October 14, 2018

Minnesota State Mankato Family Weekend 2018

Minnesota State Mankato Family Weekend 2018
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for October 14, 2018

We had to do some work on the boat trailer this week so I was out on the lake by my lonesome when I saw this guy fly by me.    The air temperature was probably in the forties and the water was probably in the low fifties so I can appreciate it being too cold to keep your feet in there.  I just haven't ever seen someone ride a jet ski with a jacket and stocking cap before.  I think this can be classified as an "Only in Minnesota" thing.

 I was down in Austin, Texas this week for another Oracle training.  We didn't get to go to the mega campus this time, but it was fun getting to see our buildings in Riata Park.

I had the joy of spending a couple of days with my awesome co-workers, Kristi and Kristen.  They're a fun couple of ladies to go through training with together.

We ate at a Tex-Mex restaurant called Cyclone Anaya's where they make the guacamole right at your table.  So much better than the restaurants where they make your guacamole for you in the bathroom.

Every week I keep saying it's going to be the last week I post about our albino squirrels for awhile and then something even cooler happens.  This week, we've had two different albino squirrels in our yard at the same time!  We've been trying to get photos of them together, but they're notoriously difficult to get to pose for us.  This is the closest I was able to capture them together.

On Saturday, we headed to Mankato for Minnesota State's family weekend.  Our son, Luke, is a sophomore there so we went down to embarrass him a bit.  At least he says I embarrass him.  I have no idea why he thinks that.

The student union has a bowling alley, so we went down and played a couple of games.  The competition was pretty intense, but I still lost by a lot.

While we were there, some of Luke's friends stopped by to give him a pumpkin for Halloween which I thought was so nice.  We're glad to see he's hanging out with such good people.

We went to watch Minnesota State's hockey team take on Boston University.

Minnesota State's hockey team plays Division 1 in the NCAA and they have a pretty good history of being a competitive program.  They have a bunch of former players who went on to play in the NHL and many of them have places of honor in the arena.  We were excited for the game to begin.

When I saw the cheerleaders come out on the ice, I realized that I haven't been to a lot of college hockey games.  It seemed pretty cold to be out there skating around in short skirts, but what the heck do I know!  They all seemed to be pretty talented skaters so I'm guessing they've done this before.

The match ended up being pretty competitive so we had a lot of fun cheering on the home team.

Minnesota State started off with a 3-0 lead, but Boston University came back to tie it up in the second period.  At that point, the home team went on to score two more times to bring us to a final score of 5-3 and the victory.  Good times!

October 7, 2018

Hamilton at the Orpheum in Minneapolis

Hamilton at the Orpheum in Minneapolis
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for October 7, 2018

Miss Sheri has been rapidly attempting to complete as many projects as she can before winter hits.  She just replaced all the boards on our back patio and now is in the process of cutting them down to size.  I'm so glad she's willing to take on projects like this because I'm quite sure they wouldn't get done if she didn't.

Our October get together of the Prior Lake Empty Nester Club was a new adventure.  We attended an event called "Fill The Bowl" at St. Michael Catholic Church.  We bought bowls from local potters which were then filled with various kinds of soup.  The proceeds went to an organization called Rock which supports local kids with meals.  It's a nice group.

Afterwards we headed to the Prior Lake VFW for some good conversation with good friends.  We again had new people show up so the Empty Nester Club keeps attracting fun people.  

We're planning on going bowling in November.  Our group meets the first Thursday of every month.  Follow our Facebook page for details on where we are meeting.  You don't really need to be an empty nester to join us, you just need to want to have fun!

On Friday night, we had a special event planned for the family.  We started at Crave in downtown Minneapolis and got our sushi on.

We then headed across the street to the Orpheum Theater for our highly anticipated trip to see Hamilton.

I've been a fan of rap music since I was in high school, so when I first heard about Lin-Manuel Miranda's cultural juggernaut coming to Minneapolis I was all over it.  It was a challenge to get tickets.  You had to sign up well in advance of them going on sale on Ticketmaster and then be selected in a lottery to have a chance to purchase them.  Even then I had to wait online for an hour and change my selections a couple of time before I finally secured our seats.

It was well worth it.  A fascinating show telling the story of Alexander Hamilton and many of our founding fathers.  I didn't realize there was going to be zero dialog so sometimes it was a little hard to follow-along on where the story was going, but all in all we were quite pleased with the performance.  Such a fun way to learn history.  

We really enjoyed the comic relief brought in by the King of England.  He is played to be a bit of a buffoon, but he's also the most animated character in the show.

With the intermission, the show lasted about two and a half hours but it didn't feel that long.  It was inspirational, interesting, and even a little bit awe inspiring.  I can see why it's one of the most popular plays of our generation.

Our friendly albino squirrel has still been visiting our backyard pretty much every day this week.  I wasn't going to post any more pictures of him, but this guy has just done such a nice job posing for us I couldn't resist.  Although, I think it would be appropriate for him to put on some underwear.  

We're gonna make it after all!