Posted on July 13, 2008 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay21 Comments »

And now for something completely different.

I love fountains anyway, whether they are large or small, but these little gems are truly fascinating. The Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas is justly famous for the magnificence of the
dancing fountains between its rather grand facade and the strip, but tucked away to one side of the reception desk you will find something which, to me, is even more amazing. Jumping in and out of a bed of flowers and a beautifully arranged chequerboard of moss, jets of water appear and disappear as if by magic, spilling not a drop on the way. It’s like watching dancing tubes of glass, if such a thing were possible.

To compare these fountains with the ones out front is like comparing the Grand Canyon with the one at Bryce in Utah. The first is majestic and awe-inspiring, but the second is pure beauty and enchantment. The great dancing fountains out front made me cry the first time I saw them, just as the Grand Canyon makes people cry. But both Bryce and those little jumping fountains tucked away somewhere in the back … well, to me, they’re both utterly magical. Miss them and weep.

And by the way, let me tell you that everything you have ever heard about the magnificence of the fountains in front of the Bellagio is true – if you get the chance to do so, go and watch them.You won’t be disappointed!

The video of the ‘Jumping Water’ fountains is my own – and to prove it, that’s Mr Yellow Swordfish standing at the railings with the hat.

If you want to see the ‘front of house’ fountains, one of the best in the public domain can be seen on YouTube. It belongs to Kuboshin 1, and features the famous fountains dancing to ‘Con Te Partiro’ (Time To Say Goodbye). Currently, it’s the last one in their collection.

Posted on July 12, 2008 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay19 Comments »

PigeonFiveI beati has a post up today with the above title, which I have shamelessly pirated (well … it’s a very good title!). It’s one of a series of picture posts she puts up to amuse us, and some of them are very amusing indeed. Anyway, this one reminded me of a series of photos I took on Pier 39 in San Francisco on our recent US holiday.

There are numerous restaurants on Pier 39, and among them is one which serves sour dough ‘bread bowl’ type food. Obviously someone found the bread bowl part a little too much, and after eating the good part from the middle, threw the empty ‘bowl’ down on the deck, where it was found by a pigeon.

This little guy was just so chuffed with his treasure. I watched him for about ten minutes and he just sat and ate and ate until I thought he would burst, and then he ate some more. If the Big Feet came a little too close, he’d hop off and run for it, but not too far, and when it was safe, he’d jump right back in.

PigeonFourI’m guessing that for this bird, the answer to the question in the title would probably be a chirpy ‘no’ – although maybe he’d have preferred a little more peace and quiet. You see, although these pictures don’t show it, the Pier was incredibly busy that day and people were walking, and pushing baby buggies, and chatting to each other, all within feet of this pigeon. Within inches, at times. I kept thinking he wouldn’t put up with it much longer, that he’d take fright and fly away, but I guess the lure of that enormous chunk of bread – which at one time he was sitting inside like a nest – was just Too Much.

He didn’t even mind me taking a ton of pictures of him. Although by the look of things, that did become a little intrusive after a while!




Posted on July 11, 2008 in Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay17 Comments »

RTA1While out walking the dogs last night I came across the above piece of atrocious and selfish parking. As you see, the car is not only on the pavement, but right on a junction, and it’s also close to a zebra crossing, which you can’t see in this picture, but the red bumpy pavement is a clue. As I walked towards it, two young people were walking away, and one young lady was standing looking at the front end as if assessing its position. By the time I got close, they’d all wandered off (stage left) into the main street.

I took a picture, thinking it was such a horrible way to leave a car that it should be recorded for posterity.

Imagine how I felt today when I took the dogs out for their morning walk, and saw this second picture. RTA2Clearly the driver had lost control, mounted the pavement and crashed, and I hadn’t seen the road sign because a) it was buried under the car and b) I hadn’t walked round to the front anyway.

So now I feel terrible. Let that be a lesson to me not to jump to conclusions. It wasn’t an atrocious piece of parking at all, it was an accident scene. I’m only glad I’d seen the young folk walk away, because otherwise I’d be feeling even more guilty about the whole thing and fretting about whether anyone had been hurt while I’d walked on without checking.

Thank goodness they were alright, though looking at that sign, and the fact that they’d already taken out a metal pole on the way to it, it’s hard to see how.

Posted on July 9, 2008 in The Home Front by Jay19 Comments »

That’s the challenge I’ve been given by Momma from Poetic License and by Belle from Diary of a Housewife. My, this one’s a hot one, huh? For this meme, I had to ask my husband to tell me three things he knows about me and then reveal all on this blog, which sounded kinda dangerous to me, but luckily he behaved himself – and thank goodness for that!

So here are the three things he came up with, after a suspiciously long time thinking about it.

1) I once bought a Gary Shearston album

2) I turned down diamond earrings from Tiffany’s – not once, but three times

3) I have a beetle named after me

Yes, folks, it’s true. I did once buy a Gary Shearston album, and what’s more I still have a certain fondness for it. Not only did he have a .. *ahem* … unique voice, but it vividly recalls my lost and mis-spent youth. I don’t have to hear it, just thinking about it takes me right back. OH tells me he’s now an ordained minister in rural Australia, which just goes to show. I love finding out where erstwhile famous people are now!

The earrings? Also true, I’m afraid. I blush to admit it – no, dammit, why should I? The fact is that I have been into three separate Tiffany stores (New York, Las Vegas, and LA) where I examined the same pair of earrings, and where OH offered to buy them for me on the spot. And I refused. I love those earrings, they are very simple and quite small, and they’re composed of three diamonds set very close together. That’s it. Very simple, as I said, and I love them. I even tried them on in LA, and they looked gorgeous… but I have certain ethical objections which haven’t yet been overcome.

I wish I could find a link to the beetle, but I can’t. I can only confirm that yes, I have a beetle named after me, and I believe it to be one of the Seirotranas, which are Australian darkling beetles. My father was a very well respected amateur entomologist, you see, with a special interest in beetles, and during the course of his coleoptery pursuits he came across several new species, one of which he named after me. He left his impressive collection to the British Museum, so somewhere in those vast vaults – or even on public display in a glass case, perhaps – there is a ‘me’ beetle, which is kind of weird.

So there you are. And now, here are the rules:

I must put the finger on a few of my fellow bloggers, then go to their blogs and leave them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged. And for some bizarre reason, the comment must end with the word ‘pthththth’.

And my victims are:

Drowsey Monkey

Don’t Bug Me

Goth Mom


Your instructions, my dears, are to ask your husband, wife, significant other, partner etc. to tell you three things that they know about you. Post these three things on your blog, and follow the rules above.