Time to wrap up a few outstanding giveaways and make some general announcements. Sounds fun, right?

"¢ The folks running Ithaca's 'Light in Winter' festival kindly offered two free tickets to one of our readers. Based on the responses to Sunday's upstate New York trivia challenge, we've declared Alicia the winner. She just wanted it more. Congratulations! I'll be in touch about your free tix. And for everyone else who still wants to attend, visit lightinwinter.com.

"¢ In case you missed Higgins' post this morning, we're hoping you'll send us photos of the oldest thing you own for a gallery feature we're working on. If you want to show off your stuff, here are the details.

"¢ Allison is working on the second installment of The Weekend Links. Got something flossy she should include? Send her an email: flossylinks@gmail.com.

"¢ Back on December 27th, we asked what makes your dogs so special. We have a winner!

From Ellen, about BB: BB (short for Big Boy) was the runt of the litter. He was also the garbage can for all of the worst possible gene combinations available from his parents. His mother is a Shar pei/Pit mix. From that gene grouping he received his problematic skin condition that won't allow fur to grown on his face and throat. Another little "˜gift' from Mom are his collapsing ear canals that has rendered him mostly deaf. From good ol' Pops, an Australian Sheppard/??? mix, BB inherited his white fur with patches of brown, gray, tan, and black markings. A very handsome coat, indeed. However, according to my Vet, the gene that determines the color of the coat is the same that determines the color of the eye. Hence, the whiter the dog, the greater the chance for blindness. Thus, BB was born blind. So here I have this medium size dog with no fur on his face and throat, who is blind and mostly deaf. Awwww, you say? No, just wait. Now, I'll explain why he should be a candidate for world changing canine. This is a pooch with a demeanor of never-ending hopefulness, good nature and determination. At any given time, you will find him overflowing with love and gratitude at the least sign of attention. He finds his way through the house and around the back yard as though he has it totally mapped out in his head. And when he does by chance run into a chair or a doorway, he smiles and shakes it off as though it were a little joke on him. When he goes looking for me, you can bet he will find me, no matter when I might be. He greets all strangers with an openness and unconditional happiness that melts their hearts on contact. The world should take a lesson from this brave little fellow: The adversities that are handed to us are simply inconvenient, not immobilizing. By the way, when he's really happy, he chases his tail. Makes you wonder how he knows it's there to chase!

Ellen should have already received her copy of 100 Dogs Who Changed Civilization: History's Most Influential Canines. Well deserved!

That's enough for one post. If anyone has any other Odds and/or Ends not covered, leave a comment or send me an IM (flossyjason). Good night!