Camp Odayin 2009 Heart and Sole Run

Shortarmguy at the Camp Odayin 2009 Heart and Sole Run
It’s Popcorn Selling Season for Pack 331. We stopped by to pick up some supplies for our den from our old friend, Jimi Gilbertson. Jimi volunteered to be this year’s popcorn chairperson. Here he’s seen with last year’s chairperson, Tom McKeen, doing the “Pass the Popcorn Bowl” ritual that is performed when the duties are passed from one person to another. There was also a lot of dancing and singing as part of the handoff ceremony, but honestly I thought the pictures looked just a bit too embarrassing to post them here. Saturday, we participated in the Camp Odayin Heart and Sole Fun Run. Most of the Shortarmguy Family walked at the event, though, because we’re strong believers that the words Fun and Run just don’t belong in the same sentence together.

Avery decided to buck the family tradition, however, when he pronounced that he wanted to take a shot at running at the event this year. We told him it was his prerogative so he should feel free to give it a shot. So shortly before the race began, we walked him up to the front of the line where the walkers typically aren’t allowed to be! We felt so rebellious!
I tried to run ahead to get a photo of Avery’s start, but they blew the horn just a bit too quickly for me to get positioned. You can barely see him in the middle of this group of men, but if you look closely you can see a burning look of desire on the boy’s face that just makes me so dang proud to be his dad. I honestly have no idea how he did, but I do know he didn’t make it around the lake a second time. The race was a 5K and each pass around the lake was 2.5K. I told him before hand if he was too tired, he shouldn’t try to do the second lap and I guess he took my advice. That being said, he did finish way ahead of the rest of his family and by golly that’s good enough for me!
Of course, Luke and I did take our time during our portion of the walk. Towards the end, I tried to give him some pointers on how to pick up cheerleaders, but he just thinks that’s “Gross”. I’m guessing it won’t be too much longer before he starts changing his mind on that attitude.

This is Sara and Alison from Camp Odayin and they are a couple of the awesome people that make this event possible. Alison’s significant other can also be seen in the back and none other than Kare 11 Weatherman, Sven Sungaard, is the man between Luke and Avery. I have no idea where Sven finished in the race, but I’m guessing that Avery beat him!

On Sunday, we made our annual trek to Minnesota Harvest which is a large Apple Orchard. We like to go on tractor rides out into the fields of Apple Trees. When we go, we’re supposed to actually get off the tractor and go into the trees to pick apples to buy them. However, we don’t do that because honestly we’re not that into apples. But we do like tractor rides.

Grandma Linda enjoys going to the Apple Orchard to stare at all the fruit. I think that she thinks that they’re actually communicating with her in some weird way. I’ve never actually asked her about this, though. Mainly because if by some chance the apples really are saying something to her, I certainly don’t want to interrupt them.
Miss Sheri loves going on the tractor rides since she grew up on a farm and used to drive many tractors herself back in the day. She kept waving at the other drivers using what she called “Tractor Driver Sign Language” but I don’t get the impression they knew what she was talking about.

Nice Emails of the Week

I recall your fascination with Ty Pennington, well Extreme Home Makeover is in town in St. Paul. More specifically, on the West Side neighborhood where I grew up and went to school all of my life. Sandy, who has been selected for a home remodel, I graduated with from Humboldt in 1987.

She is the one in the middle of the photo. I’m going to try and get some photos for my blog, but if you volunteer, they have strict policy of no cameras, so I may just spectate.

Steve “Cuds” Cuddihy

Article Link:

Volunteer here: will be undergoing some changes in the coming weeks.

I’ve been wanting to convert my website to a better blogging platform for years, but considering I’ve been building this site one page at a time every week for more than10 years now, it’s become a bit unwieldy.  I haven’t figured out a good way to install a better blogging platform on to the front page of this site and still leave my existing pages intact.  If any of you skilled webmasters out there want to help me figure out a good way to do this, I’d certainly be willing to pay you for your time.  Please email me at to discuss your ideas.  In the meantime, visit my new site for the same weekly content you’ve been used to except now I’ll be updating it daily!

The new website address is:


Thanks so much for visiting my site!!!

Shortarmguy — Todd Swank