Tag Archives: snippets by russel ray photos

SNIPPETS (7-1-18)



My little Fockea edulis that has two seed pods on it…. and me never having seen the flowers…. and not knowing who the father plant is….

Have been keeping an eye on my little girl.

She had flowers! And since she needs someone of the opposite sex to have progeny, she obviously thought that I was going to take her to another cactus & succulent show so that she could have more unprotected sex.

Fockea edulis flowers

Fockea edulis flower


I was sad to drive by my favorite Sears store and find out that it was closing. I took a detour, parked, and went inside. The store was about 90% empty.

I don’t know what we’re going to do with all these empty buildings. Maybe ICE will turn this one into it into a child concentration camp…. a #TrumpCamp. After all, we’re only about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico. Yahooooooooooooo! Let’s hear it for child concentration camps!

Sears store closing, El Cajon CA

Sears store closing, El Cajon CA

Sears store closing, El Cajon CA


In 1968 I got to go to Hemisfair in San Antonio. Spent 50¢ on a computer personality analysis of my signature. Spent $2 on an analysis at Post Oak Mall in College Station TX in 1997. Spent $4 on an analysis at the San Diego County Fair on June 14, 2018. Here they are. All three of them. And all three eerily accurate.

Anavac Hemisfair signature personality analysis

Televac Post Oak Mall College Station TX personality signature analysis

Televac 2018 San Diego County Fair personality signature analysis


Best things about my smart phone (Samsung Galaxy S8):

  1. Makes and receives phone calls
  2. Google Maps—Doesn’t matter where I’m going, how near or how far, Google Maps is tracking me, know where I am, knows where I’m going, and knows when I’m going to get there.
  3. The ability to block phone numbers. O.M.G. My phone used to ring every other minute with calls from
    and probably a few others that I have left off.
    All of them from Google.
    I have blocked all of their numbers and now I get auto rejected calls every other minute. The phone doesn’t even ring. Just automatically hangs up on their asses. I hope the person who invented call blocking has a lifetime supply of margaritas.


San Diego Zoo animals


I have learned to check out anyone who sends me a friend request on Facebook. For the longest time I was getting them from women who wanted to have sex with me or trade nude pictures. Uh, no. Occasionally I still get one from a Twitler-supporter. Why, I have no idea. So I checked out a friend request today and found this as one of his posts:

“I refuse to put any libtard up on a pedal stool.”

I declined his friend request. If he’s not going to put me up on a pedal stool, he’s no friend of mine!


I got a free plant at a huge nursery the other day because it was on the ground in the midst of about 100 huge Agaves planted in 35-gallon wood boxes. No one knew what it was so the manager said, “Just take it.”

When I put it in the Cacti & Succulent Identification group, all I got were obscene comments, obscene videos, obscene GIFs, and obscene memes. So I deleted my post.

Today a friend told me what the plant is. Lophocereus schottii forma mostruosa (smooth form). AKA “Big Penis Cactus.” Well, okay then. Now I understand the obscene comments.

I wonder if the ladies at the nursery knew what it was but no one wanted to tell a guy that it was a “Big Penis Cactus.” I could see how that might be a little awkward.

I had an oblong rock which looks very nice next to the Lophocereus schottii forma mostruosa (smooth form).

Lophocereus schottii cv. Big Penis Cactus


Back in Spring 1976 I took Economics 301 at Texas A&M University. I had Professor Phil Gramm (Google him). He had a tenured position making $125,000 a year, but quit to go into politics. I despised his economics but I do remember one thing he said in class: “All politicians lie. You just have to determine whose lies you like the best.” For most of my life, I was a Me! Me! Me! person, preferring Republican lies. Since April 1993, I have been an Us! Us! Us! person, prefering Democratic lies.


Poor little ground squirrels. In the morning many of them line up at the fence separating their open space preserve from my cactus/succulent gardens. I love watching them, as long as I’m not watching them eat my plants. I can see their little brains whirling and dreaming, trying to figure out how to get to the banquet…..

Ground squirrel on the other side of the fence


The Cactus & Succulent Society of America had their annual Show & Sale at The Huntington Library, Art Gallery, and Botanical Gardens June 29-July 1. As many times as I had been to The Huntington, I had never been to the Desert Garden. It’s at the far side from the parking lot, and after visiting the Library and the Art Gallery, I just never made it to the Desert Garden. This past Friday, the Desert Garden was my goal. I was amazed. Wow. Just wow. Here is a video created from 149 pictures:


If you need a quick laugh, watch the CATalunia Boy’s Choir.


I bought $350 worth of cacti & succulents at the CSSA sale at The Huntington. I took them to the car while my husband, Jim, sat in the shade among the ferns doing whatever on his smarty pants phone. Snapped this picture without him being aware that I was anywhere close by.

Jim Frimmer at The Huntington


My wise old grandmother always was out on the dance floor at family reunions, dancing up a storm. As she told me in 1978, you’re never too old to rock ‘n’ roll, proven yet again this past Thursday when I went to see The Ideas Rock ‘n’ Roll Trio (friends of mine) at the fundraiser for the El Cajon Animal Shelter at the Downtown Cafe in El Cajon, California. The El Cajon Animal Shelter is where we got Zoey the Cool Cat back on September 21, 2007.


By far my favorite plants are the Stapeliads. This book, which I bought a couple of days ago, is the BEST. PICTURE BOOK. EVER.



Even though I’m a huge fan of margaritas and Agave tequilana, I’m not averse to trying new things. So at the Huntington Botanical Gardens on Friday, I got a taste of potato rum. I liked it. I brought it home with me. Here it is. Agave potatorum. (It’s proper pronunciation is pot-a-tor-um. I like potato rum better.)

Agave potatorum


The clock in my doctor’s office last week.

Doctor's clock


Hello Farmers my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again….

Or as a friend said, “Good insurance is like a bridge over troubled water.”

Simon Gurfinkel Agency


I like to work in my cactus & succulent gardens for a couple of hours in the early morning before it gets too hot. Sadly, the path to the gardens was blocked this morning. I was stuck inside.

Zoey the Cool Cat


One of the reasons why parking is scarce and at a premium in Southern California is because some people, when they get a parking spot, absolutely refuse to give it up.

Parked car


Every morning when I work in my cactus & succulent gardens, I have a little friend who is close by. He watches me intently, and every time I plant something where he couldn’t see it, he would climb up the block and peer over. He is so friendly that I can get him to eat bugs out of my fingers. Eventually I’m going to get a video of that.

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

Snippets (12-28-16)—You’re a little different….


Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something
Snippets: mini blog posts


When two of my hard drives crashed concurrently in early October, my main concern was retrieving over a million photographs and videos. Fortunately, I got them all back, albeit at a cost of a couple of grand.

Now I’m in the process of cataloging all of them, deleting duplicates, and then, instead of backing up to an external hard drive, which is what I was doing when both drives crashed, I’m going to do backups to the cloud where there are multiple redundancies to prevent crashes and losses.

I have not chosen a cloud storage service so I’m open to suggestions.


I am enjoying going through all the uncatalogued pictures and finding some gems, such as the following two. Feel free to provide your own caption.

A seal praying that Trump doesn’t destroy the worldSeal praying that Trump doesn't destroy the world

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When one of the gang realizes you’re a little different
and still comes over to say hello.Seals & pelicanPictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos


Joey Thaidigsman, freshman computer science major at the University of California at BerkeleyJoey Thaidigsman, the IT Director of Russel Ray (which comprises Photographic Art, Russel Ray Photos, and House Key News) is a freshman Computer Science major at the University of California at Berkeley. I’m proud to tell you that he earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average for his first semester. He wants to go into artificial intelligence. Hmmm. Maybe he IS artificial intelligence. I’ll keep an eye on him….


Since Trump is intent on blowing up the world, Jim and I figured we would go out in style, so Christmas Eve afternoon we traded in our 2015 Honda Civic EX-L, which we bought on February 6, 2016, for a 2017 Honda Civic EX. We switched from a white exterior with beige leather interior to a “modern steel metallic” exterior (very dark gray, basically) with a black interior. The white/beige showed too much dust and dirt all the time, so we’re going to try the darker colors for a couple of years.

I think it’s the second most fun car Jim and I have owned, behind the 1998 Pontiac Trans Am. The other cars were a 1989 Saleen Ford Mustang GT, 1991 Honda Civic, 1998 Toyota Avalon, 2000 Honda Accord, 2002 Nissan Maxima, 2003 Toyota Camry, 2005 Nissan Altima, and a 2015 Toyota Corolla (which we still have).

It has two USB ports for the stereo system, great cruise control, dual-zone heating and cooling (convenient since, in 22½ years, Jim and I have never agreed on comfort temperature), and a moon roof for those starry starry nights.

2017 Honda Civic EX

2017 Honda Civic EX

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos


Hope everyone is having a great holiday season! Best wishes for health, happiness, peace, and prosperity in 2017 and beyond!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a special occasion?
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

SNIPPETS (7-18-15)—Will we become maze runners?


Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts


Today is Jim’s birthday. Happy birthday, love!

Happy Birthday!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos


We have rain, thunder, and lightning here in San Diego for Jim’s birthday.

I reminder readers of the following facts:

It’s July.
Middle of July.
In San Diego.
Southern California.
It rarely rains here, much less in July.
The last time it rained in July was 1992.
I was still in College Station, Texas, then.
This is completely unacceptable.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos


Jim is off work this weekend so we are having a birthday weekend instead of just a birthday.

Yesterday evening we went to the San Diego Night Time Zoo. That’s when the Zoo stays open an extra four hours, until 9:00 p.m. Along with entertainment (music, magic….) throughout the Zoo (wonder how the animals like that….), it’s a great time to see some animals that only come out or become active at dusk. Such as the Fennec Fox (Vulpes zerda).

img_3862 fennic fox zoo stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

At a maximum weight of 3½ pounds, the Fennec Fox is the smallest canine in the world. It lives in the Sahara Desert of North Africa. Its coat, ears, and kidney functions have adapted to high-temperature, low-water, desert environments, and its hearing is sensitive enough to hear prey moving underground. It mainly eats insects, small mammals, and birds, and is itself eaten by the eagle owl.

Milky Eagle Owl

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos


The Serval (Leptailurus serval), a small kitty cat but bigger than domestic kitty cats, also was active last night.

img_3914 serval zoo stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Serval is a slender cat with long legs and a fairly short tail with a maximum weight of 40 lbs. It also is native to Africa, south of the Sahara Desert.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos


The Serval at the Zoo is a mommy. Two little ones born earlier this year. They were just as playful as all little kitties are. Jim and I stood there for thirty minutes watching the little ones play with each other and with their toys, although I think their favorite toy was a pine cone that had fallen from the tree.

img_3912 serval kitten zoo stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos


atlas shruggedThis past week I watched three futuristic movies based on a book that Republicans seem enthralled with: “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. “Atlas Shrugged,” along with her previous book “The Fountainhead,” developed the philosophical system now known as Objectivism.

According to Wikipedia, “Objectivism’s central tenets are that reality exists independently of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic, that the proper moral purpose of one’s life is the pursuit of one’s own happiness (rational self-interest), that the only social system consistent with this morality is one that displays full respect for individual rights embodied in laissez-faire capitalism, and that the role of art in human life is to transform humans’ metaphysical ideas by selective reproduction of reality into a physical form—a work of art—that one can comprehend and to which one can respond emotionally.”

Are you as tired from reading that as I am?

My wise old grandmotherOne of the things that my wise old grandmother (picture ►) taught me 40 years ago is that if you want to see how something will work in reality, take it to its extreme. That has always worked for me, and I think it works with Objectivism, Capitalism, and Socialism.

Objectivism seems to be where the Republicans want to take us, privatizing schools, roads, libraries, food (Monsanto comes to mind) and everything else in the world, which pretty much would be total and complete Objectivism with the rich controlling anything and everything.

Unbridled Capitalism comes very close to Objectivism, in my opinion, but I don’t know of any country anywhere, past or present, that subscribes to unbridled Capitalism. Rather, in capitalist economies, the parties to a transaction typically determine the prices at which they exchange assets, products, and services. Note the word “typically” there. Governments often get involved in capitalism to prevent things like gouging during natural disasters whereby prices for food and water are not allowed to increase exorbitantly due to demand caused by the situation.

Lack of any government at all would, I think, result in Anarchism, no better than Objectivism or Capitalism.

atlas shrugged filmYes, life is not fair, but do we really have to capitalize (pun intended) on that unfairness? Surely intelligent humans can find a happy middle ground that would allow the rich to stay rich, the middle class to have the opportunity to become rich, and government to be able to provide for all of its citizens in terms of transportation and education but also including the unemployed, the sick, the homeless, and the hungry.

I can highly recommend the three movies, “Atlas Shrugged,” “Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike,” and “Atlas Shrugged III: Who Is John Galt?”.


maze runnerOnce you finish those three moves, go a little further to the extreme and watch “The Maze Runner.” All four movies also provide a view into society and what the future might hold as the climate changes, manmade or not.

However, if you’re still confused about the role of mankind in climate change, think about this:

The Holocene interglacial period, which is what we are in now, began about 11,000 years ago. The population of Earth at that time was about a million people. Now fast forward to July 18, 2015, where the population is 7½ billion people. Climate change happens. We know that. With all we are doing in terms of manufacturing and such, and the results of 7½ billion people using the products of that manufacturing, can we really say that we are not having some effect on the climate of the Earth, perhaps causing climate change to get here sooner rather than later? Can we do something, or will be become maze runners?


San Diego gay pride paradeThis is Gay Pride weekend here in San Diego. Started with the Stonewall Rally yesterday evening, continues with a huge 3-hour long parade today followed by a Festival, and continuing with the Festival tomorrow. Parties are everywhere, including Gay Pride parties at the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld.

Jim and I are going to the San Diego Botanic Garden today and to the Gay Pride Festival tomorrow.

Rainbow balloons at San Diego Gay Pride

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Marriage? Anniversary? Birthday? Other special event?
Photographic Art logo
Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos

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

SNIPPETS (11-18-14)


Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

snip-pet: a small piece of something

Snippets: mini blog posts


I have had WordAds for 3½ months, and I’m averaging about $25 a month. However, in order to get paid, you have to have a minimum of $100, so I’ll get paid about $110.00 next month.


The Internet, especially Facebook, has brought the world’s population closer together. Whether or not that is good is a question that I’ll leave to historians who probably have not been born yet.

When my paternal grandparents adopted me in 1965, we lived in Kingsville, Texas. However, my granddad worked for Missouri Pacific Railroad…. in Taylor, Texas.

Kingsville to Taylor

One of my friends on Facebook has a birthday today. I don’t remember how we became Facebook friends, but we have three things in common: He is in real estate, he graduated from Texas A&M University, and he was born in Taylor, Texas.

Real estate doesn’t surprise me, and neither does meeting someone else from Texas A&M University since it has 55,000 students and about a million alumni. However, after moving from Texas in 1993, I never thought I’d meet someone from Taylor.


Back in 1982, I was running for a volunteer position as Section 42 Chairman of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. It was a one-year position and I already had been Chairman for the previous year, so it was a re-election.

There were 16 college chapters in Section 42, and every chapter, bar none, told me that I was the best Chairman they had ever seen. I had been to their chapter meetings, their service projects, talked on the phone weekly with chapter officers, and had the coolest newsletter (this was in the days when personal computers were just hitting the market, and I had one!).

I lost.

Why? Because with all the positive comments, I thought I was a shoe-in. I forgot to ask people to vote for me. Several people told me after the election that they didn’t vote for me because I didn’t ask them to vote for me.

I learned.

Although I have never run for another position, I have learned to ask people for things that I need or want.


Zoey the Cool Cat has taken to climbing under the bed covers with me, but only when I take a mid-morning nap. No other time. However, my mid-morning naps are usually 30-60 minutes long, and she is quite happy to stay under the covers after I get up, for as long as six hours! As she rolls around and repositions herself during that time, this is what I sometimes see:

Zoey the Cool Cat

When I look under the covers, I see an upside-down cat stretched out as until it can stretch no more. I’ve tried to get a picture, but as soon as I uncover her, she’s up and outta there.


I try to post a daily inspirational quote on Facebook, so if you’re not yet following me on Facebook, click here.

Here are a couple of my favorites from the past week:


Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) was an American poet and short story writer.

Butterfly forgets


I have been making daily use of IBOexchange (see my post here). Does it work? I can say unequivocally that it does. I have two places where IBOexchange members can visit, here and my Facebook business page.

On my Facebook business page, it seems that once you get to about 500 likes, Facebook basically shuts you down unless you pay them to promote your business page. Well, most of those business pages and small businesses probably like me, not yet able (or willing) to pay $25 per day to have Facebook promote me. So IBOexchange it is.

I was stuck at 582 likes and averaging one new like per week. Since I have been making use of IBO exchange, 13 days now, I’m up to 762 likes. Take that, Facebook!


So why do we care how many likes we have on our Facebook business pages? Several reasons.

More likes gives the impression of longevity, and longevity in business usually is good. With longevity comes experience, satisfied customers, etc. After all, would you rather have brain surgery from the 24-year-old doctor who graduated yesterday or the 60-year-old doctor who has done 500 brain surgeries?

Over here at my WordPress blog, more visits mean more ad impressions with WordAds, which means more money into my bank account. My creditors like money in my bank account so that they can take it out!


In 1980 when my best friend graduated from Texas A&M University, I was pretty irreligious. He, on the other hand, was active in the First Presbyterian Church of Houston, supervising child care one day a week, working with the elderly, singing in the Chancel Choir.

When I asked him what he got out of church, he didn’t proselytize, which is what I was expecting. Instead, he simply said that church was like a big family, giving him the opportunity to work with people who could be his great grandparents to people who could be his children.

I saw his point and joined First Presbyterian.


I have not been a member of any church since I came to San Diego in April 1993. I spent my first 11 months in San Diego studying the world’s great, and not so great, religions while relaxing on the beaches. I was able to determine that none of them had much to offer a person who had decided to live his live as an openly gay man.

My opinion has not changed in the ensuing 31 years, mainly because of people like Eric Cantor, Ted Cruz, John Boehner, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, and other so-called religious people. If they are people of God, I want nothing to do with that God.

On the other hand, if I sat down for a meal with Pope Francis, he might be able to convince me to return to the Catholic Church, into which I was born in 1955.


A couple of months ago I started collecting memes that showed up on Facebook and which I liked.

Most of them are either political or religious, and they say in much more precise words what I think.

This morning I was cataloging them.

Here are two of my favorites, both religious:

The Dark Ages

Religious freedom

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for Christmas?
Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.
photograhic art taking pictures making artOrder today!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat