Saturday, July 19, 2014


Strange, that I would have a blog post with such a chill-inducing title in the middle of one of the two hottest months of the year - but I have my reasons.

We have two of the oddest methods for raising money in this state - called the Polar Bear Plunge and Freezin' for a Reason. 

I still hear of these events, and immediately think - These guys are nuts!

The two charity drives are legendary, annual events in Wisconsin.  Both have ordinary people (ordinary....but not exactly SANE) jumping into large bodies of water in the middle of winter...without an impending threat of bodily harm if they don't comply.

Yup...I said it - they do this voluntarily, and ON PURPOSE! 

It's a mad attempt to convince the people in this state with money AND sense to donate generously to the cause of the jumpee's choice. 

The scary part - it works.

The leap is traditionally accompanied by a crowd of well-wishers cheering on the participants while bundled up to the eyebrows and sipping steaming cups of hot chocolate liberally laced with alcohol and marshmallows. 

And cookies. 

As an aside, here - there is always an appearance of something baked and sweet anytime there are more than 4 people gathered together up here.  Cookies.  Cakes.  Sweet Breads.  Muffins.  Donuts.  Bagels stuffed and/or topped with fruits and/or sweet goo.  We do them all.   We take our pastries seriously in this state.

 I can handle an obsession with bakery goods (the proof is in my waistband) but the whole jumping into Lake Michigan in the dead of winter in Wisconsin?  I don't think I've ever been THAT bored - even when the winchill drops to negative double digits and I'm terrified of freezing to the sidewalk.

I'd rather make a dozen chocolate, chocolate covered raspberry cheesecakes with burnt-sugar glaze and chocolate chips.  From scratch.

There's a new 'thing' making its way across the interwebz - the Ice Water Challenge.  Just another way for someone to do something mildly foolish in front of a camera all in the name of a good cause.  This challenge is simple:  Video record someone pouring a bucket of ice water over your head and plaster it all over the social 'net. 

Like all charitable challenges - there's a request for any and all who see the show to donate generously to the cause of the soon-to-be iced person's choice.

This one ends with callouts - you get to name five of your friends (seriously...I like to think I treat my freinds better than this...) to repeat said challenge in the name of THEIR favorite charity.

And thus is born the newest orgy of 'Hey, look at me doing something not too bright!' videos posted on social forums across the globe. 

Some people get quite creative in their dousing.  I saw a guy yell out "Go Big, or Go Home," before loading a large skid mover's bucket with the required ice and water.  He got REAL wet.

A bunch of firemen used a fire hose (no ice, but that's a LOT of water pressure!)

One guy lined the back of his pickup truck with plastic sheeting, filled with ice water, and belly-flopped in.

And, of course, you've got the random costumed dunkers - Batman, Ironman, Spiderman, Superman.  You'll notice, there are no superWOMEN doing this...our superpowers must be brains.

present company excluded, of course...

I laughed when this one guy got three buckets dumped on him - the third aimed square at the crotch. (I'll say again...friends like this...) He started pulling his clothing away from his body yelling 'Oh shit!' Deliberately pulled the waistband of his shorts and pointedly looked down still yelling "oh, Shit!"

You know what they say about cold water and men, right?

Well, now that we have the backstory, details, and research laid out - you can guess where this is going, right?  I got called out.  I guess I need a new circle of friends.

I really, REALLY wanted to ignore the whole thing, as the only thing making anyone do this is pure and simple peer pressure - and just get on with more important things in my life, like photography and 'shop and the great teacup replacement adventure, but then I had a thought: 

The still shots of a large volume of water and ice being flung could be something worth capturing on the camera. 

Proving once again that I'm more than just a bit weird, more than just a bit obsessed with water and my camera, and that I REALLY need to learn to ignore thoughts like these.

Soooo - 5 gallon container - check.  Off to the local Walmart I went, and I can use the container afterwards to store stuff, or donate to Goodwill if I'm feeling the need to de-clutter.

Ice cubes - check.  I don't feel the need to keep 50 or so trays of frozen water in my little freezer, but ice is easy to procure in this country.  a 5# bag of frozen, semi-uniform cubes is under $2.  Consumerism at it's finest!

Cronies - check.  I can't run the video, the still-cam and fling water at myself BY myself, unless I've got a couple of clones handy or have suddenly developed telekinesis.  (In case you're wondering, the answer is 'no' on both...)  Lucky for me, my son, DIL(2B) and SQO were available and willing to help.  Strange, the amount of perverse pleasure they enjoyed at the idea - but I'll ruminate over that later...

Set up was easy - give the video to my DIL(2B), give the bucket to the SQO, set up the still cam on the tripod and set to sport mode (just push down the button and WHAPWHAPWHAPWHAP - the shutter will continue to fire off until you let up on the button) and yea...let's do this.

That'll teach me to get on the wrong end of my camera lens.

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