Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cats—WTF?

Beware of people who dislike cats

I washed and dried the sheets yesterday.

Threw the sheets on the bed and look who shows up 3.1415926 seconds later.

I laid down beside her and she started licking my head.

After a few minutes, she stopped, so I licked her head for a couple of minutes.

Here’s her response.

WTF

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

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2019 calendars by Russel Ray Creations

I live in my own little world

Many decades ago I had a word processing/publishing company dedicated to faculty, staff, and students at Texas A&M University. One of the things that I created for them were calendars, but they were different. They kept Saturday & Sunday together, so instead of a Sunday through Saturday calendar, they were Monday through Sunday. That was important because of all the weekend activities occurring on a college campus. I mean, it’s called the weekend, so why split it up?

In my retirement years, filled with sheer boredom, I’m back to making Monday through Sunday calendars. My first is titled Cacti & Succulents; it is an 11″x17″ wall calendar.

2019 Cacti & Succulent calendar

It is not proofed yet because I just finished it, so if you find an error, I would appreciate you letting me know. You just might get a free calendar out of it!

I’m going to make these calendars available at a reasonable price, certainly no more expensive than the most expensive calendar I have found so far, which is $21.95. I also am going to give away some free but that will have to wait for another post while I determine how much it will cost to print these things.

I have other calendars in the work, too: Zoey the Cool Cat, flowers, birds, animals, trains, San Diego…. I’m also thinking about a calendar just for YOU using 14 pictures that YOU provide. Stay tuned.

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

Opinion—Getting stoned without spending a penny

Opinion

Seen in a store window at The Pike in downtown Long Beach, California, at 7:00 a.m. on 12/3/18.

Naughty or nice

Due to recreational weed, I got stoned on second-hand smoke while walking around The Pike and taking pictures.

We don’t allow people to walk around in public drinking recreational alcohol, so why do we let them walk around in public smoking recreational weed? Anywhere they want.

In California, cigarette/cigar/pipe smokers are required to stay 20′ away from building entrances, and some buildings require a greater distance. Either there is no such requirement for recreational weed smokers, or no one—Not buildings. Not the police. No one—is enforcing the law.

Are recreational weed smokers not considered “smokers” under the law? I know how these legal things work.

Could I wind up in jail because I’m stumbling around in public seemingly drunk but simply stoned on second-hand recreational weed smoke?

I’m thinking that recreational weed smokers need a few more regulations, perhaps a combination of alcohol and smoking laws, such as no recreational weed smoking in public, or driving under the influence of recreational weed….

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

Did You Know?—Deep Space Network, Goldstone Antennas, and InSight

Did you know?

I was fascinated yesterday when the InSight successfully landed on Mars. Facebook memes immediately began cropping up. This is my favorite:

Mars landing meme

When I joined the Boy Scouts in 1966 after my wise old grandmother had adopted me, I became fascinated by the stars, the clouds, the sky. Space Boy Scouts Space Exploration merit badgeexploration. The Boy Scouts’ newest merit badge was the Space Exploration merit badge, created in 1965.

I was on it.

To help me along, Gene Roddenberry created “Star Trek, debuting on television on Thursday, September 8, 1966. On Thursday nights, my wise old grandmother forced me to study or practice my violin.

School nights.

Blah.

TV Guide "Star Trek" coverFriday afternoon, though, were daytime repeats of the previous week’s shows, and TV Guide indicated that “Star Trek” would be televised at 3:30.

I was on it.

School let out at 3:00.

I was home by 3:15,
grabbed a loaf of bread,
a butter knife,
a jar of peanut butter,
a jar of jam,
and sat myself in front of the television from 3:30 to 4:30
to watch “Star Trek.”

I was mesmerized.

The rest, as they say, is history.

I have been a “Star Trek” fan my whole life.

A Trekkie.

A Trekker.

Mesmerized by space exploration television shows and movies. Books. Museums. Exhibits. Just cannot get enough of them.

St. Gertrude Catholic Church in Kingsville TexasWhen Apollo 11 landed on the moon, a landing to be televised live, I was the saddest kid in the world because the landing would be at 12:17 p.m. on Sunday. I would be in church with my wise old grandmother. I’m not sure what I did to convince her that the moon landing was more important than church on that day, but we did not go to church. I watched the moon landing, and collected Corpus Christi, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston newspapers the next day with their bold headlines and pictures. Sadly, the newspapers got left behind in April 1993 when I escaped Texas and settled in San Diego.

Corpus Christi Caller moon landing paper

When I was in Barstow, California, on July 30 & 31, 2018, the historic Harvey House railroad depot, renovated and re-purposed, had a Goldstone Deep Space Network Visitor Center and a permanent exhibit about the Deep Space Network and the Goldstone Antennas.

I was on it.

Trains at the historic Barstow rail yard took a back seat for an hour.

Deep Space Network

Goldstone Antennas

NASA’s Deep Space Network is a worldwide network of spacecraft communication facilities specificially for United States spacecraft. Russia, China, India, Japan, and the European Space Agency have similar networks. NASA’s is located in Barstow, California; Madrid, Spain; and Canberra, Australia.

Deep Space Network Visitor Center in Barstow, California

Deep Space Network Visitor Center in Barstow, California

Deep Space Network Visitor Center in Barstow, California

Deep Space Network Visitor Center in Barstow, California

Each facility is located in bowl-shaped terrain surrounded by mountains to help shield against radio frequency interference. The facilities provide nearly 120-degree separation, which allows for constant observation of spacecraft as the Earth rotates, thereby making DSN the largest and most sensitive scientific telecommunications system in the world. The Deep Space Operations Center is at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Deep Space Network Visitor Center in Barstow, California

Deep Space is defined as more than two million kilometers from the Earth’s surface, so missions to the Moon do not qualify to use the network. Missions to Mars, however, do.

The antennas are located on government property northeast of Barstow, near Fort Irwin. According to staff at the Visitor Center, they are not visible from any roads since they are in a bowl surrounded by mountains.

Deep Space Network locations

And now, we return you to trains and the historic Barstow rail yard.

Barstow rail yard

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

Santa Fe 1460

Santa Fe 1460–Beep, beep

Railroads & Trains logo

My father and his three siblings, as well as their father, all worked for the Missouri Pacific Railroad at some point in their lives. My dad and granddad made railroad work a career.

Although I have been interested in railroads since I was six, I don’t know much about the actual working equipment—steam locomotives and diesel engines, maintenance of way equipement, cabooses, etc., and their history. However, whenever I see static displays at museums, depots, and rail yards, I presume it is more than just your common equipment, so I take pictures.

Today, I posted this picture on a Santa Fe Railroad group on Facebook:

Santa Fe 1460

Knowledgeable people commenting on Facebook did not know what it was. Their lack of knowledge piqued my interest very quickly. Eventually, courtesy of Google, I discovered that it was built as a one-of-a-kind engine in 1970. It currently is preserved as a static display at the historic Harvey House depot in Barstow, California.

Technically, Santa Fe 1460 is a rebuild, but a very unusual one. Originally built in July 1943 at the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Eddystone, Pennsylvania, Santa Fe Railway selected it a test subject to determine if remanufacturing its aging locomotives would be a viable, and less expensive, option over buying new locomotives. Conversion proved too costly, resulting in Santa Fe 1460 being the only locomotive that was modified.

I found conflicting information about the end of 1460’s working years. One source said that it was retired in March 2009 and stored in working condition in Topeka, Kansas. In May 2009, it was donated to the Western America Railroad Museum in Barstow, California, which is where I found it on July 31, 2018.

However, another source, a railfan blogger, said that 1460 was retired in 2012.

Yet a third source, which has a few billion pictures of railroad locomotives, as well as the date and location where the picture was taken, shows Santa Fe 1460 in Cleburne, Texas, on December 16, 1997. The shops in Cleburne are where the remanufacturing took place. On July 6, 1990, it was in Kansas City, Kansas. The last picture of it in the Kansas City area was taken on September 1, 1999. The next picture, dated July 21, 2009, shows it at the Western America Railroad Museum in Barstow.

I’m going to discount the blogger since his information has no references or other sources.

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