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Shortarmguy's Diary

Diary Entry For August 26, 2007

On Saturday night, we tried to have a Nor-tech night at the races!  The Larry & Mike Hanson team were supposed to show us their speed at Elko Speedway, but instead we just got to see the parked car because the races were rained out!  We were bummed about the weather, although seeing the Hanson boys in wet T-shirts was definitely a nice consolation prize.

We were able to sit in their car which was a lot of fun.  I couldn't imagine actually racing in this thing, though.  There's just a tight little seat and you have to plug the steering wheel on top of your lap.  I had to squeeze hard to wedge my big belly in there.  If I was in a real race and crashed, there's no way I could get out.  I'd be burned alive!  They'd be serving Roasted Shortarmguy Sandwiches at the grill for the next month!

Even though we couldn't actually watch the races, the Nor-tech crew had a pretty fun night.  The kids all had free run of the joint and we basically enjoyed an open bar since only about half of the employees showed.   We thought we were going to have to throw away some of the drink tickets, but we rallied together as a team and finished them all.  I'm so proud of us.

As a special treat, we also had the honor of celebrating Miss Sheri's  birthday at the event.   I can't believe that I'm now married to a 40 year old woman!!  I've found it really hard not to notice the old people smell around our house now. 

Grandma and Grandpa Haack came to Minnesota to join us for the special day.  We did something really crazy and went to Chilis for lunch.  If anyone ever tells us we don't know how to party, I think this proves just how mistaken they are.

On Monday night, we went to see the Minnesota Twins battle the Seattle Mariners.   The Twins lost. 

It won't be many more years that we'll be watching Twins baseball games in the Metrodome since they're building a brand new outdoor stadium in Minneapolis!  Which is a good thing because watching a baseball game inside this joint is about as much fun as a trip to the dentist.   Assuming that you eat cracker jacks at the dentist, of course.

On Friday night, we helped the cub scouts out by selling burgers and brats at a hamburger stand in Downtown Prior Lake.  There was a bunch of old cars parked down there for something they call a "Roll-In" and a whole bunch of people came down to look at them.   Personally, I don't understand the thrill of staring at someone else's vehicle, but based on the crowd it seems like I'm in the minority.

Grandma Linda became quite frisky after being around all the cars she used to go parking in back in the fifties.  She eventually stood next to this purple thing and propositioned every gentleman over the age of 30 who came near.  She'd purr "Hey baby, get out of my dreams and get into my car."  Sadly, I don't think she had much luck.

Diary Entry For August 19, 2007

The Shortarmguy Family spent the week at the most Magical Place on Earth, Disney World!  I think they call it that because Disney magically makes all of your money disappear before you leave!

We went to Orlando with my sister, Tracy, and her family.  They were worried we wouldn't be able to keep up with them, but I think we did pretty darn good.  4 theme parks in 4 days.  Arriving at 9 am and staying until the parks closed at 10 pm.  Fighting massive crowds in 100 degree heat complete with thick humidity that hung in the air like syrup.  We were like vacation warriors. 

We did almost every ride and attraction they had.  Lucky they don't have too many big rides since Luke's cardiologist banned him from rides that have high G Forces.  It's quite a dilemma trying to keep him entertained while the other kids go on the rides he can't.  Angry Luke doesn't like to be left out of anything and his brother, Avery, just can't wait to tell him how completely AWESOME the roller coaster was that he had to miss.   

Disney does have some very immersive experiences like the Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom.  Rather than pay the $15 for a picture of us on the ride that Disney tries to stick us with, I always snap a photo of the screen.  As you can see, Lauren and Avery were pretty spooked by the massive T REX that just popped out to scare the crap out of us.  Personally, I prefer looking at the girl on girl action that seemed to be happening at the front of our car.

The newest attraction was a ride called Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom.  This thriller is a roller coaster that zooms through the famous mountain on a journey to discover the mysterious YETI creature.  Eventually you come up to a broken track and have to fall backwards into the dark tunnels eventually coming face to face with the huge monster!  It was an extremely cool ride.  Disney really has a knack for taking an otherwise ordinary ride and making it a memorable experience.  But Luke sure didn't want to hear about it during any of Avery's 50 attempts to describe it to him.

Lucky for all of us, Luke was able to participate in about 90% of each day's activities and he also had a fantastic vacation.  Although his favorite thing ended up having nothing to do with the parks.  Instead, he created thrills by organizing lizard hunts going after dozens of the creatures throughout our stay in Florida.  I'm sure the next time we go down, Disney will have figured out a way to charge us for chasing the quick little green creatures. 

MGM has added a new attraction since our last visit.  The Lights Motors Action Extreme Stunt Show is a very cool behind the scenes look at how movie car chases are filmed.  This picture shows the red car behind chased and jumping high in the air, backwards!  Thrilling!

Miss Sheri channeled her inner drummer in a demonstration at Epcot's Future Home exhibit. 

For some reason, every time she plays the drums, Miss Sheri goes out and poops in the middle of the street.  It's quite embarrassing.

After meeting her on the street, I'm now a huge fan of Kim Possible.

I was a little distressed seeing Disney participating in the heinous crime of pumpkin torture as they forced these poor, defenseless creatures to grow Mickey Mouse ears.  Despicable!

Everywhere my sister goes, Stormy Skies follow her.  It's a bit eerie.

Disney World's Magic Kingdom is a beautiful place to be at night.  And they only charged us $5.00 each time we looked at the castle!

Boring Family Shot.

Boring shot of the kids.

Boring shot of the kids with Mickey Mouse.

Boring shot of the Shortarmguy Family shortly before being gouged for a character breakfast.  Disney wanted to charge us $35.00 for this same photo by their photographer.  I told them I'd sell them my version for only $10.00 but they weren't interested.

Diary Entry For August 12, 2007

Saturday brought us the annual Lakefront Days parade.  Once again, the Shortarmguy family marched with the Cub Scouts through the streets of Prior Lake flinging candy in every direction.  Several times I had to remind the boys that the object was to gently give candy to the awaiting kids rather than whip it at people's heads for fun.

Shortly before the parade began, it started drizzling rain.  It steadily increased as we endured the one mile trek along the parade route.  By the time we reached downtown, it was actually pouring down on top of us which made it a bit challenging to keep smiling and waving.  Amazingly there was very little complaining amongst the children.  I was quite surprised that so many people remained to watch the parade, but the streets were packed.  I would have left early had I been a viewer, but as a marcher I just had to enjoy the walk.

Troy is our Pack's Committee Chairman and one of the most dedicated Scout leaders I've ever met.  He keeps us organized and involved in a ton of different activities throughout the year.  I was impressed with Troy's ability to keep smiling and encouraging the children even though he was as wet as anyone there.  Personally, I did a lot of Belly-Aching inside my head, but hopefully I didn't let that attitude slip through to the outside world.

Dad and Joyce came to the parade with us, but watched from the dry paradise in the back of our van. 

After the parade, we stopped by an Open House event that a local home builder was throwing.  This photo is taken inside the demo house they were showing.  We were quite impressed with how nicely decorated and "lived in" the place looked.  I'm always tempted to crawl into one of the beds or start cooking something in the kitchen just to see how the builders would react.  But I quickly recognize I probably shouldn't annoy them since they did just give my family free burgers, chips, and delicious lemonade!

The builders also hired the talented Magician, Matt Dunn, to entertain us with his tricks and illusions.  Matt did a trick with Grandma Joyce where he placed some foam balls in her hand and magically made them jump to the other hand.  He then really surprised her later in the show by giving her back the watch he'd magically removed from her arm during the trick.   I told him he had a very bright future as a pickpocket, but I think he prefers what he's doing currently.

On Saturday afternoon, we bumped into our old friends, Tony and Tawnya Bonsante at the local Sam's Club.  Tony is a professional Boxer most famously featured on NBC's The Contender.  I see that Tony has a really cool new website highlighting his career.  Since I last wrote about Tony, he fought his archrival, Matt "The Predator" Vanda and won in a match that I've heard described on local sports radio as one of the most exciting sporting events in Minnesota history!   

On Sunday, we took the boys to see The Simpsons Movie.  I was really excited to see it because I've been watching the Simpsons religiously since the 2nd or 3rd season and I'd heard really good things about the movie.  I thought it was just OK, though.  I guess after seeing hundreds of episodes I'm finally starting to get a little immune to the humor.  The boys sure loved it, though.  Especially the treasure of Ima Weiner!

On Tuesday night, we enjoyed swimming in Grandma Linda's pool.  Avery has been working on the old shoulder stand trick for a couple of years now and we finally were able to get Luke to give it a try as can be seen in the top photo.   He still needs some work, but it's nice to know we've finally been able to get him through his fears of the water! 

 

On Thursday night, I suddenly started seeing several emails regarding my Napa Monster Truck video on Youtube.  Sadly, this same truck was performing in Illinois when it suddenly went out of control and crashed into a crowd of people injuring nine.  Read about it here.

Our prayers go out to those affected by this crazy accident.

Diary Entry For August 5, 2007

Obviously the big story of the week in Minnesota was the bridge collapse on 35W.  We had many friends and family call to make sure we were OK and fortunately we were.  We pretty much stay south of Minneapolis and this happened on the North Side.  Although when we first lived in the Twin Cities, we used this bridge every day to go back and forth to work.

It's amazing that something like this is even possible.  How many times in a day do we take for granted that we're safe, when there's always a thousand possibilities to have something go tragically wrong against us.  Our lives on Earth are a gift and God can call us home whenever He wants.  Events like this serve as a reminder to Seize the Day and make the most of our time while we're here.  Our prayers go out to the victims and their families affected by this horrible tragedy. 

Avery is a Tether Ball Fanatic!  Miss Sheri and her dad built him this set for his birthday and he's actually pretty tough to beat!  One bizarre thing that we've discovered is that it's remarkably common for someone to get the yellow ball smashed into their face during the game which tends to lead to bloody noses and people storming away in anger.  I believe this has happened to us 3 times in the last month alone.  I never knew that Tether Ball was such a dangerous sport!

It was Lakefront Days at Prior Lake this week which is always a bunch of fun!  There's all sorts of things happening at Lakefront Park and we also get to take Luke Frog Hunting while we're there!  Avery hates Frog Hunting so he's never really excited for this portion of the evening's activities.

On Thursday night, they had an ice cream social.  For 30 minutes straight, Grandma Linda and Miss Sheri were transfixed in this hypnotic trance while enjoying their melting fudgsicles.   Both the boys and I tried to talk to them several times, but they just couldn't hear us.

On Friday night, Grandpa Bob and Grandma Joyce came to town.   They talked us into an evening boat ride so we could watch the Lakefront Days fireworks on the Lake.  We didn't get home until 11 O'clock which is typically way past my bed time!

We had a pretty good scare when we were waiting to pick-up Miss Sheri.  While she was on the dock waiting for us, the driver of this van exited his vehicle while it was parked on the wet launch slope.  Suddenly, it started sliding out of control and headed straight towards the dock where Miss Sheri and a couple other people were standing!  While we watched from the lake, we saw Miss Sheri jump out of the way, another guy jump into the water towards his boat, and a young lady holding her Father's Boat cower away from it.  I honestly thought she was going to get hit!  Luckily, the boat trailer became wedged between the dock and a group of rocks on the other side of the launch causing the van to halt it's descent on the front part of the dock.  It was a pretty scary sequence of events!  Somehow the guy was able to drive his van off the dock and then it was all over.

Because I'm a bit of a chicken, we don't drive the boat that much at night.  It's really hard to navigate in the dark!  But, man, are we missing some really calm waters and beautiful nature scenes by not doing this more often!

Now one lesson we learned for next year, is that we really need to drop the anchor!  We thought we could just float amongst the 50-100 boats that were there to view the show, but for some odd reason we kept spinning around so we were facing the wrong way!  Then in the middle of the show, I suddenly discovered we nearly drifted into another boat and I almost cut his anchor line with my prop trying to get away from him.  The fireworks were really cool from the water, however.

 

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