February 23, 2014

Winter Sucks 2014

Winter Sucks 2014
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for February 23, 2014

Minnesota got hammered with snow again on Thursday night and Miss Sheri had lots of fun keeping our driveway cleared so we could get to the garage.  The snow is now piled almost as high as the tops of our heads so we're thinking it would be nice if it would just stop now.  Moving South is starting to become a very attractive prospect for our family.

Sunny is also sick of winter.  It's really hard to find a place to poop without getting snow on his butt.

On Saturday, the Prior Lake High School Robotics team hosted a large FTC tournament in which 36 teams competed to go to the World Championships in St. Louis.  We volunteered to help run concessions and the boys were there from 8 in the morning until 8 at night doing all sorts of things.

Serving pizzas to hundreds of hungry robot geeks is always a lot of fun.  There's a lot of interesting characters coming through the line.

Miss Sheri and I switched roles this time.  She served up the slices and I was the chips and pop monitor.  I was still kind of upset at the fact the plastic gloves have way too many finger holes.

Jackson really loves his mom.  They spent most of the day like this.

On Saturday night we went to Ichiban Japanese Steak House in Downtown Minneapolis with our friends, Mike, Kim, Jen, and Jason.  We all like meat chopped up in front of us.

Our chef said his name was Sean, but people at work call him Bruce Leroy.  I just smiled and hoped he was planning on keeping his knives to himself.

Sunday was a pivotal moment in the lives of the Swank Boys.  It was the first time we saw a 3D Printer for sale in a retail store.  This is the Makerbot Replicator 2 and retails for $2200.00.  That price tag is a bit steep to justify something that basically just prints out a bunch of cheap plastic crap, but we still really want one!

February 16, 2014

Todd and Sheri's 20th Wedding Anniversary

Todd and Sheri's 20th Wedding Anniversary
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for February 16, 2014

On Wednesday, February 12, Miss Sheri and I celebrated 20 years of being married.  That's more than 7300 mornings that she has woken up and thanked her lucky stars to have found a man like me.
And 7300 nights that I have prayed to God to thank Him for making me such a blessed guy.

We celebrated the event by having steaks at Mystic Steak House and then following up with watching the musical, Rock of Ages.  We banged our heads like we were back in the eighties!

It was a pretty inspirational story about a couple with big dreams who get distracted by life and love.  And a whole bunch of hair.

Stacee Jax was a complete stud who had all the women bowing down at his feet.  For some reason, he wasn't the hero of the story.  I guess I'm going to need to watch it again to figure out why that was.

The musical went on for two and a half hours which ends up being a lot of rock songs to consume.  I really enjoyed the show, but must admit I started falling asleep several times towards the end.  I guess I'm getting old.  I just don't have the same amount of stamina I did in the eighties!

On Thursday night, I went to the Depot in Downton Minneapolis for MinneDemo 16.  It's an event for local technology start-ups to show off their companies.  7 startups give their pitches in 7 minutes each.  No PowerPoint slides, but instead they need to showcase their products.  I love technology so the event was right up my alley.

The coolest thing I saw that night was actually before the session even began.  One of the presenting teams brought along their colleague via a "Double Telepresence Robot".  It's basically an iPad mounted on top of a segway so people can be someplace they're not.  He helped them present their filtering software which was pretty cool in and of itself, but the thing I was thinking about on the drive home was the robot.  Here's a demo of how it works:

On Valentine's Day, we invited Grandma Linda over for a home cooked dinner.   Valentine's Love doesn't have to be shared between just two people! Our family is full of love for one another!

On Saturday night, the Zitzewitz Family came over to take a bath with us.  Don't come a knockin' if the tub is a rockin'!

The boys were also excited to take a bath together.  It's good to see them get cleaned up for a change.

February 9, 2014

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Portland Trailblazers

Minnesota Timberwolves vs Portland Trailblazers
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for February 9, 2014

On Friday night, we hooked up with our good friends, Jason, Jen, and Tim at Teresa's Mexican restaurant in Lakeville.  I ate a Philly Cheesesteak Burrito and found myself with a little bit of heaven in my mouth.

We had lots of laughs.  Especially when Jason passed out at the table with his eyes wide open.

The conversations tend to get a little bit naughty when we hang out with these people.  I like it, but Miss Sheri still gets taken aback quite a bit.

Eventually Jason woke up to join the party again, but ended up paying very little attention to his friends.  Instead he just kept making out with his girl all night.

At least the band was good.  Miss Sheri and I ended up dancing for the rest of the night until it was time to go home to the kiddies.

On Saturday night, we went to see the Minnesota Timberwolves play the Portland Trailblazers.  It was  our first Wolves game of the year.  The team has been struggling to stay above 500 all year which is a bit of a let down because we had high hopes for the playoffs this year.  We were hopeful to watch them win a game.

Our friends, Cathy and Jeff, joined us for the game.  It was great to see them because it was the first time since they announced to the world that they're getting married!  We're so happy for them.

I went down to the court to get pictures and discovered that we were in for a rough night.  Our All-star, Kevin Love, was out of the game do to a quad contusion and our shooting guard, Kevin Martin, was out with a broken thumb.  Along with our big center, Nicola Pekovic, who has been out for a couple of weeks due to injury, that was three starters out for the game.  My hopes for a win were quickly diminishing.  At least my favorite player, Ricky Rubio, was in the game.  He actually even scored a career high 25 points which was fun to watch!

But we lost.  Another close game given up in the fourth quarter led to a 117-110 victory for Portland.  It's hard to be a Timberwolves fan.  And a Vikings fan.  And a pretty much anything Minnesota fan.

February 2, 2014

Minneapolis Boat Show 2014

Minneapolis Boat Show 2014
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for February 2, 2014

On Saturday night, we connected with our buddies the Zitzewitz Family and headed to downtown Minneapolis for the 2014 Minneapolis Boat Show at the Convention Center.  
There were boats there.

Karl and Luke were really excited when they arrived.  
They like boats.

This was the biggest boat at the show at 46 feet.  It had a list price of $900,000 but the salesperson told me they'd let it go for closer to $700,000.  I was excited to hear that he was willing to dicker.

This boat said it could sleep 6 people, but Luke thought they were underestimating that a bit.

Anna was excited when I pulled out my camera because she's been working on her "Cheese" face.

I bumped into my old co-worker Tony Jelinek and his wife, Deb.  They were there buying a boat so I told the salesperson that he was really rich and not to feel obligated to give him a lower price.  I'm sure he appreciated that.

Luke and I were really excited when we found a hybrid Jet Ski and ATV vehicle for only $42,000.  Karl then pointed out to me that we could get a much nicer Jetski AND a much nicer ATV for a lot less money.  That Karl sure is wise.

We look good standing next to the Progressive Insurance lady.

Sunny is completely fed up with the cold weather in Minnesota and has begun demanding that we dress him in people clothes until it starts to warm up a bit.  I just hope he doesn't stretch out my shirts too much.