June 26, 2012

Nice Email from Joey and his 2 Year Old Son Brandon

Duuuuude, just saw your video on Miami ink and that inspired me to do so much more, life is so short yet you have to take advantage of every second. Your story about chasing those kids, I couldn't stop laughing Thats what those basterd kids get. Not only have you taught me take take every strive in life but to teach my two year old son Brandon the same. Keep up the good work you inspire more people that you know, &for that I thank you my friend. You taught me no matter what opsticles hit my way, as long as you have the heart you could over come anything... Much love and success.... Joey and my two year old son Brandon

June 24, 2012

Grandma Joyce in Town

Grandma Joyce in Town

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for June 24, 2012

Grandma Joyce came to town this weekend for a visit.  As is tradition, we have her sit down for a 3 hour drum solo from Luke right when she arrived.  That boy sure has rhythm!

We then took her to Dangerfield's in Shakopee for a nice meal.  We also tried to have a nice conversation, but she claimed the drum noises were still ringing in her ears so she supposedly couldn't hear us.  I just don't think she finds us very interesting.

In an attempt to calm things down, we took her to our friends, the Walters Family.  They had a bunch of cool friends in town from Florida and were engaging in a bonfire.  There was also some other rowdy shenanigans happening, but I'm not allowed to talk about it and have this website keep it's PG13 rating.

There was a nice 16 year old young lady named Courtney in attendance that pretty much kept the boys in awe for the entire evening.  Even before we convinced them that she was actually Emma Stone.

On Saturday morning, we woke up early to visit the Prior Lake Farmer's Market.  This is a neat event that happens here every weekend.  A bunch of local merchants have booths set-up where they sell different kinds of food, plants, and other items.  It's just like going shopping at a store except the prices are three times as much and you don't mind paying them because you're shopping outside.

Later, we went on a boat ride because Grandma Joyce and the kids like doing that.

Then we took the dogs to the dog park because the dogs like doing that.

On Sunday, we had a nice time when Sheri's college friends, Cathy and Robin, came by for a visit.  Robin and her parents live in Hawaii and were in Minnesota on vacation.  Which I guess is where you go on vacation when you live in Hawaii.  I know.  It doesn't make much sense to me either.

We all went for a boat ride.  At least we thought it was going to be a boat ride.  It ended up being a competitive sunglasses fashion show.    If I do say so myself, I won.

June 19, 2012

Microsoft's New Surface Tablet Takes On Apple, Hardware Partners

Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Nor-Tech, a Burnsville, Minn.-based system builder who like all system builders depends on partnerships with Microsoft, said he is not too concerned there may be no hardware play for partners. "I can't imagine Microsoft will jump into hardware just like that," Swank said. "I can't believe Microsoft will stab partners in the back. This has to be more of a software or application play." 

However, Swank said, the Surface tablet PC is something Microsoft had to do to respond to Apple's iPad. 

 "Microsoft has to respond to what Apple did for people who use its devices or who increasingly bring them to the workplace," he said. "The iPad has Microsoft worried. It's a reaction to the iPad. And Microsoft realizes it can't rely on OEMs to fight Apple." 

There is the possibility that Microsoft will cut out hardware partners like HP and Lenovo, Swank said. "But Microsoft has to protect itself," he said. 

"In any event, the tablet PC is not always a channel play. For us, the Microsoft tablet is just another tablet to offer customers." Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) will most likely wrap some kind of channel program around its tablet PC, Swank said. But even it it does not do so, solution providers will still benefit from the ecosystem needed to support more mobile devices like the Surface tablet, he said. 

"We're seeing a shift from PCs to notebooks to other mobile devices," he said. "So we are concerned about how the shift affects our core business in PCs. But if this means a shift to the cloud, customers will still need to servers and storage to handle it." 

  Read Full Article Here:

June 17, 2012

Penn and Teller at Mystic Lake Casino

Penn and Teller at Mystic Lake Casino 

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for June 17, 2012

On Sunday night we went to the races in Shakopee.  Because we like to watch cars go fast!

We went with our friends, the Walters Family.  Because they like to watch cars go fast also!

Sometimes, the boys get tired of watching the cars go fast.  So instead they hop in the back window and ride them.  But they go pretty slow when they do that.

On Tuesday night, we went golfing with our friends, Jay and Rob.  We like to hit the balls hard!

Miss Sheri has a velvet touch which I really enjoy.  
I also like watching her putt golf balls.

On Wednesday night, we drove down to Jordan, Minnesota for the Minnesota Valley Electric Coop board meeting.  We were kind of sad because we didn't see any fast cars while we were there nor did we get to hit any balls hard.  We just heard a bunch of talk about local energy resources.

I bumped into an old friend by the name of Tom Wolf.  Tom was up for re-election for the MVEC board and won by a landslide.  He's also one of the Scott County Commissioners and the local paper says he's going to have a feisty campaign this fall for re-election.  I really enjoy Tom's ideas, his energy, and his passion for helping the local taxpayers.  I'm confident he'll win that election as well.  Best of luck to you, Tom!

On Friday night, we went to see Penn and Teller at Mystic Lake Casino.

These guys are incredible illusionists and showmen.  I not only enjoyed the impressive tricks they staged, I was pleasantly surprised by their philosophical dialog that they had throughout the show.  Well, I guess Penn had good things to discuss.  For some reason, Teller didn't say much.

On Saturday, it rained for most of the day, but we still found the time to squeeze in a ride between the storms.  At least we thought that was the plan.  The rain snuck up on us while we were on the far side of the lake and pretty much made us drenched.  Even those of us who didn't want to get wet!

Some how, Karl and Tina become an even more cute couple after they've been rained on for awhile.  I really need to figure out their beauty secrets.

On Saturday night, we went to celebrate the graduation of an old friend, Miranda Schoen.  I totally remember when Miranda was just a little girl and now this lovely young lady is striking out on the world all on her own.  I feel so old.

Sunday brought us Father's Day and a celebration at the Outback.  Their steak and lobster specials was just what I needed to feel young again!  Thanks, family.

June 14, 2012

Say Combine

My son, Luke Swank, is now almost 13 years old. This is one of our favorite videos we have of him as a baby. He was very focused on his toy car when dad wanted him to say the word "combine" which he had recently learned to say. He was a bit surprised by the question.

June 11, 2012

Nice Email from an Old Friend Who Lives in the Deep South


It is official- you are famous.

I just didn't realize. 

Funny story that I HAVE to tell you. It's a little long........ 

I am at my husband's uncle's funeral last week. His cousin was burned as a newborn & has a small arm & some challenges from this. 

My sis in law & I were talking about how this happened to her, with my girls. I was telling them about you & how we went to NIACC together, etc, etc. & how you have this great website, & post funny stuff. 

I said it's called short arm guy or something....suddenly my sis in law screams out (in the funeral home) 


You REALLY know short arm guy??? 

I cannot BELIEVE you know SHORT ARM GUY!!! 

Apparently her boyfriend is a big fan & sends her funny posts from you on a regular basis!! 

She thinks you are hilarious & somehow I have moved up on the inlaw track just from knowing you!!!!!! 

I thought you would get a kick out of it! Your fame is national- as we live in the DEEP SOUTH!! 

Hope you and your family are doing great!!!!!!!! 


June 10, 2012

Candy Cove on Prior Lake

Candy Cove on Prior Lake

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for June 10, 2012

On Thursday night, Uncle Jerry came to the Twin Cities with his family to visit the Mall of America.  On their way out of town, they stopped by our house for a visit.  It was a joyous reunion.

Although we didn't have a lot of time together, we found a chance to walk down to the lake and also play some football in the backyard.  No tackling, though.  Dad gets hurt too much for that.

On Saturday morning, I asked the boys what they wanted to do for fun for the day and they both said Tubing.  So we loaded up the boat and headed out to the lake.

We also brought Sunny even though he's a complete SPAZ on the boat.  All he does is whine and want to jump-in the water.  Which is fine, except that he has no concept of how to get back into the boat once he's in the water.  So inevitably I have to jump in the water, get behind him, and boost him up while Miss Sheri and the boys try to lift him out of the lake.  I have scratches all over my chest as a Thank You from him for the help.  This may have been Sunny's last boat ride for the year.

When things start getting a little boring for mom and dad, we like to drag the tube through "Flocks of Killer Geese".  Of course, there's no such thing as "Killer Geese" but the boys don't know that.

Since it was a nice, hot, sunny day, Candy Cove on Prior Lake was pretty crowded.  Candy Cove is a quiet bay off the lake where people like to drop anchor, play music, drink beer and have fun.  Not necessarily in that order.

We didn't stay there for long, though, because the boys met some friends from school who wanted to join us for some tubing action.

We started off by trying to have 4 people ride on the tube at once, but once the waves started rocking, the heads started knocking.  So we thought 3 people might work better.

Three people on the tube was working pretty good until one of the girls ended up biting her tongue pretty badly.  Not sure exactly how that happened.

2 people on the tube was working the best until Avery decided to start showing off and tried standing on the tube.  He didn't last very long before the motion brought him down, though.

Luke doesn't get into trying any of those shenanigans like standing on the tube.  He's quite content sitting still as long as he possibly can.

Shortly before we were done for the day, I asked the kids to take this picture. Now I'm not sure what they were doing, but they all suddenly held up their hands this way.  Figuring that since I'm the only guy on the boat with 8 fingers, it must have been their way of saying "Thank You" or something.  You're welcome, kids.  It was a really fun day!

June 7, 2012

Hard Drive Prices To Remain High Until 2014

It is a sentiment shared by Todd Swank, vice president of marketing at Nor-Tech, a Burnsville, Minn.-based custom system builder.

Seagate's acquisition of Samsung's hard drive business and Western Digital's acquisition of Hitachi GST have created a market duopoly, Swank said. 

"Seagate and Western Digital would be crazy to get in a price war," 

Prices have fallen somewhat from their peaks, in some cases significantly thanks to the lower need for brokers, Nor-Tech's Swank said. 

"Immediately after the floods, there was dire speculation that the hard drive production volumes would not return in 2013," Swank said. "So everyone started buying up stock. Then they realized that supplies are available, and they were sitting on overpriced drives. Seagate and Western Digital have dropped prices somewhat, but not anywhere near pre-flood pricing." 

For the foreseeable future, there is no real alternative to traditional spinning hard drives, Swank said. SSDs are still expensive even though their price-per-capacity points is falling, and despite the fact that new form factor systems are increasingly looking to SSDs as a primary storage device. 

"New form factors like Ultrabooks are an opportunity for the SSD industry," he said. "And new Ivy Bridge solutions for a new line of tiny PCs could push demand for SSDs. But there's still a huge need for hard drives. I recently heard Seagate's CEO saying that just the growth of data alone exceeds the capacity of all SSDs being sold."

Read Full Article Here:

June 3, 2012

Toby Keith's Bar, Boating, and Golfing

Toby Keith's Bar, Boating, and Golfing 
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for June 3, 2012

On Friday night, the Swank Family headed to St. Louis Park to go to Toby Keith's Bar.  I'd heard of Toby Keith before but had no clue from where.  I figured he must be known for making really good chicken or something.

The reason for our visit was to celebrate Jason Hornbuckle's 41st birthday.  I swear the guy doesn't look a day older than 40!  It must be the lotion he uses or something.

Jason is a really popular guy so eventually we had to get a really big shoehorn to wedge us all into the booth around him.

Technically, this place is a country music bar, but they serve food as well so Luke and Avery were able to stick around until 9:30pm.  Then they told us we had to go away.

It's probably a good thing they made us leave, because the boys were starting to enjoy the bar scene a little too much.  I told them next month when they turn 13 we may be able to start hanging out at bars more, but not until then.

On Saturday night, we were hanging out at home when suddenly our friend, Jen Walters, swung by with her boat and asked us if we wanted to go for a cruise.  It sounded like a good idea to us.

Her husband, Dan, said we could try some fishing with him if we wanted, but I told him Thanks, but no thanks.

Luke took him up on the challenge, but luckily he didn't catch any.  I really don't think his mouth and throat are quite big enough to swallow one whole like Dan did.

Avery and Conner decided to forego the poles all together and tried to catch some with their hands.  They didn't have much luck.

Eventually we got bored with the little fish and decided to go trolling for sharks instead.  Not much success there either.  I guess next time we'll have to try to do it in salt water.

On Sunday, I connected with my co-workers Jay and Rob and went to Lakeview Golf Course in Orono for a rousing 18 holes of Golf.  Or as they like to call it, Mulligans and Gimmes.

Steve "Cuds" Cuddihy was also there, but he wasn't much in the mood for pictures.  It was all about the stroking for him. 

Lakeview Golf Course is somewhat unique in that they have a bunch of fake coyotes on the course.  We kind of figured that they must have them there to scare the geese away which made me very happy.  Nothing I hate worse is for geese to be screwing with me while I'm trying to hit my ball.