Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

"No, I hired you because you look good. It's like having a nice piece of art in the lobby." - Hugh Laurie, House, M.D.


A crab. Made of ice. Why? Art, of course! This one deserves to be clicked on to see the larger version. I could make a crab joke, but that would be far too easy. By the way, all of the pictures on the site can be clicked on for larger versions. Many aren't worth it. The ice statue pictures are.

We went to the Fairbanks World Ice Art Championships last weekend. Fittingly, the event is sponsored by a chainsaw company, Husqvarna. Husqvarna. Any company that has “sqv” in sequence must be foreign. And, I checked it out, it’s Swedish. I, for one, am pretty glad the Swedes weren’t armed with chainsaws back when the Vikings went a plundering. Vikings with swords, long beards, and other pointy non-mechanized bits were already enough to give Europe the collective heebie-jeebies for several hundred years. A group of Vikings with chainsaws? Now that’s just not fair.

I can see how this went (through the magic of Bork-Text):

Olaf: Sven, yuoor cheeensev needs ooeel.

Sven: Ya, Olaf, und iff I keep cootting thruoogh Frenchmen thees vey, I’m gueeng tu dooll my blede-a, tuu.

Olaf: Hey! I joost gut a better idea! Ve-a cun stup ell thees peelleging und gu stert a sture-a thet sells qooeleety Svedeesh foorneetoore-a fur decent preeces!

Sven: Hut dung! Let’s du it!

Anyway, at some point the Vikings got socialized medicine and a high marginal income tax, which encouraged the fighting, but took away the incentive for the pillaging completely. I’m not sure how, but this encouraged a bikini team. And ABBA. I’m willing to forgive them the pillaging, but they still owe us an apology for ABBA. Dancing Queen, indeed.


An ice chainsaw, which fits Fairbanks perfectly. All that's missing is a 50' ice Viking to run it, or a 20' diameter roll of ice duct tape.

I digress. Husqvarna makes a nice (note: my opinion can be bought, Husquarna, lots of extremely misguided people come here looking for chainsaw advice (really)!!) chainsaw, and ponied up the money to help support this year’s Ice Art Championships.

These are essentially huge cubes of ice that people from around the world painstakingly craft for hours on end. Then spring hits, and all the effort is obliterated like lottery winnings at a strip club. Mess up? It’ll melt. Best work of your life? That’ll melt, too.


It may qualify as art, but to me this one looks like two of the creatures from "Aliens" dancing. As long as it's not one of those Irish tappity tapp tap Riverdance things I'm okay with that. Riverdance isn't dancing. It's visual violence.

I have some talents, this I know because The Mrs. hasn’t given up on me yet. I’m not sure exactly what my talents are, but they don’t include carving ice. Some of these people are fantastic.

The Mrs., The Boy and I walked around. The New Boy was wrapped in a snowsuit and covered with a blanket and propelled via stroller. Many folks had (I’m not making this up) little baby sleds that they pulled their New Boys and New Girls around in. Our New Boy has gotten to that dangerous age where ability exceeds sense, and if we took him on a sled, he’d crawl off and be raised by wolves, unless he ate the wolves first. The New Boy does have an appetite.


Ice moose hit your ice truck? No problem. Unless Vanilla Ice is in there somewhere.

The sculptures this year were good, perhaps better than last year as a whole. We walked through and looked at the sculptures. One thing that amazed me about the sculptures is how much detail the sculptors got with ice, and what textures they were able to coax from it.

We then headed to the Kid’s Park. The Kid’s Park is for the most part dedicated to slides. Slides made of ice. The Boy scampered, ran, and slid on every slide. He had a wonderful time. I tried to get him to lick the slide, you know, so we could call the firemen to unstick his tongue like in "A Christmas Story," but he was too smart for that. I should have triple dog dared him.



Next: Our Frosty, Bosomy, Friends

9 Comments:

Anonymous Just My WWW said...

John, you've inspired me to go back in the daytime to take pictures of the sculptures! Your pics are GREAT!

And, I owe you an apology, I accidentally marked your comment on my blog as SPAM yesterday :::insert blushing face here::: Just call me a Word Press virgin :)

12:16 AM  
Blogger Wild*Hen said...

You know I have an affinity for crabs...

I made that ice crab my desktop!

Muchas Gracias my Inuit friend!

2:40 AM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

So, which Husqvarna chainsaw should I buy?

6:10 AM  
Blogger The Mayor said...

Fascinating...especially the little bumps on the crab, what detail! Definitely worth the wait after yesterday's post!

6:55 AM  
Blogger Nick Zegarac said...

What a spectacular festival. You were right, the images should be clicked to see the larger version. I'm not a person who's into winter but your photos make it seem so inviting and attractive. I dig your Hugh Laurie quote. Now, let's see...how many real life employers are doing that too without telling us?!?

7:13 AM  
Blogger Al said...

I am impressed. You can speak Swedish! Can you speak Hillbilly-ese, too?

Ice art is very impressive. I also saw them here:

http://www.susanstevenson.com/Journal/March2006.html
(Scroll down)

6:12 PM  
Blogger Lady Luck said...

Those are really neat. It is too warm in Oklahoma to carve ice so at our state fair they carve butter! Ha!

6:22 AM  
Blogger SusanE said...

Amazing photos. I don't usually insist that people look at things on the computer. But my entire family had to check those out.

6:41 AM  
Blogger John said...

just my www,
Thanks! No apology necessary. Get NAME BRAND software here. Oops.

lungfung,
You're welcome! Enjoy the crab. More (not crab) to come. By the way, they do sell this cream (check your pharmacy . . .) (not that I'd know)

woof,
If Husqvarna comes through with some promotional stuff, all of them. If not, I recommend Poulan.

mayor,
Actually, I haven't posted the good stuff, yet.

nick,
I for one have never, ever, ever, been hired for my looks. It's my cutt butt and cleavage.

The festival is wonderful. We go back a half dozen times while it's open.

As for winter, well, if there's always the other eighty days in Fairbanks.

al,
Yew bet!

Actually, I can speak in any language, if by language you mean accent.

lady luck,
I've seen some of those. But a statue of a cow made out of butter is like an ice scupture of water. (See I studied for my SAT's)

susane,
Thanks! Had lots of fun taking them. I've got WAY better photos coming this weekend.

5:19 PM  

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