Christmas of Errors

THERE was a great deal of trouble getting in today, which explains why I did not adopt my pinto horse. The site was down most of the day, but in the times it was up we got this lovely Christmas cover:

Christmas screen

And a special card (I'd just asked Belsnickel what he had done while I was gone, the wiseacre):

Look, a card!

Which opened to reveal this:

Webkinz 2007 Christmas card

Also, there was a note that Santa Kinz had arrived!:

Santa Kinz has come!

This is what was in the box that had been left:

Christmas gifts


WE saw some of the new interactive "Kookeys" today. Now we have seen the Russ "Shining Stars" and these are pretty cute stuffed animals. They even have a dragon, which Webkinz does not have. But I gotta say that the Kookeys I saw are really ugly, even if they do have a giraffe. They are of this fuzzy, ugly material and look a lot like dog toys.

Today's Humor

EITHER my attempt at gem searching has rendered Arte speechless or he has laryngitis.

Arte is speechless

Cute Screencap for the Day

AS this year's Hanukkah celebration draws to a close, Treve (in his autumn sweater, of course) takes a last look at the lighted menorahs.

Treve and Menorahs

Recent Adoptions

I seem to have an animal for every Sunday in Advent as well as other feast days. :-)

NeilMany years ago a fellow named Thorne Smith wrote a book named Topper describing an ordinary man's encounter with a married couple who lived hard and fast and died the same way, in a car accident, and who return to haunt him. It was made into a film starring Cary Grant, and then into a television series, with Leo G. Carroll (yes, "Mr. Waverly" himself) as Topper and Robert Sterling and Anne Jeffreys as the ghosts, George and Marion Kerby. In the TV series they died in an avelanche while skiing, along with a St. Bernard rescue dog. The dog, Neil, accompanied them on their hauntings; he was also a bit of a dipsomaniac. So it was natural that I'd name a Webkinz of the same breed after Neil.

(The joke continues: this was an adoption that included a Superbed; I picked the Movie Bed because some friends of ours have a teenage son with the same name, and he wants to become a filmmaker.)

BonfireNeil was my St. Nicholas Day adoption. For the second Sunday of Advent, the pet du jour was Bonfire, who is my "Hallowe'en cat"; she's living in the Hallowe'en "bed and breakfast."

TreveAnd then my long-awaited birthday gift, the cutest of them all, my collie, named after Albert Payson Terhune's "Treve." Terhune claimed Treve got this call name from his kennelman Robert Friend, who, when Terhune asked him about it, replied, "Well, a dog has got to know how to 'treve' before he can 'retrieve,' doesn't he?" I'm afraid I'm going to be playing favorites with this one, because not only is the stuffed animal adorable, but the avatar is equally cute!

Winter's Here!

IT snowed last night!

Well, in Webkinz World at least. (Here's it's supposed to be in the low 70s tomorrow through Tuesday. Ugh!) All the yards are covered in snow (but the crops are still growing and the trees in the background still green...very funny looking!).

[hands on hips] Okay, WHERE'S THE CHRISTMAS STUFF?


Go-Go Goo-Goos

Goo-Goo BerryIN the game "Go-Go Googles," the white google and the pink google attempt to gobble goo-goo berries while also eating the nasty "buzzerflies," who arouse the poor goo-goo berry tree's allergies. Enough buzzerflies on the tree and it sneezes, your game being over.

Some time ago Webkinz had goo-goo berries floating across the screen in the manner of the leaves in Fall Festival and the chocolate medallions a few weeks ago. Well, the goo-goo berries are back, today through December 11; you click on them when they float by and you get a berry to feed to your pet.

Caught one while I was on briefly this morning before work. They certainly are big! The folks who complained about the tiny chocolate medallions will have no trouble seeing and clicking these!

A Hanukkah Glitch

Webkinz MenorahsWEBKINZ is celebrating Hanukkah with a series of three menorahs as they did last year; however, the silver menorah is a new one this year (last year's silver looked exactly like the gold one). They are all supposed to be animated, but when 6 p.m. arrived, only the silver one lit up.

I assume in the programming there is some date and time that tells them when to "light," since I hardly see the Webkinz support staff suddenly "turning them on" manually. I wonder if they forgot to change—or if the change didn't take—the date and times on the other two menorahs. That would certainly explain their darkness.

Christmas Adoption

BelsnickelFOR the First Sunday of Advent, an appropriate adoption: my reindeer (although it might have been more appropriate on St. Nicholas Day, but (a) I couldn't wait that long <g> and (b) St. Nicholas rides a white horse—or a donkey, depending on the country—not a reindeer). I wanted a unique name, so he is "Belsnickel," or "Nicky" for short. (Poor thing: he is best friends with "testcolour4," a very common adoption glitch these days.)

The real "Belsnickel" isn't as benevolent as the stuffed type. According to folklore, Belsnickel is "[a] German Christmas servant (and pseudo-precursor to Santa), his name comes from the two German words "Pelz" (fur) and "Nichol" (Nicholas), meaning "St. Nicholas dressed in fur". The Belsnickel has been variously described as thin or portly, and as a man or woman. His only truly consistent trait appears to be his commitment to justice over holiday good will." He was the one that kept the naughty and nice list and was quite capable over the years of leaving presents for the good children and awarding the naughty ones with coal, nothing, or even a switching!

The stout, vintage Santa decorations you see, with Santa in a robe instead of a suit, are often called "Belsnickels."

Here's the rest of the Belsnickel article.

And a fascinating article about 19th century "Belsnickeling" in Indiana.

Upcoming Fuzz and Other Tales

NO sooner had someone in Adultkinz sprung the news of a new grey wolf Webkinz (one that might be just a virtual pet without a corresponding stuffed animal), Webkinz Insider chimed in with news of four new upcoming stuffed animals: a black poodle, a "velvety" elephant, a grey Arabian, and a tie-dye frog. The black poodle looks like a dyed version of the white poodle, the grey Arabian just a rework of the brown Arabian. The elephant and the frog are a bit different than the other animals as they look a bit more "cartoony" than your regular Webkinz.

Menorahs for Hanukkah have already shown up in the W Shop since Hanukkah starts on the evening of December 4. The skinny on them is that one candle will light on the first night and then another light each night thereafter. Cool.

There is a new promotion in the vein of the Bee Movie promotion last month in which you clicked on the ad and received a bee costume or honey. This one is for the upcoming "Chipmunks" movie—yes, they are remaking yet another old icon, Alvin and the Chipmunks; the 'monks, of course, are CGI and David Seville is played by Jason Lee. Anyway, you click on an ad and receive a chipmunk nose and glasses (dark for Alvin and Theodore, clear for Simon) with one of three hoodies. Alvin's red hoodie also comes with a guitar. Or you get Theodore's favorite food, waffles. The ads were rotating frequently last night; I got at least two of each outfit (more of Theodore's) and eighteen waffles, one which I fed to the pet du jour. They appear scarce tonight.

There were also chocolate medallions floating around again today, in honor of POTM. I never saw a one, but James clicked several.

A Lucia Dog

LucindaSINCE I managed to find a chihuahua that didn't look as if its brains were busting out of the sides of its eyes (the large Webkinz chihuahuas are really bad about this; they have bulges over their eyes that are decidedly unattractive), I adopted one this morning since it is the Pet of the Month.

In deference to her ethnic heritage and also to December holidays, she's named Lucinda after St. Lucia, whose feast day is December 13, and who is celebrated in Scandinavia and also in Sicily. In several countries, Lucia is the gift-giver, not Santa Claus or St. Nicholas.

adoption giftsUnfortunately, I did lousy in the area of POTM adoption special gift: I said before I went into the adoption that the one thing I didn't want was a "Playful Picture." (It's a picture for your wall that moves. Gah.) The next was the candy-striped unicycle and after that was the virtual Newton's cradle and the steam-powered TV. I didn't get the picture, but I got stuck with the dopey unicycle. My top wishes for a POTM item would be a lighthouse or the snow machine, after that the crystalline pond, the star machine, the UFO, or the cuckoo clock. Even the space window, the telescope or the doughnut plant wouldn't be bad.

I stuck the unicycle in my new toy shop, where it will at least fit the decor. Yawn.

I also got the items at right, plus the usual adoption gifts of some food, the chihuahua's special chair, and a halfway decent special prize, the vortex hole.

I really don't plan to buy POTMs that I don't like (so no frogs) or that I already have, so my chances of getting a goody are going to be narrow anyway. Ah, well.