Tag Archives: ayn rand

SNIPPETS (5-27-2018)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

Yesterday, Jim and I celebrated 24 years of knowing each other. Since we really never thought that we would be able to get married in our lifetimes, we decided to celebrate our anniversary as the day we met.

Then along came “Domestic Partnerships.” Such an ugly term. Nonetheless, we got domestic partnered on July 31, 2004. We even have a “Certificate of Domestic Partnership” issued by the California Secretary of State.

Then along came “Same-Sex Marriage.” Wrongly named. It should be “Same Gender Marriage.” Why is it always about sex? Nonetheless, when it looked like the voters were going to repeal same-sex marriage on the first Tuesday of November in 2008, Jim and I got married. On October 30.

So, basically, we get to celebrate three times each year. More margaritas for us! Yahoooooooooooo!

SNIPPET 2

Back in 1966, my wise old grandmother was sitting at the dining room table with her scissors, tape, Elmer’s glue, photo albums, scrapbooks, and dozens of pictures. She was cutting pictures apart and taping different sections together to give her the picture and story she wanted.

Pre-Photoshop cropping and merging.

She told me then that what comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with, teaching me to never throw away “throwaway pictures.”

Here is what many would call a throwaway picture of Zoey the Cool Cat:

Zoey the Cool Cat throwaway picture

Not sure what was going on at that time that resulted in such a cruddy picture. Nonetheless….

Here is what I created in Photoshop with that cruddy picture:

Zoey the Cool Cat drawing

I think the result is beautiful, perhaps even hauntingly beautiful.

SNIPPET 3

Beautiful, interesting sunrise this past Friday morning.

Sunrise in El Cajon CA

SNIPPET 4

I usually am not satisfied with panoramas that I create using Photoshop’s Photomerge function. It’s not Photoshop or Photomerge. It’s me not taking enough pictures to fill in the outside areas so I have to crop them.

In this panorama of the Point Loma Submarine Base in San Diego, with me standing smack dab in the middle of the base, I still didn’t take enough pictures but I like the effect that the missing pictures leave:

Point Loma submarine base in San Diego CA

SNIPPET 5

I’m making an educational display for the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society’s Summer Show & Sale next weekend. It’s on container gardening, titled “You CAN grow any plant in any pot!”

I’m specifically focusing on containers without drainage holes so I’m making a slide show of all my plants that are growing happily in containers without drainage holes. I was so focused on this Ming Aralia that I did not see that I got photobombed by Zoey the Cool Cat.

Ming Aralia being photobombed by Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 6

The look on Zoey the Cool Cat’s face…..

Zoey the Cool Cat

Either she is upset that I found her, or she’s upset because she knows I’m going to put her on the Internet yet again.

SNIPPET 7

For my zombie friends.

Sticker on the back of a huge F350 pick-em-up truck in East San Diego County boondocks:

Zombie

SNIPPET 8

Ooopsy.

No photography

SNIPPET 9

When I was a freshman at Texas A&M University in 1973-1974, I would not be stretching it to say that I survived on Kraft macaroni & cheese, and PB&J (Peter Pan peanut butter and Bama Apple Butter) sandwiches.

At the age of 63, I could still do that except that Bama is not around here in San Diego.

With the Kraft Mac&Cheese, I modify it somewhat by adding chicken and jalapeños. Couple that with a margarita, and I’m in culinary heaven.

Chicken, jalapeños, and Kraft macaroni & cheese

SNIPPET 10

I have been squirrel- and rabbit-proofing my property. It seems to be working because this squirrel couldn’t get in and had to eat an Opuntia cactus in the Open Space Preserve on the other side of the fence.

Whenever I get in the cactus, I get a lot of thorns in my skin. Wish I were a squirrel!

SNIPPET 11

Zoey the Cool Cat has a rotation that she gets into. She’ll choose a spot and that will be where I can always find her for 3-5 days. Then she’ll choose a different spot. 3-5 days. Different spot. 3-5 days. On and on. When she runs out of spots, she’ll simply start over. Her spot for the past two days provides me with this view from my office:

View from the office

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 12

I just finished reading “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. Published in 1943. Interestingly, I have a hard copy first edition in my library. Not sure where it came from, but since Jim has worked for Borders, Barnes & Noble, Warwick’s, B. Dalton, and Waldenbooks for 40 years, I’m pretty sure it was in his collection when we merged. He claims he doesn’t know where it came from either, though.

When I was trying to decide whether or not to read a book from 1943, I searched for online review. One was from President Dumb Jerk Twitler, saying that he had read it and considered himself Howard Roark, one of the main characters. Ha! The words, sentences, paragraphs, and book are waaaaaaaaay too long for his little brain, and he’s definitely NOT Howard Roark.

SNIPPET 13

Just started reading “The Crooked Staircase” by Dean Koontz. Jim brought home the “Advance Readers Edition” a couple of months ago but I was reading “The Fountainhead” so I just now started “The Crooked Staircase.” It went on sale My, 8, 2018, so check it out. I’ve read 50 pages, and like his two previous Jane Hawk novels, this one is going to be good. Read good.

Next up is “The Forbidden Door,” also by Dean Koontz. Jim brought home the “Advance Readers Edition” a couple of days ago. It goes on sale October 9, 2018, so I’ll definitely have read it by that time, probably by July 9, 2018.

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

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SNIPPETS (4-22-18)

Snippets

SNIPPET 1

It’s been a month since I was able to work on my Succulent Wall due to rain; brother-in-law having a stroke; a lonely, scared cat (Ninja the Visiting Fat Cat) which came to visit us while BIL was in the hospital; more rain; too cold to work outside (lower than 70°F).

Yesterday was warm and sunny. Wonderful gardening weather.

Every time I put a rock or plant in the ground at by Succulent Wall, I take a picture. When I’m finished, I’ll be able to make a time-lapse GIF.

Following is the final picture from yesterday evening, 7:30. The cruddy fence belongs to the Open Space Preserve next door and is one of the reason why I chose to build my Succulent Wall right there. The beautiful plants & flowers take one’s eyes away from the cruddy fence.

Succulent Wall

SNIPPET 2

I miss the days of yore when we could sample food in the grocery store. Just take off the lid, stick your finger in, lick it, put the lid back on, place back on shelf. No problem. Now we have all these adult-proof plastic thingies on the lids, and if you get it off, you still have another plastic thingie under the lid. Life just ain’t what it used to be. Here’s the “Swiss Army Knife” that I used to sample food in the grocery store back in the ’60s:

Swiss Army Knife

SNIPPET 3

My new BFF gardening friend. I believe this is a huge specimen of the Pinacate beetle. Eleodes sp. Stink bug. Clown beetle.

Pinacate beetle

SNIPPET 4

Seems I wake up every morning to news of a shooting in one of the time zones ahead of me. This morning it’s in Tennessee.

The gun nuts, of course, blame it on the person, not the gun—I’m pretty sure the gun helps—and want to ban everything except guns, even though no one is suggesting banning all guns, only guns used exclusively to commit mass murder. I mean, when was the last time you saw Facebook or Instagram pictures of the deer, or rabbit, or pheasant, that some hunter killed with his AK-47?

This morning’s mass murder was nude except for a green jacket. I guess we need to ban all nudity. Those poor nudists at their nudist resort….

Gun evidence

SNIPPET 5

A+R POTTERY—Designer Pots for your small cactus & succulentsA+R POTTERY had its first official sale as a business entity at the General Meeting of the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society on April 14.

It sold for $40.

Here it is:

First official sale for A+R POTTERY

SNIPPET 6

A+R POTTERY is going against conventional wisdom in its business venture because the #1 general rule for caring for cactus & succulents is:

Make sure your pot has a drainage hole.

I created a little 4-page, 4.25″ x 5.5″ brochure to explain all about Designer Pots. Here it is for your reading pleasure:

Look ma!

SNIPPET 7

Zoey the Cool Cat has a propensity to yawn twice, the second one exactly 30 seconds after the first.

Once I knew that, it was easy to get photos like this one:

Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPET 8

Studies conducted by social psychologists Hart Blanton and Christopher Burrows of the College of Liberal Arts at my alma mater, Texas A&M University, showed that participants had a reduced willingness to drive under the influence of alcohol after playing video games that contained anti-DUI messages.

I’m all for research and trying to improve the world, but I can also see this kind of technology in the hands of people like Twitler, McConnell, Ryan, Cruz, Rubio, the Koch Brothers, the rich, corporations, just about the whole current crop of Republicans, and, of course, the Russians. My vision isn’t pretty.

SNIPPET 9

Last week we knew that the rapture would occur before the end of April. Now we know that it is tomorrow.

Are you prepared?

I won’t be going, of course, because I still have a cat and gardens to take care of……………..

SNIPPET 10

After completing our tax returns on the seventeenth, I can definitively tell you that it’s far more lucrative to get your inheritance via life insurance rather than retirement accounts, bank accounts, savings accounts, CD’s, Roth IRA’s, and 401(k)’s.

Taxes eat up a significant portion of everything except life insurance.

Sadly, our continuing inheritance puts us just under the borderline for next year’s Twitler tax cuts, so we’re going to get hit hard.

Canada, Mexico, and Australia are looking pretty good…..

SNIPPET 11

The other day my bank account had a deposit of $3.15 in it from an entity which I did not recognize. These types of deposits show up occasionally, and whenever they do, it’s usually a class action settlement, as it was this time.

Uber.

My best payday in a class action settlement was a little over $96.

My worst and most ridiculous class action settlement was a penny. Yep. A penny. And it arrived via the mail as a check. Who in the hell writes a check for a penny?

SNIPPET 12

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

It’s looking like I will finish my leftover October 2017 Halloween candy by the end of April 2018.

I’m sooooooooooo happy!

This is all I have left out of the original two container stuffed full:

Halloween 2017 leftover candy

SNIPPET 13

Those of us who have studied history know that politics has always involved favors and money. Here’s an excerpt from “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand, published in 1943:

[Wynand, the extraordinarily rich guy] asked to be connected with an eminent Senator in Washington.

“Good morning, Senator,” he said when the gentleman came on the wire within two minutes. “It is so kind of you to answer this call. I appreciate it. I do not wish to impose on your time. But I felt I owed you an expression of my deepest gratitude. I called to thank you for your work in passing the Hayes-Langston Bill.”

“But . . . Mr. Wynand!” The Senator’s voice seemed to squirm. “It’s so nice of you, but . . . the Bill hasn’t been passed.”

“Oh, that’s right. My mistake. It will be passed tomorrow.”

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

SNIPPETS (7-18-15)—Will we become maze runners?

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

Today is Jim’s birthday. Happy birthday, love!

Happy Birthday!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #2

We have rain, thunder, and lightning here in San Diego for Jim’s birthday.

I reminder readers of the following facts:

It’s July.
Middle of July.
In San Diego.
Southern California.
It rarely rains here, much less in July.
The last time it rained in July was 1992.
Wait.
I was still in College Station, Texas, then.
IT’S NEVER RAINED IN JULY IN SAN DIEGO!
This is completely unacceptable.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #3

Jim is off work this weekend so we are having a birthday weekend instead of just a birthday.

Yesterday evening we went to the San Diego Night Time Zoo. That’s when the Zoo stays open an extra four hours, until 9:00 p.m. Along with entertainment (music, magic….) throughout the Zoo (wonder how the animals like that….), it’s a great time to see some animals that only come out or become active at dusk. Such as the Fennec Fox (Vulpes zerda).

img_3862 fennic fox zoo stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

At a maximum weight of 3½ pounds, the Fennec Fox is the smallest canine in the world. It lives in the Sahara Desert of North Africa. Its coat, ears, and kidney functions have adapted to high-temperature, low-water, desert environments, and its hearing is sensitive enough to hear prey moving underground. It mainly eats insects, small mammals, and birds, and is itself eaten by the eagle owl.

Milky Eagle Owl

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

The Serval (Leptailurus serval), a small kitty cat but bigger than domestic kitty cats, also was active last night.

img_3914 serval zoo stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Serval is a slender cat with long legs and a fairly short tail with a maximum weight of 40 lbs. It also is native to Africa, south of the Sahara Desert.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #5

The Serval at the Zoo is a mommy. Two little ones born earlier this year. They were just as playful as all little kitties are. Jim and I stood there for thirty minutes watching the little ones play with each other and with their toys, although I think their favorite toy was a pine cone that had fallen from the tree.

img_3912 serval kitten zoo stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #6

atlas shruggedThis past week I watched three futuristic movies based on a book that Republicans seem enthralled with: “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. “Atlas Shrugged,” along with her previous book “The Fountainhead,” developed the philosophical system now known as Objectivism.

According to Wikipedia, “Objectivism’s central tenets are that reality exists independently of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic, that the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness (rational self-interest), that the only social system consistent with this morality is one that displays full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism, and that the role of art in human life is to transform humans’ metaphysical ideas by selective reproduction of reality into a physical form—a work of art—that one can comprehend and to which one can respond emotionally.”

Are you as tired from reading that as I am?

My wise old grandmotherOne of the things that my wise old grandmother (picture ►) taught me 40 years ago is that if you want to see how something will work in reality, take it to its extreme. That has always worked for me, and I think it works with Objectivism, Capitalism, and Socialism.

Objectivism seems to be where the Republicans want to take us, privatizing schools, roads, libraries, food (Monsanto comes to mind) and everything else in the world, which pretty much would be total and complete Objectivism with the rich controlling anything and everything.

Unbridled Capitalism comes very close to Objectivism, in my opinion, but I don’t know of any country anywhere, past or present, that subscribes to unbridled Capitalism. Rather, in capitalist economies, the parties to a transaction typically determine the prices at which they exchange assets, products, and services. Note the word “typically” there. Governments often get involved in capitalism to prevent things like gouging during natural disasters whereby prices for food and water are not allowed to increase exorbitantly due to demand caused by the situation.

Lack of any government at all would, I think, result in Anarchism, no better than Objectivism or Capitalism.

atlas shrugged filmYes, life is not fair, but do we really have to capitalize (pun intended) on that unfairness? Surely intelligent humans can find a happy middle ground that would allow the rich to stay rich, the middle class to have the opportunity to become rich, and government to be able to provide for all of its citizens in terms of transportation and education but also including the unemployed, the sick, the homeless, and the hungry.

I can highly recommend the three movies, “Atlas Shrugged,” “Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike,” and “Atlas Shrugged III: Who Is John Galt?”.

SNIPPET #7

maze runnerOnce you finish those three moves, go a little further to the extreme and watch “The Maze Runner.” All four movies also provide a view into society and what the future might hold as the climate changes, manmade or not.

However, if you’re still confused about the role of mankind in climate change, think about this:

The Holocene interglacial period, which is what we are in now, began about 11,000 years ago. The population of Earth at that time was about a million people. Now fast forward to July 18, 2015, where the population is 7½ billion people. Climate change happens. We know that. With all we are doing in terms of manufacturing and such, and the results of 7½ billion people using the products of that manufacturing, can we really say that we are not having some effect on the climate of the Earth, perhaps causing climate change to get here sooner rather than later? Can we do something, or will be become maze runners?

SNIPPET #8

San Diego gay pride paradeThis is Gay Pride weekend here in San Diego. Started with the Stonewall Rally yesterday evening, continues with a huge 3-hour long parade today followed by a Festival, and continuing with the Festival tomorrow. Parties are everywhere, including Gay Pride parties at the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld.

Jim and I are going to the San Diego Botanic Garden today and to the Gay Pride Festival tomorrow.

Rainbow balloons at San Diego Gay Pride

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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