Monday, August 27, 2007

Minnesota State Fair 2007

Friday, I took the day off, and went to the Minnesota State Fair with Pooteewheet, Eryn and Kyle. Eryn was forward-looking enough to win us tickets this year, so our entrance was free - just not the food. We also started the latest we've ever started, which made parking a challenge as we drove around to find a park and ride lot because the south Fair lot was closed.

Pooteewheet has a nice series that shows Eryn standing in front of the same sign for five years in a row. All the pictures are out at a Flickr set. And I offer commentary on a random selection below.

Eryn goes for the rides. Not the food, because there's no way she was savoring that corn dog with the speed it disappeared, but the rides. Here she is on some new-fangled thing we hadn't seen before. I was only requested to go on one ride - a sailboat that swung back and forth - and it made me a little queasy, although that was probably more the deep-friend Snickers covered in batter and powdered sugar than the ride.

Nice view from up high. Eryn doesn't quite have this ride figured out and took ran around like a chicken as we were getting on, and then took a bit of a header as we hopped off. I think the pressure of "GET ON NOW! GET ON NOW! GET ON NOW!" seriously flusters her. I don't think I'll take her sky diving any time soon.

I thought the wooden bear was far too happy about the tractors. That, and he's pretty much shouting "Look at my missing genitalia!" Lost them in a tractor accident, no doubt.

Freaky corn that looked more like Cthulu than corn, with those things hanging off his head. Pretty cushy job as it wasn't broiling - he seemed to just wander around with the words "Poet" on his butt and hug lots of young women for photo ops.

"Do Not Board". It was a safety notice, because to board, I'd obviously have to break both my legs at bare minimum.

This was strange product placement. It could only be targeted at people on the skyway (or whatever the ski lift is called at the fair), but you couldn't exactly hop off and go get a Gizmo. In addition - if you were headed to the opposite side of the fair, it was a long way back to a Gizmo, and they didn't sell it enough to make it worth a $3 return trip.

Eryn on a $44,000+ lawn mower. This could help my neighbor, Steve, who was mowing in the dark last night while I watched Grandma's Boy. If you're going to mow in the dark, getting done as fast as possible is the right way not to lose a toe or foot.

A very pretty sheep. Many of them were wearing these strange warmers that hearkened back to the '80's and John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis in Perfect, or Olivia Newton John's "Physical" video. This sheep is channeling the '80s and starting to do some dance moves.

One of the dairy owners (related family, really) hugging a cow. His friends clapped...cheered...took many photos. And he just snuggled up to his cow and mugged for everyone. Probably the only time I'll ever talk about "hugging the cow" when it isn't a euphemism.

When you've run out of money to ride the midway, you can ride the big wooden giraffe. Also a euphemism. It looked difficult to get up there, and then not very exciting once you were. I think it would give me flashbacks to Wall Drug.

Eryn was into milking this year. She milked a fake cow at the kiddie barn, which had an udder full of water, milked another fake cow with a milking machine, and compared udders at the dairy barn. Really what she was fascinated by was not the milking, but the udders. She says "udder" like it's super funny, and had us walk up and down the rows of cows so she could see a few dozen. She's also a big fan of watching sheep get shaved, and was keen on the police dogs. Her favorite swag from the fair was a K-9 unit stuffed dog she named "Dog" and a Fleet Farm key chain that she likes because I keep trying to steal it (not that I want it - I prefer my Marvin the Martian key chain Pooteewheet got me).

Eryn riding the world's largest diaphragm. Could have been left behind by Paul Bunyan's girlfriend - because I saw his shoe last year, but not him. Maybe she'll be at the miracle of birth display in the future, because there's a rather obvious flaw in this birth control device.

Eryn and Kyle scoring root beer. The day was beautiful. First day we've been in years where it wasn't either 95+ degrees, or raining. That did result in a lot of people at the Fair as it was supposedly going to be the only nice day during the last week and the week to come. Although the whole weekend turned out to be pretty nice. In addition to root beer, we had the aforementioned fried Snickers. Fried Oreos. Little donuts. Teriyaki ostrich (overdone and too salty). Corn dogs. A blackberry malt (yum). Kyle had a caramel sundae. A chocolate Kiwanis malt. And much, much more.

A picture for the Lawschool folk, because you haven't seen her in a while. That's her new baby. I ran into all sorts of ex-coworkers at the fair. Nathan the intern, who's going back to Morris, and I crossed paths four times. Kyle spotted the parents of our friend from high school, Mark, but they blended into the crowd before we could say "hello". We're pretty sure we spotted their big, white, three-wheeled motortrike in the motorcycle parking area. They rode it in parades and around town throughout my high-school years, so it's easy to recognize.

We also saw Erik the Hairy Swede's wife at the eco building. She was telling us about the nice man who had stopped right before we got there and was showing her pictures of his girlfriends: pole dancer girlfriend, car show girlfriend, etc. When it was posited that she might show up on his cell phone as eco-car girlfriend, she admitted that he had wanted to take a few photos. She also noted that working with an eco-friendly car display was painful when forced to argue with individuals who would come up and announce that global-warming wasn't real. As if it's the only reason why you shouldn't drive a huge gas-guzzling car.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pictures. If you could make copies for your grandmother, Old grandma to give to her on your trip South it would go well.

boringsahm said...

Looked like a great day out! Saw Eryn's pictures on Pooteewheet too and she really shoot up in the last year.

Scooter said...

Yeah - we didn't even realize how much she'd grown compared to the year before until we saw the Fair picture. Crazy tall - explains the moodiness and talking back now and then...right? Because I don't think that's normal for four year old girls ;)

She's going to be taller than her mother by eleven - that'll be trippy.

LissyJo said...

I think i had that very same leotard that goat is wearing when i was in gymnastics!

At my new job orientation, i met a woman who used to bring dairy cows to be judged at the state fair. She said it's all about the udder--how it hangs, how round it is, what it looks like full (no joke!). That's how their judged. I would imagine they'd have only the best of the best displayed at the state fair. Perhaps eryn has a future showing dairy cows!

We're headed to the fair this w/e and subjecting my father-in-law, who will be in town then. He always seems to be in town for the state fair....I think he thinks we have some sort of obsession with it.

Scooter said...

There was a discussion today in one of my meetings about the workers here who have hopped the pond and then go to the MN State Fair for the first time. Apparently they all come back a little horrified and ask the natives what's wrong with us.