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Forum: Minnesota Dirt Track Racing Forum (go)
Moderators: StanM


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Topic: Changes to my racing routine going into 2015 Email this topic to a friend | Subscribe to this TopicReport this Topic to Moderator
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StanM
MyWebsite MyResults MyPressRelease
January 25, 2015 at 09:04:57 AM
Joined: 11/07/2006
Posts: 3952
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To everyone who has been reading my racing stories in the papers and magazines for the past 16 seasons.  I came to a crossroads in my racing activities and had to make a decision.  First I want to say that I'm going to leave the gotomn.com website and this message board up for another season so no changes there.  Sites like mine aren't a big deal nowadays with social media, YouTube and streaming video but I'll take it one year at a time so we're going to leave it up there for the time being.  It's been out there since 1999 so my website is like an old friend that brings back a lot of good memories.  wink


The reasons for the change are many but I'll cover just a few.  My wife and I want to do some traveling and our grandkid count is up to seven so we are a lot busier with family matters.  The dust has raised hell with my camera equipment to the point where it's no longer reliable so that I can't make any commitments to publications and tracks because I can't count on it to make it through the season.  Replacement and upgrades are cost prohibitive so I'll keep on using the old gear until it gives out.  I do plan on buying a new camera body before I retire but if I do I'm not going to bring it anywhere near a dirt track because it will probably be the last one I'll ever buy before I'm on a fixed income.  I'll be 64 years old in September and my back and knees are telling me that they don't want to walk around an infield for four hours two nights each weekend so age and health are considerations as well.  We've got some unfinished home projects and I'm due to retire in under three years so there are a lot of things that need my attention away from racing.  At some point we're going to want to sell this house and downsize and I need to prepare for that while I can still climb a ladder and lift a pail of driveway sealer.  LOL

The specific changes are that I will no longer be contributing a column to the Midwest Racing Connection and I won't be committing to send photos to tracks and publictations or cover any track photographer duties.  My expenses to attend races could easily go up tenfold so I have penciled in a schedule of seven races and one street rod show.  Come summer if I'm having fun and the resources are there to add more races that I have penciled in I will do so.  If it's too much of a struggle and gets too costly I might have to go in the other direction and cut down even more.  We'll play it by ear and see what happens.

MTC added 40 minutes per day to our bus route and they're still working on 35e coming out of downtown St. Paul so Friday races are more difficult to attend.  I'm on vacation for one or two of the bigger Friday shows but for the most part my race attendance will be limited to weekends.

I plan on continuing to take a few photos during hot laps, time trials and heat races and posting them on my website as long as the camera equipment holds up.  Maybe I'll make a blog post if I feel like I've got something to say.  There were no issues with the publications or tracks, this is my decision based on where I'm at in my life at this point.  If you had asked me a few years ago I'd have told you that I would keep doing this into retirement but it became obvious that it is no longer sustainable for me to be a racing reporter. 


Stan Meissner


Hansmn
January 26, 2015 at 02:44:08 PM
Joined: 12/14/2008
Posts: 127
Reply

Thanks for what you have done over the years Stan. The photos and stories made it possible to keep up with what was happening when we coulndn't make it to the races ourselves. Racing is an expensive hobby and I'm sure your hobby was not sheap either.



StanM
MyWebsite MyResults MyPressRelease
January 26, 2015 at 05:04:36 PM
Joined: 11/07/2006
Posts: 3952
Reply
Reply to:
Posted By: Hansmn on January 26 2015 at 02:44:08 PM

Thanks for what you have done over the years Stan. The photos and stories made it possible to keep up with what was happening when we coulndn't make it to the races ourselves. Racing is an expensive hobby and I'm sure your hobby was not sheap either.



And thank you for your interest in my work.


Stan Meissner

StanM
MyWebsite MyResults MyPressRelease
January 29, 2015 at 06:33:45 PM
Joined: 11/07/2006
Posts: 3952
Reply

Some of the replies and comments I have gotten suggest that some people think I won't be going to any races.  I still plan on going as much as I can afford to but my expenses will go up without a media pass.  I'll still bring the camera out and take photos when I go.  I've got seven special events and back to the 50's penciled into my schedule.  

The bottom line is that dust cuts the service life of camera bodies and lenses down to about 3-4 years before they need to be replaced.  Most of my camera equipment was purchased between 2004 and 2007.  The only exception is that I took a gamble a year ago on a used camera body for $450 and it turned out to be a bad choice as it's got a scratch on the sensor and some bad pixels.  It's still usable but it's not reliable.  To give an idea how hard dust is on camera gear I've got an $850 lens sitting in my cabinet that was ruined by dust and no longer works good enough to use for racing.  The camera manufacturers keep coming out with new models and dropping support on the older stuff so even though a good cleaning would make that lens usable nobody services that model anymore.

The common assumption is that because I take photos I must be making money selling them.  That couldn't be further from the truth, I'm lucky if I make $50 a year after processing costs.  If a person wants to sell photos they have to be out there for every race shooting everything on wheels and agressively selling.  I'm 63 years old and will be 64 this fall so my days of running on that treadmill are long gone. 

I plan on retiring in a little under three years and had hoped that I could keep up the pace of writing and taking photos until then and pickup the pace after I retire.  Unfortunately I crapped out and didn't make it to the finish line and came to the realization that it was time to step aside.  No complaints, it was a fun run for 16 seasons. 

I still enjoy racing and will keep this website running and get out there as much as I am able to so I'll see you at the races!

 


Stan Meissner

StanM
MyWebsite MyResults MyPressRelease
January 30, 2015 at 05:15:54 AM
Joined: 11/07/2006
Posts: 3952
Reply

PS, I'm happy with my decision regardless of the combination of circumstances that led up to it.  Trying to stretch things and keep up the pace every summer after reaching the milestone of 60 has been an uphill battle that caused a lot of frustration.  I think that at the end of the year I'll look back and see that I did the right thing.  No regrets and no complaints.  This time had to come eventually.  wink


Stan Meissner



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