Shortarmguy's Diary 

Crippled Is A State Of Mind



December 31, 2006

It was chaos time at the Shortarmguy Household as both of my sisters brought their families up from Texas to spend the week at our house to celebrate Christmas.  We had a whole bunch of fun together along with the usual drama that goes along with trying to mix this family together under one roof for multiple nights.   We've been instructed by the authorities that the next time we want to schedule a family gathering it will have to be sanctioned by the Minnesota Boxing Commission.    And we might televise it on a Pay Per View basis.

Santa Claus was a pretty good guy to Luke and Avery this year.  He brought Luke a Much Wanted stuffed frog and a big, blue stuffed snake for Avery.  We weren't sure why Avery wanted the snake until he started posing for pictures.  Guess we're lucky Santa didn't bring him a giant stuffed great white shark instead.

The Kelley family arrived the night before the Mohar family establishing themselves with the good beds in the house as well as enjoying some extra special "Grandma Time".   Baby Lindsay was sad to discover that she's now the only sister who's officially shorter than the shrinking Grandma Linda.   Bailey and Mallory both now tower over her, but luckily don't push her around too much.  Just enough to keep her in line.

After Tracy arrived, she insisted that everyone else in the house remain silent until she had a chance to speak as much as the rest of us had in the previous 24 hours.  We also were finally allowed to eat Christmas cookies and smile at each other openly which she had banned us from doing until her family came to town. 

For some reason, Uncle Dave Mohar insisted on dressing identically to Shortarmguy for the first few days of the trip until we were finally able to break him of the habit.  Later we discovered him in my closet rummaging through my laundry basket.  When we asked what he was doing he said he wanted to see what it was like to "wear my actual underwear".  We just let that one slide.   

The kids had a marvelous time playing pool.   We had to explain to them several times that the game's rules don't allow for them to actually swing their sticks at one another, but that didn't dampen their enthusiasm for the competition.  

The weather never did cooperate, so we didn't get in as many winter activities as we would have liked.  Although we saw quite a few people walking on the ice, I'm still really paranoid to let the kids wander out too far after several days of 40+ degree weather.   But I didn't want to seem mean or anything, so I let the kids use their best judgment and we walked out much farther than I typically let my boys.  I figured I was with my two brothers in law, so what could go wrong?  I mean after all, who should know better about the safety of thin ice than a couple of guys from Texas?

Of course, we weren't disappointed by lack of drama.  Nobody fell through or anything, but shortly after this photo was taken, Luke took a really nasty slip on the ice.  Luckily, his teeth broke his fall.  He looked up at me with blood pouring out of his mouth and that pretty much ended our ice adventures for the day.   Thankfully he didn't sustain any major injuries.   Just a couple of cut lips and some pointed anger at his father for not preventing the accident. 

On Wednesday, we did the tubing thing at Buck Hill.  The snow was a little bit slow because of the warm weather and the lines were long, but we still had a blast.  We pelted each other with snowballs while we waited for our turn, which seemed to make everyone happy.  Except for the innocent bystanders who took some snow in the face from some misplaced shots.  Darn kids. 

This is my brother in law Dave.  And my other brother in law Dave.   Whenever we go anywhere together I feel like Larry from the old "Newhart" TV Show.    

Shortarmguy's Diary Archive





December 24, 2006

It was a reunion of sorts this week as Sean and I hooked up with our old buddy, The Dude!  Many of you will recall the Dude as the former co-host of the now defunct Shortarmguy and The Dude Podcast.  He left Nor-tech a few months ago to pursue a career with a different company and things just haven't been the same without him!  We met on Wednesday night for a few drinks and a movie as well as to share some anger on a variety of topics. 

For some reason, Shortarmguy was left out of the conversation as The Dude enthralled Sean for about 20 minutes with a rather detailed description of his own bare feet.  Sean didn't say much during the discussion, but the look on his face shows that he was deep in thought pondering the implications of his story.

We went to see the new movie, Rocky Balboa!  Although expectations were set pretty low, the film turned out to be quite the pleasant surprise!  I can honestly say it's the best Rocky Sequel since the first one and really brings back the look and feel of the original.  And the Fight Scene is awesome!  But the best part is when Rocky gives a pep talk to his son regarding taking on the world and making an impact in life.  It was simply awe inspiring and reignited my desire to become a professional boxer. 

Luke and Avery had an awesome week at school celebrating "Holiday Time".  They went to see the play "The Grinch who stole Holiday" and made these fantastic looking gingerbread houses.  School is done for a couple weeks now and the boys are just bursting at the seams with anticipation of their cousins arrival later today.  Their Texas cousins are coming to stay with us, so I'm sure we'll have some crazy stories for next week's site update.   Unlike this week's update which was filled with very little excitement.

To try to generate some excitement, we let the boys see how far they could go on the ice before the cracking sounds scared them back.  We'd had all sorts of grand plans for winter festivities over Christmas break, but the unseasonably warm Minnesota weather has thrown a wrench into things.  No snowballs or snowmen or skiing or snowmobiling.  Just wet, sloppy, frozen rain and a partially frozen lake.  Al Gore, please bring back the Winter Wonderland Weather!!

Another fun activity is to throw a stick on the ice and watch Sunny slip and slide all over trying to get it.  The silly dog just never learns how to navigate on the slippery surface and goes "Balls To The Wall" with each attempt to get that blessed piece of wood.   And he tastes a lot of ice on the way.





December 17, 2006

When a truck rolls over in the company parking lot before you get to work on Monday morning it pushes Karma in a weird direction and you just know it's going to be a different sort of week.  The lady who was driving was all right, but a little shaken up after the incident.

Known Shortarmguy Stalker Steve "Cuds" Cuddihy was the one who snapped these photos.  They say the driver lost control on the icy road, but I'm pretty sure Steve was involved in some fashion.  That boy is just pure evil.

I regularly feature pictures of my close friend and college roommate, Jason Hornbuckle.  Well, an anonymous tipster sent me this old photo of him with a gentleman and they're apparently engaged in a shady transaction.  I haven't quite figured out what's going on but my guess is it's some bizarre ritual that used to occur between members of the Flock of Seagulls Fan Club.   If anyone can shed further light on what might be happening here, please send me an email.

On Tuesday night, we celebrated Grandma Linda's 82nd birthday at Buca di Beppo in Burnsville.  All right, she might not be quite that old yet, but I know she's getting up there.  Buca is a really fun restaurant with a very unique Decor.  I was especially impressed with their tribute room to the Pope shown above....although I'm not sure how comfortable I would feel engorging on fine Italian food while staring at the pope's head in a glass box.  Maybe that's just me.

Grandma Linda was quite giddy about her birthday and kept showing off to the waiter by swallowing her own tongue and then asking him to pull it back out with his serving spoon.   I don't think he enjoyed it nearly as much as she did.

Christmas preparations continued with Sunny getting cleaned up so he's nice and fluffy for our family coming to visit for the holidays.  He's actually good in the bath tub, but I'm guessing he secretly hates it.

One of the bummers of Luke's heart condition is that he has to have his blood checked on a regular basis to make sure the blood thinner medication he takes is set at the right levels.  Usually mom's the lucky one to take him, but both boys had a checkup with Dr. Singh on Friday so I went along as well.  I was impressed with how brave Luke was during this procedure.  Of course, he did scream at the technician for a few seconds after the needle appeared, but it didn't last long.  He used to scream at them from the moment we stepped off the elevator on the lab floor, so progress is definitely being made!  

 Both boys had their check-up with Dr. Singh and he seems to think things are going great for us!  Although there's talk that some day Luke will need to have a Pacemaker installed, he said he's still growing good so we'll just take it year by year.  Luke had lots of questions about that, so we told him if this happens he could then consider himself part robot.  That made him excited and he wanted to know if he could also have lasers installed in his hands to shoot things.  We said sure.  Avery's heart is doing very well and Dr. Singh doesn't anticipate any further procedures for him for at least another 20-30 years.  It's kind of neat that our cardiology checkups have been landing this time of year, because it really reminds us what we have to be thankful for over the holidays.  We've been very blessed to have Dr. Singh care for our boys since before they were born. 








December 10, 2006

We had a very lame week at the Shortarmguy household.  It was a struggle to come up with photos for the website!  Lucky the weather warmed up this weekend so we were at least able to get outside.  We saw temperatures below zero earlier in the week and than we hit the fifties on Saturday!  Luke and Avery took advantage of the warmer weather by riding their scooters across the frozen grass in our backyard.  Someone call Al Gore, because the weather is just all screwed up!  Maybe he can do something about it. 

The Sub-Zero temps caused Prior Lake to finally freeze over this week.  The fisherman already had some ice shacks on the lake by Friday.  I find these guys pretty crazy to go and sit in a shack on a lake that just froze over when it's 49 degrees outside!  I guess that's why we read about people going through the ice every year. I like to sneak outside their little houses and make cracking noises just to make sure they're at least thinking about the danger.

On Saturday night, I snuck out of the house with the Hornbuckles to go make a donation to the local Indian Tribe.  It's the Season of Giving so we just like to do our part.  They were going to go out and party afterwards, but we didn't have a babysitter so we had to stay home.  It's probably for the best, because these two can be trouble.  

We're hosting Christmas at our house this year and Miss Sheri has the house all decorated.  Her centerpiece contains a bunch of these North Pole houses.  Sometimes I just sit and stare at this cute little village for hours.  I imagine that I'm an elf and I'm cruising through town trying to find some action.  Then I realize there's no bar, no casino, and no visible wild looking elf women.  So then I get sad.  I understand why some people say that Christmas can be the most depressing time of year.  

Sunny loves Santa.  Not really, but like I said earlier....I was short of pictures for this week's update!

We didn't do much of anything this weekend because we had to stay home and write our Christmas Letter which can be read here.

2006 Swank Family Christmas Letter

We hope everyone is having a fantastic holiday season!!









December 3, 2006

It was a weekend filled with Christmas Festivities in Shortarmguy Land!  It started on Friday night when Miss Sheri and Grandma Linda went to Grandma's Christmas Party for her work.  They said the food was good, the conversations were pleasant, and they had a fantastic time.   I kept waiting for them to tell me how much they missed me since I wasn't there, but they just must have forgot to tell me.

So while the ladies were out partying, the boys and I headed to Downtown Dazzle for a Christmas Festival, Parade, and Fireworks.  This picture was taken shortly before the meltdowns occurred.  I wanted to make sure we had good seats for the parade, so we showed up 30 minutes early.  It was only 18 degrees outside.   The boys screamed at me for most of that half hour about how dang cold they were and how come I didn't care enough about them to do something about it.  I told them we were just going to have to sit there and freeze while waiting for what turned out to be an incredibly lame Christmas parade.  We didn't stick around for the Fireworks.

The night was just destined to go badly for me.  The first thing we saw were these pony rides and there was hardly anyone in line.  I thought the boys would be all over it, but they both told me "No, we don't want to do that!"  I said "You're crazy, you don't want to do Pony Rides?"   I finally talked Luke into it and as you can see from this photo, I think he'll forever treasure the memory of this thrilling experience!

Saturday morning was Breakfast with Santa at the Prior Lake VFW.  Not only did we get to spend a little time with the big man, we also had the opportunity to eat some of the best bologna sausages I've ever had in my life!  I sure do like Bologna!

We had a blast on Saturday night at the Nor-tech Christmas Party!!  Naturally, I don't have a lot of memories of the evening, but judging from all the pictures we took it looks like we had a good time.     

For some reason, whenever Dr. Bollig and his wife, Cynthia, have their photo taken together, they insist that Nick Rahman stand in the background with them.  Seems kind of odd to me, but I guess when you're the boss you have the right to be a little eccentric!   

This is Dom Daninger.  He's one of Nor-tech's resident geniuses.  CRN's Custom Systems Magazine recently wrote this article about one of the Super Computers he developed for the University of Minnesota.   Dom is one of those deep thinkers with a lot of knowledge on a wide variety of topics.  Honestly, I don't have a clue as to what the hell he's talking about most of the time, so I just smile and nod a lot.  That seems to make him happy! 

This is Mark Babich.  He's another one of Nor-tech's geniuses.   He told me I should buy Northwest Airlines stock (NWACQ.PK) a few weeks ago while it was selling for 70 cents a share.  Of course, I didn't listen to him.  Now he likes to walk by my office and giggle like a schoolgirl while reminding me that the price has risen to over $3.00 in just a couple of weeks!  I think Mark enjoys seeing me suffer because he still has anger issues with me.  He still thinks he beat me in this Beer Slugging Contest!  It was a tie, Mark.  It was a tie!

This is Bad Brad Nelson.  He's Nor-tech newest salesperson who just started working with us this past Monday.  Somehow he survived his first week without taking a punch at one of us.  That's a good sign he'll be able to last at the company.  After a heavy night of partying,  Brad and I snuck into the restaurant kitchen and asked one of the cooks to take this photo.  The manager walked by and said "All right, but only one."  Lucky he said that.  Otherwise we might have stayed in there for the rest of the night taking pictures of each other.







November 26, 2006

The Shortarmguy Family had a fantastic Thanksgiving celebration down on the farm in Inwood, Iowa.   Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's House we went.  It's Grandfather's House as well.  We also stopped by Uncle Jerry and Aunt Laura's house, but we didn't really go through any woods or rivers to get there.  We just drove down a gravel road.   

As usual, I spent all morning slaving over a hot stove preparing this marvelous turkey for the family.  All right, that's not true.  The ladies wouldn't let me anywhere near the kitchen until the bird was done.  Then they barely let me take this picture because they thought for sure I'd drop it or something.  I tried to explain to Grandma that it was more important for me to get a picture with the turkey than it was for everyone else to eat it.  But she didn't buy that.

It was a balmy 60 degrees Thanksgiving afternoon so Uncle Jerry brought the 4 wheelers out for us to get reckless!  For some reason, the boys kept fighting over who got to ride with mom.  Neither one fought over who got to ride with dad.   I guess I'm just too conservative in my driving.  Either that or mom was feeding them cookies while flying through the fields.

I finally persuaded Avery to ride with me and we raced back and forth in the cornfields.  I thought we were going pretty fast and having lots of fun.  But he just gave me that look that said "Can I ride with mom, now?" 

Sunny had a blast at the farm!  He loved scaring the pigs and would bound back to their pen every chance he could to watch them scurry away from him grunting in unison!  The dog had a bit of a fright when he encountered this oinker who was out of his cage.  Grandpa had pulled him from the pen when he appeared sickly and his friends kept picking on him.  We figured he was dead when we approached him laying next to one of the buildings.  Once Sunny got too close, the pig jumped up and started running away as fast as he could!  It startled the crap out of all of us!  But we were thankful that the pig had survived and would live long enough for a trip to the butcher.  Such a Happy Ending for him.

The boys love going to the farm and hanging out with their Grandpa and their cousins.    I said to them "If you love it so much, then why don't you marry it!"  But they just looked at me like I was weird.

Since we won't be together for Christmas this year, we exchanged gifts early with Miss Sheri's family.  Grandpa was so excited when he received this pole as a gift.  I have no idea what he planned on doing with the pole, but the smile he carried on his face for the rest of the night after opening it really caused me to wonder.

As is our tradition, Miss Sheri and I woke up early to join the Crazy People shopping on Black Friday.  We arrived at Best Buy in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at 4:15am and the line was already around the store!  There had to be at least 1000 people there already!  We decided to skip waiting and go to a different store, but before we left we went to chat with the people at the front of the line.  They told us they'd been there since 5PM the day before and offered to sell us the chance to buy one of the bargain TV's for $20.00.  We passed.  I asked them if I could get a picture with them for my website.  They asked me for the name of my site which I told them. As I was walking away, one of them shouted "Nothing like stating the obvious!"  Cute kids.


For the first time ever, Shortarmguy made the front page of on Friday!!  The "Shortarmguy's Black Friday" video was featured and was watched over 40000 times on Youtube in just a couple of days!  Many people actually believed I was crying in the video which leads me to believe that I just may have a future in acting!!




November 19, 2006

Luke's friend at school turned us on to this incredible Gymnastics Center in Savage, Minnesota.  On Friday nights, they have an open gym program where we can drop off the boys so they can flip, tumble, and jump themselves silly.  They have trampolines built into the floor and this incredible foam pit that you can jump into  via a variety of methods including a rope swing.  Every time I saw that foam pit, I shuddered with desire at the thought of jumping in there myself...but I never had the guts to ask if I could do it.

So with Luke & Avery entertained, we joined several of my co-workers at a local tavern.  Known enemy, Nick Rahman, had told me there was going to be a big get together of cool people at the bar.  With Nick's history, this could have meant there would be 2 people there or there could be 20 people.  You just don't know if you can believe him.  Luckily for us, this was one of the nights that a bunch of fun people arrived including several former members of the boy band, Hanson.

We brought Grandma Linda with us to celebrate her first visit to a bar since Grandpa Denny died.  She was a bit stressed out before attending because her favorite drink is a sloe screw and she didn't think bars still carried sloe gin.  They did.  She ended up leaving the bar with some big, hairy truck driver.  We haven't seen her since so I haven't had the chance to ask her if she had a good time, but I'm guessing the answer is yes.

This is Mike Wittchow.  He's the Whiz Kid who's transitioning from the Nor-tech tech room to the Nor-tech sales floor.  He's a hustler who's working more angles than a professional pool player.  He was a bit disappointed this week because he wasn't able to buy a Playstation 3.  Last I talked to him, he said he was going to spend Saturday standing in line to try to get his hands on a Wii.  Doesn't sound like something I'd be into, but I try to keep an open mind.

So after a couple of quick drinks, we prepared to leave to pick up the boys from the bounce factory.  That was when my buddy "Uncle" Larry Hanson surprised me with a fresh new beer.  I had to face a dilemma.  Either tell him I had to leave or be polite and accept his generous offer.   I believe I did the right thing.

In college, I honed a skill for "slamming" beer.  I don't claim to be the fastest in the world or anything, but I can down a large beer in just a few seconds.  I believe I developed this skill to help me in situations just like these and not because I had some kind of "problem" like my friends and family used to tell me.  

Twenty minutes later, I used my newly found Liquid Courage to ask the proprietor if I could take a leap of faith into his Pit of Foam.  He seemed happy to oblige.  He said with a smirk "Go ahead!" and then followed with a sentence under his breath that would later haunt me:  "Good luck getting out!"   I was so excited for my upcoming adventure that I ignored his subtle warning.

I watched the boys dive in this pit in a variety of ways and it looked real easy.  They jumped in and crawled out over and over again.  The thing I didn't realize is that my fat body would sink in a lot deeper.  And it's really hard to leverage foam to climb on to advance my position.  I tried to walk through it with no luck, I was wedged in hard.  I tried to climb, but that wasn't easy either.  So I wiggled.  I wiggled and jiggled and moved foam pieces from my front side to my back side.  Kids kept jumping in all around me and laughed as I struggled to move.  But I did it.  I eventually worked my way to the side and somehow pulled my exhausted body out of that Hell Pit!  And then I collapsed in a heap of sweaty dress clothes and I wept.

Now I'd like to think that there's a moral to this story.  That I learned some kind of a lesson.  Sadly, I don't think that happened.  Whatever wisdom that was to be gained from this was left in the same place as my favorite black dress socks.  At the bottom of a dirty pile of foam blocks.




November 12, 2006

On Tuesday, the Shortarmguy Family did our civic duty and went to our election place to cast our ballots.  Sadly, none of the candidates I voted for won the election.  I guess that's what I get for writing in Shortarmguy for every office.  I know I could do great things if I was in charge of education or agriculture!

This is John Schatz.  He works for Clear Channel and convinced me that we could do great things for Nor-tech and Voyageur PC if we bought a bunch of radio commercials from him.  He also convinced me that he could help re-design to provide a much better user experience.  When he started to convince me that he could sell me the secrets to lose weight, get rich, and become a better lover...I soon realized that I might have encountered the greatest salesperson I've ever met in my life!

My dad and Joyce came to town this weekend marking their 3rd visit to Minnesota this year....and their 3rd visit in the past 5 years!  It's so nice that they have free time to drive up here now that they've dumped their silly jobs which were keeping them in Mississippi.  They also recently moved to Branson, Missouri which makes travel time quite a bit shorter.  I also think I've become a little less surly and more pleasant to be around which makes it easier for them to want to spend time with us.  Nahhhh, it's probably the shorter drive.

On Saturday, we went to Burnsville Mall to watch the  Christmas parade which ushered Santa Claus into the mall so kids could sit in his lap and tell him their Christmas wishes.  For some reason, the boys were grumpy all morning so Crunch did us a favor by covering their scowling faces as they posed for this picture.  Since the Minnesota Timberwolves have recently lost 4 games in a row, he probably wants to cover some of his player's faces as well!

Saturday afternoon we decided to go to the Mall of America and Underwater World.  We just didn't have enough people in our lives and decided to go to a place where thousands of them would bump into us, step on our feet, steal our parking space, and give us dirty looks.  Plus we saw a bunch of fish!!  It was so much fun that we bought a membership!

Miss Sheri explained to us that growing up on the farm they used to eat turtles just like this shell and all.  Some times, they'd even kill them first, but those were on the good days.

On Sunday, we had the pleasure of attending the Minnesota Viking/Green Bay Packer game at the Metrodome.  Pleasure quickly turned into pain, though,  as Brad Johnson and the Purple team extended their losing streak to 3 games.  I kept thinking they should  put me in the game, but I don't think the coach even looked in my direction to make that call.  What a pity.  

We had the honor of watching the game with Minnesota Talk Radio Superstar, Jason Lewis.   I've been a fan of Jason's Show for years and he's also a fellow alumni of the University of Northern Iowa.  Go Panthers!






November 5, 2006

Happy Halloween!  The gang at Nor-tech dressed up in a variety of costumes to celebrate.  We tried to be nice to each other for the holiday as well, but that only lasted until about lunch time.  That was then the clown kicked the ghost in his sheet hole and the gorilla jumped on the afro guy frantically attempting to groom his hair. 

Then all Hell broke loose.

Nick and Anita were the big winners of the Nor-tech Halloween contest.  Honestly, I don't think Nick even knew it was Halloween.  That's just the way he planned to dress for work on Tuesday. 

Luke and Avery had a great time trick or treating, even though the masks were uncomfortable and didn't last long enough for them to make it out the front door.  Then their mom didn't think it would be a good idea for them to carry their light sabers since they had to carry their candy bags.  Finally, their mom said since it was so cold outside, the boys had to wear their winter jackets.  So it was pretty tough to tell they were even wearing costumes.  Luckily the neighbors still gave them candy rather than slamming doors in their faces.

On Thursday, I spent the whole day manning the Nor-tech booth at the Intel/Microsoft Ready 2 Rock show where local computer resellers learned about Intel's new Core 2 Duo Processors and Microsoft's upcoming launches of Vista and Office 2007.  We showed off our new Voyageur Mini PC which generated a lot of thrills, although it's possible that people were just pretending to be thrilled since we were giving them free Voyageur T-shirts.  It's really tough to tell for sure. 

Miss Sheri left me this weekend.  She drove down to Des Moines to visit with her old college buddies, Cathy & Robin.  I gave her the digital camera and told her to make sure to take some "exciting" photos of her with her friends.  This is the best one she gave me.  Today, we're going to pull out the dictionary and together go over the definition of the word "exciting".    

We've been having unseasonably warm November weather in Minnesota, giving the boys and I an opportunity to spend more time outside burning things.  Talk about quality time together!






October 29, 2006

We just love Halloween at the Shortarmguy house!  Whoops!  I apologize.  I guess it's now considered politically incorrect to use the term Halloween.  I certainly don't want to offend anyone, so please let me re-start this dialog:  We just love late October at the Shortarmguy house!  Miss Sheri and the boys had a lot of fun carving our "Autumn Harvest Pumpkins". 

Miss Sheri and the boys created this pumpkin snowman for the Cub Scout's Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest.  Sadly, they didn't win.  I'm hoping to be able to help them with their entry next year assuming that the restraining order will be lifted so I'm allowed to handle sharp objects near children again.

On Saturday, we enjoyed watching Avery's final soccer game of the season.  As you can see here, he was extremely happy with me walking on the field during the game to take his picture.  I needed to keep moving, however, since watching the game in 40 degree weather tends to make the blood chill just a bit.

Luke can be seen here intensely watching his brother's game and rooting him on with all his might!  At least he didn't belly-ache about being cold like his father did.

On Saturday night, we went with the Cub Scouts to The OK Corral in Jordan, Minnesota for a good old fashioned horse drawn wagon ride through the woods.  It was a lot of fun.  We had a campfire, sang songs, roasted marshmallows, and ate s'mores.    We didn't get involved in any Shootouts at the OK Corral, which was lucky for us since we had so many kids in our group.  They tend to have pretty lousy aim.

Our old friend, Cowboy Wyatt, was there again to drive the wagon.  He's a very nice guy who told scary tales to the kids as we navigated the woods in the moonlight.  On the ride back, the boy's den leader snuck off the wagon, ran ahead, and then scared the heck out of the children.  I was really jealous!!  I just love terrorizing 7 year olds! 

Miss Sheri and Grandma Linda had a wonderful time on the ride holding down the rear-end of the wagon.  If any attackers would have come upon us from that direction, they would have had our back.  Although if Grandma Linda saw any strange cowboys wandering around alone in the woods, I'm guessing she would have attacked him.  It gets lonely being a widow!


Shortarmguy's Diary Archive






October 22, 2006


It was MEA week in Minnesota so there was no school from Wednesday to Friday.   Miss Sheri and the boys headed to the farm to watch Grandpa Larry and Uncle Jerry work on the corn.  Since I wasn't there, I have no way of knowing if something funny was happening while this photo was taken.  So I like to imagine that immediately afterwards something spooked the dog causing him to jump in the air, knocking the board into Uncle Jerry's head which of course leaves him unharmed.  The dog then runs up the corn chute splattering corn all over the place and then falls through the top of the barn, landing safely in a big pile of kernels.  Yeah, that's what happened. 

Luke and Avery absolutely love going to the farm and spending time with their cousins.  It gives them more people to beat on and tease besides just each other.

On Saturday, we decided to try to widen the family's cultural experiences by visiting the newly expanded Walker Art Center in downtown Minneapolis.  We forgot that modern art might contain images that aren't appropriate for the youngsters.  We saw a photo of a man with a bullet in his head lying in a pool of blood neatly arranged amongst photos of mountain ranges.  We saw what looked like a child's playroom complete with a bench soaked in blood and what probably could be best described as brain matter surrounded by drawings depicting various sexual imagery.  We walked through a cardboard box tunnel which seemed fun for the boys, until we noticed the poster featuring a topless Pamela Anderson.  And then there was the box which contained a big bloody slice of a Hippopotamus.  Such a Happy way to spend a Saturday!! 

The worst part of the Walker Art Center was that they wouldn't allow us to take pictures inside the galleries!  How the heck am I supposed to update my website with those kind of restraints?  I tried to sneak a couple of pictures, but there seemed to be guards stalking me around every corner!  I was really afraid that they might cut me up and turn my bloody pieces into one of their new exhibits.  It would be a whole new way to experience Shortarmguy. 

Lucky for us, the boys didn't seem to notice the things their mom and I noticed.  Miss Sheri was pretty good at spotting the disturbing images and distracting their attention to other things before they saw them.  Had it been their father's responsibility to watch out for their best interests, I'm quite certain that multiple follow-up conversations would have been required to explain that the art wasn't going to "get them".     

Miss Sheri and I strolled off to take various photos in the Sculpture Garden and lost track of my mom.  When we later stumbled upon her, she was actively engaged in a lively conversation with this statue.   After about 45 minutes of listening to her tell him stories, we finally decided to interrupt her so we could go home.   







October 14, 2006

It was a busy week in Shortarmguyland.  On Tuesday night, I had the pleasure of attending a hockey match between the hometown Minnesota Wild and the visiting Vancouver Canucks.  It was an exciting game ending in overtime then a shootout with the Wild proving themselves victorious!  Game details here.

I went as the guest of my old buddy, Sean Quinlan, who is a humongous Wild Fan.  It was a ton of fun.  The only unpleasant part was every time we walked someplace Sean would unexpectedly check me into things such as brick walls, railings, and an old lady in a wheelchair.  I'd look back at him in surprise, but he'd just poke me hard in the chest and shout "This is Minnesota Hockey, baby!"  I guess I needed to grow up here to understand.

Sean introduced me to Hans who has been a parking lot attendant outside the Excel Center since before the place even opened.  Hans was a very nice man who described himself as "just a lot monkey!"  After spending some time witnessing Hans take extra special care of his clients coming to the game, I'd have to say I disagree with his assessment.  In my opinion, Hans is the Best Damned Lot Monkey in the Twin Cities!

On Saturday, we were pleased to have the opportunity to join our friends, Nick and Jessie Forga, as they made things official and tied the knot.  They were married in an incredible church in tiny Waverly, Minnesota.  The bride looked stunning, the ceremony was beautiful, and everyone wept when the bride and groom presented their moms with flowers.   The only glitch occurred when the priest accidentally referred to Nick as Nicole.  That one made me snicker uncontrollably under my breath for a good hour and a half.

After the wedding, we were taken by surprise when famed Shortarmguy stalker, Steve "Cuds" Cuddihy raced out of the church and did a flying leap tackle right into my chest.  Luckily his lovely wife, Melissa, was there to settle him down and give him some of the "magic pills" she has for him to keep his feelings towards me inside.  After the pills took effect we were able to spend a couple nice hours together drinking and celebrating our friendship.

On Saturday night, we had the privilege of attending JDRF's 2006 Imagination Ball.  It's the annual fundraiser event to help raise money to find a cure for juvenile diabetes.  It was a fantastic event and it made us feel really good to attend.  Plus, I just love going to Balls. 

We partied all night with a bunch of old friends.  Most of the people we knew had some blood or other liquid relationship with the Hornbuckle Clan.  We also were with my former high school classmates Brad Bernaman and Jason Alexander.  Although it is entirely possible that those two have also shared some sort of fluid with one of the Hornbuckles in the past.  It's really tough to tell just by looking at them.

We received the exciting news from Chris and Teri that they're expecting their third child!   Apparently these two Hornbuckles need to share a little less fluid if you know what I mean!  If you don't know what I mean, please email me and I'll send you a little diagram I created which spells things out better. 

Kim Bailey (formerly Hornbuckle) is the Corporate Development Manager for JDRF.  Since she's one of the organizers of the event, I had the honor in helping her to make a video shown before the Fund A Cure portion of the event.  This is what we came up with: 


JDRF Fund A Cure Video

Kim knows one of my dreams has always been to have my own marketing consultant and multimedia production agency.  She was kind enough to have my brand new logo highlighted in the JDRF event guide.  Now I just need to get off my dead butt and create the website and business plan for this new venture.  Then we'll be rocking!

Joe Schmit was the program emcee for the event.  Many Minnesotans will recognize Mr Schmit from his many years spent doing sports and news on Twin Cities ABC Affiliate KSTP Channel 5.  He recently accepted the position as President of Petters Media and Marketing Group.  Joe and I go way back.  Almost 24 hours now!

Of course, a night with the Hornbuckles wouldn't be complete without some naughtiness.  Heather and Debbie are seen dancing together in this picture.  Sadly, it's the only photo I could show and keep this a family website.   For awhile there, I swear I was witnessing the filming of a remake of the classic movie, Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights!

Shortarmguy's Diary Archive








October 7, 2006

On Wednesday, I went to watch the Minnesota Twins lose their second straight playoff game against the Oakland A's.  I've never been a huge fan of professional baseball, but it was still exciting to be at the game given the circumstances the Twins went through to get there.  It's fun to jump on bandwagons!  Sadly,  they went on to get swept in the series so I guess I'm off the wagon again!   

I had a bad feeling things would be tough for the home team when I saw these dark clouds lingering over the Metrodome shortly before the game.  Miss Sheri said she saw similar clouds over the church on our wedding day, but I'm sure that's just a coincidence. 

I went to the game as a courtesy of Clear Channel and my good friend, Kasia, who is Nor-tech's fantastic outdoor advertising salesperson.  She's a huge fan, so the loss affected her a lot more than it did me.  I kept hearing her muttering something like "Why did I bring this unlucky scumbag".  But every time I asked her if something was wrong, she just smiled and told me to watch the game.

It was another Soccer Saturday morning as we watched Avery go out and give his all while kicking other kid's in the shins.  Luke sat through the game and did good until half time when the kids gathered together for snacks.  This was the first time he realized that he wasn't part of the soccer team and became quite upset about it.  Of course, he doesn't even like oranges, but that didn't matter.  He wanted to play soccer again!

Luke is making very good progress and had his cast removed a couple weeks ago.  He now has a splint on his arm.  He can remove it, but still needs to be pretty cautious with his activities.  The tendon transfer went quite well and he seems to have better strength in his thumb.  It's also grown to be a huge thumb looking much like his father's.  Soon, he'll be rolling out his own website called

I don't think I've ever written about our friends, the Albino Squirrels.  This photo was taken in my backyard yesterday.  We started seeing these adorable creatures at our house in Savage, Minnesota after the boys were born.  I honestly don't remember ever in my life seeing one before then.   The day we decided to buy our new house in Prior Lake, we saw two albino squirrels in the yard so it gave us a real good feeling about our decision.   They've been around us ever since!   We consider them to be our personal guardian angels because they'd frequently appear whenever we were worrying about one of the boy's heart surgeries or other scary medical issues we've had to endure.    

On Saturday afternoon, we want to Prior Lake's Autumn Gathering which had games and activities for the kids.  My favorite part was rubbing this man's snake.

On Saturday night, we had a fun evening of socializing with our friends, the Ashlands.  I tried to rub Tim's snake as well, but he was having none of it!

Shortarmguy's Diary Archive







October 1, 2006

All the leaves are brown (the leaves are brown)....and the sky is blue.....we went for a walk.....and it was cool...

We love Autumn! 

The time of year that God takes his paintbrush and drips beautiful hues of orange, yellow and crimson over the trees. 

Then the dang leaves fall off and load our yards with tree crap and  winter arrives shortly afterwards.

We hate Autumn!

October ushers in the time to get the boat winterized, cleaned up and put into storage.  For those of you in warmer clients that don't get to experience this annual ritual, it's necessary because in Minnesota the temperatures drop  way below zero which makes water in the engine freeze and could cause all sorts of problems!  So the choice is to either have the water removed or stand out in the garage all winter and breathe hot breath all over the boat.  The second option saves some money, but ends up getting a bit tiring sometime around February. 

On Friday night, Grandma had us over for a fantastic supper consisting of roast, corn, and sweet potatoes.  She then surprised us all at the end of the meal by getting a big bucket of whipped cream and pouring it over Luke and Avery's heads.  Trust me.  They probably deserved it.

On Saturday morning I watched Avery's soccer team battle their way to a 5 - 5 tie game.  Avery played a mean game at goalie and stopped several shots before letting a couple sneak by him.  Then I grounded him for a week.

Mom and Luke spent the game in the parking lot hustling sales for Cub Scout Popcorn.  They actually did pretty well and saved us from bothering people by going door to door.  We're going to do that later today instead!  We figure we'll wait until about midnight so we can be sure to catch people at home.  Fundraising is so much fun!





September 24, 2006

Grandpa Bob and Grandma Joyce came to town this weekend.  Shortarmguy's dad recently endured his 5th round of chemotherapy treatments to keep his leukemia in remission.  He appears to be as strong as ever!!  He quit smoking as soon as he found out he had cancer and it seems to be really helping him.  I really believe things happen in life for a reason.  Although dealing with cancer has been pretty crappy for them, it seems this experience has given them  new outlooks on life.  They hadn't come up to visit us in many years and now have been here twice in the past 6 months.  God might have given them a slap in the face to wake them up to what's important in life.  Spending quality time with those who love you!

We spent Saturday at Minnesota Harvest which is a large apple orchard and hosts many great family activities like horseback riding, tractor pulled wagon rides, a petting zoo, and great treats to eat!   Their website says they have personally bred 25 new kinds of apples right there on site.  My job might be a little tough sometimes, but at least I don't have to breed apples.   I'm not even sure how I'd go about balancing myself in the tree!

Over the river and through the woods with Grandpa and Grandma we go...the tractor knows the way to carry the wagon through the deep and slimy mud.   Technically, you're supposed go out to the orchard so you can pick apples, but we're really not that into red fruit.   We do like rides in the woods, though.  It gives the ticks a good opportunity to leap in our hair.    

This is Dan.  He drove the tractor that pulled our wagon.  My dad told him he was a very nice gentleman and that seemed to make him happy.  He then told us that most people find him to be grumpy because he has to yell at them to stay out of certain parts of the orchard.  Apparently some of their apples are pretty rare and can be sold for up to $5 each!  So people wander into expensive apple territory and load their bags.  He said they caught one person doing this and made them pay $90 for a bag of apples!  I'd never heard of apple crime before, but it sounds pretty scary.

Sunny was caught off guard when he discovered his Aunt Daisy would be staying for the weekend.   He offered her a stick, but she was having none of that.  She's eight years older than Sunny, weighs about half his weight, and has a ton of hair in her eyes.  But when she snapped at Sunny, he about jumped through the glass door.   The Big Wuss!  I'm thinking we may have had his balls snipped off at too early of an age!

Some sad news this week in ShortarmguyLand.  The Dude announced his intention to leave Nor-tech to pursue another opportunity.  So no more Shortarmguy and The Dude Podcasts.  He keeps telling me that we haven't done any in over a year anyways, but I think we would have started again soon.  Secretly, I think he's upset that our submission for The Office promo wasn't accepted.  It's just too hard for him emotionally to continue working with me.  Thanks, NBC.




September 17, 2006

The Shortarmguy Family spent their Saturday at The Minnesota Renaissance Festival.  It's basically a place where a bunch of weirdoes dress up in costumes and pretend they live in a different era of time.  They charge you a bunch of money to get in so you can pay a bunch of money for food and vendors try to sell you a bunch of overpriced arts and crafts.  We just love it so much we go every year!!!  One of these days, I'm also going to be one of those weirdoes in a costume! 

No trip to the Renaissance Festival would be complete without visiting our old friends, Puke and Snot.  These comedians have been a staple of the show since 1974 and we make sure to see them each year.  Their double entendres keep mom and dad laughing while the young boys giggle at their antics even though they have no clue what they're talking about.  At least we hope they have no clue what they're talking about!

Shortarmguy and Puke go way back.

Shortarmguy and Snot also go way back. 

I can remember dealing with puke and snot ever since I was a baby.  As far as the performers go, however, this was the first time I'd ever talked with either of them in person.  Since I've been going to their shows for at least 15 years,  I'm certain they must have remembered seeing me in the audience before.  I stand out like a sore thumb.  Either that or a guy with no thumbs.  Whichever stands out more...

Our other favorite show is the joust where several crazy men dress up in armor and charge each other with large wooden lances until one of them gets knocked off their horse.  Then they beat each other with swords until one of them is declared the winner.  It looks a lot like professional wrestling, but not quite as realistic.

We had a bit of sad news this week when we found out that Miss Sheri's Uncle Fred and Aunt Mary were able to sell their house and are moving from Minnesota to Arizona.  Can't imagine why anyone would want to leave this climate for that one!  We will sure miss these guys!!  Not sure why, but all of our relatives keep moving away from us.  Maybe it's our breath...




September 10, 2006

Summer went away in a flash in Minnesota and the void was quickly filled in by some freaky cold weather.  So the Shortarmguy family was forced to break out the jackets earlier than normal this year.   We haven't opened up the Long johns drawer quite yet...but I'm sure it will be coming soon.  Gotta keep those privates warm, don't ya know!

Luke and Avery were belly aching about summer being over and having to start second grade.  Until they went to their class and discovered there was a snake in their home room!  Now they can't wait to go back!  Sounds like a great name for a movie...."Snakes in a Class!"  Nah...

Avery had his first soccer game this week which was a lot of fun!  Until Luke arrived.  He was supposed to be on the same team , but has been banned from playing this year because of his hand surgery.  So instead of cheering, he mostly screams at the other team to "take out" his brother.  It's not a very pretty sight.   

After the game, the boys started beating one another silly until finally the police arrived and arrested them.  All right, that's not entirely accurate.  We went to a nearby neighborhood celebration and met this nice officer who let them tour his patrol car.  I asked if I could also play with his gun, but he just looked at me funny.  Why do I get the strange feeling this won't be the last time they'll share one of these back seats?

The Dude held his annual Fantasy Football draft on Wednesday night which is always good for a laugh or two.  I ended up with Larry Johnson, Brian Westbrook, and Marvin Harrison as my key players in both of my leagues this year.  I also went for TJ Whosyourmama but I didn't have any luck getting him.  Championship!

This nice gentleman is named Nick and he's one of Jay Erickson's customers.  The other day, I walked into the Nor-tech tech room, where I found Jay and Nick having a conversation with Steve "Cuds" Cuddihy.  Not wanting to disturb them, I walked to the other side of the room pretending I was looking for something.  Well, all of a sudden, Jay yells over to me and says "Hey, Todd!  My customer thinks you look like Shortarmguy."  Appearing embarrassed, Nick turned to Jay to shush him.  I walked up and said "Yeah, I get that a lot.....not sure why!"

But it's not all fun and games at my job.  I still have enemies like Nick Rahman around.  Nick and I had a tussle about a week or so ago and we didn't talk for a few days.  During our period of separation, Nick entertained himself by forwarding this photo to my fellow co-workers featuring the similarities between Shortarmguy and The Lord Of The Rings' character Gollum.  He might be on to something there.

On Saturday night, we hooked up with our friends the Hornbuckles along with Jason Alexander and his brother, Andy.  We went to Buca in downtown Minneapolis and ate some darn good Italian food.   We also celebrated Andy's upcoming birthday in January because we just love to sing that Happy Birthday song.







September 3, 2006

It was Monster Truck Week for the Shortarmguy Household!  It started at the local Napa Auto Parts Store on Sunday.  We saw the truck parked near the highway so we stopped to get some pictures.  The driver was a nice guy.  He told us he was going to drive over some cars later that afternoon and we should come back to watch.  He then gave the boys autographed pictures and said to go into the store for some free Dilly Bars.  He was one of the greatest men I've ever met in my entire life!

We probably sat too close as we watched because we learned later in the week that these things roll over pretty easily.  Luckily our family didn't get smashed.  Luke and Avery did learn a very valuable lesson that every 7 year old should know: It's really fun to drive trucks into cars!!


I took some video of the event so you could share in our Sunday afternoon enjoyment.  Sadly, I don't have the ability to share the Dilly Bars over the internet.

On Wednesday, Shortarmguy took the afternoon to go to the Minnesota State Fair with the boys.   While visiting the vendor area, we encountered a new friend of ours named Sean Ung who is an extremely talented craftsman.  He's a Wood Carver who owns and operates a business called Splendid Nature.   If you're into stuff made from wood, be sure to check out his site!   I love wood!

The reason we went to the fair was for the Monster Truck Nationals hosted in the Coliseum.  Six trucks were performing all sorts of crazy tricks, races, and jumps.  Also showing off was a psycho on a motor bike and a fire breathing dragon named Draco.  The second I walked in the room, my testosterone levels reached a height they'd never attained before.  It felt kind of tingly.

Draco was much cooler than I expected.  He shot fire from his mouth, sprayed some kind of goo at the audience, and ate cars to shreds.  I wish I could have him follow me to work each morning.  He'd come in pretty handy whenever I feel the urge to perform some road rage on a fellow commuter!


I made another video showing the Monster Truck Rally highlights.  I hope you enjoy them!

On Friday night, Miss Sheri and I had a special treat to go golfing at Cleary Lake Golf Course in Prior Lake.  Naturally, my wife kicked my butt in the game, but we had a dang good time any ways.


I'm guessing many of you are curious how a guy named Shortarmguy can golf so I thought it would be fun to include this video.  It's hard to see where the ball lands, but I'm pretty sure I found it in the hole.  I just can't remember for certain.







August 27, 2006

On Saturday, we stopped by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community's annual Wacipi.  It's a celebration with fun, food, and festivities centered around a dancing competition with Native Americans displaying their traditional regalia.  I tried to gather the courage to get a picture with one of them, but I didn't get many inviting looks from the participants.  This gentleman reluctantly agreed to allow me to take his photograph, but gave me a strong feeling he wanted to to celebrate another tradition by scalping me.  I didn't ask anyone else.

This security guard was very nice and gave the Shortarmguy family a lift.  It was pretty cool until my mom placed her hand on his inner thigh causing him to suddenly accelerate and swerve erratically.  The four of us on the back had to hold on for dear life so mama could get her thrills! 

Evil Luke made a visit last weekend, which was kind of expected after his hand surgery two days before.  I don't know if it's the anesthesia or fears of previous surgeries that brings us our old friend, but we knew he was here when Luke screamed "I'll have to wear this cast for 2 years" and "I'll never get to go swimming again".  But he was able to exorcise his demon by Monday and Happy Luke is back with us!  He even played Freeze Tag with the Cub Scouts on Monday night which was pretty darn cool to see!! 

As I've written about before, Luke's favorite activity is Frog Hunting.  So to try to make him happy, we let him  do it only a couple days after his surgery.  His mom strapped a garbage bag around his cast and off he went with his net in his short arm.  I didn't think he had a chance in heck of catching one....

But I guess I need to have more faith in my son!  He caught this little guy after a short period of trying.  He was tickled pink.  He was so excited that we decided to let him kill it any way he wanted.  Just kidding, animal lovers!  We follow a rigid catch and release policy with frogs.  We used to bring them home and keep them in an aquarium, but that proved to be a major pain in the butt!  Who wants to pay $6 a week for crickets to feed something that can eat in the park for free! 

Avery followed in the long brotherly tradition of  reminding his sibling of all the fun activities that he would be missing while wearing a cast.  Luke told us he would be ok with it if Avery jumped off the boat a few times, then proceeded to have a tantrum after he started.  We let Avery do it just long enough for Luke to spin his head on his neck in a complete circle.  Then we knew it was time to stop. 

On Friday night, the boys and I took a night walk down to the lake to let Sunny go swimming.  When I saw the dog's glowing eyes, I had a pretty good idea where Luke's exorcised demon ended up going.  Evil Sunny!







August 20, 2006

On Tuesday night, we celebrated Miss Sheri's 39th birthday by playing mini-golf.  It's one of the wilder activities we could imagine doing.  The match was pretty competitive with multi-colored balls falling left and right.  Although we didn't keep score, I'm quite certain I won.  And I've been reminding my family of that fact every single day! 

Grandma Linda joined us for the game which was a bit embarrassing since she insisted on having a golf cart and caddy drive her around the course.  She also screamed "Fore" at the top of her lungs after every single shot.  I don't think the mini golf people are going to let us come back.

On Wednesday, Miss Sheri took the boys to the Minnesota Zoo to see the brand new meerkats.  The old family of meerkats had to be killed a couple of weeks ago after a kid reached into the cage and was bit by one of them.  Rather than subject the child to treatment for rabies, they destroyed the animals to make sure they weren't rabid.  It's created quite a bit of controversy locally and you can read more about it in the Star Tribune here.  Everybody wants to blame the parents for not being responsible enough to watch their kid and these poor creatures had to sacrifice their lives because of it.  Personally, I think the zoo should allow each visitor to kill an animal of their choice to boost attendance.  Just kidding, animal lovers.    

On Wednesday night, we went swimming at Grandma's pool for probably the last time in 2006.  Luke had his hand surgery on Thursday and will be wearing a cast into mid-September.  I'm still pushing to let him swim with the cast because I think it would be good for him  to learn to swim with 10 pounds of plaster attached to his strong arm, but his mom is strongly against the idea.

Avery and I have been working on a new underwater dance routine and I think we're getting quite good.  We're thinking of starting a synchronized swimming squad at the boys school this year should we get enough support from the community. 

On Thursday, we had Luke's hand surgery which was  more intense than we were expecting.  The anesthesiologist made us quite nervous reminding us that our son was born with a serious heart condition.  Normally, we tend to block those unpleasant thoughts.   Luke was very brave going into his tenth surgery, but did get a little freaked out when we walked him into the actual operating room.   The surgeon cleared out a bunch of scar tissue from his last hand surgery which had been causing him discomfort and had to do a skin graft over that spot.  She then did a tendon transfer from his ring finger to his reconstructed thumb to hopefully give it more strength.  All went well and we were able to leave the hospital without spending the night.  Thanks to everyone for their prayers for Luke! 





August 13, 2006

The week started with a visit by Miss Sheri's parents as well as her Aunt and Uncle, Fred & Mary.  I'd like to say a lot of really exciting stuff happened during their visit, but this picture is pretty much the highlight.

We have a big week ahead of us for Luke.  He's having a surgery on his hand this Thursday.  You can read about his history here.  The surgeon is doing a tendon transfer from his pinkie to his "new thumb"  to hopefully give it some additional strength and flexibility.  We just told him yesterday this was happening because we didn't want him to obsess about it for the past month.  He had a tantrum, locked himself in the bathroom, cried hard for a few minutes, then came out and was completely rational.  He was happy when we told him we didn't think he'd need to spend the night in the hospital and then smiled when we told him he'd have to wear a cast and could get all his new friends at school to sign it.  If you could keep Luke in your prayers this week, we'd really appreciate it!!!!

Avery has been desiring Roller Coaster rides lately which is challenging since Luke has received a lifetime ban from big rides by his cardiologist.  Luke has been a pretty good sport about it, but it's hard to explain to him that sometimes life just isn't fair.   I tell him that every time we get screwed in life, God pays us back when we get to Heaven by giving us an extra warm batch of chocolate chip cookies.  It seems to help.

On Saturday, we went to the Mall of America where I spent a good amount of timing hanging with Rapunzel.  Things were going great until I had this sudden urge to climb her hair.  I'm not real strong at climbing so I had to wrap it tightly around my arms and pulled and pulled, but I couldn't scale the side of the structure.   My feet kept slipping.  I ended up pulling her head so hard she started screaming "You're giving me whiplash!" causing Mall Security to separate me from the young lady.  I guess I'm not her Hero.






August 6, 2006

It was Lakefront Days this week at Lakefront Park in Prior Lake, Minnesota.  The Shortarmguy Family went there four nights in a row searching for a good time, but ended up doing silly things like riding the fake bull pictured above.  I'd like to say I conquered the beast, but the ride operator took it pretty easy on me when we quickly discovered that my arms weren't built for bull-riding.  He kept it on a low speed with minimal spinning.  I posted the video here, but I'm not very proud of my performance!


I guess God just didn't want me to be a cowboy!

Wednesday night was the Canine Carnival, so we had to bring Sunny for some fun activities including Bobbing for Hot Dogs which he's seen doing above.  He enjoyed the eating activities very much, but was also quite excited for the opportunity to sniff so many strange dog's private areas.  Wouldn't the world be a much happier place if people would just learn to greet each other the same way?

On Thursday night, we were entertained by a fantastic singing group named Marcoux Corner.  They sang many family favorites a capella and told me it was OK to post this clip online. 


It's not the greatest video I've ever shot, but I thought it might be fun to give you a taste of their music.  

After we listened to the music for awhile, we entertained ourselves by mingling with the community workers and learned all sorts of neat things about our town's fire trucks,  street sweepers and snow plows.  If these guys are willing to wake up at 2am to go out in a raging blizzard to make the streets safe for my family, than darn it....I'm going to give them some RESPECT and pretend like I care about the capabilities of these massive machines!

On Saturday, we hooked up with the Cub Scouts and marched in the Lakefront Day's Parade.  The float had a Pinewood Derby racetrack set up for the kids to race their cars on while we rolled through a massive crowd of screaming fans.  Smile and wave, kids.  Smile and wave!

Avery and I chose to ride in the float while Miss Sheri and Luke walked the streets passing out candy.  It was hard for our boys to understand the concept that at this parade, we're giving candy to the other kids instead of hoarding as much as we possibly can for ourselves.  We still loaded our pockets with our own supplies every chance we could.

Lakefront Days ended for us with a lame fireworks display on Saturday night.  We were able to get real close to where they were shooting them off which was kind of cool, until Luke got some ashes in his eyes and thought he was going to die.  Lucky it wasn't one of the burning embers I saw dropping near to us, then his belly aching probably would have been justified.  I shot a quick video clip of the finale and posted it here so you can all share the same excitement that we did.  Wow.







July 30, 2006

Another busy July week at the Shortarmguy household.  On Tuesday, Miss Sheri took Luke and Avery to the Minnesota Zoo.  Nothing really exciting happened, but I liked the boy's reflection in this photograph.

On Thursday, we all went to the Scott County Fair in Jordan, Minnesota.  Every year, I vow to take the family for a helicopter ride.  And every year, when I ask the price....I say No Fricking Way am I paying $50 each for a three minute trip!  That is just way too much money!  At least the guy didn't charge me to take this photo!

They had a new attraction this year; fishing in the Trout Pond!  Of course, they don't advertise that these fish aren't stupid.  No way are they going to fall for the old eat the floating fly and get a hook in the lip trick again.  We did have fun trying to snag them, though.

No trip to the Fair would be complete without playing a few rounds of BINGO!  Where else can a pair of 7 year olds legally gamble against adult strangers?   We tried to order them some booze at the same time, but they just looked at us funny.  I guess that feature will be added next year.

We went through the barns and paid respect to the prize winning animals.  This 3 month old calf looked like he was born with a serious eye problem, but was kind enough to show only his good eye for this picture.  That wins a blue ribbon in my book!

Aunt Tammy popped into town with Baby Lindsay to go to a wedding.  We were leaving town, so we were only  able to see her for a quick lunch, which is about the perfect amount of time I like to spend with my sister.  Just kidding, Tammy!

Over the weekend, we had the pleasure of making our annual trek to Rock Rapids, Iowa for the Timmerman Family Reunion.  There was a picnic and other activities, but it was dang hot so we went to the pool the first chance we could sneak away.

Click here for 2006 Timmerman Reunion Photos

Avery has been going off the diving board for a few years, but this was his first without a life jacket.  Sadly, Luke got screwed when the lifeguard told us they no longer allow kids to do it with lifejackets.  I'm still trying to figure out why they would have such a silly rule.

Perhaps the no diving board rule for Lukie was for the best, judging from his expression going down the water slide.  I swear he told us he was having a blast and went down 4 or 5 times.  It wasn't until going through these photos the next day that we noticed this expression of terror on his face!

Every year we do Go Kart Races at Thunder Road in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  We had a great time tearing up the race tracks and endangering the lives of our children while jockeying for position against the cousins and in-laws.  Isn't that what Family Reunions are supposed to be all about?

Luke and Avery both screamed at their father to slow down while they rode shotgun with him.  Dad was in a heated battle with Uncle Jerry, so their cries fell on deaf ears.  They both walked away without a scratch, but were a little shaken up.   Luke commented to Aunt Deb that all he kept thinking was "I'm 7 years old and I don't want to die!"  Now if that experience isn't worth $5.50, I don't know what is.




July 23, 2006

Shortarmguy celebrated his 36th birthday on Thursday!  We did some pretty exciting stuff like take Sunny to the beach to throw sticks in the water.  I always knew my birthdays would get crazier and crazier every year!

Luke spent his beach time hunting for frogs which is still his favorite activity.  He's become pretty talented at catching them, which I'm sure the frogs really love.  He's seen here working on a new technique where he traps them with the top of his head, but I don't think it's been effective yet.

Avery thinks Luke is a complete weirdo when it comes to playing with reptiles.  He prefers to scooter around on the cement trails and scream at his brother whenever he wants to show him what he's caught.

On Friday night, Shortarmguy tempted fate by inviting some of his Iowa buddies up for a backyard camping weekend with all of their families.  We had a total of 16 people including 8 children staying at our house which is an invitation for chaos!  Mix in the antics of their fathers and the stage was set for a visit to either the police station or hospital.  Thank God we avoided both!

Krazy Kory brought his son, Ben, and his main squeeze, Kelli. 

Sugarman Ron Myers brought his wife, Kristie, and their sons Luca and Lance. 

And Jammin' Jason Davis brought his wife, Aimee, and sons Spencer, Seth, and little Sammy Davis.  I always get a little stressed out when I have a large group of people staying at my house because I have a slight case of obsessive compulsive disorder.  I get really irritable when lots of young people are running through my house and touching my things!  But all in all the weekend went pretty darn good and we only experienced damage estimates in the low double digits.  Not too shabby!

Most of Saturday was spent in the boat or in the water because it was dang hot.   Dang hot. 

This wonderful lady spent a good amount of time pulling weeds on the shore near to where we had the boat anchored.  This area of the lake is known to be a hot party spot, so I figured she wore this particular swimsuit on purpose so she could send a message to all the loud and annoying people she has to deal with in her backyard.  It would be pretty cool if she got a tattoo that said Kiss My A**!

On Saturday Night, Grandma came over to help Sheri cook for the massive BBQ that her husband planned.  We had fresh Iowa vegetables to go with some good Minnesota meat.   We washed it down with some good Ole Booze as well, but I'm not sure which state that originated from.   The state of intoxication is where it ended, though.

Our old friend the tire swing died this week after giving one ride too many.  It's now residing at the great Goodyear Resting Place in the sky.  


July16, 2006

It was a busy week!  On Wednesday and Thursday, Dr. Bollig and I took a road-trip to Milwaukee to visit Shortarmguy's largest customer.  These ladies were a blast to hang-out with as we ate lunch while watching Nathan's 2006 Hot Dog Eating Competition!  I never realized how many naughty comments could be made during one of these contests.  Dr. Bollig was feeling especially feisty during this trip because he earned a speeding ticket on the way down from a very nice Wisconsin State Patrol Officer.  The cop forced him to pay $260 on the spot or the alternative would be to go to jail.  He volunteered to send me to jail, but the officer preferred swiping his credit card instead.

Valerie was our waitress when we visited the hotel bar, Coppers, in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  Valerie knows more about Doberman Pinschers than any person I've ever met.  She also seemed genuinely excited about the prospect of appearing on my website, so she earned very high marks in my book!

Friday was Luke and Avery's 7th Birthday, so we took them to see the Minnesota Twins and had a great time! They beat the Indians in extra innings.  The Twins that is, not my boys.

We ended up leaving before the game was over, but not before we saw two different people bloody their heads  falling down the Metrodome's cement stairs.  Kind of surreal!  I'm considering having the boys wear helmets the next time we go to watch a game!

The Twins finally have a new ballpark coming, so in a few years we'll be able to watch games under the sun instead of the roof.  That will be nice.  Now if they can only figure out a way to make baseball a more exciting game to watch, we'll be buying a lot more tickets!

We ended up parking next to one of Nor-tech's  Voyageur billboards when we were downtown Minneapolis.  I asked the parking attendant if we could park for free since the company I worked for spent so much money already to have this sign here....but he just looked at me like I was stupid.

On Saturday, Luke and Avery had their seventh birthday party and invited their first grade class over to celebrate.  Spending three hours with 18 seven year olds made Miss Sheri and I desperate to adopt a bunch more children so we could enjoy experiences like this all the time.  




July 9, 2006

The Shortarmguy Family had a fantastic Fourth of July Holiday!  We started off on Monday night by visiting Canterbury Park to gamble on some horse races, listen to the tunes of Boogie Wonderland, and watch some fireworks.  Grandma Linda walked into the place, looked at the horses and said number three is going to win.  So she bet $3 on it and sure enough, the dang horse galloped into first!  Sadly it was a 3 to 5 odds favorite so her bet was only worth $5.00, but it still impressed the heck out of me!

Joining us at the festivities were our old friends and debauchery partners, The Hornbuckles.  Young Alyssa is growing up to be quite the dancer!  She and her mother and I worked our way to the stage when Boogie Wonderland was rocking and she actually earned a crowd of onlookers watching her shake her Groove Thing!  Shakira watch your back!

The boys hung out with Jonathan as far away from the dancing as they could possibly get!  They just sat in the stand getting wired sneaking drinks of Dr. Pepper. 

Canterbury Park's Fireworks Show was one of the most incredible displays I've ever seen in my life!  When they did their grand finale they sent up so many rockets that you couldn't even make out the individual explosions.  The whole sky was one big fiery rainbow!  

On Tuesday the 4th, we went boating and bumped into Tony & Tonya Bonsante.  Many of you will remember Tony from NBC Reality Show The Contender which featured Sylvester Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard.   He was one of the competing boxers in the show's first season and was involved in two of the most exciting knockouts.  One giving and one receiving.  Tony is in training for his next fight which will be on ESPN2 on July 21st.   We sparred around just a little and he seemed pretty impressed with my left hook! 

For those of you who watched the show, you'll remember Tony constantly talked about how important his kids were to him and the reason he boxed was to provide a better life for them.  In the couple hours we spent together, I admired what a Happy Family they all seemed to be!  So happy that I asked if it would be OK  if I moved in with them, but sadly they declined.

On Friday, the Shortarmguy Family went to Cub Scout camp at Camp Kiwanis in Marine on Saint Croix, Minnesota.  We spent two nights camping, singing, fishing, shooting, crafting, swimming, hiking, campfiring, horseback riding, boating, pigging out on good ole camp food, and doing all sorts of other fun things!  

The boys loved The Challenge Course which was pretty intense for 6 year olds.  Avery hung like a monkey from the Zip Line.  I told him that it kind of depressed me he can hold on better at 6 years old than I've ever been able to in my entire life.  And then I pushed him off and stomped sulking into the woods.

Lukie follows the same path as his father when it comes to the heavy arm activities, but I must say he held his own pretty good!  We're trying to build up his strength so we can take him mountain climbing some day.

Where else but Scout Camp could a 6 year old get to play with guns and shoot arrows at mock animals.  We were exposed to an incredible amount of testosterone this weekend.  Which is good because I was primarily raised by women, so I worry that my boys might not be getting the correct dosages at home.   Joining the Cub Scouts has been such a wonderful move for my boys.  There's so much emphasis on God and Country and just all around wholesome family activities.  Makes me Proud To Be An American!

I didn't think shooting was going to be Luke's thing, but the kid was a natural.  Of course, we helped him hold the gun, but he aimed, shot and hit the target with incredible accuracy.    Now he's bugging us to get a gun for home!  That's all my neighbors need...

The boys are lucky their mom was there to show them the ropes!  Because if they had to depend on their father to guide them through this kind of stuff, I would fear for the health and safety of the other campers and staff.  You don't hear a lot of Expert Sharpshooters go by the nickname Shortarmguy!



July 2, 2006

On Saturday night, Miss Sheri and I had the honor of attending the wedding reception of Brady and Gina.   It was a fantastic celebration for two wonderful people.  Although I haven't known the two of them for very long, when I see them together I sense such an incredible bond between them.  I'm so happy that they found each other!  It's just awesome to see true love in real life!

There were various representatives of the Nor-tech crew in attendance.  And as usual when this gang gets together, it got a little crazy.  Boozin', Dancin', Hootin', Hollarin', Trash Talkin'.  And that was just what  happened in the men's room!   Luckily, none of us ended up in jail! 

Brady's dance moves were quite impressive.  He replicated everyone from Michael Jackson to 'NSync and showed us a few unique moves that I'm not positive are legal in Minnesota.  The boy is pretty good at computer sales, but that may just be a Stop Gap until he gets his shot on the next season of Dancing With The Stars!

The Nor-tech crew had to respond with some dance moves of our own!  This particular routine took us about 3 weeks to choreograph and practice, but I think it was worth it.  When Nick and Jeff performed the finale where they did handstands while balancing chairs on each of their feet, it brought a tear to my eye.  I saw several grown men weeping at the pure grace displayed by these artists.

On Thursday night, we did the boat ride thing.  Luke achieved a new accomplishment when he jumped off the side of the boat like Avery loves to do.  Previously, he'd only enter the water by sliding off the back ladder.  Of course, we make him wear a life jacket and hold a noodle while he does it.  That whole sinking thing still keeps us pretty paranoid!   

Sunny created some problems for us.  Although he's become a very good passenger on the boat, he really couldn't handle us all swimming without him.  Miss Sheri was trying to hold him when his collar busted and fell into the water as he jumped in to me.  He scratched the dickens out of my stomach and chest as I tried to coax him back on the boat.  Then that was a struggle since he couldn't quite figure out the ladder.  After paying $25 to replace his collar and license tags, we've made a family decision that Sunny no longer gets to join us on boat rides where we'll be swimming.  He's quite stressed out about it.

We saw this crane on the shore as we rode by. At least I think it's a crane....he might have another name.

Like Fred.




June 25, 2006

This weekend was Dan Patch Days in Savage, Minnesota.  It's a great festival that the Shortarmguy Family has enjoyed attending for several years now.  We ate some good food at the Taste of Savage, did a little Boozin' while listening to Casablanca Orchestra, and watched the boys beat on other kids with inflatable bats and hammers.  Is there a better way to spend a Saturday night?

It almost didn't happen, though.  Right as we were getting ready to go, the thunder-clouds rolled in and it started pouring.  We arrived while the sky was still spitting and watched everyone scramble to figure out what was happening.  Half the restaurants packed up and left and the band was getting restless and wanting to walk.  But we persevered and mooched some free chicken, rice, ice cream, and beer from the soaking wet vendors.  Luckily we waited, because the skies cleared, the sun came out, and the big party ensued ending with a dazzling fireworks display. 

On Sunday, we went to the Dan Patch parade to watch our children get into fistfights with other kids for free pieces of candy being thrown at them.  We saw my co-worker, Rob Bauer, and his wife and son as they marched with the Savage Sno-pacers snowmobile club.  I think next year they should bring actual snowballs to whip at the mass of children wrestling in the street over the Treasured Tootsie Rolls.

Late in the parade, we saw former Time Person of the Year, Coleen Rowley, campaigning for a spot in the US Congress.  She had several security guards surrounding her, but they didn't seem to flinch at all when this Crazy Crippled guy bounded up to her to pose for this picture.  They were all very nice and her campaign manager even asked us to email him a copy of the photo.  I think they recognize that an endorsement from Shortarmguy is a pretty valuable thing!  Either that or she's forwarding it to some of her old friends in the FBI so they can start an investigation on me!

Luke and Avery only have two baseball games left before the end of their season.  So we thought we could celebrate by letting them play with fire.  If only they could focus on their baseball games as much as they do these sparklers, we'd have some future Major Leaguers on our hands!

On Saturday, I stopped by Mystic Lake Casino to pay my monthly charitable contribution to the local Indian Tribe.  It makes me feel so good to be able to help them. 

I take a little back road on my drive to the casino and always see this weird looking creature on the route.  I believe it's a peacock, but I didn't get a chance to verify by lifting his feathers.  I don't think they're native to this area, so I'm guessing it's a pet of one of the farm houses in the vicinity.  But when I see him, he's always walking on the road by himself.   He ran away from me when I stepped out of my van to take this picture.   I always used to think peacocks were somewhat attracted to me, but that theory has now been blown.  How depressing. 



June 18, 2006

Shortarmguy bought a new pair of roller blades this week so I could race the boys to see which one of us could crack our head open on the pavement first.   Since I always like to give them the advantage, I decided to not wear a helmet while also being tied to a hyperactive Sunny dog who likes to weave back and forth in front of my feet and stops without warning.  Stay tuned for pictures of my bloody wounds in the coming weeks.

On Friday night, we connected with some friends of ours from church for a fun night of socializing and screaming children bouncing off the walls.  I didn't warn the Evers Family that I'd put their picture on my website for the world to see, so I figure I'd better keep my comments about the evening as generic as possible.  We had a very nice time!  I hope they don't sue me!

Now here's some friends that are used to being exploited on my site.  The Hornbuckles and Jason Alexander came over Saturday for the quickest boat ride of my career.  It started off really cool.  Right after launching, somebody on a neighboring boat yelled over "Is that Shortarmguy?" This marked the second time in my life that I was recognized as Shortarmguy by a complete stranger in public.  Either that or he was just boldly stating the obvious.  Things then took a turn for the worse.  We were slightly worried by the dark clouds nearby when we put the boat in the water, but little did we know that we were going to be drenched by a downpour only 7 minutes later.  We quickly put the boat away....and then the sun came back into the sky!  Just my luck!

I don't know why it is when we hook up with these friends, we somehow always end up wet!  It's kind of cool!  I quickly changed out of my soaked shorts so I didn't have a recurring case of crotch rot that plagued my Texas vacation last week.  Not that this is very relevant to the story, but I just love saying the words crotch rot!

Luke is becoming quite the skilled Hula Hoopster!  He tends to bounce off walls and stairs, though, so we make him wear a helmet at all times whenever he performs.

Avery is cooler than his father.  Also more least if you compare our bicep bulges in this picture.  I need to start lifting weights...



June 11, 2006

The Shortarmguy Family flew down to Texas to spend a week long vacation with my two sisters.  It was hotter than a burnin' ember!  Luckily for us Minnesota Eskimos, we mainly had water activities on the agenda.  We spent the first couple of days in my sister Tracy's pool.  When we weren't in the water, we fought like cats and dogs as usually happens when my family gets together.

We burned up some of our aggression by playing games of water basketball against one another and many elbows were thrown.  Luckily, we let the little children play with us so I had the chance to at least dominate someone!

The boys had a fantastic time with their Texas cousins.  They swam like fish every chance they could and loved squirting and splashing anyone who came near.  They also really liked peeing in the pool.

Luke and Lauren took a break from the pool to go on some nature hunts!  We helped them capture a lizard and two huge toads.  They grow them a lot bigger in Texas!  Luke tried to convince us to sneak them home on the plane, but we convinced him they would die so he let them all go.  Where they probably went off somewhere to die anyways...but at least I didn't have to deal with the corpses. 

Don't we take happy pictures together?  You'd think my sisters and I actually got along!  But we fight, and scream, and yell at each other.... usually in public places where we make a huge scene and everyone wonders what's our problem!  But the nice thing about my family is....we don't hold grudges.  We can be so mad at each other one minute and the best friends the next.  It would probably be nice if we didn't fight at all...but where's the fun in that?

On Tuesday, we did a long road trip down to San Antonio.  It gave us the opportunity to get really pissed trying to have 3 vans follow one another on the insane Texas interstate system.  But when we finally arrived, we had a really good time on the river walk.  Mainly because we downed about 15 beers apiece.

We took a tour on a boat that looked just like this, but the pictures turned out crappy.  We were pretty rowdy as we floated by restaurants and shopping malls, singing and laughing and hollering and having a great time.  I'm guessing the other passengers didn't have quite as much fun since we were a little obnoxious, but at least we didn't fight!

On Wednesday and Thursday, we spent the day at Sea World which was absolutely amazing!  We encountered all kinds of strange and fascinating creatures.  Some of them with Blowholes bigger than our own! 

They have a new show for Shamu called Believe which was really cool!  Luke and Avery went down near the pool with their cousins and ended up getting soaked by the big whale.  It was so hot though, I don't think they minded.  I also became soaked in a variety of different ways during the trip, but wasn't nearly as happy.  Walking around in wet shorts all day gave me a nasty case of crotch rot!

Probably everyone's favorite thing to do was feeding the dolphins.  I was amazed that you could have such a close encounter with so many of these beautiful animals.  They're really fun to feed with little fish you buy.  It's a little scary feeding them though, because they have big teeth and I don't have much on my hands to offer a hungry dolphin.

On Friday, we received a phone call from my dad with some really good news.  It appears the third round of chemo did the trick and his leukemia is now in full remission!  We really appreciate everyone's prayers that helped make this possible!!

June 4, 2006

Luke and Avery had the honor of marching in Monday's Memorial Day Parade in Prior Lake.  They were so excited to be part of it!  Until they discovered it wasn't a parade where people threw candy at them.  Their spirits picked up when they saw these cool cars with guns...but then the sadness came back after learning they wouldn't get the opportunity to shoot them.

I tried hard to explain that Memorial Day was intended to pay tribute to the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our country and our freedom.  But the concept may have been a bit too much for them to comprehend. 

But they marched like good little troopers and I found myself proud to have them in the Cub Scouts.  It's just brought so many good, clean, wholesome activities into their lives.  I hope it's enough to counteract the bad, twisted, and disturbing experiences they have had with their father and may possibly give them the chance to have normal lives some day.  

I wish I could say we're having the same success with baseball.  We're starting to have our doubts that our boys will make it to the Hall of Fame.  Luke has learned some valuable lessons this year during how to build a sand castle without getting hit in the head with a line drive.  He had a good game this week.  Not only did he have a really nice hit, but also an injured bird came on the field and he chased that around for awhile.

Avery stays a little more focused on the game, but tends to screw with the players on the other team.   He taunts them while they stand on the base next to him.  I went out to talk to him about it a couple of games ago and he responded with a loud "Parents aren't allowed on the field!"  I was bursting with pride!

May 29, 2006

Shortarmguy's dad and step mom surprised us by flying into town for Memorial Day weekend.  When I last wrote about my father, I had gone to Gulfport, Mississippi to see him in the hospital battling a nasty blood infection which developed after his third chemo treatment for leukemia.  He could barely lift his head only a couple weeks ago, so for us to get him up to Minnesota for the first time in years and get out on the boat was quite a Blessing for us!

This was only our second boat ride of the summer and luckily the weather cooperated quite nicely!  It was in the nineties and quite sunny which gave us the opportunity to sunburn every available inch of skin we exposed!  These burns are always quite fun and teach us to glob on the sunscreen for the rest of the season!

As usual, Shortarmguy got too hammered and had to recruit a designated driver for the rest of the trip.  Just kidding!  There was not a drop of alcohol consumed during the entire weekend!  In hindsight, that's a bit depressing.

Avery had been driving us nuts all day to go swimming.  So we finally pulled into Prior Lake's Candy Cove and threw down the anchor.  Then Avery didn't want to jump in, so I had to jump in first!  Then he didn't want to stop jumping.

Although the air temperature was in the nineties, the water was only 69 degrees.  Only the boys and I were brave enough to take the plunge!  Shortarmguy Shrinkage was in full effect!

After a full day in the hot sun, boating and swimming, Luker was just plum tuckered out!  To prepare him for his later college years, his mother and I shaved his eyebrows and painted his toenails hot pink.  That will teach him to pass out on my boat!

Sunny wants to remind everyone to use their heads this summer and always think safety first!  Wear your bike helmets, elbow pads, and knee pads!



May 21, 2006

The Voyageur Billboards started appearing through-out the Twin Cities this week, so the Nor-tech Marketing Team took a road trip to go visit a few of them.  Shortarmguy, Dr. Bollig, Jay-E, and the Dude....sounds like a gangsta rap group to me!  All we needed was two turntables and a microphone and we would have been busting some mean rhymes!

Last Saturday, the Shortarmguy Family went to Grand Rios in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota!  It's an incredibly fun water park with attractions for all ages.  Luke and I can be seen here under the Big Splash!  They say there's 500 gallons of water that drops from this big bucket every 5 minutes.  I'm guessing there's a couple gallons of urine in there as well.

The boys loved the kiddy water slides while Miss Sheri enjoyed the hot tubs.  My favorite part was flinging my body through dark tunnels, twisting in directions I haven't twisted since I was a teenager, and slapping my chunky flesh into the cold water.  On second thought, I didn't have that much fun.

The best slide they have is called the Hurricane!  I did this one several times.  You drop down a steep slide for four stories and then you come flying out into this huge toilet bowl, spin around a couple of times, and then fall through the bottom in whatever contortion your body has formed into 8 feet of cold water.  I finally know what it feels like to be poop!

On Saturday, the Shortarmguy family went to Valley Fair with the Cub Scouts.  They sold us some discounted tickets and gave us the opportunity to visit the amusement park before it was officially open to the public.  Little did we know, that they also were selling tickets to 20,000 other scouting families thus making the lines longer than we'd ever seen.  The Wait To Thrill Ratio was just way too low.

The one neat thing to see was Valley Fair's blatant rip-off of the Wiggles with their own rock group, The Squiggles.  Talk about Copyright Infringement!  And the RIAA wants to sue 13 year olds for downloading Britney Spears songs.  Where's the justice?

The only roller coaster we went on due to the long lines was the Mad Mouse.  Lucky for us.  The following day, there was a big accident on their featured roller coaster, The Wild Thing.  Pretty scary!




May 14, 2006

Shortarmguy had a sudden change in schedule this week when my father called and told me I needed to fly down to Gulfport for a visit.  He's been battling Leukemia and recently went through his third round of chemotherapy treatments.  He had a nasty infection get into his blood stream which caused him all sorts of problems.  Although he was in pretty bad shape during the couple of days I was there, I'm thankful to say I just hung up the phone with him and he's doing much better.  He's talking about leaving the hospital in the next couple of days which would be great!  If you're a spiritual person, please keep my father in your prayers.  He and Joyce have had a pretty tough year to say the least!

One thing I can say for Gulfport Memorial Hospital is they sure have some pretty nurses!  I told my father that a sponge bath from this young lady had to be worth the price of admission!  All kidding aside, though, all the nurses that I met were wonderful people who gave great care to their patients.  I always have had tremendous respect for people who can do this type of work because it certainly isn't easy!

I was incredibly impressed with my dad and Joyce's house.  They've completely re-built it from just the frame in less than 8 months.  They have one of the only houses in their part of the city that is livable.  Joyce told me that Katrina left a watermark about 6 inches from the top ceiling.  And they're about a mile North of the Gulf of Mexico!   It is really mind boggling to imagine how much water struck this area during that Hellstorm!

Their house is on the bayou and I spent each morning going down to check out the wildlife.  I had to be pretty sneaky to catch this photo of a huge turtle.  I know it's probably pretty boring for most of you, but Luke thought it was the neatest picture in the whole world! 

Driving down the Gulf is just crazy.  It really feels like you're in a war zone.  The last time I visited, this highway was incredibly vibrant with businesses and activity.  Now it's eerily quiet.  It's especially bizarre driving down the street at night, since there's only the occasional street light and very few signs of civilization.  Several buildings have some walls still standing, but most have just been wiped away by a vicious wall of water. This is a photo of the Taco Bell we used to visit.

We ate at this Waffle House several times.  My dad told me that more than 500 restaurants were lost in the storm.  There are several businesses and restaurants re-opened, but most of them are off the beach.

I remember shopping at this Wal-mart on many occasions.  The roof held strong, but the entire lower part of the building was just erased.  It was right down the street from my dad's condo where he lived until about 6 months before the storm.  The condo was just a pile of rocks when we drove by it.

I probably was able to best get an idea of the force of the water after seeing this church which I was told was pretty new before the storm.  It was made of brick and several of the walls were destroyed.  

This was the Grand Casino and probably the place we spent the most time during our summer visits to Dad.  There used to be a big building attached to the boat which housed a Kidsquest that the boys loved and ended up about 200 yards away on the street.  The hotel is the building behind me in the top photo.  They say the water reached the 7th floor!

Seeing this Christmas tree ornament on the beach stuck with me.   This trip was really an eye opening experience.  I just couldn't get over how devastating this storm must have been.  I searched YouTube for videos that  showed the Hurricane as it happened and found this video here was shot very closely to where the above photos were taken.  It's unbelievable!



May 7, 2006

It's feeling like summer time!  Time for a nervous parent to have all sorts of new things to be paranoid about!  Every night my kids just want to go out and try new ways to potentially hurt themselves!  After Luke shattered his top two teeth on the school playground a couple weeks ago, I thought I could convince them to just stay inside until age eighteen.  It didn't work!

So I'm a basket case.  The other night I gave Miss Sheri a break.  The boys and I walked the dog down to the lake.  I let Sunny off the leash to go swimming. Since he can't always find the sticks I throw, he just keeps swimming farther and farther out into the water which makes me nervous.  I fear he'll go out too far and potentially need saving.

At the same time the dog is possibly near  drowning, Luke is hopping around on this slippery rock wall with his net trying to catch crabs or fish or frogs or whatever.  He keeps sliding around and I notice that the lake drop-off looks pretty steep. So I start to sweat just a little more because he's not a very good swimmer yet.  But he's having so much fun that I don't want to be a mean dad and tell him to stop.     

So while I'm picturing in my head methods of diving into the icy water to rescue my son and my dog at the same time, I notice Avery.  He's getting braver and braver with his scooter and is zipping done the hill at full speed.  I notice him weaving in and out of the rocky terrain with concrete curbs just staring up at him like vultures waiting to get a taste of my precious boy's tender bones.  At this point my heart starts beating too fast and I feel a little light headed.  Lucky for me, Miss Sheri came down to relieve me of duty just as I was at the brink of collapsing into a heap on the pavement due to a panic attack.   Being a parent is just so much fun!!!!!!

On Friday night, we hooked up with Jason Alexander and the Hornbuckles for a night of Bowling.  We discovered the Dance Dance Revolution machine and the heavy balls and pins went out the window.  We worked each other into sweaty messes.  Then we danced!

I'd seen people play this game many times before, but I had no idea how much work it was until I started shaking my booty trying to keep the beat with some strange Asian bubble gum pop music.  And I can only imagine how unbelievably silly Jason and I must have looked as our competitive juices flowed all over the pink and blue lights blinking at our feet.

The ladies crushed the boys in every Dance contest we had which was OK.  Then I found it very odd when they declared that for the rest of the night they were going to walk around the building together cheek to cheek.  But even though I felt weird about it at first, as usual it ended up being kind of a turn-on for me as the night came to a close.

At some point, we remembered we brought our children bowling, so we went to check on them.  Apparently Jonathan was teaching the boys the art of chest bumping whenever one of them rolled a good ball.  I thought it was pretty cool!


April 30, 2006

It was a rainy, crappy weekend so the Shortarmguy family really didn't do much at all.  We had all sorts of exciting plans including taking the boat out for it's maiden voyage to see if we could repeat last year's propeller smashing experience, but the weather just didn't cooperate. 

Most of the weekend was spent helping Grandma Linda relocate to her new condo.  She now only lives a couple of miles away from us which should work out pretty well because she's known for throwing some pretty wild parties.  If you're in town, bring your beer bongs!

Miss Sheri helped Grandma Linda with most of the heavy lifting.  It's nice to have a former farm girl for a wife who even after twelve years of marriage still falls for the excuse: "My arms are too short to carry that TV.  Sorry about that!"

Our major excitement of the week happened on Tuesday when our precious, accident-prone, son Luke shattered his front two teeth on the school playground.  Apparently he and a friend were trying to share a piece of equipment which was intended for one user.  When his friend jumped on the platform, it sent a metal bar smashing into Luke's face.  A quick visit to the dentist resulted in the remains of the teeth being yanked out.  Thank God they were still his baby teeth.  Going forward, Luke is required to be completely covered from head to toe in bubble wrap right after he leaves his bed each morning. 



April 23, 2006

The Shortarmguy Family spent Easter on the farm visiting Miss Sheri's parents.  It was cold and windy for the most part, but that didn't stop us from breaking the 4 Wheelers out and cruising through the corn fields.  Then Miss Sheri's brother pointed out that we need to be careful because it was so dry & windy, if we were to drop a spark, we might start a fire that would be nearly impossible to stop.  And I guess a massive brush fire is just not a good way to celebrate Easter.

Grandma Linda joined us for the trek to the farm.  Shortly after this photo was taken, she knocked Shortarmguy off the vehicle, floored it, and was last seen driving in the direction towards town.  We believe she spent the night at a biker bar, but who knows for sure!

Luke & Avery just love going to the farm to visit their cousins.  Sure, we can get them to pose like it's a peaceful visit together, but for the most part the time is spent in a massive pile wrestling, kicking, hitting, gouging, poking, and the occasional underwear pull.

It was an exciting week at Nor-tech when the company partnered with reseller Reason Computer to build a massive Cluster Super Computer capable of delivering more than 1 Teraflop of performance, whatever that means.  Dr Bollig is seen here with the team of engineers & technicians who developed the beast.  I'm estimating it can download  over 1000 naughty pictures per minute from the internet.  Now that would be a handy machine.

Monday night was the boy's last Cub Scout pack meeting of the year and it was their den's turn to present the colors.  I thought this picture of Luke saluting the American Flag right before the Pledge Of Allegiance was pretty darn cute!

Friday was Sunny's first birthday, so we had a little birthday party for him.  We sang to him, gave him a cupcake, and then took him to the lake for a swim which is his favorite activity.  Dang dog had a better birthday than I usually do!

On Saturday, we battled the crowds at the PTC Carnival at the Prior Lake High School.  Avery saw this King Of The Mountain climber and wanted to do nothing else but scale it, even though it took almost an hour to get through the line.   It's so much fun waiting in line with fifty impatient 6-year olds.  About as much fun as getting blood drawn at my annual physical. 



April 16, 2006

Springtime came to Minnesota just in time!  The Shortarmguy family had a fantastic week enjoying the unseasonably warm weather!  It was 80+ degrees in April in Minnesota!!   God Bless Global Warming!  We flew a kite, went on a variety of nature walks, played several games of Kickball, and went to the playground!  It's so nice to get outside again!  Next week, we'll probably have a Blizzard!

Sunny was ecstatic to have the opportunity to go swimming again!  He's not the brightest bulb on the tree, though, because every time I throw him a stick, he loses it and just keeps swimming farther and father towards the middle of the lake.  It's a bit scary because the ice just went out a week ago and I sure don't want to dive in that freezing water to save a drowning dog!

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that he has trouble locating the stick.  What can you expect from a creature who's sole source of liquid sustenance comes from our pee hole?

We drove to Burnsville Mall for the sole purpose of getting the boys picture with the Easter Bunny.  When we arrived, they had the line gated off and the lady says the Bunny needed a break because he was way hot!  And you know how dangerous a rabbit in heat is!

Miss Sheri and the boys colored Easter Eggs.  Shortarmguy tried to help them but his crayons kept breaking.  Happy Easter! 



April 9, 2006

Shortarmguy and his co-workers were in Indianapolis for the NCAA Basketball Championship game on Monday night.  The Florida Gators trounced the UCLA Bruins to take the title.  And Nick Rahman trounced all of us in the two-fisted alcohol slamming competition.

Shortarmguy was down at courtside where he was lucky enough to get this picture with one of the Gators Cheerleaders.  Notice the cop in the background checking out her butt.  Or it's also possible he's checking out Shortarmguy's.  Kind of tough to tell for sure.

Probably the rowdiest times of the trip was the bus rides back from each game.  Mr. Hamill enthralled us with songs from Scotland and Mark Jones heard his name too many times to count!  I'm guessing  before this trip he didn't know about a certain Houston Rapper that shares a similar name with him!

Who?  Mark Jones!!

On Sunday, we spent about 12 hours playing one of the most intense games of Texas Hold'Em in which I've ever participated.  They gave me the nickname Lucky, but mostly it was because I was unlucky.  I didn't do too bad for 12 hours of fun with the AMD guys and some of their other customers.  I found myself down about $100.00 at the end of the evening.  If you count the booze I drank during the game, I guess I'd be up about $200.00.

We had one hand where two players had pocket aces.  Not sure if that's a very unusual thing or not, but I thought it was pretty cool.

I think everyone knew who the Nor-tech boys were by the end of the trip, although I'm not sure if that was a good thing or not!  At least none of us ended up in jail...not that I can remember anyways!

I had to get this picture with the Captain Morgan girls since he and I were such close friends during the trip. 

At the time, I thought this picture with the chef would be fun.  When I was walking out of the room, though, I caught him giving his friend a gesture like "What the Hell was that?"

On Thursday night, Shortarmguy went to the Minnesota Wild game with Sean Quinlan where we had the pleasure of seeing Minnesota win the game against Edmonton in an overtime shootout.  The Oilers only score was the result of something called a Shorthanded goal.  When I first heard about it, I thought the announcer was making fun of me. 

Anybody who's ever been to a Minnesota sporting event will recognize the legendary Wally The Beer Man.  Grain Belt has a nice tribute to Wally on their site here.




April 2, 2006

Shortarmguy spent the weekend in Indianapolis at the Final Four NCAA Basketball Tournament.  We stayed at the same hotel as the fans of the Cinderella team, George Mason, who were blown out by the Florida Gators in the semi-finals.  We threw away these signs pretty quickly after the game was done.   

Shortarmguy went to the tournament with co-workers Nick Rahman, Jay Erickson, and Khang Dao.  Normally, I don't get along with these guys at all, but in Indiana they looked pretty darn cute to me!

Khang tried to keep up with the Big Boys on Friday night, but the half gallon of Captain Morgan we consumed proved to be too much for him.  He left a pretty unusual tip for the waiter by filling up two glasses on the table with the contents of his stomach.  Shortarmguy ended the night cleaning things up which wasn't much fun!

We went to the games courtesy of our good friends at AMD.  Seen here is Vice President of North American Sales, John Hamill.  John is a wild Scotsman who we ended up partying with until 3am last night.   I'm still feeling the effects as I write this update and I have to admit, my belly hurts!!

Before the games, we had the honor of hanging out with the Texas Longhorns coach, Rick Barnes.  I kept hoping he would sense my skills on the basketball court, but he didn't ask if I could come down and play for him.  He must think I'm too old for a college team!!

AMD spent the big bucks and gave us incredible seats smack dab in the middle of the LSU student section.  Although we didn't feel an allegiance to any team in particular, it's hard not to go along with three guys dressed in diapers!

Shortarmguy strongly considered painting his tummy purple and yellow before the game, but was quite thankful he didn't after he met this crew.   It would have been just a bit embarrassing had we been seen with the same outfit!

We were lucky to meet the LSU pimp and his top adviser during the game because they hooked us up with a good time after everything was over!




March 26, 2006

It was a big week at the Shortarmguy House. On Monday night, Luke and Avery were officially awarded their Tiger Patch at their Cub Scout Pack Meeting.  For those of you with young boys, I highly recommend getting them involved in scouting.  The people we have met are just wonderful and the activities are outstanding.  Plus, it gives the boys some good male role models since Shortarmguy tends to be more of a girly-girl kind of a dad.

To celebrate, we bought a new family membership to the Minnesota Zoo and the three of us went there on Saturday to check it out.   We came across a zoo volunteer outside one of the animal exhibits and she was holding the pelt of one of the tree mammals on display.  I told Luke to ask her if she killed that animal all by herself, but for some reason she didn't find it quite as funny as I did.


Luke insisted on getting a Darth Vader Bomb Pop which turned his tongue, lips, and nose bright blue for the rest of the day.  He said "Who cares what I look like?"  And I guess I couldn't argue with that logic.  He liked the popsicle.

Avery is seen here touching a starfish in Discovery Bay's wave pool.  I told Avery the story when he was 3 years old and he fell face first into the water at this exact same spot.  He ended up soaking wet which pretty much ruined the zoo for us for the rest of the day.  

One of my favorite animal exhibits is the Beaver Dam on the Minnesota Trail.  I don't know about the rest of you, but I could sit and stare at beavers all day.

On Saturday night, we hooked up with the Hornbuckles and Jason Alexander to try out a new restaurant called Jake's in Eden Prairie.  It was a really fun place and the food was great.  Naturally we drank too much, made a bunch of new friends that I couldn't name today, and revealed way too many secrets.  But that's what Saturday night is for I say!  

Miss Sheri and Heather were feeling especially frisky which always makes for a more exciting evening.  This is one of the tamer pictures that I felt I could show here.  Heather keeps telling me her kids and father go to my site, so I have to be nice with what I can post.  So I'm saving all the good stuff for a pay-per-view website I'll be announcing at some point in the future.

Our waiter, Nick, was a really good guy who seemed to appreciate our appetite for a good time and risqué table talk.  He bought Heather a drink which has a name that isn't appropriate to reveal to her son and father.  Needless to say, as can be seen by the picture below, she really enjoyed it!

Here's a sneak peek at The Hanson Boys' racecar that is sponsoring this summer.  Looks like Greased Lightning to me!



March 19, 2006

Shortarmguy spent most of this week in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona at the beautiful Westin Kierland Resort for the 2006 Intel Solutions Summit.  I hooked up with some old friends and new friends.  As usual, Shortarmguy got carried away a little too much with all the free booze flowing.  Every morning I'd wake up and think "Oh God, what did I say to her last night?" and "Did I really wrestle that guy?"

Shortarmguy was able to re-connect with an old buddy of his, Friedrich Gloekler, from Portland, Oregon.  We worked together at Globelle and PCWholesale.  I kind of thought this photo looked like a Before and After picture for Hair Club for Men, but I wasn't sure if that would piss off Friedrich or not, so I better not mention it. 

This was the balcony view of my hotel room.  The resort was really nice from what I could see and the weather was fantastic. Although I didn't get to enjoy it much because I was a good boy and went to all the classes and meetings I was signed up to attend.  I'm such a sucker.

One of the big things Intel is pushing for 2006 is their new VIIV platform for home entertainment computing.  It's really neat!  They also had several fascinating speakers talking about the future of technology and the internet including James Canton and Terry Jones.  I just get so dang excited about learning where mankind is going that I usually end up peeing my pants during these kinds of  presentations.  It's a little embarrassing, but I'm sure the people around me must appreciate my passion for this stuff.  Even if it smells a little.

On the last night I was there, they had a surprise guest come to visit: John Cleese, of Monty Python Fame.  Mr. Cleese was not only funny, but surprisingly quite inspirational as well.  He made me want to run out of the room and start getting involved in quirky British comedies to follow in his foot-steps.  I have a long way to go to get there.

Back home, I was able to get a couple good shots of the boys.  This was at Target last Sunday when Luke tried on the Ipod headphones and decided he really liked the song that was playing.

This was Thursday night.  I stayed up late to try to catch up on emails and this was how I found Avery and Sunny sleeping on my bedroom floor.  I thought it was pretty cute.


March 12, 2006

Shortarmguy's Ex-Brother In Law, Cliff Nelson,  passed through town on Wednesday for a quick meal with the Shortarmguy family and a good, old fashioned Butt Whooping in Ping Pong. 

Luke and Avery were excited to see Cliff and show him their newly formed skills with the paddle and little white bouncy ball.  Cliff showed them the skill of making silly faces and noises at their opponents while playing.  He felt it's important for the boys to learn these tricks to gain an advantage in the game as well as in life. 

Shortarmguy and Avery stood in awe of Cliff's Ping Pong abilities.  But the awe lasted only for a moment.   Shortarmguy quickly re-gained his composure and delivered Cliff a crushing defeat.  He headed back to Austin, Texas with his dreams of being the Table Tennis King one step further from being fulfilled.

On Friday night, the amazing excitement of living in the Shortarmguy house continued when the Wild and Crazy residents decided it was  time to break the old Twister game out of the Toy Cabinet.  Next week, if we're feeling just as spicy, we might even play a game of Bingo.  It all depends on if we have enough energy.  



March 5, 2006

The week started off with some excitement when Avery lost his front tooth in a bloody brawl with Brother Luke.  Luckily, no tears were shed and he was more excited by the prospect of getting a "Gold Coin" from the tooth fairy.  Those Sacagawea Dollar Coins really come in handy!  I thought Luke had a pretty clever idea when he suggested we put a mouse trap under Avery's pillow to see if we could catch the Tooth Fairly.  A little morbid maybe, but clever!

Later in the week, we took a risk on getting stung by the real estate bubble pop when we signed a purchase agreement on a new condo for Shortarmguy's mama.  The nice thing is, she'll be living closer to us.  The bad this is, she'll be living closer to us.  Just kidding, mom!

On Sunday, we visited with Shortarmguy's high school buddy, Lincoln Allen, and his boys at the Mall of America.  We ate at the Rainforest Cafe and marveled at how their prices continue to go up even though the quality of their food remains miraculously the same.  I guess if you want to eat while listening to thunder and seeing aging animatronic gorillas dance, you gotta pay for it. 

Some of you may remember a few months ago when I went on a drinking binge with Larry and Mike Hansen and we discussed the new racecar they were buying.  At the time, we joked about having sponsor the car for this summer's races.  Apparently they weren't joking and so we made a deal.  Although this isn't exactly what the car will look like, it gives you an idea of how it will be.  I'll definitely be posting pictures of the actual car when it's ready as well as posting all the details of Mike's Rookie Racing Season! 

Watch out Raceway Park!!

The Shortarmguy car is coming!


February 26, 2006

On Friday night, the Shortarmguy family was able to get out and have a little fun attending a Minnesota Timberwolves game as they hosted the scrappy Denver Nuggets.  The game ended in a heartbreaking, overtime loss, but the boys had a fantastic time Howling for their favorite basketball team. 

We went to the game with the Cub Scouts, so we received some special treatment including an actual Free Throw on the Target Center court after the game for each of the boys.  Neither of them was able to knock down their shot.  We're considering trading them to another family if their games don't improve soon.  And if we can make it work under the salary cap rules.

Whenever I get near the court, security always closely monitors my every move.  I guess I just have streaker written all over me.

2006 has been an incredibly tough year on Luke and Avery's Grandfathers.  A month ago today, my step-dad Denny died of a sudden heart attack.  A week and a half ago, we found out that my father has leukemia and is currently in isolation in the hospital receiving chemotherapy treatments.  And this week, Miss Sheri's father, Larry Haack, was suddenly hospitalized and went through a very serious, life-changing surgery.  I appreciate everyone's prayers for our family through these troubling times.  I'm thinking things are going to have to get better for our family in March!!


February 19, 2006

The Shortarmguy Family had some very distressing news this week.  My father, Bob Swank, learned that he has Acute Leukemia and had to immediately undergo intensive chemotherapy treatment at a hospital in Gulfport, Mississippi.  Although it's a quite serious diagnosis, dad is feeling very strong and we're confident that he will be able to beat this.  For those of you who are spiritual people, I'd really appreciate it if you could keep my dad in your prayers while he battles this condition.


Above is a video I made for my dad's birthday a few years ago which showcases some of his quirks and wacky antics.  We love you, dad!!!  We'll keep praying for your quick recovery!


Some of you may remember that Luke and I were down and out with the flu last weekend.  It also hit Miss Sheri on Sunday which wasn't much fun.  Our household pretty much shuts down when she's out of commission.  Luckily for us, though, everyone felt better by Valentine's Day!

Shortarmguy spent Saturday night with a bunch of his old High School buddies and took their money in a Texas Hold 'Em Tournament!!  There was also plenty of drinking and general carousing most of which can't be featured here since I'm trying to keep this website in the PG13 rating category.

It's sad how old I feel.  I just can't party all night any more like I used to.  I fell asleep on the cab ride downtown and even nodded off in one of the clubs.  Kevin Dirks asked if I was 100 years old and tried to get one of the waitresses to bring us 100 candles so we could have a birthday party for me.  Funny Kevin!

Naturally, I was the first one to sleep and since we were short on beds, I had to bunk with my old buddy, Jason Hornbuckle.  The fellows tried to sneak in on us with the razor and permanent markers, but luckily I  woke up right away.  They took this picture thinking it would give them some good dirt, but they forget that I'll pretty much show myself to the world in situations that most men would find extremely embarrassing. Besides, I'm completely confident in my own sexuality.  I doubt Hornbuckle feels the same way because I had my way with him last night!  

Bradshaw Likes Elephants!

And this will only make sense to those of you have read a Clear Lake High School Yearbook circa 1986.

Luke has been driving us crazy for a new pet, so we went to Petco in Burnsville, Minnesota to look at turtles and lizards and other creepy, crawly creatures.  A wonderful young lady named Andrea spent 45 minutes with us discussing the pros and cons of these sticky little beasts.  She finally steered us in the direction toward a couple of Fire Bellied Toads which Luke & Avery love.  Luke said and I quote "Life can't get any better than sitting here and watching these toads!"  I'm sure they'll make a great snack for our dog, Sunny! 



February 12, 2006

It was quite a rough weekend for Shortarmguy.  Both Luke and I were stricken with a really nasty case of the flu.  I ended up in bed all day on Saturday.  We were supposed to go with the Cub Scouts on a winter excursion called Polar Cubs, but instead spent the day evacuating all the previous day's meals through every available port necessary!  It wasn't much fun!  

The weekend started off very nice with Miss Sheri and I celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary.  Hard to believe she's put up with me for 12 years!  We went to Ruth's Chris Steak House in Minneapolis and had a nice time.  The food was great although it tasted much better on the way down than when I tasted it again Saturday morning!

On Thursday, Shortarmguy went to Luke and Avery's school for their "Doughnuts with a Cool Dude" celebration.  When we walked in their classroom, their teacher told Luke that he was supposed to bring a cool Dude instead of a cool Dud and then gave him a spelling lesson about the use of the silent E.  I guess I can't be upset about getting "dissed" by a teacher if she's doing it to further their education, can I?




February 5, 2006

The Shortarmguy family would like to send a big Thank You to all you wonderful people who sent kind emails, prayers, and nice thoughts regarding my step-dad, Denny, passing away last week!  My mom is doing pretty darn good, all things considered.  I really appreciate everyone's support!

We hung out with Grandma this weekend and I did something with her I don't think I've done in at least 20 years.  I rode in the passenger seat while she drove a car.  She did pretty well, but I told her she now looks a lot like the Where's The Beef lady from the old Wendy's commercials.  She can barely see over the steering wheel in her big car!

Shortarmguy started a brand new investment plan in 2006.  I think it's a pretty solid one!  I'm investing in Powerball tickets!  This week my investment of only $4 is going to yield $210 million.  I can't believe more people don't know about this incredibly wise Venture into Wealth!  I asked the lady at the store if I could get an advance of a couple thousand dollars on my eventual winnings, but she just looked at me like I was a weirdo.  I guess she's not used to seeing people with funny arms.


January 29, 2006

The Shortarmguy Family suffered a devastating loss this week.  My Stepfather, Denny Miller, died suddenly of a heart attack on Wednesday morning.  We had his memorial service on Saturday.  As I said in his Eulogy, Denny was always there for us.  Always willing to step in and lend a hand.  Always willing to help with my kids whenever we needed him.  He was always cracking jokes and he offered his advice when he thought he could help.  And he was really good to my mom.  And he was really good for my mom.  We love and miss you, Denny!  May you Rest In Peace!!!

Here's The Memorial Video I made for him that we played at his funeral:


Here's an audio file of Denny's Eulogy that I gave at his funeral:

(Use your right mouse button and select save target as if it takes too long)

Click Here

Both of Shortarmguy's sisters from Dallas flew up for the service and we had many other relatives and friends there as well.  We did a lot of laughing and crying reminiscing about our favorite times with Grandpa Denny.  My mom has been so strong through this entire ordeal.  They were inseparable and this is going to be very hard on her.  If you're a spiritual person, please remember to keep my mom in your prayers in the coming weeks.  She's really having a tough time after losing her best buddy.

Shortarmguy's Great Uncle Chester "Chet" Harvey made the trek up to Minnesota from Des Moines, Iowa.  Seen pictured here along with my Brother In Law, Dave Mohar, Uncle Chet is a real character!  He's a veteran of World War II and loves to tell us tales about storming the beach and being over in Europe during that time.  He'll be 90 years old this year and spends a good part of time shelling walnuts in his basement.  He loves to tell people that he has the cleanest nuts in town!


January 22, 2006

The Shortarmguy Family spent Sunday night with the Cub Scouts tubing down Buck Hill in Burnsville, Minnesota.  The boys weren't quite ready to try it by themselves, so mom and dad had to go down in tandem with a child.

I really didn't think it was going to be a big deal, but these hills were steep and covered with ice which sent us flying.  On our very first run, Avery and I spun around until we were completely facing backwards while zipping down the slope.  Of course, some kid's tube somehow ended up in our lane causing us to smack into him at full speed.  The kid was all right because his head was cushioned by the back of my neck from the full impact of the crash.  Good thing I don't need that neck anyways!

On Monday night, Shortarmguy and his legendary stalker Steve "Cuds" Cuddihy decided to attend a Minnesota Wild Game.  It's a little known fact that the Minnesota Wild were named in honor of Mr. Cuddihy, but the reasons for that are still sealed by the courts.

The Wild were smoked by the Ottawa Senators 6-1 so the game wasn't too exciting.  Although at one point, I think I heard the announcers talking about me.  They mentioned something about a short-handed goal....but I swear I never even went onto the ice.

 Shortarmguy also hooked up with an old pal of his, the Burger King Dude.  He was pretty stressed out because there's some new video of him leaking on the internet showing him and his girlfriend, Brooke Burke, frolicking on the beach together.  Details can be found here.

On Saturday, Luke and Avery raced their cars in the Cub Scout's Pinewood Derby Race.  Sadly for the boys, their cars weren't very fast so they didn't do that great in the standings.   Luke did get honored for having the Best Paint Job in his division.  I guess we shouldn't have mocked him using the bright orange poster paint.  



January 15, 2006

Shortarmguy's high school buddies came up to Minnesota this weekend for our annual ski trip.  On Friday night, we stayed up drinking and playing poker until 4am.  Considering we had to get up at 8am Saturday for a day of skiing and drinking, it probably wasn't the wisest decision.  But wisdom has never prevailed when this Ole Gang of Mine gets together!

One of our favorite activities at this downhill ski resort is to sneak out of bounds for a little cross country action.  Because there's nothing better than mixing alcohol with ice covered trails, steep cliffs, and sharp tree branches!

Krazy Kory is a bit of a reckless skier, so we try to keep him away from the general public as much as humanly possible.

Joel noticed that many people avoided Ron whenever he came near.  It wasn't until later in the day that we figured out why when we heard one woman whisper to her friends:

"Is that the Unabomber?"

Jason really impressed us with his skiing this year.  Granted, he didn't have to improve much from his last performance when we had to call the rescue crew to give him a ride off the slopes.  We told them he fell and hurt his leg, but I'm pretty sure they knew better!

Lincoln was the daredevil of the trip jumping off a perfectly good chairlift not once, but two different times.  I would have had a picture of his feat if we could have convinced him to do it a third time.  But he didn't want to because the second landing didn't go so well.  Hope your shoulder feels better, buddy!



January 8, 2006

On Friday night, Shortarmguy hung out with his buddies Sean and two former members of the Boy Band Hanson.  Larry and Mike are in the process of buying a new racecar and they're considering letting be one of their sponsors.  How cool would a racecar be if it had my picture on the hood with the funny arms held high?  Trust me, there will be plenty of coverage on this site when we make it happen!

Wherever Shortarmguy goes, pretty women beg him to get their picture taken together.  All right, it may be the other way around, but who's counting?

Shortarmguy played several games of pool with a couple of very sweet gals from Shakopee named Jamie and Sarah.  I'm pretty sure they were trying to hustle me to play them for money, but luckily I didn't have to break out my wallet.

On Saturday, Luke and Avery took part in their first basketball practice.  We have quite a ways to go before we'll be ready for the NBA.

Saturday afternoon was spent with the boy's Cub Scout Den making Pine Wood Derby Cars.  Shortarmguy had his first experience with a band saw in years and luckily can still count to the number 8 on his fingers!

Saturday night was spent at a great German restaurant called the Gasthof.  We went out with our good friends Jason Alexander and Jason and Heather Hornbuckle to celebrate Jason A's birthday.  As usual, we drank too much, ate too much, and from what I vaguely remember, had an incredibly fun time!

Miss Sheri is seen here drinking from the massive "Boot of Beer" we all consumed.  Tradition dictates that the boot is passed around the table and cannot be set down until it's finished.  Needless to say, the boot really kicked us in the butt!

Later that night, Shortarmguy jams with Barefoot Becky who is one of the hottest stars on the Polka Music Circuit!  Man, she really makes a guy want to move his feet!

Shortarmguy received a very nice email from one of the Producers of NBC's Most Outrageous TV.  He's looking to license funny and wacky INTERNET footage, viral video and internet commercials; not just “bloopers” but anything that is funny.  You must own the copyright or have permission to license the video....  If you have something good, send it to me and I'll forward it to him for you...



January 1, 2006

On New Year's Eve Day, the Shortarmguy family risked life and limb on a neighborhood sledding hill.  Lucky we had no broken bones, but there were some definite Butt Bruises!

Avery was the bravest out of the chute.  He grabbed the sled and jumped on like a wild man.  On his third try, he flipped the sled and went down the last quarter of the hill on his face.  So he took a break for awhile.

Miss Sheri and Luke broke our oldest sled on one particularly bumpy ride.  Shortarmguy nearly broke his tailbone sledding over a big jump in the middle of one of the hills trying to get the top photo above.  But it was worth it! 

Click here for video

On Friday, Shortarmguy decided to ring in the New Year by saying goodbye to the little blue Saturn he's been driving for the past 7 years.   

He decided to really mix things up by trading it in for a big blue Saturn instead.  Dermott Norman is the English Saturn salesman who sold Shortarmguy his last 4 cars.  He convinced Shortarmguy he would have been crazy not to take this deal!  The transaction became a little turbulent, however, when Dermott tried to pull up on his office computer and discovered the website had been blocked by his company because it is considered to be Tasteless/Gross!    Saturn just must have something against Handicapped people!

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