Tag Archives: chess

SNIPPETS (6-26-14)—Drill moms rule!

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

Recently I was at a mall that I had never been to before. After being there, I understood why I had never been there: It’s too difficult to get to unless you happen to live in the area.

As I was walking around the mall, I came across two large, tiled murals:

Tiled murals

Tiled murals

How cool it would be to visit your old neighborhood 20, 30, 40 years later and see a tiled mural comprising tiles of your high school friends, including one tile with YOUR name on it!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #2

I teach chess at after-school enrichment programs for a dozen elementary schools in San Diego County so I’m always pleased when I see people playing chess in unusual places, such as the waterfront in Coronado, across the bay from downtown San Diego.

Chess On The Waterfront

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #3

I don’t enjoy churches or religions because I think they waste too much money on things that don’t have anything to do with helping the poor, the needy, the sick, the homeless…. In fact, a couple of decades ago I quit my church when I found out the pastor had a million-dollar home and drove a Rolls Royce, but the church had no money to help feed the poor at Thanksgiving. You know, then, that I don’t have any patience whatsoever with people like Joel Osteen, living in a $12½ million Houston mansion and making over $40 million annually , tax free, as head of his church.

I have always enjoyed church architecture, though, such as this cute little country-style building in the middle of an older part of the City of San Diego:

Nestor Methodist Church

That’s the Nestor Methodist Church, and here’s Photographic Art of the steeple:

Nestor Methodist Church steeple

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #4

Jim has a listing at 5745 Friars Road, Unit 107, in Presidio Place, a large condominium complex with beautiful landscaping. They have some old ficus trees, old defined as with roots dangling from the branches, common to ficus trees.

One enterprising soul thought the roots would make a nice hanger for Mr. Sun:

Mr Sun

Jim’s listing is on YouTube, which means that I can embed the video here. Pictures are by, well, do I really need to say?

If you would like to move to Mission Valley, or buy a second home here, Presidio Place is in a great location at the western edge of Mission Valley. It’s quieter than the heart of the Valley yet still just minutes from major thoroughfares and freeways, San Diego Trolley stations, beaches, Old Town, University of San Diego, and SeaWorld.

SNIPPET #5

Speaking of SeaWorld, I try to go once a week, using my annual pass. SeaWorld San Diego opened in 1964, which means they are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary. They have new exhibits, new shows, and new signage.

Seaworld San Diego

Seaworld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #6

My main reason to have an annual pass is to ensure that I see ALL the wildlife because on any one visit, some might not be cooperative. Flamingos always are cooperative.

Flamingo at SeaWorld San Diego

As are the penguins:

Magellanic penguin at SeaWorld San Diego

I got my first good pictures of the African Crested Porcupine and the Nine-banded Armadillo at a recent visit.

African Crested Porcupine at SeaWorld San Diego

Nine-banded Armadillo at SeaWorld San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #7

Anytime I see an armadillo, I spontaneously start singing “London Homesick Blues,” written by Gary P. Nunn. The following version by Jerry Jeff Walker is probably the best known version and features the Lost Gonzo Band, which included Gary P. Nunn on keyboards.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #8

Coming up on July 12 & 13 is the Reptile Super Show. Don’t let the name mislead you. Along with lizards, turtles, and frogs, they also always have spiders, such as this beautiful one from two years ago:

Tarantula

That reminds me of Mr. Alexander, my tenth grade biology teacher. He gave extra credit to students who brought in live wildlife for the day. After school, Mr. Alexander would be in the classroom interacting with the wildlife and talking with the students about the creatures.

Someone once brought a tarantula and, after school, Mr. Alexander was letting it walk up and down his arm. It was creepy but continued my wise old grandmother’s teachings about respect for all wildlife.

The advertisement in the San Diego Reader says that it is a fun & educational family event for ages 2-99. I think that if you’ve made it to 100, you should be able to go.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #9

If you are over the age of 55, or are a member of AAA, wherever you go, be sure to ask if they have senior discounts or AAA discounts. It’s amazing how many places do. Unfortunately, the discounts are not cumulative, so it’s one or the other. Hmmm. Alrighty, then, I choose to be a 16-year-old AAA member. Can anyone help me here?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPET #10

Julian on guitarJulian is in Texas spending money, which means he’s not here earning money working for Photographic Art! He’s only 16 years old but he’s awesome, and even from 1,500 miles away, he motivates this 59-year-old to do things that eventually will help both of us make some cool cash. So let’s see if Julian reads this blog post and finds this little snippet. Julian, if you find this, leave a comment and I’ll add a $10 bonus to your check for this week which means, of course, that since you’re in Texas all this week, your paycheck will be a whopping $10! Hey, that pays for 2½ gallons of gas for your new truck or motorcycle!

SNIPPET BONUS

When I’m working in the wee hours of the morning like this, Zoey the Cool Cat is always close by, either on the printer or on the desk.

Zoey the Cool Cat

It’s been several hours since I last saw her. I take a break every hour, and these past few hours I have used the break to look for her. Of course, she doesn’t come like a dog when you call her, so it’s all or nothing at each break.

She knows how to open cabinet and closet doors, so during my last break I went looking in the closets. Shoes and dirty clothes is all I found………………

Zoey the Cool Cat

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

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Back to the '50s car cruise in La Mesa, California

It’s Thursday! Time for chess and classic cars in La Mesa Village!

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It’s Thursday! That means from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., downtown La Mesa hosts their “Back to the ’50s” classic car show.

There will be classic cars from several generations parked in La Mesa Village, many with the hoods up so you can see the beautiful engines, and many more cruising the streets.

Here are a few pictures from previous shows:

Back to the '50s in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Back to the '50s car cruise in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Back to the '50s car cruise in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Back to the '50s car cruise in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Back to the '50s car cruise in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Back to the '50s car cruise in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Back to the '50s car cruise in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Back to the '50s car cruise in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Back to the '50s car cruise in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Back to the '50s car cruise in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Back to the '50s car cruise in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Back to the '50s car cruise in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

During the classic car cruise, there are a group of us who get together at the Walkway of the Stars to play some games of chess.

Walkway of the Stars in La Mesa, California

View Larger Map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Speed chess

Don’t worry if you can’t play chess as fast as that! I used a video editing program to speed things up a wee bit……

But if you enjoy playing chess, or would like to learn, come visit us from 5:00-8:00 p.m. each Thursday during the Back to the ’50s classic car cruise in the La Mesa Village at the Walkway of the Stars.

After today, there is only one more Thursday Back to the ’50s classic car cruise, but we plan on playing chess at the Walkway of the Stars forever and ever. However, actual day and time is still to be determined.

If you can’t make it but would like more information about future chess get-togethers, email me at russelraypc@aol.com. And no making fun of me because I still have an AOL email address. I’ve been too busy playing chess to change email providers…………….

Chess problem

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved byThis post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

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

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Playing chess at the Classic Car Cruise in La Mesa, California, summer 2013

Chess and classic cars in La Mesa, California

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Each Thursday, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., downtown La Mesa hosts “Back to the ’50s” classic car show where you can see classic cars, from beautifully restored to driven-every-day for forty years. Some are for sale, some are beloved members of the family.

Classic Car Cruise in La Mesa, California, Summer 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Classic Car Cruise in La Mesa, California, Summer 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I go at least once a month during the summer, although that is fixin’ to change. (“Fixin’ to” is Texan, usually meaning “going to.” Examples: I’m fixin’ to go to the store. I’m fixin’ to eat. I’m fixin’ to quit sayin’ “fixin’ to.”)

Last week I got sidetracked, just ten minutes into my walk through
La Mesa Village to photograph classic cars, by this:

Playing chess at the Classic Car Cruise in La Mesa, California, summer 2013

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Whenever I see people playing chess, my little heart goes pitter patter, even more so when I see young children (see the picture above) playing chess instead of texting, sexting, ipodding, ipadding, and ituning.

ChessMy now-estranged brother taught me the game when I was sixteen. I liked it so much that I checked out every chess book I could find from the public library two blocks away and from my high school library. I even found more advanced chess books at the Texas A&I University library. I studied and studied, using those books to solve chess problems, practice chess openings, middle games, and end games, and go over famous games from world chess champions (Bobby Fischer is my favorite) of years gone by.

Finally I joined the high school chess club, playing in tournaments throughout South Texas. When I went to Texas A&M University, I joined the chess club there, too, playing in tournaments in Texas and Louisiana. Unfortunately, when I graduated from Texas A&M, I had to pay the bills, and chess wasn’t going to do that. However, I still played regularly with chess clubs in Houston and College Station, and played in many tournaments.

When the Internet became available, one of the first things I did was check out online chess. I played at chess.com for many years, but I had to quit when chess started interfering with work. For some strange reason, there I was about forty years later and I still had bills to pay. What’s with that?

I played one game of chess while at the car show—I lost………:(. However, I made some new friends, and all of us will be back this afternoon at 5:00 p.m. to play some more chess during the Back to the ’50s car show. We are hoping that our little chess gathering will become permanent, even after the Summer car shows end, and that we’ll be located in La Mesa Village at the Walkway of the Stars:

Walkway of the Stars in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Walkway of the Stars in La Mesa, California

View Larger Map

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

If you enjoy playing chess, or would like to learn, come visit us from 5:00-8:00 p.m. each Thursday during the Back to the ’50s at the Walkway of the Stars. If you can’t make it but would like more information, email me at russelraypc@aol.com.

Chess board

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved byThis post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

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

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I want one!

Out & About San Diego

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have been playing chess since I was 13. I played competitively throughout high school and colllege but quit that route after I realized that I needed to pay the apartment rent, buy food and clothes, pay the cooling bill (I lived in Houston), and, maybe, buy my first car (a used 1976 Chevrolet Impala with 4,632 miles on it; yes, I have records)……….. little things like that.

Just before I started blogging in 2007, I spent most of my free time playing chess at Game Knot, my favorite chess site…. There are online tournaments, puzzles, forums…. everything a chess enthusiast could want, except, perhaps, actual people sitting across the chessboard from you.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I stumbled upon a chess table at the San Diego County Fair:

Mountain Lake Chess Club at the San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

See the little guy in the picture? Here he is:

Chess-playing child at the San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

How nice to see a young child playing with something other than an iPod or iPad…….. just saying.

I watched him for about 30 minutes — he’s good. Real good. I wanted to play him but then I realized that I was at the Fair to, uh, see the Fair, not to play chess. That realization allowed me to leave with my ego intact.

There was even a larger chess set for those who don’t like to sit around:

Chess set at the San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Over in the succulent garden, however, I found my BFF chess set:

Succulent chess set at the San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Succulent chess set at the San Diego County Fair

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

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

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos