One of our closest neighbor is a bike-on-generator-powered coffee shop. These are the people I'm going to want to know when things go thunderdome. They seem like the types of people who can piece together anything. This last weekend, things were really rocking over there with some great music. You can read more about The Ped Pex Power Pod in a recent article from Seed Magazine highlighting the more scientific of the 2009 Art Shanties or directly at the Ped Pex Power Pod Blog (try saying that 10 times fast while pedaling a bike while you are jacked up on caffeine!)
We all had a great second weekend on the ice. This past Saturday and Sunday had it all: brass bands, art croquet, corn chowder, surprise visits from old friends, shadow puppets, secret poutine, an octopus, playing cribbage on a hundred year old handmade board, remote control camera, penguin wars, venison sausage, dog butchery, elephant bikes and some really nice weather. Sounds like you may be missing out on something if you don't make it out. Just a friendly reminder that the Art Shanty Projects is only open for the next couple of weekends (last day is February 14th). Dress Warm.
We all had a wonderful first weekend at the art shanty projects. Three beautiful days with three very different weather patterns. Saturday was windy as heck blowing near whiteout conditions at times. Sunday was the best kind of snowy with little or no wind and big flakes. Monday was still and sunny.
One of our visitors was MNkitemnan. His mastery of kite and camera was amazing. See that little black speck in the picture? That's his camera. His kite was up a good 60 - 75 feet. I watched him effortlessly position the camera over different sections of the Art Shanty Projects. Today, I was able to see the results on flickr. Incredible. Here are some of his shots of the dICEHOUSES Shanty. Click here to check out all of his photos from the event: MNkiteman's coverage of the 2009 Art Shanty Projects .
As John and I were pulling the propane tank and the heater back to the car, we decided to stop and take some low light photos. So peaceful. Even more so considering the 40 mile an hour winds that blew across the lake today until the sun went down. Click the images for hella-large versions.
The Mayor and I played this after finishing one of the dICEHOUSES. We were both surprised at how fun this descendant of Battleship was. In a series of specific location probes you are able to triangulate the location of your opponent's spies. The name of the game comes from the rare occurrence when your opponent's spy is on the same location as your spy. By announcing "Checkpoint Danger!" you are revealing your spy's location in an effort to capture their spy first.
If it sounds complicated, try playing it after a few (d)Icehouse Ales.
This year we are attempting to set the world's record for the largest cribbage board by drilling the board into the ice of Medicine Lake.
This Saturday is the big drill. While I was totally prepared to drill all of the holes myself by hand (for a double back board this would be 124 8-10"deep holes), Mr. Pitman inspired me this weekend as he waxed poetic about the song of the gas-powered augers he hears ringing (or roaring) across the lake. I'd like to hear a full symphony of gas, electric and manual ice augers singing their sweet music simultaneously this Saturday as they help me drill a full 244 hole board into the ice..
If you or anyone you know owns an auger and would like to be a part of this world record attempt, (Every driller's name will be recorded and included in the official record paperwork) please invite them to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or just check in at the dICEHOUSES Shanty early on Saturday afternoon.
First official game will be played on Sunday at noon. After that the board is open for all to play. Need to learn cribbage? We'd love to teach you.
Specifics: 244 holes (if we get a couple of dozen augers, that means only 10 holes each) Dirlled only half way through the ice (so they will stay open and as to retain integrity of the ice) Saturday noon - ????
Kenny Friedman shot me this story he found in the Star Tribune about a guy up in Foley who builds ultra-lightweight fishouses. I love this picture. Makes me wish I could see some sort of modern dance performed by dancers dressed in these. Read the full article here.
The dICEHOUSES Shanty is ready to go. All 5 dice are stocked and ready for game play. I can't wait for next weekend for all of the shanties to be open for art. We met some of the folks from the Trans-Arctic Expedition Shanty (will be staying on the ice for the entire Art Shanty Project in their upside-down ship, Oh, Hell is a favorite game over there and a new one to us, we can't wait to learn it.) and heard tell of some amazing projects that will be happening over at The Word Shanty (including loads of anagrams). More on both of those later as I will be doing my best to find out the favorite games of all of the shanty-dwellers this year.
In other news, we had an initial kickoff / birthday party for John last night. It was cold, but the company was warm.
Thanks to the whole team for helping move the shanty to the lake, especially my dad for his truck and trailer manipulation skills and Uncle Jerry for the trailer. We can't jump up and down about being done until we finish a couple of tweaks to the doors and install the solar lighting in the final two. Good thing it is supposed to be a balmy 20 degrees today. The rest of the week will be a little less tropical.
Euchre is a real quick trick-based trump card game that I learned from the Dahlke clan, and it rules. First, I'll blow your mind with the games eccentricies:
Only cards 9 through ace are used
Score is tallied on black-suited 4 and 6 and red-suited 4 and 6
Cards are dealt in sets of 2 and sets of 3
The hierarchy of cards in the trump suit are as follows (best to crappiest)
Right Bauer (Jack of trump suit)
Left Bauer (Jack of same color)
So, I'm not going to go into the complete gameplay for euchre, there are plenty of places on the web for you to go learn and play. But, I will tell you that this game is best played in person as it is a partner game. It is also a lot easier to learn than one would guess by looking at the craziness listed above. The First Lady and I will teach anyone who comes to the ASP this year, just ask.
And just in time as we are putting them out on the lake this weekend. This dicehouse has a really cozy feel with maple stain polyurethane to accent the weird spray-painted stripes that we found on this plywood from the bottom of the pile. I'm guessing that they are there to mark the quality of the lumber, but John thought they looked too cool to paint over. I figured out how to turn a couple of old exterior lights into candle sconces that will really accentuate the Den-like feel of this shanty.
At 1:30 this afternoon I heard a knock on the porch door. I put down my bon bons and turned off my stories to see who it could be. I opened the door and found a somewhat familiar looking 60ish man on my porch. "These things for sale?" he asked.
I then went into the story of what the dICEHOUSES were, and why we were making them. I don't think he completely understood it. He said he and his wife didn't understand what the "H" and "Q" were on the main headquarters dICHOUSE (they are supposed to look like scrabble letters).
I told him he looked familiar and asked him his name. His name was John, and he lives in Shakopee (which is the first tier suburb of Mt.Holly). I explained who I was, and who Mike was. Shakopee having once been a small town, he knew both of our parents, where they currently or previously worked, what street one of them lives on, and even mentioned that he went to school with Mike's dad. We also figured out that the man lived across the street from my high school best friend. I asked him if he had heard of Mt.Holly, and he said, "Oh yes, we saw you in the paper a year ago." He thought it was pretty neat that we were trying to "make history" as he put it with making our own town.
Turns out he really didn't want to buy one; his question was merely a sort of pick-up line to start a discussion about the unusual fishhouses he had been driving by for weeks. He was impressed with the dICEHOUSES, and that we were doing something different and fun. He pointed out that it was something we could do with the family, and that he liked the idea of sitting down and playing games with the family on the ice.
I'm glad to know there are other crazies out here that will just knock on your door in the middle of winter. It's nice that there are similar small town folks in what sometimes still feels like a small town, despite the McMansions that popped up and condo's that killed the once historic downtown of Shakopee.
Well, I was going to lay in bed all day on New Years Day. I lasted until maybe 9:00. But then the scrap plywood and plexi began calling. Autumn has been dying to help out with something on the dICEHOUSES. I decided, that we should make a dog house for any of our canine friends who decide to join us on the ice. Autumn thought it sounded like a good idea as long as she could paint it. What's gonna work? Teamwork. She's a beauty with her rainbow pips and drop down portal style door. Thanks for your help, Goomba.