Archive for March, 2010

Penguin Pool Springs A Leak and Then Some

March 26, 2010

Monroe County officials have told the Penguin Post that it will take $1.2 million to fix a leak at the Rochester zoo’s penguin pool in upstate New York.

Officials at the county-run Seneca Park Zoo have known for years that there was a leak but didn’t have the metering system to locate the problem. They have now learned the leak was draining 50,000 gallons of water a day, which sounds more like a water fall than and leak as it’s been costing county taxpayers $100,000 in combined water and sewer charges during the last year.

Zoo staff was able to determine the leak was coming from the 15,000-gallon penguin pool. The pool was drained late last year. County officials say the pool will be torn up so the leak can be fixed.

Fortunately, the penguins have access to another pool in the exhibit.

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Dublin Zoo Hosts Penguin Treasure Hunt

March 26, 2010

The Penguin Post has learned that a penguin enclosure designed to encourage the colony to breed has been unveiled at Dublin Zoo.

The enclosure features over sized Donegal sandstone and many tonnes of sand which reflects the natural habitat of the colony of seven male and seven female Humboldt penguins.

Contrary to popular perception, the birds are from South America rather than Antarctica and suffered like the rest of us during the recent cold spell.

Zoo director Leo Oosterweghel said the more naturalized environment would help the colony to breed.

“The inspiration has to come from nature,” he said. “They love burrowing and it is a softer, planted, more pleasant environment. We desperately want to increase the numbers of these birds.”

Mr Oosterweghel said the new glass enclosure would allow for a “nose to beak experience” with a penguin.

The presence of penguins in Dublin Zoo has not been without its dramas.

In 1996, all but one of the colony died in mysterious circumstances which was initially thought to have been caused by toxic paint. The penguins were replaced two years later.

The revamped enclosure is sponsored by McVitie’s who make the Penguin chocolate bars. The company is also sponsoring the new children’s play area adjacent to it.

Dublin Zoo is hosting a penguin-themed treasure hunt this weekend.

Penguin Keeper Feeds His Flock at Dublin Zoo

Ron Cey : The Penguin Slugger

March 25, 2010

With baseball here I thought the Penguin Place Post should feature our  all-time favorite baseball playing penguin. Former Los Angeles Dodger all-star 3rd baseman, Ron “The Penguin” Cey.

It’s March 1973 and a young, stocky, power-hitting third baseman nicknamed “The Penguin” is trying to make it to the big leagues with the Dodgers. His name is Ron Cey and little did the baseball world know then that he would go on to play in the big leagues for fourteen years, while becoming one of the premier players of his generation, not to mention an inspiration to stocky guys everywhere.

At five foot nine and 185 pounds, Ron was first called “The Penguin”  by his college coach, Chuck Brayton, at Washington State University, not just because of his size, and short legs, but his distinct running style that could only be described as, well… penguin-like.   The name stuck, and Ron became affectionately known as “The Penguin” to teammates, broadcasters and fans alike.

In the 70’s and early 80’s, Ron Cey was the slugging, all-star third baseman for some of the great Dodgers teams that won three pennants and one world championship.  He was also an integral part of the 1984 division-winning Chicago Cubs and became a well-respected and popular, nationally recognized player in an era that pre-dated ESPN, the internet, mega-buck commercial endorsement deals and multi-million dollar salaries. A six-time MLB all-star, in his day Ron was as well-known as any player in the National League.  Of course part of his fame was due to talent, but some of it obviously had to do with his fabulous flightless waterfoul nickname.  Yes, “The Penguin” had himself a devoted fan club and following, and of course it goes without saying that over the years Ron acquired his own penguin collection, much of which were gifts from teammates, friends and fans.  In 1980, in one of the most unique sports ad campaigns of all time Nike had Ron pose wearing a tuxedo and a pair of Nike’s with a group of ten Blackfoot penguins in the snow. How this sold sneakers is anyone’s guess. This poster, which has become quite a collectors item for baseball and penguin fans alike simply reads in giant letters across the bottom, “Penguin Power.”  I’m lucky enough to have one.

When the Penguin Post asked Ron a few years back what it was like posing with the real penguins, he claimed to have “enjoyed it very much”.  I also asked if he thought being a ball player and having “The Penguin” as a nickname diminished his status as an athlete in the eyes of his teammates, fans and the media. Ron’s reply was a resounding, “No! Not at all!” He said emphatically.   “Not every player has a nickname, it’s a honor to get one that sticks as very few have nicknames last 17 major league seasons, and even into the present day.  To me, that is status.”  I couldn’t agree more, you have to be a very special player to have a nickname that sticks for decades, and ” The Penguin” certainly has earned one.

When Ron “The Penguin” Cey retired from baseball in 1987 he was at that time the all-time Los Angeles Dodger home run leader with 228, to go along with his 316 career home runs, 1,139 RBI and a .261 lifetime average.  I asked him for his fondest baseball memory (as it pertains to penguins, of course), and he said, “the smiles on young fans’ faces asking me for autographs while calling me Penguin.”  I then asked if I could call him “The Penguin?”  “All my friends do”, he replied.   With that I smiled and thanked Ron “The Penguin” Cey for his time.

Ron is still known as the Penguin and lives in California.

Penguin Power

Rookery Of Cool Penguins Returning

March 25, 2010

These past couple of weeks have marked the return of some classic penguin favorites to our bulging penguin shopping igloo.  Some of these fan favorites have been out of stock for since the holidays like our Wind-Up Rolling Salt & Pepper Shakers, Ceramic Soap Dispenser, Fun Four Penguin Picture Frame, Penguins Of The World Tote Bag,  Bobble Head Bank, Cold Feet and Plush Emperor Backpacks, Emperor Chick Plush Purse, Classic Head Bobber, Adorable Penguin Pendant with Matching Box,  kids Penguin Jack in the Box, Kotobuki  Tea Set, Black & White Personal Fan and Automatic Travel Umbrella.  Other cool waddlers that we’ve welcomed back after a year or so hiatus are our returning Around the World Penguin Travel Set, Mr. Peterman and Waddles Plush, Eco Friendly Flashlight, Emperor Zibby Key Chain, Penguin Suspenders and Penguin Chick Graduate Plush and some are back after being unavailable since our Next Stop…South Pole days like our recently re-discovered Wind-Up Pocket Key Chain and Penguins Of The World Puzzle.

Wind-Up Penguin Salt & Pepper Shakers

Price Jump For Silver Penguin Rings

March 25, 2010

Although the price of just about everything these past 18 months have either stayed level or gone down the price of silver and gold have steadily increased which is what usually happens during uncertain economic times.  We’ve tried to keep the price level for the past couple of years, but unfortunately with the price of silver going up, so must the price of our sterling silver wrap around penguin rings and at the rate of about 25% across the board.  Still, for about $45 for these beefy sterling silver penguin rings this is still a great value for this wonderful looking ring.

Our Sterling Silver Penguin Ring is available in sizes 5 - 12

Last Chocolate Penguin Pop Waits To Waddle South

March 24, 2010

Yet another  undeniable sign around these parts that it must be Spring is when Penguin Place sells out of the last of our yummy Chocolate Penguin Pops, and won’t (can’t) re-order them.  It happens this time every year, just after Daylight Savings Time is revoked as the pops (unlike M & M’s) don’t travel well in warm weather.  In other words they melt.  As of press time, there was only one chocolate penguin pop left in stock.  Who the lucky recipient will be?  No one knows for sure, but we can be sure of one thing.  That like the birds of Capistrano these equally exotic chocolate birds will come waddling back next October.

Run (Waddle) With The Penguin

March 24, 2010

DECATUR, Ill — “The Penguin” — John Bingham — returns to Decatur Saturday, March 27, for his namesake race, the fifth annual Penguin in the park 5K run/walk in Fairview Park.

Registration is from 7 to 8:15 a.m. with the race starting at 9 a.m. The fee is $22. Finishers receive a Penguin medal. The post-race party is in Griswold Gym on the Millikin University campus featuring  Bingham, a Millikin graduate.

After 14 years as a columnist for “Runners World” magazine, Bingham has joined “Competitor” magazine. He continues to travel to races around the world as an advocate of runners of all fitness levels and is the national spokesperson for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program. He has a new book, “Running for Mortals,” co-authored with Coach Jenny Hadfield.

Proceeds from the race will benefit the Millikin Fund as well as the Decatur Indoor Sports Center’s youth programs.

To register, go to www.penguininthepark.com or contact Mandi Podeschi at penguininthepark@gmail.com.

Penguin Joke Contest In Brooklyn

March 22, 2010
In keeping with our penguins in Brooklyn theme this is from the blog of one of my favorite old watering holes.  The Life Cafe in beautiful Bushwick
Make our Penguin Laugh and Win a Mini Iceburg

Have you noticed the penguin standing on our bar-shelf at Life Café Bushwick.

I will let you into a secret, he’s a sad Penguin, so sad he became frozen.

In fact, he’s a Prince amongst Penguins, (we call him Prince) and his place in the Kingdom of Ice is waiting for him if only we can cheer him up and wake him from his stupor!

I mean he should be out chasing sardines across the oceans, not standing on a shelf in a bar in Bushwick for Gods sake!

That’s why we came up with the idea for the best, ‘A Penguin walks into a Bar’ joke competition.

Following the monthly selection of best contenders for Best Penguin Joke, by the Life Café panel of judges, we shall read the jokes out loud to the Prince in a secret late night ceremony, in the hopes of cheering the little guy up.

So go on, cheer up a Penguin today, write out your joke on a comments card with your email address and post it in the box.

Think how good you will feel if you make our penguin chuckle! Even if the jokes don’t wake him up, but make us laugh, we’ll award you a mini iceberg floating in a sea of your liquid choice!

Here’s this month’s winner

By Phil J (who does not claim originality for this, but nevertheless, well done Phil!)

A Penguin walks into a bar and asks the bartender,

“Do you have any plums?” The bartender says, “Sorry we don’t have any plums”. The penguin walks out of the bar.

The next day the same Penguin walks in and to the bartenders’ surprise asks him again,

“Do you have any plums?”

The bartender looks at the penguin and says,

“I told you yesterday we don’t have any plums here.”

And the penguin walks out of the bar.

The next day, the bartender sees the penguin walk into the bar and stops him

Before he can say anything and says,

“If you ask me if we have any plums, I’m going to nail your beak to the wall!”

The penguin then says,

“Do you have any nails?”

To which the irate bartender replies,

“NO!”

Then the penguin asks,

“Do you have any plums?”

Brooklyn Penguin

March 22, 2010

This was in the Sunday NY Times (Metropolitan Diary).

Skiing in Prospect Park those two magical days in late February was like visiting a snow sculpture museum.

There was a laughing Buddha, Homer Simpson and a snow arch tall enough to walk through, to name a few creations.

Overheard in the meadow:

“I heard someone made a rat; do you know where it is?”

Reply:

“Go past the giant polar bear and the toilet bowl. It’ll be on your right — you can’t miss it. If you get to the penguin, you’ve gone too far.”

New Yorkers love to give directions. Ann Garvey

Willy Waddles the Giant Chocolate Penguin: RIP

March 21, 2010

About 8 months ago Willy Waddles waddled on to the Penguin Place scene in a big way. A very big way. When the good folks at the candy wholesaler where I get our Penguin Gummies from sent me an image of their new chocolate candy bar named Willy Waddles I jumped all over it.  I love chocolate, I love penguins, the jpeg image of Willy looked great and he was 14 ounces!   Not a bad little chocolate penguin snack.  Then he arrives and he’s in the order of nearly a foot and a half tall!   Seems Willy is hollow, like an Easter Chocolate Bunny and I neglected to ask how big he was (I assumed candy bar size).  So now I’m stuck with a whole bunch of giant chocolate penguins that don’t fit in any USPS Priority Mail boxes, so they have to ship via pricey UPS and since they’re hallow they will most likely break during shipping (as about 20% did).  Plus, they’re taking up valuable storage space. But, after selling some and giving some away to various local charities the last Willy Waddled out of Penguin Place to of all places Idaho this past Tuesday, and just in time before the warm weather would begin to melt to poor penguin.   That is I sold the last one except a Willy who’s wing was broken.   So, what do a couple of chocolate loving penguin people do when presented with a 16″ inch tall chocolate penguin.  Yum, yum, eat em up.  Except Willy proved to be a formidable chocolate mountain indeed.   We started from the top down and perhaps it was the curse of Willy, but after eating his face as I was doing my best Silence Of The Lambs impersonation I headed straight for the bathroom not to return for quite some time.  Michelle wisely was pacing herself and working on the torso and fortunately didn’t feel any ill effects.  The next day I was rejuvenated and we began to nosh on the wings and torso, slowly working our way down.  This time I had some milk to help with the process, and by night-time with the family asleep I sat down in front of the tv with my rented DVD of Black Dynamite with the lower half of Willy and some cold milk.  But, a half hour later the thrill was gone and I realized that Willy had gotten the better of me and my stomach.  I declared No Mas, and discarded the carcass of Willy Waddles in the trash in the same way Claude Raines tossed that bottle of Vichy Water into the can at the end of Casablanca.  It took a lot of will power to just dump what was left of Willy in the garbage, but had I continued on with my foolish chocolate penguin campaign I surely would have regretted it. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but some day soon and for the rest of my life.  Ah Willy.  We’ll always have Paris.

Eric, Michelle and Willy Waddles