April 22, 2018

Spring is Finally Here! Time for a Hot Tub Party.

Spring is Finally Here!  Time for a Hot Tub Party.
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 22, 2018

Even though the yard still has way too much white and not enough green, the temperatures have finally started rising to the point that it feels like Spring has finally arrived.  Thank God, because I really thought it was going to skip us this year.

Miss Sheri keeps telling me she's waiting to see a robin because that's supposed to be the first sign of spring.  I asked her if a lady cardinal would qualify.  I guess not.

Blue is so happy to be able to start getting walks again.  We tend to avoid them when it's so cold outside and that makes him go a little stir crazy.  It won't be long and he'll be able to go swimming again!  That's like heaven for him.

Part of the lake is exposed where the stream feeds it from Spring Lake.  The water birds have been all over it.  

The mommies and daddies are probably ready to start getting frisky again so it won't be long for us to start seeing all the babies.  Lucky Ducks.

We were a little surprised to see a couple of fishermen out in the middle of the lake.  I'm sure if I questioned them they'd tell me there's nothing to worry about because the ice is still really thick.  But there's no way you'd catch me out there at this point of the year...

On Saturday night, the Browns and Zitzewitzes came over for dinner and a movie.  We had all gone to see Pitch Perfect 2 together, so we thought it would be fun to watch Pitch Perfect 3 together also.  It wasn't.  It was great seeing our friends, but that movie is pretty bad.  They should have ended the series after the 2nd one.

We ended the night by taking a bath together.  It was quite a bit of fun.

The other thing I did this weekend was stop by Mystic Lake Casino to watch my very first esports tournament.  It was pretty interesting.  Row after row of millennial warriors competing against one another for prizes and glory.  

I bumped into Luke's roommate, Jackson, and another of their friends, Noah, who were competing in the tournament.  I heard they ended up doing pretty well and took 3rd place in their category.  Way to go, Fellas!

April 15, 2018

April Blizzards Bring May Lizards

April Blizzards Bring May Lizards
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 15, 2018

We don't see Avery much any more while he's away at college, but occasionally I guilt him into sending me some photographs to stay updated on his life.  This week it was pictures of him and his girlfriend, Emma, at last weekend's formal for his fraternity.  I think they look so cute together.

It was a college reunion of sorts for Miss Sheri this weekend.  Her friend, Kim Hohensee, was in town from Colorado and needed a place to seek shelter during the massive blizzard we had coming our way.  We were glad to accommodate.  Cathy also came down and the ladies had a great time reminiscing about the old days.

Jeff and I weren't there during their days at Wartburg, but we did our best to stay involved in the conversation.  We all had fun while the snow started building up outside.

Luke decided to come home for the weekend from Minnesota State Mankato University.  He told us he only has a couple of weeks of school left before he's ready to move back home for the summer.  It seems so weird, because it sure doesn't feel like anything close to summer around here!

We stayed inside for most of the weekend.  We've had a "Historic" Blizzard that dropped the most snow Minnesota has ever seen in the month of April and it just keeps coming down.  We've had something like 15 inches of snow already this weekend.  This winter is never going to end!

There was a break in the snow on Saturday morning, so we thought it would be fun to go to lunch and a movie.  That ended up being a bad idea.

The roads weren't too bad in the morning, although reading road signs became pretty much impossible.

By the time we were done with lunch, the snow came back with a vengeance so we decided to skip the movie and just work our way back home again.  It was pretty scary as visibility became nearly impossible.  Lucky we weren't too far from home.

So we spent the rest of the weekend bird watching.  We keep adding more and more feeders around our house because the little birdies are just so much fun to watch.

Although, they also seem to be pretty pissed about the weather.  I kept thinking this guy was annoyed with us because we were sitting inside and not opening the door to let him come in and join us.  Silly bird.

I did feel kind of bad for them and started wondering if this group of birds just got in town after flying north for the summer.  If so, they are probably pretty annoyed with themselves that they didn't stay down south for a few more weeks.

Blue is getting pretty sick of not having full access to his yard with all the snow he has to navigate.  But he figures it out and still seems happy, so we got that going for us.  Which is nice.

April 8, 2018

Minneapolis Home & Garden Show 2018

Minneapolis Home & Garden Show 2018
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 8, 2018

It was Empty Nester Club Get Together Time again and this month we met at The Pointe in Prior Lake.  A good time was had by all.  At least I think a good time was had by all.  I didn't see anyone crying or anything.

Sue and Ron showed up a little late because they were out celebrating their 21st anniversary.  Happy Anniversary, Sue & Ron!!

It's April 8 and we still have way too much snow on the ground in my backyard.  Even worse, we still have snow coming down with more in the forecast as far out as next weekend.  Maybe we just won't have a Spring this year.

In order to get our minds off the crappy weather we are experiencing, we thought we should go to the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show to brighten our moods.  Karl & Tina Zitzewitz were happy to join us.  At least I think they were happy.  I didn't see them crying or anything.

I noticed right when we arrived that there were a lot of pretty flowers and things made to look like we were outside in nice weather.  I started thinking maybe we made the right call.

Tables with fire-pits built into them seem to be gaining in popularity.  There were quite a few displays featuring them.  Maybe we should invest in one of these if that snow isn't going away soon.

This show was pretty huge with tons of different businesses showcasing their wares.  We were determined to visit all of them.

We already have an outside bathtub at home, but it's still fun imagining taking baths with new people in different kinds of tubs.

I'd like to have sheet metal decorations in my yard, but then I remember that I like to run around a lot and am kind of klutzy.  With my luck, I'd run smack dab into the side of one of these things and cut myself in half.

Not sure why these guys with bows and arrows were hanging around at the home and garden show.  People must hire them if they have real bad bunny and squirrel problems.

I'd like to get a closet like this, but I just don't have nearly enough shoes to fill it up.

Karl and I spent a lot of time together just sitting there and admiring all the pretty flowers.

There were pink ones, purple ones, and a whole bunch of green ones.  

I need to crash an old car in my backyard and then build a waterfall out of it.  This looks really nice.

Miss Sheri asked me to buy her this dress.  I told her we should wait a week or so for the flowers to die because I'm sure then we could get a real nice discount on it.

April 1, 2018

Peter Frampton Live at the Surf Ballroom

Peter Frampton Live at the Surf Ballroom
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 1, 2018

I was able to connect with some of my old buddies from Equus recently for lunch.  I hadn't seen most of them since I left the company two and a half years ago, but we picked up where we left off like no time had passed at all.  Hopefully I'll get a chance to see them all more often now that we work closer together.

We went to the Timberwolves game on Wednesday night.  Our hometown team is in the midst of a playoff chase for the first time in like 14 years.  They are in a tie with about 5 or 6 others teams all trying to get in to the post season.  We were there to root them on as they took on the Atlanta Hawks.

It actually ended up being a pretty historic game as Karl Anthony Towns went off the chains by scoring 56 points and 15 rebounds setting a new franchise record for the highest points scored by a single player in a game.  We were so proud of him.  He was on Fire!

Jimmy Butler is still out injured, but he was spreading all kinds of cheer to the team during timeouts.

The Timberwolves won the game by a score of 126 - 114.  It's going to be close for them to make the playoffs.  As of today, they are in the 7th position with only 4 games to go.  There's several others teams with similar records, so who knows what will happen.  Knowing the kind of luck we have in Minnesota, I'm kind of nervous about it but hopefully they'll pull it together and get in there.

On Saturday night, we drove down to Clear Lake, Iowa to meet up with our old buddy, Krazy Kory, for a night on the town.

It's always good to get back to Clear Lake because we always end up seeing old friends.  Like Aimee Minette who we bumped into before the concert.  She actually sold me the engagement ring I gave to Miss Sheri some 24 years ago.  It was great getting to spend some time with her again.

At 7PM we headed to the Surf to wait for the show to begin.  Peter and his band started the show a little after 9 and we were ready to rock.

I can't say I was a huge Peter Frampton fan before the show, but I certainly know his music including songs like Show Me The Way and Do You Feel Like We Do.  We were all singing and dancing along with him and his band while they were jamming out on their guitars.

We stayed up close to the stage and made several new friends around us.

I didn't realize how cool the lighting was until I saw my photos when I came home.  They look very psychedelic.

I think you can even see Peter Frampton's Aura in this one.  Either that or it's a purple haze.

I don't know what kind of instrument this straw thing is called, but it makes some pretty cool effects with his voice.  It sure looks goofy watching him use it, though.

We were pretty close to the stage throughout most of the show, but unfortunately Peter never invited us up there to personally jam with him.  I guess I need to get better with the guitar before I can get that kind of opportunity.

He preferred to jam with his band.  Which I guess I can kind of understand.  These guys were all really good.

There were a lot of riffs, solos, duos, trios, and pretty much everything else that can be accomplished with a guitar.  I was really impressed with the intensity in which Peter performed.  This guy has been doing this for decades, but still came out and gave a riveting performance for the crowd who was loving every minute of it.

If you get the chance to see Peter Frampton in concert, I recommend it.  These guys were a lot of fun.

Here's some video clips from the show.