December 31, 2010

Postcard from Minnesota

Crazy Emails for December 31, 2010

My Butt Is Big Nike Ad

Texas Bank Robber

A hooded bank robber burst into a Texas bank and forced the tellers to load a sack full of cash.

On his way out the door a brave Texas customer grabbed the hood and pulled it off revealing the robber's face.  The robber shot the customer without a moment's hesitation. He then looked around the bank and noticed one of the tellers looking straight at him.

The robber instantly shot him also.

Everyone else, by now very scared, looked intently down at the floor in silence.

The robber yelled, "Well, did anyone else see my face?"

There are a few moments of utter silence in which everyone was plainly afraid to speak.

Then one old man tentatively raised his hand and said,

"My wife got a pretty good look at you."

California's financial crisis explained in a single picture

This financial crisis is forcing California state and local agencies to make some tough decisions.

If current conditions continue much longer, there's a real risk that we may have to lay off Jose.

Funniest License Plate in all of Virginia!

Quote of the Week --- December 31, 2010

"A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for."
-- Grace Hopper, American Computer Scientist

What Pilots See When Landing at Offutt Air Force Base......

A true American. Can we not all do something? Any little thing is better than nothing at all. God has little use for those who sit by and do nothing.

This is just south of us on Hwy 75 south. A farmer does it with his tractor and not sure if he uses a plow or a disc He uses GPS to get the letters readable. He has done this every fall for several years now.

Here's the view from the flight pattern into OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE (Bellevue, NE just south of Omaha). This is what our servicemen see when landing at Offutt AFB. Hat tip to the Bellevue farmer who made it happen!

Holiday Greetings

To All My Democratic Friends/Family:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday. Practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2011, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To All My Republican Friends/Family:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

What happens when men bake cookies??

December 25, 2010

The TSA Christmas Carol

2010 Swank Family Christmas Letter

Happy Christmas!!!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!  It's 10 below zero outside, the snow is piled as high as it's been in 20 years, the Metrodome has collapsed on our beloved Vikings, the To Do list is a mile long, and the stores are packed.  If only we had colonoscopies scheduled for the entire family this week, things would be just about perfect!

2010 was a pretty good year for us.  After months of requests from Sheri and years of hearing Bob Barker preach about it, Todd finally took himself to the urologist and got neutered.  Sheri volunteered to do it for him since she learned how to do it on the farm as a girl.  She thought it would save us some money.   He said Thanks, but No Thanks!  Ever since the surgery, he just likes to lie around the house all day and look angry at everyone.

Sheri didn’t get fixed like Todd did. Thankfully, she’s still fully functional.   All she does is work hard every day taking care of her three boys, her house, and fantasizes about what life would be like had she married a Real Man.

Luke and Avery started middle school this year so we figured it was finally time to have the conversation about the birds and the bees.  It ended up being a classic moment in the Swank family history.  Everything was going fine until dad started using analogies like “Tadpole Racetrack” and then all Heck broke loose.  We’re hoping they got the gist of it.

We’ve kept busy doing things like basketball, band (Luke plays percussion and Avery the trombone), ski club, and Boy Scouts.  That last one has been quite challenging for us since we’ve done things like selling Christmas trees in 10 degree weather and went on a 20 mile canoe ride down the Namekagon River.  Families with little arms don’t normally go on 20 mile canoe rides, but we figured we’d give it a try when many of the other Scout leaders told us how easy it was.  They lied.

We’ve tried to stay out of the hospital and have done pretty good the past few years.  But Luke decided he wanted another surgery, so he developed a hernia for the second time in his life.  He had one corrected when he was very little, but apparently it’s possible to get them again!  We noticed it when some Elephantitis started appearing in his groinal region.  At first, dad told him that he may just want to keep it that way to impress his friends, but quickly changed his mind when he learned it wasn’t a healthy way to live.  So he went for another trip under the knife.  On a positive note, Luke had struggled with fears of getting surgery for a long time since he had so many when he was little.  He now seems to have conquered some of those which will come in handy should he need to get a pacemaker installed someday like his cardiologist is expecting.

Avery decided that he was sick of Luke getting all the attention from medical type people so he decided to let his vision lapse and start wearing glasses.  Luke was the only happy person when we found out about Avery’s eyes.  He said “About time Avery has to deal with something that I don’t!”  Then Avery beat the crap out of him in the middle of the doctor’s office.

Other than that, we’ve had a really great year!!

Our goal for 2011 is to figure out what we want to do with our lives when we grow up.

We hope you all achieve your dreams in 2011!

The Swank Family

December 24, 2010

Inflatable Decorations

Brett Favre is Going to Play on Sunday!

Holiday Eating Tips

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare.. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It will soon be Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, please, have some standards!

10. One final tip: Wear sweatpants/loose fitting clothing. If you are leaving the party and you can walk without help from a construction forklift, "you haven't been paying attention, people!" Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Have a great holiday season!!

Redneck Christmas Tree

The Minnesota Song

This is a humorous country fable about escaping Minnesota winters.

From a fellow Minnesotan. 

This video shows what life is like for us currently:Dear Friends,

Here's a YouTube link to a video I made of a humorous country song I wrote about Minnesota winters. I actually wrote this song in a sort of wretchedly cold and snowy December way back when I graduated from college. A few years later, in 1988, Sandy and I and a few musicians recorded it on a cassette (remember those?) . At that time, KDWB got ahold of it and actually used to play it on their morning show when it snowed that year. Since then, the song has been buried in cassette-land and has been off the radar. But this Winter, as our Minnesota winter started early with tons of snow and cold, I was reminded of that song. So I contacted my former producer to see if he could find the master copy of it. He dug around the archives of his studio and found it and got me a now digital version of "The Minnesota Song

(The Great Escape)". So I decided to put together a video slideshow of the song and put it on YouTube. It's also going to be available on ITunes soon when they finish loading it into their system. If you live in Minnesota or the north, you'll probably laugh, maybe cry and relate. If you've moved south from Minnesota, you'll probably mostly laugh and thank God that you've moved.

I hope it gives you all a good laugh. And if you like it, why don't you pass it around and help this thing go viral. Heart of the City* doesn't sing "secular" songs and up to this point, we haven't sung country, but I suppose it will now become one of our big song requests! :) But no matter what ethnicity or denomination you are from out there, you can probably agree that "Brrrrr.....It's cold outside!!"

The Manslater

Finally the power to understand what she means.

December 23, 2010

Romance Novel Material

He grasped me firmly, but gently, just above my elbow and guided me into a room, his room. Then he quietly shut the door and we were alone.

He approached me soundlessly, from behind, and spoke in a low, reassuring voice, close to my ear.

"Just relax. . . " Without warning, he reached down and I felt his strong, calloused hands start at my ankles, gently probing and moving upward along my calves, slowly, but steadily. My breath caught in my throat. I knew I should be afraid, but somehow I didn't care. His touch was so experienced, so sure. When his hands moved up onto my thighs, I gave a slight shudder, and I partly closed my eyes. My pulse was pounding. I felt his knowing fingers caress my abdomen, my ribcage. And then, as he cupped my firm, full breasts in his hands, I inhaled sharply. Probing, searching, knowing what he wanted, he brought his hands to my shoulders, slid them down my tingling spine and into my panties. Although I knew nothing about this man, I felt oddly trusting and expectant. This is a man, I thought. A man used to taking charge. A man not used to taking "no" for an answer. A man who would tell me what he wanted. A man who would look into my soul and say . . . . . "Okay, ma'am," said a voice. "All done." My eyes snapped open and the TSA man was standing in front of me, smiling, holding out my purse. "You can board your flight now."

Video: If Mary and Joseph had Facebook...

December 19, 2010

Nor-Tech Christmas Party 2010

Nor-Tech Christmas Party 2010
Shortarmguy's Diary Entry for December 19, 2010

On Friday night it was time again for the annual Nor-Tech Christmas Party.  Dr. Bollig and his lovely wife, Cynthia, hosted a very festive shindig!
David sent out an email that everyone needed to wear a black shirt to the event.  He then surprised everyone by wearing a white one!  That wild and crazy guy!
Nick wore his most festive holiday skeleton shirt to the party. 

I spent a lot of time talking with Chad about the upcoming Rap Music Video we're going to make.  We also talked a lot about this at the 2009 Christmas Party.  This year we're gonna make it happen!

We spent a lot of time at the party playing pool.  Unfortunately, we didn't spend a lot of time winning.  My Christmas is ruined!

Trouble with a Capital T!

At every party, a little red wine must fall!  Luckily the team banded together and scrubbed the carpet clean.  Otherwise there would have been a good chance we'd have been looking at a massive layoff at work on Monday.

I'm not sure exactly what Brandi put on Nick's face here, but I'm quite sure he deserved more of it!  Your face must have been pretty Sticky after this one, Rahman!

Dave has a pretty unique way of saying goodbye to people leaving his party.  It's a little too complicated to explain how it works here, but thankfully nobody was injured during the process.
The cool kids hang outside during the party.  It was 10 degrees outside so it's hard to get much cooler than that! 

Funny or Die's Presidential Reunion

Crazy Emails for December 19, 2010

Idiots in Action

Below message received from an old friend. I didn't change any words in the e-mail.

As the Chalk Leader for my flight home from Afghanistan, I witnessed the following:

When we were on our way back from Afghanistan, we flew out of Baghram Air Field. We went through customs at BAF, full body scanners (no groping), had all of our bags searched, the whole nine yards. Our first stop was Shannon, Ireland to refuel. After that, we had to stop at Indianapolis, Indiana to drop off about 100 folks from the Indiana National Guard. That's where the stupid started.

First, everyone was forced to get off the plane-even though the plane wasn't refueling again. All 330 people got off that plane, rather than let the 100 people from the ING get off. We were filed from the plane to a holding area.

No vending machines, no means of escape. Only a male/female latrine.

It's probably important to mention that we were ALL carrying weapons.

Everyone was carrying an M4 Carbine (rifle) and some, like me, were also carrying an M9 pistol. Oh, and our gunners had M-240B machine guns. Of course, the weapons weren't loaded. And we had been cleared of all ammo well before we even got to customs at Baghram, then AGAIN at customs.

The TSA personnel at the airport seriously considered making us unload all of the baggage from the SECURE cargo hold to have it reinspected. Keep in mind, this cargo had been unpacked, inspected piece by piece by U.S. Customs officials, resealed and had bomb-sniffing dogs give it a one-hour run through. After two hours of sitting in this holding area, the TSA decided not to reinspect our Cargo-just to inspect us again: Soldiers on the way home from war, who had already been inspected, reinspected and kept in a SECURE holding area for 2 hours. Ok, whatever. So we lined up to go through security AGAIN.

This is probably another good time to remind you all that all of us were carrying actual assault rifles, and some of us were also carrying pistols.

So we're in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they're going to confiscate his nail clippers. The conversation went something like this:

TSA Guy: You can't take those on the plane.

Soldier: What? I've had them since we left country.

TSA Guy: You're not suppose to have them.

Soldier: Why?

TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon.  And I'm allowed to take it on.

TSA Guy: Yeah but you can't use it to take over the plane. You don't have bullets.

Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f**k out of here. I'll buy you a new set.

Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]

To top it off, the TSA demanded we all be swabbed for "explosive residue"detection. Everyone failed, [go figure, we just came home from a war zone], because we tested positive for "Gun Powder Residue". Who the F**K is hiring these people?

This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns-but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.

Can someone please tell me What the F**K happened to OUR country while we were gone?

Sgt. Mad Dog Tracy

Senior Texting Code

If you just got your iPhone and are "learning" to text, here is some VERY Helpful information. Don't thank me (DTM). This is a public service (TIPS).

Since more and more Seniors are texting and tweeting there appears to be a need for a STC (Senior Texting Code). If you qualify for Senior Discounts, this is the code for you.

ATD: At The Doctor's

BFF: Best Friend Farted

BTW: Bring The Wheelchair

BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth

CBM: Covered By Medicare

CUATSC: See You At The Senior Center

DWI: Driving While Incontinent

FWB: Friend With Beta Blockers

FWIW: Forgot Where I Was

FYI: Found Your Insulin

GGPBL: Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!

GHA: Got Heartburn Again

HGBM: Had Good Bowel Movement

IMHO: Is My Hearing-Aid On?

LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out

LOL: Living On Lipitor

LWO: Lawrence Welk's On

OMMR: On My Massage Recliner

OMSG: Oh My! Sorry, Gas.

ROFL... CGU: Rolling On The Floor Laughing... And Can't Get Up

SGGP: Sorry, Gotta Go Poop

TTYL: Talk To You Louder

WAITT: Who Am I Talking To?

WTFA: Wet The Furniture Again

WTP: Where's The Prunes?

WWNO: Walker Wheels Need Oil

GLKI (Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In)

So Sad for Snow White

Snow White used her new digital camera to take pictures of all the dwarfs.  When she ran out of memory, she took it to the store to get prints made.

A week later, she returned for the photos, but the clerk said they weren't ready yet. She was so disappointed that she started to cry.

"Don't worry, Snow White," said the clerk, consoling her.

“Someday your prints will come!”

The Best Day of Fishing Ever!

Four young Sitka black-tailed bucks fell upon good luck Sunday as they were pulled from the icy waters of Stephens Passage, Alaska by a group of locals on Tom Satre's 62-foot charter vessel. Four juvenile Sitka black-tailed deer swam directly toward the boat.

Once the deer reached the boat, the four began to circle the boat, looking directly at the humans on board. Clearly, the bucks were distressed. With help, the typically skittish and absolutely wild animals came willingly onto the boat. Once onboard, they collapsed with exhaustion, shivering.
Here the rescued bucks rest on the back of Tom Satre's boat, the Alaska Quest. All four deer were transported to Taku Harbour. Once the group reached the dock, the first buck that had been pulled from the water hopped onto the dock, looked back, then leapt into the Harbour, swam to shore, and disappeared into the forest.
After a bit of prodding and assistance  from the humans, two others followed suit, but  one deer needed more help.  Here he is  being transported by Tom Satre Tom, Anna and Tim Satre help the last of the  "button" bucks to its feet. They did not know how long the deer had  been in the icy waters or if there had been others who did not  survive.  The good Samaritans (humans)  describe their  experience as "one of those defining moments in  life."  I am sure it was for the deer, as  well.

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