August 24, 2014

The Minnesota Renaissance 2014

The Minnesota Renaissance 2014
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for August 24, 2014

On Tuesday night, we celebrated Miss Sheri's birthday with my mom and our friend, Robin, at Red Robin.  Yum.

My friend, Nick Forga, and his wife, Jessie, make really nice custom created CornHole sets.  I had them create me a version with my favorite football team and am very excited to start tossing some bean bags with it!  If you're interested in a nice set for yourself, let me know.  I'll connect you to them.

It's hard to believe, but summer is nearly over.  And this means it's football season again!  On Friday night, we had our annual draft for Steve Cuddihy's "League To Be Named Later..." Fantasy league.

Steve "Cuds" Cuddihy is an incredible Fantasy Football Commissioner.  I'm thinking one of these days he should quit his day job and go full time with it.

My team includes Adrian Peterson, Doug Martin, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, DeSean Jackson, Percy Harvin, Torrey Smith, along with several other studs.  Smells like another championship coming my way this year!

On Saturday morning, we drove to Jordan, Minnesota to attend the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.  Every year we go there for a couple of hours and realize we've pretty much seen all this before and leave early.  So we decided it would be fun to do that again!

This lady volunteered to take a picture with us, but I really think she just wanted to lean on Avery's head for awhile.  Those stilts have got to be tiring!

Luke insisted he wanted to try to climb Jacob's Ladder.  I tried to tell him that it was a lot harder than it looks, but it took a couple of flips unto his back to convince him.

Avery didn't fare much better!

The Danger Committee entertained us with their feats of courage and stupidity.  They were really funny plus threw a lot of knives and other sharp objects at each other which is always fun to watch.

On Saturday night, the boys had some friends over so I decided to whip them around the lake for awhile.

Because of the flooding we experienced earlier this summer, the entire lake had been under no wake restrictions up until just a couple of weeks ago so we didn't get to do nearly enough of this this summer.  So we had to make the best of it while we could! 

Most kids are saddled with a father that really cramps their style around their friends.  My boys are lucky that I just make them seem so much cooler.   I'm hoping they thank me for that some day.  Instead of curse me for it like they do today.

Sheri Swank takes on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Tracy Mohar challenged Sheri Swank to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  We made a contribution to ALS as well.  Sheri challenged Cathy Klimek, Robin Bauman, and Heidi Wojahn to take it next. Donate to the ALS cause at

August 23, 2014

The Swank Boys Take On The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

David Kelley challenged Todd Swank to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.  Brittany Mohar challenged Luke & Avery Swank to do it also.  We made a contribution to ALS since we werent able to do it within 24 hours.  Todd challenged David Bollig, Cliff Nelson, and David Mohar to take it next.  Luke challenged his friends Aaron, Carson, and Thomas to take it while Avery challenged his friends Zach, Jackson, and Alex.  

Donate to the ALS cause at

August 17, 2014

The Wedding of Cathy and Jeff at the Minnesota Arboretum

The Wedding of Cathy and Jeff at the Minnesota Arboretum
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for August 17, 2014.

This week kept us busy celebrating the marriage of our friends, Cathy and Jeff. Cathy and Miss Sheri went to college together and we had the joy of joining them for their ceremony at the Minnesota Arboretum.

Earlier in the week, the ladies hit the town for Cathy's bachelorette party.  Our old friend, Robin Bauman, flew in from Hawaii for the event.  And boy were her arms tired! Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!

We also were excited to see Cathy's twin sister, Deb, and her husband, Paul.  Deb was really thinking strategically when she selected a dress that would match the flowers in the background.

We were all looking forward to the wedding.

We took a shuttle bus from the hotel to the ceremony which looked like it had a built in dance floor.  Unfortunately, the ride didn't last very long so I didn't get the chance to ask my wife to dance.

The Minnesota Arboretum is a really beautiful place, but every time I go there I have this overwhelming urge to go to the bathroom.  I'm not sure why that is.

The wedding was very pleasant.  The bride looked beautiful and the groom looked very dapper.  The setting was incredible and I really enjoyed going to an outdoor wedding.  Except when the geese flew over while the bride was saying her vows.  Their persistent honking was very rude.

Several of Cathy and Sheri's college classmates were at the event.  They all attended Wartburg college in Waverly, Iowa.  And were very naughty while they were there.

The reception was inside and started with a bang when the wedding party entered the room with the theme song from The Blues Brothers playing.  This indicated that the party was ready to begin!

 The boys were very excited to start tackling their salads.

Jay and I had a nice time eating, drinking, and being merry.

It sure is fun getting together with old friends!

Intel Partners Eager For Broadwell Y, With Some Reservations

"The Core M opens up a lot of new doors on the mobile front, from driving tablet, and new thin and light notebook sales, and bringing faster speeds to Intel's mini PC, the NUC," said Todd Swank, senior director of product marketing at Equus, a system builder based in Minnetonka, Minn. "We are not only looking forward to Core M processors driving new sales; we are counting on it." 

 "We don't know exactly what Intel's plans are, but we suspect Core M will accelerate Haswell's trend of the smaller the system, the more likely that processor is going to be soldered onto the motherboard," Swank said. 

But Intel partners said they are happy to take the good with the bad -- the good being driving new sales with smaller, more mobile, systems that are faster with longer battery life. "Thinner, lighter, longer battery life, and still enough power to handle any task we throw at them? That's a no-brainer for us and any new customer looking for a reason to either upgrade or add to their compute needs," Swank said.

Read Complete Article Here:

August 10, 2014

Prior Lake Lakefront Days 2014

Prior Lake Lakefront Days 2014
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for August 10, 2014

Prior Lake's Lakefront Park is a beautiful park next to the lake that has walking trails, a large beach, a skateboard park, picnic areas, and playgrounds for the kiddies.  And every year, it hosts a festival called Lakefront Days.

Friday night the park hosted many local businesses who had booths to showcase their wares.  There were also multiple food trucks and activities for the kids.  Our boys abandoned us about 2 minutes after we arrived and left us stuck with the dog they insisted we bring.  He was quite the popular attraction, though, and had several people come up and ask to rub him.  Lucky dog.  Nobody ever just wants to come up and rub me.

The boys found some friends, dyed their hair funny colors, and found a truck loaded with video games that kept them busy for most of the night.  Otherwise known as a typical Friday night.

All in all, the boys had a good time.

Saturday morning was the Lakefront Days Parade.  Which was good.  Because I Love A Parade! 

There were nice clowns that carried around kids in cages.

There were pretty beauty queens.  This lady's sign said she was Mrs. Minnesota and I believe she was very pregnant.  That pageant must have some really interesting talent competitions in it.

There were a bunch of politicians like our local representative to the US House, John Kline.  He smiled and waved at me which made me think he might want to stop and talk to me, but then he just kept on walking.

This float seemed to be engaged in some false advertising.  That dog looked like he had no cheer inside him whatsoever.

We even saw some old friends like Rachel Tikalsky.  

Towards the end of the parade came the float we'd been waiting for.  Prior Lake Robotics!

Luke was excited because he was selected to wear the club's one jester hat.  It seems to fit him appropriately.

Avery didn't get a unique hat to wear, but his pink purse lent him a little bit of extra style for the day.

Our buddy, Dan, was driving the truck and he kept it going straight the whole way.  Except when he needed to turn corners.  He turned during those times.  Which was good.

He was pulling the club's honorary king for the day, John Titus.  He's been one of the team mentors since it was founded and he is an incredibly talented engineer.  The team is lucky to have someone with his experience.  Which is why they had guards posted at each one of his sides to make sure he was protected from all the crazies watching the parade.

Joel Volm strongly led the crew through the streets of Prior Lake.  Joel has been an assistant coach for the team since it was founded, but this year will be assuming the role of head coach.  We're excited to see where his leadership takes the team!

Shortly after the Prior Lake Robotics float went by, we saw the horses which we all know means the end of the parade.  I think it would be more fun if they let the horses go first, but then again I'm not the one who has to walk behind them.

For the rest of the day we hung out with our friends, Jen and Dan Walters.  They're such nice people.  Please don't tell them I said that, though.  

August 3, 2014

A Rainy Saturday on the St. Croix River

A Rainy Saturday on the St. Croix River
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for 8/3/14

On Saturday, we drove to Afton, Minnesota to visit our friends, the Zitzewitz Family, on their boat on the St. Croix River.  We were ready for some water action.  We got more than we expected.

We were also joined by the Brown Family.  I'm not saying anything derogatory there.  That's their last name.  

Captain Karl kicked the boat into high gear.  Our family meteorologist, Luke Swank, had informed us that there was a chance of rain in the forecast for us, but Karl assured us that there was a zero chance of rain!  And since he was the captain, we figured he must know what he's talking about.

The ladies started the adventure on the back of the boat.  That may have been because it was the closest spot near the watermelon, but I can't say for sure.

The boys stuck near the front of the boat because they like the thrill of the wind in their faces.  Or because this was the farthest spot they could find away from their parents.  I can't say for sure.

Avery had a big week which started by going to the orthodontist to get his braces removed!  He kept trying to video tape his smile, but couldn't figure out how to get the headband to turn down that far.

Soon enough, it was time to anchor the boat and enjoy some time in the water playing with the kayak and the jet ski.  Anna showed off her balance by doing Gangnam Style dancing on the top of the paddle board.  Oppa Gangnam Style!

 Captain Karl's prediction of a zero percent chance of rain wasn't holding up too well.

We didn't let the rain slow us down.  The boys just said "Give us the goggles so we can see where we're paddling!"

Climbing to the top of the boat and jumping off was quite a thrill.   Although when I did it, my swimsuit went to places I didn't really enjoy all that much.

Eventually the rain stopped and we had a clear sky to enjoy a beautiful sunset.

Although Captain Karl may not be all that hot at predicting the weather, the guy sure knows how to show us a good time on the water.  Thanks, Karl and Tina for the fun day!!