Wisconsin Dells Vacation

June 27, 2010 Wisconsin Dells Vacation
Last week, Avery had a chance to help mom mow the lawn. Unfortunately I wasn’t there to tape it. However, it was Luke’s turn this week to learn how to drive the lawnmower and I was around to catch it on video. Thankfully, nothing too crazy happened so the video probably isn’t all that entertaining, but I still got a kick out of it.
Luke Swank’s first experience driving a lawnmower.
This week we took a family vacation to the Wisconsin Dells and stayed at the lovely Wilderness Resort and Water Park!
It was really our first official family vacation with Miss Sheri’s side of the family. I’ve never seen them so excited in my entire life!
We also had the pleasure to be joined by one of my high school classmates, Michelle “Hahn” Craven, her husband, Casey, and their wonderful daughters Marissa and Hannah. The girls and I had a lot of fun going down the scariest water slides together. I just hope my screams of terror didn’t scar them for life!
The most terrifying ride I attempted was one called the Hurricane. It is the Dells’ tallest indoor 4-person, family raft ride which plummets 58 feet before dropping thrill-seekers into a funnel where they spin around and then splash into a landing pool below. It probably wouldn’t have been so bad except that right before the trip the attendant asked me if I was going to be able to hold on tight enough. He didn’t speak very good English so I’m not sure if he understood my response of “I don’t know! Do you think it’s going to be a problem?” He just smiled at me in response, gave me a Thumbs Up, and pushed us down into the Pit of Despair. My little hands gripped as tight as they could, but I was scared for my life! When we hit the main drop and then rode the edges of the large funnel back and forth way up high in the air, I was whispering quite a few prayers for my life. Thankfully, my eight fingers did their duty and I made it through to the end. Needless to say, I didn’t go on that ride again.
Avery went on it again, though. Along with every other scary slide that the place had!!! Luckily for him, he was born with his mother’s grippers!
Luke wasn’t as lucky as his brother and was born with his father’s fingers, so he pretty much avoided the biggest slides. Although he did get Grandma Linda to accompany him down the Blast Zone! They got Blasted together quite a few times!
We all really enjoyed The Great Wave which is the nation’s largest indoor wave pool measuring 15,450 square feet and is capable of generating waves up to 5 feet tall!! I’m not sure if the people around me enjoyed it as much though, when my fat butt came crashing down on their heads over and over again.
Where’s Shortarmguy?
I didn’t really enjoy the lobby that much when I saw this lifelike looking bear. It reminded me too much of my run-in with the bear at last week’s canoe and camping trip with the boy scouts. I did try kicking it in the groin a few times, but the dang thing just kept standing there!
We like the pool that overlooks the lake. It made us feel like we were swimming in the lake, except we didn’t have any leeches swimming up into our crotch areas!
This is Officer Fred. He was nice enough to take us for a boat tour of Lake Delton where our resort was located. Some of you may remember hearing about Lake Delton a couple years ago when the man made lake was flooded and then drained when the surging waters found a new path to the river taking along several houses with it. Officer Fred told us that he took many of the videos that were on the news. I’m not sure if this is one of them but it will give you a taste of what kind of destruction this small town experienced only a couple of years ago.
Lake Delton Floods and then Drains
All in all, we had an excellent time at the Wilderness Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. For any of you planning a family vacation yet this summer, I highly recommend it!

Nice Emails of the Week


I received this email in response to this post:


Dear Mr. Swank,

A little constructive help! Your pictures of Hiroshima look very similar to what I see in Yokohama. Attached is a Google shot of one of the same buildings.

Great website; I enjoy it a lot.

Allen Huies

Tamaplaza, Yokohama, Japan

P.S. Yokohama was not nuked because the destruction was so massive during the conventional (napalm) bombing that they would not be able to see the destructive power of the A-bomb. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not harmed much during the war. Tokyo and Yokohama were in the same condition after the war as Hiroshima and Nagasaki except for the radiation. The two former were firebombed in March 1945 so although your website makes prefect sense, almost no one knows how massive the destruction of Tokyo and Yokohama was.

Yokohama 2010
Tokyo after the fire bombing- 1945

Quote of the Week

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
— Walt Disney, Theme Park Mogul

Link To Last Week’s Diary Entry

une 20, 2010 Canoe Trip on the Namekagon River

Shortarmguy's Crazy Emails for January 6, 2013

Playoffs 2013

Good News For Grandma

Shark Eating Shark

Shortarmguy's Crazy Emails for December 30, 2012

Christmas Funnies 2012

Stacking Wood

Still The Light, By Cameo Smith (Mt. Wolf, PA)

Twas’ 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38
when 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven’s gate.
their smiles were contagious,
their laughter filled the air…
they could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.

They were filled with such joy, they didn’t know what to say.
Remembering nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
“Where are we?” asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
“This is Heaven.” declared a small boy. “we’re spending Christmas at God’s house.”

When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
but Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
then He opened His arms and He called them by name.

In that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring
those children all flew to the arms of their King
As they lingered in the warmth of His blessed embrace,
one small girl turned and looked at Jesus’ face.

And as if He could read all the questions she had
He gently whispered to her, “I’ll take care of mom and dad.”
When He looked down on earth, the world far below
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe

He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
“Let My power and presence re-enter this land!”
“may this country be delivered from the hands of fools”
“I’m taking back my nation. I’m taking back my schools!”

Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
“Come now my children, let me show you around.”
excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
all displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.

and I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
“in the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT.”

Shortarmguy's Crazy Emails for December 16, 2012

Dear Santa, How are you? How is Mrs. Claus? I hope everyone, from the reindeer to the elves, is fine. I have been a very good boy this year. I would like an X-Box 360 with Call of Duty IV and an iPhone 4 for Christmas. I hope you remember that come Christmas Day. Merry Christmas,
Dear Timmy, Thank you for you letter. Mrs. Claus, the reindeer and the elves are all fine and thank you for asking about them. Santa is a little worried all the time you spend playing video games and texting. Santa wouldn’t want you to get fat. Since you have indeed been a good boy, I think I’ll bring you something you can go outside and play with.* Merry Christmas,* Santa Claus*** * *
Mr. Claus, Seeing that I have fulfilled the “naughty vs. Nice” contract, set by you I might add, I feel confident that you can see your way clear to granting me what I have asked for. I certainly wouldn’t want to turn this joyous season into one of litigation. Also, don’t you think that a jibe at my weight coming from an overweight man who goes out once a year is a bit trite? Respectfully, Tim Jones * *
Mr. Jones, While I have acknowledged you have met the “nice” criteria, need I remind you that your Christmas list is a request and in no way is it a guarantee of services provided. Should you wish to pursue legal action, well that is your right. Please know, however, that my attorney’s have been on retainer ever since the Burgermeister Meisterburger incident and will be more than happy to take you on in open court. Additionally, the exercise I alluded to will not only improve your health, but also improve your social skills and potentially help clear up a complexion that looks like the bottom of the Burger King fry bin most days. Very Truly Yours, S Claus * *
Now look here Fat Man, I told you what I want and I expect you to bring it. I was attempting to be polite about this but you brought my looks and my friends into this. Now you just be disrespecting me. I’m about to tweet my boys and we’re gonna be waiting for your fat ass and I’m taking my game console, my game, my phone, and whatever else I want. WHAT EVER I WANT, MAN! T-Bone * *
Listen Pizza Face, Seriously??? You think a dude that breaks into every house in the world on one night and never gets caught sweats a skinny G-banger wannabe? “He sees you when you’re sleeping; He knows when you’re awake”. Sound familiar, genius? You know what kind of resources I have at my disposal. I got your shit wired, Jack. I go all around the world and see ways to hurt people that if I described them right now, you’d throw up your Totino’s pizza roll all over the carpet of your mom’s basement. You’re not getting what you asked for, but I’m still stopping by your crib to stomp a mud hole in you’re ass and then walk it dry. Chew on that, Petunia. S Clizzy * *
Dear Santa, Bring me whatever you see fit. I’ll appreciate anything. Timmy * *
> Timmy, > > That’s what I thought you little bastard. > Santa

Not Afraid of Heights

Snow Quilts

Artist Simon Beck must really love the cold weather!
Along the frozen lakes of Savoie, France, he spends days plodding through the snow in raquettes (snowshoes), creating these sensational patterns of snow art.
Working for 5-9 hours a day, each final piece is typically the size of three soccer fields!
The geometric forms range in mathematical patterns and shapes that create stunning, sometimes 3D, designs when viewed from higher levels.
How long these magnificent geometric forms survive is completely dependent on the weather. Beck designs and redesigns the patterns as new snow falls, sometimes unable to finish a piece due to significant overnight accumulations.
The main reason for making them was because I can no longer run properly due to problems with my feet, so plodding about on level snow is the least painful way of getting exercise. Gradually, the reason has become photographing them, and I am considering buying a better camera. – Simon Beck