Tag Archives: history

Old Barstow train station

Re-purposing historic buildings: Barstow, California

Halls of History

I have been a history buff since the Cub Scouts introduced me to philately, which they called “stamp collecting.” That was in 1963. I used to research the subjects of postage stamps, finding them quite interesting.

I always like it when cities save their historic buildings, even if it means re-purposing them, which it often does.

The original train station in Barstow CA has been re-purposed into the bus station with a few billion stores and restaurants being located in historic rail cars that also have been saved and re-purposed.

The rail cars in the second picture are painted a specific color, including that unique golden arch, which should tell you that they are being used as McDonald’s seating areas; the order/pick up area is at the left, just out of the picture. Pretty cool.

Old Barstow train station

Old Barstow train station

Old Barstow train station

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

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This is history, folks, happening right before our eyes

Halls of History

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Is the United States in the midst of a coup?

Britannica defines a coup as “the sudden, violent overthrow of an existing government by a small group,” differing from a revolution in that it happens quickly and doesn’t depend on large numbers of people. Instead, it requires only “a change in power from the top that merely results in the abrupt replacement of leading government personnel.”

One might question whether or not what’s going on is violent. Certainly it’s violent in a way to those who are fearful of President 45—blacks, single women, Muslims and other non-Christians, battered and abused women and children, the hungry, the poor, the sick, the elderly, non-heterosexuals…………..

A presidential election, especially one where there is a change in parties, and where the party of the new administration is the same as the party which controls Congress, the Senate, and the Supreme Court, certain provides a good time for a coup that probably wouldn’t be recognized by a great super majority of anyone in the world except for dictators and kings of other countries, and possibly their citizens.

The United States had a constitutional crisis in 1973-74 with President Richard Nixon, the most recent, perhaps only, attempt in the United States to create a dictatorship or kingship. Jonathan Aitken says in “Nixon: A Life” that of he and his brothers—Harold, Donald, Arthur, and Edward—four of them were named after kings who had ruled in historical or legendary England. It’s well known that President 45 likes kings and dictators.

I was a mere child of 19 in 1974. The crisis resolved itself because of the unique type of republican democracy that is the United States. With its three separate but equal branches of government, its reliance on the rule of law, the fact that Democrats had a 56-42-1-1 majority in the Senate and a 241-192-2 majority in Congress, and the fact that the Supreme Court had ruled 8-0 against Nixon in United States v. Nixon, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, rather than be impeached.

In a motion to quash the Watergate subpoena earlier in 1974, Nixon’s attorney, James D. St. Clair, stated to Judge John Sirica of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, “The President wants me to argue that he is as powerful a monarch as Louis XIV, only four years at a time, and is not subject to the processes of any court in the land except the court of impeachment.” Wow. Nixon did have an ego.

What do you do, though, when the President 45 has an even bigger ego and his Republican party cohorts are in the majority in the Congress and the Senate, and the Supreme Court is at an impasse with a 4-4 split and with President 45 probably nominating a new justice to the Supreme Court as early as tomorrow?

This is history folks, happening right before our eyes. It might not end well for the United States as we have come to know it.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Training Facility

Out & About

Many years ago, from 1923 to 1997, there was a huge naval training complex of 550 acres on the north end of the San Diego harbor. It was closed by the Base Realignment and Closure commission in 1993. Most of it was converted into a mixed use development complex of 361 acres named Liberty Station, and many of the buildings were declared historic and were saved.

Yesterday I discovered the other 189 acres:

img_1178 fire rescue training center stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Most of these 189 acres consist of about 500 units of military housing.

img_1193 fire rescue training center stamp

img_1190 fire rescue training center stamp

img_1173 fire rescue training center stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The fire-rescue training facility is not accessible to the public, and there is a very tall green fence around the complex, said fence being about 15′ tall. However, through little cracks in the gate where entrances are, I was able to get pictures with my 28-300mm zoom lens.

img_1170 fire rescue training center stamp

img_1184 fire rescue training center stamp

img_1188 fire rescue training center stamp

img_1205 fire rescue training center stamp

img_1200 fire rescue training center railroad tank car stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Now go back and look at the pictures and imagine thousands of new navy recruits training to keep America safe!

The Naval Training Station is San Diego Historical Landmark #425, so it eventually will show up in my San Diego Historical Landmark series.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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History Through Philately–Happy birthday to the ASPCA!

History Through Philately stamp

With my WordPress problems of these past three months now firmly in the past (see WordPress problems resolved!), I seem to have more time to do the things I like to do, such as blog camping (see May I camp out in your blog?) and blogging.

Long-time readers know that I am a big fan of serial blogging, too, but serial blogging takes a lot more effort than just putting up a pretty picture every day, or a cute quote.

Scott #776, Texas centennialSome of my blog series include

I have always had a love of history, with war history being at the top of my list. I find it amazing that humans can be so cruel to other humans, usually under the guise of religion. Right now I’m reading The Crusades by  Zoé Oldenbourg. Just a sampling of how cruel the crusades were: “The Aemenian nobles of Edessa who were plotting to overthrow their new lord were punished in the Byzantine fashion by mutilation–having their eyes put out and their feet, hands, or noses cut off.” The Crusades were in the Eleventh Century, yet killing in the name of religions continues to the present.Scott #993 Railroad Engineers of America

Philately, or stamp collecting, by its very nature encourages the study of history, so it was only natural that I became a philatelist, or stamp collector. At one time I had a huge stamp collection, include Railroad Postal History (RPO), but it was sold when I evacuated Texas in April 1993 and wound up here in San Diego.

I still collect stamps, virtually (much less financial investment), and subscribe to daily emails from history.com. Coupled with Wikipedia’s On this day section on their front page, I get my fill of history each day.

So without further adoo (that’s Texan for adieux), on this day in 1866….

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was founded in New York City. It is entirely separate from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), which was founded in England in 1824 to prevent cruelty to carriage horses. The ASCPA’s mission is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” It’s motto is, “We are their voice.”

One might wonder why anyone would be cruel to a defenseless animal, and perhaps even if their mission might be outdated. All one has to do is pay attention to the news, and it’s easy to see that their mission is not outdated, and that if humans can be cruel to other humans, they certainly can be cruel to defenseless animals. Examples include dogfighting and cockfighting, not feeding an animal enough (often happens to dogs and horses), not giving them clean water, keeping them outside in very hot or very cold weather, hitting an animal (another way to “train” an animal). Some that were recently in the news include setting cats on fire, shooting cats and dogs with arrows, drowning newborn dogs by throwing them into fast-moving rivers, abandoning newborn cats by “throwing them away” in a dumpster.

In celebration of the founding of the ASPCA, here are some United States postage stamps featuring cats, dogs, and horses, the three most commonly abused animals:

Scott #2372, issued February 5, 1988Scott #2372

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #2373, issued February 5, 1988Scott #2373

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #2374, issued February 5, 1988Scott #2374

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #2375, issued February 5, 1988Scott #2375

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #3232, issued August 20, 1998Scott #3232

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #3670, issued September 20, 2002Scott #3670

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #2098, issued September 7, 1984Scott #2098

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #2099, issued September 7, 1984Scott #2099

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #2100, issued September 7, 1984Scott #2100

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #2101, issued September 7, 1984Scott #2101

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #3230, issued August 20, 1998Scott #3230

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #3671, issued September 20, 2002Scott #3671

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #4451-4460, issued April 30, 2010Scott #4451-4460

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #2155, issued September 25, 1985Scott #2155

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #2156, issued September 25, 1985Scott #2156

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #2157, issued September 25, 1985Scott #2157

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #2158, issued September 25, 1985Scott #2158

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Benjamin Franklin's kite?

On this date in 1752

Picture of the moment
PICTURE OF THE MOMENT

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Way back on this date in 1752 Benjamin Franklin flew a kite.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Ever wonder what kind of kite?

Perhaps this:

Benjamin Franklin's kite?

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