Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Good news: My Fantasy Baseball team has made it to the playoffs. I award Magglio Ordóñez my team's MVP. He's been amazingly consistent all season: he led all batters with a .359 batting average and, so far, he's contributed 99 runs, 25 home runs, & 116 RBIs. John Smoltz gets the team's Cy Young Award honor, due to his team-leading 155 strikeouts and 3.06 ERA. Ryan Braun snags Rookie of the Year.

I predict that in three weeks I'll be the champion of the 2007 Prozac Fantasy League World Series. And then, I guarantee, I will never play this absorbing and time-draining sport again.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Earth eclipsed the moon
But the clouds eclipsed the view . . .

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The fish truckers have returned. We arrived in Killdeer last night around midnight. I'm thinking that trucking might be right up my alley . . . once I can figure out how to properly shift. Driving a big rig with 18 wheels and 18 gears is exponentially more difficult than driving a car with 4 wheels and 4 gears.

My first adventure with Goodall Trucking began Wednesday evening, when Shawn and I cruised ten hours to Renville, MN, to pick up 11,000 lbs. of live tilapia. From there we drove 16 hours to an alligator farm near Alamosa, CO, where we dumped the carsick pescados into large holding tanks. (Note: Any dead fish, known as "morts," are fed to the alligators and crocs. Ninety-nine percent of the fish usually survive, though, and are re-sold by Colorado Gators farmers to Asian restaurants in Denver.) After the unloading, we were given a generous tour of the facility. There are some famous and large alligators there, not to mention many other exotic reptiles, birds, amphibians, and mammals.

Friday evening we made it to the home of Shawn's brother and sister-in-law in Denver. After a satiating supper cooked by Kim, the Goodall boys and I drove to Coors Field and watched the Colorado Rockies whip the Washington Nationals in dramatic come-from-behind fashion. The Rockies were down 1-5 in the bottom of the ninth, and came back to win 6-5.

Yesterday morning we boogied home. I drove for a total of five hours. The rest of the time I gandered at roadside scenery, watched two movies in the sleeper cab, and slept.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My first drive with Goodall Trucking starts tomorrow evening. We'll go to Denver. There's a chance we'll attend a pre-season Bronco football game Friday.

All my drives will be with Shawn Goodall, who's pictured above with his Belgian team. His horses' names are Ram & Rod.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Two of my friends came out with new music videos this week. I highly recommend both.

1) Willie Wisely just sent this one: "Through Any Window." It has a lengthy cameo by Jenna Fischer, who plays Pam in the NBC sitcom The Office. Willie produced my 2005 CD, Live & Suspicious.

2) Giles O'Dell, aka "Timezone LaFontaine," made this video to go along with the first single from his new CD, The Slink: "Real as the Slip of the Tongue." He can do anything, it seems. He's the producer and beat maestro on my 2006 CD, (return to . . .) the blackhole (of outerspace).

Friday, August 17, 2007

Finally, I have some news. Kirby and Megan had their baby last night. They named him Jefferson Paul Sand. He weighed 10 lbs. 4 oz. and was almost 2' long. Giant Sand! He's the first of Grandpa and Grandma's grandkids that will carry on the "Sand" surname, which means I'm off the hook.

Well done, Kirb and Megan! I'll be sending a full-sized Trailblazers jersey instead of a onesie.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

By Jove, last night I saw Jupiter and four of its moons through a giant telescope that was set up at the north unit of Teddy Roosevelt State Park. I also saw the Andromeda Galaxy, a supernova, a planetary nebula, and several meteors.

Hendrix: Original Cosmonaut.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Still no baby news from Kirby and Megan. In fact, there's not much news to report at all. I haven't even started training for the CDL driving test.

I've been living in my late Great-uncle Chris' double-wide trailer, 16 miles from Killdeer, drywalling by day and reading Lonesome Dove by night. My right shoulder and neck are sore, but I'm livin' good. I haven't felt this at peace since the early '90s, when I lived in a van and now-and-then hitchhiked around the country--when gettin' to some Idaho hot springs or writing folk songs and raps were all that really mattered.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My cousin Megan must've swallowed a watermelon seed, 'cos it looks like she's got a sandía in her belly.

The baby's due date is tomorrow. It will be Grandma and Grandpa Sand's sixth great-grandchild.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Grandpa and Grandma are in Medora this weekend for the 2007 North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Grandpa's accepting the award for old-time bronc buster and rodeo entrepreneur, Sam Rhoades, who died in 1963.

Life is gettin' simpler. I've been camping on the Mountain and working with Dad this week--and will be for the next three or four months (when I'm not hauling fish). Currently there is no computer, limited cell phone, and lots of isolation from everyday distractions. The chokecherries are ripe for picking; frogs are abundant; and the dragonflies, like Utopian micro-copters, are gunning down gnats that the frogs miss.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I'm on my way to getting hired on with Goodall Trucking out of Killdeer. Earlier today I took and passed the State Permit exam in four testing areas: general knowledge, air brakes, combination vehicles, and tank vehicles. In a couple weeks I'll take the CDL (Commercial Drivers License) skills test. Once I pass that, I'll soon be hauling tilapia fish to Vancouver, Canada, twice a month with my friend and future boss, Shawn Goodall. We'll be burnin' gas and makin' cash. I'll soon pay off my Visa debt.

It reminds me of a Bob Dylan lyric from his song "Visions of Johanna":

The fiddler now steps into the road
He writes: 'Everything's been returned which was owed'
On the back of the fish truck that loads
While my conscience explodes . . .

It might sound backwards--shipping fish from the center of the continent all the way to the west coast--but that's the way it is.