June 26, 2022

Chris Rock at Mystic Lake Casino


Chris Rock at Mystic Lake Casino

Todd Swank's Diary Update for June 26, 2022

On Friday night, we joined our good friends, Orlando and Nancy Mazzolini, to see Chris Rock perform at Mystic Lake Casino.  Unfortunately big name comedians are now using a new technology called "Yondr Bags" which are handed out at the gates of the show.  They're basically big pouches with specialized locks where you're forced to store your phone, smartwatch, camera, & any other electronics you try to bring in the door so no photos or recordings of any kind are allowed.  So this is the only picture of the event that I have.  That being said, the show was amazing!  There was an opener who's name I can't recall, but he was pretty funny and quite raunchy.  I'm sure that's to set the stage for Chris who's own act is quite controversial as well.  I was pretty impressed with his set.  He went on for nearly 2 hours with all new material.  A lot of it was very topical and on point regarding today's society.  He didn't say much about the Will Smith experience other than that "He's not a victim" in context of him making fun of other celebrities who like to play the victim.  His main example was Megan Markle, but he went after a lot of celebrities & politicians in his show.  We had a bunch of fun and I highly recommend going to see him if he comes to your town.

It's been unseasonably hot in Minnesota the past couple of weeks, but we still like to get our outside entertainment in.  We had a family round of golf.  This is a time when the family all takes turns making me look bad on the golf course.  One of these days my game will improve!

I don't think God intended for me to be a good golfer.  
But that's OK.  I'm sure I'll figure out what He wanted me to be doing instead any day now.

Avery came within a club's length of a hole in one on #3 which I thought was worth commemorating.  

And yes, he did make the birdie putt.

Birdie is the Wordie.

June 20, 2022

Happy Father's Day 2022


Happy Father's Day 2022
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for June 20, 2022

We had a very pleasant Father's Day weekend.  Luke & Avery took us out to my favorite restaurant for dinner.  I'm a pretty lucky man.

On Saturday we helped celebrate our friend, Jacob Korkowski, celebrate his graduation from high school.  We had a great time at his party, but unfortunately didn't spend much time with Jacob himself as I realized when I checked my camera and didn't have a single photo of him.  Glad I snapped this one shortly before we entered the house.

I did get a picture of his brother and sister along with Luke & Avery & Lizzy.  We all had a bunch of fun together.

We also enjoyed meeting members of their extended family and had plenty of nice conversations that went well into the evening.

It's been really hot in Minnesota this week so when the party was over and we heard some people were going to jump in the pool we jumped at the chance to join them.  We don't get a lot of hot weather in Minnesota, but this is my favorite activity when we do!

Avery continues to take my boat during our weekends.  One of these days I'll get a turn with it again.

Our other excitement of the week was several visits from this possum who walked across the top of our fence at dusk for 4 nights in a row.  I posted the following TikTok video and received quite a few comments from friends and relatives.  They educated me on Possum habits and on the wisdom if I should try to pet it or not if he decides to visit again.  I'm still deciding.

@toddswank Possum in my backyard. #possum #minnesota #critter #fencesitter ♬ Send Me on My Way - Guy Meets Girl

June 12, 2022

A Night in Orlando

 A Night in Orlando

Todd Swank's Diary Entry for June 12, 2022

For the first time since the pandemic, I had an official work trip to visit one of my new clients at Oracle.  I flew to Orlando, Florida for an evening of trying to make new relationships.

My client was having a Happy Hour at the Disney Swan Hotel.  I went there and tried to introduce myself to a bunch of people I'd never met before.  It's always a little awkward at first, but I was pretty pleased with the number and quality of conversations I was able to have with people.  Well worth the trip.

Miss Sheri also was having fun in my absence.  Her friend Robin was in town from Hawaii and they were all set to go out on an adventure of their own.

They drove to Northern Minnesota to do some sightseeing as well as visit some of Robin's relatives.

They also stopped to visit Split Rock Lighthouse while they were up there.  I can't believe in all my years in Minnesota I haven't had the chance to see this yet.  Maybe next time I'll get to join them.

On Thursday night, our friends Doc & Portia Vogt invited us to have dinner with them at their new house out in the country.  We had a marvelous time with great food, wonderful conversation, and Doc even let me fly one of his drones around a bunch of fields.  I gotta get me one of those.

Luke and Avery have been doing quite a bit of golfing this summer so they both decided to go out and splurge on some new clubs.  Now they really crush me, but it doesn't disappoint me as much because now I can just blame it on my old clubs.

We took turns taking out the boat on Saturday.  Blue was quite excited they let him join them for their turn.

I saw this egret this week.   That's about it.

June 5, 2022

Eighties Night with Electric Avenue


Eighties Night with Electric Avenue
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for June 5, 2022

My buddy, Jimi Gilbertson, asked Miss Sheri and I to join him and his friend, Teri, for a night of eighties music.  We were happy to oblige.

Prior Lake Horse & Hunt Club has been hosting a bunch of interesting acts lately.  They have a nice tent set-up outside so people can spread out, enjoy some cocktails, and listen to good music.  

This was Electric Avenue's first performance in the state of Minnesota.  They were really good and played a unique mix of eighties song that I can't say I've heard many other bands perform.  

On their website, they describe themselves as follows:   

We don’t get to repeat even one minute of our time here, but what if you could relive all the youthful energy and sonic celebration 
that was 1980s New Wave & FM Radio Pop: right here, right now? Every sound. Every nuance. Every time.

Jimi always makes the evening extra entertaining.  He had the bright idea to bring along several decks of cards which he proceeded to hand out to everyone in the crowd.  He told them he was doing a drawing for Brett Michaels tickets.  He forgot to mention that the tickets were already used from a concert in 2019.  I thought when the manager and two security guards asked him what he was doing that it would slow him down, but nope.  He assured them he wasn't charging any money for the drawing and that seemed to ease their concerns.  Unfortunately he didn't get to deliver the punchline after asking the band to announce the winner of the drawing and they seemed to miss the cue.   But it sure added a little extra excitement to our evening in any case.

On Saturday, we headed to Best Buy's headquarters to attend Minnebar 16.  Minnebar is the nation’s largest and longest-running technology unconference. Like other unconferences (or BarCamps), Minnebar is a user-generated conference that is participant-led. There are no keynote speakers or formal workshops, and all sessions are led by people from the tech and business communities. We were excited to get our Learn On.

We attended a few sessions including this one on 3D Photography.  It was an interesting overview of the history of the technology covering everything from the Viewmaster to Virtual Reality.  

Our favorite session was 
Misconceptions of MVP (Minimum Viable Product).  It covered many of the concepts discussed in the Lean Startup and we found it interesting learning strategies for launching new products.  We sure know how to have fun on a Saturday!

We also enjoyed exploring Best Buy's headquarters and snacking on the free food provided by the event's generous sponsors.  Good times.

Saturday night we connected with our good friends, Dan, Jackson, and Andy, for a little fishing excursion on Prior Lake.

This was the second time I had Andy out fishing and the first time he was shut-out.  I'm not saying he did too much better this time around, but at least he caught one!

The highlight of my trip was seeing an albino squirrel on the shores of Candy Cove.  I haven't seen one in my yard for a year or two now, so it was good to get a glimpse of one again.  They're my favorite.