Tag Archives: Kingsville Texas

Out & About—Ramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA

Out & About

Escrow has closed and the move has started. We shall be completely in our new home on August 1, 2017. Meanwhile….

I’m still cataloging pictures on my fine fine fine new super computer, and probably will be for many more months, perhaps even years. That’s how many pictures I have. In an effort to get caught up on cataloging my newer pictures, here is a collection of pictures from the Ramona Grasslands.

Baby and, presumably, mama ground squirrel
Mama and baby squirrel, Ramona Grasslands

Hippity-hopping Peter Cottontail
Hippity-hopping Peter Cottontail, Ramona Grasslands

Mourning Dove
I know many people consider mourning doves
to be up there with pigeons as pest birds but I like both.
Mourning dove, Ramona Grasslands

Unknown flower buds
Unknown flower buds, Ramona Grasslands

Magnificent home overlooking the grasslands
Magnificent home overlooking the Ramona Grasslands

Patch of unknown purple flowers
Patch of unknown purple flowers, Ramona Grasslands

Unknown bird
Unknown bird, Ramona Grasslands

Unknown flower
Unknown flower, Ramona Grasslands

Immature (probably Anna’s) hummingbird
Immature hummingbird, Ramona Grasslands

Public art
Public art, Ramona Grasslands

More unknown, but beautiful, flowers
Unknown purple flowers, Ramona Grasslands

Airplane taking off from nearby Ramona airport
Airplane taking off from Ramona airport near Ramona Grasslands

Relaxing tree and pond
Relaxing pond and tree, Ramona Grasslands

Patch of thistle
Such a beautiful flower, but like roses,
oh can those thorns cause pain!
Patch of thistle, Ramona Grasslands

Ramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA
Rramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA

Ground squirrel sentry
Ground squire sentry, Ramona Grasslands

Brahma
One of the best ways to maintain the health of an ecosystem
is to let Mother & Father Nature use it as they see fit.
The Brahma was the mascot of my high school,
Henrietta M. King High in Kingsville, Texas,
so I was pleasantly surprised to find a herd of Brahma
grazing and resting on the Ramona Grasslands Preserve.
Brahma, Ramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA

Abandoned cattle chute
Abandoned cattle chute, Ramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA

Unknown raptor
Unknown raptor, Ramona Grasslands

A different unknown raptor
Unknown raptor, Ramona Grasslands

Bird unable to read
No parking, Ramona Grasslands

Ramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA
Rramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA

Ramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA
Rramona Grasslands Preserve, Ramona CA

The Ramona Grasslands Preserve consists of 3,521 acres in the Santa Maria Valley and includes a significant portion of the remaining undeveloped are of the Santa Maria Creek watershed. The watershed supports a mosaic of habitat types, including native and non-native grasslands, coastal sage scrub, chaparral, oak woodlands, Santa Maria Creek, its adjacent riparian area, and a diversity of unique vernal pools, vernal swales, and alkali playas.

Many rare animals make their homes in the grasslands, including Stephens’ kangaroo rat (oh how I want to get a picture of one of them!), fairy shrimp, purple stipa, blue-eyed grass, and woolly blue curls. There is a huge concentration of raptors in the area, no doubt because of all the small critters available for a raptor family reunion picnic.

There is a four-mile loop trail which is where all my pictures were taken, and I can highly recommend taking a leisurely stroll on the loop. Invariably, you’ll meet other walkers, bikers, and joggers.

Part of the mission for the Preserve is to provide passive recreation opportunities within the Preserve that further the development of the Coast to Crest Trail.

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Music on Mondays (9-14-15)—Lost in stereo in a nowhere town stuck in suburbia

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

True story about “Fun, Fun, Fun” by The Beach Boys: Brian Wilson and Mike Love wrote it about a rich girl whom their bandmate Dennis Wilson was dating. Said rich girl would tell her father that she needed to borrow his Thunderbird to go to the library. What she actually was doing was hanging out with Dennis at his apartment. Then the inevitable happened: Daddy found out and took the T-bird away. Ah, yes. Parents. It’s a love/hate relationship when you’re a teenager.

Many decades ago I used to tell my wise old grandmother that I was going to the library to study. We had two libraries within blocks, the Kingsville city library three blocks in one direction and the Texas A&I University library six blocks in the other direction. I was like a kid in a candy store.

Although we were not rich, I confess that I didn’t always go to the library to study when I told my wise old grandmother that I was going to the library to study. Sometimes I would go to my other grandparents’ house (the two families were estranged at the time) or go out with friends whom my wise old grandmother approved of not.

When I did make it to the library, my favorite books were in the reference section, books like the Guinness Book of World Records and the Encyclopedia Britannica. (Yes, I was a nerd….) My favorite book in today’s world is online and is called Wikipedia.

One of the things I like to do whenever I discover a new musical group is go to Wikipedia to read about the group. Even though anyone can edit or add to Wikipedia, there are many volunteers like me who check the edits and additions to ensure that they are legitimate. In many cases, that requires appropriate credit, sourcing, and references. Sure, you’ll occasionally hear about people editing Wikipedia inappropriately, such as recently when edits were revealed to be by the Koch Brothers editing information that portrayed them negatively. Yes, you might get away with your edit for a day or two but ultimately volunteer editors will edit your edit!

New San Diego Central Library on February 2, 2013The cool thing about references is that they can be looked up at your local library (picture►). Within the text of the articles are various links that take you to other articles and sources. So when I find a new group, I’ll see if they have a Wikipedia page. Sometimes they don’t because of the Wikipedia notability guideline which states that the group has to be notable. That guideline prevents daddy from creating a Wikipedia page about his son’s newly formed band. So Stuck In Suburbia will have to get a little more notability before being eligible for a Wikipedia page; I’m rootin’ for them!

You can help them get that notability by following them on Facebook and Twitter, and listening to their new single on YouTube. I believe the single will be available at iTunes but since Apple lost me as a customer back in 1983 (and they’ve done nothing to encourage me to return), I don’t patronize iTunes. Thus, their single is only on my YouTube playlist right now.

After listening to Stuck In Suburbia‘s music last week, I had a lot of fun in Wikipedia reading about All Time Low and The 1975 and then clicking on links to take me to related articles. I also now have a complete collection of music by All Time Low and The 1975.

Following is “Lost In Stereo” by All Time Low. It’s from their 2009 album “Nothing Personal” and is one of my favorites of theirs. Listen to it with headphones to get the full effect of being lost in stereo.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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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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SNIPPETS (7-29-2014)

Snippets

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts

SNIPPET 1

I recently read a report somewhere, probably on a blog, that not only is the younger generation supportive of gay marriage, but generally they don’t mind paying higher taxes for things like police protection, fire protection, emergency medical transportation, roads, bridges, teachers, schools, and libraries. Pretty much the things that make a civilized society civil.

Such was proven in 2010 when students at San Diego State University were asked whether or not they supported an extra fee—a tax, basically—that would go to tear down the Student Center, built in 1962 for a campus of 10,000 students, and build a new one for a campus of 40,000 students. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the fee.

Does that show that they were in favor of the tax, or that the old Student Center was grossly inadequate?

Here is Photographic Art based on a picture of the old Aztec Center which served from 1962 to 2011.

San Diego State University Aztec Center 1968-2011

SNIPPET #2

And just for comparison, here’s the new Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Center (click on the picture for a monster image).

The new Aztec Center on the campus of San Diego State University

Conrad Prebys is one of those good billionaires (and there are way too few of the good ones) who gives a lot of money to charitable purposes. In this case, $20 million to provide scholarships to Aztec students.

SNIPPET #3

When I was growing up in Kingsville, Texas, under the watchful eye and whip of my wise old grandmother, a second cousin came by to show us his brand new 1965 Ford Mustang. I loved that car, and I have been enamored of Mustangs ever since. I finally bought a 1989 Saleen Mustang in 1991 and drove it until 1998. Its top end speed apparently was 153 mph because I reached that speed twice, once on the I-8 straightaway between Pensacola and Fort Walton, Florida, and once on the boring stretch of I-10 from Fort Stockton to Van Horn, Texas. Don’t tell anyone, though.

Recently I saw a 40th Anniversary (2004) edition of the Mustang. Here is Photographic Art based on a picture of the 40th Anniversary logo from the side of the car:

Mustang 40th Anniversary logo

SNIPPET #4

Balloons are very popular with children, so when I go to a parade and see balloons, I’m pretty sure that’s where all the rugrats are going to be, making it difficult to get a good picture.

Following is Photographic Art based on a picture of balloons at a recent Gay Pride parade in San Diego. The children were cropped out.

Rainbow balloons at San Diego Gay Pride

SNIPPET #5

Pelicans are my favorite bird that I’ve actually seen out in their native habitat. The awesome Julian says that Russel Ray Photos has to have the largest collection of pelicans in the world (or something like that). Here are three of my recent Photographic Art based on pictures of brown pelicans in La Jolla, a beachside neighborhood of San Diego:

Brown pelican coming in for a landing

Brown pelicans in flight

Brown pelicans in La Jolla, California

Remember in a recent post that I said I cannot be trusted? Well, the second picture is actually Photographic Art based on two separate pictures of brown pelicans in flight. I lifted the pelican from one picture and placed in with the pelican in the other picture. Twins are much better than loner birds!

SNIPPET #6

The original designers of downtown San Diego at the harbor saw fit to install lots of ugly parking lots and ugly buildings. Fortunately, the City is coming to its senses and realizing that since downtown is located directly on the bayfront, it might be a good idea to make everything look snazzy.

The following is Photographic Art one of the new water parks in downtown San Diego, this one on the south side of the San Diego County Administration Building (where Jim and I got married on October 30, 2008).

San Diego Water Park

All of the trees and water you see in that picture used to be a huge, ugly parking lot for the Administration Building. So, you might ask, where do they park cars now?

A-ha! (not the group). The two water parks are on top of an underground parking garage:

Underground parking

The former surface parking lots were so ugly that I don’t even have a picture of them. Must be the only thing in San Diego that I don’t have a picture of!……….. 🙂

SNIPPET #7

When cruise ships used to arrive in San Diego, there was no real place for them to dock. I think sometimes they just parked in the bay and pushed people overboard. A few years ago we got a new cruise ship terminal, and it is beautiful.

San Diego's cruise ship terminal

SNIPPET #8

Of course, cruise ships always make nice Photographic Art. The Sapphire Princess is my favorite so far because it looks like they stole the engines from the Starship Enterprise and put them on top of the Princess.

Sapphire Princess cruise ship in San Diego, California

SNIPPET #9

A mommy red river hog and her six little ones:

Mommy red river hog and her six little ones

SNIPPET #10

Smile if you can read this:

No cheating

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Leave only footprints

My wise old grandmother

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Many decades ago, when I was but a youth of 12 or 13, my wise old grandmother took me to Padre Island National Seashore in South Texas, about 15 miles due east from my hometown of Kingsville, 60 miles if driving on paved roads.

padre island

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Padre Island was where I first saw a Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle. Back then there were hundreds, maybe thousands of them, at certain times of the year.

As I was playing in the sand and surf, I found a mound of flowers. I picked a few to give them to my wise old grandmother.

She took them, said “Thank you!” and then admonished me for picking flowers at the national seashore. Loosely quoted, she said, “No one else will get to enjoy these beautiful flowers because they have been picked and will soon die. It is best to admire them where they grow and leave them for others to also enjoy.”

On the drive home, which was about 45 miles, the flowers sat between us on the bench seat (smile if you remember when cars had bench seats and you could slide over to be next to your loved one or, perhaps, keep some flowers between the two of you).

I felt so bad about picking the flowers and started talking about how sorry I was for taking them and preventing other people from enjoying them. That’s when my wise old grandmother told me something that I have never forgotten: “When you go to a national park, leave only footprints.”

Well, to honor the memory of my wise old grandmother, following are a dozen pictures of footprints from the beaches of San Diego.

Can you identify the footprints, like we did in Scouts?

One picture is of my footprints; which one?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Footprints in the sand

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Footprints in the sand

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Footprints in the sand

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Footprints in the sand

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Footprints in the sand

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Footprints in the sand

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Footprints in the sand

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Footprints in the sand

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Footprints in the sand

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Footprints in the sand

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Footprints in the sand

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Footprints in the sand

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

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I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Music on Mondays — Memories of my 16th birthday on my mom’s 84th birthday

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Thomas D . Dee Memorial Hospital in Ogden, UtahToday would have been my mother’s 84th birthday. She died in February 2012. She put me in a troubled youth/adoption home (Thomas D. Dee Memorial Hospital in Ogden, Utah; picture at right) in 1965, which is how my wise old grandmother (my dad’s mom) came to adopt me. I was one of Utah’s greatest juvenile delinquents, and without my mother’s action, I’m pretty sure I would be dead at the hands of a Utah police officer or spending life in prison. I was that bad. So I thank my mother for that. I also had only seen my mother twice since 1965, once in 1968 and once in 1998, but in her elderly years she did start sending me birthday and Christmas cards.

The only other thing I thank my mother for is my interest in music. At one time she was a piano and organ accompanist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She taught me piano beginning at age two, and when I enrolled in first grade, she required me to take up another instrument; I chose violin.

Piano and violinAfter my wise old grandmother adopted me and moved me from Brigham City, Utah, to Kingsville, Texas (where I had been born), I continued playing the violin but had to give up the piano. We were too poor to afford a piano; violins were much less expensive.

For Christmas in 1970, my wise old grandmother gave me a reel-to-reel tape recorder. Actually, I think Santa Claus left it for me, but Santa Claus is a fairy tale just like the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, God…. all fairy tales. The tape recorder sparked my interest in collecting music. By March 1971, I had recorded from radio all the Top 40 hits. My collecting was in full swing.

I mention March 1971 because that was my sixteenth birthday. While most of my friends were getting cars or driver’s licenses for their sixteenth birthdays, I got a stereo record player and three records: “Ram” by Paul & Linda McCartney, “Black Sabbath Vol. IV” by Black Sabbath, and “The Best of The Beach Boys, Vol. I” by The Beach Boys.

Since I listen to my music collection in chronological order, I listened to those three albums (and several dozen others!) this past weekend. Here is a song from each album:

“Dear Boy” by Paul & Linda McCartney

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Changes” by Black Sabbath
(not a typical heavy metal song!)

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

“Fun, Fun, Fun” by The Beach Boys

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
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James Frimmer, Realtor
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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #1660, Texas state flag

History through Philately — Texas becomes the 28th State

History Through Philately stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #1660, Texas state flagOn this date in 1845, the Republic of Texas entered the United States of America as the 28th state.

When the United States bought the Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803, the U.S. attempted to include Texas in the Purchase. In 1819, after sixteen years of dispute, the boundary was set at the Sabine River, which is the current border of Louisiana and Texas.

Scott #776, Texas centennialFrom 1819 to 1836, Texas was part of Mexico. On March 2, 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico, becoming the Republic of Texas. As most declarations of independence do, this one resulted in a war between the Republic of Texas and Mexico, including the Battle of the Alamo, lost by the Texans, and the Battle of San Jacinto, which resulted in the Texans soundly defeating the Mexicans.

Scott #1043, The AlamoTexans elected Sam Houston as President of the Republic but also endorsed Texas entering the Union as a State. The likelihood of Texas joining as a slave state delayed formal action by the U.S. Congress for more than a decade. Congress agreed to annex the territory of Texas in 1844, and on December 29, 1845, Texas entered the United States as a slave state. A dispute involving the southern boundary of Texas resulted in the Mexican American War, which the United States won.

Scott #1038, Texas statehoodThe Mexican American War ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in which Mexico ceded the current lands currently comprising California, Nevada, and Utah, as well as parts of Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. The southern boundary of Texas was set as the Rio Grande river.

Other interesting facts about Texas:

  1. 3738 Texas greetingsThe south Texas farming and ranching community of Kingsville welcomed me to the world on March 11, 1955. Kingsville is located in the disputed territory between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande.
  2. Texas is pretty much a red state, which is one of the many reasons why I don’t live there anymore. I left on April 15, 1993, and arrived in San Diego 12 days later, taking a circuitous route to Fargo, North Dakota; over to Seattle, Washington; and down to San Diego.
  3. Scott #1995, Texas mockingbird and bluebonnetTexas has a gross state product (GSP) of $1.307 trillion, second behind California’s $1.936 trillion. If Texas were an independent country, its gross domestic product (GDP) would rank as the world’s 11th largest.
  4. Texas does not have a State income tax. Its money comes from property taxes and sales taxes.
  5. Texas has a population of 26,059,203, making it the second most populous state (behind California).
  6. Texas is the second largest state (behind Alaska), with 268,820 square miles.
  7. Scott #2968, Texas statehoodTexas is headquarters for 57 Fortune 500 companies (tying for first with California).
  8. Texas has three cities ranked in the Top 10 for population: Houston at #4, San Antonio at #7, and Dallas at #9. (California also has three cities in the Top 10: Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Jose.)
  9. Kingsville, TexasMy hometown of Kingsville has an average high temperature of 65°F in December. However, on Christmas Even 2004, six inches of snow blanketed the city.
  10. Texas has the most farms and the highest acreage in the United States.
  11. Texas leads the nation in livestock production — cattle, sheep, and goats.
  12. Texas leads the nation in cotton production.
  13. Texas A&M UniversityMy alma mater, Texas A&M University, is the state’s first public institution of higher education and has the state’s largest enrollment at 53,337 students (fourth largest in the nation). It is the nation’s only land grand, sea grant, and space grant university. Texas A&M also has the largest main campus of any university, with 5,500 acres.
  14. Two presidential libraries are located in Texas: Lyndon B. Johnson in at the University of Texas at Austin and George Bush at Texas A&M University. A third one is in the workds, George W. Bush at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
  15. Scott #1742, Texas windmillThe Texas healthcare system is ranked third worst in the United States by the Commonwealth Fund; 25% of Texans do not have health insurance, the largest percentage in the nation.
  16. Texas emits more greenhouse gases than any other state, with Port Arthur (a heavy oil refining locale) having some of the dirtiest air in the United States.
  17. I survived many hurricanes and tropical storms while living in Texas, the most significant of which were Beulah (1967), Celia (1970), and Allen (1980).
  18. The deadliest natural disaster in the history of the United States was the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, which killed an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 people.
  19. My childhood home in Kingsville, courtesy of Google Streetview:

420 West Alice Avenue, Kingsville, Texas

I planted the two oak trees after Hurricane Celia in 1970. They were just a foot high.

Scott #2204, Battle of San Jacinto

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Scott #1242, Sam Houston

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