Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I submit to you three fascinating YouTube videos:

1) Indian Elvis Dances
2) Indian Superman Part 2
3) Indian Tomb

"Indian Elvis" has good music. "Indian Superman Part 2" is just strange. Both get repetitious, so you may just want to watch the first minute. The third video, "Indian Tomb," is worth watching all the way through.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I've started a new merchandise line: hats. I've already collected around 50, and each one is different. Now when I go into a thrift store or come upon a yard sale, I look for groovy pillow cases, snap-button western shirts, leather belts, unique t-shirts, and hats. I've thought about expanding to coffee mugs, towels, fire starter kits, aprons, and homemade herbal cigarettes that have a "fortune" wrapped into the filter. Past merch items that didn't work were cowboy boots (too bulky) and women's thongs (too tacky).

Making a living as a rubber tramp troubadour takes more creativity than you know.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A friend has given me a 1956 Hammond chord organ. It was in an old house he bought that was filled with furniture, tools, and musical instruments. One of the instruments was the organ.

Turns out this same organ was once owned by the previous owner of my Dunn Center house. Neighbors Alice and Loman remember its eerie sounds well.

Somehow the dusty beast has found its way back, perhaps searching for its former master.

But there's a new organ grinder in town.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Drove ancient heat-spewing tractor today for three hours during the hottest part of day (107 F). Should've drunk more H2O.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Yesterday's luau at the I Don't Know Bar in South Heart was interesting. There was a touch of Girls Gone Wild goin' on and lots of tequila and cigarette smoke. People weren't sure what to make of my music, but by the 47th song I'd officially won most of 'em over.

And may I say that tonight's moon looks exactly like a slice of tangerine floating in syrup?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The night is humid like Santiago, Guatemala, 1991, the year the 13 martyrs were shot in my backyard.

Like Nashville, 1998, when I surveyed storm water for Davidson County, when I fried fish, when the cicadas hatched, when I asked Nina to marry me.

Like Liberia (1968), where Mom lived with Peace Corps friends, where torrential rains fell each hot afternoon, where women covered their legs and not their breasts.

Like India, with her ecstatic saints and poor children. Like Viet Nam and Cuba. Croatia and Morocco.

Come firefly! Sing frog! Prowl panther!

The night is young and eternal, and God sleeps in the wet grass.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dad and I are finding our work rhythm and we're getting a lot done. We've been insulating and drywalling. We've found time to recreate, too.

Two nights ago he, Grandpa, and I rode the horses to see the recently erected oil well east of the Diamond C Ranch. I rode the pinto, Shorty. I wish I'd had a camera, 'cause words cannot describe it: the green, sloping hills; the rugged limestone buttes; the setting sun; the air fragrant with sage and mint. At one point, three whitetails with big racks bolted from around a bend and bounded out of sight.

Dad rode Partner and led Grass Dancer on a halter. When he saw an eagle launch off a boulder, Dad headed up the mountain for a closer look. There was a precarious moment when Grass Dancer's halter rope got looped under Partner's tail on a narrow, rocky ledge. Fortunately, Partner stayed calm until Dad could free the rope.

Grandpa rides and looks great for an 88-year-old horseman. His shirt was tiger lily orange.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

While working to get the old Dodge pickup started today, Dad ignited. He was pouring gas out of a plastic bottle into the carburetor when a flame jumped up and lit the bottle on fire. Intent on trying to put out the fire without throwing the bottle on the ground and starting a prairie fire, he didn't notice that flames had jumped onto the back of his clothes. When he felt and smelled the flames burning his backside, he did throw the bottle down, which did start the grass on fire. Soon, though, both fires were subdued. Dad came out singed but unharmed.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Pig Roast/Luau
Saturday, July 21st, 2007
I Don’t Know Bar
South Heart, ND

Supper begins at 5 p.m.: Pig, beans/wieners, potato salad, cucumber/tomato salad, and fruit/watermelon.

Cost is $10 per plate with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. Come check out their balloon fundraiser and more!

Featuring entertainment by Sandman the Rappin' Cowboy. Music starts at 9 p.m.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A friend of mine almost died in a car accident yesterday and another friend did die of breast cancer. I'm feeling sad. I may not blog for awhile.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Last year had 6/6/06. Next year will have 8/8/08. This year we have 7/7/07. Three sevens means you hit the jackpot.

God rested on the seventh day. In Islamic tradition there are seven heavens. In Buddhism, Buddha walked seven steps at his birth. The Hindus have seven great saints. Seven Lucky Gods exist in Japanese mythology.
"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?'

Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.'"
There are seven dwarves, seven chakras, seven seas, seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and seven virtues that correspond with seven deadly sins. The United States declared Independence in the seventh month of 1776. There are seven openings into the human head. Most mammals' necks have seven bones.

My post office box is #7.

For even more trivia visit the homepage for Seven Magazine. You'll learn among other things that the common ladybug has seven spots; the opposite faces of a dice add up to seven; and that wool is the gift traditionally associated with a seventh wedding anniversary.

Time for my doctor-recommended seven hours of sleep.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Looking for a unique experience? How about helping to restore a Russian immigrant homestead in western ND?

My friend Dale Bentley, who is the Director of Preservation North Dakota, is having a volunteer week (July 14-21) open to the public, to begin the preservation effort. There will be a variety of projects to fit all age levels and skill sets. Stop in and lend a hand!

Visit the Preservation North Dakota website for details.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Calvin Johnson
, the fellow pictured with phone above, is a long-time friend from my Olympia days. He's legendary in the Indie rock world and an inspiring person to know. He's probably one of my top ten favorite musician/songwriters of all time.

Luke Graner is one of my new favorite musicians. I have yet to see him play in person, but I've listened to a lot of songs on his website. I read an article about him in the Bismarck Tribune and tracked him down last month and asked him to join the bill. He not only agreed but also found us a Bismarck show, made the poster, and did a lot of promotion.

These promise to be tremendous shows and I hope some of you can make one or both!
Today I tore my porch apart. The floorboards were rotten. Then came the Dunn Center 4th of July parade and potluck. And then came playing Pinochle and 31 at Alice Goetz's guest house. And then came the rodeo, which I missed. And then came Lindsay and watching fireworks in Killdeer. And then came three bars. Uno, dos, tres. And then came midnight. And then came midnight. And then came midnight.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

If decades or centuries down the line, when (and if) a monumental U.S. revolution occurs and a new country gets born out of the ashes of "old" America, I wonder what it will look like. On what date will these new Founding Fathers & Mothers choose to celebrate their new day of independence? And what will they name their new country? And will the citizens remember us fondly? Or will they judge us like we judge Great Britain?

And will there be fireworks? Rodeos? Baseball games?

Life is a trip.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I just received an email from my brother Ray, who lives in Zimbabwe. He says he's missing home, especially with the 4th of July coming up. He sent along a 15-second dance video that he choreographed last week. Click here to view.

It works best on Mozilla (Explorer cuts off the image). Be sure to turn the volume up!