Diary Entry For January 27, 2008

It was Awards Night on Thursday for The League To Be Named Later.  Steve “Cuds” Cuddihy is an awesome Fantasy Football commissioner and buys trophies for the various winners in his league.  He also gives out certificates of achievement for the different team owners.  People are honored for things like scoring the most points in a game, owning the best running backs, and keeping their underwear the cleanest throughout the season. 

Jay “Bird” Erickson was the Super Bowl Champ in our league this year riding the backs of players like Randy Moss, Jamal Lewis, and David Garrard to the ultimate victory.  My team had a 9-4 record during the regular season, but I just couldn’t put together a victory when it mattered in the playoffs.  Although I was very happy for Jay’s Glorious Season, losing makes me very, very sad on the inside.

On Saturday, we spent the afternoon making cars for the annual Cub Scout pinewood Derby Race next weekend!  I just love pushing blocks of wood through a rapidly moving band saw that just seems to be more than eager to rip into one of my eight remaining digits!  Luckily, I was able to cut up their wood without cutting up any Shortarmguy Flesh.

On Friday night, Grandma Linda and I went to see No Country for Old Men.  What a Cheery Movie that is!  I just love tales of murderous psychopaths!  I really hope Juno crushes it at the Oscars.  I wanted to get a picture of Grandma standing next to the movie poster, but we couldn’t find one.  So we stepped back in the lobby for this shot.  I don’t think the lady standing in line really understood what it was we were doing.

Luke wasn’t quite so lucky.  Since the boys are older now, we let them use the belt sander on their own to help shape the bodies of their cars.  Luke was doing a great job and used the sander with success for quite awhile.  Then suddenly he lost his grip on the block and pushed his hand into the belt shaving off a very light layer of his knuckle.  It was at that moment that Angry Luke made an appearance and decided that the car had been sanded enough!

Our den leader, Joey, and his family were kind enough to host us for the car creating activity.  We were very thankful to have access to their tools, because we’re not exactly a family of wood cutters.  Had they not invited us over, there was a very good chance that Luke and Avery would have been racing colored rectangular blocks next weekend!

On Saturday night, we were honored to be invited to Tim and Katie Ashland’s house.  It’s always fun to go to their place because you kind of feel like you just fell into the cover of a Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.   Tim is a professional Home Remodeler and recently launched his new website which can be seen here.  If you live in Minnesota and are looking for someone that does quality work at reasonable rates, do yourself a favor and give Tim a call.

According to Wikipedia, a trifle is a dessert dish made from thick (or often solidified) custard, fruit, sponge cake, fruit juice or, more recently, jelly (gelatin), and whipped cream.  Katie created an incredible Trifle concoction featuring lemon pudding, blueberries, and Angel Food Cake.  When it comes to hosting a dinner party, I’m pretty sure Martha Stewart calls Katie to get some tips!!  Miss Sheri and I were very excited because one of our biggest fantasies in life was to eat a dessert just like this.  Now we get to cross that sucker off the list!


An update on Shortarmguy’s Dad.

Grandpa Bob went through a very heavy dose of chemotherapy last weekend to attack his leukemia.  Although he tolerated the treatment well, we had a pretty scary week when it was discovered that a fungus called aspergillus entered his system and began spreading.   He had massive sores erupting all over his body and they found it in his bloodstream which meant it could start attacking his internal organs.  Luckily, it appears the doctors were able to pump him full of antibiotics and get it under control.   Now he just needs to keep fighting to get his white blood cells to start regenerating on their own again.  The above photo was snapped Sunday night from a video conference from his hospital room.

If you get a chance, please say a prayer for my dad to continue getting stronger and to kick that cancer’s butt!




Shortarmguy spent Saturday morning at the 16th Annual JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes at the Mall of America.  It’s an incredible event  that had a goal of raising more than $1.6 million dollars!

Event organizers estimated that more than 18000 people would be participating.  I stood on the balcony and tried to count everyone to see if they were right, but I kept losing track after only a couple of hundred.  Dang people just wouldn’t stand still!

Shortarmguy’s friend, Kim Bailey, works for JDRF and she managed the corporate teams involved.  Several members of Kim’s family were also nice enough to volunteer for the Walk, even though it meant they all had to be at the Mall by 5am on a Saturday morning!  That seems pretty nice to me.  If my sisters ever asked me to volunteer for anything, I’d tell them it would have to be after noon or forget about it!

Kim asked me to create a video for the event which was a lot of fun especially since I didn’t have to be there until 6:30am.  Jon Hornbuckle and I interviewed participants and taped a bunch of the walkers.  We also discovered that several members of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleading Squad were there to lend support which almost sent the video in a different direction artistically.

On Saturday night, Luke and Avery’s school hosted a Family Fun Night.  It sure was a lot of fun!

They had pizza, a dance, games, a magician, and a guy who brought a whole bunch of reptiles for the kids to harass.  It’s very interesting to witness that no matter how many times a kid pounds on a snake cage, they just won’t seem to do any tricks.  Stupid snakes.

The big letdown of the evening was when the boys discovered the room where kids were having their fingernails painted.  The first time we walked by, I told them they couldn’t do it because that activity was meant for the girls.  Later, they saw that some of the boys were having it done which meant of course they had to do it as well!

I’ve never felt as much pride as the night when my boys were beaming with glee as they had their finger nails prettied up in lovely shades of lavender and pink.  Family Fun Night, My Butt!

This week we made our greatest discovery of 2008 so far!  The Cleary Lake Dog Park Our Golden Retriever, Sunny, hasn’t been this happy since right before he was neutered!

The dog park is basically a 28 acre field that is completely fenced in and filled with trails where Sunny can run freely and meet other dogs.  We drove by this park for years, but I could never understand why the heck people would pay good money to take their dog for a walk when there are dozens of parks where one could do it for free.  Little did I know how fun this could be for the whole family!  It’s a great way to get fresh air and exercise for all of us and dog lovers tend to be very friendly people.

Not only does Sunny get to run his guts out, but he’s also lucky enough to be able to smell a whole bunch of different dog’s privates while he’s there.  A large number of dogs also seem very interested in smelling his privates which I’m certain must give him a very positive self image.

On Saturday night, we connected with some good friends at Chevys across from the Mall of America for some fine Mexican food topped off by a few Coronas.

We hadn’t connected with Kin and Mike Bailey for quite some time so it was really nice to see them.  I told them I didn’t think I ever had a photo taken of them together so I had to pay them each a dollar to make this one happen.

Jason introduced us to a new friend of his named Laura.  She coaches a team of high school cheerleaders and was in town for some big cheerleading tournament of some kind.  I was very intrigued by the concept of a stadium full of cheerleaders.  It sounded just like a dream I once had. 

I think I was making Laura feel a bit uncomfortable with my sense of humor because eventually she revealed to me that she always carries this canister of mace wherever she goes.  She told me I’d better watch out because this thing was so powerful, it could Blind a Bear!  I thought that sounded pretty cool and really wanted to try it out.  But sadly, I couldn’t find any bears in the restaurant!

It’s been below freezing for about 6 weeks in Minnesota, so the boys and I finally were brave enough to take Sunny for a walk across Prior Lake.  Cars and trucks have been driving on it for a few weeks, so I guess it’s strong enough to hold our weight….but I’m always still paranoid!  I can’t imagine a much scarier thing than to have one of us fall through the ice!  We came across an abandoned ice fishing hole and some how Avery slipped his foot into it and soaked it.  That ended our journey a bit earlier than expected. 

On Saturday, we connected with some friends for breakfast at the Original Pancake House in Eden Prairie.  The food was magnificent and the company was quite enjoyable.  Then Luke felt the need to give a movie review of The Simpsons Movie paying extra special attention to a detailed account of Bart’s naked skateboard ride.  When he started talking about his “Thing Wiggling” we knew it was time to start shushing him.

We had a family New Year’s Eve Celebration by going to the Mall of America and their unveiling of the brand new Nickelodeon Universe.  This logo is so new, they didn’t even have the characters painted on it yet!  Not sure why… maybe they’re anticipating an early demise of Spongebob or Dora the Explorer so they’ll be using someone else when the park opens.  I just don’t know.

About half the rides were shut down as they’re being re-built for the launch of Nickelodeon Universe this Spring.  It’s being billed as the world’s largest indoor theme park and the first one to exclusively feature Nickelodeon characters.  Normally on a Monday night, the park has twilight rates which lets kids have unlimited rides for $12.95.  But because this was a holiday, twilight rates weren’t available so kids had to pay $25.95 instead.  Even though half the rides were out of commission.  Those good people at the Mall of America sure are generous to their customers!

About half the rides were shut down as they’re being re-built for the launch of Nickelodeon Universe this Spring.  It’s being billed as the world’s largest indoor theme park and the first one to exclusively feature Nickelodeon characters.  Normally on a Monday night, the park has twilight rates which lets kids have unlimited rides for $12.95.  But because this was a holiday, twilight rates weren’t available so kids had to pay $25.95 instead.  Even though half the rides were out of commission.  Those good people at the Mall of America sure are generous to their customers!

Even though I belly-ached about the price of the rides, we did have a nice time at the “Rock the Park 2008 Family New Year’s Celebration”.  They had some circus performers, acrobats, and an illusionist named Jonathan Bryce doing magic.  He even called Avery up to the stage to help him with one of his tricks!  It was very cute because he had him dress up in a magician’s outfit with a tall black hat.  I was going to show a picture of it, but when I told Avery I was going to do that  on my website he screamed at me “You’re ruining my life with that thing!”

We received some bad news this week.  Grandpa Bob had a spinal tap on Wednesday which revealed his leukemia is back.  He’s going to have to start undergoing heavy doses of chemotherapy starting next week so if any of you have some spare prayers you could throw his way, we’d all certainly appreciate it! 

Pete Steege is a global marketing manager for Seagate, the world’s largest hard disk drive manufacturer.  Pete also writes a blog on opportunities in storage called  He recently came in to Nor-tech to interview a few of us for his website and this video is Dr. Bollig and I discussing our business.

Nor-tech VP of Engineering, Dom Daninger, discusses the amazing power and features of the Nor-tech Portable Cluster.

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