Saturday, December 30, 2006

Finally! Blogger has let me in . . . And now I'm 36. It feels like a year has passed since I last logged on.

Lots to talk about, but I won't. Must shave, eat, play with friends, catch a ferry to Orcas Island with Sarah! The sun is out.

The last two shows were tremendous--Bellingham & Mt. Vernon. I stayed at Robert & Chickadee's rustic cabin with no water or electric heat. They opened up both shows with their rootsy acoustic ditties. Again, I'm so blessed to have kind friends across the universe.

Tomorrow night I perform at the Doe Bay Resort & Retreat which is tucked away on beautiful Orcas Island:

They've made a deal with me there that they'll buy a large quantity of my CDs to 1) support my financial cause, and 2) use as promotional enticements for their establishment. It'll work like this: Anyone who visits and mentions my name will get a free Sandman CD and a FREE third night's lodging, if they decide to stay more than two nights. It's really worth it, too. Doe Bay Resort has clean outdoor soaking tubs, saunas, scenic beauty (Doe Bay looks out over the Ocean), super delicious and healthy food, kayaking and hiking opportunities, film and lecture series, and much more.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

'Twas a jolly Christmas for Sandy Claus. My friend Sydney invited me to her house for a delish supper with her uncle and two daughters. Then I played a house party at Jasper and Tess'.

Tonight I've been invited to perform on Andras Jones' Radio8Ball radio show on KAOS. You can listen live starting at 7 p.m. PST.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas! I just hung out with friends Tyler, Froseph, Tiffany, Judd, and a few others. We made cookies, played games, and traded gifts. I'm blessed to have families in many states.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The recording part of my tour is complete. In the last two days I laid down twenty songs for my 2007 CD. Some of the ones we recorded today include "Michael Jackson," "Cowboy Ride On," "Rueben Benz," "Tsunami," "Buddha Chant," & "Pegasus." Nerviz is a great producer.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Today, Shawn "Nerviz" Parke and I recorded five songs for the new record: "Queen Patricia," "All the Things I Done Wrong," "Smoke & Mirrors," "Waterboy," and "Corpse." By tomorrow we hope to have ten more.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winter's over. Winter's just begun. Happy Solstice!

May the lights in our eyes be rekindled. May our love for God be born again.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Though I wouldn't trade my primitive prairie hermit's life for the cosmopolitan traffic of the Northwest, I'm enjoying the Korean food. Seeing old friends has been nice, too.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Carl and I recorded all day. One song. We call it "Strange Medicine."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Life has never seemed so hyper-real before. Solar flares, hurricane winds, chaos. Just how I like it.

Greetings from Olympia, Washington. I'm subletting Timezone LaFontaine's apartment. The big winds had knocked out internet throughout the region, but now it's back up. This is my first blog on my new HP Pavilion PC.

Happy Hanukkah!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Excalibur's brakes are fixed. The drive home from Seattle was dark and daunting. A big storm had knocked out power along the I-5 Corridor. Thus, there were no open gas stations, and we almost ran out of gas. My drummer Garf departed a few hours earlier and almost blew off the road several times. I traveled with Nerviz. We both agreed that our odyssey had apocalyptic overtones.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Excalibur's brakes went out after last night's show at Sunset Tavern. Here's the tow truck. Gotta run.....

Thursday, December 14, 2006

For the next two weeks I'll be subletting my friend Giles' apartment while he's in Nashville. The apartment is right in the heart of Olympia. I plan to focus all my earthly powers into two projects: (1) recording my best album ever, and (2) setting up my best tour ever.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006


It's going to happen very soon,
the great event which will end the horror,
which will end the sorrow.

Next Tuesday when the sun goes down,
I will play the Moonlight Sonata backwards.
This will reverse the effects of the world's mad plunge into suffering
for the last two hundred million years.

What a lovely night that would be,
what a sigh of relief,
as the senile robins become bright red again,
and the retired nightingales pick up their dusty tails
and assert the majesty of creation!

-Leonard Cohen

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Thursday, December 14th at Sunset Tavern in Seattle, WA, with the Moustaches and the Jesus Chords. This show will rock.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Spokane show at Whitworth College was weird and good. About seventy college students came to watch me as I stumbled and juggled through my set. Thomas, the guy who set up the show, was awesome. He made a 20x30-foot banner of my big head and hung it from a balcony to advertise the show. Then he paid me $500.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The tour is goin' swell, and Excalibur is running smoothly. Three shows down, one to go. Then Seattle and Olympia for rest and relaxation. My only difficulty, so far, has been finding computers to check email and journalize. (Oh yeah, and I left my wallet at a Livingston truck-stop.) I'm in Missoula at the public library, about to drive north to have lunch with Grandma Herak and Bryher.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My exhaustion is manifest. Two days until tour. And the roads are slabs of glass.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

My parents and grandparents are in Spearfish, South Dakota, eating turducken (that's a duck cooked inside a chicken cooked inside a turkey) with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I couldn't afford to take time off from work to join them. After spending six hours at the Museum today, I watched Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray and Andie McDowell.

I once literally bumped into Andie McDowell as she was exiting the Mammyth Bakery in Missoula, Montana. Our eyes locked fast, and I greeted her enthusiastically as if she were an old friend. To my consternation, however, I couldn't remember her name. She smiled as I rapidly tried to process my predicament. Her face seemed so familiar, and yet she didn't appear to know who I was either. I was so bewildered in fact that, without saying a word, I swiveled clumsily into the Bakery and let the closing wooden door seal our awkward farewell. Seconds later, while eating a bagel, I realized she was the actress from the movie I'd recently seen at the Crystal Theater: Sex, Lies and Videotapes.

P.S. My family didn't really eat turducken. Just turkey, probably.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Big Dipper is hanging low in the north tonight on this Thanksgiving Day's Eve. It's positioned directly over the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. My favorite radio deejay lives there: Shannon Hale. Every weekday morning from 7:00 until 10:00 he plays the best country and rock & roll songs. Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Waylon Jennings are his favorites. Between songs he cracks off-the-cuff jokes and tells stories about his former "outlaw" days when he partied a lot and spent nights in prison. Earlier this year I dropped off my Good to Be Awake CD at the KMHA radio station. The song he chose as the hit was "Storage Unit 209," which he plays regularly. Unfortunately, now that I've moved to Dunn Center I don't get good reception anymore. Dad said he heard Mr. Hale express over the air that he hadn't heard from me in a while. He wondered if I'd moved away, and I guess I have. Seven miles east.

Two close Minnesota friends, Alex and Julia, just visited me on their way through to Olympia. These people are road warriors. On the way here they wore Depends diapers to limit the need for bathroom breaks. Alex said that his diaper leaked, though, and so he might not try that experiment again.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Have you heard of John Tester? He's the new Montana Democratic Senator.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Random Sandman News: Cooked first pizza in my new oven tonight. Cupboards and fridge are stocked, washing machine hooked up. Bought an old oak desk for the living room yesterday. Grandpa brought over some aspen logs from Killdeer Mountain for for the wood stove; I'll chop them tomorrow. I'm reading Autobiography of a Yogi, by Yogananda Paramahansa.

My friend E just ordered three pillow cases and three Good to Be Awake CDs. Friend S ordered one Long Walk Home and one Live & Suspicious CD.

I leave for tour in thirteen days. Earlier this week I got my cowboy boots re-soled for $45.

Wrote a song tonight called "Corpse," about a frightened man who kills a pregnant wolf.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This is how they do it in Manitoba. It took 'em eleven minutes and eight seconds to harvest the wheat from this quarter-section (160 acres).

We had a ceremony at Dunn County Museum today for Dorothea Pelton, who won the 2006 North Dakota Excellence in Local History Award. About 25 years ago she and her husband, Les, became millionaires after discovering black gold on their remote Badlands ranch. They donated a good share of it to our Museum, and that's why I have a job. Les has passed on. Dorothea is in her mid-to-late nineties.

Mrs. Pelton with my Grandma in the log cabin earlier today.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Check out the new Crunks Not Dead website:

That's the record label that earlier this year put out (return to) . . . the blackhole (of outerspace). This CD would be a good holiday purchase along with a Sandman pillow case. It has a song on it called "Pillow Cases," which explains why I silk screen my name onto pillow cases.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A glass is good, and a lass is good,
And a pipe to smoke in cold weather;
The world is good, and the people are good,
And we 're all good fellows together.

John O'Keefe (1747-1833)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Democrats have taken control of Congress. Here's to balance of power.

Meanwhile, legendary CBS journalist Ed Bradley has died of leukemia at age 65. I appreciated Mr. Bradley--he had that common touch and trademark earring. Too bad he couldn't have lived to possibly see Barack Obama be elected President in a couple few years.

In Dunn County news, my neighbor Emogene has given me a sweet little cook stove, which Dad installed earlier today. Emogene is a very generous soul (Grandpa calls her a walking, breathing angel), and I will be thinking about the best way to repay her.

In other Dunn County news, my galfriend Elle Newman will soon be arriving for a three-day visit. How you like them apples?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I spend a lot of time thinking about G_d and always have. G_d this. G_d that. G_d is Love. Let G_d. Thank G_d. Trust in G_d. G_d is the Answer. G_d will set you free.

Shang Ti.

Higher Power.
Infinite Love.
Divine Breath.
The Light.)

How nice it would be to know G_d, unshackled from all propaganda and reactionary prejudice.

Monday, November 06, 2006

News stories like Saddam getting "outed" or Ted Haggard being sentenced to death by hanging are no longer interesting to me. I can't even keep people straight. Was it Floyd Mayweather who just won World Series MVP? Did Raul Castro call Borat a sulphorous smelling devil? It's confusing. I'm confused.

I will vote tomorrow.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Food tastes better when one camps out, and camping is basically what I'm doing in my new home. A normal tomato, for instance, seems like a delicacy when sliced onto a hot buttered biscuit. I wake up at 6:30 a.m. and listen to news stories on National Public Radio before getting out of bed. Tea becomes more than tea; it warms your hands and gives inspiration. I might grow a beard. I think that a long-necked pipe for tobacco would suit my new lifestyle, too, as well as a penny whistle, bird feeder, and ceramic bowl filled with garlic and oranges.

P.S. Alice, of Alice's Restaurant, read yesterday's blog and felt sad for me that I was eating so many bugs. She invited me over for chili and rhubarb cake at noon today.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November. The eleventh monkey.

Last night, Halloween, I officially moved into my haunted, cozy home. I lit candles in each room and posted a bag of candy near the front door. Four tiny hobgoblins stopped by for treats, and later three much bigger ones came by for beer. Then we went downtown to the Ilo Bar for some more.

Sadie, the Japanese-born bartender/owner, was handing out Skull Pop suckers. Sadie's approximately 4'10" and hobbles like a small pirate, due to an old injury. She's lived in Dunn Center and run the bar for as long as I can remember. She'd like to sell it, she says, but no one's buying.

Alice's Restaurant is for sale, too. It's been a year since Alice closed its doors. Somebody busted out a few of its windows this summer.

Tomorrow I'll pick up the oven that my neighbor Emogene offered me. Then I can eat something besides spiders, flies, and cold cereal. I have an antique wood stove, too, which I'll tell you more about soon.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I can't tell if have the flu or food poisoning, but I haven't eaten food in 24 hours. I doubt if it would stay down anyway. I feel like a ghost.

Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I just spent the last two nights in Bismarck at a thing called The Governor's Conference, which took place at the North Dakota Heritage Center. I stayed at the Kelly Inn, where I watched the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series. I love baseball. I also appreciate Texas Hold 'Em poker, and I watched plenty of that, too. Then I watched CSPAN, the Comedy Channel, and whatever else I could find to keep me from sleeping.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Today was Dunn County Museum's Annual Meeting. Below you'll see a picture of me and the assistant curator, Jeri, giving the annual Curators Report.

When the meeting ended I rode with my friends, Paul and Kristen, out to the Vang Lutheran Church for their yearly feast. Vang Church is ten miles out in the country with rolling fields in all directions.

Paul and Kristen.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Happy 61st, Mom, from the whole family!

(This picture, circa '72, was taken on the Montana farm/ranch my mom grew up on in Charlo, Montana.)
a) b)
Dunn County Museum just acquired an old country schoolhouse and had it moved onto the Museum grounds. It was interesting to witness a building get so delicately transitioned from one place to another.
c) Voila!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

This is the floor and bathtub that Elle helped me paint while she was here.

I have yet to bathe in the tub, though, because I don't have hot water quite yet.
These icicles were hanging off
My museum
Like a quintet
Of glass tuning forks

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"Three is the magic number." De La Soul

Three friends have sent me sand-inspired photographs this year.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Today I was listening to the radio and heard Joni Mitchell sing "Help Me," and the thought crossed my mind that it might be the greatest song ever recorded.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

"A great nation is like a great man: When he makes a mistake, he realizes it. Having realized it, he admits it. Having admitted it, he corrects it. He considers those who point out his faults as his most benevolent teachers. He thinks of his enemy as the shadow that he himself casts." - Lao-Tzu

Friday, October 13, 2006

My songs and poetry are at their best when performed around campfires, so tonight I'm ordering a fake campfire as a stage prop for my long winter tour. I'm hoping to add the primal and hypnotic ambience that real fire evokes. The inebriated will become somber and reverent as they watch the colors and effects of the long-life Halogen lamps that shine through moving white fabric, simulating flames with natural shadows and highlights. The homeless will look through tavern windows and feel a solidarity with the thin troubadour on stage. They might enter to admire the high-speed, powerful fan that quietly blows the fabric upward. Police officers will feel uneasy about the poetic implications of this artificial fire, not to mention the gathering crowd of drunks and drifters who've become entranced by the strange poet's shadowy tales. It will be simulated anarchy; a faux post-apocalyptic gathering of hooligans and heretics. And it will be legal. Bwuh-ha-ha-ha. Happy Friday the 13th.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My friend Chris "Goose" Kirk has been living/working in Bogota, Colombia, for the last couple years. I'd like to visit.

Here's one of many photographs he's taken while there.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

There is snow on Excalibur
Branches are losing their hair
Pumpkins in the reservoir
Money bathtub floss
ice scraper vote

Monday, October 09, 2006

I was set to go fishing for northern pike today at Lake Ilo, but right as I was leaving work, the tree mover came. Within minutes he busted one of the brass street elbows on his hydraulic system, so I had to make a run to Killdeer to get a new one. I found one at Prairie Implement, but by the time--Oh crap! I just remembered that I left the hose running at work. I was watering the transplanted cedars and forgot. Gotta run.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

For today's entry, click the upper left corner where it says "SANDMAN the Rappin Cowboy" (which, coincidentally, happens to be my homepage).

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Here's an article regarding the recent tragedies in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, and how the Amish community coped.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Elle left this morning. I will miss her. She's one of those lovelies who brightens the world wherever she goes.

I'm lucky to know so many bright spirits. For instance my Killdeer/Buckskin party people, my hip-hop homies in Olyville, the CrimethInc. renegades of Salem, Oregon, my parents, all the people I stay with when I tour, my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and on 'n' on. In a society saturated with corruption, hypocrisy, and greed, it's a blessing to be surrounded by the antidote. I can see a light and it's you.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The answer to yesterday's riddle is my bathroom floor that Elle painted. Can you see? It looks like a cubist rendition of cardinals perched upon a Holstein milk cow. Very eighties.

I forgot to bring the normal camera and had to use my cell phone. Click on image for close-up.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What's black and white and red all over? The answer tomorrow.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The 2006 Museum season is officially over, and it ended last night with a bang. About 140 people crowded into the Dunn County Museum for our Second Annual Country Music & Cowboy Poetry Gathering. It was awesome! Performers included Fran Armstrong, Jessie and Gene Veeder, Leslie Keltner, Casey Fredericks, the Larsen Brothers, Joe Reems, Quintana Biffert, and myself. Western North Dakota is chock full o' talent.

Local humorist, Joe Reems.

The Larsen Brothers, and Gene Veeder (black hat), backing up fourteen-year-old Quintana Biffert. The Larsen Brothers, I should add, are perhaps the finest cowboy singers I've ever heard.

Dad & Elle.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Elle is helping me paint this week! She's painting designs on my bathroom floor and helping choose interior wall color schemes. Excellent. Soon I will post pictures.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hymn to Dionysus
The God of All Things Wild

Dionysus! Wanderer of field and forest
Long grasses and wiry shrubs
As the sacred wine is within the jeweled cup
So are you within all things wild

You are the whirlwind of mighty change upon the abstracted
Tearer-down of great cities, burning temples and sculptures
That mankind may see what is living

Typhoon! Famine! Violent death!
Such is the revenge of Dionysus
Upon those who forget their true heritage
And take upon themselves the lives of others
Beware, liars, slanderers, gossips, cheats
The over-civilized and the under-sensitive
Philosophers, logicians, money-lenders, and those that feel in words
For your script will be burnt and your logic destroyed
And your gaping emptiness will be filled by the powers
Of savage and inborn truth.

Dionysus is the reality of Nature
Hidden deep within the body
Blood-lust, desire, and naked fear
Love and hatred based on instinct
Drunkenness barring true direction
Violence showing man's true home
Dizziness causing veering footsteps
To find the true path once again.

Within the grasp of his powerful hands
Is the secret of change and sudden awareness
He looses chains and breaks down walls
He opens the vast unknown potential
Of the human soul.

His are the worshipers of wild, free Nature
Whose roots have been blasted asunder
The powerfully loving ones
The ones of keen perception
They follow the dance of Dionysus
They follow the call of their own hearts
Flowing like a river through the winding pathways
Singing again the ancient songs
Of dying trees and withered stems
Of new beginnings and lightning crashing.

Such are the lovers of Dionysus!
Let me be one!


Monday, September 25, 2006

Grandpa & Dad went a-riding last week.

Elle has arrived from Winona, MN. She helped me paint my clawfoot bathtub red today. It will be like bathing in a cauldron. Last night we partied at Shawn's until 3 a.m.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Here are three of my closest Killdeer friends: (l to r) Me, Margi, Lacy, Shawn. On Sunday night we, and others, will party at Shawn's tractor-trailer garage.

Margi is not my girlfriend (romantically speaking), though it might look like it. Elle is my girlfriend. You will meet her soon. It's a long story . . .

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Andras Jones, my long-time Olympia comrade and collaborator, was featured on National Public Radio's "All Things Considered" today for his KAOS radio show, Radio8Ball. I've been a guest on Radio8Ball two or three times and have probably written about it in past journal entries. Andras is an actor and musician-songwriter, too.

To listen to the interview go here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Another friend has passed on: Thelma Louise Fenton. Thelma died a week ago, five days short of her ninety-first birthday.

Here's a picture from earlier this summer in the Buckskin Bar. Talking with my grandpa, Bob.

Laughing with my grandma, Edna.

Thelma had one of the brightest spirits and sharpest minds in Dunn County. She was straight up cool. Goodbye, Mrs. Fenton.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Summer Vacation 2006 Shout-Outs:

1. Bryher. Thanks for the gourmet supper, chokecherry syrup, and Patti Smith's sweet Tramping CD.

2. Aunt Theresa and Uncle Dan. Thanks for the tacos, western shirt, and attachable handlebar moustache (which may become my new look). It was fun joking around with you both, and with Bekah and Josh.

3. Grandma, you're looking good! See you in December.

4. Annie G., many thanks for the mechanic hook-up, the haircut, the beer, bagel, beanie, breakfast, and blow-up bed. And the good company.

5. Mark. Thanks for loaning me your dad's pickup. Nice job with the starter. Keep rockin' the liquid ice cream . . .

6. ABC House. Thanks for the spare room. I ate a slice of moldy pie when y'all weren't looking.

7. Nerviz, Timezone, and Blandow--I highly enjoyed our camp fire conversations. It's possible that we're the funkiest old-man, white, hip hop crew that NEVER rocked a drunken bar crowd. At least on the same stage at the same time.

8. Teresa, Trisha, Jen, Kika & Parker, Nina, Kelly, Heidi, Kerry & Adrian, Candice. I regret that I ran out of time to pay you all visits. December.

9. Pete, thanks for the octopus joke. It's gaining me world-wide fame. Greg--tennis bin laden? Andras, good luck with your fast. David--nice choice with the ladies. Sydney, your new business is rad. Christian, nice house. Autumn, have you quit Jack in the Box yet? Jasper, Mike D., Jusby, folks at the Shop, K Records, Azure, Arrington, Rachael, Freya, Lucinda, Random, Hollis, Kindred, and to all whom I've forgotten to mention--word to your mothers.

10. Tom & Karin. The movie, meal, and mattress were marvelous. Merci.

11. Earl & Susan. I had fun cruisin'. Also--your outdoor clawfoot tub made my trip. Send me pictures when you can.

12. Jed & Letty. Your party ruled! Tell your parents, or whomever paid for it all, gracias. To all who listened around the camp fire--stay in touch . . .

13. Excalibur, my car. You're an easy rider. Thanks to Buck's and AAA for the help.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Excalibur got me home safe and sound. It snowed and sleeted on the drive through eastern Montana and western North Dakota.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I'm near Powell, Wyoming, tonight. Jed and Letty just had their post-wedding party. I played some songs around the campfire. Now everyone is having a slumber party. Pajamas can be seen. Which reminds me of a joke about an octopus and a bagpipe. It's cold outside tonight.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Greetings from Wallace, Idaho. Wallace is famous for its history of mining and legal prostitution. I just visited the Wallace Bordello Museum.

Earlier today I picked up Excalibur at Buck's Mechanic Shop in Spokane. My steed is running smoothly again--no more smoking serpentine belt.

Soon I'll relay the details of my jolly but costly odyssey west.

Monday, September 11, 2006

After two separate vehicle breakdowns, I made it to Olympia. Excalibur is in Spokane at Buck's Garage with problems. I won't go into it now, but it's been an adventure. I played an inpromptu campfire show last night in the ABC House back yard.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Crikey. That's a word I've been muttering the last couple of days. Steve Irwin's premature death reminds me of Kurt Cobain's. I didn't think too much about either prior to their deaths, but when their lives suddenly ended, I felt sad.

Crikey. The word gives me a glimpse into my own shell-shocked psyche. It's a useful, newly powerful word. Crikey, Mr. Cheney! What have we done?!! Crikey, America! What's with all the anti-depressants and 50-hour work weeks?! I look in the mirror and think--Crikey, I need a vacation.

My friend MoonCat, the traveling astrologer, wrote this in her latest AstroMissive:
"The Crocodile Hunter has become a Martyr for his cause, killed by the BARB Of TRITON itself ~ the stinger of a stingray….. with the Karmic result being Passing through the Death/Rebirth Tunnel with the world watching and cameras rolling! WoW! What a way to GOOOOO! Praises to you Mr. Crocodile Steve, Thanks for educating the world to the animal causes that you did and have done…"


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

There are genuine drovers in our midst! A crew of ten cowboys on horseback is pushing a couple hundred longhorn steers through Dunn County on a 250-mile journey to Jamestown, ND. I couldn't resist walking into their camp tonight and striking up some conversations. Before long, they had me reciting cowboy poetry. They fed me beer and tales of their journey.

They only go about ten miles a day. I'm tempted to track them down again tomorrow night. If I do, I'll bring a camera.

Thursday morning I drive Excalibur west. Lili's memorial is Saturday afternoon in Olympia, Washington, and I want to be there. Mom will ride with me as far as Missoula.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Here's a picture of the auditorium I sometimes dream of buying. It needs a new roof and all, I know, but it's hard not to be charmed by an old building, such as this, with a stage, balcony, and nice hardwood floor. Time will tell.

Calling all fortune tellers, palm readers, sword swallowers, clapping monkeys, and the like. What will time tell?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

My mind is being blown open by sumtumnal breezes. I'm seeing porches and dogs and leaves and deep meandering rivers. I feel comforterrified. O, what a marvelanxious season has just begun!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

There's been a noticeable shift in the weather here in western North Dakota. Swimming season is over, and camping season is beginning. I love this time of year.

Last night I played a show for about 150 Labor Day campers along the Missouri River. Little kids were boogeying down to "Radio Works Fine." Old folks were applauding the humor annd wisdom of "Typical."

Sometimes, though, I feel like Chuck Berry, relying on old hits and failing to come up with new ones. I have a feeling that when I go to Europe next spring, I'll be reinspired.

Friday, September 01, 2006

ABC News correspondent Miguel Marquez, who gave me a ride when I was hitchhiking the 600-mile scenic route from Albuquerque, NM, to Tombstone, AZ, last January, just sent this picture. He's currently stationed in Baghdad, Iraq.

"Iraqis rest as they wait outside a Baghdad gas station earlier this month."

This picture looks almost like it could have been taken in the United States. It's refreshing to see a picture of Iraq minus bleeding civilians.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tomorrow I have a show in Mandan, ND.

Sandman in Mandan!

Where: Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
How much: Free, but you have to pay $5 to drive your car into the Park.
When: 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I got word today from my old rap partner, Camo, that he's ready to record some new songs with me this winter. Camo's a beatbox maestro, as well as a harmonica dynamo. He was featured prominently on my first three CDs, and also on a few cassette tapes like stardust, and the first blackhole release from 1997. Camo was also in the country hip-hop jug band, Workhorses of Yesteryear, with the Reverend Asher Dudley and me. We all moved to Nashville in 1998 and shook up the Music City underground for eighteen months. At that point I moved back to Olympia and went solo again. Camo and Asher joined the gothic/hip-hop diva, Rebecca Stout, and helped her form a new band--Baby Stout. They packed all the local Cashville clubs, but never quite made it out of Tennessee. Eventually, after a couple CDs, they disbanded. Camo then co-founded a school of massage and phased out of music playing altogether. That was three years ago. It'd be great to see what kind of music he and I would make so many years later.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I've got a secret addiction: Jay Leno monologs. This affliction is not as hip as, say, indie rock music. I'm just a mainstream rappin' cowboy with a yearning to laugh with the rest of my country each night. I don't even like Jay's personality all that much.

Whatever. As long as I'm here, in the USA, whittling down my debts, surviving, I'm gonna watch Jay's nightly monolog whenever I can. I'm gonna watch The Office, My Name is Earl, and maybe Late Night with Conan O'Brien, if I'm up that late. My true favorite is Blind Date, which is on too late. Everything else on NBC is boring, I think. Click.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Yesterday's Second Annual Cream Can Supper at Dunn County Museum rocked!

Janene and Chantel Knudsvig, chefs extraordinaire.

Scott Lynch and Cody Dukart servin' it up. These guys are both on the Dunn Center Volunteer Fire Crew. They had a fire truck ready in case flames got out of control.

Let's eat!

Between 150-200 people showed up.

The musicians were Veikley & Dammen from Minot. These guys were a class act; the crowd loved every second of their Dakota flavored swing jazz.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

In the last week or so, I've worked on my house with Dad, disengaged from a long-distance romantic relationship, performed music and cowboy poetry around a campfire with relatives, been to a rodeo, visited with an astrologer friend who was passing through, made friends with two young women (one from Quebec and one from New York) who've been hired to band ducks at Lake Ilo, and played a lot of foosball and darts. I saw a movie (Dirty Pretty Things), started reading Cannery Row, wrote a new song ("Queen Patricia"), and made a painting of a war-ravaged Virgin of Guadalupe. At the Museum I mowed acres of grass, created an antique swimsuit exhibit, organized the library/meeting room, and prepared for tomorrow night's Cream Can Supper.

And I've had writer's block. Make that blogger's block.

Friday, August 18, 2006

"Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me. It is an uncomfortable doctrine which the true ethics whisper into my ear." - Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I learned this morning that my friend and former housemate, Lilli, died in a helicopter crash in Idaho on Sunday. She was a gorgeous and kind-hearted person who loved nature and music.

I lack words.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Here's the plan.

Record a new album in Washington in December.

Starting January 1st, drive down the West Coast and across the Southwest states to Texas.

On January 15th, fly from Dallas to Boston. Rent a car in Boston and visit the chilly East Coast for five days.

Fly back to Dallas and tour the deep South for two weeks, possibly joined by filmmaker Bill Daniel.

Then dip and weave through the middle and Midwest states until March 1st.

My goal: $300 per show. I want to make as much as a trucker does, 'cause I'll be deliverin' the goods--boxes of 8 different CDs, 500 pillow cases, 300 shirts. Plus buttons, zines, belts, boots, hats, mugs, and knick-knacks. And 200 songs to sing, many rhymes to rap.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

In my spare time I like to visit yard sales and thrift stores. Here are a couple things I acquired last week. The ceramic E.T. lamp makes me happy. "Turn on your heart light." The keyboards have some bizarre sounds and beats. I found a used Michael Jackson Off the Wall CD (his best), a cast iron pot and lid for 50 cents, a beer mug with built-in whistle in case you get piss-drunk and can't move, a giant map of the world from 1954 with distorted country proportions, a paperback of Steinbeck's Cannery Row, a vintage Empire Strikes Back pillow case, a 1986 Alf t-shirt, and a weird 1970s puzzle of a robot looking into a pixelated black hole.
Do you Sudoku?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I saw a rainbow this evening in Dickinson.

Tomorrow is Andras Jones' birthday. We were once in a band together called Beer Pressure. Andras writes many songs about beer. Happy birthday, Andras.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Above: Aunt Jo spreading Great Uncle Chris' ashes upon his mother Clara's long abandoned garden spot, above Wolf Creek. Clara Sand died in 1921, still in her 20s.

Last night I held a little hand
So dainty & so neat
I thought my heart would surely burst
So wildly did it beat
No other hand I've held so tight
Could greater pleasure bring
Than that little hand I held last night
Four aces & and a king

(I recited this poem yesterday in Great Uncle Chris' honor. It was his favorite.)

Great Grandpa Christ Sand's Wolf Point tombstone. I was lucky enough to meet him once in 1971.

Grandpa surveying the land where he and his brothers were born and raised, seventeen miles north of Wolf Point, along Wolf Creek.
I just returned from Wolf Point, MT. More on that tomorrow.

Check out the words to the right of Ms. Democracy's head.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tonight the ashes of Great Uncle Chris Sand, who died last year at age 88, were spread near his camp on Killdeer Mountain. We stood under a huge oak tree heavy with green acorns. Wild strawberries, prairie grass, and sage grew beneath.

The ceremony was simple and peaceful. Cousin Brad played guitar and led the family in "Amazing Grace." Grandpa sang "The Cowboy's Dream," and I recited two cowboy poems--"Reincarnation" and "The Cowboy's Prayer."

Tomorrow we'll drive four hours to Wolf Point, Montana, where Great Uncle Chris and Grandpa were born and raised. We'll spread more ashes along Wolf Creek, and also at the cemetery where Great Grandpa Christ Sand and Great Aunt Vivian are buried.

"Last night as I lay on the prairie,
And I looked at the stars in the sky,
I wondered if ever a cowboy
Would drift to the sweet by and by."

--from "The Cowboy's Dream"

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Tonight I hung out with four of the five McFadden kids. They all like to play my musical instruments. Claire, the youngest of the four, had an uncanny knack for gettin' funky on the Casio Rapman. She mastered the scratch pad immediately!

Friday, August 04, 2006

A big thanks to Goose for installing PayPal on my merchandise page, and thanks to everyone who has ordered my CDs of late. Now I can afford some booze and cyclobenzaprine.

Just kidding.

On January 1st I plan to embark on a two-month U.S. tour. I want to play all the southern, western, eastern, northern, and middle states. Maybe Canada, Cuba, and Colombia, too. So, if you live in any of these states or countries and want me to play in your town, let me know now. I like to schedule performances three to four months in advance.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The late, great country singer/songwriter Hank Williams, Sr., and I have something in common: spina bifida occulta. This is a spinal column problem that causes chronic back pain. It was probably the main trigger for Hank's abuse of alcohol and other drugs. I do my best to avoid medications of any kind, but tonight I'd take a cyclobenzaprine, if offered.

In Olympia I managed to get three or four massages a year, which helped. In North Dakota I've had a harder time with that.

After work I drove around in the countryside for three hours with my 80-something friend and neighbor, Vivian K. She educated me about who used to live where, and which ranches were homesteaded by whom. A highlight was discovering that the little town of Werner still has a few residents. I'd thought it was long gone, a ghost town. Vivian pointed out a concrete artesian well that bubbled over with cool, black water, and we sipped from it. I'll return there soon with camera and canteen.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

August! The nights are beginning to cool down. Feels good.

Bryce & Cuti spent the last three days visiting. The first night they stayed in my Dunn Center house; the second night we all stayed in Killdeer at my parents' house; and last night we camped on the mountain. We hiked to the beaver dams at dark and saw six beaver. Coming home, we got temporarily lost in the dark oak-aspen-birch forest.

This morning, before I drove to the Museum, Bryce helped me record a new rap I wrote called "PO Box 007." He's planning to use it on his new hip-hop CD. He made super raw beats for it. Bryce is a talented drummer/rapper/actor/dancer/yogi/super-hero. Cuti was raised on a dairy farm in Argentina. Some people use the words "goddess" to describe her, like my parents, for instance. Grandpa & Grandma fancied her, too. She's rad, and I'm glad that Bryce and she have each other.

The Rappers ================>