J-j-jolly M-m-monday, F-f-friends!

That sound you hear is my teeth chattering, and all the typos in the forthcoming post are a result of my hands shaking.  It’s c-c-cold!!!  And it isn’t even winter yet!  I am ready for spring … perhaps I’ll plant some flowers here …flowers-2I presume you are all surviving this harrowing season?  I have given up on trying to convince the girls that we ought to skip it this year, and am rather just going with the flow, trying to keep up with baking, shopping, decorating, wrapping and so forth while carving out a bit of time to breathe.  It’s about the best I can hope for at the moment.

Grab a warm drink & a Christmas cookie (I baked them just for you guys!) and let’s go find something to start the week out with a smile, or possibly even a chuckle, shall we?


It has been cold here, with temps in the teens the past several days, but not nearly as cold as it is for our friend Hugh out  in Minnesota!  Last Wednesday in southern Minnesota, a tractor-trailer got stuck on an icy hill.  Luckily for driver Craig Helgeson, Lizzie and Jacob Hershberger enlisted the help of their team of 13-year-old Belgian draft horses, Molly and Prince, to give the stuck truck a hand.  I was actually amazed that only two horses were able to pull that much weight on an icy slope, but they did it.  See for yourself!


Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about some ugly food-themed sweaters out for Christmas … I think one was Taco Bell and I don’t recall the other.  Today I have found yet another, but frankly, I kind of like this one.Dough Boy sweaterAfter all, who doesn’t love the Dough Boy? General Mills said the sweaters are available in two designs that each feature the Pillsbury Doughboy enjoying the Christmas season. The first sweater (pictured above), titled “Let it Dough,” features the Doughboy and Pillsbury crescent rolls, while the other, dubbed “It’s Lit,” features the mascot with a decorated Christmas tree.Dough Boy sweater 2.jpg

You can get on on Pillsbury’s website for a mere … well, scratch that, for both sweaters are temporarily unavailable, but you can sign up to be notified when they become available.


From the annals of really, really bad ideas comes this …
bacon vending machine.jpgYep, folks, it is exactly what it looks like … a bacon vending machine.  Now, I know at least one person who I shall not name here who would likely think this is a great idea and that there should be one on every street corner.

The Ohio Pork Council, a trade group for Ohio pork producers, installed a vending machine at Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences that dispenses cooked, ready-to-eat Smithfield, Hormel and Sugardale bacon.  For just $1, you can get either a slice of fully cooked bacon or a handful of fully cooked bacon bits.  Now, I dug out the ol’ calculator and concluded that at that rate, it brings the cost of a pound of bacon, for which I typically pay $4, to somewhere around $16.  That’s some markup just for the convenience of clogging your arteries with the push of a button!

There is a bright side … proceeds will be donated to Ohio State’s meat science program.


I always enjoy some of the strange, yet humorous signs that are out there … here are a few that are guaranteed to make you either shake your head and roll your eyes, or chuckle.

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I wouldn’t want to live here … self-fulfilling prophecy, etc.

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I’ll take my own shower, thank you very much!

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Oopsie!

And what would Jolly Monday be without one funny animal video?

jollyHave a great week, my friends … keep warm, smile a lot and share your beautiful smile!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!

juice boxOops!  I almost forgot … sorry Benjamin!

Saturday Surprise — Office Christmas Party

If there was one thing I dreaded even more than the Annual Review in my other life as an accountant, it was the office Christmas party.  I generally avoided them at all costs … as it was, I spent most of my waking time each week with these people, about half of whom I didn’t even like, so why on earth would I want to spend what little ‘free’ time I had with them, too?  And, as you probably all know by now, I have a stubborn streak about the length of a football field, so telling me that I must do something is the best way to ensure that I won’t do it.toon-Maxine-office-partyAs the season, I am told, is upon us, I thought it might be fun to indulge in a little Christmas Office Party humour.  And besides, we all need something to laugh about, right?party-1

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I went looking for funny stories about Christmas office parties, sure there must be many, but every one I found pertained to either people having sex with co-workers, or getting drunk and being disgusting, none of which do I find humorous.  And so instead, to wrap up Saturday Surprise, I give you this …

Jolly C-c-c-old Monday!

Hello friends … quick, come in and close the door … that wind is brutal!  24 hours ago the temperatures were in the 60s (F) and for just a few short hours, there was this big, bright circular thing up in the sky … it was both mesmerizing and scary!

So tell me, how was your weekend?  Too short, you say?  Yes, weekends tend to be that way, don’t they?  And now it’s Monday and time to get back to the routine.  I love weekends, but I thrive on routine, and if my routine is thrown off, I get tired and cranky, just like a toddler.  Well, I found some things I hope will make you laugh today, and, I made a special treat … churros!  What?  You’ve never had churros?  They are a fried-dough pastry, typically sprinkled in sugar, and then you can dip them in … well, anything.  Dulce la leche (caramel sauce), chocolate, strawberry jam … whatever floats your boat!  Try one … you’ll like it.  And yes, Benjamin, I have sprinkled donuts for you, but try a churro anyway, okay?


Burger King gone to the dogs?

The press release reads …

MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The BURGER KING® brand knows that dog owners often deal with their furry friend begging for food when they order delivery. Many dog owners have even admitted to sharing part of their meal with them. That’s why BURGER KING® is providing a solution for customers who want to enjoy their order at home without interruption from their pets.

The BURGER KING® brand is launching the DOGPPER, the first flame grilled bone offered at BK® for your best friend. This dog-friendly alternative to the WHOPPER® sandwich is a bone-shaped treat with flame-grilled beef taste for the dogs of these generous owners.

The DOGPPER is available for free exclusively through DoorDash when you order a WHOPPER® sandwich*. Plus, new customers can get a $0 delivery fee with your $10+ order at DoorDash. To redeem the $0 delivery fee offer, use promo code DOGPPER from November 28 through December 4th.**

BK-dogNow, I get them making a special treat for ‘man’s best friend’, but … who knew that Burger King delivers???  And what the Sam Heck is “DoorDash”???  And why would the ‘flame grilled bone’ be available only for delivery orders???  They even have a promo video featuring some adorable mutts and Willie Nelson’s You Were Always On My Mind


A Freudian slip?

Picture it … you travel from your home in the UK to New York City, pick the special place (Times Square), drop on bended knee to offer a proposal of marriage to your one and only, and just as she says “YES!”, you get so nervous that you drop the ring … into a sewer grate!  Oh, the shame!  Oh, the embarrassment!John-DaniellaWell, hats off and thumbs up to New York’s finest, the NYPD, for they noticed the incident when reviewing their surveillance footage, found the ring, and put out the word to try to find the couple via Twitter.

“WANTED for dropping his fiancée’s ring in @TimesSquareNYC! She said Yes – but he was so excited that he dropped the ring in a grate. Our @NYPDSpecialops officers rescued it & would like to return it to the happy couple. Help us find them?”

the ringThe couple turned out to be John Drennan and Daniella Anthony and through the magic of the information age, they have successfully been reunited with the ring.  The police even cleaned it up for them!  Well, I guess it will make a good story to tell their kids someday.


Kanye has a biggggggggg head!

linus-pumpkin-patchKanye West has gone from a life-sized water bottle on Saturday Night Live to a 315-pound pumpkin.Kanye-pumpkinJeanette Paras has an annual tradition in Dublin, Ohio where she transforms pumpkins into your favorite celebrity according to who’s hot. And who was a better choice than Ye himself, who has been making countless headlines this year since he broke his social media hiatus.

The pumpkin started off with a sketch then took seven hours to paint. The hardest part of the entire project was putting together the giant “Make Pumpkins Great Again” hat for Yeezy. The hat took nine hours to sew.

Paras has been transforming pumpkins for 30 years. Every year, she teases, “Who will it be?” In the past she has created a Donald Trumpkin, Hillary, Kim Jong Un, she even did Kanye West before sporting a pair of glasses. “It’s just fun,” Paras said. “Who doesn’t like giant celebrity pumpkins?”

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Further proof that stupidity is real …

Payless Shoesource filled a fake luxury store with its discount footwear and sold to “fashion influencers” for hyper-inflated prices.  The chain said it took over the former Armani store in Santa Monica and labeled it “Palessi” before filling it with Payless shoes with inflated price tags and inviting social media fashion influencers to a party at the store.

Partygoers shelled out hundreds of dollars for shoes that normally retail for between $20 and $40 at Payless. Payless shared video of the party-goers reacting to being told the shoes they had just splurged on were actually discount stock.

The store said it was aiming to show its products are more fashionable than their regular prices might indicate. The “Palessi” customers were refunded for their purchases, while their testimonials are being used for online and TV advertisements.

Sigh.


Let’s get our smiles back in place with this …

jollyNow, off you go to your jobs and leave me to mine!  I’ve enjoyed our time together so much!  Please share those gorgeous smiles … they last longer that way.  Keep warm, keep safe, and have a lovely week!  Hugs ‘n love from Filosofa … and Jolly (even though he contributed nothing this week!)

Jolly Monday — Funny Furries

Hey guys!  Come in out of the cold … I hear some of you got dumped on over the weekend … last night I heard that Chicago’s O’Hare Airport had canceled some 700 flights!  Luckily, I think it’s supposed to go north of us and land in Maine somewhere.  Mr. LePage deserves it!  So how was your weekend?

I had a really difficult time doing ‘funny’ last night, and even Jolly wasn’t much help.  All the humour in my usual ‘go-to’ sources seemed a bit macabre, like the guy who was trying to steal gasoline from a U-Haul and set himself and the U-Haul truck on fire.  Somehow … it just didn’t make me laugh.  So, instead of a variety of humour today, I am falling back on the one thing that always works, funny animals.  Jolly, by the way, is still in bed … I think perhaps he’s coming down with something.

Grab a snack and a nice hot cuppa java, and settle in for a bit of furry funnies before you set out to start the week off.

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And let’s wrap up with a few jokes, shall we?

 

 

And I’m sorry, folks, but that’s all the funny I have in me for today.  Share a smile, a laugh, or even a hug today with a friend, a co-worker or a stranger, okay?  Keep warm, keep safe, and have a great week!!!Monday-smile-2

Saturday Surprise — A Nice Story And A Cute Video

Every now and then it happens that Saturday Surprise collides with Wednesday’s Good People and the result is … awesome, heartwarming and fun!  Today is one of those times!

The story begins at Thanksgiving 2016, when Wanda Dench made a text-a-boo-boo … or an erroneous text sent to the wrong person.  The story is told in the following text messages … the recipients of the original text inadvertently included Jamal Hinton, a complete stranger …

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Wanda DenchJamal HintonAnd so it happened that 17-year-old Jamal went over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house for dinner! Wanda-JamalSince the heartwarming story first broke Dench has named Hinton as her ‘honorary grandson,’ which is quite fitting.  The two stayed in touch, and last year, he was invited back for Thanksgiving 2017.   In an interview with the Arizona Republic last year Dench said, “It was really nice having everybody here, we got to laugh about last year and reminisce about how it all blew up on our phone and how I had to change my number. We had a laugh and a good time.”

The two have stayed in touch, and ‘Grandma’ Wanda even sent Jamal a couple of gift cards at Christmas last year.  And this year … well of course Jamal was invited back and his girlfriend too!

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text-6Hinton finds the dinners and his newfound family meaningful. “The world is becoming a better place than it used to be. With all the Donald Trump going on and all the racial comments going on, it’s kind of good to see there’s still good people out there.” Dench gave her new ‘grandson’ an open invitation for all future Thanksgivings at her house, so this is a tradition likely to live on for a lifetime.

A small thing?  Perhaps, but … seems to me that a whole lot of these “small things” add up to a whole lot of good in the world, a whole lot of heart, a whole lot of love.

Okay, so that was nice and heartwarming, but the holiday season has now officially kicked off and I think we need to start the weekend with something funny, don’t you?  So, you know what that means … a funny animal video!!!

Have a great weekend, folks, and don’t let the crowds crush you if you go shopping!  I went shopping from the comfort of my own chair, in my jammies, while sipping coffee last night!  Keep warm & safe!

Jolly Monday … I Think …

Hello friends … Monday again, eh?  I apologize for last Monday, but neither Jolly nor I were feeling very … jolly … with all the news that was bombarding our senses.  Frankly, I considered skipping out again today, but … no, I just couldn’t do that to my friends, for I don’t want you to miss your weekly dose of humour.  So tell me, how was your weekend?  Mine was c-c-c-cold, so I stayed indoors except for a very quick trip to the grocery yesterday afternoon.  I sent the girls off shopping without me … perhaps not the brightest thing, for when they returned I was handed a receipt for $300 of clothes Chris put on my account!  Ah well … she got a promotion at work and no longer wears scrubs, so she’s having to build a wardrobe of business casual.  Now grab a cuppa coffee or tea and lets find something to put a smile on our faces, shall we?


Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks …

pumpkin-1.png Everyone’s seen a boat race or two, even if only in the movies, but in the town of Lohmar, Germany, they have a bit of a different twist … pumpkin races!  That’s right … participants race the 35 meters across Krewelshofer Lake in hollowed out gourds. pumpkin-2.jpgGrown specially for the race, the pumpkins must weigh at least 250 kilograms (550 pounds) and, to minimize the risk of capsizing, more for heavier participants.  The fastest racers in six categories get €200 ($230) in prize money, or €300 if they paddled in their own pumpkins – enough to buy a boat for next year, I am told, although I haven’t seen any boats for that price in years!  Watch …


Yuck  🤢

You’ve heard of the fruit, durian, right?  They grow on Durian trees found in tropical forests, are ovoid in shape, usually 6-12 inches long and 5-6 inches wide, with a yellow or yellowish-green rind and creamy white flesh inside.  Sounds fairly innocuous, right?  But don’t let this innocent-looking fruit fool you.

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Just last week, a shipment of durians caused the delay of a flight in Indonesia when passengers refused to fly with the shipment of fruit, leading the airline to delay the flight for an hour so the durian could be unloaded. And in April, the durian necessitated the evacuation of 500 students and teachers from a university in Melbourne, Australia!  What is it about this poor, maligned fruit?

It stinks.

According to an article in the Smithsonian, it is said to smell like “turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock”.  🤢durians.jpg“Even with the husk intact, the notorious Asian fruit has such a potent stench that it’s banned on the Singapore Rapid Mass Transit.  A small minority, though, love the smell and taste of the fruit. Anthony Bourdain calls it ‘indescribable, something you will either love or despise…Your breath will smell as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.’”  🤢

I have seen these in the grocery but never tried them.  Now, I’m fairly certain I will not be bringing one home!durian-sign


A dream or a nightmare?

Now, you all know I like critters … all sorts of critters.  I don’t even mind snakes or spiders … they have their code of conduct and as long as we understand and respect that, we can live in perfect harmony.  Mostly.  But, as much as I love critters, I cannot imagine sharing my home with more than 400 snakes, alligators and such things as tarantulas.  But then, I’m not Philippe Gillet.Philippe Gillet, 67 year-old Frenchman who lives with more than 400 reptiles and tamed alligators, gives chicken to his alligator Ali in his living room in Coueron near NantesMeet Philippe Gillet, 67-years-old, is a reptile enthusiast having more than 400 phobia-inducing animals, including rattlesnakes, tarantulas and lizards in his home in western France near the city of Nantes.Philippe Gillet, 67 year-old Frenchman who lives with more than 400 reptiles and tamed alligators, gives chicken to his alligators Ali and Gator in his living room in Coueron near NantesGillet says the two alligators, named Ali and Gator, were rescued from a leather farm but most of the animals are pets that outstayed their welcome elsewhere and have been abandoned or donated.Philippe Gillet, 67 year-old Frenchman who lives with more than 400 reptiles and tamed alligators, feeds his Northern caiman lizard in his house in Coueron near NantesGillet feeds his Northern caiman lizard in his house in Coueron near Nantes. He says he has all the necessary permits to keep and transport the animals for roadshows which he runs to raise awareness about reptiles.Philippe Gillet, 67 year-old Frenchman who lives with more than 400 reptiles and tamed alligators, looks at his Cuvier's dwarf caiman in his house in Coueron near NantesThe 67-year-old has taken two decades to amass his collection of ‘creepy crawlies’, which also includes a Cuvier’s dwarf caiman — a small crocodile.Philippe Gillet, 67 year-old Frenchman who lives with more than 400 reptiles and tamed alligators, looks at his black cobra in his living room in Coueron near NantesGillet also has a black cobra amongst his collection, which he keeps in his living room.Philippe Gillet, 67 year-old Frenchman who lives with more than 400 reptiles and tamed alligators, looks at a tarantula in his house in Coueron near NantesHe insists the locals do not mind their unusual neighbours and regularly pop in for coffee. I wonder if you would like a tarantula for company while sipping on your coffee?Philippe Gillet, 67 year-old Frenchman who lives with more than 400 reptiles and tamed alligators, poses with a python in his house in Coueron near NantesExplaining why he shares his house with his ‘pets’, he says, “I think it’s unfair to treat these animals the way we do because we don’t understand them. We don’t understand them, we hate them, we think they’re horrible. But when we get to know them, you can call them over, tell them to come and eat something for example.”Philippe Gillet, 67 year-old Frenchman who lives with more than 400 reptiles and tamed alligators, gives a banana to his iguana in his garden in Coueron near NantesGillet feeds his pet iguana in the garden. He says his cobra lives on the coffee table, his 50-kg tortoise roams the garden and one alligator sleeps in his bed, while the other keeps watch at the door.

I am in awe of this man, and he seems to get on well with his menagerie!  But no thanks … 6 kitties is enough to keep me on my toes!


jollyAnd I’m afraid that’s all I’ve got up my sleeve for today, folks … I think I’m still trying to recuperate from last week, and am yet just a bit out of sorts.  Many of us are out of sorts these days, both here in the U.S. and across the big pond, so give somebody a smile today, maybe even a hug, okay?  Keep safe and have a great week!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!

Jolly 🎃 Monday …

Hi friends.  It’s Monday.  Sigh.  Ready for some laughs?  Sigh.  Okay … how ‘bout we start with a joke.  Why did the chicken 🐓 cross to the other side of the road?  Um … I forget.  Okay … I sense this isn’t going well … let’s start over, shall we?

Hi friends!  It’s Monday and you all get to go back to work … isn’t that just peachy 🍑 ?

Hi friends!!!  It’s Monday … and … um …

Here … just grab a snack while I dig up something humorous …


Alaina Custer was working as a server at a restaurant, Sup Dogs in Greenville, North Carolina when a couple came in and ordered only two waters.  They took a few quick sips of the water, then dashed out, leaving a tip and a note.  The tip seems to me a bit extravagant for only water … $10,000 … in cash!  And the note read “thanks for the delicious water”.  One can only wonder what he would have tipped for a full meal!

Alaina Custer“I literally didn’t think it was real.  I picked it up and it was a giant stack of hundreds. I was shaking and just kept asking Bret [Sup Dogs’ owner Bret Oliverio], ‘What is this?’ I thought someone was playing a joke on me.”

It wasn’t long before somebody noticed two men at a nearby table filming Ms. Custer and her boss. Turns out it was a YouTube star (who knew there was such a thing?) named Jimmy, aka Mr. Beast, who was just “going around blessing servers’ days”.  Ms. Custer is a student at East Carolina University, working at Sup Dogs to put herself through school.  Still, Ms. Custer split the tip with her co-workers, most of whom are also students, and each ended up with about $800.  Not a bad take for serving two glasses of water, eh?

Mr. BeastMr. Beast is a North Carolina YouTuber named Jimmy, with more than 8.8 million subscribers who has done multiple videos featuring large donations, such as $30,000 to his favorite Twitch streamer, dropping $20,000 from a drone, tipping a pizza delivery person $10,000 in cash and more.


The 2018 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is not your run-of-the-mill marathon.  For the eighth year in a row, the marathon has partnered with Guinness World Records “to provide record-breaking hopefuls with on-site record attempt verification to make race day even more memorable”. This year, thirteen world records were broken.  Let’s take a look at a few …blaine penny.jpgBlaine Penny of Calgary, Alta. is officially the fastest man ever to run a marathon dressed as a battery, and by more than an hour. Penny ran 2:59:58.  Nearly three hours … as a battery … he must have studied under the Energizer bunny!daniel janetosDaniel Janetos was also successful in his Guinness world record bid. Janetos is the fastest male to run a half-marathon dressed as a chef, which is actually his profession. He ran 1:27:50, smashing his own previous world record of 1:34:53 by almost seven minutes. Janetos’ run benefitted the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation (NWRF).czupielBrothers Petro and Andrey Czupiel ran a 2:09:28 for the fastest half-marathon in a two-person costume. Last year Petro ran the fastest half marathon dressed as a clown. The Czupiel brothers ran this year dressed as Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble driving the Flintstone car.pamela bottosPamela Bottos became the fastest woman to run a half-marathon dressed as a television character. Bottos, done up as the American comedienne and TV star Lucille Ball, ran a 1:56:48 in memory of her sister-in-law, Pepper, while raising funds for Breast Foot Forward, a breast cancer charity.Julie HillsJulie Hillis pushed her four young children (Duncan, Sarah, Maggie, and Isa) to a 2:04:59 for the fastest half-marathon while pushing two double strollers. Hillis aimed to promote fitness and healthy habits among kids.Bradley VincentBradley Vincent is my favourite, though.  He made himself a poop emoji costume and ran a 1:38:14 for the title of fastest half-marathon while dressed as an emoji.  Over an hour-and-a-half dressed as poop.  That takes gumption, folks.


And speaking of Guinness World Records … Don Gorske is a 64-year-old retired prison guard from Wisconsin.  Back in May, Gorske broke a Guinness record … for eating his 30,000th Big Mac.  🤢Big MacHe says that there have been only 8 days since 1972 that he has not eaten at least one Big Mac.  Now, I have to ask one question:  WHY???

“This one is a biggie for me, something I have been looking forward to. I love the patties, I love the sauce, I can’t get enough of it.”

But Mr. Gorske … don’t you ever stop and consider the fact that one Big Mac contains 540 calories, 28 grams of fat, 46 grams of carbohydrates and 25 grams of protein?

“I’m healthy as a horse. I weigh 190 pounds, and my cholesterol is 165. I’m better than normal.”

Okay, then … personally, I think they taste rather like cardboard and it has been at least 15 years since I have eaten anything that came from McDonald’s, but to each his own.  Congratulations, Mr. Gorske, on your achievement.


And … what would Jolly Monday be without a cute animal clip?

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And that’s a wrap for this Monday, my friends!  Jolly and I have work to do and I’m sure most of you do too.  In case you wondered, the critter in the header image is a Slow Loris.  I hope you have a wonderful week and that you go out and share a smile, maybe even a hug with someone in need of one today.  Keep safe and have a great week!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa & Jolly!

Saturday Surprise — Sphen & Magic!

Hey friends!  Here it is the weekend again … the last one in October!  Sigh.  You know what this means, right?  Sigh.  Anyway, in the words of the late Scarlett O’Hara … “I’ll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.” 

I have long said that we could learn a lot from other species, those we refer to as ‘animals’, when I often think it is we who are the animals.  Animals don’t kill because they don’t like the colour of another’s fur.  Their hierarchy isn’t based on religion, ethnicity, fur colour or gender … it is merely survival of the fittest.  They may not have these opposable thumbs, but what they do have is acceptance … acceptance of ‘other’, of those who are different in some way or another.  Which brings me to today’s Surprise!

Sphen and Magic are Gentoo Penguins

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Sphen & Magic

Gentoo penguins are characterized by bright orange-red bills and unusual white patches above the eyes that make them stand out in a crowd. Gentoo penguins are most closely related to Adélie and chinstrap penguins, all of which live on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Gentoo penguins typically live in ice-free areas like flat, rocky beaches and low-lying cliffs where large colonies of individuals can gather. Like other penguin species, gentoo penguins rely on the ocean for food and are never far from the water.

When it comes to breeding and nesting, gentoo penguins have been dubbed one of the more romantic seabirds in the animal kingdom. Gentoo penguin pairs start by building intricate nests of rocks and pebbles together, and individual pebbles may be shared between potential mates beforehand as a sign that they are interested in becoming a breeding pair. The nests are then used for laying the egg in during incubation, which lasts for close to 40 days. Males and females work together closely during the process, taking turns incubating the egg and forming long-lasting bonds with each other that continue after the chick has hatched.

Sphen and Magic, who are both male penguins, live at Sea Life Sydney, a large aquarium in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, and they have just become the proud parents of a 91-gram chick!  According to the Sea Life website:

Sphen and Magic began developing a strong bond and became inseparable before breeding season, and are constantly seen waddling around and going for swims together in the Penguin Expedition.

As breeding season fast approached, the couple started collecting ‘pebbles’ to create a nest in their spot, and now have more pebbles than any other couple! Gentoo parents keep their eggs warm on pebble nesting rings scattered throughout the Macquarie Island exhibit. Swapping duties daily, while one of the parents are doing their best to incubate the egg, the other is patrolling the perimeters of the nest, warding off any potential pebble thieves or over-inquisitive neighbours.

To ensure the couple were not excluded from the season, Magic and Sphen were given a dummy egg to allow them to practice incubating and develop their skills. They were absolute naturals and displayed great care for their egg, so much so, the team at Sea Life Sydney fostered a real egg to them from another couple who had two.

Whilst Sphen is older and is excellent at incubating, Magic is younger and still mastering his skill. The pair make a great team, and there are often days where the egg cannot be seen (which is really good for penguin breeding!).

And then, just last week, on October 19thpenguin chickIsn’t he just adorable?  It is too early to tell the sex of the chick just yet, but a blood test to determine gender will be done when the chick is a bit older.  Personally, I think it’s probably a girl.  And as for Sphen and Magic, according to Tish Hannan, the supervisor of the aquarium’s Penguin Department …

“The first day, the younger of the two males was an absolute star, he fed the chick a lot. The older male looked a bit disinterested at first, but as soon as he got on the chick he did an amazing job as well, so we are really, really proud of them both. Both males and females have a strong urge to be parents and they share that parental responsibility 100 per cent between the two — it doesn’t matter if they have a male-male or female-female pair.”

penguin chick 1 week old

Under daddy’s watchful eye — 1 week old, 10/26/2018

Awww … now tell me that doesn’t just warm your heart?  I was chuffed for a minute when I found that tickets to spend an entire day at the aquarium and 75 minutes on the ice with the penguins were only $119!  But then … I remembered … somehow I would have to get to Australia, and I think that is probably a bit out of my price range.  Perhaps my friend Andrea will go and take pictures to send me?

There have been several other famous same-sex penguin couples. Silo and Roy, two male chinstrap penguins, had a happy relationship for six years at the Central Park Zoo in New York. Harry and Pepper, two male Magellanic penguins, also lived together as a couple for six years at the San Francisco Zoo.  And none of the other penguins threw stones or tried to kill them.  Yep, humans should spend more time observing nature.

Have a wonderful weekend, folks!  Put last week’s detritus out of your minds for a day or two if you can and just enjoy living.

 

Saturday Surprise — Wildlife

Hey friends!  The weekend has arrived … finally.  It has been a sad and dramatic week in terms of the news, and I am feeling truly washed out and in need of something to make me smile … how about you?  The Guardian publishes a weekly series on wildlife called, surprisingly, The Week in Wildlife.  A post of animal pictures seemed just about right for today’s Saturday Surprise post.  You know how I adore critters, and at the end of a week like this one, I’m ready for some cute (or maybe not so cute) animals to ‘awwww’ over.

Last month when I had Jolly take over the Saturday Surprise one week, he picked pictures from the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards … he did a pretty good job, by the way, for an amateur!  This first set of pictures today are winners of the 2018 Wildlife of the Year Awards.



lounging leopardOld Mathoja was dozing when they finally found her, lying along a low branch of a nyala tree in Botswana’s Mashatu Game Reserve. Mathoja means ‘the one that walks with a limp’ injured when she was a cub, but otherwise she is a healthy, calm eight-year-old. The morning light was poor, leaves kept blowing across her face, and her eyes were only ever open briefly, making it hard for Skye to compose the shot he was after. Finally, a shaft of light gave a glint to her eyes, helping him to create his memorable portrait.


hellbentIt was not looking good for the northern water snake, clamped tightly in the jaws of a hungry hellbender, but it was a remarkable find for David. Drifting downstream in Tennessee’s Tellico River, in search of freshwater life (as he had done for countless hours over the past seven years), he was thrilled to spot the mighty amphibian with its struggling prey. The hellbender has declined significantly because of habitat loss and degradation and its presence indicates a healthy freshwater ecosystem.


Mud-dauberIt was a hot summer day, and the waterhole at Walyormouring Nature Reserve, Western Australia, was buzzing. Georgina had got there early to photograph birds, but her attention was stolen by the industrious mud-dauber wasps. They were females, digging in the soft mud at the water’s edge, then rolling the mud into balls to create egg chambers for their nearby nests. A female builds her external nest completely out of mud, cylindrical chamber by chamber, which cement together as the mud hardens.


night flightOn a night dive over deep water in the Atlantic, far off Florida’s Palm Beach, Michael achieved a long-held goal, to photograph a flying fish so as to convey the speed, motion and beauty of this ‘fantastic creature’. By day, these fish are almost impossible to approach. Living at the surface, they are potential prey for a great many animals, including tuna, marlin and mackerel. At night, they are more approachable, moving slowly as they feed on planktonic animals close to the surface.


jaguarA male jaguar sharpens his claws and scratches his signature into a tree on the edge of his mountain territory in the Sierra de Vallejo in Mexico’s western state of Nayarit. The boundary-post has been chosen with care – the tree has soft bark, allowing for deep scratch marks that are a clear warning, backed by pungent scent, not to trespass. Alejandro set up his custom-built camera trap six metres away and after eight months the jaguar eventually returned to refresh his mark.


treehopperA large Alchisme treehopper guards her family as the nymphs feed on the stem of a nightshade plant in El Jardín de los Sueños reserve in Ecuador. Unlike many treehoppers, which enlist the help of other insects (mostly ants), this species is guarded by the mother alone. She lays her eggs on the underside of a nightshade leaf, covers them with a thin secretion and then shields the clutch with her tiny frame.


I left a few out because they were either sad or disturbing, but you can visit the page if you like.  Now for a few from The Guardian’s regular Week in Wildlife …


indriThe secretive indri ( Indri indri) of Madagascar, the largest living lemur. It is also critically endangered and highly evolutionarily distinct with no close relatives, which makes its branch one of most precarious on the mammal evolutionary tree. In the likely event that the indri goes extinct, we will lose 19m years of unique evolutionary history from the mammal tree of life.
Photograph: Pierre-Yves Babelon/Aarhus University


chinstrap penguinA chinstrap penguin nesting at Spigot Peak with mountains and glaciers of Orne harbour in the background, at Gerlache Strait in the Antarctic. Greenpeace is conducting scientific research and documenting the Antarctic’s unique wildlife to strengthen the proposal to create the largest protected area on the planet, an Antarctic ocean sanctuary.
Photograph: Christian Åslund/Greenpeace


cute batResearchers examine a bat for body size and fat. Scientists are working across the western US and Canada, capturing and studying thousands of bats to better understand their hibernation habits and which are best suited to survive a deadly plague now decimating bat populations.
Photograph: Wildlife Conservation Society


walrusPacific walruses rest on an ice flow in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska. A lawsuit making its way through federal court in Alaska will decide whether Pacific walruses should be listed as a threatened species, giving them additional protections.
Photograph: SA Sonsthagen/AP


This last one isn’t an animal, but is still considered ‘wildlife’ and I found it a fascinating tree!Nellies treeNellie’s Tree in Aberford, Leeds, which has been voted England’s tree of the year. The beech tree was grafted into an N-shape to woo a woman called Nellie almost 100 years ago, the Woodland Trust said.
Photograph: Rob Grange/WTML/PA


I hope you enjoyed the photos and that you have a fun and/or relaxing weekend!

Jolly Monday — Autumn Leaves

falling leafGood Monday morning, my friends!  Come in … come in out of the cold!  Can you believe this?  A week ago, the temps were in the 90s and this past weekend the highs were in the 50s.  No fall again this year, straight from summer to winter!  So, tell me, did you have a great weekend?  Are you rested and ready to face the week ahead with gusto?  Nah, me neither.  But, I have found some fun things for us to start the week … I think you’ll find something to smile about here this morning!  So grab a snack and a cuppa whatever you prefer and come have a seat by the imaginary fire 🔥. 

treatscoffeejuice boxcoffee-teasprinkled donuts


Prank Caller?

Dr. Claire Simeone, director of the Ke Kai Ola Marine Mammal Center, a monk seal hospital in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, began receiving disturbing mysterious phone calls when she was away from the hospital on October 3rd.  She received 9 calls within a 15-minute period, all from a phone located in the hospital.  Concerned, she immediately returned to the hospital.  When she arrived, she found many confused employees, for several had gotten calls similar to Dr. Simeone’s.

Simeone said she contacted Hawaiian Telecom, which confirmed there had been “a bazillion calls” originating from the hospital but could not explain them or tell her from which line they originated.  Simeone put on her detective hat 🕵🏼 and went in search of the prank caller.  And she finally found him …gecko on phoneThat’s right … a gecko had somehow gotten into the facility and, using his tiny little paws, made hundreds of calls to people on the hospital’s contact list.  I do not know the gecko’s name, but I really, really like geckos and so I shall name him Ralph.  Ralph was safely relocated to an outdoor plant where he will no longer be able to call his friends … guess the party’s off, fellas!gecko-1


Who’s Da Fattest Bear?

Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska was asking Facebook fans to use their likes to vote on which of their bears, which have been putting on weight to prepare for their upcoming hibernation, is the fattest, in a contest that ended last Tuesday.fat bear weekFacebook users were asked to choose between “Round-Rumped 32 Chunk” and “The Jelly-Bellied Jumbo Jet, 747 (Bear 747 for short)”. The winner of the showdown would then go on to the finals and face down a bear known as “409 Beadnose”fat bear week-2Turns out that Bear747 was the one who went to the finals …Bear 747.jpgBut 409 Beadnose was able to hold on to his title … albeit bearly … 🤣 🤣 🤣

bear finalists


Dr. Seuss Runs Late …

It was 1998 when Vera Walker of Orlando, Florida, ordered a set of Dr. Seuss books for her four-year-old granddaughter.  The books finally arrived just last month … Vera’s granddaughter is now 24 with a 4-year-old son, Cameron, of her own!  The postal service claims the package was found in an old, abandoned mailbox.  The nice thing about Dr. Seuss books is they never go out of style and Cameron will get every bit as much pleasure as his mom from them.Dr Seuss books-2.png

Rewind twenty years to an ad for books in the mail.

And a grandmother, with a smile, and an eye for a sale.

“I ordered some Dr. Seuss books for my granddaughter, and they never came,” Vera Walker, a great-grandmother described.

A box that would not, could not get here.

Not in a car, not in a year!

Twenty times over it failed to show.

Until one day it was ready to go!

“And when I opened it up and saw the date – it was October 1998,” said Walker.

How and why is certainly weird.

Inside an old mailbox is where it appeared.

A mystery that just goes to show, there’s truth in “Oh The Places You’ll Go.”

Timeless at twenty, the books have survived.

Bought for a girl at four, with a son now almost five.

Perhaps he’ll start with just a little bit.

Little words like “if” and “it.”

So one day he’ll be able to read big words, too.

Like Constantinople and Timbuktu.

That is a story no one can beat.

And to think that it all happened on Mulberry Street.

(No, I did not write that, and I’m not sure who did, but I’m guessing David Belleville, the writer of the article.)


The Greatest Skater – Benny!!!

Meet Benny, a 5-year-old yellow field lab who was rescued from a shelter in Utah where he was on the schedule to be euthanized.  A Las Vegas rescue group saved him, and days later, a woman named Cheryl DelSangro adopted him.  Now, Benny leads a full life, thanks to Cheryl, and he has a new talent … just watch (Gronda, get your tissues!)

Thnif.  Didn’t that just make you want to get out there on the ice and give Benny a big ol’ hug?


falling leafAnd that’s all I’ve got for today, my dear friends!  Please remember to share those gorgeous smiles with others who didn’t get to see Benny!  I’ll leave a few extras by the door for you to share.  Keep safe and have a wonderful week!!!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa!jolly

Monday-basket-smiles

toon-Maxine

I can sooooooo relate!!! 😼 😺 😾 😿 🙀 😹