Category Archives: SNIPPETS

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

 

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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

SNIPPETS (7-8-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

Which one should I buy? $24.50 each, so price is not the determining factor.

Mammillaria species

SNIPPET 2

I’m currently cataloging Russel Ray Photos pictures from October 2017. Here are some pictures from the annual Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show here in San Diego in October 2017. The annual air show is said to be the largest air show in the United States.

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

SNIPPET 3

I have spent time in Death Valley National Park in California where the temperature hit 123°F. I have spent time in Palm Springs, California, where the temperature hit 116°F. On July 6, the temperature on my shaded catio reached 112°F, making this the hottest place I have ever lived.

112°F

SNIPPET 4

Here is Zoey the Cool Cat enjoying that 112°F on her catio.

Zoey the Cool Cat enjoying her catio

She is looking at the thermometer after I had taken a picture. Perhaps she’s thinking, “That can’t be right.”

SNIPPET 5

Laughter for your Sunday.

When you do the magic trick for dogs

When you do the magic trick for a cockatoo

SNIPPET 6

Sigh….

Don't leave your kids in the car!

SNIPPET 7

I got addicted to cats back in 2006 when a feral black cat came to visit on Thanksgiving. I gave it food and water; it ate and drank, and left. It returned on Christmas Eve. Hmmmmm. “A cat that knows human holidays,” I thought. I gave it food and water; it ate and drank, and stayed. Sadly, it got run over by a car on September 20, 2007. We got Zoey the Cool Cat on September 21, 2007.

On July 6, around 8:00 a.m., a feral cat came to visit me while I was working in my cacti & succulents gardens. It was very friendly, but no collar and extraordinarily skinny. I gave it food and water; it ate and drank, and left. I had Euphorbia sap on my hands at the time, and since I’m quite allergic to that sap, I went inside to wash my hands. By the time I came back out, skinny kitty was gone. I do hope it comes back.

I did get a picture of skinny kitty.

Skinny Kitty

SNIPPET 8

I thought it was “bombs bursting in air,” not “bombs bursting on ground.”

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar air show in October 2017 in San Diego

SNIPPET 9

I watched Blade Runner (The Final Cut) the other day. I didn’t like the original Blade Runner back in 1982 when I saw it. I did like it much better this time around, maybe because of those final cuts, but I don’t remember the original that well so I don’t really know. Margaritas were good, though. When was the last time you went to a movie theater that served margaritas?

SNIPPET 10

Out here in the East San Diego County boondocks we don’t have many spiders. I suspect that’s because the billions of lizards eat them. So imagine my excitement when I found a rather large spider while out in my gardens the other day.

Garden spider

SNIPPET 11

I’m not a big fan of posting pictures of surgery scars, blood, etc., online, so I’ll just tell you that this Euphorbia enolpa got me good the other day while I was planting it. And I mean good.

Euphorbia enolpa

I’m quite sensitive to Euphorbia sap, which I discovered back in 1966 when my wise old grandmother made me prune her poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima), so in addition to having a very bloody arm, I had a very swollen arm.

Euphorbia sap often sends people to the hospital and has been responsible for a few deaths as well. If you get this white, milky sap on you, wash it off immediately, and certainly don’t touch your eyes, mouth, ears, or nose while you have sap on your hands.

Euphorbia sap also can be very toxic to your dogs and cats.

SNIPPET 12

Something’s quite wrong if your event results in so many lost children that you have to set up a LOST & FOUND CHILDREN center. Either that or there are some seriously delinquent people called “parents” running around.

Lost and found children

SNIPPET 13

I’m also very sensitive to gas, but you and I can’t smell gas when it’s in the parts per billion. Also, if your gas company hasn’t added odor to the gas, you won’t be able to smell it anyway.

If the gas is strong enough, I still might not smell it per sé but I start coughing, wheezing, snorting, hacking, eyes watering. If that happens unexpectedly, I look around for a gas source. Such happened to me a few years ago while sitting outside the LiveScan office waiting my turn to get LiveScanned so I could teach chess in after-school enrichment programs. The LiveScan clerk came to check on me, I sounded that bad. I told her my suspicion since there was a huge gas tank nearby. Here’s the letter I got from them a few days later:

LivesSan letter

SNIPPET 14

Selfies

SNIPPET 15

I’m sure they specialize in death with dignity.

Death Dealers

SNIPPET 16

Our home with Zoey the Cool Cat is surrounded by three cities, two of them on the smaller suburban size. Both had fireworks on July 4. I couldn’t see them but Zoey the Cool Cat and I certainly heard them. She was not happy. I went to the bedroom and laid down on the bed with her to comfort her, talking to her in a soft, soothing voice and rubbing my hands and head all over her. She was happier but every occasionally there was one of those really loud things and that kept shaking things up for us.

There is such a thing as silent fireworks, and I became a big proponent of them this year.

SNIPPET 17

This was the first year in several decades that I didn’t go somewhere to watch the fireworks on July 4. With Twitler and his ilk destroying everything about the United States—National Parks, EPA, health insurance, families, public education—and the constant lies, I just am not very patriotic right now.

SNIPPET 18

The Bam Boo Inn somewhere in the East San Diego County boondocks.

The Bam Boo Inn

SNIPPET 19

Here’s my latest newsletter creation for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society. Lots of links inside to good Facebook groups and YouTube videos that I have created this past month.

July 2018 newsletter for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society

SNIPPET 20

As many times as I have been to The Huntington Library, Art Gallery, and Botanical Gardens, I had never been to the Desert Garden. It was always so difficult for me to get through the library and art galleries since they are closest to the entrance. On June 29, Jim and I went to The Huntington with my sole goal being to stroll through the Desert Garden. Here’s my video of the stroll:

If you have never been to The Huntington in San Marino, California (east Los Angeles County), put it on your Bucket List. You won’t be disappointed.

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

SNIPPETS (7-1-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

My little Fockea edulis that has two seed pods on it…. and me never having seen the flowers…. and not knowing who the father plant is….

Have been keeping an eye on my little girl.

She had flowers! And since she needs someone of the opposite sex to have progeny, she obviously thought that I was going to take her to another cactus & succulent show so that she could have more unprotected sex.

Fockea edulis flowers

Fockea edulis flower

SNIPPET 2

I was sad to drive by my favorite Sears store and find out that it was closing. I took a detour, parked, and went inside. The store was about 90% empty.

I don’t know what we’re going to do with all these empty buildings. Maybe ICE will turn this one into it into a child concentration camp…. a #TrumpCamp. After all, we’re only about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico. Yahooooooooooooo! Let’s hear it for child concentration camps!

Sears store closing, El Cajon CA

Sears store closing, El Cajon CA

Sears store closing, El Cajon CA

SNIPPET 3

In 1968 I got to go to Hemisfair in San Antonio. Spent 50¢ on a computer personality analysis of my signature. Spent $2 on an analysis at Post Oak Mall in College Station TX in 1997. Spent $4 on an analysis at the San Diego County Fair on June 14, 2018. Here they are. All three of them. And all three eerily accurate.

Anavac Hemisfair signature personality analysis

Televac Post Oak Mall College Station TX personality signature analysis

Televac 2018 San Diego County Fair personality signature analysis

SNIPPET 4

Best things about my smart phone (Samsung Galaxy S8):

  1. Makes and receives phone calls
  2. Google Maps—Doesn’t matter where I’m going, how near or how far, Google Maps is tracking me, know where I am, knows where I’m going, and knows when I’m going to get there.
  3. The ability to block phone numbers. O.M.G. My phone used to ring every other minute with calls from
    Florida,
    Ohio,
    Texas,
    Pennsylvania,
    Wisconsin,
    Nevada,
    California,
    Oregon,
    Idaho,
    Washington,
    Virginia,
    Indiana,
    and probably a few others that I have left off.
    All of them from Google.
    EVERY.
    SINGLE.
    DAMN.
    ONE.
    OF.
    THEM.
    I have blocked all of their numbers and now I get auto rejected calls every other minute. The phone doesn’t even ring. Just automatically hangs up on their asses. I hope the person who invented call blocking has a lifetime supply of margaritas.

SNIPPET 5

San Diego Zoo animals

SNIPPET 6

I have learned to check out anyone who sends me a friend request on Facebook. For the longest time I was getting them from women who wanted to have sex with me or trade nude pictures. Uh, no. Occasionally I still get one from a Twitler-supporter. Why, I have no idea. So I checked out a friend request today and found this as one of his posts:

“I refuse to put any libtard up on a pedal stool.”

I declined his friend request. If he’s not going to put me up on a pedal stool, he’s no friend of mine!

SNIPPET 7

I got a free plant at a huge nursery the other day because it was on the ground in the midst of about 100 huge Agaves planted in 35-gallon wood boxes. No one knew what it was so the manager said, “Just take it.”

When I put it in the Cacti & Succulent Identification group, all I got were obscene comments, obscene videos, obscene GIFs, and obscene memes. So I deleted my post.

Today a friend told me what the plant is. Lophocereus schottii forma mostruosa (smooth form). AKA “Big Penis Cactus.” Well, okay then. Now I understand the obscene comments.

I wonder if the ladies at the nursery knew what it was but no one wanted to tell a guy that it was a “Big Penis Cactus.” I could see how that might be a little awkward.

I had an oblong rock which looks very nice next to the Lophocereus schottii forma mostruosa (smooth form).

Lophocereus schottii cv. Big Penis Cactus

SNIPPET 8

Back in Spring 1976 I took Economics 301 at Texas A&M University. I had Professor Phil Gramm (Google him). He had a tenured position making $125,000 a year, but quit to go into politics. I despised his economics but I do remember one thing he said in class: “All politicians lie. You just have to determine whose lies you like the best.” For most of my life, I was a Me! Me! Me! person, preferring Republican lies. Since April 1993, I have been an Us! Us! Us! person, prefering Democratic lies.

SNIPPET 9

Poor little ground squirrels. In the morning many of them line up at the fence separating their open space preserve from my cactus/succulent gardens. I love watching them, as long as I’m not watching them eat my plants. I can see their little brains whirling and dreaming, trying to figure out how to get to the banquet…..

Ground squirrel on the other side of the fence

SNIPPET 10

The Cactus & Succulent Society of America had their annual Show & Sale at The Huntington Library, Art Gallery, and Botanical Gardens June 29-July 1. As many times as I had been to The Huntington, I had never been to the Desert Garden. It’s at the far side from the parking lot, and after visiting the Library and the Art Gallery, I just never made it to the Desert Garden. This past Friday, the Desert Garden was my goal. I was amazed. Wow. Just wow. Here is a video created from 149 pictures:

SNIPPET 11

If you need a quick laugh, watch the CATalunia Boy’s Choir.

SNIPPET 12

I bought $350 worth of cacti & succulents at the CSSA sale at The Huntington. I took them to the car while my husband, Jim, sat in the shade among the ferns doing whatever on his smarty pants phone. Snapped this picture without him being aware that I was anywhere close by.

Jim Frimmer at The Huntington

SNIPPET 13

My wise old grandmother always was out on the dance floor at family reunions, dancing up a storm. As she told me in 1978, you’re never too old to rock ‘n’ roll, proven yet again this past Thursday when I went to see The Ideas Rock ‘n’ Roll Trio (friends of mine) at the fundraiser for the El Cajon Animal Shelter at the Downtown Cafe in El Cajon, California. The El Cajon Animal Shelter is where we got Zoey the Cool Cat back on September 21, 2007.

SNIPPET 14

By far my favorite plants are the Stapeliads. This book, which I bought a couple of days ago, is the BEST. PICTURE BOOK. EVER.

Stapeliads

SNIPPET 15

Even though I’m a huge fan of margaritas and Agave tequilana, I’m not averse to trying new things. So at the Huntington Botanical Gardens on Friday, I got a taste of potato rum. I liked it. I brought it home with me. Here it is. Agave potatorum. (It’s proper pronunciation is pot-a-tor-um. I like potato rum better.)

Agave potatorum

SNIPPET 16

The clock in my doctor’s office last week.

Doctor's clock

SNIPPET 17

Hello Farmers my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again….

Or as a friend said, “Good insurance is like a bridge over troubled water.”

Simon Gurfinkel Agency

SNIPPET 18

I like to work in my cactus & succulent gardens for a couple of hours in the early morning before it gets too hot. Sadly, the path to the gardens was blocked this morning. I was stuck inside.

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 19

One of the reasons why parking is scarce and at a premium in Southern California is because some people, when they get a parking spot, absolutely refuse to give it up.

Parked car

SNIPPET 20

Every morning when I work in my cactus & succulent gardens, I have a little friend who is close by. He watches me intently, and every time I plant something where he couldn’t see it, he would climb up the block and peer over. He is so friendly that I can get him to eat bugs out of my fingers. Eventually I’m going to get a video of that.

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

SNIPPETS (6-17-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

I read a lot. Always have. Which means that I (used to) go through a lot of bookmarks. After I decided that dog-earing the pages was not a good way to mark where I was. I have about 20 bookmarks similar to this one but all with different bird pictures. It fits over a page and is magnetized so that it doesn’t fall off. The reason why I have 20 is because I bought them at The Birdwatcher in Julian, about 80 miles from me round trip. I thought I’d go through them like other bookmarks. Nope. This thing is durable. Best. Bookmark. Ever.

Magnetic bookmark

SNIPPET 2

Comment on Facebook:

If [Twitler] had been US president in 1938, he would have sought to appease Hitler and compliment him as an “honorable man.”

SNIPPET 3

I have not had an Echinopsis cactus since 1973. Although their flowers are beautiful, their pokey pokey things are ouchy. Yesterday I just couldn’t resist buying this Echinopsis oxygona at Lowe’s because of the delicate pink/white flowers.

Echinopsis oxygona

SNIPPET 4

Jim, Zoey the Cool Cat, and I moved to a new house in July 2017 without checking the USDA zone for the new place. Sadly, it’s virtually impossible to grow ferns here. Ha! Problem solved. Three different ferns, a sensitive plant, and a Hypoestes all quite happy in their terrarium home on the catio.

Fern terrarium

SNIPPET 5

Best Twitler meme from this past week:

Twitler

SNIPPET 6

I’m going through old boxes and finding stuff from long ago.

These were the three bitches in my life ca. 1990, left to right, Penny, Kerrie, Sugar. Penny & Sugar were the better of the three.

Penny, Kerrie & Sugar

Kerrie was a Southern Baptist religious nut. She had a personal relationship with her god, so personal that said god would tell Kerrie when to take a bath or a shower, what time to go into work even if she was late, when to take vacations, when to call in sick even if she was not sick, when to listen to music or watch television or go to the movies, when to come over to my house.

Late one Saturday night when I had a home word processing business, she was in my room with Penny & Sugar studying her Bible lesson for the next day. I decided to take a break so I went back to ask her if she wanted to take Penny & Sugar for a walk with me. She rolled over, looked at me ever so sweetly, and said, “No. The Lord hasn’t told me to take the dogs for a walk with you.” I did not see her on Sunday and broke up with her on Monday. I do hope she’s had a happy life.

SNIPPET 7

Hmmmmmm. My Fockea edulis has two seed pods on it. This plant is dioecious, which means that it needs pollen from a male plant in order to have progeny. I never saw the flowers on this plant, and the only way it could have had sex with another plant is at a cactus & succulent show, where it has been shown twice. Wonder how I track down the father.

Fockea edulis with seed pods

Fockea edulis seed pods

SNIPPET 8

Best video from this past week. Because, small dogs need a friend their own size.

SNIPPET 9

When I was young I wanted to be an anesthesiologist because I could spell it. Then I found out how much schooling I would have to suffer through. Bye bye anesthesiologist!

SNIPPET 10

Because I have a degree in Forest Management from Texas A&M University, I always enjoy visiting the woodworking exhibit at the San Diego County Fair. This table is now #1 on my list of most expensive items in the exhibit over the years. A mere $11,500. Twenty years ago it would have gone home with me, no questions asked.

Table selling for $11,500 at the 2018 San Diego County Fair.

SNIPPET 11

Since I have eight of my plant displays on exhibit at the 2018 San Diego County Fair, I have an Exhibitor badge which gets me into the Fair free, every day, for as often as I want to visit. I also got three free tickets to give to others. So Jim and I went to the Fair last Thursday. Came home with lots of goodies, one of which was this map of San Diego. It’s laser-etched on pine. Looks great AND smells great!

San Diego map laser-etched on pine

SNIPPET 12

First and second place winners in Youth Robotics at the 2018 San Diego County Fair.

Youth robots from the 2018 San Diego County Fair

SNIPPET 13

Jim and I spent all day at the San Diego County Fair. I have been there several times this year to help set up the exhibit for the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society, where I have eight plants on display, and water the little ones. I have had my eye on one of the plant vendors not too far from the Palomar display, and these are what I came home with. I understand why the one plant is named “prolifica”—I feel like a mamma rabbit there are so many babies.

Pachopodium lamerei (Madagascar palm)
Pachypodium lamerei

Sedum ‘Purple Emperor’
Sedum 'Purple Emperor'

Echeveria prolifica
Echeveria prolifica

Kalanchoe fedstchenkoi variegata
Kalanchoe fedstchenkoi variegata

Crassula ‘Dianne’
Crassula 'Dianne'

SNIPPET 14

My favorite cactus picture. Pay no attention to the critter.

Favorite cactus picture

SNIPPET 15

Long-time readers know of my lifelong fascination with all things trains. I think I shall have to be in Utah around May 10, 2019. I will be driving, so if you’re between San Diego and Salt Lake City UT, let me know. I’ll stop by and say hello!

One of the World’s Largest Steam Locomotives
Is About to Make a Triumphant Return

SNIPPET 16

Sometimes the bed decorations don’t match the quilt. Oh well.

Bed decoration

SNIPPET 17

MOVIE REVIEW—I can highly recommend “Overdrive” starring Scott Eastwood and Freddie Thorp.

Lots of awesome cars.

And Scott Eastwood (Clint Eastwood’s son) and Freddie Thorp.

Did I mention Scott Eastwood and Freddie Thorp?

Well, just in case I didn’t, it stars Scott Eastwood and Freddie Thorp.

Varoooooooooom……….

Scott EastwoodFreddie Thorp

Overdrive

SNIPPET 18

Jim, Zoey the Cool Cat, and I have been in our new home for 11 months. We bought all new appliances when we moved in. Here’s my review of them:

Whirlpool Cabrio Washer – Sucks. 0 out of 10. Washers need an agitator. The cycles are too long, and since there’s no agitator, the soap falls from the soap dish into the washer, turns to paste, and never gets washed out of the clothes.

Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer – 5 out of 10. I like the Steam Refresh cycle.

Whirlpool Cabrio washer and dryer

Bosch Dishwasher – Sucks. 0 out of 10. Doesn’t dry the dishes even on the longest cycle because there is no heating element. Weird. The racks are installed backwards, almost as if a left-handed person built it.

Bosch dishwasher

Samsung Microwave – 5 out of 10. The functions are waaaaaaaaay to difficult to push. Needs to be a wee bit less sensitive.

Samsung Range – Sucks. 1 out of 10. The oven has a special vent that lets out all the heat and, if you’re cooking something, microscopic particles that cause the fire alarms to go off. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Our Toaster Oven is better, and that’s what I use. The griddle is awesome for pancakes. If I made pancakes thrice a day, 7 days a week, I’d give the Range a 10 out of 10.

Samsung microwave and range

LG Refrigerator – Awesome. 10 out of 10. Love the indoor water and ice, the controls for cubed ice or crushed ice, the temperature controls, the door within a door for the refrigerator. It helps that in front of the refrigerator is one of Zoey the Cool Cat’s favorite places to plop herself.

Zoey the Cool Cat plopped in front of the refrigerator

SNIPPET 19

My older brother once threatened to shoot me. I’m estranged from him, as well as 99.9% of my relatives, but I don’t hate my brother like Twitler seems to hate Obama, our allies, women, LGBTQ, blacks, children, the sick, the aged…………

SNIPPET 20

I felt so bad the afternoon and evening of June 10 because I ran over a squirrel while driving to Home Depot. The poor little thing never had a chance.

SNIPPET 21

I bought this as a 2-leaf plant at the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society’s Winter Show & Sale on February 10. Since then it’s put out 2 more big, fat leaves, and one flower on it bloomed for 5 consecutive days, closing at night and reopening the next afternoon. It has another bud that should be opening in a couple of days.

Pleiospilos simulans
Pleiospilos simulans

Pleiospilos simulans

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

Zoey the Cool Wet Cat

SNIPPETS (6-10-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

A+R POTTERY Designer Pot #00111Sorry I missed last Sunday but I was heavily involved in the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Summer Show & Sale all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I was a vendor with A+R POTTERY and got many comments. I was so tired after last weekend that I still haven’t unpacked the inventory to see what sold and what didn’t sell, so I won’t know how many sales I had until Wednesday night when I get paid.

SNIPPET 2

In order to be a vendor at the Summer Show & Sale, I had to have eight entries into the show. I entered eight as a vendor and four as an individual, ten plants and two succulent pictures. My entries garnered one first place, five second place, and three third place. I’m particularly happy with those results because my best eight entries actually are on display at the 2018 San Diego County Fair from June 1 through July 4 (see SNIPPET 5). The first place was an educational exhibit on Pereskia grandifolia:

Pereskia grandifolia

There are three plants in that dish garden. I had ordered them from Uruguay on May 10. They arrived on May 31, just in time for the Show. They were a little ragged after not seeing sunshine for three weeks but it looks like they are going to survive.

The genus Pereskia has nine species and is the only genus in its family. It is more like a rose than a cactus, with non-succulent leaves, spines hiding on the stems behind the leaves, and rose-like flowers. Pereskia is considered the mother of all cacti & succulents because it is believed that the original cacti & succulents were very much like Pereskia.

One of mine even bloomed yesterday. Check out this rose-like flower:

Here is the educational flier that accompanied the dish garden.

Pereskia grandifolia

SNIPPET 3

I’m working on getting the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society to take on renovation of the 1935 (Old) Cactus Garden in Balboa Park as part of the Adopt-A-Plot program. This is a significant garden, planted under the direction of Kate Sessions (aka “Mother of Balboa Park”) for the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition. It’s severely neglected right now. Here’s my video presentation to the SDCSS Board of Directors. They won’t get it until Wednesday, June 13.

SNIPPET 4

I tortured Zoey the Cool Cat on June 6. I didn’t really torture her, but if you were in the house for 10 minutes today while I was giving her a bath, you would have thought I was torturing her. This cat can howl better than any wolf on Earth. She’s so mad at me that when I found her after drying her off, she turned around and wouldn’t look at me.

Zoey the Cool Wet Cat

Zoey the Cool Wet Cat

SNIPPET 5

Here is a video of all the plants in the cactus & succulent exhibit of the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society at the 2018 San Diego County Fair. The exhibit won first place in its category, and I have eight plants in the exhibit, including one awarded a “Noteworthy Plant,” the Peanut Cactus at 2:34 in the video.”

SNIPPET 6

Fires do not “break out.” Fires are caused by something or someone. The fact that Fire Season started June 1, and there were a lot of fires the first weekend in June tells me that quite a few someones were out starting fires.

Fire

SNIPPET 7

There were lots of dogs at the Cactus & Succulent Show & Sale last weekend. Here are my two favorites:

Dog in a backpack

Dog in a backpack

SNIPPET 8

I’m so happy.

Twitler pardons Russel Ray

SNIPPET 9

In 1966, while my wise old grandmother was helping her 11-year-old grandson start his very first business, she told me,

“Surround yourself with positive people and you’ll be positive. Surround yourself with successful people and you’ll be successful.”

She was right.

SNIPPET 10

She also was right when she told me to treat every day the same. That way there are no bad Fridays because of weekend anticipation, no bad Mondays because of the weekend being over, and you can make a lot of money on holidays when most of the people don’t work.

SNIPPET 11

Are sports teaching our children to steal? I mean, they steal bases in baseball, they steal the basketball from the opposing player. So much stealing going on…….

SNIPPET 12

A little squirrel in Balboa Park last week. First one that didn’t scamper away when I said, “I’ll put you in my blog!”

Squirrel

SNIPPET 13

I bought my first skateboard ever this past week. Walked out of the shop with it, got on it, and went zooming down the street. Cars were honking and swerving, yelling obscenities, flipping the bird. Weird.

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