Shortarmguy's Diary

Last Saturday, we had fun with the Cub Scouts at their annual Pack Picnic at Hidden Valley Park, in Savage, Minnesota.  We spent quite a bit of time in the Credit River kicking up rocks and looking for crawdads.  Thank God we didn’t find any!

Joey, Karl, and I had quite an eye opening conversation on a very manly topic.  I wanted to tell you what we discussed, but Miss Sheri wouldn’t let me talk about it.  Needless to say, I learned a lot from these guys. 

On Thursday night, we went and saw the new Indiana Jones movie.  It was fun, it was a thrill ride, and the boys loved it.  It also paid a lot of tributes to the original series.  That being said, both Miss Sheri and I left the theater feeling somewhat disappointed.  It goes on a lot of unbelievable tangents that just seemed to be a bit over the top.  I know the Indiana Jones movies were always a bit on the fantastical side, but this one goes to a whole new level that I thought was unnecessary.  I’m still giving the movie One Big Thumb Up, but it almost went the other way.

On Friday night, we stopped by Lakefront Park.  Luke reverted back to his true Crocodile Hunter form by capturing this big, fat toad shortly after we arrived.  It was pretty cute how it sat in Luke’s hands while he walked around showing it to everyone.  Then we had to crush his spirits by telling him he couldn’t keep it.  I think the toad was a little crushed as well.  


Avery called me over and said he wanted me to shoot him doing a trick on his skateboard.  When I came to the stairs, he was posed like this.  So I turned on the video camera and told him to Go.  He shook his head and told me “No, I just want you to take a picture of me up here!”  I must admit, he did look pretty cool.

Later on Friday night, we connected with our old friends, Khang and Christine, to do the huge buffet at Mystic Lake Casino.  I’d planned on taking some pictures of us eating, but it turned out I never put down my silverware long enough to get a shot. 

On Saturday, we said “Screw the crappy weather!”  and went on a boat ride.  We were determined to take the boys fishing which turned out to be a bit of a mess because we were also determined to bring our dog, Sunny, and he took great interest in the worms we placed on our hooks.  Fishing and Sunny are not a great combination.



As a matter of fact, boating and Sunny are not a great combination.  He’s such a spaz while he’s on the boat!  I think it’s because he loves to swim so much that it’s just torture for him to look around at all this great water and he’s just supposed to ride around on top of it.

Saturday afternoon brought us to a new place.  It’s called Chutes and Ladders and it’s a free community park in the Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington, MN.  We discovered that we could set the boys free in the play area for a half hour and suddenly they no longer had any energy to talk back to us.  We now plan on going there on a daily basis.

I took the plunge down the longest slide in the park.  I entered at the top and then thought it would make a fun picture, so I pulled my camera out (by kostis iacovatos).  The kids started screaming at me to Go from both the top and bottom of the slide, but I think if they would have seen the results of this photo they would have wanted to be a lot more patient with me.

On Saturday night, Miss Sheri seemingly was fed up with all her yard work and decided it would be a better idea to just set the entire yard on fire.  Luckily our bricked in pit contained the flames, but I think she might try again soon.  She’s a little bit of a psycho.

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.

On Monday, I flew to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for this year’s Microsoft Channel Partner Summit.  It was a very busy few days sitting in a variety of meetings and presentations outlining Microsoft’s views of the marketplace and new product strategies.  There was a lot of good information including how Microsoft plans to respond to all those silly Apple Commercials!  Sadly, I can’t tell you any of what I learned or my computer will suddenly jolt me with a couple thousand volts of electricity.

Dr. Bollig joined me on Tuesday and we spent a good amount of time admiring the ocean view from the 30th floor of the hotel.  There was also quite a bit of analysis involving how long it would take to hit the ground if one of us were to accidentally fall over the railing.  That conversation certainly didn’t help me deal with my fear of heights very well. 

When I woke up on Wednesday morning, it was pretty hazy outside over the ocean.  I spent a lot of time trying to figure out where the ocean ended and where the sky began.  Then I realized I was probably a bit hung-over and most of the haze I was seeing was just inside my head.

Although we spent most of our days in meetings, it was fun to have the chance to go out at night with friends.


Eric is our Microsoft field representative and Deb is with another one of his customers.  This was taken on the first night we were there when I discovered a new type of drink called a Mojito.  The bartender told me it was basically sugar water and rum and then they add some weird leaves to the mix.  I’ve never been too big of a leaf drinker, but I must admit they weren’t half bad!

Bob and Pat own another computer manufacturer in Minnesota called Now Micro.  Technically, they’re a competitor to Nor-Tech but we always have such a good time with them we leave those minor details behind us.

There’s always some interesting characters that show up at these Microsoft events.  I asked this lady if she was going to sell her bones to Michael Jackson, but I don’t think she had any clue as to what I was talking about.  Either that or she only spoke elephant.

We stayed out until the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday and ended up in a club in Hollywood, Florida where throughout the night the locals got up and danced on the bar!

Naturally, some were more fun to watch than others! 

All in all, it was a pretty darned good trip to Florida!


So my Miami Ink episode finally appeared!  I was nervous as heck before it aired, but I have to say I was pretty pleased with the results.  My website saw a huge surge in traffic shortly after the episode appeared since TLC was kind enough to leave my mention of in the show.  For those of you who recently learned of my site from Miami Ink, you can read about our visit to the shop HERE.  You can read a story about my being on Miami Ink in the Prior Lake American HERE.

Somebody emailed me that they posted my Miami Ink episode on Youtube.  I’m guessing they weren’t supposed to do that, but figure as long as Youtube allowed them to put it up there, it wouldn’t hurt if I linked to it here.  Hope you enjoy the clip!

On Sunday, we had the pleasure of seeing our sons singing at church with the other Sunday School children.  After looking at the pictures, I found it quite interesting that pretty much every child is paying attention to the instructor and singing.  Except Luke who found it much more fulfilling to make a goofy face at his dad who was taking a picture from the 10th row in the audience.  You’d never guess we were related!  

Sunday afternoon brought us to our good friends, the Hornbuckles, to celebrate Jon’s birthday.  We also spent a lot of time waving at one another.

I hadn’t seen Dick and Vic Hornbuckle in quite awhile which made this an extra special day.  Dick was a hero a few months ago when he donated a kidney to his son, Chad.  I kept trying to figure out if he looked different now that he only had one kidney, but he looked pretty much the same to me.

On Wednesday night, a group of the Nor-Tech guys had the pleasure of attending a debate between conservative radio talk show host, Michael Medved, and liberal talk show host, Ed Schultz.  It was quite the spirited event!  I’ve never sat between Democrats and Republicans as riled up as the people in this audience were!  It was a little bit scary at times, but I found both speakers to be quite engaging thus I felt it was worth risking my life to attend.

The nice thing was that nobody there was too opinionated!

We tried to take the boat out this week, but discovered that the battery was shot!  My good friend, Larry Hanson, came to the rescue though and cut me a heck of a deal on a new one.  He even came to my house to install it which I thought was very cool!  Larry and his partner, Dan, have started a new business repairing people’s boats and if you live in Prior Lake or the neighboring communities, you’d be crazy not to give them some business.  They have great prices and personal service.  Plus they’ll come to you, so you don’t have to hassle with going to see them!  Call Turn-Key BoatWorks at 612-709-9918 and tell them I said to give you a great deal on boat repairs!

On Saturday, we had the pleasure of joining the good folks at Camp Odayin on their visit to the Bakken Museum.

Earl Bakken is the founder of Medtronic and invented the world’s first wearable and implantable pacemakers.  His museum is the world’s only one devoted to medical electricity.  Avery really got a charge out of being there as he spun this wheel generating a steady stream of sparks. 

Luke generated his own fun as he demonstrated static electricity for the audience.  Afterwards he had the opportunity to shock the instructor which quickly removed the large smile from his face.

Quick Update on Dad

He finished his chemotherapy treatments this week and was able to leave the hospital…..for one day.  Then some complications arose sending him back in where he remains today.  They’re hoping to get back on track and leave the hospital tomorrow or soon after.  As always, continued prayers for his recovery are greatly appreciated!


Shawn Hogendorf at The Prior Lake American wrote a great article about and my visit to the Miami Ink Tattoo Studio in yesterday’s newspaper.  You can read the article here.   My episode is supposed to air this Thursday, May 8th at 9PM central Standard Time on TLC.  I hope to God it goes well since I’ve now told pretty much every person I’ve ever met since birth to watch it.

Last Saturday, Miss Sheri had a night out with friends, so the boys and I headed to Burnsville to visit Grand Slam.   We played in the arcade and had a rousing match of mini golf with about 6000 other children.  It was neat to see the big pirate ships surrounding the course, but I could have done without the gang of pre-teen boys harassing me to “Hurry Up” every time I lined up to take a shot.   I take my mini golf very seriously and sometimes it’s hard to read the greens in these places!

I stopped to talk to this pirate and get some dieting tips from him.  It looks like he’s done a lot of crunches in his time.

On Saturday morning, we had the pleasure to take Sunny to The Gentle Doctor in Savage.  Sunny hasn’t been a really big fan of making visits to the vet ever since that one time we took him there when he was a puppy and they cut off part of his noodle.

I asked the nice vet if she minded if I took a picture while she gave Sunny his shots.  She said “No problem at all” and then asked if we’d like to put him on the table so we could get a better shot.  I said “Absolutely” and then the three of us struggled for the next five minutes trying to convince the dog it was a good idea.

Later we went and saw the movie, Iron Man, with Grandma Linda. What a great flick that was!  Best Superhero movie I’ve seen in years!  I really liked what Robert Downey Jr did with his character.  If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend going.  Shortarmguy Rating:  1 Big Thumb Up!

We decided to start pretending that it’s Springtime in Minnesota by visiting the driving range to hit some balls. 

Miss Sheri tried to hit some balls while bundled up in her winter gear, but found it quite difficult to maneuver enough to twist her arms without her heavy coat getting in the way. 

It’s official.  Avery can now out-drive his father on the golf course.  It’s very exciting for him and very depressing for me.

Luke is also brushing up on his golf skills, so I’m sure it won’t be long before he’ll be crushing me as well.  About that time, the Shortarmguy Family will begin taking up some different sporting activities!

Update on my Father

As I told you on last week’s update, dad went down to Houston to MD Anderson to see if they could help him in his battle with Leukemia.  They did a bunch of tests on him and discovered that the leukemia had grown to encompass 90% of his blood!  So they determined he was eligible for some trial treatments and admitted him to the hospital on Tuesday.  He started a new round of chemotherapy on Wednesday and is still in the middle of it.  The funny thing is that even though my dad is probably as sick as he’s ever been, his attitude is great!  He’s more positive and energetic than I’ve heard him in months!  As you can see from this snapshot from a video call earlier today, he looks great also.   Even though I know the odds are against him beating this, I have a good feeling that things are going to work out.  Thanks again for everyone who is praying for him and sending him positive thoughts!!  For those of you who don’t know my dad in real life, this is a video I made for him for his birthday several years ago.  It shows what a goofball he is and also catches him dealing with one of his greatest fears:  The fear of “Heigth”

My Dad Bob


A big congratulations go out to my old Brother In Law, Cliff Nelson, and his wife, Katy, on the birth of their new baby girl!

This is an excerpt from an email Cliff sent me:

Cloe Marie Nelson was born Friday morning at 12:15 am. 7 lbs. 10oz. and is  20 inches long. She has some battle scars from her journey into the world that may take some time to go away but we’re keeping her anyway. Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.

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