Tag Archives: inspiration

Look what yesterday brought!

Inspiration

My mother-in-law’s boyfriend was having computer problems. Sounded like a fairly easy fix so I zipped up to his house yesterday afternoon to see what was going on.

Got a nice picture of the sunset:

Sunset in Vista, California, on Veterans' Day 2014

It took about thirty minutes to solve the computer problem, so all is well there.

When I got home, I checked the mail.

One of the items from the mail now is proudly placed on my office whiteboard:

Mail from Japan

The picture, which is a postcard, was in the envelope, and the envelope is from Japan, from Takami.

The sunset was great, but the mail from Japan made my day.

Thank you, Takami!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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There’s someone worse off than you

Inspiration

For all of my adult life I have been interested in helping people, an interest that was developed in me by my wise old grandmother. Her standard reply to me every time I would complain about something was, “There’s someone in the world worse off than you.”

When I got to high school, which was grades 10-12, I joined Key Club because their banner hanging in the main hallway said, “There’s someone worse off than you. Let’s help them!”

Key Club International is the oldest and largest service program for high school students. Its goal is to teach leadership through helping. It was started in 1925 by California State Commissioner of Schools Albert C. Olney and vocational education teacher Frank C. Vincent at Sacramento High School in California. Interestingly, female students were not admitted until 1977!

At Texas A&M University, I joined Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. After college, I continued for several years with Alpha Phi Omega but also took up with the American Heart Association, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Special Olympics, Red Cross, and many others. I was looking for a job with a charitable organization so that I could spend the rest of my life helping people. Sadly, I never made it to where I wanted to be.

However, I still continue giving of my time, money, and skills wherever I can. It’s the least I can do.

One of the organizations where I spend some money is DonorsChoose.org. I like them because, as stated in the name, I get to choose how to spend my money with them. Earlier this year I donated to help a teacher at a low-income grade school get some news magazines for her students. Last month, I got eight thank you letters from the students:

letter 01

letter 02

letter 03

letter 04

letter 05

letter 06

letter 07

letter 08

letter 09

Made my day.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Have Bare Wall Syndrome? Need a unique gift? Choose Photographic Art!

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Lend a hand—49 things you can do to make a difference

Inspiration

For those who continue to rant about things over which you have no control, I would suggest getting out in your community and volunteering.

Scott #2039 VoluntarismMy life has been full of volunteerism, so much so that too often I let the unpaid volunteer job interfere with the paid professional job. I started with Key Club in high school, then Alpha Phi Omega National Co-ed Service Fraternity at Texas A&M University, and then to Red Cross, American Heart Association, Special Olympics, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and many, many others.

Following are 50 things you can do to help the world. I have done them all at some point in my life. Don’t let your ego get in the way of contributing to your neighborhood and city. Keep in mind that businesses have liability concerns, so the type of services that you’re allowed to volunteer for might be limited in some circumstances.

  1. Scott #1788 Special OlympicsPick a charity and volunteer or donate. Even big charities depend heavily on volunteers and donations, charities such as American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, AmeriCorps, 4-H, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Red Cross, Special Olympics, United Way.
  2. Volunteer at 1-800-Volunteer.org or Volunteers of America.
  3. Adopt a block in your neighborhood. Pick up the trash and pull the weeds growing in the sidewalk cracks.
  4. Scott #1425 Blood DonorVolunteer at your local blood bank or give blood. I’m a 10-gallon blood donor. It would be more but blood centers still discriminate against gay people, and I refuse to lie to them or go back in the closet in order to donate.
  5. Take a group of neighborhood children some place that’s free. Many of our museums here in San Diego are free on the first Tuesday of each month…. Or have a children’s hour. You can play games, tell stories, read books….
  6. Be a tutor for youth in your neighborhood.
  7. Scott #4454 Adopt a shelter petVolunteer at your local animal shelter, donate to the ASPCA, adopt a pet from the animal shelter, or be a foster home for a pet in need.
  8. Go to your favorite small business and ask if they can use your help for an hour. It might just be sweeping the floor, cleaning the windows, or taking out the trash, but what you do will free up their employees to help their customers.
  9. Clean your home and donate things that you haven’t used in six months to charitable organizations…. or have a neighborhood yard sale and donate the money to charitable organizations.
  10. Scott #2162 Big Brothers & Big SistersVolunteer with Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Boy Scouts, or Girl Scouts.
  11. Volunteer at your local library, museum, park, school, or church.
  12. Volunteer at your public television station.
  13. Whatever your area of expertise, offer a seminar on that topic for your neighbors.
  14. Get a group of four or five people together and go throughout your neighborhood doing minor tasks for home owners, like painting the house or fence, or trimming trees and pulling weeds.
  15. Jacaranda in San Diego, CaliforniaPlant a tree or flower…. on someone else’s property!
  16. Volunteer at a Battered Women and Children facility, a homeless shelter, or a soup kitchen.
  17. Volunteer at an HIV/AIDS facility.
  18. Volunteer at a crisis counseling or cancer support facility.
  19. Volunteer for Meals on Wheels.
  20. Volunteer for your local disability services or an adult day care facility.
  21. Scott #2160 YMCA Youth CampingVolunteer at your YMCA or YWCA.
  22. Volunteer at a substance abuse facility or a troubled youth support center.
  23. Volunteer at a justice and legal support center.
  24. Volunteer at a Jewish or a Gay & Lesbian community center.
  25. Volunteer at a job fair.
  26. Volunteer at your local political party headquarters, a politician’s office, or a political action committee.
  27. Scott #1440 Historic PreservationVolunteer at your local historical society.
  28. Volunteer at your local police or fire department.
  29. Volunteer at an assisted living residence. Find out who’s the oldest person in your city or neighborhood. Interview that person about his or her life, type it up, and donate it to your local historical society or library.
  30. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.
  31. Volunteer at the court house.
  32. Volunteer at your local community college.
  33. Scott #3159 Arthur FiedlerVolunteer with your opera or symphony society.
  34. Take part in medical research if available in your community.
  35. Volunteer at a mental health facility.
  36. Volunteer with your local fitness council.
  37. Sponsor a high school club or organization.
  38. Volunteer with Path of Life Ministries or your local Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
  39. Be a reader for recording books for the blind and dyslexic.
  40. Volunteer with Ronald McDonald House or Planned Parenthood.
  41. Teach a course at your local home improvement store or community college.
  42. Volunteer at your city’s visitor’s bureau.
  43. Volunteer at your local food bank or thrift store.
  44. Volunteer with your local animal rescue organization.
  45. Scott #2015 America's LibrariesCheck out a book from your local library. Many library budgets are based on library usage.
  46. Volunteer with your local Better Business Bureau.
  47. Dine out at a small mom & pop restaurant. It helps the economy by creating or supporting jobs.
  48. Volunteer with your local Audubon Society.
  49. Volunteer with Junior Achievement.

Some of those might require you to get out of your comfort zone. That’s their purpose! Especially in communities that appear homogeneous, there are people who feel out of place or are otherwise depressed. By being active in your community, you just might be able to “friend” that person and prevent depression, grief, and even death, even though you might never know it.

Kay Hairgrove KrenekToday’s post is dedicated to a long-time friend by the name of Kay Hairgrove Krenek. Kay was a member of Alpha Phi Omega at Texas Tech University; I met her in 1978. She is married to Wilfred Krenek, another long-time friend, whom I met in 1976. Wilfred was a member of Alpha Phi Omega at the University of Texas and is a past National President of Alpha Phi Omega. How three people from arch-rival schools got together is beyond me…. Wait! Alpha Phi Omega!

Alpha Phi OmegaEach year for the Fall pledge classes nationwide, Alpha Phi Omega chooses a distinguished member and names the Fall pledge classes after that person. The Fall 2014 pledge classes have been named the Kay Krenek Fall 2014 National Pledge Class. Kay has a Facebook page to keep in touch with all the pledge classes nationwide, but anyone can like it, so if you feel so inclined, go like it.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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But what is it?

Inspiration

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

One of the interesting things that I have noticed during my stompings around San Diego County is the number of impromptu memorials (for lack of a better, or more relevant, term), such as this one:

Impromptu memorial

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I found that near some coastal railroad tracks where I had set up to watch the trains go by.

I was transfixed, mesmerized, inspired by it. It exuded peace and relaxation. Maybe that was its intent.

Is it a memorial? Is it religious? Anyone know?

DaturaThe reason why I ask is because I want to create Photographic Art from that picture but I don’t want to be using a religious symbol or memorial inappropriately. The other thing is that on the back of each Photographic Art print will be some fact/information/trivia about what’s presented in the art. For example, the back of a flower art print might have information about the flower or plant—datura and brugmansia, known as angel’s trumpet and pictured at the right, are toxic and can create severe skin problems if you get the sticky white sap on you. How can something so beautiful be so dangerous?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Piggy bank

Just for the halibut

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A couple of days ago Jim and I went to eat at Souplantation, one of our favorite restaurants for when I don’t want to cook (and Jim’s NOT a cook), we want lots of food, and we want food inexpensively. An all-you-can-eat lunch buffet is $8.99 and the dinner buffet is $10.99. And yet I remember when I first at a Souplantation back in 1993. Lunch buffet was $2.49 and dinner buffet was $3.99. Oh, well, at least their employees tend to stick around for a long time, probably because they make a decent wage and perhaps even have health insurance, a 401(k), etc.

This past Sunday Jim and I got ambitious and decided to go to a Souplantation that is about ten miles from us (the one we normally go to is just two miles from us). When we parked, I was able to get this picture:

Just for the Halibut

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

One would think that a place with such a name is obviously a seafood restaurant.

Not so fast there, Tonto.

It’s not.

However, I’m not going to tell you what it is, either.

I’ll let you guess.

Once you’ve registered your guess, you can…..

scroll

scroll

scroll

scroll

scroll

scroll

scroll

scroll

and

scroll

to find this:

Just for the Halibut

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It’s a paper, card, and gift store!

They apparently don’t have a web site, which I find somewhat surprising but, considering what they sell, not totally surprising. While searching for that web site, though, I came upon some reviews at Yelp and Yellowpages. I thought this one was the best:

This is a darling store that has the cutest stuff in it. They are things that we totally don’t need, but want to buy because it’s too cute. It reminds me of a gift store you’d find in Monterrey [sic], CA.”

Having been to Monterey (only one “R”), I completely understand. I love little gift shops that have the cutest stuff in them that I totally don’t need but buy anyway because they are too cute. I can also say that cute stuff makes nice little gifts for family, friends, and co-workers, especially for that awkward moment when you become the Secret Santa to a co-worker whom you don’t particularly care for………..lol

I suppose you’re wondering what kind of too cute things I bought. Well, I got two piggy banks.

Piggy bank

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Piggy bank

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Piggy bank

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Have you tried finding nice piggy banks in today’s world? I used to give piggy banks to people who recently had a baby but two things happened: (1) Piggy banks became scarce, and (2) friends having babies became scarce. Nonetheless, now I have two piggy banks for those unexpected moments when a neighbor or a Client has a baby!

Just for the Halibut (and Souplantation) are located at 3960 West Point Loma Boulevard:

Just for the Halibut map

View Larger Map

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

Mommy mallard with her ducklings

I’m pushing the SURPRISE button!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Inspiration

 

PerfectionWhat if life were perfect?

….perfect world….

….perfect people….

….perfect possessions….

….perfect things….

….perfect all the time….

You had everything you wanted…. what you wanted…. exactly as you wanted…. at the moment you wanted….

SurpriseWould perfection be predictable? Dull? Boring?

What if there were two buttons each day that you could push, one marked PERFECTION and one marked SURPRISE?

Which one would you push?

 

Mommy mallard with her ducklings

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos