Monday, 11 December 2017

We Ate At Home On Sunday,

I took a couple of pictures of the fish in the aquarium,


 a goldfish, (Carassius auratus) in the center,

 and a red lined torpedo barb, (Sahyadria denisonii)

 for today, roast chicken,

 'Cheers!',

 the same for Diana but with gravy,

in between courses,

 I fed the fish,

 then a real surprise, Diana had been busy in the kitchen,

 making some delicious Christmas mince pies, with fresh cream,

 Diana had also been busy,

 putting a few more decorations,

 on our Christmas tree,

 and nice they looked too,

 and here is Rudolf,

 and a Christmas cake,

the tree in all of its glory,
later in the evening it was feet up to round the evening off with Diamonds Are Forever, it must be getting near Christmas with all of these Bond films! and with that we were off to bed.


It Is Monday,

so lets start the week with a quiz, or two,


I liked the find the fish one we posted yesterday, so here is another one, but not so easy, firstly the fish is half hidden so you can only see one of its eyes, time for a coffee and glasses on!

and an easy one to get the little grey cells working, scroll down for the answer, time needed 2-3 minutes as a guide,

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there are two ways to solve this puzzle, the first is to add each of the numbers on the left side of the equation and multiply the value by three, for example, 1+5=6, so 6x3=18, similarly, you can look at the next row as 2+10x3=36, by this logic, 4+20=24, therefore 24x3=72, that’s right, the answer is 72! there’s one other method: if you look at the “answers” of each individual equation, you’ll notice that the scalar factor of the number nine gets raised by two each time: 9x2=18, 9x4=36, 9x6=54, and 9x8=72, I need another coffee after this one!


I Have Always Known Them As 'Nodding Donkeys',

but they are apparently called pump jacks,


 formerly known as “Coaling Station A”, the town of Coalinga in Fresno County output changed to a different type of fossil fuel once the Coalinga Oil Field was discovered in the late 1880s, the subsequent oil boom peaked in the 1910s with pump jacks and steam injectors gradually replacing derricks, 

 Jean Dakessian Jones and her husband owned a motel that – due to the recent opening of Interstate 5 – was vacant more often than not, Jones knew she had to find some way to attract more traffic (literally) to their motel, inspiration struck in the form of the pump jacks, whose form & function lent itself to artistic modification. “I had never seen oil pumps like those,” recounted Jones, “and my imagination saw them as all kinds of creatures, I thought that if people came off the freeway they would see a painted pump, go a little farther to see the next one, and on and on until they made it to Coalinga and saw our wonderful and inviting motor lodge. It worked!” And with that, the “Iron Zoo” was born,

 Jones played by the rules and in 1971 she contacted Marshall Newkirk, site manager for Shell Oil in Coalinga, to her surprise and delight, she found an ally in Newkirk. “After I painted the first one,” explained Jones, “he ran it by the head office and they gave me the green light to continue.”



 not only did Shell approve of Jones’ plan, they even chipped in to cover the cost of the paint – no small expense considering the company owned 23 pump jacks, by mid-1973, Jones had painted all of Shell’s pump jacks,

 painting 23 pump jacks was a back-breaking endeavor for Jean Dakessian Jones; the thought of next making over Chevron’s 34 “thirsty birds” was a daunting proposition unless she applied some creativity, in the event, Jones organized a competition for local artists who submitted designs for one or more of the 34 available pump jacks, winners were welcome to paint their pump(s) but if they didn’t feel up to the task, Jones would step in and paint it for them, the contest galvanized the community: “Families came out on the weekends, even the mayor and his family painted one,” according to Jones,



 “The response to the project was overwhelming,” recalled Jones, “I never thought of ever getting any publicity for such a thing, I just wanted people to come down the road to our place of business.” As the Iron Zoo grew, word of it spread and tourism – practically nil up to then – got a welcome boost, Flickr member j4zberg stopped by to snap the bald eagle pump jack in action during a family vacation in 1974, 

almost one billion barrels of oil have been pumped from the Coalinga Oil Field since the 1880s and it’s estimated only six percent of the field’s original capacity remains, enhanced recovery techniques such as steam injection are only hastening the day when the field is completely exhausted, as such, a growing number of the Iron Zoo’s painted pump jacks have been shut down and disassembled,

the grasshopper above was one of the first to go, like the petro-economy, it seems these petro-pets are destined to go down in history, a great story of Jean Dakessian Jones and her husband fighting to keep their livelihood going.


Never Trust A Cat,

they act all friendly,


to get your trust!


Sunday, 10 December 2017

Saturday Has Raced Around Again,

so some maintenance for the aquarium,


 40% of the water out, 

 and replaced, also the front glass cleaned inside and out,

 and it was now time,

 to put up the Christmas lights,

 which went remarkably well, normally it takes an age to replace the bulbs that have failed over the course of the year being left in a drawer, but last year we bought LED lights and they all worked this year, except one bulb that gave me an electric shock, the plastic had come away from the bulb, and it just happened to be the one that I picked up, me and electrics!

 some of the kittens that have adopted us,

 came out to have a look at what was going on, this is Miss Three Toes, well we call her that because she has three toes, but rather alarmingly she is getting a little large in the tummy department, so either A, Diana is giving her too much food, or B she is having kittens, time will tell,

  meanwhile Diana was helping me with the lights,

at the close of play Diana had given the dressing table a few top coats,

 then we were outside and the kittens were back,

 for our starter tonight, a egg salad with a Cesar dressing,

 'Cheers!',

  the white kitten by now had also shown up, they all know that food is coming,

 the Christmas lights all working, except the shocking one,  

 tonight we decided against a bar-b-q, Diana had bought some more ribs that we found so delicious last week, and also a chicken, they are both called 'pot cooked' in the market, I am guessing it means that they are all placed in a big pot with seasoning and cooked that way, 

 all I know is that with Diana's coleslaw and savory chips they were delicious,

 we rounded the meal off with a Magnum,

 naturally the cats had a huge meal with their cat food and all of the ribs and chicken that we had left for them, and this is Diana's favorite, who loves a fuss being made of him,

 my truck has become a meeting place for the kittens,

 who love to climb,

 all over it,

 and it makes a great place to have an after meal nap! we listened to music to nearly the midnight hour, and then we were off to bed.