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June 1, 2006

The party, thanks, and goodbye (for now)

What a night! What a party! If you weren't there, you missed something special. Good conversation, good food, and good times. Plus, all the beer you could drink. For me, that meant root beer since (and some people find this hard to believe) I actually don't like the taste of beer. Go figure. Anyway, it was a special night of celebration. 10 years is a long time to wait, and it was nice to finally have some closure. I had a blast sitting at a table with my good friends Tim (my brother in law who still can't believe the legislature passed a workable stadium bill), the king Twins blogger SBG, the illustrious Spycake (and his girlfriend Katie), freealonzo (who quite possibly should have been writing the Greet Machine in the first place), and my good friend and neighbor, the ever-witty Cheesehead Craig. Thanks for the conversation everyone!

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We also met mpls1934 (thanks for introducing yourself!), Dan K. (thanks for coming buddy!), Grant (I wish I would have got a picture with you! Why did you take off so suddenly?), and a slew of other people all there to celebrate our good fortune. Thanks for coming one and all!

And of course, we wouldn't even have had a party without the work of Jiminstpaul (below) and the Summit Brewing Co. Thanks a million, Jim, for both the party and your online friendship over the years. Words can't express how much I have appreciated your friendship. And I can't believe we actually had a party to celebrate a Twins ballpark. Can you believe it?!?!?

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The crowd was pretty good sized. Not the hundreds that Jiminstpaul was afraid was going to show up. More like one hundred. But that was nice. It was a good crowd. Not too big and not too small.

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A bunch of people got up to speak. Mark Stutrud, the founder and president of Summit Brewing gave a nice speech. Jiminstpaul had some nice things to say. A representative from the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce had some great things to say about keeping the Twins in the Twin Cities. I was even forced to get up and say a few words. I stumbled and mumbled a few things and gave a toast. I wish I could have blown people away with something really thoughtful and compelling, but I am more of a writer than a speechifier, and even my writing is suspect.

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After eating from the great spread (thanks again, Jim!) we went on a fascinating tour of the Summit Brewery. Jiminstpaul was our tour guide as we learned about the process of making all the great beers Summit has to offer.

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At one point my brother in law Tim asked if anyone had a glove he could put on top of one of the bottles lined up on the conveyer. I thought it was funny.

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At the end of the tour, Jim took us into the enourmous beer cooler. At a crisp 40 degrees it was a little chilly in there, but most people were just blown away by the amount of beer in one room. Note the glazed look on MOJO's eyes below.

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After the tour, we talked some more and took some pictures. Here is me with Cheesehead Craig. Again, Cheesehead Craig is my neighbor and one of my best friends. He is also one of three original readers of the Greet Machine (with my mom and Curt and Grand Forks). Thanks for everything CC!

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Here is a picture of me with the mighty SBG. SBG has taken the torch from the Twins Geek and is now the best Twins blogger out there. Even if he doesn't think I read his stuff. Let me assure you, SBG, I do read your stuff, I just have a horrible memory. Anyway, thanks for coming SBG, and thanks for stopping by my own site every now and again!

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This is a picture of me with the always cool, calm, and collected Spycake. Yes, this is Spycake. I was expecting some old, bald guy but as you can see Spycake has hair coming out all over the place. Spycake's job over the years has been to calm me down when I went nuts over something, and for that I thank him. I asked Spycake, "So, do you think I am just plan crazy?" To which Spycake answered, "Yes, I think you are crazy." You just can't buy that kind of honesty anymore, people. Thanks for coming Spycake! It was an honor and a privilege to meet you!

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Here is a picture of me with freealonzo. I said this above already, but I have a sneaky suspicion that freealonzo actually knows more about stadiums than I do. In all honesty, he probably should have been writing this site. Sometimes his comments were so insightful and so well-written, I would just paste them into a new entry and say, "Just read this." Thanks for your contributions freealonzo! I hope we see more of eachother now that I am on the East Bank!

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And here is a picture of me with MOJO, a relatively new reader of the Greet Machine, but an important contributor as the stadium bill weaved its way throught the legislature this year. MOJO tells me he checks my site "17 times a day" which is very flattering. I'm sorry I don't have more for you to read. And now I'll be taking a little vacation! But more about that later. Anyway, thanks for coming MOJO and nice to meet you! I'll have to think about working on the Vikings stadium next! (unlikely)

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Finally, here is a picture of me with Bruce. Bruce never commented on my site, but he was an avid reader. At the party, Bruce unexpectedly said a few words in a speech of his own, and I must say I was deeply touched by his comments. Thanks for your kind words, Bruce. They meant a lot to me. The Greet Machine has always been a labor of love for me, and to hear that my efforts made a difference, no matter how small, was very gratifying. I really appreciate your friendship, Bruce, and I hope we can keep in touch. There is a lot of work to do!

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And with that, dear reader, I must say goodbye. Not for "forever" but just until I feel like writing again. Blogging is hard work and it can be very rewarding. I mean, look at me! I got a new ballpark out of the deal. But I must also admit that I am tired. I am tired of arguing, I am tired of checking site statistics, and I am tired of the mental effort it takes to come up with something creative almost every day. I will be back, probably sooner than later, but for now I am officially on vacation.

So, thanks to everyone for reading my daily drivel. Thanks to all of you that felt compelled to comment or even link to my writing. Your feedback meant a lot to me. Really, thanks for everything. It was a fun ride.

And now I will leave you with the toast I gave tonight at the party, "To green grass and the open sky. May we all get sunburned at the new ballpark in 2010." Have a good summer everyone!

Posted by snackeru at June 1, 2006 9:41 PM | Stadiums 2006

Comments

Thanks to everyone who showed up. I had a great time and it was great meeting all of you.
Shane, enjoy your well deserved break. Take your time and when you come back I will still try to check in and respond now and again regardless of what direction your site takes.
Bruce was right when he commented on your "Who am I" post. That one was a classic and it helps demonstrate why alot of people from the Greet Machine showed up last night; your just a decent guy.
-Jiminstpaul

Posted by: Jiminstpaul at June 2, 2006 3:18 AM

I will really miss reading your daily blog, but understand your need of a break. Enjoy!

Posted by: mom at June 2, 2006 8:16 AM

Good to see you and CC again, Shane.

Posted by: SBG at June 2, 2006 8:31 AM

I want to thank Shane for his great work on Greet Machine and Jim for an excellent party last night, especially the yummy new Summit Scandia - what a great beer!

I hope it becomes a regular seasonal offering.

Posted by: Mark Snyder at June 2, 2006 8:39 AM

Shane, like I said last night, you have my highest respect. Not too often in life does one "regular" guy make a difference. I think that there is no question that your site, your voters guide, and your passion on the subject (not to mention the continuous emails to legislators) made a big difference in making something happen finally with the Twins stadium.

Posted by: Cheesehead Craig at June 2, 2006 8:41 AM

Shane,

Sorry I had to run last night. I was ambushed! My wife and our friends grabbed me when I came out of the restroom and shepherded me to the car! Probably a good thing, because I could have stayed all night.

Thanks to Jiminstpaul for hosting and giving an excellent tour. Thanks to SBG for humoring me when I clearly had no idea what I was talking about with the Twins roster moves. But most of all, thanks to Shane for being a great host to us over the last couple years. My out of town friends quickly got tired of my stadium rants, so it was great to have a place to go to stay plugged in. You deserve the break Shane!

Grant

Posted by: Grant at June 2, 2006 9:00 AM

This is 1 of 17 visits to the site today.

Jim - thanks for the awesome party last night! It gave me a chance to visit the best brewery ever and also it was nice to finally put faces to all the madness.

Shane - it was also a pleasure meeting you last night......thanks for distracting me at work for the past month or so. I will continue to check your site and I am excited to see what comes next.

Posted by: MOJO at June 2, 2006 9:04 AM

Shane, I don't understand why you had to stand on a stool for that picture of you and me :o)

Take a well deserved break, because the hard stuff is just beginning. We will need your watchful eyes on Commissioner Koblick, the establishment of the ballpark commission, the selection of the architect, the approval of the EIS, the sale of the land from your new found buddy to the County, the actual design of the ballpark. Your shining a light on those proceedings (and many more I'm sure) will help ensure that we get a ballpark that we all can be proud of.

P.S. now that you're an East Banker, give me a call if you're ever interested in lunch in Dinkytown.

Posted by: freealonzo at June 2, 2006 9:08 AM


son of a !@#@#$%!! I knew it would be cool. I had a meeting come up at the last minute. It better have been worth it.

17 times/day? Nice. I'm not alone.

Thanks Shane. You've got a real talent and I hope you don't keep it to yourself for too long.

Posted by: JC at June 2, 2006 9:13 AM

Thanks again for a mighty fine party, Jim and Shane, and it was nice to meet you fellow Greet Machiners. Maybe we can have more parties along the way... who wants to host the EIS celebration? Anyone?

Posted by: spycake at June 2, 2006 9:39 AM

I had actually pictured Spycake as with a shaved head and glasses! I guess I was off a little. Looks like you all had a great party, and I am very sorry I was unable to make it.

In regards to Shane's vacation, you have completely earned the right to take a break. Your contributions to the passage of the stadium bill can not be understated. You need to take a break so you can hit the Vikings stadium effort full on! In addition, you need to polish your hoops game, because I vow to take you down when I visit in July (assuming the border crossing is not a problem). Enjoy the rest of the vindicated, Shane.

Curt in Grand Forks

Posted by: Curt Hanson at June 2, 2006 10:30 AM

I am so happy for all of you who so desparately wanted a new stadium. But.... I am even more happy for myself. Now Shane can spend his way too many blogging hours on me! ME!!

I am encouraging Shane to get off the computer chair and join me in training for the Twin Cities 10 Mile (if we make it in the lottery) in October. If Shane does end up running it you are all invited to cheer him on, but please don't expect anything better than 3000th place! Thanks for all your kind words and support- now leave my husband alone. He is all mine!

Posted by: Kumquat at June 2, 2006 4:35 PM

shane, i have that same exact twins t-shirt you're wearing in the pic with jiminstpaul. i always knew you had good taste..ha ha...112 degrees today...god i love this place!!!

Posted by: kevin in az at June 2, 2006 9:59 PM

Congrats to you, Shane and everyone else, I think you really made THE difference ! I'm sorry I was
not able to attend since I was out of the state
for post session R and R. IT LOOKS LIKE YOU HAD A
GREAT AND WELL DESERVED PARTY !!!

Posted by: jimj at June 3, 2006 2:12 PM

While Shane's on break we should all chat at the site attached to my name.......careful though......it's an addicting site.

Posted by: MOJO at June 4, 2006 11:02 AM

Sorry, I messed up the first link.......try this one.

Just click on my name.

Posted by: MOJO at June 4, 2006 11:04 AM

Nice blogging, I've loved reading up on the latest on the stadium update! I do have one question though -- you said you would reveal what "Greet Machine" means and you haven't done so yet! I hope you spill the beans on that before you take a break, because I don't think I can handle the suspense!

Posted by: Qualler at June 4, 2006 10:44 PM

So its a party time and seems that you are enjoying yourself.Congrats to you and Shane!
Its a much needed break so enjoy!!!!

Posted by: Maysa at June 6, 2006 1:01 AM

Wish I could have made it, Shane. I'm disappointed I couldn't. Enjoy your time off, and I look forward to reading you again...hopefully sooner rather than later.

Have a good summer.

Jesse

Posted by: Jesse at June 6, 2006 11:11 PM

You all did it! Thanks for the amazing coverage, Shane. Your blog has been a blast to read, and I hope it doesn't close it's e-doors forever but if it does... it was a great run. Most importantly, a successful run. I'm glad this whole thing had some really, really patient souls like you.

I hope you'll continue to drop by MVN occasionally, and I'll do the same, hoping to at least find some crazy links or a riff on existentialism and the Lutheran ideal.

Really wished I could be at the party, truth be told, I am actually quite bitter about the whole fan-in-exile thing... that might have to change one of these years...

Posted by: Andy at June 7, 2006 6:44 PM

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