At the New Year it is only natural to reflect on years past. The other day I was thinking of some of my fonder experiences in my years in the United Kingdom. There was Toni, and Tiffany, and Joann. And Maureen, of course. I developed an acquaintance with long gone Scottish saints while there. Mungo was my favorite. And I acquired sort of an ornithological bent, using words such as Tern and Gannett freely.
Alas, time moves on and now my attention turns to other interests, including heroes of the present and past, real and mythological. There is Atlas, Spiderman, Marco Polo and Goliath. And, there is my current attention to flora, particularly the sunflower, dahlia and rose.

I recalled all these interests recently whilst looking over a list of new field names worldwide. One might ask where the names come from. Most, I think, came from the persons who discovered the fields, or owned the company. I don't know many of these people, but it occurred to me that one might draw a fairly accurate picture of them by analyzing the names.

So: Devils Tower (a lookout place for the devil); Holstein (a colorful dairy cow); Tarantula (a creepy spider); Mad Dog (an irritated Rottweiler); Symphony (a long, catchy tune that you must get dressed to the nines to listen to); Mutineer (guys who seize command illegally, and are usually hanged); K2 (the second highest peak in the world); Buzzard (an ugly, carrion-munching bird); Snohvit (a pretty cartoon lass with a summer house outside Oslo); Blacktip (a species of shark); Greater Sunrise (a lot better than a lesser sunrise); Great White (another species of shark); Gotcha (abbreviated version of a famous Sunny and Cher line - "I got you, babe"); Blind Faith (the way we produce this magazine each month); Atlas (a really strong dude who held up the world); Jubilee (a celebration, except in Mobile Bay where a jubilee occurs with an inversion of thermal layers in the bay, resulting in fish rising to the surface, where they are harvested by local jubileers); Spiderman ( a guy in a red and blue spandex suit that climbs walls); Tubular Bells (rock instrumental albums by Mike Oldfield); Thunder Horse (a really loud horse that only comes out when it rains); Tahiti (an island and society above water in the Pacific); and, Atlantis (an island and society underwater somewhere else).

So, let's tote this up. We have seven animals - a cow, a horse, a dog, a spider, a bird and two sharks. We have four pretty heavy guys, including one who thinks he is a spider and Sonny Bono. There are some places, including the devil's lookout tower that may actually be the same as K2, lending even more mystery to our characterization. There are a couple of women - Cher and Snow White (someone's pulling our leg on this one). There is a beautiful sunrise, perhaps over a fish kill in Mobile Bay. And, apparently, "Tubular Bells" is playing at the symphony.

Now the analysis: We have a person who is clearly impressed by strong males, especially if they dress up like arachnids, and fairy-tale females with tenor voices. It is also clear that this person grew up on a farm by the sea. Why else all the fascination with farm animals and sharks? The farm was undoubtedly on Tahiti, which ties in nicely with the mutineer theme. I just don't know about the devil on the mountain thing. Of course, this person relies a lot on blind faith. And the spider fetish is just sinister, if you ask me.
If the person sitting by you at the next prospect meeting has a Tahitian accent and surreptitiously gazes at a picture of Cher dressed like a spider, you might want to move. If that person is you, I'm liking Joltin' Joe as the next great field name.