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July 21, 2005


• Tonight I shall pick up my copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from the library. If you'll recall, I was number 484 in the waiting list of well over 2,000 library users. I actually got a note from the library that my copy of the book was ready on Monday, but I have waited a little because I was not ready to read it. Anyway, to recap, I could have picked up this book from the library only two days after it was released.

In other words, what in the world are all of you doing still buying books? The last book I bought because I just had to read it and I couldn't wait was The Lost World by Michael Crichton. It was a let down and I vowed to never buy a book again but to use the library to its fullest potential. Now, I have a big list of library holds and they trickle in about as fast as I can read them. Save yourself some money and use the library. And if you are worried about fines don't feel bad about keeping a book a few days longer. Most libraries count on a certain amount of fees and fines coming in. By keeping a library book a little longer you are just giving them a little donation that they most likely desperately need anyway.

• I gotta say I am really enjoying the show "Rock Star: INXS" on CBS Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. The talent on this show blows "American Idol" out of the water (not that I watched that show all that much). Why am I watching "Rock Star" then? I am a fairly big INXS fan and I think this is a pretty interesting way of picking a new lead singer. Although, I must also admit that I am preparing for a let down concerning whoever they pick to replace Michael Hutchence. Hutchence co-wrote most of their songs. I would be very surprised if they can re-create the magic they had when Hutchence was the lead singer. But I don't blame them for trying.

A quick list of my favorite INXS albums:

  1. Welcome to Wherever You Are: Highly underrated. Good from beginning to end (although I do skip the last song).
  2. Kick: Phenomenal album that launched them as one of the top three acts of the time. Can't get enough of it.
  3. Listen Like Thieves: Features their first big hit "What You Need." I like "Kiss the Dirt" too.
  4. X: "Bitter Tears" ... great tune. "Stairs" is good too. This album was the follow-up to Kick and it didn't really set the world on fire.
  5. Full Moon, Dirty Hearts : Again, highly underrated. A "dash-off" album that has definitely grown on me over the years.

• I like reading the "Letters" section of the Star Tribune, especially when those letters relate to stadium issues. Honestly, I could write every day about the stupid letters I read about this issue. They are highly entertaining. Today there was a letter from a gentleman from SLP who wrote:

I fail to see what the state has to do with a stadium in downtown Minneapolis or the pension program for Minneapolis teachers. If Minneapolis wants stadiums and funded teachers' pensions, let it pay for them.

Do any of you recognize the concept at work in this letter? That's right, it is the Me First platform! Good stuff. Since a new Twins stadium and teachers' pensions in Minneapolis don't directly affect him (and most likely his wallet) then he shoudn't have to worry about them. That's the spirit! A selfish Minnesota is a strong Minnesota! I like how he deftly ties the stadium and Minneapolis educational issues together inferring unequivocally that he doesn't care about either and therefore they are unimportant. Beautiful. Makes me feel all fuzzy inside that I live in such a "progressive" state.

• That's all I got time for. Talk to you later.

Posted by snackeru at July 21, 2005 4:26 PM | Libraries | Lists | Stadiums


I wonder if the Owatonna library has a great waiting list program like this? I probably should buy fewer books, but rarely do I finish a book in two weeks.

Posted by: bjhess at July 21, 2005 5:41 PM

bjhess, thanks for the comment. While the Owatonna Public Library probably doesn't have the selection that Hennepin County does, it most definitely has the same system. In fact, it uses the exact same catalog system as Hennepin County. Anyway, I took the liberty of looking through their catalog and I found that right now, on the shelves are three of my favorite books of all time, waiting for you to check them out:

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Flashforward by Robert J. Sawyer
Life of Pi by Yann Martel

While you are reading these fantastic titles you could put these on hold:

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
The Watch by Dennis Danvers

Just a couple of suggestions. Like I've said before though, right now in your public library sits the greatest book you will ever read. All you need to do is find it.

Posted by: Shane at July 21, 2005 8:48 PM

That letter is just classic!

It was under the heading "Not state issues". Well, following Skippy's line of reasoning, the state shouldn't help fund city, or local, projects. (Obviously only Minneapolis benefits from a stadium, right?) Okay, there goes the Ordway and the Orpheum. Shoot, I guess we'll have to say "Screw 'em" to all the small towns that require state assistance for part of their operating budgets.

Wait a second; I just realized that there are probably SEVERAL state parks that are not used by the entire state. How many of us have been to Big Stone Lake State Park recently? That's what I thought. I say cut the funding to that park and force the local free-loading community to pick up the tab.

We need to do something about all this crazy spending on the arts, education, and recreation. If I'm not using it, I shouldn't fund it.

Chairman of the Minnetonka Region “Me First” Slappers

Posted by: brother-in-law at July 22, 2005 4:08 AM

Oh I'm so glad to be moving to AZ next month.

Oh yeah, they've built Bank One Ballpark for the D-Backs, a new arena like Xcel for the Coyotes, They're one year away from opening up an incredible stadium for the unincredible Cardinals and they built America West Arena back in 1992....And all the schools have closed down. The airport can no longer function efficiently, all of the children are starving and have no clothing on their backs...The toilets no longer flush...and the beautiful red rock of sedona is turning black......blah...blah....blah

What on earth has happened to Minnesota? We used to be known as the "Minnesota Miracle" and now we're a joke!

I'm going to miss so many things about MN, but one of them will not be this attitude which has developed over the past 10-15 years.

Posted by: kevin at July 22, 2005 8:25 AM

I hate to bring this up, Shane, but what do we, your loyal readers, really get out of this blog? The "me first" attitude suggests that I should receive compensation for reading this blog, as well as a "bonus" for posting a comment. Sure, the knowledge we receive is great, along with the humor you interject into our lives via Greet Machine, but neither of these compare with cold, hard, cash. So how about a "frequent commentator" rewards program?

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at July 22, 2005 8:43 AM

Kevin, thanks for the comment. The attitude that currently reigns in Minnesota is not the one that made this state a great place to live. That is for sure. That gives me an interesting idea for another post... Good luck in AZ! I can't imagine living in a state where stadium issues have actually been resolved. And to think, the state still functions! Amazing.

And Curt, it seems that you have grasped the concepts of "Me First" quickly and with creativity. Well done. However, since I am also now a follower of "Me First" I must also look out only for myself. What do I get by writing all this stuff for all of you for free? Nothing! So, thanks to your suggestion I am now considering charging all of you for access. By commenting you can decrease your overall cost, but I am hoping to make a profit so I am limiting how much you can comment. That will be the "frequent commenter" program.

See how wonderfully "Me First" works? By looking out only for ourselves we alienate each other, no one truly gets what they want, and Greet Machine readership drops like a rock. "Me First" sure has its benefits!

Posted by: Shane at July 22, 2005 9:32 AM

I hereby state that I will be the first reader to plant a foot in Shane's @$$ should he start charging us.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at July 22, 2005 9:55 AM

I think I will charge based on the quality of comments. The poorer the quality, the more money I will charge you. With that last comment, Craig, you are setting the bar pretty high ... in other words I will charge you the most.

Posted by: Shane at July 22, 2005 10:00 AM

Come on and collect, I'm just next door and I'm home tonight.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at July 22, 2005 10:40 AM

I should get a credit for this one:

It is unfortunate that the dominant paradigm of the Greet Machine has undergone such a post-structuralist change. While the previous incantation was essentially Foucaultian in scope, the new mantra espouses a radical change in regards to the authors perceived place in the post-modern world. This recursionist notion is most unfortunate, given the author's disambiguation.

I have no idea what this means, of course, but there a lot of big, fancy words. I hope you won't charge me for this...

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at July 22, 2005 1:03 PM

Ha! Curt gets a free day at the Greet Machine for that one. An essential part of the "Me First" doctrine is to try to sound smarter than you actually are. Most stadium opponents try to do this on a regular basis. Well done Curt!

Everyone else will be receiving bills shortly. I expect payment on the 1st and 15th of every month.

Posted by: Shane at July 22, 2005 1:30 PM

Sorry Shane, but according to the Me First rules, all monies get used by, you guessed it, me first.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at July 22, 2005 1:57 PM

One: Jackie has purchased the British "Potter" editions as they've come out. She just e-mails one of our many Brit friends and a Brit version arrives at our doorstep a few days later. So, while she doesn't use the library (in this case...as you know she wears our her library card each year!)...I hope you overlook us buying the book.

Two: Saw INXS open for The Go-Go's, yes you read that right. It was 1984 and we were like, "who are these "inks" guys. They quickly won us over.

Posted by: Brian Maas at July 22, 2005 1:59 PM

Craig! Curses! The "Me First" platform does in fact dictate that you use your own money first! That is a pretty big loop hole. I shall have to ponder this one...

And Brian, holy freakin' cow! You saw INXS in 1984?!?!? Sheesh, I was too busy watching the Smurfs. I am quite envious of you.

Posted by: Shane at July 22, 2005 2:06 PM

It looks like we are stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Shane won't write unless he is compensated, and we won't read unless we are compensated. Too bad that such a fine blog will perish due to a post-structuralist change in the dominant paradigm...

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at July 22, 2005 4:00 PM

Hey, if I don't have to read this blog, that gives ME more time for MY blog.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at July 22, 2005 4:11 PM

Listen Like Thieves saw heavy rotation at my place back in the day.

Posted by: SBG at July 22, 2005 4:33 PM

Shane won't write unless he is compensated, and we won't read unless we are compensated.

Looks like we need to find someone else to compensate all of us. Do I smell a pyramid scheme?

Posted by: SBG at July 22, 2005 4:37 PM

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