April 24, 2022

Rolling with the Minnesota Wild


Rolling with the Minnesota Wild
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 24, 2022

On Thursday night, we headed to downtown St. Paul to the Xcel Energy Center.

We were there to watch the Minnesota Wild take on the Vancouver Canucks.

I brought Luke to the last game for which I had tickets so tonight it was Avery's turn.  

There's only a handful of games left in the season.  The Wild had sealed a place in the playoffs while Vancouver still had a slight chance to get the final wild card slot.  We knew we were in for a battle!

The two teams traded goals until the score was tied at 3 to 3.  They were playing pretty aggressively and we even witnessed a couple hockey sticks to the face which was a little unsettling.  

Eventually the home team took control and ended up winning the game by a score of 6-3.  They have a few more games to finish the season and then will be taking on the St. Louis Blues in the playoffs.  Let's Go, Wild!

Other excitement for the week included taking Grandma Linda out to dinner for Easter.  We went to Kona Grill because she wanted to have coconut shrimp which is pretty traditional Easter food for her.

We also had Blue's mother and brother spend a few nights with us.  It's always fun to have these three stalking us while looking to be entertained.

We had someone tell us that a local park called Pike Lake Park had an Eagle's nest so we went to check it out.  Unfortunately it was quite a way off in the distance  so we couldn't get a very clear look at the birds.  It looked like mom and dad were having dinner, but we couldn't figure out if there's any babies in there yet or not.  One of these days I'm gonna climb up there and get a good look to be sure.

April 17, 2022

Easter at the Farm 2022


Easter at the Farm 2022
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 17, 2022

Tuesday night brought us to Target Center for the NBA Play-In game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers.  Being long-time Wolves fans, we were quite excited to cheer on the home team to make the playoffs.

I'd purchased a 5 game package of games with 2 seats during the regular season and brought each member of the family to different games.  For this game, though, I thought we all should go together.

We were nervous to play Paul George and the Clippers.  Even though we had a better record than they did, they beat the Wolves 3 out of 4 games during the regular season.  We've experienced a lot of disappointment over the years in Minnesota, so confidence doesn't come naturally for us with this team.

The atmosphere in the arena was electric!  It was an intense game from start to finish!

Patrick Beverly has been an incredible addition to the team this year.  He's constantly rallying our young players or messing with the other team to get in their heads.  I now understand why he is so hated all around the league.  I'm glad he's on our team instead.

Karl-Anthony Towns has been incredible for us all year, but something was off for him on this evening.  He got into foul trouble early and his shots just weren't falling.  He only scored 5 points in the first half which would normally lead to a loss for this team.

Halftime kept the energy alive when this nice lady strolled in on a unicycle and started kicking stacks of bowls on her head.  I have no idea how one discovers they have this type of skill,  but I'm sure glad she did!

The second half didn't work out much better for Karl.  He kept battling with the refs and ended up fouling out of the game.  Lucky for us, his teammates were able to cover for his absence.

Anthony Edwards and D'Angelo Russell took over the game and scored 59 points between the two of them.  

In the end, the home town team won the game by a score of 109-104.  The place was going crazy!  It was literally one of the best games I've ever been to in my entire life and I can't wait to see how far this team will go in the playoffs.

The weekend brought us down to Iowa to visit Grandma on the farm.  We'd been pumping up Blue all week that he was going to get to go to see the kitties.  By the time we arrived, he about broke the door on the truck to charge out and start chasing them.  But despite our best effort and multiple attempts to go for walks around the property, we weren't able to locate any kitties.  Blue feels pretty ripped off about the whole thing.

We had a very pleasant time visiting with Grandma Leona as well as Uncle Jerry and his family.  

From our family to yours, Happy Easter!

April 10, 2022

The Only Thing Inevitable is Change


The Only Thing Inevitable is Change

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 10, 2022

Friday was my last day at Stibo Systems. 

It is bittersweet to be leaving the company as it is the pioneer in both product as well as multi-domain master data management. I continue to be amazed by the company’s suite of MDM solutions that create the most flexible and extendable platform to help enterprise organizations master their most valuable data assets. I’m still impressed with the incredible portfolio of customer win stories that Stibo Systems has that would be envied by software vendors in any industry.

I’d like to thank my awesome colleagues who supported me with my own customer win stories some of which were among the best of my career. Finally, I’d like to thank those customers who chose to partner with Stibo Systems after the cycles I led with them. I know our time together has been relatively short, but trust you will all have tremendous success with the choices you made.

I’m happy to share that I’m returning to Oracle as a member of the ISV Ecosystem team. I will be creating partnerships between Oracle and fast growing software vendors. I'm very excited for the new opportunity!

Why ISVs Choose Oracle Cloud

I'm not the only member of the Swank Family making a career change.  Luke was offered a new role as a Financial Analyst at US Bank and starts next week in Downtown Saint Paul.  He had a great run at Wells Fargo and learned a lot, but he's ready to make a change like this.  We are so proud of him!

We went to check out his new building on Saturday and walked along the river for awhile.  Blue would really like to join Luke at his new job, but we have a lot of doubts about that being allowed.  Poor dog.

We've been also waiting for the change in seasons and we're getting pretty close.  The ice is almost gone on Prior Lake.  We're excited to be able to go boating again soon.  

We were looking for someplace to celebrate our new jobs.  The Doublewide in New Market came highly recommended.

We were happy to meet up with the Walters Family.  They're always ready to celebrate with us!

Jackson gave Dan a special new drinking utensil for Christmas and he was excited to bring it out for a test run.  At first I thought it was a tusk of some sort, but they quickly corrected me that it was a long horn off a big ole steer.  I've never drank from a horn mug before, but it looked like a lot of fun.

April 3, 2022

Can Can Wonderland


Can Can Wonderland

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for April 3, 2022

The ice on Prior Lake is finally starting to melt.  Blue decided it was time to go swimming even though the water is only about  40 degrees.  Dogs are lucky they don't have to worry about shrinkage.

We saw this mound on the ice off in the distance and swore it was a rock.  It wasn't until a couple of days later when I reviewed the photos to discover it was a beast of some sort.  I'm pretty sure it's a muskrat, but he looks kind of big so it may also be a beaver.  I'm just not sure.

 We didn't have any plans for the weekend so we called up Karl & Tina to see if they were available.  They're always up for going on an adventure with us.

Our evening started with a stop at The Market at Malcom Yards.

It's a Gourmet Food Court with a wide variety of interesting dining options.  I had Gnocchi at Joey Meatballs and a Dynamite Roll at Bagu Sushi.  Good stuff!

After dinner we drove over to an eclectic place called Can Can Wonderland.

It's a bar, arcade, and mini-golf course all rolled into one.  Their website says Can Can Wonderland isn’t just a fun name to say. It’s also an homage to the origins of this great place. Dating back to 1889, the building was home to the American Can Company, can manufacturer for many notable brands as Carnation, Campbell’s Soup, Del Monte, American National Can and others. In 1999, American Can Company won “Can of the Year” honors for another home state hero — the two-piece Spam can.

Our goal was to play mini-golf, but apparently we arrived too late.  The wait list was 3 hours and we didn't think we'd be there that long.  We were wrong.  We stayed past midnight, but never signed up to play unfortunately.

Their holes are very unique.  Their website calls it Artist-Designed Mini Golf.  They asked mini golf enthusiasts throughout the world one question: “What mini golf hole have you always wanted to play?” Over 200 people submitted their proposals, then they began building the award winning 18 hole course they have today. Local artists, engineers, architects, fabricators, welders and other creatives made this all come to life. 

They also have one of the coolest arcades I've ever seen.  There's pinball machines, video games, as well as a variety of games from decades ago that I've never even seen before.  We had fun for hours.

We played Centipede and other classics.  Miss Sheri even had a high score and entered her initials into the digital record book.  She rubbed that in our faces for the rest of the night.

Several of the games were kind of hard to describe.  I'm not sure if I'd describe them as fun, but they sure were interesting.

We all really enjoyed the golf ball cannon.  You could shoot the balls into a variety of targets, but my favorite was making them ricochet back at us so they'd hit the plexiglass like a bullet.  It made a really loud bang that made us all jump.  Now that's just good fun.

There's some other stuff there that I probably shouldn't talk about.

Both the Market at Malcom Yards and Can Can Wonderland had a new system for  buying beer.  It features a credit card type card from a company called Pour.  You take the card and a glass and select from a wide variety of beer choices and then pay by the ounce.  It was a really cool way to be able to test a new flavor before committing to a whole glass.  I'm pretty certain that this is a trend that will soon be appearing everywhere.  

I'm so glad Karl & Tina are willing to go exploring with us.  We find some pretty fun places together!

Todd Swank on TikTok

@toddswank Eminem was Wrong! #willsmith #eminem #chrisrock #cussing #eminemwaswrong ♬ The Real Will Smith - Ty Skillest