for the day, for Zoo, Wild Animal Park, or general tourist stuff, I have been known to do that, too. Give me 12 hours notice and I’m yours.

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) from the sky

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Out & About San Diego—Rumbi and Rangui the Glarfs

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Earlier this year I delivered packages for Amazon and people for Uber. Those two jobs were the worst I ever had, and those two companies are the worst I have ever been affiliated with. I’ll just leave it there….

One of my goals for driving, though, was to explore the nooks and crannies of San Diego County that I ordinarily wouldn’t explore.

On one of my deliveries I found two Glarfs (Glarves? Scarf, scarves; Glarf, Glarves?????). Their names are Rumbi and Rangui, and they’re kind of cute:

Rumbi & Rangui the Glarfs

Rumbi & Rangui the Glarfs

Rumbi the Glarf

Rangui the Glarf

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Rangui the Glarf is the one in yellow, and Rumbi the Glarf is in blue. Rangui and Rumbi were born in 1959. Daddy was Jerry Lee Gauss of Bonita, California, which is where these two Glarfs still live. Daddy was only 15 years old when he had these two little ones. Sadly, Jerry died at the age of 19 in a traffic accident. “Glarf” was Jerry’s word for dwarf dinosaur.

Rangui and Rumbi guarded the Gauss home on Valley Road in Bonita in the 1960s. Rangui and Rumbi ran away from home in 1970. No one knew where they were. They were located in 1993, and they were given a permanent home in 1999 on Bonita Road, south side at about 4140.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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!

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat