03 March 2010

Funny Psychic Groundhog Phil Blessed Us With More Winter - Cheeky Quote Day 3 Mar 2010

*** Funny quotes, history and legend of America's amusing Groundhog Day celebration.


* * * For 2012 post, predictions:  Groundhog Day: How Many Talented Psychic Rodents In America?


* * * Check out:  Groundhog Day Louisiana Style: New Orleans T-Boy, Baton Rouge Boudreaux






From Denny: Here we are now four long weeks into an extended winter, proclaimed by the celebrity groundhog himself to last a full six weeks. Punxsutawney Phil is known around the globe for his famous forecasting abilities even the psychics envy. And he does it all on a non-cash basis, preferring to barter for great room and board, yummy treats, lots of petting and celebrity status adoration. Read that as he is one spoiled pampered little guy. His fan club is known as the Inner Circle and is made up of local dignitaries dedicated to providing his lavish style.

Phil's official forecast as read February 2nd, 2010 at sunrise at Gobbler's Knob:

Hear Ye Hear Ye Hear Ye

On Gobbler's Knob on this glorious Groundhog Day, February 2nd, 2010, Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of all Prognosticators awoke to the call of President Bill Deeley and greeted his handlers, John Griffiths and Ben Hughes.

After casting a joyful eye towards thousands of his faithful followers, Phil proclaimed, "If you want to know next, you must read my text. As the sky shines bright above me, my shadow I see beside me. So six more weeks of winter it will be."

With that he bid everyone a good night as he retired to sleep away the remaining winter. Too bad we can't get off that easy.

Check out the well dressed fellows of Punxsutawney Phil's Inner Circle who are responsible for arranging Phil's publicity and celebrity events:




*** To contact the Inner Circle send e-mail in care of events@punxsutawney.com

How did this revered Pennsylvania tradition of Groundhog Day begin?

As with most cheeky endeavors, it evolved over humorous time. Groundhog Day has its mysterious roots in the earliest Christian celebration of Candlemas where candles were distributed and blessed. It was declared if there were clear skies on that day then it was an omen there was to be a longer winter.

Well, one thing led to another, for the ancient Roman legions were to spread the custom during their conquest of the northern country to the Germans. The German culture added some sparkle to the celebration by declaring if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, then a hedgehog would cast his shadow. The Germans declared this shadow business as a sound prediction of six more weeks of bad weather, also known as Second Winter.

Yeah, but where does Pennsylvania come in? Come on, we all know America was settled by immigrants, hordes of them. The German hoarde came to Pennsylvania and this fun groundhog custom stuck. The Germans have a wonderful sense of humor about life sometimes.

But wait there's more...





What does a furry marmot like our boy Phil have to do with the celebration anyway?

"The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club" popped into existence back in 1886-1887 (exact date lost in the mists of time) when a fun-loving group of groundhog hunters from Punxsutawney formed the group. As luck would have it there was a cheeky newspaper editor, of The Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper, in the group so you can imagine how he took the story and ran with it. Or should I say he ran away with it - all over the world. He did such a good job of marketing the local groundhog named Phil that he was dubbed as "the one and only weather prognosticating groundhog." That's a pretty big reputation to uphold but the succession of Phils in the dynasty have made their great great great... grand daddy groundhog proud.

The funny thing is this editor issued his "proclamation" coincidentally on Candlemas Day, renaming Candlesmas as Groundhog Day. Boy Phil's fame sure spread, all the way around the world in thousands of newspapers equally smitten with the marmot's Gobbler's Knob predictions.

Today the Groundhog Day festival has grown to over 20,000 people in live attendance at the Gobbler's Knob site. Around the world, the news networks carry Phil's psychic prediction live to millions who are waiting with breathless anticipation. Like we can't plan our week without knowing whether Punxsutawney Phil has given his blessing.


Groundhog Day 2009 video - Watch the procession to Gobblers Knob by the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club and Punxsutawney Phil's Prognostication:






A little late winter Groundhog Day Poetry to get you through the next two weeks before Spring arrives:

Old English song:

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.


Old Scotch couplet:

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There'll be twa (two) winters in the year.


Another variation of the Scottish rhyme:

If Candlemas day be dry and fair,
The half o' winter to come and mair,
If Candlemas day be wet and foul,
The half of winter's gone at Yule.


*** Be sure to check out the official Groundhog Day site for a poetry competition! It is a proper "dot org" and provides lesson plans and all manner of cheeky fun for teachers and students - and writers...

From the site, here's their fun offer: Create a two to four stanza poem that talks about Phil, groundhogs, the six weeks of winter, prognosticating, shadows, the weather and more. We will post selections on our website. With 15 million visitors annually, it may bring you fame or at least get you or your school on our web page. Send entries to Inner Circle member: Ben Hughes aka "Fog Spinner" at bhughes@pah.org.





But wait, there's more... these guys at this celebration are some kind of cheeky. They have created their own Groundhog Cookies. Here's the delicious recipe to make for your own celebration every winter!

Groundhog Cookies

Does it get any better than this on the humor meter? To order a Groundhog Cookie Cutter go to Groundhog Stuff.




Groundhog 4.5" cookie cutter, the bigger the better as it is more majestic, deserving of such an awesome celebrity, don't you think?


Groundhog Cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg yolk
1 egg, slightly beaten
Currants or raisins

Directions:

Sift together first seven ingredients. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Blend in molasses and yolk. Stir in flour mixture and mix well. Form into a ball.

Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill overnight, several nights or freeze.

Place small amounts of dough on a sheet of plastic wrap, and cover with plastic wrap. Roll 1/8 inch thick. Cut out cookies with lightly floured cutter.

Place cookies on greased baking sheet. Brush with slightly beaten egg. Decorate with currants or raisin eyes. Repeat until all dough is used.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven. Cool slightly before removing from cookie sheet. Makes 72 or more medium-sized groundhogs.


*** If you prefer to order the cookies: They are $3.99 plus shipping for 12 regular or 18 minis. Ask for plain, iced or sugared.

County Market in Punxsutanwey: email orders to punxsutawneycm@svharbor.com.




Phil's magic magnet


According to the official groundhog day site: Over the course of Phil's appearances, Phil has had numerous noteworthy highlights:

During Prohibition Phil threatened to impose 60 weeks of winter on the community if he wasn't allowed a drink. (Psychics must need a stiff shot every now and then.)

In 1958 Phil announced that it was a "United States Chucknik," rather than a Soviet Sputnik or Muttnik that became the first man-made satellite to orbit Earth.

In 1981 Phil wore a yellow ribbon in honor of the American hostages in Iran.

Phil traveled to Washington DC in 1986 to meet with President Reagan. He was joined by Groundhog Club President Jim Means, Al Anthony and Bill Null.

Phil met Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburg in 1987.

In 1993, Columbia Pictures released the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray.

Phil appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1995.

In the years following the release of the movie, record crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney!

In 2001, Phil's prediction was shown live on the JumboTron at Times Square in New York City.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell attended the ceremonies, making him the first sitting governor ever to do so.




Phil's official coffee mug gracing his most awesome image


Also from Phil's official site as he likes to educate the public about his awesomeness and that of his relatives, by association, you know:

Groundhog Facts


The average groundhog is 20 inches long and normally weighs from 12 to 15 pounds. Punxsutawney Phil weighs about 20 pounds and is 22 inches long.

Groundhogs are covered with coarse grayish hairs (fur) tipped with brown or sometimes dull red. They have short ears, a short tail, short legs, and are surprisingly quick. Their jaws are exceptionally strong.

A groundhog's diet consists of lots of greens, fruits, and vegetables and very little water. Most of their liquids come from dewy leaves.

A groundhog can whistle when it is alarmed. Groundhogs also whistle in the spring when they begin courting.

Insects do not bother groundhogs and germs pretty much leave them alone. They are resistant to the plagues that periodically wipe out large numbers of wild animals. One reason for this is their cleanliness.

Groundhogs are one of the few animals that really hibernate. Hibernation is not just a deep sleep. It is actually a deep coma, where the body temperature drops to a few degrees above freezing, the heart barely beats, the blood scarcely flows, and breathing nearly stops.

Young Groundhogs are usually born in mid-April or May, and by July they are able to go out on their own. The size of the litter is 4 to 9. A baby groundhog is called a kit or a cub.

A groundhog's life span is normally 6 to 8 years. Phil receives a drink of a magical punch every summer during the annual Groundhog Picnic, which gives him 7 more years of life.




Phil's official 13 oz. beer mug with just enough room to contain that 12 oz. cold one






Groundhog Day Jokes


1000 Years of Summer

Paris, France
February 2, 2007

Groundhog Day - Not to be outdone by the Americans, UN officials held their own Groundhog Day.

In their own Groundhog Day ceremony, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), tying in reports on global warming, announced that there would be six more weeks of winter.

... followed by 1000 years of summer.




Phil's official starinless steel traveling coffee mug



What Day is it Today?

Over breakfast one morning, a woman said to her husband, "I’ll bet you don't know what day this is."

"Of course I do," he answered as if he was offended, and left for the office.

At 10:00 a.m., the doorbell rang and when the woman opened the door, she was handed a box of a dozen long stemmed red roses. At 1:00 p.m., a foil-wrapped, two-pound box of her favorite chocolates was delivered. Later, a boutique delivered a designer dress.

The woman couldn't wait for her husband to come home.

"First the flowers, then the chocolates and then the dress!" she exclaimed.





Top 11 Reasons to Celebrate Groundhog Day

11. It's on nearly every calendar.

10. Helps relieve cabin fever.

9. Spring or not, it's six weeks till St Urho's Day.

8. Forecast is no less reliable than the National Weather Service.

7. At least one of them critters is bound to see things your way.

6. Valentine's Day is too depressing for nerds.

5. Unlike the Easter bunny, he keeps his dirty paws outside.

4. As they used to say on radio: "The Shadow knows."

3. It's fun to say "Punxsutawney."

2. If a rodent can bring us an early spring, more power to him.

1. In Minnesota, either way we come out ahead.





Winter quotes:

The groundhog is like most other prophets; it delivers its prediction and then disappears. - Bill Vaughn

To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring. - W.J. Vogel

There's one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbor's. - Clyde Moore

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it. - Patrick Young

Don't knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while. - Kin Hubbard

Winter is nature's way of saying, "Up yours!" - Robert Byrne

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. - Maori Proverb

I was just thinking, if it is really religion with these nudist colonies, they sure must turn atheists in the wintertime. - Will Rogers





Spring quotes:


Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" - Robin Williams

Where does the white go when the snow melts? – Anonymous

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. - Hal Borland

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world. - Virgil A. Kraft

In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours. - Mark Twain

You can't see Canada across lake Erie, but you know it's there. It's the same with spring. You have to have faith, especially in Cleveland. - Paul Fleischman

First a howling blizzard woke us,
Then the rain came down to soak us,
And now before the eye can focus -
Crocus. - Lilja Rogers

In springtime, love is carried on the breeze. Watch out for flying passion or kisses whizzing by your head. - Emma Racine deFleur

Indoors or out, no one relaxes in March, that month of wind and taxes, the wind will presently disappear, the taxes last us all the year. - Ogden Nash

Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush. - Doug Larson



* * * For 2012 post, predictions:  Groundhog Day: How Many Talented Psychic Rodents In America?


* * * Check out:  Groundhog Day Louisiana Style: New Orleans T-Boy, Baton Rouge Boudreaux


*** Hope you enjoyed this romp through Phil's life with enough grins to get you through the next two weeks left of winter! THANKS for visiting, come back often, feel welcome to drop a comment or opinion, a big shout out to awesome current subscribers - and if you are new to this blog, please subscribe!
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