Diary Entry For April 27, 2008

It’s Official!!  I received a call from Adam with Miami Ink on Friday.  He said my episode will be on in 2 weeks on Thursday, May 8th.  So set your DVR’s now to watch it!  Miami Ink is on Thursday nights on TLC at 9PM Central Standard Time.  If you haven’t read about my Miami Ink Experience yet, check out the link here.  It’s been 6 months since I taped the episode, so I don’t really remember much about what I said.  All I know is that I had cameras on me for about 5 hours and I was being pretty chatty.  Please keep in mind that If I come off as a schmuck, it’s all in the editing.  If I come off as cool, then that’s exactly the way I am in real life!

This is Natalie.  She received her tattoo on the same day that I did.  Before we went into the studio, she told me that getting a tattoo was like having a sewing machine go over the same part of your body for 3 hours!   I saw on last week’s episode that her story will be on the air this Thursday, May 1st.  She was a runaway bride and asked Chris Nunez on a date while he was doing her ink!  I can’t wait to see how that one ended up!

This week, we weren’t having quite as much as excitement as getting a tattoo, but going to the PTC carnival on Saturday was pretty darn close!

The PTC Carnival happens at the Prior Lake School and just keeps getting bigger and bigger every year.  It’s basically a huge fundraiser to raise money for the schools in the district.  Judging by the size of the crowd and the massive prices they were charging for the activities, I’m guessing they pulled in quite the haul!!  Good for them!  Maybe now my property taxes will go down.

Although we arrived early and participated in a lot of the fun stuff, the Shortarmguy Family volunteered to work at the carnival as well.  We helped the Cub Scouts as they manned the “Jail and Bail” Booth.  People would pay tickets for the Scouts to lock up their friends and family and then charge them again to bail them out!  What a great scam that was!

When we first arrived at the carnival, our neighbors paid to have Avery arrested and put in jail.  He didn’t quite understand the concept at first and became quite upset when they tried to take him away from me.  So Luke volunteered to go in his place while I explained to Avery that it was supposed to be fun.  I guess it’s good that my kids fear imprisonment at such an early age. 

On Monday night, we had our final Pack meeting of the year culminating in the Crossing Over ceremony where Luke and Avery graduated to become Webelos Scouts.  For awhile, I considered talking them out of it because it means we’ll have to buy them new tan shirts to wear next year, but I guess they just can’t be blue shirted Cub Scouts forever! 

When we came home from the Pack meeting, we remembered that it was Sunny’s Third Birthday and we didn’t even have a party for him!  Avery insisted that I take this picture so we could commemorate the event.  I figured I’d also celebrate it by re-posting the first entry I ever made about Sunny on my website.  So here it is from my 2005 Diary Page

And since we didn’t have enough stress in our lives, we decided to pile on a little more by buying a new Golden Retriever Puppy named Sunny.  This new little bit of Sunshine in our lives comes complete with razor sharp teeth and claws, an uncanny ability to soil the floor the moment we turn our heads, and a squeal like a tornado siren when he feels like he’s been in his kennel too long….usually at about 3 or 4am.  Other than that, he’s cute as a button and seems to like his new home and family.  I’m confident he’ll make good eatin’ some day. 

It’s not all smiles and sunshine in Shortarmguy Land this week.  As many of you know, my father has been battling leukemia for the past couple of years.  He’s been home from the hospital for about a month now, but hasn’t had much energy to leave the house.  This photo is from a video call we did a couple weeks ago.  On Friday, dad found out that his white blood cell count had risen to 32% and a normal reading is about 3 – 10%.  This isn’t a good thing.  Ever the fighters, he and Joyce have embarked on a journey to Houston, Texas where they will meet with one of the best leukemia doctors in the country on Monday.  When I talked with him earlier today, he was in great spirits.  He’s quite hopeful they’ll be able to do something for him, but is cognizant of his situation and seems ready for anything.  I know he’d appreciate prayers and positive thoughts from anyone willing to send them his way.  Those prayers have performed many miracles for my family in the past, so please keep them coming!

On Saturday night, we had our old friends, Steve and Melissa Cuddihy, over for dinner. Long time visitors to will remember Steve “Cuds” Cuddihy as the original Shortarmguy Stalker.  That’s all over now.  Once I started letting Steve have his way with me on a regular basis, his whole stalking desire just seemed to disappear.

Melissa is really a lot of fun.  For most of the night she followed Steve around, hiding behind his back.  Then suddenly she’d stick her head out and shout “Peekaboo!”  It was pretty cute.

We finally started seeing some Spring weather this week allowing us to go on a bunch of family walks with the dog. I have no idea what Sunny seems so focused on in this picture and I don’t think I like it.

The darned ice is being really stubborn in leaving us this year.  I guess weeks and weeks of subzero weather makes it pretty thick.   We’ve told Luke and Avery that they have to keep wearing their helmets to the lake until the ice is gone for good.  You can never be too careful.

I told Avery he should try to spear us some penguins for supper, but he never came through with hitting any.

Miss Sheri is the last hold out on the winter coat and gloves.  Thankfully, I stopped her from wearing that ski mask, though.  It’s not that cold!

Sunny is impervious to the cold water.  We were amazed that he swam in and out of the icy layers without complaint.  The boys kept throwing sticks farther and farther into the ice to see if he’d get stuck.  I was thinking “If he does get stuck, I’ll be the moron who has to swim out and save him.”   But they were all having so much fun, I didn’t have the heart to stop them. 

I felt sorry for the geese walking around on the ice.  I figured they must be searching for the water, but they just couldn’t seem to find it.  I kept yelling “It’s over here, dummies!”  but they didn’t seem to listen.

It was a pretty exciting week for Shortarmguy.  On Sunday, I flew to Sunny Las Vegas to attend the 2008 Intel Solutions Summit.

I was accompanied on the trip by Dr. Bollig and his wife, Cynthia.  We stayed on the strip at the incredible Venetian Hotel and Casino.  I asked if I could take home this Golden Naked Lady statue they had in their lobby, but they wouldn’t let me.

We had the honor of hearing Paul Otellini speak about the future of Intel and the technology industry as a whole.  I’d tell you what he said, but I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement before attending the event.  My understanding is that if I reveal any details about their strategy for 2008, they’re allowed to shoot me.  I guess I don’t really want that to happen.

We had the fortune of seeing several old friends.  I think Byron and I have been hanging out together for the past 5 years at these things.  Byron is a great guy who’s always sending new visitors to  He also proved himself to be quite the networker while we were there.  Intel had a contest to see which attendee could meet the most people and Byron met more than 400 winning the grand prize!  Way to go, Byron!

We also connected with our old Intel rep, the lovely Ratika Arora, as well as an old Globelle co-worker, Friedrich Gloeckler.  Coincidentally enough, they’re both currently from Portland, Oregon although I don’t think they knew each other before we hooked up at this event.  Crazy.  I thought everyone from Portland knew each other.

We partied with Friedrich quite a bit.  He proved himself to be quite the cool cat when he went up and started hanging out with Whoopi Goldberg.  She wasn’t real talkative, but I could tell the two of them hit it off well.

Probably my favorite thing we did while we were there was visit the Stratosphere!

Soaring more than 100 stories above the Vegas Strip, the Stratosphere gives incredible views of the Bright Lights in Sin City!  We ate at the spinning restaurant while enjoying the magnificent view.   We also leaned over on the windows and looked down at the city far, far below us.  If you’re not a fan of heights, this isn’t a very good place to be!!

After dinner, Dr. Bollig and I decided that we might as well try to terrify ourselves even more by riding the X-Scream ride.  This is basically a giant teeter totter which propels you 27 feet over the edge of the tower, 866 feet above the ground.  It was literally the scariest ride I’ve eve been on in my life!  Here’s a Youtube Video showing what it’s like:

Back on Earth, I was lucky enough to be selected to go into the Cash Vault at one of the Intel events they planned for us.  When I first heard I was going in there, I didn’t have a good feeling about it.  God didn’t really make my body for the intent of pulling in a bunch of bills in a 15 second time period.  But I’m proud to say the little arms did pretty well allowing me to grab on to $73 bucks!  Not too shabby!!

We were pleasantly surprised when we found out that Nor-Tech won the final award presented for the evening.  Our Portable Cluster was named Best in Show – Most Innovative Server Solution.  It was a very cool moment. 

On the last night we were there, Intel had a very nice Awards Ceremony headlined by the extremely funny, Frank Caliendo This guy reminded me of Robin Williams on three shots of triple espresso!  Here’s a video of his act so you can get a taste of what we saw:

Our award wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for the support of our good friends at Intel including our field sales engineer, Scott Schmoll, our field technical engineer, Max Glover, and their boss, regional sales manager, John Kalvin.  Thanks for the great time, guys!

We came back to Minneapolis on Wednesday.  On Thursday, we had a video crew visit Nor-Tech who were producing a video on the new Windows Vista with SP1 and Microsoft Live Services.  Participating in the video was a great experience, but certainly made a hectic week even more hectic!  I’m looking forward to just a mellow week doing work!!

On Saturday night, our old friends Tim and Katie Ashland came over for supper.  It was great to see them, even if they did spend most of the night making out!  Miss Sheri and I really admire how much they still seem to be in love after all these years of marriage.  After awhile, though, it does get a little hard to watch. 

Monday brought us another pleasant reminder that we live in Minnesota when six inches of spring snow fell down upon us.  This weather is just so much better than silly warmth and sunshine.

Luke and Avery and the ducks are really ready for Spring.  We walked to the lake to see how thick the ice is and were somewhat encouraged.  It’s pretty thin.  So thin in fact that our dog, Sunny, was breaking through to the water as he attempted to pounce on the birds and have a duck snack.  

Avery avoided the lake preferring instead to race his bike around the boat launch parking lot.  He was lucky to avoid the icy spots otherwise he would have had a good chance to test his helmet!

On Tuesday, I had the privilege to attend the Microsoft Server 2008 Launch Event at the Minneapolis Convention Center.  Nor-tech had a booth in the partner pavilion, but I thought I’d go to the auditorium to see what all the hub bub was about.  I discovered they were discussing pretty in depth technical issues involved in network administration.  After about ten minutes of trying to figure out what they were talking about, my attention deficit disorder kicked in and I ran out of there as quickly as I could!

Dale, Nick, and I were there representing Nor-tech.  It was a great show attended by 2500 technical people from some of the largest companies and institutions in Minnesota.  We gave away over 600 T-shirts in just a couple of hours!!!!  My shirt giving arm grew to be quite tired!

Mr. Rahman is seen here demonstrating Nor-tech’s Portable Cluster which has been well received by various clients in the military, in the oil and gas industry, and in higher education.  Even better than that, though, Nick also discovered the booth with the company giving away the flying monkeys!  Those flying monkeys were the highlight of our day!

Nor-tech’s latest product is the Voyageur Modular Server.  This bad boy is built on Intel’s MultiFlex Technology and features up to six compute nodes, integrated Gigabit Ethernet switches, and internal SAN storage with virtual drives.  So easy, even a flying monkey can use it!  That’s the tag line we’re thinking of using to promote it.

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