Tag Archives: cat house on the kings

Meet Boots (or, How to have another cat without having another cat!)

Cats

Jim and I have only one cat, Zoey the Cool Cat. Looks like this:

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Up until late 2007, I had always considered myself a dog person. Cats seemed too, well, aloof.

In late 2007, though, a stray black cat adopted our home. Could have something to do with me giving it food and water….

She stayed around, and we named her Sophie.

Sophie the Black Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sophie was a dog trapped in a cat’s body. She used to follow me around, inside and outside, never more than a few feet away.

Sophie the Black Cat

It was funny when I went for a walk because I had a cat by my side walking with me, although occasionally she would stop to, uh, smell the roses, and then have to run to catch up with me.

We tried to make Sophie into an indoor cat because we lived in a rural area with black asphalt roads, no street lights, and rapidly moving cars (that’s a polite way of saying “speeding”). She loved the indoors, until dusk came. If she was still in the house an hour after dusk, she would howl until we let her out.

On the morning of September 20, 2007, a neighbor called with the inevitable news. I went to pick up the body and gave her a proper burial, in the yard just feet from where we first met.

That afternoon Jim and I went to the El Cajon Animal Shelter to get a cat, a 100% indoor cat. We saw several we liked but some were already spoken for. We settled on an American short hair ginger tabby cat, but she wouldn’t be ready for adoption until 10:00 a.m. the next morning. We were there at 9:30, and came home with Zoey. After just a few hours with us, she knew she had a forever home:

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That was when I renamed her from “Zoey” to “Zoey the Cool Cat.”

During these past 7½ years with Zoey the Cool Cat, I have taken a significant interest in cats, big and little. I find them fascinating creatures…. Still love dogs, too!

For several years I have been wishing that I could have another cat, or two…. maybe three…. why stop at three? four…. five?…. six…

Recently I discovered that I actually can have another cat, and here he is:

Boots

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

His name is Boots. Click on the collage to see a larger version.

Boots won’t be joining us in our home, though. We are merely sponsors, to the tune of $20 a month, so that Boots can have the love and care that he needs.

BootsYou see, when I decided to sponsor a cat, I decided that I wanted to sponsor a special needs cat. The only special needs I knew about were the wobbly cats (CH), tripods, and pirates. I really wasn’t thinking about all the other afflictions that our little feline friends can have.

In the case of Boots, he occasionally has seizures, and during those seizures he loses bladder control, thereby wetting on himself (and probably anything nearby). So Boots is getting care, attention, food, love, and play at The Cat House on the Kings up near Fresno, California.

Sponsoring Boots, or any of the other cuties at The Cat House on the Kings, is only $15 a month. I decided to use the advertising revenue from WordAds on my blog right here to sponsor Boots, to the tune of $20 a month.

If YOU would like to sponsor a little cutie, see their sponsor page here:

Sponsors Needed

You can sponsor dogs, too, since they have some. They also have goats and peacocks, but I don’t know if you can sponsor them. Heck, just donate to The Cat House on the Kings and tell everyone that you are sponsoring a dog, goat, or peacock at a cat sanctuary! As my wise old grandmother would say: “That will throw ’em for a loop.”

Now if I can just get an animal shelter or sanctuary somewhere to offer me a job. I think it would be the coolest thing in the world to work with animals all day, every day.

Cat House on the Kings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Need a unique gift?
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photograhic art taking pictures making art

Wish I got a three-week vacation…..

Out & About

Julian has deserted me, choosing to go visit relatives in Texas rather than stay here and work for Photographic Art. Imagine if he had gone to work for, say, Target and, after just a couple of months on the job, said, “I’m going to take a three-week vacation”………….. Good thing I’m flexible. 🙂

Since he’s gone, though, I don’t have to figure out how to keep him busy; the State of Texas is doing that for him. Thus I have finished cataloging and processing all the big tree pictures from Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park from when I went to the Spring fundraiser on May 3 for Cat House on the Kings.

Following are Photographic Art from my final batch of pictures. They won’t be available at our Fine Art America galleries until Julian gets back from Texas.

View of the valley from Generals Highway, the loop road that goes through the two national parks:

View from Generals Highway in Sequoia National Park

Part of the Giant Forest, named by John Muir after his first visit to the area:

The Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park

The only Visitor Center that we came across. Generals Highway pretty much is a DIY drive.

Visitor Center

The following picture shows three stages of life for the big trees, dying (with the green lichens on it), dead (left tree), and really dead (right tree).

Stages of Life

There were plenty of benches lining the walkways through the Giant Forest. Jim and I made use of several of them.

Not In Use

Following is the General Sherman tree, often called the largest living organism on planet Earth.

General Sherman tree in Sequoia National Park

For true tree fans like me with my degree in Forest Management from Texas A&M University, that has to be qualified. It is not the tallest, it is not the widest, and it is not the oldest. However, at 275 feet tall, a trunk diameter of 25 feet, an estimated volume of 52,513 cubic feet, and an estimated age of at least 2,300 years, it is among the tallest, widest and oldest of all trees on the planet. Here’s a picture of the base of the trunk of the General Sherman tree:

Base of the trunk of the General Sherman tree in Sequoia National Park

Following is the walkway that took us to the General Sherman tree, a walk among giants.

Walking among giants in Sequoia National Park

On the way out of Sequoia National Park, driving south, there are some spectacular views, such as the following of Deer Ridge and Moro Rock:

Deer Ridge in Sequoia National Park faa framed

Moro Rock in Sequoia National Park

Lastly, a few pictures that I thought made fine, fine, fine Photographic Art:

Been Burned
Been burned

Fissures
Fissures

It’s A Wash
It's A Wash

Down For The Count
Down For The Count

Returning From Whence It Came
Returning From Whence It Came

As the big tree forest merged with the drier forests at lower elevations, cactus started creeping into the mix, such as yuccas which were blooming. I had to do a U-turn to go back and get these three pictures:

Twin Spikes

Yuccas

Yuccas

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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It was really tall, really really tall

How I Did It

As much as I like philately, my stamp frame wasn’t meeting the needs of my Photographic Art venture. I needed to develop a new frame which would allow me to include contact information. Julian and I are endeavouring (I added the U to endeavoring for my Canadian friends) to make Photographic Art a viable enterprise that might support me when I am no longer physically or mentally capable of working (some would argue that time is now!), so contact information is essential. I really want to stay off the public dole and develop something that will take care of me down the line.

I experimented for most of yesterday before I got a format for my contact information that looked decent when I posted it at the bottom of a picture. One requirement was that it had to look good for both landscape and portrait pictures.

Then I had to develop a frame to enclose both the picture and the contact information. I could have gone to CorelDraw X6 and accomplished my task in about thirty minutes. However, since January 2012, I have been working to make Photoshop my default program since I know that it can do everything that all my other programs (CorelDraw, Corel PaintShop Pro, Corel Photo-Paint, Adobe Lightroom) do. It’s just a question of learning; actually, I guess it’s a question of having the time to learn!

After about eight hours, here’s what I came up with:

Photographic Art frame

The frame is easily adjustable for the orientation and size of the picture, as shown in these last three pictures. The first two are from my trip to the fundraiser for Cat House on the Kings, the tail end of which was a trip through the giant sequoia and redwood forests in Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park.

Stained

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Stone & Wood

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I saved the best for last.

The following picture was created using Photoshop’s Photomerge function. Previous to this picture, the most pictures I tried to stitch together was seven. This is a Photomerge of sixteen pictures! That should tell you just how tall this tree was! The frame adjusts itself for the dimensions of the picture, so all I do is create Photographic Art, determine the final dimensions of the picture, and then apply the frame.

Really tall tree

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Julian will be uploading these Photographic Art to Russel Ray Photos’ Fine Art America picture galleries late Wednesday evening, so they will be available for purchase on Thursday. The really tall tree will be available at a maximum size of about 9×45 inches! My frames here are not included at Fine Art America since you choose your frame there, or choose no frame.

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

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Music on Mondays—Everything was fine up the Grapevine Hill

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Dare I say that one of the highlights of this millennium for me was being a vendor at the May 3 fundraiser for Cat House on the Kings? Yes. I’m just a silly softie for Mother and Father Nature’s critters, especially those rather closely related to Zoey the Cool Cat.

Zoey the Cool Cat

Jim and I drove from La Mesa to Fresno, 350 miles. Going over Grapevine Hill (“The Grapevine”) between Los Angeles and Bakersfield, with its twists and turns and up to ten lanes of traffic in each direction, was an experience itself.

Grapevine Hill

Go to location on Google Maps

Hundreds of big rigs were going up to 25 mph in the two right lanes while trying to make it up the 6% grade to the top of Tejon Pass, elevation 4,183 feet. They had their emergency lights flashing and were stomping on the brakes going down the other side. There are many runaway truck ramps on both sides of Tejon Pass.

Grapevine Hill is one of only two places in the United States where traffic is inverted, i.e., northbound traffic is on the left side of the freeway instead of the right side. Yuma, Arizona, has an east/west inversion.

Grapevine Hill handles extremely high traffic volume at all hours of the day between Los Angeles and the Central Valley (Bakersfield and points north). Traffic can be doing 110 mph in the fast lane and 25 mph in the slow lane. I tended to stay in the middle lanes doing 50-70 mph since I was unfamiliar with The Grapevine.

Back before Interstate 5 was built, The Grapevine was a long, winding road notorious for racing and accidents, made famous in the 1951 hit song, “Hot Rod Race” by Arkie Shibley & His Mountain Dew Boys.

“Hot Rod Race” tells the story of a Ford and Mercury racing on Grapevine Hill, neither driver gaining an advantage, and staying “neck and neck” until they both were overtaken by a kid in “a hopped-up Model A.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In 1955, Charley Ryan & The Livingston Brothers recorded “Hot Rod Lincoln” as a response to “Hot Rod Race”:

“You heard the story of the hot rod race that fatal day, when the Ford and the Mercury went out to play. Well, this is the inside story and I’m here to say, I was the kid that was a-drivin’ that Model A.”

At 0:45 is this verse:

Left San Pedro late one night
The moon and the stars were shining bright
Everything went fine up the Grapevine Hill
We were passin’ cars like they was standing still

San Pedro to the north side of Grapevine Hill is a whopping 100 miles, not exactly a leisurely drive, but this was when the car culture was gaining momentum in Los Angeles.

San Pedro to Grapevine Hill

Go to location on Google Maps

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Probably the most recognizable version of “Hot Rod Lincoln” is the 1972 song by  Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen which peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

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My you are tall

Picture of the Moment

When Jim and I went to the May 3 fundraiser for Cat House on the Kings, we came back through Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Park, Sequoia National Monument, and Sequoia National Forest. The whole area is full of tall, massive trees, specifically redwoods and sequoias.

The loop road we drove took us directly through the Giant Forest of sequoias, where five of the ten most massive living organisms are located. I had to take twelve pictures and then have Photoshop stitch them together to get just a part of the Giant Forest:

Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) averages about 275 feet tall and 25 feet in diameter. The tallest sequoia measured 311 feet tall and the widest measured 56 feet in diameter.

I usually don’t like blogs that have pictures that are so big that you have to scroll to see all of a picture and never can get all of a picture on your screen. However, I thought it would be fun to include here a big picture of the big trees:

giant forest faa 2000 tall at 72 ppi

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
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Music on Mondays—I wanna be 16 so I can get me a hot rod

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

When I went to the Cat House on the Kings fundraiser on May 3, Jim and I stayed at a hotel in Visalia on Friday night. Early Saturday morning I went for a walk and found a beautiful 1961 Dodge Polara at the end of the hotel parking lot:

1961 Dodge Polara

The Dodge Polara was introduced in 1960 as Dodge’s top-of-the-line, full size car. I will have more about this specific car in an upcoming post because its history is unique.

For today’s Music on Mondays, though, I thought we would enjoy songs about cars. After all, I do live in Southern California where people have an insane love affair with the automobile. Personally, I prefer the trains….

Since there are so many songs about cars, especially from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, we’ll stick with the 1950s today and save the others for future Music on Mondays posts. All of these songs are in my music collection.

“Hot Rod Race,” Ramblin’ Jimmie Dolan, 1950

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Rocket 88,” Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats, 1951
This song is actually Ike Turner’s first recording albeit
attributed to Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats.
Brenston did sing lead on it. “Rocket 88”
also is a contender for “first rock and roll record.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“No Money Down,” Chuck Berry & His Combo, 1955

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Bring My Cadillac Back,” Baker Knight & The Knightmares, 1956

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Pink Cadillac,” Sammy Masters & His Rocking Rhythm, 1956

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Transfusion,” Nervous Norvus, 1956

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“You Can’t Catch Me,” Chuck Berry, 1956

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Hot Rod,” The Collins Kids, 1957

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

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If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

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Friday Flower Fiesta (4-11-14) from Fine Art America

Friday Flower Fiesta

I have been uploading pictures by the dozens to my Fine Art America galleries in preparation for being an approved vendor at the fundraiser May 3 for Cat House on the Kings.

Knowing that flowers are popular at all times of the year with many people, those have been on my priority list for uploading.

I thought I’d share a few of them here in our Friday Flower Fiesta for April 11, 2014, which happens to be my 709th monthabirthday.

You can click on the picture to go directly to the picture in my Flower Gallery at Fine Art America.

DahliaDahlia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SoonAloe flower buds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pretty in YellowPretty in Yellow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Umbrella Tree FlowersUmbrella Tree

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Carnivorous BeautyCarnivorous Beauty

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Mother of ThousandsMother of Thousands

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Raindrops on Geranium FlowersRaindrops on Geranium

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red and YellowRed and Yellow

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Flower BudsFlower Buds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SuspendedSuspended

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Photographic Art stamp offer

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Use code FTNSD to get a 20% discount through April 14, 2014.

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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
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CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

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►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray