Monday, April 30, 2007

Excalibur did it--from North Dakota to the Mississippi River and back again. Sadly, his electric front passenger-side window took a hit; it rolled down never to rise. Cats in Decorah, Winona, Rochester, Fargo, and points along the way have without doubt explored Excalibur's interior each night.

After Thursday's show in Waconia, I drove my friend Brandon to Minneapolis. I stayed in his apartment, which was filled with noise, kitty urine, and cigarette smoke. I slept three hours, got up, walked along the Mississippi, did a radio interview, and cruised south to Iowa.

The house show in Decorah, Iowa, was filled with friendly, enthusiastic people. It took me some time to focus, because of the jittery state I was in from the drive, but it turned out to be a memorable and fun show. I stayed at the home of my sweet friends' Benji & Aryn.

Saturday I drove north to the Down 'N Dirty Bike Club Basement in Winona, MN. The venue could be described as a purple-carpeted dungeon filled with angelic beer-brewing Huckleberry Finns and Pippy Longstockings. Good times there, as always.

After that, my troubadour pal Mike Byrd and I zoomed east to Rochester, MN, for the evening's second show, at our pal Derrick's house. A brown school bus of inebriated Winopunx (friends all) followed in our wake. This second show was about as unorganized as it gets, but not without its maniacal charms. The Rochester punks will not be forgotten. Alcoholism and raw fury ruled the basement for five hours. As if to drive the point home, somebody stepped on my cherished Casio keyboard and cracked it. Finally, around 3 a.m., I had an opportunity to sing. The crowd had moved outside by then, into Derrick's yard. Mike and I took turns crooning next to a campfire and beneath the stars. By that time I was beyond exhausted, but laying back, gazing at the stars, and listening to Mike's folk songs at 4 a.m. was sublime.
Greetings from Fargo, North Dakota. I'll review my last three shows in due time. Time to sleep......

Friday, April 27, 2007

Last night: Waconia, MN. Fun outside show with campfire and fireworks. Thanks Lynda & Steve!

Tonight: Decorah, IA. Email Benji for directions:

Tomorrow night (click on image to enlarge):

And also, another show in Rochester, MN, after the Winona show.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I'm on vacation, and the Mississippi River beckons. Tomorrow I head toward Wisconsin for some shows and visits with fellow knights and wizards. Godspeed, Excalibur. Godspeed, you Blue Emperor. Godspeed, O Viking-Horn'd Dragon Slayer! Travel decisively and securely toward your Goat-Heart'd summit. Go forth, Metal Beast, and ride the wind!!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

"People Get Ready" as performed by Al Green.

Happy Earth Day. Here's an article on plants, if you're interested.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

To spank or not to spank?

What would superhero Kool "Spankmaster" Keith do?

Speaking of superheroes, Spider-Man 3 will feature the villain Sandman. That means a lot of folks will be Googling for information on him and will, instead, stumble into my wicked web.

Here's an email I received today:

"Funny story.. My 6 year old wanted sandman and spider-man pics,we typed in sandman..and the rapping cowboy popped up. Now I"m sending friends to your the sound!

Good Luck....Val from Chicago

P.S. Why no shows out this way??"

Welcome to my sand trap.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

As I drove across the Ilo Slough Bridge earlier today, headed towards Killdeer, I glimpsed western paradise. A posse of tumbleweeds broke through a barbed wire fence and spun madly across Highway 200. Some banged against Excalibur before catching flight. In the slough, pelicans navigated the wind-driven water. On the opposite side of the road, bison grazed on greening prairie grass. It's blustery.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Last week I discovered a hilarious five-minute video on YouTube that I'd acted in (poorly) five years ago. My friend MacDawg produced it. I'd completely forgotten about it and had never seen it in completed form. I play the part of a psychopath who goes into Calvin Johnson's office and shoots him in the chest with a b-b gun. I was going to post it last evening. And then I read the tragic news from Virginia. It wasn't as funny after that.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The show on Saturday for the regional meeting of the National Association for Interpretation was rockin'. The NAI is dedicated to "advancing the profession of heritage interpretation," which includes workers at museums, parks, nature centers, zoos, botanical gardens, aquariums, and so on. I fit right in.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I made the front page of the Dunn County Herald today. If anyone wants a copy, send $1.25.

My address:
Chris Sand
PO Box 7
Dunn Center, ND 58626

It's a good, long article written by the editor, Billy Drown. Billy's my new drinking buddy, even though we have yet to make it to the Ilo Bar in Dunn Center, and even though I don't drink more than a beer or two a week. It's the idea that counts.

After tomorrow's show in Dickinson, I'm going to Sadie's for a drink. "Sadie's," by the way, is synonymous with the Ilo Bar, 'cause she's the owner. I don't go there often, and I feel bad about it. The reason I don't go often is that everyone's so damn generous in Dunn Center that I tend to drink more alcohol than I can enjoy.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It was a good morning. I slept through my alarm. Heated up water in my new orange kettle and made tea. Ate cereal. Looked out the window at the sparkling snow and blue sky. Saw a bunny hopper.

At work I finished painting the office, kitchen, and bathroom. Picked up mail at noon and found a couple packages, one from my farmer/burlesque friends who live near Concrete, Washington. They sent seed packets, a couple kitschy hand towels--one with a picture of Johnny Cash flippin' the bird and one of the Virgin of Guadalupe--and a shirt (see mugshot, right). Chickadee wrote, "The farm looks good--spring is finally here! We're eating nettles and fiddlehead ferns nearly every day and will do some tilling soon. . . . Laguna is preparing to build herself a 12'x16' cabin this summer."

And to top things off, Jimmy Rollins hit two homers for my Fantasy Baseball team.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Yo ho ho.
The snow won't go.
We need the moisture, tho'.
Grow, grow, grow.

June berries fat.
Old cowboy hat.
Baseball stat.
Baby punch cat.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Once the blush of the Beloved
Descends on you,
There is no going back
To being a green apple.

(Traditional saying)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

To the left is a picture of my new nephew/cousin--baby Jalen! Apparently at three days Jalen was lifting his head and looking about. The doctor calls him a prodigy.

Happy Easter, everyone. It's a cold, sunny day in Dunn County.

I spent eight hours yesterday with the Executive Director of Preservation North Dakota tooling around the County and taking stock of historic buildings. One of them was the Hutmacher Complex.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

My Fantasy Baseball team is not off to a good start. My star players, Albert Pujols and Carlos Zambrano, are slumping. Two of my pitchers are on the disabled list.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

To the left is a draft of the homepage for a Dunn County Historical Museum website. Click on the image to enlarge.

It's been a snowy couple of days. In other Dunn County news, Grandpa beat Grandma and me again at pinochle last night. Killdeer rancher, rocker, & former bull rider Beni Paulson is engaged to a Bismarck gal. Rumor has it that the Muddy Boot Saloon might be up for sale. Dunn Center neighbor Alice Goetz broke her heel and is hobbled for a couple weeks yet. She's still trying to sell Alice's Restaurant; if you're interested in buying, let me know and I'll tell 'er. My friend Margi Coyle, the eagle biologist, may return for a visit this week. She's been living in Grand Forks, working on her doctorate. She wants to meet the new infant in town, Ella McFadden.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Happy Palm Sunday, April Fool's Day, and Opening Day of the 2007 baseball season.

I wish I had a good joke to play on somebody.