Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Finger Pointing Continues

Rotterdam, NY – The very spirited contest this month on Today's Snowman was featured yesterday in the Daily Gazette in Schenectady and only added gasoline to the fire;
"The nearly 12-foot behemoth snow sculpture — now history — is on pace to trounce its equal-sized counterpart crafted by a group of University of Colorado alumni nearly 2,000 miles away. “It’s the age old story of whose snowman is bigger,” said Bob Eckstein, the online competition’s moderator and author of the “History of Snowman: From the Ice Age to the Flea Market.” For most of the month, the Great Snowman of Rotterdam remained in a tight race with its Rocky Mountain version...for MORE.

Monday, February 25, 2008

There's No Business Like Snow Business

Filming continues for the newest installment, Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with the snowman cast in the role of Indy's nemesis Dr. Irving Berlin.

The Oscars tonight were bittersweet, of course, as none of the distinguished movies had focused on snowmen. The snowman has starred in over 28 movies (one more than big-shot actreess, Cate Blanchett) but it's been 44 years since the snowman was nominated for an Oscar (for the short film Help! My Snowman's Burning Down, an honor which helped the snowman the next year land a role as the spy in the Beatles’ hit Help!).

More about the snowman's experience in Hollywood can be read in the book, which brings us to the rumor on the internet that the movie rights to my book, The History of the Snowman, have been sold. This, unfortunately, is just that, a rumor (but I would love to see the book one day be made into a mockumentary).

Well, so much for the Oscars. By the way, did you know the Academy Awards began in 1929 as a blog with online voting? Just like Today's Snowman snowman contest. Now's the time to send in any snowmen entries for the upcoming March contest. There are already quite a few entries. First prize is a signed copy of The History of the Snowman book. Runner-ups and winners receive posters as well.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Snow Scupture So Ahead of it's Time...

How can you not see the genius of #6 Missing Stomach Snowman? Isn't this just a reflection of the state we are all going through now? A commentary on the clash between art and society? Connecting on an emotional level few snowmen can? Oh, who am I kidding, this piece needs alot of help.

Meanwhile as of press time The Great Snowman of Rotterdam pulled ahead of the University of Colorado by a score of 509 votes to 363. But there's over a week to go and it would take just one good address book to make up that gap. All the snowmen have a chance...expect this one, the Missing Stomach Snowman. It's destiny is a distinction in ineptitude.

It's actually starting to grow on me.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Univ. of Colorado vs, Rotterdam, NY Update

It's neck and neck, as of press-time the two top contenders, The University of Colorado Snowman and the Great Snowman of Rotterdam, are just one vote apart (I think. It's very hard to read the polls. These voting polls really stink and do not enhance the whole snowman contest experience. Today's Snowman is now conducting a poll survey.).

My God, This is Beautiful (Yet Fiendish, Too)!

Ominous sky, spikey 'do, and overall evil mood setter...this winning entry is obviously pacing itself before making a serious move in the polls. From there I expect big things from this pair; maybe a sci-fi flick, a coffee table book, who knows...the 2009 world championships!

Let it begin here; vote #7 Swiss Alps Snow Couple.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Crime Scene Snowman - Dying a Slow Death

With but two votes (at time of posting) under it's belt it's time to point out the real crime taking place in this lovely entry – stealing a tried and true Calvin & Hobbs cartoon/spam we have all received numerous times in our inbox. It's time to give tribute of this James Frey of the snowmen - please vote #3 Crime Scene Snowman!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Greetings From Rotterdam, USA

Thanks Rotterdam for a warm welcome. Had a great time (shout-outs to Gus and Ellie for helping fix my flat and Maggie at the Rotterdam Diner for performing the Heimlich Maneuver – promise to eat slower next time!). I was actually supposed to make this trip to upstate NY earlier so I could participate in the Schenectady Colonial Festival that took place nearby on the anniversary of the Schenectady Massacre of February 8-9, 1690, an event which involved, unfortunately, snowmen (details found in Chapter Twelve of my The History of the Snowman book).

OK, enough small talk. So I finally found the infamous Rotterdam snowman and a handsome snowman it is. Of course, I forgot to bring a measuring tape. But I took a photo (above) and based on the fact I'm 6' (OK, almost 5' 10"), it's my estimation that the Great Rotterdam Snowman is at least 14 feet tall! I would think that this would put an end to any suspicion that there is any monkey business associated with the Great Rotterdam Snowman...or it's subsequent photos.

As for the University of Colorado Snowman, I summoned two people's expertise (my nephews who spend alot of time around short people). Both Nicolas and Michael confirmed they saw no wrong-doing or height-challenged participants in the photo in question and went as far to say they would both consider voting for the CU snow figure if conditions were right (they would like laptops). So we got all charges cleared on both snowmen.

(And I want to thank everyone for their participation in this February's Snowman Contest so far. Special thanks to those who already bought The History of the Snowman – and I really appreciate your kind words regarding the book. Bob Eckstein)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Former US Prez Takes Swipe at Global Warming Snowman

HOUSTON – While former President George Bush endorsed Senator John McCain today he, unexpectedly, lashed out at the snowman;

“(READ MY LIPS) It’s been a very strong contest, based on the big issues of our time, and I believe the tenor of our family debate had largely been befitting the high office in play. There are of course a few exceptions: when I saw a snowman asking a question during the YouTube debate, I naturally felt that the good Lord had taken me out of active politics at just the right time.”

No word yet of what's in the water in Houston that always provokes such insanity from there. (This story was provided by tennis great Everett Sherman and can be read in detail in the Times here.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Cardboard Snowman Declares He's Still in the Contest and Did I Mention Highly Flammable

In our continuing effort to spice up the less popular entries today we ask: is there a more dangerous snowman? What's next? The Highly Combustible Oily Rags Snowman? (And is that even recyclable cardboard?) My personal favorite and the obvious choice for those who run with scissors...#1 Cardboard Snowman!

Snowman Contest Parity

Currently I am lost on route to Rotterdam, NY and I'd be lying if I said I'm not a bit concerned right I don't see any snow yet.

In the meanwhile, the 8-hour drive (Google Maps said 5 hrs.) has given me time for thought. It hasn't been fair to the other entries that they get less attention but with over two weeks left in the voting there is plenty of time for a comeback and I decided to help the others by digging up some dirt (to make them sound sexier).

When I asked if I could come measure the petite snow sculpture I was told that two seconds after this picture was taken it's creator, hopped up on Steroids, kicked it smack in the teeth and squashed it flat. Originally titled "You Want I Piece of Me??!" this little fellow is, I mean was, a handful and anything but cutesy.
Please vote for #4 Pinecone Cutesy NOW.


"This was a welcome departure from my usual subject matter...pornographic and violent landscapes," says weekend painter, Catherine Widmark seen here sitting on top of her gauche paint and art supplies with her guard dog Charmin. She explained that if you look closely you can see that her snowman is packing heat and admits, "I have cheated so many undisclosed ways during this contest..."

When Today's Snowman insisted she elaborate the intense Ms. Widmark snapped, "Make me."

"We don't make monkeys," replied our TS reporter triggering a twenty minute name-calling altercation, which ultimately went nowhere. How's that for edgy? Vote #5 Outsider Snowman..."if you're not bland."

Tomorrow the other snowmen that are lagging way behind!

Friday, February 15, 2008

University of Colorado Vs. Rotterdam

Snowballs are flying as questions have arisen regarding the actual height of the Great Rotterdam Snowman which it's creators claim is 12' in height. Fans of the University of Colorado snowman would like to know how the Rotterdam snowman could be taller than theirs based on a comparison between the two photos and while nobody is mentioning the S word (steroids), it hung over the proceedings like a black cloud. Testimony began with snowman photo expert and suspected Univ. of Colorado alumni, Ryan Durham;

"I really don't see that snowman being 12' tall. The awning over the front porch is only 8' tall. I think that this one is just trying to get a jump on the CU snowman, which as anyone can see is over 9' tall (Go CU!)"

A Rotterdam neighbor immediately retorted through lawyers; "I was told about this snowman from a friend of my son's and I will tell you that it really is 12' tall. I couldn't believe it, I actually had to ask how they did it since it was so much taller than me."

This was supported by a second anonymous eye witness; "Hey, I live next door and can verify that this snowman is 12' tall. Obviously your perception is distorted by the fact that the snowman is downhill from the porch. This snowman kicks CU's butt anyday."

Ryan later released this official statement; "Phantom hills and perception... c'mon you know that thing isn’t any taller then like 8.5', maybe...I’m not saying it's a bad looking snowman, it's just not 12' tall." One Rotterdam resident tried to offer the olive branch by inquiring why "it took 13 (people) to build that little, tiny snowman. There is no comparison on feet/people, since we only had one person."

The most vocal grandstander was Rep. Congressman Dan Burton of rural Indiana, who blew up, “This is really disgusting,” Burton said. “I don’t know what to believe! I know what I don’t believe and that’s you!!!” This was, of course, in reference to the Clemens hearing and has nothing to do with us.

As the contest official it falls into my lap to make a judgment. I trust that the Rotterdam snowman, made by a lawyer, provided an honest account of the dimensions, but in all due respect, Ryan has a point, the Colorado snowman does look larger (it should be pointed out that size has nothing to do with this contest but can anyone explain why the adorable puny Pinecone snowman has only one vote?). I decided to do the only sensible thing. Tonight I will drive all night to upstate New York to measure this infamous snowman. In all fairness I will also begin investigation of allegations that the Univ. of Colorado snowman is in fact NOT nine feet but six, possible if you entertain the thought that the thirteen people in the photo are actually midgets. I also will take into account a disturbing email from "Anonymous" who offers this insight; "We figured out what CU's snowman has in his cup, it is a liquid laxative so he can get that look off of his face!"

Until I finish my report I leave the final word from an non-partisan observer of the recent developments, "You can see the happiness and friendship in the people of the CU snowman. It is the only snowman that shows people coming together and having a great time together. (Go CU!)"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

New Personal Ads

A Today's Snowman favorite, personal ads are back. All contact among these special singles will be kept private.

Who Are You Kidding
Everyday I notice you staring at me on your way to work. This game has gone on long enough. C’mon baby, hit me with a snowball. We both know you want to.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Snowman Contest – Taking It Up a Notch

#7 Swiss Alps Snow Couple
The runner-up of last month's contest, film director Jean Philippe Laroche, has not taken 2nd place laying down storming back this month with this mysterious submission again built on top of his hotel, Plein Ciel in Switzerland.

#8 The Great Snowman of Rotterdam
From Gail Jerkins of Albany, New York comes this majestic 12' high participant that her co-worker made in Rotterdam, NY. His name is Jeffrey Older and he's an attorney. I was going to make a lawyer joke but anyone who makes such a great snowman must be a great guy! The eyes are made of landscaping lights, mouth a rubber hose, his arms are branches, his nose is a pine cone painted orange and his buttons are glass ornaments. Thanks guys and good luck!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Snowman Contest Heating Up With Fine Art

#5 Outsider Snowman
Ahhhh, some fine art of the snowman nature. This gauche painting was executed by Cathy Widmark of Mastic Shirley, NY, not a outsider artist per se but a CPA.

#6 Missing Stomach Snowman
Carla Kinnee found this snow woman in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, "running on an empty stomach" and it kinda looks like fine art (com'n, keep an open mind). This is the first time families will be fighting it out amongst themselves at a Today's Snowman contest – Carla is the sister-in-law of Sandy Kinnee, snowman expert and creator of The Cardboard Snowman, also in this competition.

And, yes, it's NOT too late to enter The Snowman Contest – it's never too late...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Snowman Contest – 2 More Entries

#3 Crime Scene Snowman.
Photograph and snowman by Lacey Potts (thanks Lacey!)

#4 Pinecone Cutie
This small beautiful snowman was submitted by Jane Kostopoulos of Red Hook, Dutchess County, NY and was made by her sister Georgette Kostopoulos (below).

University of Colorado Enter Race

#2 Univ. of Colorado Snowman
While prizes went out this week to the winner and runner-up of last month's contest it's time to see a new contender for February's round.

Chris Moskoff (second from the right) has rounded up his friends from the University of Colorado during a reunion in Aspen and came up with this noteworthy snowman. From left to right; Nate, Darcy, Shanna, Ryan, Nicole, Matt, Mike, Kevin, Lea Ann, Chris B., Beth, Chris Moskoff, Murugan. For the record, the beverage the snowman is holding up in his right hand (branch) is non-alcoholic.

So GO COLORADO! And this is a call out to other institutes of higher learning to accept the challenge and start rolling some snowballs.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

"Snow–Challenged" New Yorkers Rejoice

NEW YORK CITY – Finally we New Yorkers do not have to wait any longer to make snowmen. We will have snow this Saturday at noon at the Central Park Winter Jam located at Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. Snow guns and air compressors (lent by Gore Mountain) hooked up to city hydrants will create a snow storm with results which could cover up to one and a half acres with snow three feet deep. (If the temperature climbs above 45 degrees, some activities might be canceled.) Here's a second website for info.

Snowprint II, 2001 photo prints of artist's foot and foot made of snow
Esbjerg Museum of Art, Denmark.

There's been an email circulating the internet with misinformation regarding beautiful cut-out paper artwork attributed to a wrong source. Those amazing sculptures actually belong to one artist, Peter Callesen, who has also worked in snow and ice which can be enjoyed here.

Snowballs, 2005 Acid free paper and glue

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

And the Winner is...

...Snow Animal by Char, everyone's favorite psychic garnering almost 50% of the votes. Let me first say congratulations and thank Char for participating in the first snowman contest (and to answer some emails, no, Char did not use mind control to win...right, Char?). I actually just missed meeting Char in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago – we were both at a mutual friend's and I was really hoping to say hello but I was busy in another part of the house vomiting out my brains.

Anyhoo, here are a couple more pictures of the winning snowman and I'll mention Char has a new great book out called Discover Your Inner Wisdom: Using Intuition, Logic, and Common Sense to Make Your Best Choices for Life, Health, Finances, and Relationships (I kid you not) which is actually published by the same people who published my new great book The History of the Snowman. Thanks, Char!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Snowman Contest – Round 2

NEW YORK CITY – Round two is finally here and we're all anxious to see some new snowmen already. Feel free to send me your entries and in the meantime each day starting today Today's Snowman will introduce a new snowman. Voting will begin after all entries are posted. Meanwhile, it doesn't take a psychic to predict that the renowned medium Char will win round one. But there are a couple of more days of voting and then we'll officially announce the winner.

#1 Cardboard Snowman

First up is an excellent entry from fellow snowman scholar, Sandy Kinnee. Sandy is not only an artist in various mediums but has also been working on a snowman book himself called, Lost Origins of the Snowman, Bloodless Sacrifice. Excerpts I have seen delve into the snowman's psyche beyond my book and include a more serious examination of the artistic and spiritual connection which exists in snowman-making. More news about this upcoming book in the future. Photo and snowman by Sandy Kinnee, copyright © 2008.

(My recent interview with Bonnie Grice on WLIU radio can be heard here by clicking on my name, Bob Eckstein.)

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