Category Archives: SNIPPETS

An uncle’s brotherly love

Snippets

O.M.G.

With all this stuff I’m finding out about my family (note that I have been estranged from both sides of the family for 25 years), I just saw a picture on Facebook of my older brother. He’s 66. He looks exactly like my uncle, the one I suspect of being my biological father. Nothing like our supposed dad.

Both he and I were born while my supposed dad was in the Air Force for four years, and during those four years, my mom lived with my paternal grandparents. During that time, my uncle was still in high school and living at home.

Previous to my genealogical research a few years ago, I had always been led to believe that supposed dad was born in 1930 and mom in 1931. That’s not true. Mom was born in 1935. That makes her closer in age to my uncle than my supposed dad, so….

I’m now thinking that my uncle helped console my mom for all four years while supposed dad was in the Air Force, and at least two children resulted from my uncle’s brotherly love….

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Out & About—Walk Against Hate

Out & About San Diego

I spent five days in Utah and Wyoming a couple of weeks ago for the 150th anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. Although people came from all over the world, the diversity of those people was very disappointing to me.

Out of the thousands and thousands and thousands of people whom I saw, I counted five black people, four Asian people, and thousands and thousands and thousands of old white men.

I suspect that, considering the role that blacks and Asians played in building out the railroads in this country a hundred years ago, none of them or their descendents wanted to take time off and spend money to help the progeny of white slave drivers celebrate.

Yesterday, here in San Diego, the Anti-Defamation League sponsored a Walk Against Hate. I saw more diversity in three hours than I did in five days in Utah and Wyoming last week! There were over 3,000 people registered to walk, as well as over 160 teams. Many of the teams were from elementary, middle, and high schools.

Anti-Defamation League's Walk Against Hate in San Diego on 5/19/19

Anti-Defamation League's Walk Against Hate in San Diego on 5/19/19

I haven’t been thrilled about what’s going on in the world right now due to the extreme amount of hatred that the current president has encouraged, but to see moms, dads, and children out celebrating diversity by walking against hate did give me some encouragement, and in some cases, caused a few raindrops to fall from my eyes.

Anti-Defamation League's Walk Against Hate in San Diego on 5/19/19

Anti-Defamation League's Walk Against Hate in San Diego on 5/19/19

No Hate

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

SNIPPETS (5/17/2019)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

I finished my second video of the two Union Pacific steam locomotives, this one titled “They’ll be coming round the mountain when they come. They’ll be high up on the mountain when they come.” The scenery is just as beautiful as the train!

SNIPPET 2

The lead locomotive, Big Boy #4014, recently restored after sitting in static display at Rail Giants Museum in Pomona, California, from 1959 to 2014, derailed yesterday. The public didn’t know the extent of any damage for about thirty minutes. Fortunately, the train was entering the yard in Rawlins, Wyoming, so it was going rather slow. It took them a little over three hours to get Big Boy up on the rails again. We rail fans were tense for a time there.

SNIPPET 3

All the cacti that had bloomed in my gardens two days ago bloomed again yesterday. However, someone was late to the party but finally made it, but it was worth the wait. It’s a Trichocereus grandiflorus Thai hybrid.

SNIPPET 4

My neighbors have a huge loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica) in their back yard which I can see from my kitchen window. It is in full fruit right now, and the ground squirrels are all over it, seeming to forget that they are ground squirrels, not tree squirrels. Here’s one who has found an all-you-can-eat buffet about thirty feet up in the tree:

Ground squirrel eating loquats in the tree

SNIPPET 5

It rained all day yesterday, so I drank some macho juice and went outside to take macro pictures of raindrops on flowers. The first picture below is raindrops on the flowers of Asclepias physocarpa, a type of milkweed called the “Balloon Plant” because it’s seed pods look like balloons, albeit hairy balloons. The second picture is of the seed pods, of which this plant had three last year when it was just a wee plant; it’s now about ten feet tall.

Asclepias physocarpa

Asclepias physocarpa seed pod

SNIPPET 6

My road trip to Promontory Summit and Ogden, Utah, comprised five days and covered 2,282.9 miles (yes, I’m a little detailed). My two favorite scenic parts of the drive were the Virgin River Gorge in Arizona and Interstate 80 from Echo, Utah, to Evanston, Wyoming.

I bought a dash cam last July on that eight-day road trip, so eventually I’ll be able to share these two drives on YouTube. They were that great.

SNIPPET 6

Based on state license plates over the 2,282.9-mile drive, here is my considered opinion of drivers, best to worst:

  1. Wyoming drivers were the best but perhaps only because there were so few of them, right in line with Wyoming being the least populous state with a mere 544,270 people spread out over 97,000 square miles.
  2. Arizona—Interstate 15 went through the northwest corner of Arizona for only about 35 miles so I might not have a large enough sample to truly say anything definitive about Arizona drivers.
  3. Nevada—The speed limit was 70 or 75 mph, and Interstate 15 goes right smack dab through the heart of Las Vegas. I do believe most Nevada drivers also were gambling while driving.
  4. Utah—The speed limit on Interstate 15 in Utah is 70 to 80 miles per hour, mostly 80, only dropping to 70 in construction zones. Sadly, speed limit laws apply equally to the smart and the stupid, but I think the number of stupid people is far greater than smart people. The fact that so many stupid people are driving 80 miles per hour, and often up to 90 miles per hour, in heavy traffic, was a constant source of worry.
  5. California drivers were the worst. I think each person believes all roadways within 10 miles belong to him or her; female drivers were far worse than male drivers.

SNIPPET 7

Speaking of speed limits, it was interesting how each state handles them. California was 65 mph in or near cities and 70 mph in boondocks areas. Arizona was 70 mph and 75 mph, as was Nevada. Utah was 70 mph in construction zones, 75 mph through cities, and 80 mph in the boondocks, which was basically all of southern Utah. Wyoming was 80 mph. My thinking would be that California needs to get with the program!

SNIPPET 8

Gas prices were another issue of mine. When I left the confines of California, gas was $4.799 a gallon for the cheapest grade, usually something like ARCO 87 octane. In Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, gas was $3.049 to $3.159. Interestingly, almost all the brands were the exact same price, so instead of doing ARCO, I went with Shell, Union 76, and ExxonMobil.

As I determined back in the late ’70s when I got my first car, the major brands brought better gas mileage. What was weird, though, was that the major brand cheap gas was 85 octane. Theoretically, 85 octane should give you lower gas mileage than 87 octane.

Gas mileage using California ARCO 87 octane gas ranged from 30.9 mpg to 33.8 mpg. Using Shell, Union 76, and ExxonMobil 85 octane gas provided 35.2 to 40.7 mpg.

A new item this morning indicates that certain entities might be manipulating California gas prices, which I would believe since California gas prices usually aren’t $1.80 higher than surrounding states.

I filled up with Shell gas at a truck stop just south of Las Vegas where I paid $3.089. A few miles later I passed the first truck stop in California where the gas was $4.999. I saved $1.91 a gallon, calculating to $22.92 for my
12-gallon tank. That would buy a lot of margaritas!

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

SNIPPETS (10-21-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

It’s political season. I’m a permanent California mail voter. I voted yesterday. All done.

2018 Winter Gardens ballot

For the first time in my life, I voted a straight Democratic ticket, including the Democrat recommendations for propositions, utility districts, judicial courts, etc. 100% no-questions-asked Blue ballot, albeit we don’t get to vote on a lot of stuff out here in the East San Diego County Boondocks. I did get to vote FOR Ammar Campa-Najjar, so that was exciting. I don’t expect him to win simply because of the territory (I live in a very red area in this very blue state), his name, and his opponent’s advertising attacking his name.

Sadly, the Democrats did not make a recommendation or endorsement on everything on the ballot. When that happened, I checked the Republican recommendations and endorsements because they do seem to have an opinion about everything; then I voted the opposite

Delivery to the Registrar’s office will occur on 10/22.

SNIPPET 2

Men have been effin up the nations and world for thousands of years. I’m wanting to see a complete takeover by women. They can’t possibly do worse.

SNIPPET 3

Sad and depressed, I am. I no longer living in the Earthquake State….

Oklahoma is the new earthquake state

SNIPPET 4

I have always been a sucker for injured plants (and animals), so I bought this last-one-on-the-table injured golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii). Notice what’s happening all around the injury, though. Lots of little pups! I will enjoy watching this one grow.

Echinocactus grusonii (golden barrel cactus)

SNIPPET 5

I love PB&J sandwiches. I love bacon. On these four items, though, I’m thinking No, No, No & No. Seen at BevMo.

Drinks

SNIPPET 6

Zoey the Cool Cat has comfy beds to sleep on, nice carpeted floors with sun spots, chairs, a love seat…………. and yet this is her choice.

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 7

They don’t look happy to see me. Maybe it’s my red car. Dash cam video.

Border Patrol

SNIPPET 8

Finally found that fish out of water.

Fish out of water

SNIPPET 9

Poor bird. Lost on a desert island with no music to listen to.

Bird on a desert island

SNIPPET 10

A couple of weeks ago I stopped by Green Thumb Nursery Super Garden Center in San Marcos CA. I had never been there. Doesn’t look big from the street, but it is huge.

As far as a complete nursery, it tops the list. You name it, they have it. Lots of plants, lots of pots, tools, soil, fertilizer. Lots of interesting garden sculptures that I had never seen at a nursery before.

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

Garden sculptures

SNIPPET 11

Zoey the Cool Cat, what do you think of President Pinocchio?

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 12

If this is the type of car that student drivers get to learn in, I’m thinking about becoming a student driver again. I bet I could pass parallel parking this time!

Student driver Mustang

SNIPPET 13

My best sunrise/sunset picture from the past week. East San Diego County Boondocks. October 16, 2018 sunrise.

Sunrise in the East San Diego County boondocks

SNIPPET 14

I saw two new (to me) cactus species last week! So excited.

Cactus camera equipment

SNIPPET 15

When I was in Fresno back in July, I saw a wild Fresno State Bulldog on the street. I kind of feel sorry for any little child walking past this thing.

Fresno State Bulldog

SNIPPET 16

“Look! Over there! It’s the sun!”

There's the sun!

SNIPPET 17

One of my favorite plants is Stapelia gigantea. It has huge, star-shaped, hairy flowers that can get up to 14 inches in diameter. They also are smelly flowers, smelling somewhat like rotting flesh. Hence their common name: Carrion plant. Their smell draws billions of flies, which then pollinate the flower. Nature is wonderful….

I have learned the signs of when they are going to pop open, so when my largest plant had 21 buds on it, I decided to practice time lapse photography. Following is my best time lapse video of one of these flowers popping open, created with 1,471 pictures taken every 5 seconds over the course of 4 hours and 11 minutes.

SNIPPET 18

I was an abused child after my father committed suicide. My mom remarried, and she and my stepfather, both alcoholics and drunk every day, regularly hit my oldest stepsister and me. My mom even picked me up one time and threw me threw the sliding glass door. Still have the scars on my legs from that one.

I found the following poem on Facebook. Author unknown.

MONSTERS ARE REAL

On Monday, Billy didn’t have his homework
And when the teacher asked him why
He said, “Because a monster ripped it up,
After I told him a lie.”

“You know monsters don’t exist,
And if you don’t turn in your homework
No recess you will get.”

On Tuesday, Billy had a stomachache
And when the teacher asked him why
He said, “A monster took away my dinner,
even my cherry pie.”

“Billy, I’ve told you once before,
Monsters are not real.
You’ll have to wait till lunchtime
Before you get a meal.”

On Wednesday, Billy had a bandage,
Which covered his right eye.
When the teacher asked him how it happened,
This was his reply:

“A monster was running after me
When I ran into the door.”
“Billy please,” the teacher said,
“I don’t want to hear any more.”

On Thursday, Billy refused to sit down,
And when the teacher asked him why,
Billy said, “A monster whipped my bottom,
Because I started to cry.”

“Billy,” said the teacher,
“this is getting out of hand,
And if you continue with these stories,
In the corner you will stand.”

On Friday, Billy didn’t come to school,
And when the teacher found out why,
She said a little prayer to God
In hopes Billy would survive.

For a monster had beaten Billy
and threatened him with a knife.
Now Billy lay in a hospital bed,
Fighting for his life.

So teachers please remember,
That monsters are for real.
Listen closely to kids’ stories,
A wounded heart, you may heal.

SNIPPET 19

It’s a good thing I had lots of practice in my youth in coloring, drawing pictures, and building things because I sure as eff don’t know Chinese.

Instructions in Chinese

SNIPPET 20

They say it’s expensive to live in San Diego. Some apparently call it the “San Diego Package”………

San Diego Package

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

SNIPPETS (9-16-2018)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

Oh, dear.

I never switched to the “easier way to create posts on WordPress.com” because I didn’t find the new editor easier.

I just logged in to my blog and find that WordPress.com now is developing their “Gutenberg” editor. I was offered the choice to try it out while it’s still in development, so I did. One look at it, and I deactivated it.

Gutenberg is a “block editor,” which means you edit things in blocks. I have vast experience with block editors since most of the email programs use block editors (I have been using Mailchimp for six years); I absolutely despise them. They are the most difficult things in the world to use. Just give me a good HTML editor and I’m happy.

If WordPress.com forces us to use Gutenberg once it’s fully developed, my blogging days at WordPress.com here at Russel Ray Photos shall come to an end. Since I have an upgraded blog that costs $99 a year, if I quit paying that $99, everything I have written over the past six years will disappear into thin air.

Oh, well.

That just means I can start over again on a different blogging platform, and everything old shall be new again!

SNIPPET 2

I have been looking for nice, durable, strong, good-looking outdoor furniture that I can display some of my larger plants on. Finally, at Wayfair.com, I found a lot, and I ordered a lot. My first order arrived this past week. Here it is, a two-shelf wood/metal table with my huge Mammillaria displayed nicely on it.

Outdoor table from Wayfair

The wood is solid Paulownia, lightest-to-strongest-ratio wood species in the world, and the metal is recycled aircraft-grade aluminum pipes. Extremely easy to assemble (i.e., NOT IKEA!). I like it so much that I ordered two more.

SNIPPET 3

My first experience with Wayfair.com was several months ago when I ordered a “mushroom stool” to use as a side table outside on my patio. It is exposed to the elements, which here in San Diego means mostly sun, and still looks as new as the day it arrived. Recently I ordered three more and moved the first one to the other side of the house where I display an expensive Aloe in a custom display that I made specifically for it:

Mushroom stool from Wayfair

The rocks are real rocks from out here in the East San Diego County boondocks. They are glued together with GE 100% silicone with a hole in the middle filled with cactus soil. The pot and rocks (and plant!) weigh 53 pounds, so it really did need something strong to sit on besides the ground. When the other mushroom stools arrive, that pot sitting on the ground to the right also will be placed on one but about twenty feet down the deck.

SNIPPET 4

When I win the lottery

(which will be never because, uh, I would have to play the lottery, and I don’t),

I want to buy about 5,000 acres and create a dog sanctuary with 2,000 acres, a cat sanctuary with 2,000 acres, and an “Other pets” sanctuary with 1,000 acres, and have enough money left over to hire people to manage the place so that all I have to do is walk around and give lots of love to lots of pets.

Texas A&M UniversityOf course, I’ll have 5,000 acres of gardens, too, so the cats can climb in trees, the dogs can, uh, raise their legs on trees, and I can finally use my forestry degree from Texas A&M University (Class of ’77).

SNIPPET 5

Update on Zoey the Cool Cat’s diabetic diet.

End of week four.

After becoming a floor cat and refusing to jump up on anything for four months, she now has jumped up on the bed four consecutive nights and made herself at home, usually between my legs. She’s losing weight; moving about the house to find all the sunny spots during the day; jumping up on shelves, chairs, and beds; and returning to her old feisty, playful self.

Thank you Hill’s W/D prescription diet!

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 6

I guess margarita didn’t fit.

Bureeto car

SNIPPET 7

Found deep in in the East San Diego County boondocks, but what is it?

What is it?

SNIPPET 8

Uh-oh. The chicken is heading towards the road. You know what that means but we still don’t know why.

Chicken heading for the road

SNIPPET 9

I was in the El Cajon Home Depot a few days ago at 6:00 a.m. Dad and his 6-year-old son were there. Son was standing in front of the skeleton canines pointing and crying. He was frightened.

Halloween at Home Depot two months early

Dad was over at the battery rack ignoring his son. I felt so sorry for the little kid. My first question, though, was “What dad takes his 6-year-old son to Home Depot at six in the morning?” Kids should be in bed at that time of day!

SNIPPET 10

Killers of the Flower MoonI have always enjoyed history, which includes etymology. I just started reading “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” by David Gramm.

On page 11 is the etymology of Whizbang, Oklahoma (no longer a town, just a road – Whizbang Road – on the Osage Reservation):

“….the reservation’s tumultuous boomtowns, which had sprung up to house and entertain oil workers—towns like Whizbang, where, it was said, people whizzed all day and banged all night.”

Stunning visual, but I could not find a video on YouTube…..

SNIPPET 11

We get lots of beautiful sunsets in the east here in San Diego, but only after the sun goes down in the west. Something to do with the curvature of the Earth, reflections, etc. Here’s a sunset in the east taken by the dash cam in my car on September 14, 2018:

Sunset in the east in San Diego, California

SNIPPET 12

Zoey the Cool Cat has something to say about the current election season:

Elect functioning adults in November 2018

SNIPPET 13

“I give the fight up: let there be an end, a privacy, an obscure nook for me. I want to be forgotten even by God.”

—Robert Browning, “Paracelsus,” 1835

SNIPPET 14

From a news story:

“Families help shape you as an individual, and they’re always there for you, no matter what.”

Well, if the family happens to be Mormons and Catholics, and you happen to be gay, no, they are not “always there for you, no matter what.”

SNIPPET 15

From a news story:

“….[M]any corporations donate to both political parties. You never know which way the winds will turn, so you might as well have a bribe in both camps.”

Fight organized crime

SNIPPET 16

This little cat often welcomes me at the back door when I arrive at Friends of Cats. It’s a Turkish Van, a breed that I had never heard of. Very beautiful!

Turkish Van cat at Friends of Cats sanctuary in El Cajon, California

Turkish Van cat at Friends of Cats sanctuary in El Cajon, California

SNIPPET 17

Slowly but surely I’m working my way out of this severe depression caused by retirement, i.e., not having anything to do.

My mother-in-law’s boyfriend told me about San Diego Oasis, providing programs for the elderly. I checked them out and immediately volunteered to help K-6 children who have been identified as lagging behind their classmates in their reading skills.

I also proposed a new program for them, a chess club. In my proposal I mentioned my playing experience, my teaching experience, and my chess club experience. I also told them that I was a firm believer in keeping the mind active and that an active mind can prevent the onslaught of dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression, etc. The San Diego Oasis Program Council liked my idea for creating a chess club, called me for further details, and has approved me starting a chess club with the Spring 2019 curriculum. I’m so happy!

Here is a picture of some of the members of the La Mesa Outdoor Chess Club that I helped start in August 2013:

La Mesa chess club

SNIPPET 18

Every bookshelf needs a great adornment.

Zoey the Cool Cat on the bookshelf

SNIPPET 19

This little one is Max. He is one of my favorite cats in Cozy Cottage at Friends of Cats.

Max at Friends of Cats sanctuary in El Cajon, California

I love his long ear hairs. Max is in Lifetime Care and is not adoptable. Usually Lifetime Care means that the owner died or otherwise had to give up the cat, possibly going to assisted living himself. Friends of Cats will take cats into Lifetime Care with just a $5,000 contribution. Doesn’t matter how old the cat is.

Max is described as a “long-hair brown tabby with white.” Since tabby is a coloring and not a breed, that probably means that Max is a Domestic Long-haired cat, or as we knew them back in my youth in Kingsville, Texas, an “alley cat.”

He’s such a sweetie.

SNIPPET 20

My wise old grandmotherMy wise old grandmother was a conservationist before it was fashionable. She constantly told me,

“Do not throw things away! There is no away!”

To this day, I recycle whatever I can because I firmly believe something else that she told me:

“One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”

In today’s world with eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and all these groups on Facebook where one can buy or sell things, it’s amazing what people are willing to buy and how much they are willing to pay. I speak from experience, both as a seller and as a buyer.

One can even buy and sell plants online, and in plant auctions. Here’s the first plant that I bought in an online plant auction, an Operculicarya pachypus:

Operculicarya pachypus

I’m not telling you how much I paid…………..

The seller was located in West Hollywood (suburb of Los Angeles), and I guessed who it was based on his email address at eBay. Since I knew him, and had his phone number, and wanted this plant badly, I called him and asked if I could drive to his place and pick it up instead of having him ship it to me.

The problem with shipping plants is that sellers almost always ship plants “bare root,” which means they take them out of the containers, shake off all the soil from the roots, wrap the roots in moist napkins and such, and ship the plants. Shipping expenses are less.

Some plants can take that, some can’t.

Because of what I paid for this beautiful little tree, I didn’t want to take the chance, especially since I was unfamiliar with its growing requirements, so I drove to Los Angeles to pick it up.

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

 

SNIPPETS (9-2-18)—Maybe I just don’t hang out in the right places

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

Litter bikesFirst it was Cars 2 Go, then lime green and orange bikes, now Bird scooters. Haven’t played the game yet. I’m waiting for the Ferrari to be dropped off in front my my house. Then I’ll play.

SNIPPET 2

Sunset on September 1, 2018, from Yogurtland in El Cajon, California. The contrails, or “chemtrails” as conspiracy theorists call them, add a certain uniqueness to the sunset, especially considering that San Diego County has the largest population of military service personnel than any other free place in the world, including the Pentagon, according to the people who know more than me.

Sunset on 9/1/18 in El Cajon, California

SNIPPET 3

My wise old grandmother told me to learn something each and every day, so in recognition of yesterday being International Bacon Day, I thought some chemistry might be appropriate. Chemistry can be fun! You’re welcome.

I love chemistry

SNIPPET 4

Zoey the Cool Cat’s response to International Bacon Day:

Day?

SNIPPET 5

To everyone who has a birthday (pretty much left that one wide open):

Happy birthday!

SNIPPET 6

The result of shooting a video at Friends of Cats where I volunteer 5 days each week but the subject of the video thinks the camera lens might taste good:

Cat tongue

SNIPPET 7

New plant in my garden. Euphorbia antisyphilitica. The name tells you what it has been used for, mostly in Mexico, and through the end of World War II. It’s a very waxy plant, and the wax still is used in the cosmetic and food industries.

Euphorbia antisyphilitica

SNIPPET 8

On September 21, 1973, I was headed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for the Texas A&M–LSU football game. That was back in the days before MADD, DADD, and SADD, so we had to make a pit stop in Lake Charles.

At the truck stop I found a Bible store. I already was pretty anti-religion as a freshman at Texas A&M University but what I found interesting, and what added to my logic reasoning about religion being fake news, so to speak, was the number of Bibles I found. If the Bible were the infallible word of God, it seems there would only need to be one Bible, perhaps in different languages, though. Instead, I found 48 different versions of the Bible, all in English: the Catholic Bible, the NIV, the King James, et al. The best Bible I found, though, was one which had eight separate versions on every two-page spread so that one could compare the versions. That really sewed it up for me.

Now I’ve found that there is one more version, the recently released NRE:

New Republican Bible

SNIPPET 9

Sunsets have been pretty magnificent lately. Here is sunset on August 30, 2018, in the East San Diego County boondocks where Jim, Zoey the Cool Cat, and I live:

Sunset in the East San Diego County boondocks on August 31, 2018

SNIPPET 10

When I was 11 and my wise old grandmother was helping me set up my very first company (a typing business for college students at Texas A&I University), she told me to treat each day like every other day, doing some work and some play each day. That way I would never be distracted by looking forward to the upcoming weekend and would never be depressed when the weekend ended.

Book of WisdomI think college football (FBS) has been reading my wise old grandmother’s Book of Wisdom. Here is this weekend’s schedule:
Thursday: 12 games
Friday: 8 games
Saturday: 64 games
Sunday: 1 game
Monday: 1 game

I wonder how those Monday Morning Quarterbacks handle this.

SNIPPET 11

This guy normally is the first one to jump on my lap at Friends of Cats:

Why do you have a strange cat on your lap?

He was eating when I arrived, though, and did not notice me until it was too late. That look let me know what he thought about another cat being on my lap.

SNIPPET 12

Zoey the Cool Cat, what do you think about the current President of the United States?

Zoey the Cool Cat's opinion of Twitler

SNIPPET 13

Benoit PaireBenoit Paire (picture at right) of France played Roger Federer last week at the U.S. Open tennis championships. Paire has what Tiwtler and his ilk would call a “terrorist beard,” the only tennis player I can think of with that beard style.

I can’t think of any other in tennis, or any in golf, and only a dozen or so in football and baseball, who have that beard style. I would think those beard styles would be difficult in football and baseball because of their helmets, but why so why few, or no beards, in tennis and golf?

SNIPPET 14

I’m not much for prognostication but I am a history buff. It seems to me, especially since 1992, that when an administration goes too far to the left OR too far to the right, there is a mid-term correction. Look at 1992 Clinton and the 1994 “Contract With America” correction. Look at 2000 Bush and the 2002 correction. Look at 2008 Obama and the 2010 correction.

Twitler is the worst of the most recent four presidents so I’m going to go out on a limb and predict a huge blue tsunami in November 2018, so huge that I believe the Democrats will take over both the Senate and the House, and we will see Twitler impeached and convicted. Immediately afterward we will see Pence, assuming the mantle as president upon Twitler’s conviction, impeached and convicted. Then they’ll get to work trying to undo all the damage that Twitler and his ilk have caused.

SNIPPET 15

After graduating from Texas A&M University, my first home was in Houston, Texas. I had two little Beagle puppies named Union and Pacific, after the Union Pacific Railroad. Yeah, I know. I was weird then and am still weird now.

My neighbors, however, had a little Welsh Corgi which they had named Little Shit. It was weird when I would hear them out walking the dog and they would yell, “No! Quit that! Get back here you little shit!” I resolved then never to name my pets anything other than wholesome names safe for telling someone at work what the name of my pet was.

Many years later, after moving from Houston to College Station, I had two dogs, a Chow Chow-Besenji mix named Sugar and a long-haired Dachsund named Penney.

Penney and Sugar

Sugar used to ride around town on the back of my motorcycle. I even took her to Dallas, Waco, Austin, and Houston several times at speeds up to 60 mph when the speed limit was 55 mph.

Sugar the motorcycle riding dog

Best rider I ever had on the back seat of my motorcycle. She understood how to lean into the curve, and when we were flying down a straightaway, she would put her head to my side, watching where we were going and letting her ears flap in the wind.

SNIPPET 16

The cats at Friends of Cats absolutely adore me, probably because I have so much love to give. Unfortunately, I do not have any food to give, so when the Food Lady arrives, they abandon me. I am left all alone. I know my place in their lives.

The food has arrived

SNIPPET 17

Zoey the Cool Cat continues to get better on the thirteenth day of her anti-diabetes diet.

Throughout her life, except for the last four months, she has taken up residence outside the bathroom door while I showered, shaved, etc., waiting patiently until I came out. On the ninth day of her diet, she started that practice again. Every. Single. Morning. Here she is, patiently waiting for me and ready to lead me to the kitchen where she knows she will be fed.

Zoey the Cool Cat patiently waiting outside the bathroom door

SNIPPET 18

Picture caption contest. Here’s the picture:

Will you love me today?

Choose a caption:

Cat: “Are you the one who will love me today?”
Me: “Yes, yes I am.”

or

Me: “Are you the one who will love me today?”
Cat: “Yes, yes I am.”

SNIPPET 19

I can count on one hand the number of dragonflies I have seen in San Diego County since arriving here on April 27, 1993. This one stopped by my front door a couple of days ago:

Dragonfly

Did not stay long, though. There have to be more. Maybe I just don’t hang out in the right places….

SNIPPET 20

This month, remember the words of Zoey the Cool Cat who always speaks the truth.

Truth isn't truth!

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

Zoey the Cool Cat on her catio

SNIPPETS (7-22-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

Zoey the Cool Cat has not been the same since Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat was here. She rarely plays; isn’t particularly interested in being with me, either on the bed or in the office, preferring the floor in front of the refrigerator; has gained 6 pounds in 3 months; and is “fur mowing” (more properly known as “psychogenic licking” the area around her nipples.

I have taken her to one vet and one vet hospital so far.

Nothing.

I am going to try one more vet tomorrow, but I fear she might be on her last legs, so to speak.

Yesterday, her bare tummy was so bad that I rubbed some extra virgin coconut oil (EVCO) on her. Everything else that I ever rub on her gets immediately licked off. She did not lick the EVCO off! Not even after 10 minutes, at which time I had to leave.

Saturday night she slept in my office chair, the first time she has done that since Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat was here. Here it is Sunday morning, and Zoey the Cool Cat still is occupying my office chair, resulting in me having to use a different chair so as not to disturb the little queen. I do enjoy having her by my side….

Zoey the Cool Cat in my office chair

SNIPPET 2

2013 San Diego Comic Con InternationalComic-Con International ends today.

This will be the first year that I have not gone downtown to take pictures of the crowds, activities, and costumers.

Here are two of my favorites from past Comic-Cons:

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

2013 San Diego Comic Con International

SNIPPET 3

I have a Client moving here from Madison, Wisconsin. Apparently they don’t have cacti in Madison because he saw pictures of mine and has become absolutely fascinated by them. I spent five hours yesterday planting an assortment of Pachypodium lamerei for him. Here’s what my finished creation looks like. He and his wife are thrilled..

Pachypodium lamerei mass planting

SNIPPET 4

Westfield UTC Shopping Mall in La Jolla is getting a San Diego Trolley station, so they decided to renovate and expand the mall at the same time, nearly tripling it in size with more ground floor space and a second floor throughout.

They started both the Trolley expansion and the Mall expansion a couple of years ago. I went over there to check on their progress and found that the Mall pretty much is going 100% succulents.

Westfield UTC is a very upscale (aka as “snooty”) mall, so I rarely go there. With this new cacti & succulent thing, I might have to go there more often.

Look at this beautiful succulent wall, and the plants are not fake. Westfield UTC has enough money to hire gardeners to make this succulent wall look good 24/7/365 in perpetuity.

Succulent wall

SNIPPET 5

We all have seen honey bees.

Meh.

Today, I present to you the infamous sunflower bee. These bees are so stealthy that I barely caught it with my smarty pants phone camera.

Sunflower bee

SNIPPET 6

Back on May 1, 2012, I went exploring in the South San Diego County boondocks. I found the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.

Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility near San Diego

Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility near San Diego

I only found out today, while reading “Assassins” by Time Life, that Sirhan B. Sirhan is serving a life sentence at this Facility for assassinating Robert J. Kennedy back in 1968.

In the second picture, I either had a huge telephoto lens or….

….I got a wee bit too close. Yes, a dozen Facility security cars surrounded me to ask me what I was doing. I told them and showed them the hundreds of pictures I already had taken in the Boondocks. They let me go without incident.

SNIPPET 7

Border Field State Park in San Diego County, CaliforniaFive years later, on May 13, 2017, (note to self: Don’t take pictures in far-away places in May), I went on an expedition to take pictures of the new Border Wall which had been built in San Diego County. I parked at Border Field State Park, walked two miles to the beach, and then walked south towards Mexico. There were two walls that extended about 50 yards out into the Pacific Ocean. I went past the first wall only to have a few billion Border Patrol cars descend on me. They told me that no one was allowed past the first wall. The area between the two walls is kind of like a demilitarized zone.

After that encounter, I should have just gone home.

Nope.

I’m the adventuring type.

I drove along an unnamed yet publicly accessible dirt road from Imperial Beach to San Ysidro, about 7 miles, stopping to take pictures every 100 feet or so. Several Border Patrol vehicles kept passing me, turning around, passing me again, turning around, ad nauseum. Finally, several of them descended on me simultaneously to block me in, and asked what I was doing. I told them and showed them all the digital pictures. They said I couldn’t take pictures like that and offered me two choices, “Delete all the pictures or be arrested.” I deleted the pictures since I wasn’t too sure about that unnamed road being public property. I went the next road over and retook all my pictures.

Border fence

SNIPPET 8

With all the computer hacking going on, many people are calling for a return to paper ballots for voting. The problem with paper ballots is that they are not hackproof at all. As proven in the past in many states, particularly Texas, Louisiana, and Illinois, it’s too easy to destroy them, flush them down the toilet, tear them up and throw pieces in different trashcans, lose them, steal them. And dare I even get started on “stuffing the ballot box”?

Paper ballots would make it even more likely that there could be a “Dewey elected President” headline. As it is, whomever is elected president on the day of the election is not true anyway, notwithstanding what the media says.

All 50 states require their Secretaries of State to certify election results, and that means including mail ballots, absentee ballots, provisional ballots, etc. Most, if not all, states provide for 30 days to do that.

I’m a permanent mail voter here in California. I get my ballot by mail but I can return it by mail, or to the Registrar of Voters, or to ANY voting location by the end of election day.

I also can check online to see if my ballot has been counted. I turned mine in on November 7, 2017. It was counted on November 15.

Fight organized crime

SNIPPET 9

Back on May 5, I went as part of a group of 25 members from the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society on a private tour of Western Cactus. I quit counting the number of greenhouses when I got to 27 because we stopped at what I call their “plant decoration” greenhouse. They were painting cacti & succulents, gluing on straw flowers, gluing top dressing in the pots, everything that I totally despise.

Painted plants

The owner and his General Manager gave us the tour. Finally, I asked the owner why they were doing that since they were an old, well-established, very large, respected nursery. He looked at me, raised his right hand and gave me the “Moulah!” roll of his fingers as he said, “Money! There’s a market for this, and we want to meet that market.”

SNIPPET 10

Sunrise in the East San Diego County boondocks:

Sunrise in the East San Diego County boondocks

SNIPPET 11

Someone failed math….

Someone failed math

SNIPPET 12

Best. Fence. Ever. (Especially if you have an unwanted neighbor with unwanted children or unwanted cats and dogs invading your property.)

Cholla fence

SNIPPET 13

If we pay attention we can learn something new each. and. every. day.

Cactus & succulents have sharp spines

SNIPPET 14

Zoey the Cool Cat loves her catio, even when it’s 115°F out there.

Zoey the Cool Cat on her catio

Zoey the Cool Cat on her catio

SNIPPET 14

Zoey the Cool Cat loves her catio, even when it’s 115°F out there.

Zoey the Cool Cat on her catio

SNIPPET 15

Out here in the East San Diego County boondocks, the soil is a very dry, rocky, sandy clay.

It literally can take a couple of hours to dig a hole 12 inches deep and 12 inches in diameter, possibly longer if the rocks are, say, 15″ x 7″……..

Little rock

SNIPPET 16

My first GIF of Zoey the Cool Cat!

Zoey the Cool Cat

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