Tag Archives: google

Exploring the past with Google Earth & Google Street View

Did you know?

I think it was the movie Logan’s Run where the camera pans the city and we see that McDonald’s has bought everything—McDonald’s Auto Dealership, McDonald’s Groceries, McDonald’s Drug Store, McDonald’s Gas Station, and, of course, a McDonald’s burger palace….

If I were to lay odds on something like that happening within the next fifty years, I would go 2 to 1 on Google, and 3 to 1 on Apple (Apple’s problems with the iPhone 6 might cause me to redo those odds….).

I didn’t jump on the Google bandwagon until 2008 when I started blogging. Previously, I was MapQuest instead of Google Maps, Yahoo! search instead of Google search….

Zoey the Cool CatTwo really cool Google programs that I discovered a couple of years ago when I started blogging at WordPress are Google Street View and Google Earth. Using both of those programs, from the comfort of my home with Zoey the Cool Cat resting comfortably on the printer, I was able to visit all the places I had ever lived. I didn’t remember all the addresses, but with Street View, I didn’t have to. I just had to remember what streets led where.

Here are the places where I lived for the first 18 years of life on Earth:

802 West Alice Avenue; Kingsville, Texas; 1955-1956
This was my maternal grandparents’ house and where we were living when I was born. Both of these grandparents were teachers, and I had my grandmother for English in ninth grade. One of the reasons I chose not to go to Texas A&I University in Kingsville was because, by that time, my grandmother was teaching required freshman English at A&I, and my granddad was teaching required physical education. After my experience in ninth grade, I was pretty determined never to have a relative as a teacher again….
802 West Alice Avenue, Kingsville Texas

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

728 Santa Barbara Drive; Kingsville, Texas; 1956-1959
This was the first home I remember, although all I remember is that the birds used to fly into the windows (barely visible) under the roof eaves at the front right. I felt so sorry every time I found a dead bird. They did get a proper funeral from this little boy.
728 Santa Barbara Drive, Kingsville Texas

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

302 Inwood Drive; Palestine Texas; 1960-1961
My dad got a promotion with Missouri Pacific Railroad, but it required us to move from Kingsville to Palestine. I remember that I used to love running up and down the front steps to the street.
This was the house we were living in when my dad killed himself because of my mom’s indiscretions. I spent 43 years looking for this house and finally found the address in 2012 on my dad’s death certificate, available online at ancestry.com. No one could (would) tell me the address because I had been lied to all my life about my dad’s death. I suppose they thought that if I found the address, I would find out the truth about my dad’s death.
302 Inwood Drive Palestine Texas

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

185 S 100 W; Brigham City, Utah; 1961-1963
This was where we moved after my dad’s death. (This is the current address; I don’t know if it was the address when we lived there.) Mom’s family were Mormons living in northern Utah and southern Idaho.
This house was directly behind Food Town grocery store, which became Food King and is now named Smith’s Food King. Food Town/Food King is where my juvenile crime career started.
Mom turned to alcohol to deal with my dad’s death, which meant that we three children got neither love nor discipline, much less food. I stole lots of food from Food Town/Food King. Back in 1979, when I went to a family reunion in Utah, I went by and made restitution to the best of my recollection.
185 S 100 W Brigham City Utah

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

626 S 600 W; Brigham City, Utah; 1963
After mom remarried, we moved into the house where my stepdad and his family had lived for several years. We stayed only a few months before moving to a new home that was big enough for two adults and seven children.
I don’t remember much about this home other than it used to have a big, beautiful tree out front where I used to sit and read—Charlotte’s Web, The Boxcar Children, The Secret Garden.
626 S 600 W, Brigham City Utah

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

301 Englewood Drive; Brigham City, Utah; 1963-1965
This is where we moved after mom remarried. My stepdad also was an alcoholic, so life wasn’t any better as far as love, discipline, and food went. My oldest stepsister and I were physically and verbally abused—endlessly—and I can’t say that I was unhappy to leave the family when my wise old grandmother adopted me in December 1965.
301 Englewood Drive, Brigham City Utah

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

420 West Alice Avenue; Kingsville, Texas; 1965-1973
Back to Kingsville, and just four blocks from where my family was living when I was born.
My wise old grandmotherThis was my wise old grandmother’s house. Granddad worked for Missouri Pacific Railroad several hundred miles away in Taylor, Texas. He came home every other weekend, so it was up to my wise old grandmother to give me love, discipline, and food, and turn me from my juvenile ways. I think she succeeded.
The house still has the storm shutters (hurricane country) which my granddad and I installed in 1968 after Hurricane Beulah blew Kingsville apart in September 1967.
I also planted the two oak trees in the front yard at the same time because Beulah destroyed our mesquite, ash, and hackberry trees. I chose oak because oak and palm trees were the only trees to survive Beulah, and I disliked palm trees (still do).
420 West Alice Avenue, Kingsville Texas

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

All of the pictures are from Google Street View. You have to admit that they are decent pictures for historical purposes!

Google Earth is a free program and a lot of fun.

Google Street View is simply part of Google Maps, so when you go to Google Maps, after entering an address, simply click on the picture that shows up under the address; the picture has “Street View” in the lower left corner to help.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Antique tractor

Thy name shall be Russell

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Antique Gas & Steam Engine MuseumA couple of weeks ago Google sent me an email informing me that they were holding money for me.

Phishing spam.

Nope.

They really were.

Back in November 2011 when I set up my YouTube account, I monetized my videos. What that means is that if you watch one of my videos, after a few seconds you’ll see an advertisement. They always irritated me, but I always just clicked on the X to close the advertisement.

Antique Gas & Steam Engine MuseumWhat I never could understand is why Apple, or IBM, or General Electric, or any of the Big Boys would monetize their videos.

Now I understand.

I don’t have a lot of videos on YouTube but the amount of money that had been collecting in my account since November 2011 certainly encourages me to upload a lot more videos.

Now I also understand why the Big Boys surf YouTube looking for stuff of theirs that has been used illicitly. It’s called copyright infringement, and if it’s sufficiently valuable, and popular, and it’s been monetized by the illicit uploader, it can pull in a lot of money!

Antique gasoline engineI won’t tell you how much Google is sending me, but it will buy a few gallons of gasoline to get me to the store to buy lots and lots of cans of cat food for Zoey the Cool Cat, after which I will be able to stop by On The Border for about a dozen weeks and have nice Mexican fiestas accompanied by Grandé Raspberry Swirl margaritas. I might even be able to buy a new car. Well, maybe not. But it’s a nice windfall!

My most popular video has 118,551 views. With what I’ve told you, imagine if a monetized video gets, say, a million views! We’re talking rich!

Don’t be surprised if you see a lot more videos on my blog, beginning today.

Following is a short video of a steam tractor from the 1890s plugging along at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista. Notice its name!

I have always loved complicated machinery and the Museum has so much equipment in working order and traversing around their 55 acres of land, including a garden railroad for the young’uns to ride and a model railroad exhibit.

The annual Antique Engine & Tractor show is coming up soon, June 15, 16, 22, & 23. Except for working railroad museums, the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum has to be one of my favorites, definitely my favorite non-railroad museum. Head on out with the family and have some fun!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Location of Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista California

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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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

Go climb a glacier

So disappointed in Google………………

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Am I the only one who actually reads spam before deleting it? I mean, once I recognize it as spam, I still read through the whole thing to get a chuckle for the moment.

A spam comment on my WordPress blog this morning:

“Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.”

What does that say?

I tried running it through Google’s translator and even Google doesn’t know!

So disappointed in Google…………..

My words of wisdom to the spammer:

Go climb a glacier

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SNIPPETS are short posts about anything and everything.
Each SNIPPETS will have at leasst one picture.
After all, this is Russel Ray Photos.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I 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

Emperor penguin

Google has won me over with its translator!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Did you know?

I dislike liking something that I haven’t read. So when I’m camping out in a blog where there are lots of long posts that I want to read, I’ll often read them all first and then go back through real quickly and like all of them.

Kingsville, TexasThe reading problem is exacerbated when the blog is in a foreign language. I’m not good at foreign languages.

In fact, at Henrietta M. King High School in Kingsville, Texas (see map at right), I made my only two non-A’s in Spanish; my high school required that we take two semesters of a foreign language.

At Texas A&M University, my major required me to take two semesters of computer science, another foreign language. I made two C’s…. barely. In the second semester I had an F going into the final. This was back in the card punch days. My final exam was to write a program in COBOL that would spit out the initial of my last name. I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday — 72 hours — in the Computer Science Center trying…. no luck. On Monday morning at 7:00 a.m. for an 8:00 a.m. class, I simply sat down and used comment cards to create the initial. I knew I was going to get an F, but I had fun.

When I went to see my grade, there was a note next to my name: “See Professor.” Ooopsie.

I went to see the Professor only to find that I had an A on the final and a C in the course! Yahooooooooooooo! He said that comment cards weren’t programming but he liked my ingenuity since no one had ever done that before. Reminds me of the Star Trek movie (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, and 2009’s Star Trek) where Captain Kirk defeats the Kobayashi Maru test by re-programming it.

This all brings me back to those foreign-language posts. I just discovered the Google Translator. It’s awesome! And fast! Just go to translate.google.com and enter the URL of the blog post you want to translate and — voilà! — just seconds later you’re reading in English…. or any other language!

I feel like an emperor!

Emperor penguin

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos