Issue May 27, 2009

Summer: Frozen assets

Make it your job to escape the heat

Half the year you’ve got it made, the other half not so much. We set out to find people who work in cool conditions — we’re talking cold, not hip here, folks (we all know the third-shift Highlands Taco Bell workers would win that one). These people sweat it out from 9 to 5 without, well, probably breaking a sweat. This being LEO’s Summer Guide, we deem them lucky to escape the thick, sticky haze of humidity. But come November, we wouldn’t switch them places for $10. OK, for $5.

 

•Katie Maloneyice cream scooper/manager at Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen

1041 Bardstown Road, 618-3380, www.piekitchen.com

 Katie has been scooping ice cream full time for two and a half years at Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen. Of the 48 flavors, she says Praline and Coconut Almond Fudge are her favorites … this week. She’s most proud of her ice cream muscle and mentioned that some flavors are easier to scoop than others.

 

How cold is your job?

It’s pretty cold at times — they keep the store pretty cold in the summer, too.

Do you like working here better in the summer or winter?

In the summer because we’re busier.

What are the pros and cons of working in the cold?

Pros: Building muscle in my arms. Cons: Getting ice cream all over my arms. And breaking cones.

Is cold necessarily a bad thing?

No way, especially on a hot, hot day.

 Would you rather work with ice in Africa or play with fire in Antarctica?

Fire in Antarctica.

How do you thaw out at the end of the day?

Put my feet up, take a dessert home and indulge.

Do you like ice in your beverages?

Yes.

Do you use air conditioning?

Yes.

Do you know the lyrics to “Ice, Ice Baby”?

Yes, I do unfortunately. Want me to sing it?

Do you have a cold, cold heart?

No, not at all.

 

•Thomas Brownice sculptor extraordinaire

thomasbrownaffair@gmail.com

When Grocer’s Ice on Main Street threw out 300 pounds of ice one day, little did they know it would change artist Thomas Brown’s world. His studio was just a few blocks down. He confiscated the ice and began to carve away. “It’s like their chocolate got mixed up with my peanut butter,” he says. “I fell in love.” Since the spring of 2002, Thomas has been doing installations and art shows using ice. In January 2008, he moved to New York City to work with Okamoto Studio under the mentorship of Takeo Okamoto, a world-class ice sculptor from Japan. Today he commutes back and forth.

 

How cold is your job?

Most of the ice carving is done outside of the freezer. Only the really fine details are added inside the freezer, which is where most of my swearing gets done.

Do you like working here better in the summer or winter?

Honestly, I don’t like working … I’m kidding. I love sculpting ice year round. Summer creates a lot of challenges, but oh man, it feels good to have hundreds of pounds of ice around when the mercury is high.

What are the pros and cons of working in the cold?

Pros: Ice sculpture is easier to carve in the cold. I can draw out the design I’m going to carve directly onto the ice, and my lines won’t melt away before I get the chainsaw going. Also, transporting ice from one place to the other in the cold, I don’t have to worry about the details of the sculpture disappearing before I’ve had a chance to unveil it. Cons: My hands get so cold it feels like my fingers might fall off. It’ll make a man say a lot of things he doesn’t mean through gritted teeth.

Is cold necessarily a bad thing?

Everything in moderation. It’s never bad when you’re describing beer.

Would you rather work with ice in Africa or play with fire in Antarctica?

Doesn’t Antarctica have enough problems with the melting as it is? Africa.

How do you thaw out at the end of the day?

The eight-mile bike ride home usually does the trick — even when I have icicles in my beard, I manage to break a sweat.

Do you like ice in your beverages?

Cubed, not crushed.

Do you use air conditioning?

Only when I’m drowning in my own sweat and dying for a little sleep.

Do you know the lyrics to “Ice, Ice Baby”?

Do you know all the lyrics to “Paperback Writer”? Maybe that’s not the same. Under pressure I can remember the lyrics.

Do you have a cold, cold heart?

This interview is over!

 

•Don Burton Zamboni Driver for Iceland Sports Complex

1701 UPS Drive, 425-7444, icelandsports.net

Don Burton is a man of few words. He’s been smoothing over ice at the Iceland Sports Complex in Anchorage for about eight years, although he’s been on the ice in one form or another since playing hockey as a child. The Zamboni moves in a similar fashion to a lawnmower, so I ask which he prefers. “The Zamboni, definitely,” he says without hesitation. This man loves his job.

 

How cold is your job?

45 degrees.

Do you like working here better in the summer or winter?

Summer.

What are the pros and cons of working in the cold?

Pro: When it’s too hot outside, I can always come to work. Con: When it’s too hot outside, it affects what I do — it’s harder to keep the ice just right.

Is cold necessarily a bad thing?

No.

Would you rather work with ice in Africa or play with fire in Antarctica?

Ice in Africa.

How do you thaw out at the end of the day?

Go outside.

Do you like ice in your beverages?

Yes.

Do you use air conditioning?

Yes.

Do you know the lyrics to “Ice, Ice Baby”?

No.

Do  you have a cold, cold heart?

I hope not, but some people might think differently.

 

•Dana Prior penguin feeder/caretaker at the Louisville Zoo

1100 Trevilian Way, 459-2181, www.louisvillezoo.org

Dana’s been handling the popular South Pole birds for nearly 10 years. The Zoo has 23 rockhopper penguins that are hand-fed twice a day — by Dana. The cool environment does not dissuade her from “her babies,” she says.

 

How cold is your job?

The temperature inside the penguin habitat is about 60-65 degrees in the summer and lower 50s in the winter.

Do you like working here better in the summer or winter?

Definitely the summer.

What are the pros and cons of working in the cold?

Pro: I get to work with penguins. Con: Dry skin.

Is cold necessarily a bad thing?

Not if you’re a penguin.

Would you rather work with ice in Africa or play with fire in Antarctica?

Ice in Africa.

How do you thaw out at the end of the day?

I have other birds — from cranes to raptors — in outside exhibits that I take care of as well.

Do you like ice in your beverages?

Yes, lots of ice.

Do you use air conditioning?

Yes.

Do you know the lyrics to “Ice, Ice Baby”?

No, but I can remember the video.

Do you have a cold, cold heart?

Cold hands, warm heart.

 

•Todd Antz owner and beer-stocker of Keg Liquors in Clarksville

617 E. Lewis and Clark Pkwy., 812-283-3988, www.kegliquors.com

Todd has owned Keg Liquors for four years, and the business has been in his family for more than 30. He’s been stocking the bone-chilling cooler since he was 18, and that just may be why he went away to college, he says.

 

How cold is your job?

It averages around 33 degrees in the beer cooler. The beer cooler is 85 feet long, so there is plenty of time moving beer from one end to the other.

Do you like working here better in the summer or winter?

Summertime is the best. With the heat and humidity we have in the summer, nothing feels better than walking into the cooler. Working in the cooler in the winter just seems to make the cold weather much worse.

What are the pros and cons of working in the cold?

Pros: No sweating, no humidity. Cons: It makes a cold day in the winter feel much colder.

Is cold necessarily a bad thing?

How can something that keeps your beer the right temperature be a bad thing?

Would you rather work with ice in Africa or play with fire in Antarctica?

Fire in Antarctica — you can always put on more layers to keep warm, but there are only so many clothes you can take off when it’s hot.

How do you thaw out at the end of the day?

A nice, refreshing micro-brewed beer. No point of warming up too much.

Do you like ice in your beverages?

Sodas and tea for sure. The more ice the better.

Do you use air conditioning?

Religiously. I’m a very hot-temperature person, so air conditioning is one of my best friends.

Do you know the lyrics to “Ice, Ice Baby”?

Unfortunately, knowing the lyrics to that song is a condition of my age. I was in high school when the song first came out, and I think it was part of the curriculum at the time. Yo, VIP, let’s kick it!

Do you have a cold, cold heart?

My mind is free of doubt, so no cold, cold heart here.