Friday, September 30, 2016

Habitat For Humanity

Alex Underwood: Facility Services Manager

Hello, from the Northwest Metro!

I wanted to share a little about a volunteer opportunity that all of us at City Wide Maintenance of MN partook in. On this past Wednesday, our entire office joined together with Habitat for Humanity, to help build a house for a family in need.

The house was located in St Paul, in a old neighborhood, that we believe will benefit from having a new house on the block. It was a very cool experience, as we learned more about Habitat for Humanity, the work they do, the people they help, and the neighborhoods they help. We received a little backstory on the lot where we were building the house, the neighborhood, and the neighbors themselves.  It was interesting to hear all the steps that are involved and the people these project affect.

Upon completing our safety training, we broke into 3 different crews: one crew was siding the house, one crew helped set up scaffolding, and another crew worked on framing and flooring punch-list items inside the house.

We quickly learned who had a knack for construction projects within our office, and it gave us an opportunity for some healthy competition!  Together, we made some great progress on the house and did our part in helping a family get one day closer to having a place to call home.

Overall, this was a great experience, as most volunteer projects are! I thought it was particularly fun because we got to use power tools and build stuff!  I would highly recommend taking part in a Habitat project if you are looking to volunteer, because they do a great job in providing help with one of the biggest financial hardships many people face.

Cheers and have a great fall!

Friday, September 23, 2016

MN Vikings Home Opener

Mitch Brunette: Director of Operations

The Minnesota Vikings, against much adversity, are alone atop the NFC North! What an incredible start to the year, with all of the injury headaches, and what an incredible stadium opening!  If you can’t tell, I was incredibly fortunate and able to attend the Vikings home opener. Our newest teammate, Jenny Ewert, attended as well.  We didn’t bump into each other, but we had a similar experience and love for the event.

My father in law has season tickets to the stadium, in the 7th row of the 3rd deck.  It’s a ways up there, but as you’ve likely heard, there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.  My wife was unable to attend, as she stayed home with our 12 day old son.  So, I brought a good friend with me, whom was incredibly appreciative of the ticket.  The stadium is huge, incredibly huge!  The viewing angles are awesome and the audio is excellent, to the point you can truly understand the announcer/officials giving updates.  I just think back to the Metrodome and everything echoing so badly, that you could rarely hear what they were saying.

Speaking of sound, that place was LOUD.  I mean really LOUD! -And the doors were still open.  That lead me to believe, that when they close those doors, there’s more audio trapped inside and the potential for it to get even louder.  Last year, while attending a handful of games at TCF Bank Stadium, I immediately recognized the lack of dome presence for fan interference with the opposing offensive commands.  Not here....and Aaron Rogers hated it!  The closest I can compare it to was the Vikings Vs. Dallas 2009 playoff game, when we whooped them - something like, 41-10. 

This stadium has lived up to the hype, we were able to hunt down the Legacy Brick we purchased for my father in law’s 70th birthday gift, and had a great first trip.  This place should bring years of exciting football to the Vikings and their incredible fans.  Have a great weekend all!  SKOL!



Tuesday, September 6, 2016

MN State Fair

Jarrad Nickolite: Facility Services Manager

Hello from the West Metro,

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and have crammed in as much as you could this year.  I say this, because that's exactly what I've done.

I have lived in the state of Minnesota for 7 years now, and have done a wide variety of things since I have been here.  However, there have been a few things that have escape me during my time here, the MN State Fair and the Renaissance Festival.  -Not this year!

Around this time, each year, my customers always ask me if I am going to the State Fair.  My typical response has been no, I already have other plans and won't be able to make it.  Then, they would ask me if I've ever been?  My response, very embarrassed, "no, I have never been to the MN State Fair".  Not anymore though.  I did it and had a really good time too!

I'm originally from Nebraska, and of course the county fairs were a big thing growing up.  The thing I never realized until now, is how big of a deal the MN State Fair is.  I did a little research before I decided to check it out and I couldn't believe the things I found out!  Below are a few facts that stood out to me.

The first MN State Fair was held in 1859.  The fair has been held every year, with only five exceptions: in 1861 and 1862 due to the Civil War and Dakota Indian Conflict, in 1893 because of scheduling conflicts with the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, in 1945 due to war-time fuel shortages, and in 1946 due to a polio epidemic.

I believe there are over 300 different food vendors at the MN State fair, and if that's not enough, they have added 32 new food vendors for 2016!

Best Food or Beverage: The Preferred Pickle
Best Attraction: Boy Scouts of America
Best Midway Ride: New York New York Fun House (Fair Ride Entertainment)
Best Midway Game: Fish-A-Rama (Oren Concessions)

There are roughly 1,800,000 people that show up for the MN State Fair, between August 25th and September 5th.

Last Monday, I took the day off to enjoy my first MN State Fair experience.  We spent the entire day there and I feel like we barely even made a dent in all the food/vendors/activities that are offered.  First things first, we started the morning off with a giant cinnamon roll, then a foot long hot dog.  We walked through some of the exhibits.  I was almost sold by some of the best infomercials guys out there, rode several rides, and even played a few games.  We visited the animal exhibits, also checked out the DNR area with the pond and all the fish that I usually spend my summer chasing.  We stopped for a few adult beverages and finished the day on the river ride, to cool down before fighting traffic on the way back home.

Overall, I had a good time and look forward to next year!  Next up, is the Renaissance Festival!