September 15, 2019

Minnesota Vikings vs Atlanta Falcons

Minnesota Vikings vs Atlanta Falcons
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for September 15, 2019

On Sunday, we had the opportunity to go see the Minnesota Vikings home opener.  We're huge Vikings fans so we were very excited to be there.  US Bank Stadium is an awesome venue to watch a game.

My boss was kind enough to give us his tickets which were incredible seats and the best spots from where which we'd ever had the chance to see a game.  Thanks, boss.

The place was rocking and the explosion went off to signify the game was about to begin!

It was the defense's turn to be introduced which makes sense because they are an elite unit and one of the best in the NFL.

The Atlanta Falcons started with the ball and Matt Ryan was sacked on the very first play.  We were in for a great game.

Our offense played well for the way the game set-up.  

Kirk Cousins only had 10 passes, but the run game and defense were going so well that's all he needed to do.

Dalvin Cook was unstoppable.  He had 111 yards and 2 touchdowns.  I'm so glad I drafted him for my fantasy team.

The game was going so well even Cousins had the chance to run one in to the end-zone.

Coach Zimmer had to be pleased with how the game was going with the possible exception of the 11 penalties for 100 yards.  Coaches never seem to like that kind of stuff very much.

We've had a lot of drama at the kicker position lately, but Dan Bailey has seemed to be pretty consistent.  He didn't have any field goal opportunities this week, but was 4-4 on extra points.  So we won't cut him this week.

Everyone was pretty excited when the Vikings ran the score up to 28-0.  The Falcons did come back to make it a final score of 28-12, but it was pretty obvious the Vikings dominated.  I can't wait to see how they do next week in Green Bay!  I'm sure Kirk Cousins will be dominant in that one.

This weekend we stayed close to home.  The weather warmed up on Sunday so we thought we'd better get the boat out again because who knows how many more chance we'll get before the lake freezes.

We brought Blue with us even though he stresses Miss Sheri out quite a bit.  She keeps thinking he's going to jump off the boat into the water.  He does do some pretty stupid stuff like climbing on to the back and the sides of the boat, but he hasn't fallen in yet.  Besides, he's a really good swimmer.  

We wanted to see what kind of nature we'd see and weren't disappointed.  This was one of three bald eagles we saw while we were out there.

Our favorite nesting island seemed pretty abandoned and we figured all of the birds had migrated away for the winter, but then we saw this great blue heron just standing there all by himself.  I'm sure he's looking for a party.

September 8, 2019

Cabin Classic 2019

Cabin Classic 2019
Todd Swank Diary Entry for September 8, 2019

It was a great week for seeing old friends.  It started on Labor Day when we had the opportunity to spend time with Miss Sheri's college friends, Robin and Cathy.  They're such nice ladies.

On Thursday night, we had our Prior Lake Empty Nester get together at the Buffalo Tap in Savage.  We had a fun time together, but I never did see any Buffalo in that place.

On Friday night, I headed down to Clear Lake for our annual get together hosted by Jason Alexander called the Cabin Classic.  We've been doing this event since 2007 and I think I've made it to everyone of them but twice.  They're such a fun group of guys, I look forward to this weekend every year.

Greg Olson showed up on his boat, so Krazy Kory and I asked him to take us for a sunset cruise on Clear Lake.  He was happy to oblige.

It was such a beautiful night and the lake looked like a still mirror reflecting the sunset and then the moonlight.  So pleasant.

My favorite part of the weekend is playing Texas Hold 'Em until the wee hours of the morning.  The games can get pretty serious, but nobody leaves crying or anything like that.

I love waking up to this view of Clear Lake.

We went to a golf course in Sheffield, Iowa.  It's a beautiful course, but not very busy at all.  As a matter of fact, I don't think I saw any other golfers outside of our group the whole day.  People just don't know what they are missing.  I also don't think there are very many people who live in or near Sheffield, Iowa, so that probably has something to do with it as well.

I'm a terrible golfer, but these guys are all really nice and don't hold it against me.  Well, maybe they do hold it against me, but just don't tell me about it.  But when you think about it, that's also really nice that they don't tell me about it if they do hold it against me.  

We played a "Best Ball" tournament and I was paired up with a superstar.  We almost won the whole tournament. We discovered that Krazy Kory and his partner were the only ones who could beat us, but they had to par the last hole to do it.  We were secretly hopeful when their drive landed in the deep rough and they had to clear a pond as well to get to the green.  Krazy Kory stepped up to the plate and whacked an incredible shot that put him dead center in the middle of the green with only a two putt needed for victory.  Which meant no prize money for Toddy.  Dang Krazy Kory.

Win, lose, or draw didn't matter.  We all had a great day of golfing with good buddies.

Saturday night brought us back to the cabin for a grilling exhibition and more Texas Hold 'em.  All in all, it was a dang good weekend!

September 2, 2019

The Minnesota State Fair 2019

The Minnesota State Fair 2019
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for September 2, 2019

On Thursday night, we had dinner with our friends, Sue & Ron Korkowski!  Sweet Corn & Steak coupled with a moonlight swim makes for a pretty fun night!

On Sunday, we headed to the Great Minnesota Get Together.  Every year I think the crowds won't be so bad and every year they're worse.  Maybe we need to start going on a week day.

We were joined this year by Luke who thinks the fair is well worth a reason to come home from college to attend.  We also had Miss Sheri's college roommate Robin in from Hawaii along with her niece, Amanda.  It was their first time at the Minnesota State Fair so we were excited to show them all our favorite spots.

We had to endure some rain in the morning which sent the crowds inside.  Nothing like fair buildings packed with wet visitors to give the newbies the full fair experience right out of the gate!

We stopped at the coliseum to watch the young ladies compete in their barrel racing events.  I always like cheering for strangers  and booing for the ones who just don't seem like good people.  Lucky I haven't seen any of them who appeared to be bad people yet.

We ran into the DNR building after the rain started again and nearly bumped into this wise old owl who was perched on some guy's arm as we squished into the room.  Glad he didn't think any of us were field mice else it could have become an ugly situation.

I was squeezing through the crowd with my camera in my hand when I bumped into Smoky the Bear.  His handler saw the camera and assumed I wanted a picture with him when actually I was just trying to pass them.  But I had to be polite and request a picture which in hindsight was one of the highlights of my day.  This guy told me once that only I could prevent forest fires which kind of scared me because I don't even live that close to any forests.  So if I was the only one who could prevent them, I may need to move closer to a forest which I never did.  I guess I haven't heard of a lot of forest fires lately, so maybe he was wrong and there was someone else who could prevent them as well.  Needless to say, I didn't bring it up to him while we stood there together.  I'm just hoping he doesn't blame me for shirking my forest fire prevention responsibilities from way back when.

After the rain stopped, we went outside.  The DNR fishpond is one of my favorite spots at the fair.  They have fish from all over Minnesota deposited in the water here.  Not sure what they do with them after the fair, but I'm guessing there's some lemon and butter involved!

We went into the horticulture building to see all the pretty flowers and gardens on display.

Being in Minnesota, it's hard to walk too far without seeing something inspired by Prince.  At least I think this was supposed to be that weird prince symbol.  I never really understood what that thing was anyways.

The first time we went into the flower exhibit we were prevented access because they were being judged.  I was always told that man shouldn't judge and we should leave that up to a higher power, but I didn't feel like lecturing any of these people about how they should be spending their time.

I later judged these flowers as being very pretty, but then later felt guilty about passing judgment on them.  I really shouldn't be doing that.

Follow the yellow brick road!  Is it just me or did they make Dorothy's skirt just a little too short?   It's kind of uncomfortable to look at.

As you walk through the fair, you see different bands playing all over the place.  We stopped and watched Matt's Family Jam play a couple songs.  I wasn't sure which one of them was Matt, but he sure does seem to have a nice family.

We went into the Arts & Crafts building and again were welcomed by Prince.  I thought that would be a nice quilt to have especially to cover me should it ever start Purple Raining.

I used to love the Muppet Show so I felt a special attachment to seeing Animal and his band mates turned into Yarn Dolls.

I loved this painting of First Avenue highlighting all the Stars on Stars that adorn the building in Downtown Minneapolis.

Not sure where this guy is skating to, but he seems excited to get there.

I even bumped into a Barragy while I was there!  I hadn't seen Mick in quite a few years, but it was super fun getting to spend a few moments together at the Pet Pavilion.  Not every day I get the opportunity to do that.

Our tradition is to buy a bucket of Martha's cookies before we leave the fair.  It's by far the most lucrative food sold at the fair each year generating more than $4 million worth of revenue in 10 days!!  I'm in the wrong line of work...

We covered about 5 miles of walking through the day and the gang felt like we had seen everything we wanted to see, so we decided to head home.  All in all another great trip to the Fair!