Saturday, December 24, 2005

Day 24 of the IAAFOTS Advent Calendar.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Day 23 of the IAAFOTS advent calendar.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Day 22 of the advent calendar, which may be my personal favorite of last year's holiday photoshopping. And keep your fingers and toes and anything else you may have handy crossed, it's looking like this transit strike MAY be coming to an end! But it seems like there's always a little bad news to balance out the good... Alistair Cooke's bones may have been stolen.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

No, I'm not on strike too... just the errands I already still had to complete for the joyous holiday visit of Our Lady of the Squirrels coupled now with strike contingency planning has thrown me a bit off kilter and the blogging is always the first thing to shut down when time is tight. However, right after I post this Day 21 of our advent calendar I will be putting up a post for Day 20 which will magically appear in its proper place yesterday, so look back for that (and I do like Day 20, it's a shot from last year of my neighbor's decorations here on Kingsland Avenue... this year they have more of a white theme with musical ornaments that beep and boop slightly out of tune). I also have some Christmas pictures and scans up over on the Flickr account that you can check out if you have not already done so, and there's this Vintage Christmas pool there which I've put some of them into that also has some other great stuff to look at (including some scans from O.L.o.t.S.) AND someone else from that pool who has added me as a contact has a cool page himself with many Christmas songs and such available for download, and on that site I've just found out about the coolest thing of all... someone has scanned in an entire copy of the 1979 Sears Wishbook and put it up on Flickr. So that oughta keep you occupied for a good long spell, and re: Mike's comment on an earlier advent image, I am willing to offer one (1) carton of premium egg nog and one dozen (12) candy canes to see pictures of Teresa working all day down amongst the animatronic woodland creatures in the lobby of the Grace Building. Additionally, however, Teresa will have to contribute 6% of her canes and nog toward her pension fund as opposed to the 2% cane/nog garnishment currently paid by the small mammal workforce. This is my final offer.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

And here it magically appears... Day 20 of the IAAFOTS Advent Calendar.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Day 19 of the advent calendar.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Day 17 of the advent calendar.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Day 16 of the advent calendar.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I get these daily how-to tips on my Google homepage, and usually they're either something I already know how to do or something I have no interest in doing... but today there are finally some useful instructions offered. Wiggle your fingers - by now the piglet(s) should be looking curiously at your hand, from a distance.

It's the first of the few days of advent calendar that I've decided to change from last year today - this scene is from the decorated lobby of the Grace Building, where readers Mike A. and Teresa S. work. Mike had told me that I needed to get down there to look at the "hard-working bears" they had going on, but when I got down there I discovered that Mike was really holding back - it's ever so much more than bears hard at work! Rabbits, squirrels, hedgehogs, raccoons, etc. etc. etc. Here the mouse butters while frogs crank and the coons pop... at least I'm guessing those are frogs, and they're the one element that sorta tampers with the illusion for me, because those amphibians would be dead and frozen were they really sitting in a snowbank. Well, and you don't pop sweet corn, either, but otherwise everything seemed fairly true to life, right down to the raccoon's well-known fondness for earmuffs, and it really is a scene of joy and delight for all who behold it. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Day 14 of the IAAFOTS Advent Calendar and three holiday news items which are neither super great nor super awful.
  1. Santa is a beast inside for being as short as he is.
  2. Local Santa 'Claws' Delivers Toys Won From Machine
  3. Is the reindeers OK to fly? I am so glad that you are coming to town. I hope you never die because you are the best on earth. I want a Bichon Frise.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

For a little extra fun, see if you can find Jake the cat in Day 13 of our advent calendar! Hey, I specifically said a little extra fun.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Day 12 of our advent calendar isn't nearly as topical as it was last year, and probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense at all if you didn't watch season 2 of The Apprentice, but I'm still pretty fond of my photoshopping handiwork and will not be replacing this one.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

It's Carpenters vs. McNichols in a no-holds-barred yuletide cage match for Day 11 of our advent calendar.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

IAAFOTS Advent Calendar, Day 10.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Well, we should all know by now how much I love snow, but I'm not sure how I feel about the dreaded SLUSHY ACCUMULATION we've got going on here in NYC now! More on the way! Slush-sloosh-glop-glop... anyhow, in case it's got you down at all, perhaps Day 9 of the advent calendar will cheer you a little, it's downright adorable.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The very mention of the Bush White House is likely to make the majority of our readership immediately set to grumbling, I know... they are bad and stupid and evil and untruthful and not so nice and war-mongering and greedy dunderheads and have I mentioned bad? And you know who else is bad? Hitler. I'm pretty much in agreement with all that, but I don't think anything's 100% bad, like that Grinch was really quite mean but then he met Cindy Lou Who and was afflicted with acute cardiac enlargement... anyway, one of the rare good things coming out of the current White House is back again: The BarneyCam Holiday video! You could argue that the time and expense involved could be better spent in other areas, but honestly, might it not be better for those folks to be distracted from pursuing their agenda for a little while one afternoon? And little Barney shuffling around the Christmas tree and whatnot has a cuteness that is difficult to deny. Network issues here at work have kept me from viewing much of this year's video, A Very Beazley Christmas, yet but I'm confident that it will be up to the high standards set by the previous two installments. A link to the new BarneyCam can be found on this page (somewhere over on the right if memory serves) and if you'd like to check out the old videos again they can both be found here.

While going back into the archives to fetch the link for Day 8 of the advent calendar I also found this festive Filthy Family Circus entry that you may wish to enjoy again this year. And if you've been wondering, "What can Santa and his reindeer teach me about the quality management and team-building necessary to achieve Service Excellence?" I've got you covered there, too:
Like Santa's Team, to be successful year after year, you need a plan with team commitment. Very little success is automatic and Santa knows this. So, teamwork is what Santa's got going on! He understands the personalities on his team and he understands the processes to effective teambuilding. How about you? Now, with the Holiday Season upon us, see how your team stacks up to Santa's. While you may not be able to complete your mission in just one night, by evaluating your team now, you might just see needed improvement as the New Year begins! Make sure your guests and clients see their "stockings" full and their "presents wrapped" perfectly in Service Excellence.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Day 7 of the IAAFOTS Advent Calendar, bundled with some holiday peculiarities:
  1. "He might be the Grinch. He might be friendly with the Grinch," resident Joanie Stein said. "It's a beautiful neighborhood and I think it's just weird." You know what else is just weird? A man named Joanie.
  2. "The behavior's a little odd," Larsen said. "We don't see that type of behavior very often."
  3. Nor is it particularly common to witness Santa weeping (and is he eating that flag or just wiping his nose on it?)
  4. But enough of the seasonal oddities, how about something you do often see, like children screaming in terror in the presence of Kris Kringle? Here are 42 fun fotos of festive fear for you to enjoy.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Here we have Day 6 of the advent calendar, plus reader Steve L. has sent in a tip concerning some squirrels who have allegedly gotten themselves involved in a spot of holiday mischief.

Monday, December 05, 2005

To accompany Day 5 of the advent calendar, I've also got some breaking holiday news: Santa and a gingerbread man are suspected of burning down the famous Christmas Goat in Gävle on Saturday night.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Hey, it snowed! Don't be confused and go thinking that this picture is Day 4 of the IAAFOTS Advent Calendar, though.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

It's Day 3 of the IAAFOTS Advent Calendar - Feliz Navidad!

Friday, December 02, 2005

The workflow dragged me under and would not let me back up today, but before I take off I must at least put up the two (2) squirrel news items that reader Steve L. has sent in to the tipline. One is fairly ho-hum, while the other is quite possibly the greatest piece of squirrel news to come my way in the long history of IAAFOTS. First the lesser, followed by the greater:
  1. A library worker in Michigan City has been suspended because she spent too much time trying to rescue a squirrel.
  2. A "big" stray dog was nosing about the trees and barking at squirrels hiding in branches overhead when a number of them suddenly descended and attacked.

Day 2 of the advent calendar.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

In this holiday season with all of its parties and dinners and cookies and candies and puddings both figgy and otherwise, we should all stop now and then to think about those less fortunate than ourselves and what we might be able to do to help make their December a little brighter. And as I was scanning the headlines at CNN just now I came across this tale of a beloved actor who seems to have fallen on some hard times who you can add to your list of yuletide charitable targets: DICK VAN PATTEN EATS DOG FOOD (I'm not actually linking to the CNN story since this one is longer and more detailed, I just like their headline better. Here's a little more info too.) Please open your hearts and give whatever you are able.

In happier news, today is the first of December, which means it's time to begin the traditional IAAFOTS Advent Calendar! For the most part I will be sticking with last year's design, although there are a few I might update just to keep you on your toes - don't skip ahead by looking in the December 2004 archives or Santa will leave a lump of coal in your stocking and Little Lord Jesus will spit up in your nog. To begin, here is DAY ONE.

When I saw the top Yahoo headline this morning, "Bosom Buddies Pal Dies", I started to think of things to say about poor Peter Scolari... but then when I clicked on the link that reader Mike A. had sent in about the sad event I found out that it's actually Wendie Jo Sperber who has passed away. While she is probably best known for her turn as Amy Cassidy on that show, she was also in a ton of other great films and shows over the years, or if not great at least usually enjoyable... well, okay, I saw Moving Violations in the theater and the only thing really enjoyable in that was in noting the resemblance star John Murray had to his brothers Bill and Brian-Doyle and wondering if he'd ever make another film (A: yes, he was also in Scrooged). But still, a lot of projects that are remembered fondly for some reason or another: I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Corvette Summer, Dinky Hocker (shoots smack) , 1941, Used Cars, The First Time (aka Doin' It), Bachelor Party, Stewardess School, Delta Fever (aka Summer Fever), the afore-mentioned Moving Violations, and all three Back To The Future movies except the second one, plus roles on the t.v. shows Private Benjamin, Hearts Afire, and Babes. Rest in peace, Wendie Jo.