Sunday, January 27, 2008

Priceless Modern Art

Many of you may know about the tragedy of our minivan's engine giving out on the way back from Island Park. Thankfully, we were just outside of St George when it happened. We were even more grateful that Mom and Dad let us take their Suburban and continue our trip home with minor interruption. The van has now received a new engine (Did you know you can get a new engine for just slightly less than a new used minivan?).

While the van was being fixed we were out working in the yard and Carol pointed out some obvious scratches on the passenger side door of the Suburban. "Were those there?" she asked. We looked closer and discovered they looked like deep keymarks in varied directions on the door. The car is a few years old, but it's been well cared for and had enough minor damage (trailer into the back doors ring a bell Robert?) repaired that the paint is in good shape. The gouges were only in the one door, and on closer inspection seemed to be letters, in handwriting that was just like our 5 year old Rachel's writing.

I looked around the yard a little and soon discovered a hacksaw blade the pool builders had discarded aimlessly that had some tan paint residue on one end. The guilt on Rachel's face when I approached her about it was more telling than her stuttering admission of what happened.

I called Mom and Dad shortly after and asked if they liked Rachel's artwork. They both hesitated before answering "Yes. Why?" I told the story and went out to look at it better. That's when I noticed there was a method to the inscription's madness. The vandal had not scratched random letters and designs in the car but had written "RA", then run out of room on the door so she moved back left and wrote "C", then further left and "H", "E", then "L". The resultant inscription was "LEHCRA".

We're still deciding exactly how much to bill Mom and Dad for the autograph--the artist isn't that well known, but considering the cost of the canvas, it has got to be worth a lot of money.

This tale reminds me of others. Any of you who doubt my father's sainthood can be told of the story of the family's first brand new Suburban and how the snow was miraculously cleared from the windows one snowy morning. Turns out my three younger brothers used their show and tell rocks to tap the snow off, breaking every window but the windshield in the process. Dad just kindly interviewed the boys after he got home from work and got the windows replaced.

Remind any of you of anything?

The end of the Suburban story shows one of the "tender mercies" we received. We took it in to the auto body store and the scratches were buffed away in about 10 minutes for only $40. Unfortunately the van engine could not be fixed with the same process.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Hairless Potter

We made this video at the cabin as part of the video competition. You have to admit that the footstep special effects are pretty cool.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Snowmobiling - The Art of Getting Stuck

Snowmobiles have come a long way since I was a kid. There were no such thing as handwarmers, electric start, or fuel injection. Reverse meant you turned around and went the other way, not that the snowmobile engine ran backwards. Now the machines have 155 inch tracks with 3 inch paddles and flotation skiis. They are practically unsinkable.

Mark demonstrates that man can overcome an unsinkable machine in this episode of 'The Art of Getting Stuck on a 3 Foot Tall "Hill"'.

Snow sculpture contest

Here are the three creations from our annual snow sculpture contest at Island Park. Awards were as follows:

Most Honorable

Idaho Falls Temple - Christy, Lisa, Justin, Matt and Cubby

Most Original

Snowmo Beetle - Mark, Brian, Lindsey, Carol, Amanda

Most Massive

Great Wall of China - Daniel M., Kimberly, Joshua, Rachel Sabey, Elaina