January 15, 2018

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Cleveland Cavaliers

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Cleveland Cavaliers
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for January 15, 2018

On Monday night, Miss Sheri and I went out on a date to City Works and then to see the Timberwolves game.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were in town so we were excited for what would hopefully be a great game.

I was especially excited because I had never had the chance to see Lebron James play in person.  It was also my first time seeing Kevin Love play against the Timberwolves.  He was our star player for several years before he forced a trade because he didn't want to play for us any more.  We were ready to set the Boo Birds free!

Our seats were near the broadcasters which is always challenging for me.  Whenever I see people live on TV, I'm always tempted to try to get in the shot.  Lucky for me, my wife was there and she led me away from them so I didn't get myself in any trouble.

Karl!  Karl!  Karl!

The home team is now 26-16 and playing some of the best basketball they've played in years.  We were hopeful they'd be able to take down the former champions.

Every time Kevin touched the ball, the place rained Boos down at him.  We almost started feeling bad for him.  Almost.

The Wolves started out really hot.  They were leading by 14 after the end of the first quarter and 27 at the half.  The place was going crazy seeing the home team control the game like they did.

We did see some glimpses of what an incredible player that Lebron James can be when he completely scored at will a few times.  Unfortunately for the Cavaliers, we didn't see that side of him too often throughout the game.

A little more than 20 years ago, Violet Palmer became the first woman to be a referee in an NBA game.  There's currently 2 female referees in the NBA and we were lucky to see one of them in action.  It was fun to see her calling fouls on the fellas.

I kept waiting for the Cavaliers to go on a big run, but the Wolves absolutely dominated them.  The final score ended up being 127-99.  One of the funnest NBA games we've been to in a long time!

Avery went on a trip to Madison, Wisconsin, and Chicago, Illinois this week with the College of Science & Engineering at the University of Minnesota.  These are a couple photos he shared with me from the trip.

He and some of his fellow computer science students went to visit several different companies including Accenture & Google to meet with their recruiters and get a glimpse of what life is like working there.  I thought it looked like a pretty cool trip!

On Tuesday night, I connected with my old buddy, Jay Erickson.  Jay recently started a new job and so we got together to celebrate his success.  It was great seeing him again.

The Prior Lake Empty Nester Club had our monthly get together on Thursday night.  This month we thought we'd check out Applebees.  Those unlimited riblets were just too much temptation for some of us.

The get togethers keep getting to be more and more fun.  This month, we had a record turn-out of 17 empty nesters and empty nester wannabes.  If you're interested in joining us next month, be sure to like our Facebook page to see where we'll be going next:  https://www.facebook.com/PriorLakeEmptyNesters/

On Friday night, we went to our favorite restaurant, Benihana, to wish our boys farewell as they both head back to college for their second semester.  It was great having them both home for a month, but it's back to life, back to reality again.

Afterwards, we went to the Legion in Savage to join our good friend, Jen Walters, to help her celebrate her 50th birthday.  

Happy Birthday, Jen!!

January 7, 2018

Happy 2018!!

Happy 2018!!
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for January 7, 2018

As we've done the past several years, we rang in the New Year with a bunch of friends at the Zitzewitz House.  I think 2018 is going to be a really good year!!

We went to Mystic Lake Casino and bumped into our old buddy, Jason Hornbuckle.  Luke and Avery love going to the casino, but it's always a bit of a challenge because Luke constantly gets asked to show his ID to the security folks.  Miss Sheri gave him this T shirt for Christmas that says "This is my Casino Shirt and Yes I'm Over 18."  Sadly, the security guards don't believe the shirt and still make him show his ID.  Oh well, some day he'll appreciate looking young.

On New Year's Day, Luke and I went to a Minnesota Timberwolves game.

They were playing the Los Angeles Lakers, but unfortunately Lonzo Ball was injured and wasn't in the building.  We were hoping to see his dad, but apparently there were no Balls in the building.

Of course, the Wolves have enough stars for us to enjoy like Karl Anthony Towns.

And Andrew Wiggins...

And Jimmy Butler...the home town team looked great winning the game by a score of 114-96.  

Our old friend, Louie Anderson was in the crowd.  Many of you may remember when Luke and I got to do stand-up comedy with Louie back in 2009.  Here's the video:

America's Got Talent Daredevil, Gary Sladek, performed the halftime show by balancing on a whole bunch of chairs.

I'm sure this guy had done this act 10,000 times in his life, but it still looks pretty dangerous.  I sure wouldn't want to fall off this many chairs.  It hurts me bad enough when I fall off only 1.

On Tuesday night, we celebrated a late Christmas with Grandma Linda.  For some reason, she really appears to be shrinking lately.  I don't know what it is.

On Saturday night, we hung out with our good friends, Karl & Tina Zigglewitz.  It's actually Zitzewitz, but my mom could never pronounce that and so now they will forever be referred to as the Zigglewitzes by my family anyways.  It's fun when my mom mispronounces things.

We bought a bunch of Timberwolves games this season and thought it would be fun if they joined us.  It was.

The New Orleans Pelicans were in town and we thought it was going to be a good game, but it ended up being kind of a blow-out with the home team eventually winning it by a score of 116-98.

We thought it was a pretty neat coincidence when Derek Ashland the son of our good friends, Tim Ashland and Katie Ashland, happened to walk by our seats.  It was good to see him.

Karl Anthony Towns is a Beast.

December 31, 2017

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017
Todd Swank's Diary for December 31, 2017

Christmas Break started on a positive note for the Swank Family.  Todd, Miss Sheri, and Luke drove down to Rochester to visit our friends at the mayo clinic.  Luke's hepatologist, Dr. Leise, gave us the good news that even though his CT scan still showed there are nodules on his liver, they are stable and show no signs of growth since our last visit in August.  So we get to go another 4 months before our next check-up.  This will get him through his first full year of college without needing to do any new procedures, which sounds great to us!

We also visited his cardiologist, Dr. Baker, and he had no new concerns either.  We feel very blessed and continue to thank all our friends and family for their prayers and positive thoughts for Luke to stay healthy!!

So we celebrated Christmas as a family and were quite thankful for all of our blessings in 2017!

Luke and Avery were good boys this year so Santa gave them nice toys like footballs.

Of course, Todd was especially good, so Santa hooked him up as well.

On Christmas Eve, we drove down to Iowa to visit Grandma Leona and Uncle Jerry on the farm.  

We had lots of fun playing cards together and also enjoyed some good old fashioned Dog Wrestling.  

On Christmas Eve, we went to church where they actually let us play with fire.  Miss Sheri doesn't usually let us do this at home, so it was a nice treat for all of us.

Christmas dinner brought out the turkey and accompanied food.  Good stuff and Good stuffing.

When we came home to Minnesota, we were invited to a really fun party with a bunch of our old friends at the Fowler residence.  As usual, things got pretty carried away so I'm hoping we might have a chance to get invited back again some day.

Avery and I decided to check out the local NBA team and went to a Timberwolves game.

It was our first chance to see Jimmy Butler play in person which was pretty cool.  The Wolves pulled off a great trade with the Bulls to get him and he's already made an impact as a team leader.  I was impressed with the regular chants of "MVP" people were shouting out for him late in the game.

Karl Anthony Towns continues to grow as a superstar and is very fun to watch.  It's amazing to see a talented big man like he is draining threes like he's a point guard.  He's a new generation of player who should eventually lead the team to the playoffs again (we hope!).

Coach Tom Thibodeau sure does yell a lot, but it's nice you can start to see his vision coming together.  The team carried a 4 game winning streak into this game.

We were playing against the Denver Nuggets who were 19 and 15 and had been on a three game winning streak of their own.

It ended up being a pretty exciting game that went into overtime with the home team Timberwolves eventually winning by a score of 128-125.  It was very cool!

The best part of the game was the half time show where Christian Stoinev brought his dog Scooby to do a little acrobat show.  It's just amazing the dog can do this kind of stuff.

The best part of Christmas break has been having our boys at home again.  They seem to get along so much better now that they no longer live together full time.

The worst part has been the arctic freeze we've been dealing with for most of the past couple of weeks.  We've had temperatures as low as thirty two degrees below zero when windchill is added to the calculations.  It makes it kind of tough to take Blue for walks when it's this cold, but he still insists we do it.

We have a rule in the house that we don't walk on the ice until we start to see ice houses and cars out there.  With this cold, they started coming out in droves!

Happy New Year!!!