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We had another great turnout for our National Night Out in historic downtown Chaska this year. It was our third annual event for the neighbors in West Downtown Chaska, and it’s been fun to see it grow year over year.

The Chaska Herald came out to snap some shots and WCCO-TV sent a camera guy to get some footage for their Good Question segment about if we really know our neighbors.

Per the topic, our neighborhood uses a combination of offline and online techniques to connect. Although our email list is getting to a substantial size and it’s been fun to watch the Facebook Group for the neighborhood grow, we still take time to chat to one another on front porches, festivals or at the park. We share tools, produce from the garden and schedule play dates for the kids.

Arguably, the people you live near have a more direct impact on your day-to-day life than national and global news. Knowing your neighbors is just the first step of contributing and living in a community. And National Night Out is a fantastic catalyst for creating those connections.


Until Matt’s Bar and their AMAZING “Jucy Lucy’s” (only Matt’s Bar spells it w/o the “i”) move across the street from my house, I will gladly settle for Tommy’s Malt Shop in historic downtown Chaska serving up their new menu item — the Tommy’s Juicy Lucy.

I saw a post about new Spring menu items on their Facebook Group (they’re still struggling with a Facebook Page strategy) yesterday, and we immediately made plans to go sample them.

Tommy’s has two Lucy’s — the Tommy’s Lucy stuffed with American Cheese, fried onions and pickles, and the Smoky Lucy stuffed with jalapenos and pepper jack cheese, topped with fried onions and chipotle mayo. Both are served in baskets with frieds, and the Tommy’s Lucy is only $2 more than a normal burger.

All of Tommy’s burger buns are buttered and grilled, just like an old fashion diner. Their fries are always crisp (just be sure to ask for the sweet potato fries not to be too crisp – they sometimes overcook them a bit), and we’ve never had a bad meal there.

After being warned by both the kitchen manager and our waitress to be careful with our molten cheese-filled burgers, my wife and I dove into the oral orgasm that is the experience of eating two beef patties crimped around a puddle of piping hot cheese.

They were amazing. I’m not a food critic so lack the adjectives to share with you. Let’s just say, they were amazing.

Matt’s Jucy Lucy will always be the best. But I don’t live across the street from Matt’s, so this is more than sufficient!

(note to Brett and Emily, I would love to sit with you for an hour and volunteer some help in setting up your Facebook strategy and profiles. You’re missing out on great word of mouth and organic social media opportunities by not having your channels properly set up. Let me know! We love Tommy’s and are big advocates!)

Grant was more than a little excited about Guardian Angels’ annual AngelFest fall celebration…

Games for the kids…

Crafts for the adults…


A polka band playing, “In heaven there is no beer, that’s why we drink it here…”

Someone please explain this game to me…

Water balloon fight in the street…

And a tour of the historic Guardian Angels church, including an exclusive look at the 1902 pipe organ…

And some videos:
Playing the 1903 pipe organ at Guardian Angels Cathedral
The one where the AngelFest music is shaking all the windows in our house, and Grant is concerned
Backyard fire + James Brown = awesome

Full article.

Last week in pictures

August 2, 2011 — 1 Comment

Took Grant to swimming class and admired this epic slide…

This dad brought his laptop, logged onto the community center wi-fi and was surfing to purchase a new weapon — while at the pool…

More after the jump!

Continue Reading…

National Night Out is “an annual event designed to strengthen our communities by encouraging neighborhoods to engage in stronger relationships with each other and with their local law enforcement partners.”

What a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors even better!

I’m helping to organize NNO for our neighborhood in downtown Chaska again this year (west of 41).

Hope to see you there!

You’re invited to National Night Out
Date: Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Location: Hickory Park, downtown Chaska
Event Specifics:
Come to Hickory Park, meet your neighbors, let the kids play, and meet Chaska Police, Firefighters and McGruff the Crime Dog.

Want to help with the event? Contact: Greg Swan,, 304-449-GREG

Photos from our 2010 NNO event:
.Greg and McGruff


McGruff on the Seesaw

NNO Neighbors

NNO Neighbors

Ringing the bell

Friday was Grant’s preschool graduation and end of year program at Schimelpfenig Park. He’s the one holding the “G.”

Here he is with his best friend, Michael.

Me and my boys.

Saturday was the Elm Street Block Party in my historic downtown Chaska neighborhood. Yet another special thing about Chaska is they have a Block Party trailer complete with tables, chairs and games your neighborhood can borrow for these events. So great.

Sunday my church, Oasis Church, met in Schimelpfenig Park for a service and family activities.

Fireman’s Lake was gorgeous.

Oh, and at least one stop at Tommy’s Malt Shop.