February 26, 2012

Extremely Lame Week in February, 2012

Extremely Lame Week in February, 2012

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for February 26, 2012

The problem with writing a new blog post every week is that some weeks my family just doesn't do anything exciting.  Certainly nothing worth writing about.  But for some reason I feel obligated to update my site every Sunday so I find myself taking pictures of the same old stuff like taking Sunny to the dog park.  Because we all know fascinating that can be!

While nobody was looking, I secretly allowed these dogs to enter.  It was the highlight of my weekend!

We did stop by Prior Lake High School to check out the Minnesota State Robotics Tournament.  

I discovered that robotics tournaments aren't nearly as exciting when we don't have a robot in the competition or really even understand the rules for scoring.  Although I did get some enjoyment out of checking out some of the contestant's outfits.  That kept us entertained for at least 15 minutes or so.

Outside the tournament, they were showing off a Rubik's Cube solving robot.  It makes me sad that a box of Legos is smarter than I am.

After the tournament, we drove to Burnsville Mall to do some clothes shopping.  I bought a new suit.  And then I went home to rest because my body was just overloaded from all the stimulation I experienced throughout the day.

February 19, 2012

Skiing at Afton Alps with the Iowa Boys

Skiing at Afton Alps with the Iowa Boys

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for February 19, 2012

The week started out with a family celebration at Buca in Burnsville.  The occasion?  18 years of marriage between Miss Sheri and myself!  How did she put up with me for that long?  I have absolutely no clue.  But I'm sure glad she did!

On Friday night, my old buddies from Iowa came up to spend the weekend with us.  We had a great time!  But anytime we get together and nobody ends up in jail or the hospital, it's usually a great time!

Joel brought with him a special treat for us.  He works at Quaker Oats in Cedar Rapids and he packaged this box of cereal with his own two hands.  Now I haven't actually opened the box to be sure he didn't include anything extra just to mess with us, but I'm hopeful it's just filled with some Oaty Goodness!

On Saturday, we traveled to Hastings, Minnesota to go skiing at Afton Alps.  We enjoyed some incredible weather and ski conditions which kept us flying around the slopes all day.  Luckily, we didn't run into anyone this year so that made the day even more special.

This was our first year skiing without our old buddy, Lincoln Allen, who passed away a few months ago.   We thought it would be nice if we ate a cake in his honor.  Of course, Jason Davis thought we were having the cake to celebrate his birthday which was on Friday.  We just let him keep thinking that so he'd feel good about himself.

Afton Alps isn't a huge ski resort so we found ourselves spending a lot of time on the chairlifts  together.  Which was nice.  Good bonding time happens on the chairlifts.  As long as one of us doesn't fall off.

Falling can be a pretty big concern for some of us.  Especially after one of our many rest stops at the various chalets.  The breaks come in very handy for those of us who may have some jitters about skiing if they haven't done it in a couple years.  But what is gained in courage also has a tendency to create losses in equilibrium.  It's a tough trade-off, but it's a challenge we seem to like to take.

Lucky for us, nobody sustained any serious injuries.  We just raced around from hill to hill and kept pace with one another pretty well.  I'm sure we'll all have some sore muscles in the morning, but it's well worth it.  

February 12, 2012

2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for February 12, 2012

On Monday night, we had the opportunity to watch our boys Middle School Honor Band play with the Prior Lake Windjammers.  Their joint musical performance was quite exhilarating.  

Luke may be the smallest percussionist in the band, but he does his best to match the bigger kids in intensity.

We think this is Avery playing the trombone.  He's always a little bit difficult to find in the crowd.

On Thursday, Dr. Bollig and I flew to Monterey, California to watch day 2 of the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Golf Tournament.  The weather was just a little bit nicer than what we left behind in Minnesota.

We stayed near the Old Fisherman's Wharf.  It was a pretty neat place, although I was a bit surprised to discover that it smelled so much like fish.  They should really do something about that.

We were told that this place had the best Clam Chowder in the world.  And they weren't just a foolin' either!

I really liked the boats.

While David found himself more fascinated with the birds.

We went to the Tournament at the invitation of our Good Friends at Intel.  They sure know how to show a guy a good time!

We also made new friends like our waitress, Ashley.  There sure are good people in that California area.

Pebble Beach Golf Course was incredibly beautiful!!  Although the PGA's rules for disallowing cameras at the tournament was incredibly suckish!   Since the main sponsor is AT&T, we did get to bring in our phones, though, so I tried to sneak some shots while we were there.

San Francisco 49ers Coach, Jim Harbaugh, had a very nice drive.  I thought about offering to shake his hand after this shot, but then remembered that he doesn't really like that.

George Lopez seemed like a fun guy to go golfing with.  I wonder what he's doing next weekend?

But our favorite guy to follow was Bill Murray.  Dr. Bollig offered him $100 for his hat but he declined.  Said he makes a lot of money off that hat.  Wonder where I can get one?

February 5, 2012

Walking on the Ice of Prior Lake

Walking on the Ice of Prior Lake

Todd Swank's Diary Update for February 5, 2012

I walked out of Nor-Tech for lunch on Tuesday and discovered this strange little goose near my car.  I've never seen one with a yellow scarf like this one was wearing.  I've never really understood Goose Fashion, but if this works for him, then I guess he should just go with it.

On Thursday, I went to lunch with our good friend, John Bornholdt, who happens to be Nor-Tech's Seagate rep.  For those of you who are fans of the stock market, you may know that Seagate's stock price has more than doubled in the past couple of months!  I tried to get John to reveal his secrets of success to me, but he was holding them pretty close to his vest.

We had a pretty mellow weekend planned, so the boys and I decided to take Sunny for a walk out on the lake since it was 40 degrees and the sun was shining.

Our general rule for walking on the ice is that if we see trucks driving on it, then it's probably safe for us to walk on it.  But then when I came home after our walk, I saw a headline that said 2 vehicles had fallen through nearby Lake Minnetonka in the past week, so maybe our rule needs to be reviewed.

Sunny doesn't worry about falling through the ice.  Just throw him the dang ball and he's happy.

We did see a couple of Bald Eagles while we were out on the ice which was very cool,  but I didn't have very good luck getting them on video.

Luke thinks he looks like his father, but he has quite a ways to go before he looks as good as me.

This one is a little better, but still needs work.

Miss Sheri has pretty much avoided us lately.  She's been spending a lot of her time lately at the Tile Shop dreaming of a life with a better house and a better family.  I do agree that the tile looks nice, though.

February 1, 2012

Hard-Drive Shortage Hits Enterprise Drive Shipments Hard

Enterprise drives are very challenging to get, said Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Nor-Tech, a Burnsville, Minn.-based custom system builder. "Everything we're hearing from our suppliers points to the shortage continuing through the rest of this year," Swank said. 

Desktop hard drives are more readily available than enterprise drives, but are still higher in price than before the flood, Swank said. 

 "We expect drive shipments to get close to normal by Q3 or Q4," he said. "But we don't expect drive prices to get back to pre-flood levels unless some new technology comes in. There are only two major vendors now, so don't expect them to want prices to fall too soon."

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