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Zo Klesko Vankat, 1996-2011

May 24

What a good dog. Sunday was a sad day for the family.

Late-night snowman crew

Nov 13

Uh, apparently it’s winter.

Instead of shoveling, we gave the neighbors something to smile about in the morning.

Cranksgiving 2010

Oct 17

I promise a patio pictures update soon, but first I’m sharing some work I did for a friend.

Bryan Redemske is a former World-Herald guy who now runs the Trek store on 72nd Street. For the past couple years, he has organized a charity bike ride / scavenger hunt to benefit the Omaha Food Bank. Last year, he and the riders donated 1,800 pounds of food and nearly $700.

I’ve been lucky enough to help him out with a couple posters.

Here’s our latest iteration:

So, if riding around northwest Omaha in search of canned goods is your idea of a fun way to spend a Saturday morning, or if you’re searching for a way to help some people put a good meal on the table, definitely come out and ride on November 13. Obviously, it’s for a good cause. Even if riding’s not your thing, definitely stop by and eat a bowl of chili. The more the merrier.

[Cranksgiving 2010 - more info]

This is ridiculous

Sep 14

1000 tweets a second! So, twitter is popular, huh?

Miami, The Gateway to the Americas

Apr 22

I’m heading to Miami this weekend for a meeting and my mom is meeting me there. Does anyone have suggestions on what to see and do (aside from the obligatory shopping)?

More from New England

Mar 20

No basketball on Friday, so we golfed and shopped in the morning, then hung out at ESPN in the afternoon. Got the tour then sat in on a taping of SportsNation. Pretty sweet.

Today before the games, we drove to Rhode Island to check out Flo’s Clam Shack (a famous little hole in the wall) and found our new favorite town. Hello, Newport.

Eating and drinking

Mar 13

Three weeks, three fish frys (fries?) Here’s the rundown:

Holy Name: BOYC (that’s Bring Your Own Cooler) and don’t forget the hand warmers; food sucks, but this one’s really not about the food, is it?

Lourdes: Get the mac and cheese and a side of fries. Then sit at the lucky table near mid-court in the back and buy a bunch of raffle tickets. Steaks for a week!

Sons of Italy: No line to get in, which, after you’ve been to the others, is a definite bonus. Also, good spaghetti and $2 beers. But bring some extra change if you’re not a Miller Lite fan. You have to pay an extra quarter for a rum and Coke.

And, since we’re getting to the point where wasting entire evenings in random bars is a painful (the next morning) reminder of our advancing age, we’re starting a Tuesday night drinking club. 6 or 6:30 p.m at an untested Omaha watering hole. Next week: Boiler Room in the Old Market. Future stops on the tour include Louis’ in Benson and the Trackside Lounge. M’s Pub will be on the list at some point, too. It’s practically a family tradition.

Trek up the tower results

Feb 21

Name: BEN VANKAT
Event: MALE
Time: 8:47
Overall Place: 396 of 1126
Place in Gender: 311 of 524
Place in Age Division: 104 of 156

Luckily they didn’t include “Time behind brother”, “Times stopped for water” and “Amount of time spent wishing he had just been a volunteer”.

Blog 2.0

Feb 12

This is where I should have included the animated GIF of a dumptruck driving across the screen. Under construction.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably arrived at the new, WordPress version of the blog. It’s a behind-the-scenes change, but a pretty big one, so there will probably be some headaches with old links and bookmarks. Also, if you typically get updates through an RSS reader, there’s a new address for that, too. Make sure you switch your subscription over to one of the new options …

http://benvankat.com/blog/feed/rss
http://benvankat.com/blog/feed/atom

Let’s hope this works … Email me if there’s trouble.

Mostly just standing around

Jan 28

(click for larger)

A cool article and charts from the Wall Street Journal with some surprising numbers about an NFL football game. Well, maybe not surprising, but I just never realized it.

According to a Wall Street Journal study of four recent broadcasts, and similar estimates by researchers, the average amount of time the ball is in play on the field during an NFL game is about 11 minutes.

So what do the networks do with the other 174 minutes in a typical broadcast? Not surprisingly, commercials take up about an hour. As many as 75 minutes, or about 60% of the total air time, excluding commercials, is spent on shots of players huddling, standing at the line of scrimmage or just generally milling about between snaps. While the network announcers showed up on screen for just 30 seconds, shots of the head coaches and referees took up about 7% of the average show.

And some crazy numbers about the manpower and money involved:

In the past decade, regular-season football telecasts have evolved into major productions that can cost between $150,000 and $250,000. Networks say they have anywhere from 80 to 200 people on hand per game with dozens of cameras. (NBC says its broadcasts require seven production trucks.)

[Wall Street Journal - 11 minutes of action]

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