27 August 2008


To Our Right-Trusty
and Much-Beloved
Imperial Consort!!!

22 August 2008

"Hello. . .

Bert! You still in there? Hello! You haven't posted since July 17th. Yoohoo! Hello..."

15 August 2008

Sir Nils Olav Penguin

Military penguin becomes a 'Sir'

A penguin who was previously made a Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian Army has been knighted at Edinburgh Zoo. Penguin Nils Olav has been an honorary member and mascot of the Norwegian King's Guard since the 1972. Over the years, he has been promoted through the ranks after being adopted by Royal Guard who visited the zoo. British Major General Euan Loudon officiated at the ceremony.

During the ceremony, Nils had a sword dubbed on each side of his head, where his shoulders should be, to confirm his regimental knighthood. A crowd of several hundred people joined the 130 guardsmen at the zoo. A citation from King Harald the Fifth of Norway was read out, which described Nils as "a penguin in every way qualified to receive the honour and dignity of knighthood".

The proud penguin was on his best behaviour throughout most of the ceremony, but shortly before the ritual was concluded and possibly suffering a bout of nerves he was seen to deposit a discrete white puddle on the ground.

Drawing a polite veil over that, Darren McGarry, animal collection manager at the zoo, said afterwards: "It went extremely well and we are delighted that the Norwegian Guard honoured Nils Olav with a knighthood. We all enjoyed the occasion and Nils was a perfect penguin throughout." The guardsmen come to see Nils every few years while they are in Edinburgh performing at the city's Military Tattoo. Mr McGarry, added: "Nils always recognises the Norwegian guardsmen when they come to visit him.He loves the attention he receives at the ceremony and takes his time inspecting the troops." Nils has also received medals for long service and had a 4ft bronze statue built in his honour.

Guardsman Captain Rune Wiik said: "We are extremely proud of Nils Olav and pleased that an enduring part of the Royal Guard is resident in Scotland helping to further strengthen ties between our two countries."

However, the penguin honoured on Friday is unfortunately not the original Nils Olav.He died in the 1980s and was replaced by a two-year-old penguin at the Zoo. Norway presented the zoo with its first king penguin in 1913, the year of its opening.

David Windmill, chief executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the charity that owns Edinburgh Zoo, said: "We have a long-standing history with the Norwegian King's Guard and it is something we are extremely proud of."

Published: 2008/08/15 14:11:44 GMT

13 August 2008

Good Times @ Castelgandolfo

"And this week's winner for snappiest hat in the summer papal court, non-clerical category, goes to. . ."

06 August 2008

Birds Gone Wild!

Lots of people wonder: Do penguins go on vacation? If so, what do they do? (Well, OK, no one asks those questions, but humor me - or the birds will be angry....) As many in our little circle of cybernetic acquaintances know, penguins do, in fact, love to travel. So vacations are important to them.

Not surprisingly, the beach remains a favorite for the modern penguin. Going off to a nice surf spot is popular.
Some even get blond dye-jobs to get the California Dude look.For those who prefer something less exerting, penguin spas are popping up all over the place these days.
Of course, some prefer to just crash at home. Given their frequent preoccupation with things nautical and piscatory, whereas we call this "vegging out" they call it "floundering."Some like traveling to exotic places and investigating foreign peoples and cultures.
Many consult a travel professional to find the right vacation to suit them...
and avoid getting stuck in cheap hotel rooms.Of course, being such popular fowl, sometimes the natives get overly exuberant in their welcome. It's worse than the paparazzi some times.
And, sadly, some have ideas about "getting away from it all" that are just plain unhealthy!