Sunday, July 30, 2006

My friends Bryce and Cuti are visiting. I've been friends with Bryce for years. He and Cuti got married a couple years ago and have been living in Argentina, where Cuti's from. They're now moving to Portland, OR, to live. We went swimmin' today, and tomorrow we'll go up to the Killdeer Mountains.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Christmas in July photos from earlier today:

These girls found joy throwing water balloons at my head.

This is my co-worker, Jeri, posing with a vacationing Santa.

Kristen (in grass skirt), went wild at the dollar store and bought $50 in kids' prizes, to their delight. She also made cookies.

Liam bobbing for apples and getting a "brain freeze."

Mom took these pictures. (Thanks for all your help today, Ma!)
It's Christmas in July at the Dunn County Museum. Gunny sack races, water balloon races, bobbing for apples, calypso music, Santa Claus, hula hoops, chalk drawing, prizes! Bring the kids!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I saw a badger digging a hole on the side of Highway 22 today.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I've been craving Middle Eastern food lately.

In spite of tensions between those in Tel Aviv and Beirut, Israel and Lebanon share many similar food choices.

And by the way, I don't see the current violence over there as the beginning of World War III, as some have suggested. Equal or worse violence is happening around the world, and has been for millennia. Anything Israel does gets magnified way out of proportion, in my opinion--not that I'm defending brutality in any form.

I obviously disagree with imperialist bullying (Israel, USA, etc.); and I certainly disagree with fundamentalist terror tactics (Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, etc.). But I agree with the Lebanese cook who claims that Middle Eastern cuisine is "a product of both the earth and the sea," and who sees it as a natural bond between all Mediterranean cultures, from Spain to Syria. He would probably agree with Miguel de Cervantes, who said, "All sorrows are less with bread."

Jews, Christians, Muslims. We're more alike than different. Let us break bread together.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Dad & I skinny dipped at the secret swimmin' hole after workin' on the house all day. It's a true redneck paradise there. I'm gonna see if we can get Grandpa to join us next time.

From last Tuesday's show at the Dickinson Bandshell:

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dad and I worked on my house after I finished up at the Museum today. We scraped some of the old lead paint off the siding. We knocked out the bathroom closet walls, so we can put the toilet there. We did some plumbing in the cellar, which is mostly just a big dirt spider hole. I plan to dig it out and make it into a spacious root cellar later this year. Tomorrow we might install a couple new windows.

It's a sweet house, nice and solid.

In other news, Mount Eerie & Calvin Johnson want to tour with me for a couple shows in late September. They draw big crowds, plus they're comrades from my Olympia days.

Next spring I want to tour with Timezone Lafontaine. He just got a passport so we can rock Europe. I've always wanted to visit Europe: Spain, Ireland, Norway, Croatia, France, Italy, Greece, Denmark, Germany, England, the whole works. I need to get a passport.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tonight's show filled me with existential angst. But all in all it went ok.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I've got a big outside show in Dickinson, ND, tomorrow.

For show details with photo, see:

Haven't played a show in weeks, so I'm bound to be a little rusty. To lubricate myself I plan to see a greasy pirate matinee with some friends beforehand. Dead Man's Chest.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A sedan with Minneapolis plates tailgated my car on the way to work yesterday. After I'd slowed nearly to a stop, trying to get it to pass, I saw that it was my good friends Jack and Liz Norton. They were swinging through this area on their way to some shows in Washburn, ND, and decided to surprise me.

Jack and I have toured and recorded together; I've written about him before. He's also a friend of Tiny Tim, pictured here with Jack in an old photo. Tiny Tim has hailed Jack as "the greatest entertainer I have ever seen."

Jack and Liz had literally only twenty minutes to see my house and the Museum, so our visit was short but sweet. See: for more.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dad got a new studly pickup. It matches his white moustache.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

This is Trisha L.: artist, musician, film
student, and (currently a Brooklyn) waitress.

She also has a knack for home decorating. Lucky for me, Trisha has allotted September as help-Sandman-fix-up-his-house month.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I learned yesterday that my friend Emil F. passed away. He was an elderly hard-scrabble farmer, and he recently joined the Dunn County Museum committee. Last year he got his right arm pulled off by a piece of machinery. I still haven't found out how he died, but it's possible that the loss of his arm had something to do with it.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

For nine years the minimum wage has stayed at $5.15.

What's Goin' On?

Meanwhile Congressfolks have given themselves at least eight raises in the last decade.

Ain't That Peculiar.

Lucky for me, though, I Heard It Through the Grapevine that I'll soon be getting a raise at the Museum.

I'll Be Doggone.

On an unrelated topic, I learned that off a coast of Hawaii there's six times more plastic than plankton.

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology).

And then, of course, there's the War . . .

Makes Me Wanna Holler.

Our current government is Trouble Man.

But enough negativity, sweetheart, Let's Get It On.

'Cause when I get that feelin', I need You, 'cause That's the Way Love Is.
*Italics courtesy of Marvin Gaye.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Last night Dad and I saddled up Dude and Psycho and went for a moonlight ride along the south ridge of the Killdeer Mountains. The almost-full moon lit our way. At the uppermost beaver dams, fireflies sparked along the muddy shores.

I slept over. This morning I glimpsed a wild turkey with a brood of nine.

Later, en route to Dickinson for a chiropractic adjustment, Excalibur's right rear tire blew out. I, shamefully, had no jack. A young fellow from a nearby farm lent me his, and I was soon on my way. Then I got a call from a Bismarck Tribune journalist whom I'd accidentally stood up--I was supposed to have met him at the Museum in Dunn Center. He was able to meet me in Dickinson, so the interview transpired over lunch at the Paragon Bowl.

Now I'm wishing I had another day off to finish all my projects.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

I like that the word muse is part of the word museum. What does it all mean?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Bill Daniel, the filmmaker I toured with in January, stopped over for the night. He was in MInneapolis this morning and is headed to Portland tomorrow. He's still touring his hobo documentary, Who is Bozo Texino?.

Bill is a fast talkin' beatnik mechanic punk rock train hoppin' cinematographer. He'd wanted me to join him on his recent tours, but my loyalty to the Museum kept me grounded.

I can't help feelin' a twinge of remorse, like the cowboy who sold his horse to buy a saddle.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Tomorrow I take my first day off from work in thirteen days. I plan to find some 10-year-old stud horses to study and take notes on.

Stud horse: Uncastrated male equine. Stallion. (See yesterday's comments.)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I had a brief, strange conversation with my granddad last night as he left to return to the mountain.

Grandpa: Are you batchin' it tonight?

Me: Yep, just me.

G: I'm not so sure about you.

Me: Whaddya mean?

G: I think you might have some secrets.

Me: No, I live like a monk.

G: Like a ten-year-old stud horse you do.

I'm don't know what he meant, but I don't think it was a compliment.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The USA turned 230 today! Earlier this year, a tortoise named Adwaita died at age 250 in India, so I guess we're still a relatively young country. But still, 230's a big, glorious birthday.

I do, however, wish our country had the revolutionary chutzpah of Tom Paine, Betsy Ross, Ben Franklin, George Washington, Patrick Henry, John Locke, Samuel Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, but such is the law of diminishing returns. Maybe a new crop is out there; little girls and boys, watching fireworks tonight from country hills and urban highrises. God speed you, young prophets!

Dad and Grandpa rode in both the Dunn Center and Killdeer parades. Here's a shot of Dad in Dunn Center in front of the Lutheran Church, just before the parade commenced. Dad's somewhat of a pagan, but deep down he's got a little bit of the Christ-like Galahad watering his soul.

The feast in Dunn Center Park went better than expected. I was worried we wouldn't get 200 people, but close to 500 showed up. Dunn Center has probably not hosted that many people at one time since the early '80s.

Live music was supplied by my pals, Marvin S. and Inky P.

I'm glad Homesteader Days is over, though. I need rest.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The second night of the Homesteader Panel also went well.

Ella G. and Henry R. Ella's a good friend. I met Henry last night.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tonight we had a homesteader panel discussion at the museum.

The woman on the right is my grandma Edna Sand.

Tomorrow we'll have another panel. Tuesday we're hosting a catered feast at the Dunn Center Park.

Here's a poster advertising recent events, including Sacagawea Day from two weeks ago.

We had many visitors throughout the day.

Here are some folks from Centralia, WA, practicing spinning wool on the spinning machine that Grandpa built last winter. Actually, the woman with gold hair is Alice Goetz, a local. She ran Alice's Restaurant for many years.