Tag Archives: bee gees

SNIPPETS (11/22/2019)



How come WordPress does not yet have an icon for changing text size? I still have to go into the HTML code and change the text size manually. Every other program I use has an easy way to change text size….


When I was a sophomore at Texas A&M University in 1974, I was enthralled by the Nixon impeachment. The only other impeached president was Andrew Johnson in 1868. It had been over 100 years.

Although Nixon resigned rather than being impeached, I found the workings of the United States government under its Constitution to be fascinating. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that, within a mere 45 years, two more presidents, Clinton and the current president would be impeached.

Granted, the current president, whose name I have not uttered since November 9, 2016—I call him Twitler because he likes to destroy people using Twitter; Hitler on Twitter—has not yet been impeached, but considering all I have read and heard about the impeachment hearings, I believe he will be impeached before Christmas Day. It might even be faster because the people in charge of impeaching him—the House of Representatives—have to get home for Christmas. Actually, when I think about that, impeachment might happen before Thanksgiving!

Of course, impeachment simply means that the Grand Jury—the House of Representatives in this case—believes there is enough evidence to impeach (indict) him. The trial occurs in the Senate, and at this point I cannot see Twitler being convicted.


I legally changed my name in 2004, dropping my last name and taking my middle name as my last name. I’m about convinced to change my name again, this time to Doctor Doctor so that I’ll know that Robert Palmer really is singing about me.

Previously, the only group to ever sing about me was the Bee Gees with “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart”:

Did you hear it? Right at the 1:43 mark: “I can still feel the breeze that russels through the trees.”


Over on Facebook there’s a meme trending that has a woman screaming at a white cat. I find the cat’s response each time to be quite funny, so I decided to make a contribution:

White cat meme


Since I’m now making a concerted effort to do things with my photography using three business names—Russel Ray Photos, Photographic Art, and Double R Creations—I’m being more active on Instagram and with my Russel Ray Photos page on Facebook. You can follow me on those two platforms.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/russel_ray_photos/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/russelrayphotos/

I’m very political, but not on Instagram or that Facebook page. I do have a personal Facebook page where I am very political. ALL. DAY. LONG.


I should have another calendar at my Etsy shop by the end of 11/22/2019, this one on birds. This picture of a peacock and a white-faced whistling duck will be my cover photo:

2020 Birds calendar, front cover

I put that picture on Facebook and those commenting were only too ready to provide captions. Two of my favorites:

    • Misplaced flirting
    • “Can’t whistle? Not interested.”

I have so many great bird pictures that I’m pretty sure I’m going to do at least two bird calendars. Possibly even three.


The rainy season arrived on 11/19/2019. So far there has been 5.25 inches of rain in three days. When I went to the garage yesterday morning in the wind & rain, a rabbit took off in front of me. It was slipping and sliding as it tried desperately to get away from me as quickly as possible. Poor thing. I looked at where it had been and found a big pile of poop. Upon closer examination, turns out it’s not poop. Just the ugliest mushrooms ever have I seen.

Ugly mushrooms


I like to go into the gardens right after it’s rained and take macro pictures of raindrops on plants. Key phrase in that sentence is AFTER IT’S RAINED.

The rain just won’t stop, and I’m not willing to trod around in the water and mud with my expensive Canon 760d and expensive macro lens. So here’s one of my favorite macro raindrops on cactus photos. Taken on 3/23/2018 at 7:55 a.m., so it must have rained the previous day and/or night.

Raindrops on cactus macro picture

As I was focusing on that picture, I initially had wanted every to be in focus, but then I saw that first rain drop twinkling at me (just barely visible at WordPress resolutions), so I decided to focus on it and let everything else be a little less sharp.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a calendar featuring macro pictures.


Another bird from my 2020 Birds calendar. Who knew that some birds were flashers?

Great blue heron flashing


The resolution of the following picture isn’t good enough for my calendar at 12″x8″, but at a smaller size it’s fine.


Once again, Facebook users came through with captions:

    • And the great bird said, “Come unto me. Kneel, all ye who gaze upon my face.”
    • “Common, ladies. Look at this plumage! This wing span! Let’s do this!”


After I graduated from high school in May 1973, I quit celebrating holidays. I never liked them, finding them too artificial. With that said, though, Thanksgiving (when we celebrate the beginning of one of the great genocides in human history) is next week. I do believe I shall have some turkey wine for Thanksgiving this year.

Turkey wine and feeling fine


My retirement years are allowing me to catch up on movies and television shows that I have missed since 1973. For both my train friends and my history friends, I can highly recommend the TV series, “Hell On Wheels.” It’s about the building of the transcontinental railroad in 1869. People and events are historical facts with only the unknown added or minute details changed. A very intriguing series. Available on Netflix.

Hell On Wheels

Music on Mondays (10-12-15)—Country boy or alien?

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

On this date in 1997, John Denver died when his experimental amateur aircraft crashed into Monterey Bay on the California coast.

Interestingly, Denver first hit the charts in 1969 not as a singer but as a songwriter when Peter, Paul & Mary hit the top of the charts “Leaving On A Jet Plane.” I guess flying was naturally in his blood.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Denver was an accomplished private pilot with more than 2,700 hours on various single- and multi-engine aircraft, as well as having both an instrument and a Lear Jet rating. At the time of his death, he was flying an aircraft with which he was somewhat unfamiliar and, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation. Shortly after taking off from a Pacific Grove airfield under ideal flying conditions, Denver apparently lost control of his Long-EZ aircraft. The NTSB investigation also found that Denver had experienced control problems with the aircraft on previous occasions.

Denver made his own claim to fame as a singer in 1971 with his hit “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Not only did “Take Me Home, Country Roads” have an inauspicious debut at #99 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart of April 10, 1971, it fell off the chart for two weeks before reappearing at #91 and continuing a slow rise to #2—86, 80, 73, 70, 62, 52, 48, 36, 30, 20, 12, 9, 8, 6, 3, 3, and 2, where it stayed for one week before dropping down the chart. It was kept out of the #1 spot by the Bee Gees with “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

John Denver (1943-1997) was born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr., in Roswell, New Mexico. Maybe he really wasn’t a country boy…. Maybe he was an alien! With all of his songs about Colorado, not to mention taking the last name Denver, I just presumed that he was born in Colorado….

Denver was one of the most successful recording artists of the ’70s, releasing 11 albums that were certified Platinum by the RIAA. He had 25 hits, nine of which made the Top 10, and four of which hit #1. Here are his #1 hits:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In my research for this post, I discovered the following. It’s not from a peer-reviewed journal and has no citations so I do not know whether or not it’s true:

“John Denver was a very talented artist and he produced some beautiful music, but people need to understand he was a very flawed man……very flawed. He cheated on his wife Annie not once but several times, the very same Annie that was the subject of his ode to love in ‘Annies Song.’ He lied about it to her and then fessed up in his song ‘I’m Sorry’, which, while beautiful, is really nothing more than a guy wallowing in self pity for the troubles he caused. He tried to strangle Annie once when he got pissed. He blew up when he got back from a trip and discovered she had cut down a tree on their property and proceeded to cut up some of their furniture (a bed or a dining table – not sure which) with a chain saw. He reeks of hypocrisy in ‘Rocky Mountain High when he sings of development as being ‘more people, more scars upon the land,’ basically saying ‘I got mine, now the rest of you stay away.’ “

Well, some of the most beautiful music is written in response to sad circumstances. Eric Clapton’s beautiful hit, “Tears In Heaven,” comes immediately to mind.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My last stop was Wikipedia, usually my first stop. There I found that, at the time of his death, John Denver did not have a valid pilot’s license because of two previous drunk driving charges. Of course, one would not want an aircraft pilot to be drunk while flying….

Since I have personal experience with alcohol and its effects courtesy of my mom and step-dad, I’m leaning on the quoted text as probably being true.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Music on Mondays—Happy Birthday to John Travolta!

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Today is John Travolta’s 59th birthday. Happy Birthday! My generation might best remember him as Vinnie Barbarino in Welcome Back, Kotter. I never liked that show so I rarely watched it.

Actually, I haven’t liked Travolta in anything he’s done, but when I think of him, I usually think of Saturday Night Fever first. However, when I think of Saturday Night Fever, I rarely think of Travolta. Instead, I think of the Bee Gees and the soundtrack to the movie, and which sold over 15 million copies, topping the Billboard album charts for 24 consecutive weeks. It was the disco era, and the Bee Gees arguably were the top disco act.

As much as I like the Bee Gees disco music, I’m an even bigger fan of their pre-disco music, possibly because of my classical upbringing playing the piano and violin, and singing. Here, then, are my five favorite Bee Gees songs prior to the disco era:

“How Can You Mend A Broken Heart,” 1971, Peaked at #1

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“I Started A Joke,” 1968, Peaked at #6

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“My World,” 1972, Peaked at #16

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Run To Me,” 1972, Peaked at #16

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Words,” 1968, Peaked at #15

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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