Congrats to the girls at the Hazel Boone Dance Studio Team who’s very cool Happy Feet Tap routine finished in first place in a local dance competition in Canton, Mass while wearing our penguin costumes! You gals made penguin lovers the world over proud.
Posts Tagged ‘penguin costumes’
Yes, it’s time to get out your tuxedo or penguin costume as this April 25th is International (World) Penguin Day. So, what exactly is International Penguin Day and when did it begin? For me it began about 20 years ago when I read an article in the Science New York Times about researchers at McMurdo Station in Antarctica who had noticed that every year, like clockwork, on April 25th a colony of Adelie penguins returned from months at sea to the exact same spot on the exact same day every year. These delighted scientists and their support crew marked it on the calendar and would make a day of it, gathering near the shore to celebrate and welcome the penguins who would arrive by the hundreds right on schedule every year. It became an unofficial holiday at McMurdo known to the staff as Penguin Day. So when I read the article in The Times two decades ago, I became intrigued and contacted some folks I knew who had worked at McMurdo Station to confirm. Not only did they confirm, but they expanded on the story, which I then passed along in an article in the print version of the Penguin Post in 1997. In the article I gave it a bit more of an important title calling it World Penguin Day since I felt Antarctica is an international place, and besides World Penguin Day sounds like a holiday penguin lovers everywhere could celebrate. Within a couple of years with the dawn of the internet word of the April 25th Adelie penguin phenomenon spread and it took on a life of its own to the point where it’s now an internationally celebrated “niche” holiday. So, now that you know it’s World Penguin Day, what should you do to celebrate? Obviously, this is a holiday to have fun with and put your penguin passion front and center. So have a blast and try to do lots of things “penguinish”, whether dressing in plenty of black and white, wearing penguin apparel and / or accessories, eating fish (healthy), waddling every now and then (remember to stretch first), telling penguin jokes (keep them clean), watching a penguin video (be it a nature film, animated or something in between like Mr. Popper’s Penguins), read about penguins (plenty of kids and adult books are available), visit penguins at your local zoo or aquarium, adopting a penguin or maybe even treating yourself by buying up hordes of penguin merchandise.
The internet can be lots of things, but one thing it is these days is quick to react to the basic market forces of supply and demand. So, with penguins being the bird of choice this 2011 with Mr. Poppers Penguins, Happy Feet 2, Club Penguin and The Penguins Of Madagascar taking center stage lots of on-line retailers ordered lots of penguin costumes. This adds to supply and although demand for the adorable Rasta Imposta lightweight penguin costumes is there, retailers have already begun slashing their penguin prices. What started out as a very nice adult penguin costume for $37.95 , became $35.95, and so it went as some outlets made theirs $32.95, so someone else cut their price to $29.95, and you can take the free fall lesson in penguin macro economics from there. With one on-line retailer after another trying to top the other guy the price of a penguin costume is dropping faster than the Dow Jones, so when I did a google search for penguin costumes this morning I found some at $27.95. So, with a couple of weeks left before Halloween I decided that some powerful penguin market forces were at work here and simply to match it. Plus, at Penguin Place you can get another 10% (which makes our penguin costumes cheaper than just about everyone else ) by using the coupon code penguinpals10 in the checkout box, and our shipping on all costumes is under $6.00 anywhere in the U.S.A. We’re getting orders out same day so even if you have a costume party next weekend in Hawaii there’s still time. So, let this be a lesson to all those jumping on the penguin bandwagon e-tailers out there. Too much of a penguin good thing, can simple be too much of a penguin good thing.
It may be the beginning of August, but believe it or not the Penguin Halloween costume shopping season is only about a month away, and Penguin Place is gearing up for what promises to be a fun waddling season. Just in this past week is our lightweight kids costumes in sizes 4-6 and 7 -10, as well as our adult and women’s / teen penguin costumes.
The much anticipated 2nd annual Ride Of The Penguins commenced yesterday as dozens of skiers and snowboarders dressed in penguin costumes supplied by Penguin Place flew down the face of Vail Mountain on Monday during the second annual Ride of the Penguins. Creator of the event, Jody Petit, said the idea for a penguin ride came up during a chairlift ride with a friend and turned into a group of people dressed as penguins having fun. They are also working on a movie “Ride of the Penguins.” Stay posted for that one.
This being the day before “turkey day” what could be more appropriate than watching a bunch of “turkeys” dressed as penguins snowboarding in Vail? Last February I received a rush order phone call for 42 adult penguin costumes from a Mr. Paul Rogers, a young man with a vision. Paul’s vision was for he and 41 of his friends to go snowboarding down a mountain in Vail dressed as penguins. Cool vision if you ask me. So, I rushed the costumes out to Colorado and from what I heard it was mission accomplished for the Ride Of The Penguins. Which takes me to yesterday, when after nine months I get a call Paul asking me if I’d seen the clip of he and his friends waddling down the slopes on YouTube? No, I said, but 5 minutes later the answer was a resounding yes, and then 5 minutes after that yes again, a few minutes later I showed it to my wife, kids, cat, neighbor, the guy at the video store . You get the idea. Well, just in time for Thanksgiving for your viewing pleasure and obviously something for everyone to discuss around the dinner table. It’s Ride Of The Penguins. Enjoy and have a waddling Thanksgiving.
With a few days to go before Halloween Penguin Place (which is me) sold out of our ever popular light weight adult penguin costume and according to our distributer there would be no more for the rest of 2009. So, not wanting to be without any adult costumes for the rest of the year I ordered a couple dozen of the deluxe adult penguin costumes. Now what’s the difference between the light weight and adult costume you ask? Simply put, the deluxe has more of everything, more padding for a plumper penguin, better feet, nicer beak, etc. There’s just more penguin. For example, I get a dozen light weight penguin costumes per box from my distributer and only six per box for the deluxe. In the deluxe version you get double the penguin for about double the price. Of course for double the price and with Halloween come and gone I didn’t think I’d be selling too many of these high end penguin costumes, but I thought it’s always good for folks to know that they’re here if they want one. and after all what would Penguin Place be without any adult penguin costumes. But, I was more than pleasantly surprised when I received an e-mail from Narelle Campbell of the Australian Antarctic Division in Tasmania that a group of researchers and support people who are leaving for Antarctica in 10 days wanted 23 of my deluxe penguin costumes for immediate delivery. All we needed to do was a little haggling over the price for the bulk order, figure out the shipping logistics and charges and the costumes would be waddling their way to Tasmania faster than you can say Chilly Willy. By late last night everything was in order, and I logged onto the USPS website to figure out shipping charges and what were the size and weight restrictions for shipping so many penguins to the land down under the land down under (that’s what they call Tasmania). The weight was not a problem, and neither were the penguins, but the size had me running up against a bit of an iceberg. For shipping to Australia the box must not exceed 79 inches when calculating total height, length, width and girth. The girth thing always confuses me, but I measured each of my three boxes of penguins, and it appeared to me that I had made it under the wire by a couple of inches each. So, this morning at 10 am I set off with my trusted assistant Michelle to the main post office in Northampton with my trio of penguin costume boxes, all labeled, addressed and with custom forms and air mail stickers. Little did I know at the time it would not be until 4 1/2 hours later that I would leave the post office. Was there a siege at the post office and I was a hostage? Why and how did 4 1/2 hours pass before I could send out these boxes and leave, and how did I not “go postal” during that time. The answers to those questions may never be fully known, but here’s what happened as best as I can explain it. As I stated earlier I set off for the post office at 10 am. thinking I was totally prepared to mail my boxes, and then head back to “the igloo” for a regular work day at Penguin Place. My assistant Michelle drove me the two blocks to the post office in her jeep as my VW Bug would be too small for the task. When we got to the post office I quickly realized my first mistake was trying to assume what dimensional weight is. By the way my first post office clerk (Charlie) looked at me after he measured I might as well have been guessing the amount of marbles in a jar. I measured girth using a tape measure as the total inches around the box on the shorter side, while the post office measures girth using the long side. I was told by the clerk in no uncertain terms that my box exceeded the legal limit for air mail to Tasmania not by inches or half a foot, but by a whole foot per box foot each. So, I sent Michelle back to the office for a scissor, some tape and another box, I then took a couple of costumes out of each box, cut the original boxes down a bit on each side, re-taped them up and after all that it still turned out that only one of the boxes were under 79 inches, but this time the other three exceeded the limit by a few inches each. I was clearly making progress. Unfortunately, if you’ve ever dealt with the USPS you know there would be no swaying the clerk to let it slide, so again Michelle went back to Penguin Place for yet another box. Again we took a penguin costume out of each box and now started packing up a 5th box of penguin costumes. At this point Michelle and I have been at this for 2 hours and I’m assuming the boxes now meet the size restrictions, so I send Michelle back to the office to try to get some work done, but now the clerk is telling me that sending them international air mail parcel post will take 6-10 business days, which means it will undoubtedly not get to Tasmania by the 15th, so I urgently need upgrade the five boxes
to international express mail, this means I have to fill out new custom forms, and now to top it all off according to a new USPS policy implemented last week by the post office a clerk has to manually input each international custom and express mail shipping form into the USPS data base via index finger keyboard poke typing technique into the USPS computer (each box took about 20 minutes to do). But during this potential tedium in a wonderful gesture of goodwill and humanity my new counter clerk (Brian) actually me to feel free to go get some coffee or a bite to eat during the hour it would take to manually enter all the data for the five boxes into the computer. Shocked, I gave him a startled thanks and walked around the corner for lunch. Upon returning 40 minutes later at around 1:30 pm, I notice that Brian my personal post office clerk for the day did not look to happy. It seems that two of my boxes still exceeded the legal limit and were still an inch to big. A f&*%king inch!! Are you kidding me!! So, I took a deep breath and as calmly as I could I take back the two ‘over sized” boxes, whip out my trusty scissor and tape and begin to trim those boxes like possessed Edward Scissorhands. In twenty minutes the boxes are both 78″ and good to go. Unfortunately, Brian my personal postal clerk for the day had not done any of the custom form data entry (the stuff that takes about 20 minutes per box) while I was at lunch because he claimed he didn’t know if I wanted to send the three “legal” boxes out when two of the boxes were over the legal limit and unable to ship. What this meant was that now that I had trimmed the last two illegal boxes down he now had to begin the hour long process of entering all the info into the USPS computer from scratch. This time however I would not leave my penguin costumes until my mission was accomplished no matter what. I needed to pick up my kids at school by 2:55 pm and I already had invested nearly four hours into seeing that these boxes are sent on their way to Tasmania. By 2:30 pm, 4 1/2 hours after I first set foot in the Post Office with three boxes, my five boxes of penguin costumes had officially begun their 8000 mile journey to Tasmania and hopefully then on to the ice in Antarctica where hopefully they will amuse some scientists and confuse some penguins. According to the USPS website their scheduled delivery date is November 11th. To me it feels like that day has come and gone.
I know it’s the day before Halloween, but who cares. The most important day for the toddling parents of Northampton is the annual Halloween P.I. Daycare (we like to call it camp) Parade down Main Street at 10:30 a.m. when the whole town comes out to look at about 75 pre-schoolers in various states of adorableness and sigh a collective awe sooooo cute. As you may have read my two year old Rose has been insisting on being a cow (we somehow inherited a cow costume last year), and although I was not totally convinced she has kept up this bovine fixation through most of October. That is until last night when she agreed that penguin costume would be cooler than a cow. Duh!? But, as two year old’s are how you might say, fickle. I was not convinced that she’d follow through and waddle out the door this morning in all her black and white polyester splendor. But, to my very pleasant surprise and absolute glee, not only did she wear it and waddle proudly in the parade, but she insisted on wearing it out the door this morning and waddled all the way to daycare, I mean camp in her costume, webbed feet and all. Yup, that’s my girl.
In an act of desperation, luck and good timing I asked my two year daughter Rose if she wanted to be a penguin for tomorrows Toddler Halloween Parade down Main Street. She had been steadfast in saying for more than a week that she only wanted to be a cow, and Sophie my oldest has been a cat for 3 years in a row. So when I posed the penguin question just before bedtime Rose who will do anything to put off going to bed said yes and that she wanted to try the costume on. O.K. I thought, this bedtime stalling may work out for both of us as I promptly bolted into the penguin place “costume vault” and in a flash had one deluxe, size 2-4 penguin costume in hand. After a quick out of the plastic, over the head, arms in the flippers, hood up and over head and kids feet in the webbed costume feet she was parading and waddling in front of the full length mirror like she was auditioning for the road company of Happy Feet The Musical. With a big grin she declared “O.K. daddy, I’ll be a penguin.” With that said, my 6 year old instantly blurted out, “Daddy, I want to be a penguin too.” Back to the penguin costume vault and return with a 7-10 costume in hand. Same thing, out of plastic, over head, arms in flippers, hood up on head, feet on. Everyone is cute and happy. Now I’ve gone from no penguins in the house to all the kids are penguins. The only caveat is that Sophie wants to remove her big red bow tie. Done. Now, let’s see if they change their minds in the morning and I end up with a cow and a cat instead of a pair of penguins. Kids.