August 11, 2019

Kid Rock at Treasure Island Casino

Kid Rock at Treasure Island Casino
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for August 11, 2019

Luke snapped this shot of a dog in someone's pickup truck.  Not a big deal really, I was just really impressed with how clear the shot turned out despite the fact he took it while they were passing the truck at about 50 miles per hour.  The dog looks pretty happy to be going for a ride.

On Thursday night, it was time for the August get together of the Prior Lake Empty Nester Club.  We went to the new McCoys Copper Pint in Shakopee which was a great place.  They have this really cool rooftop bar we were excited to see.  It looked like a lot of fun.  Unfortunately we had too many people there to actually be able to sit at the rooftop bar, but it looked really fun from a distance.

The Korkowskis had to show up later in the evening so they missed the group picture, but I couldn't go a whole month without highlighting their presence at the event!

On Saturday, we headed to the St. Croix River to go on an adventure down to the Mississippi and then beyond to Treasure Island Casino for an evening of fun.

 We went on the cruise with our good friends, Captain Karl & Tina Zitzewitz.  It was a bit chilly on the ride down for the middle of August, but we had a ball all the same.

Of course, we had to snap a few dozen pictures of all the awesome wildlife we saw along the way.  We were again amazed by the number of bald eagles we saw along the shores.  They're actually becoming a pretty common sight any more, but I still remember when they were endangered when I was a kid.  I never saw one in the wild for like the first 30 years of my life, so I'm still pretty fascinated every time we get the chance to encounter these majestic creatures.

We saw a couple scavenging dead fish near the water which seems a little beneath them, but I'm not going to judge.

Not sure what was happening here, but it looked like some pretty important business was taking place.

Another common sight along the river is the trains which we also always seem to go out of way to photograph.  I think Karl thinks we are crazy for continuing to take such boring photos and videos, but I think they're cool looking.

After a three hour cruise, we eventually arrived in Red Wing, Minnesota and at our destination:  The Marina at Treasure Island Casino.  We were there to spend the night and go see Kid Rock in concert!

Kid Rock attracts some people with a pretty specific political affiliation and they are quite outspoken about it.

We watched the forecast all day and were hopeful the 50% chance of rainstorms would go our way.  They didn't.  We got poured on for a good two hours during the show which got to be a little miserable at times, but certainly made for a memorable evening.

The opening act was a band called A Thousand Horses.  I hadn't heard of them before, but then again I'm not really a fan of country music so I guess that's to be expected.  They were fine, but I'm not rushing out to buy any of their albums or cassettes.

Kid Rock came out with a bang.  He's a very talented musician and performer and despite the inclement weather we were all experiencing, he put on a heck of a show!

Of course, he played a lot of his new stuff which was great, but he really started rocking the place when he played his classics like Picture and Bawitdaba.  He skipped a couple of my favorites like Cowboy and All Summer Long, but all in all it was a great show! 

August 4, 2019

A Quick Trip to the Farm

A Quick Trip to the Farm
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for August 4, 2019

A busy few weeks of traveling for work brought me to Boston on Monday.  I was only there for a couple of nights for a training and it was really, really hot.

I've never driven from the airport in Boston before so I found myself a bit surprised when suddenly I was in several miles of tunnels.  My surprise turned into a bit of claustrophobia when I looked at Google Maps and realized I was under water at the same time.  So naturally I had to grab my camera to try to capture my moment of fear.  Glad I didn't run into a wall while I did this because that would have been quite a walk.

August 1st brought Luke the opportunity to move into his first apartment at college with a couple of his buddies, Andy and Jackson.  I think these guys are going to have a pretty good time this year.

Luke's excited because Andy had brought his new puppy to come and live with them.  She's a very sweet dog, but definitely still full of that puppy energy.  Ought to be an interesting experience for all of them.

Thursday also brought me the opportunity to go see Avery at his summer internship.  He's working at a company called Trimble doing programming work for them.  They had their annual "Summer Bash" for their employees and the interns were all allowed to invite a guest so I jumped at the chance.  I gave Avery a hard time because he's been working there for a couple of months already, but hasn't done much to decorate his cubicle.  I guess he's a minimalist.

It's a really neat company.  They had set-up a bunch of inflatables and games for the families to play.  I had just come from a client meeting so it was a good opportunity for me to play soccer darts with Avery while wearing a suit.  I still crushed him.

This weekend, Miss Sheri and I traveled to Iowa to visit Grandma Leona at the farm.  It's always a fun chance to get out and enjoy the country.

All week long, I got Blue excited by telling him we were going to the farm to get the kitties!  By the time we actually were there and outside, he was worked up into a frenzy at just the sound of the word kitties.  Needless to say when we actually saw one of them, he took off like a rocket after it to try to introduce himself.  Somehow the kitty was able to disappear in the brush which made for one frustrated dog.  He just wanted to play with him!  Unfriendly farm kitties!  

On Saturday night, our sister-in-law, Laura, and her daughter, Karli, invited us to the local drive-in in a nearby town.  I loves me some burgers and shakes!

Miss Sheri bumped into one of her high school classmates while we were there.  April had told me she and Sheri had played on the high school basketball team together back in the day.  It was fun meeting one of Sheri's classmates.  She went to a tiny high school with a graduating class of only 78 people so that doesn't happen to us very often!