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Shortarmguy's Diary

Diary Entry For September 30, 2007

This is my desk at work and this is the view of the world I have for about 50% of my waking hours.  Not sure why any of you would care about this, yet it still seemed like an intriguing photo to take at the time.

On Thursday night, the family dragged me away from that desk and we headed to the Mall of America to visit Underwater Adventures.  It was a quiet evening at the aquarium, but we still had a lot of fun pounding on the glass to get the animals to look at us.  I think they missed us.

Brutus is a huge alligator snapping turtle.  I've seen him a couple of dozen times, but this was the first time I'd ever seen him with his head out of the water so close to the edge.  I reached right above his head to take this picture and was devilishly tempted to reach down and touch his nose.  I even told my temptation to Miss Sheri.  She reminded me that he was an alligator snapping turtle and that I really didn't have any digits to spare.  I just ended up walking away.

Of course, the sharks are still the coolest thing to see.  We were impressed that so many of them were swimming near the underwater glass tunnel which allowed us to get several very cool photos.  I tried to adjust the lighting on this photo and this color red just kind of appeared in the photo out of nowhere.  I thought it made him look pretty freaky.  I couldn't imagine encountering one of these things in the wild and have him take a bite of flesh away from my body.  Ouch!

Miss Sheri couldn't figure out why they had a garbage can made out of whale poop.  I tried to explain to her that it was supposed to be a cut down tree, but she was lost in thought and kept doing her Homer Simpson impression:  "Mmmmmmm, whale poop!"

Of course, my favorite beaver was excited to see me so I just had to take this shot.  I don't think I'll ever get tired of beaver pictures! 

Excuse me, Miss. 

Is that a parrot in your hand or are you just excited to see me?

The boys are hooked on Legos now, so we had to stop by Legoland.  I'm really happy they're using the toys to explore their creative side, but Man, why do they have to be so dang expensive?  This 'At At' from Star Wars is $130.00!  For a bunch of chunks of plastic you stick together and they kind of look like something familiar.  That's some money making action I gotta get in to!  Does any one have the phone number for Mr. Lego?

I was honored this week to receive my Pre-Release copy of "A Complaint Free World" by my old friend, Will Bowen.

In January, 2007, Will sent me the following email.

 

Hi, Todd.
 
I've emailed you a couple of times over the years.  I really enjoy your web site.  I'm a minister and find your humor enjoyable (we all have a dark/fun side and I resonate with what you present).  In addition to your web site, I also really enjoy your spirit.  You seem like a really good guy and I like your positive spin on things.
 
To that end, I wanted to share something with you that you might pass along should you wish to pass along.  Back in July, I encouraged our church members to eradicate complaining, criticizing and gossiping from their lives.  When you complain, you attract more of what you don't want. If you focus on what you want, you'll attract that into your life. 
 
Our church is small--about 200 a Sunday.  To help them get the lesson, we gave everyone a purple wrist band/bracelet to wear.  Scientists say it takes 21 days to form a new habit so they were invited to go 21 consecutive days without complaining, criticizing or gossiping. They were encouraged to wear the bracelet and and, when they caught themselves complaining (we all do it), then to switch the bracelet to their other wrist and begin again.  It's tough, but people who have made it say that it has change their lives forever.
 
The Kansas City Star wrote a story about this and it was picked up by 64 papers around the world (including Stars and Stripes!).  We've now sent out nearly 60,000 "Complaint-Free Bracelets" to every state in the US as well as to Australia, South Africa, Germany, Ireland and Belgium and Canada. 
 
Tomorrow, a reporter from the LA Times is flying in to do a story about The Complaint Free movement for the national edition of their paper.  You can check out our web site: www.AComplaintFreeWorld.org to get more information.
 
Share this with your readers if you'd like. 
 
Thanks, Todd.  You're great.
 
Love and Blessings,
 
Will Bowen

 

Since that email, Will has gone on to appear on Oprah, The TODAY Show, and Fox News.  He's been featured in People Magazine and in over 125 newspapers around the world!  His website has now received nearly 6 million requests for the purple bracelets!!!

His book goes on sale on October 16th and is available at Amazon and all major bookstores!

 

If you're looking for new ways to find Happiness in your life, this might be a good place to start.

Good luck with your sales, Will!!!

Diary Entry For September 23, 2007

On Saturday, the Shortarmguy Family went to the Minnesota Zoo for a Fine day of Family Fun.  We brought along Grandma Linda with the hopes of finding her a new man.  We thought someone with zoo experience might be a good fit for her since she seems to have so many wild animal tendencies.  Sadly none of the men we met were brave enough for the challenge.

Our first stop was the Dolphin Show.  This little 5 year old dolphin is named Spree and she's coming along very well in her training.  She's doing a lot more tricks since our last visit.  They also have a 40 something old male named Semo who's cute, but just not very spry any more.  The zoo suffered three tragic dolphin deaths in 2006.  A 6 month old named Harley died after jumping out of the tank.  His mom, Rio, died 2 months later most likely from depression, and Ayla died later in the year after a life-long battle with scoliosis.  It's really sad to see this beautiful dolphin show stadium with so few dolphins.  I spoke with the trainer for quite awhile after the show and she told me they're working hard to get more, but it's a long process.    

After the dolphin show, we had to take Miss Sheri to see her favorite attraction.  For some reason, she just loves this statue of a preying mantis eating a caterpillar carcass.  She kept telling me how tasty the carcass looked and repeatedly bumped her head against the glass trying to get a bite.  After twenty minutes watching her do this, I finally dragged her out of the room.

The new Minnesota Trail opened in July and it's really cool!  They have a Bald Eagle, some Gray Wolves, Lynx, raccoons, turtles, and all sorts of other fun creatures you can find in the Minnesota Woods.

Of course, my favorite things to see is still the Beaver.  I just love beavers!  Beavers are one of my favorite things in the whole world and I could sit and stare at them all day.  One of my greatest dreams is to someday be in a room surrounded by a whole bunch of different beavers!

Coming in the Summer of 2008 is the brand new Russia's Grizzly Coast exhibit!  It's going to be a huge attraction featuring grizzly bears, sea otters, and wild boars.  The zoo is kind of a mess right now with all the construction happening, but pictures of what the exhibit is going to look like show it's going to be worth the wait!

My favorite part of going to the zoo is just the shining, smiling faces that my boys carry on their faces throughout the day!

My favorite part of the day was when I met Nate Johnson.  For only the second or third time in my life, somebody recognized me purely from my website.  Nate was at the zoo with his wife and two young boys having a good time when we bumped into each other on the playground.  He introduced himself, told me he grew up in Prior Lake and said he reads my site every week.   I just think that's so cool. 

Miss Sheri's buddy, Cathy, came over Saturday for some fun and possibly our last boat ride of the season.  Cathy has designed some holiday cards raising money for the Children with Diabetes Foundation.  If you'd like to buy some cute holiday cards and support a good cause, check them out here.

 

Diary Entry For September 16, 2007

The week started out with a quick trip to visit some friends at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington.  Flying over the mountains is so cool and I had a great view of Mount Rainier both ways.  Although it looks like snow on the ground in this picture, it's actually a thick blanket of clouds that we flew through shortly before.   

Since I was in Seattle for work and in meetings most of the time, I didn't really get many chances to take pictures.  However, I did explore Redmond Town Center which was across the street from my hotel.  It was a very cool Shopping Center.  I thought it must be run by some pretty nice people since they were kind enough to provide umbrellas to their customers.  I repaid their kindness by stealing 3 or 4 of them.  Just kidding.

On Friday night, Grandpa Bob and Grandma Joyce came in town for a visit.  They've had a stressful few weeks after discovering dad's red blood cells are lower than they should be, so he'll be starting chemo treatments again this week.  Although there's no indications that his leukemia has returned, the doctors are trying to keep it that way.  If you have any extra prayers you can spare for my father, I know he'd appreciate them! 

Dad wanted to go to the Apple Orchard while he was here, even though we usually don't go this early in the season.  We had fun riding the tractor drawn cart through the woods and the orchard even though we didn't stop to pick any apples.    We were apple cart stowaways.

Grandpa chartered a beat-up old stag for the boys to ride around.  Miss Sheri and I took turns guiding the boys around in a circle.  It was a thousand thrills a minute.

Luke had fun riding Maya, even if she did keep stopping to nudge flies off of her belly.  We'd pull on her head and she'd start walking again, although I secretly think she would have preferred biting my hand.

On Saturday night, we headed down to Elko Speedway for a fun night at the races.  There was a group of Nor-tech people there to watch the double feature.

We were excited to see our old co-worker and friend, Mike Hanson, from Turn-Key Racing drive in one of the races.  I asked him if he ever got nervous before he performs and he said 'No", but I could smell something that indicated to me that he might not being completely truthful.

Dad and Joyce said they had fun at the races, but they were ready to go early in the evening.  I guess they didn't realize that spectator sports in Minnesota get pretty cold in September!

Diary Entry For September 9, 2007

Tuesday brought us the first day of school officially indicating the end of summer!  Where the heck did it go?  Luke and Avery are in third grade now and are in different classes for the first time since kindergarten.  We're hoping this lessens the chances of them spontaneously beating on each other in the middle of the school day.  Probably won't.

On Friday night, we fired up the boat for an evening ride around Prior Lake.  We probably won't have many more opportunities to do this before the beautiful liquid water begins to harden into a freezing sheet of ice covered in evil snow.  Winter is coming, folks. And with it comes my cold, dark bitterness that I normally keep buried deep in my psyche. 

We brought Sunny to enjoy his first and last boat ride of the season.  Sunny is a complete spaz on the boat, mainly becomes he loves swimming so much.  It's pure torture for him to be so close to the water without being able to go in to it.  He paces around from the front to the back and keeps looking at us like "Can I jump in now?  Can I jump in now?  Can I jump in now?"  

We weren't out very long before the sun started setting in the distance.  Then we had to rush home because I'm scared of the dark.

On Saturday, we went to visit our old friends at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.  It's always a Good Time!

I told the boys they should bring their swords from last year because there would inevitably be a large contingent of Scallywags we'd encounter who needed to be brought to justice.  Sure enough, shortly after we arrived, we were attacked by this vendor of swords and shields.  Luckily, the boys were well prepared and disarmed our assailant.  He then tried to sell us new swords.

Our first stop was to see the Puke and Snot show.  Luke and Avery thought it was very funny!  These guys are true professionals which was proven about a third of the way in the show when Master Puke took a drink of his ale and was surprised to discover a bee in there.  It stung him right on the lip which appeared to cause him a great deal of pain.  Other than requesting some ice from his people, he kept on with the show and even incorporated his unfortunate accident into his material on several occasions.  It was quite humorous although I'm guessing Puke will be paying much closer attention to his drinks for quite some time.

This nice lady invited our family to be sprinkled with "Magic Pixie Dust" which we thought would be kind of neat even if Avery wanted nothing to do with it.  I thought it was fun to walk around with the sparking glitter all over my skin until I woke up this morning and discovered much of it is still there and won't come off my face.  That ought to make for a pleasant day at work tomorrow!

We waited for about an hour to ensure we had good seats to view the joust, which ended up being a bit of a disappointment.  They really need to invest in some new speakers so the audience can hear what's going on during the show.  Although once the guys started charging each other with lances and battling each other with metal swords, we all started to enjoy the show much better.  Nothing like screaming for blood and violence to bring the family together in unity and to complete another Happy Day at the Minnesota Renaissance!

Diary Entry For September 2, 2007

On Wednesday night, we had our fantasy football draft at Nick's house.  We do an auction style draft and our commissioner, Steve "Cuds" Cuddihy, did a fine job making it into an exciting event.  He created a big, fancy draft board so everyone could closely analyze my poor choices and ridicule me about them for the entire evening.  As usual, I nearly blew my entire budget right out of the shoot.  I thought I was pretty smart spending 80% of my budget on Walter Payton.  The guy is a fricking legend!  How the heck was I supposed to know that he's no longer with us....

During the draft, Tori and I did some shooters full of some kind of wicked, colorful alcohol.  Because of this, I think my judgment was impaired. So if my team doesn't do very well in the first few weeks, I only think it's fair that they allow me to draft a new team choosing any players I want.   

On Friday, we flew down to sunny, Las Vegas, Nevada to enjoy the 108 degree weather and spend some quality time with friends.

The boys didn't go with us to Nevada, although they did their best to try to prevent us from leaving them behind with Grandma Linda.  Three hours before our flight was set to depart, they decided to cause us some problems.  While participating in some Horse Play, Luke told Avery to pull his feet while he held on to the couch cushions.  Naturally, Avery yanked much harder than Luke was anticipating causing him to lose his grip and fall off the couch landing only on his chin.  At first we hoped that it was just a minor cut, but I could tell it was much more serious once I got a close look and could see the gaping hole staring back at me.  A trip to the emergency room produced 7 stitches and a stuffed puppy named Ike from the nice folks at the hospital.  Seeing Luke smile and hug his new dog after the ordeal he just endured made me pretty happy.  Even if we did have to postpone our flight until the next morning!

The reason for our trip to the sunny state of Nevada was to attend the wedding of Krazy Kory and Krazy Kelli!  It was at the Graceland Wedding Chapel originally made famous by Jon Bon Jovi also being married at this very place!  It was so cool.  But I'm guessing that soon after we left the owners updated the sign so that it now reads:

"Krazy Kory was Married Here."

o

Elvis was in attendance for the event, although he didn't perform the actual wedding.  The bride and groom chose a little bit more of a traditional minister.  I wasn't sure what to expect considering the environment, but I was pleased to find out that the guy they selected performed one of the most touching services I've attended in a long, long time.  Even if he didn't play the guitar when he was done.

Our old friends, Mike and Allison Glaser also made the journey for the joyous nuptials.  Krazy Kory forced Mike and I to wear pink ties and socks for the ceremony.  I'm pretty sure Mike also wore pink underwear, but every time he invited me to take a peek at them, I just said No.

The Wedding Party

After the ceremony, we went to the grand opening of LAX at the Luxor hosted by none other than Britney Spears.  On this night, it was arguably the hippest place to be on the entire planet.  Of course, we didn't actually go into the club since there was a massive line, but Damn! did we ever look good hanging outside with that Cool Crowd!   

On Saturday, we wandered the strip from one end to the other.  It sure is a long walk, but it has so many neat sights!  We really enjoyed the Water Show at The Bellagio, The Mall at Caeser's Palace, and the Champagne Brunch at the Luxor!  All you can drink booze for breakfast?  This is my kind of town! 

There sure are a lot of boobs to be seen in Las Vegas.

I don't know why, but for some reason this was Miss Sheri's favorite spot!

(Sung to the Tune of Silver Bells)

Flower Balls.

Flower Balls.

They're just some balls.....made with flowers.

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