April 29, 2012

Willy Wonka at Burnsville High School

Willy Wonka at Burnsville High School

Todd Swank's Diary Update for April 29, 2012

We spent a lot of time in auditoriums this week.  The boys had 2 different band concerts on Tuesday and Thursday which lasted for about 2 hours each.  That's a whole lotta band music.

Being in the Brass Section, Avery is tucked away in the middle of the band so it's always hard to catch him for a photo.  I actually think he knows this and sits there on purpose.

Being in the percussion section puts Luke front and center for photos.  He just has to worry that his Percussion Partners don't squeeze him like a sandwich.

Grandma Linda thought Luke looked so cute standing next to his taller classmates that she insisted on going to find a tall person to stand next to also.  It made her really happy when she found one.

On Friday night, we traveled to Burnsville High School to see a play called Willy Wonka.  

The play was about this guy who runs a chocolate factory and exploits illegal immigrants for their cheap labor.  Kind of deep stuff for a group of high schoolers to tackle, but we were excited to see them give it a shot.

The reason we went to see the show was because our friend Ana Zitzewitz starred as one of the squirrels in the Veruca Salt Death Scene.  I never realized squirrels were so vicious. After seeing this I'm definitely steering clear of them in the future.

Ana also played one of the townspeople who were fascinated with the Chocolate Robber Baron.  They were all so nice to him which didn't seem very realistic to me.  If it were based on reality, this group would be part of Occupy Wall Street.  They'd eat alive this  weird guy from the 1 percent!

I was pretty impressed with the production.  The actors were great and quickly made you forget that they were only teenagers.  I really thought it was a bunch of old people laying in that bed.  I kept thinking how badly it must smell down under those blankets.  It was nice to get lost in a fantasy world like this for a couple of hours.

Other than the nice boy named Charlie, the other characters who won the coveted "Golden Tickets" turned out to be kind of jerks.  It almost made you cheer when they each met a gruesome ending deep inside Mr. Wonka's Chocolate Factory of Horrors.

Like this girl.  She was kind of cute and seemed pretty sure of herself, but she didn't do a very good job of listening to her elders.  Apparently she really liked gum and consumed a piece of an experimental piece that Willy gave her.  He warned her over and over not to eat it, but that only made me think "Why the heck did you give it to her in the first place if it could be so dangerous?"  I thought she was going to choke on it or something, but instead it caused her to blow up into a big blue ball.  It must have ended up killing her because we never saw her again.  I have no idea how this Wonka dude stayed out of jail by enslaving migrant workers and recklessly endangering children, but it seemed to be working for him.        He ended up being really rich and powerful and even adopted the one kid he didn't kill.

I guess that's the lesson we were supposed to get from the show.  

I'm not sure I get it.

April 26, 2012

2012 Channel Champions: Processors

Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Nor-Tech, a Burnsville, Minn.-based systems integrator, praised Intel for seeking out new niche markets for partners—even the smaller ones. 

"If you look over the past 10 years, they constantly have been championing new programs and new opportunities for smaller partners. They were one of the first people talking about managed service providers and how that was going to evolve into new opportunities for channel players," said Swank.

Read Full Article Here:

Intel Launches First 22-nm Ivy Bridge Processors

Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Nor-Tech, a Burnsville, Minn.-based system builder and Intel (NSDQ:INTC) partner, said that, like all Intel releases in the PC space, Ivy Bridge has the potential to regenerate consumer interest in traditional desktop and notebook computing. 

 "The [PC] client part of the market place is a little dry," Swank told CRN. "So anything we can do to get customers excited about PCs again is a good thing." 

But the bigger opportunity Ivy Bridge presents for resellers is with Ultrabooks, he continued. Ivy Bridge, for traditional PCs, is no doubt evolutionary -- but it’s not necessarily revolutionary, Swank said. The real demand for the new processors will hit when Intel’s super-thin Ultrabook notebooks, powered by its Ivy Bridge processors, launch with Windows 8 later this year. "With great battery life and great graphics, all of this will tie into making Ultrabooks a very competitive and very cool product," he told CRN.

Read Full Article Here:

April 25, 2012

President Obama Travels To Boulder, Colorado To Get Photo Taken With Famous Shortarmguy Hand Print

Last August, my buddy Ron and I traveled to Colorado to see Krazy Kory who was living there at the time.  You can read about the trip HERE.

While there, we stopped in at a bar called the Sink in Boulder, Colorado.  

Apparently the tradition at the bar is to have people "Sign the Ceiling".  There's a lot of signatures up there.

Since I was in Rome, I felt I should do as the Romans do and I signed the ceiling by tracing my hand on it.  I added the white arrow above so you can see exactly where it is.  Note the Large P in the photo because it will help you identify the location of my hand print in the next photo.

Apparently, my hand print has become quite popular for people to see.  I didn't realize this until I just read that even President Obama traveled to the bar  to see it and pose for pictures in front of it with some friends yesterday.  Note that he's standing almost directly under the P I mentioned earlier in this story.

I just read on Yahoo, that this picture of Obama and another friend of his has even gone viral and people from all over are checking it out.  

I guess I don't see what the big deal is.  

I mean if he's that into it, I'd be happy to come to the white house and trace my hand on the ceiling of the Oval Office or the Lincoln Bedroom or something.

April 22, 2012

Krazy Kory and the Dock Dog

Krazy Kory and The Dock Dog
Todd Swank's Diary Update for April 22, 2012

It was a quiet Friday night so I thought it would be a good idea to call up Krazy Kory and bring him over for some wild and crazy Dock Dog Festivities!

First, we needed a Dock Dog.  Sunny looked like as good a candidate as any we could find on such short notice.

Next, we needed some collaborators to actually help coax the Dog from the Dock.

We had to position everyone in the exact right position to create the ideal dock path.

Finally, we had to launch the tennis ball at just the right angle to create the appropriate desire in the dog.

Final result.  Laugh and laugh as the dog penetrates the water.


Krazy Kory thought he'd be clever and send the dog in a different direction.

Sadly, he didn't know about the large water hole on the beach.  

Sunny sank and was never seen again.

The End

April 17, 2012

Resellers Talk about Intel Server Building Blocks

I was included in this video talking about the new Intel Server Building Blocks for system builders.

April 15, 2012

Caladesi Island State Park

Caladesi Island State Park
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 9, 2012

On the last day of our trip to Florida, we wanted to see the ocean and decided to go visit Caladesi Island State Park based on a recommendation of a nice lady we met in Davenport, Florida.  She said it was voted the best Beach in the United States a few years ago so we thought we should check it out.

This wasn't a beach where we could drive the rental car.  Nope.  We had to take a Boat!

I swore I heard this bird say "You'll be sorry!" before we pulled away.  But we ended up having a great day so I have no idea what he was talking about.

We saw some more dolphins on the trip to the island which was nice.    Even if we never did get the chance to ride one of them.

The first thing we noticed when we arrived at the island was the Mangrove Trees that grew all around it.  These are really neat because they actually grow in the water!  Although, I'll bet that makes them very challenging to climb.

We saw this sign when we first walked on the island, but unfortunately we didn't see any of them.  I've always wanted to have a picture of me holding a real rattlesnake!

We did see several Gopher Box Turtles walking around, though.  This guy looked rather wise so we thought it would be best not to challenge him to any games of skill.

When we set up our place on the beach, Luke took it upon himself to clear the area of any birds that got near us.  It was a thankless job, though, because they just kept coming.

We swam around in the ocean for awhile which was a very nice capper to our trip.  We had an incredible Spring Break in Florida this year and highly recommend it to anyone who is considering going next year!  Just stay away from the crowded theme parks...

Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 8, 2012

On Sunday, we drove to Cape Canaveral to visit Kennedy Space Center.  Nobody wanted to go, but Miss Sheri encouraged us to do it because it was something she really wanted to do.  So of course it was all of our favorite day of the trip!  That Miss Sheri sure knows her boys.

We knew we were in for a special day when we spotted about 20 different alligators along the side of the road in the drainage ditches.  Seeing real live wild alligators right next to us with no cages or anything was quite the thrill!

The alligators were cool, but being able to see a bunch of incredible spaceships and the facilities necessary to shoot them into space was even cooler!

We took a bus tour around the campus and our driver was both funny and quite knowledgeable about the Space Program.  He kept reminding us to check out NASA.gov to follow what's going on around there.  We're going to do that! 

For the first time, I found myself kind of sad that the Space Shuttle is no longer in service.  I wish I would have seen it launch into space one time in my life.  But it sounds like they're quite busy prepping for the Moon Landing in 2020 and the Mars Landing in 2030.  It would be fun to go down there and see one of those bad boys fly off into space and witness the beginnings of those incredible journeys.

I was thinking that the space shuttle was actually quite a bit smaller than I thought it would be, but then I was told this was just a model.  

Not everything was models,though.  Seeing the actual rockets that went into space was Awe Inspiring!  Hard to believe they could get one of these things to fly 5 feet in the air let alone into orbit around the planet!

They kept the original Mission Control Center for the Apollo Moon Landings in place and created a neat simulation of one of the launches and how it actually felt in the room while it happened.  When the rocket took off, the whole building started shaking very hard!   When the Rocket is a Rockin', Don't Come a Knockin'!

This is Wendy Lawrence.  She is an astronaut who flew 4 shuttle missions.  She told us she was originally selected from 2000 qualified applicants to get the job.  Although she is retired now, she would definitely go again if she could leave tomorrow, but doesn't think she'd want to do any more training ops to prepare for it.  She told me the people currently prepping to go to the space station have to do a 3 year training program and indicated it's not much fun.  I would have liked to ask her more, but other people came to talk to her and so our relationship was abruptly ended.  

Sea World in Orlando, Florida

Sea World in Orlando, Florida
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 6, 2012

On Friday, we went to Sea World.  We just hadn't had enough fish pictures yet so we figured this would be a good place to get some more.

We weren't disappointed.  There were fish everywhere we looked.  Even occasionally on our noses!

All the animals appeared pretty excited to see us. 

Luke and Miss Sheri waited by the Dolphin Birthing Center to get a good photo and suddenly Luke was able to snap this beauty!

As usual, the shows were incredible!  There were more killer whales than I remembered and I was amazed at how big they still are!  Luke noticed that the trainers no longer get in the water with them and I was curious if this was the result of the tragic accident that happened here a couple of years ago.  In any case, I don't blame them.  I wouldn't want to be in the water with one of these beasts!

The Shamu Show was cool, but we actually found ourselves enjoying the dolphin show more.

Not only were there a bunch of flying dolphins and an array of human acrobats in the show, for the finale they brought out this guy that they called a "False" Killer Whale.  I don't care how False they call him, but with teeth like that and apparently no eyes, I sure wouldn't want to tangle with him!

Miss Sheri loved the show and rushed up to the trainers afterwards to congratulate them.  All I could say was, "Hey, Buddy!  Is that a fish in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"