Archive for Staff

Have we got holiday movies for you!

Years ago Christmas television specials would come on once a season and if you missed it, well, you missed it.  There seemed to be something special about everyone getting together to watch “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” with homemade cookies and hot chocolate.  But in today’s busy world it isn’t always possible to get everyone together on the one night something is on TV.  Yes you can record it, but then there are all those commercials.

I was just looking in our catalog and found that we have 78 holiday movies.  There is definitely something for everyone in our collection.  As I reviewed the list I found several that I can watch every holiday season.  What would Christmas be without “it’s a Wonderful Life”?  Although I watch it year after year I always see something new.  What do you think people’s lives would be like if you were never born?  Just think of all the people you have touched or who have touched you; it’s an interesting thought.

“Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” has been around since 1964.  It has been shown every year and is the longest running Christmas television special.  An elf who wants to be a dentist, why not, everyone has the chance to be who they want to be.  Then there’s the Isle of Misfit toys with a bird that swims instead of flying, a caboose with square wheels and a cowboy who rides an ostrich.  Every one of them is OK in Rudolph’s book and it’s a great lesson for kids.

We also have “Miracle on 34th St.”, “A Christmas Carol”, and “Babes in Toyland” which are all popular during the holiday season.  I’m sure most of you won’t get through the year without hearing someone say “you’ll shoot your eye out!” and although I’ve seen it year after year, I still laugh when the dogs take the turkey off the table or when the little brother bundled in his snow suit falls down and can’t move.  You can’t help but be amused when you watch “A Christmas Story” and learn that important lesson that you should never lick a frozen flag pole!

Our collection has lots of movies for the little ones, names like Elmo, Eloise, Caillou, Dora and Mickey all pop up with the Christmas search.  There’s also my personal favorite, “The Year Without a Santa Clause.”  Watch it once and I can’t stop singing about Heat Miser and Snow Miser for the rest of the season!

So don’t be a Grinch, check-out one of your favorites or watch a new Christmas special.  Make a date with your family for a fun holiday movie night.  The hot chocolate may be instant and the cookies may be cut and bake but take some time out and spend it with your family during the holidays.


Fingal’s Cave

Fingal’s Cave is a sea cave on the uninhabited island of Staffa in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.  Its size and eerie sounds produced by waves give it the atmosphere of a natural cathedral. It has been an inspiration to many artists including Felix Mendelssohn who wrote The Hebrides Overture (also called Fingal’s Cave overture) after visiting the cave in 1829. It also inspired J. M. W. Turner to paint Staffa, Fingal’s Cave in 1832.

Snow birds of the north

I know that when I see the Dark Eyed Junco show up at my feeder it’s a sign that winter is near. Although that isn’t great news to most of us, I find the sight of new snow peppered with a flock of Juncos one of the best sights of winter.

Juncos spend the winter in flocks of 6 to 30 or more birds. Each flock has a dominance hierarchy with adult males at the top, then juvenile males, females and finally young females. Although they look like they are playing as they frolic in the snow, they are actually aggressively challenging each other. Either way, they could entertain me for hours.

Juncos live in the forests of the western mountains and Canada. They move into the rest of North America for the winter once a cold front moves in. These birds have also been called “snow birds” since they seem to show up when the snow does, but it is also believed that the name could come from their gray backs and white underbellies or “leaden skies above, snow below.”

Juncos foraging in the wild use a method called “riding.” They fly up to a seed cluster on a grass stem and “ride” it to the ground where they pick off all the seeds. Ingenious little birds who know how to get what they want!

If you are interested in learning more about Juncos or other birds that visit your feeder come in and borrow one of our bird identification books.

Michael Corcoran

Michael Corcoran (1827-1863) was born in Ballymote, County Sligo Ireland in 1827. He eventually emigrated to the United States in 1849. He became prominent in New York City politics. He also became the Colonel of the 69th New York Regiment (The famous Fighting 69th) and led it at the First Battle of Bull Run. He was captured in the battle and threatened with execution while in captivity. Eventually he was paroled and had dinner with President Lincoln. He became a divisional commander but died in a riding accident in 1863. There is a monument to him and the regiment in Ballymote.

A Singing Bibliophile

Recently I had the happy experience of seeing Art Garfunkel perform at the Palace Theatre in Danbury. I have long admired his singing talent and was not disappointed in this talent. But he is also a gifted poet, writer and raconteur between songs. If you go to his website he has a list of the books which he has read since 1968 and it is most impressive.