June 30, 2006
OK ... this is just too cool to keep to myself
Yep. I'm back. I was considering permanent blogging retirement, but something happened today that is just too cool for me to keep quiet. In fact, it just put a huge grin on my face. Allow me to explain.
I have been selected as the Neerland and Oyaas, Inc. "Firecracker of the Year." Can you believe it? If you want to read more about it, you can point your browser to Neerland and Oyaas Online.
You might be wondering to yourself, who the heck are Neerland and Oyaas? Neerland and Oyaas, Inc. are a consulting firm in Minneapolis that serves profit and non-profit institutions from the region and beyond. They were also heavily involved with New Ballpark Inc, hence their knowledge of me.
Anywho, in their newsletter today they listed all the candidates for their annual "Firecracker of the Year" before announcing:
Accepting the award for all these people will be the embodiment of personal, unflagging and unselfish service, Shane Nackeru[d], whose clever blogging on The Greet Machine turned out to be an instrumental tool for legislative leaders and lobbyists in shepherding the ballpark legislation through the last session. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Shane, you can find out all you need to know by reading his entry dated April 28: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/snackeru/greet/2006_04.html.
Each of the aforementioned ballpark heroes will receive a 12-pack of Black Cat bottle rockets with report. Shane will have the honor of being listed as the Firecracker of the Year as it is inscribed on the stone tablet. We trust that he will consider himself honored to be mentioned among the following past Firecracker of the Year award winners.
How cool is that? I am honored and humbled by this award, plus I'll be getting a 12-pack of bottle rockets! Rock on! Seriously though, I think this is the first award that I have ever received outside of school or work.
Now, I don't write all of this to toot my own horn, but just to say what a fun ride this has all been. Sometimes, when you take a stand good things can definitely happen. Besides the reward of finally getting a new Twins ballpark, I can also say I am the Neerland and Oyaas "Firecracker of the Year." That is fricken awesome!
So, thank you from the bottom of my heart to Neerland and Oyaas, especially Mark Oyaas who I am honored to call a friend. If you ever need anything Mark, you just let me know!
And for the rest of you, those of you that keep checking everyday if I have written anything, I plan on writing regularly again after the 4th. But let me warn you, you might not like everything I have to say. Without a stadium to complain about this blog will be a lot less focused. Hopefully it will be at least a little compelling, though. We'll see.
Have a great 4th everyone!
June 22, 2006
Maybe I'll have something to say soon.
June 14, 2006
An Evening Walk at Minnehaha Falls
It's interesting to me how music can so strongly remind us of specific places. Or how strongly we associate music with a particular place.
This is a new video of my son and me taking a walk at Minnehaha Falls. The music in the background dictated the location, and the way the video was shot. At least to me. You might think of something else when you hear this song.
And just as an aside, it was pretty difficult to get the images to correspond to the beat, but I think I did an OK job. There is a part in the song where the tempo slightly changes which caused me no end of problems. I hope you enjoy it anyway!
Download WMV version for clearer and cleaner images.
June 9, 2006
Trying a Podcast
So, this is my first podcast. Nothing really earth-shattering - just a couple of songs and me talking in between. If you haven't noticed, I'm giving some new technology a try (new for me anyway). If you are wondering, this is what I used to make my podcast:
- Audacity -- this is a free audio recording and manipulation application that I used to mix my voice with a couple of tunes. Easy to use and best of all it is free.
- BonkEnc -- this tool is a CD ripper, audio encoder and converter that I used to convert my MP4 files into MP3. Audacity will not accept MP4s.
- Finally, I found a great Audacity mini-tutorial that helped get me started.
Anyway, again, I hope you enjoy it. It was pretty easy, so I could see myself doing it again. Honestly I might like vlogging a little more. If you want to subscribe to it so you can get any future podcasts, here is my RSS 2.0 file.
Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I'm breaking all kinds of copyright laws by putting up at the very least the second song I picked. I did cut it off early so if you like it you will have to get a hold of the whole thing yourself some other way. The first song I have already found on numerous web sites. So, get it while its hot!
Trying YouTube. YouTube definitely makes it easy to take a video and move it onto the web. Very slick.
June 8, 2006
Trying something new. The "continue reading" link below goes to a video, so if you aren't in the mood for one, don't click it!
This may give some explanation on what the Greet Machine actually is.
Try this version if things are exceptionally slow for you.
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!
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?!?!?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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)
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!
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!
Remember! Party tonight!
LIKE THE TWO GUYS IN THE TWINS LOGO, LET’S GET ALL ST. PAULITES AND MINNEAPOLITANS THAT HAVE WORKED HARD TO INSURE THE TWINS REMAIN IN MINNESOTA TOGETHER TO SHAKE HANDS AND TOAST OUR SUCCESS
WHEN- THURSDAY JUNE 1, 5:00-8:00 pm
WHERE- SUMMIT BREWING COMPANY RATHSKELLAR
910 MONTREAL CIRCLE, ST. PAUL
HOSTED BY- JIM LONETTI & SUMMIT BREWING COMPANY
FOR INFO- JIM LONETTI: 651 399-5155 SUMMIT BREWING CO: 651 265-7800
Let us know if you can make it! Spread the word!