Monday, October 29, 2007

I had a full day today: fencing, roofing, and well digging. Shawn Goodall just called and needs me to help him pick up fish in Philip, South Dakota and Renville, Minnesota. We leave at 10 tonight.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

These three photos were recently taken on Killdeer Mountain, near where my parents live.

Cougar at night.

Black Wolf.

Baby mountain lion.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Most people, unless they're saints of some kind, fail to fully envision God's equal and infinite love for ALL people. And I imagine that I lack about as much sunshine as the next rappin' cowboy.

Fortunately, there actually are a few saint-like people in our midst--prophetic voices that echo the teachings and actions of Christ, the Buddha, Harriet Tubman, Gandhi, Rumi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and others.

Just as Dr. King challenged injustice during the Civil Rights and Vietnam War eras, so does one man I know shine a similar high beam onto the current state of affairs in this post-9/11 era. His name is Dr. Omid Safi. Twice this week I drove to Dickinson to listen to him speak.

Dr. Safi is an Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina. He specializes in Islamic mysticism (Sufism), contemporary Islamic thought, and medieval Islamic history. He's what might be referred to as a "progressive" Muslim. That is, he plants himself firmly in the soil of his tradition, and he also welcomes inspiration from other spiritual and political movements. He's severely critical of violence done in the name of Islam or any religion.

He's not a religious apologist. He writes: "God doesn't need any defenders. It is humanity that needs help, especially the oppressed, the downtrodden, the marginalized, and the all-but-forgotten who desperately need champions and advocates."

Before his talk last night at St. John's Episcopal Church, I had the honor of performing one cowboy poem ("Typical") and three songs: "Laborer," "Scapegoat Song," and "Folk Legend (MLK)."

Today, I believe, he heads back to his four children and wife, who live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I looked for arrowheads by moonlight this evening. I found a four-point buck antler and a wild turkey tail feather, but no Indian artifacts.

Today's temperature was 70 degrees. Ladybugs, flies, box elder bugs, and hornets swirled around my head as I worked on the well house.

Even though I'm tired of framing houses with Dad (I'd rather be digging holes, or something), it was a good day.

Monday, October 22, 2007

For almost ten hours on Saturday I helped rebuild a section of a mud-and-thatch roof that had eroded off an old farmhouse in the Hutmacher Farmsite here in Dunn County. It was labor-intensive work--my forearms have been cramped and swollen since then, like Popeye's.

What's particularly neat about this stone-slab house and all the other buildings on the property (a cellar, the ruins of a barn/granary, a summer kitchen/butchering shed, a poultry barn, and a garage), is that the construction materials were, and still are, locally available. These include sandstone rocks, clay mortar, flax straw, cottonwood, animal blood, manure, scoria gravel, and badlands cedar. In my opinion, the work to restore these buildings is more of an art than typical construction work. It's also reminiscent of making a kid's fort.

If anyone out there is interested in helping to reconstruct these buildings next year, let me know, 'cause there will be a lot of opportunities.

See also: Preservation North Dakota.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Mary Margaret Theresa Herak Sand is 62 . . .

Happy Birthday, Ma!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

As promised:!!!

(Created by Giles O'Dell/"Timezone LaFontaine.")

Factoid: (return to) . . . the blackhole (of outerspace), though one of my longest CDs, took the shortest time to record. Giles and I laid down every track, except "Highway Man," in one long afternoon. I showed up with a folder full of oddball raps, and he happened to have, on his computer, a flock of freshly-made beats. How these joints came together so elegantly is due 100% to Giles. He cropped and crunked them until a cogent narrative of epic heroism emerged. His souped-up soundmounds make Martians boogie down like stoned-on-seratonin space breakers. It's fab, man. Buy it now, but only if you really want it, 'cause it's not for everybody. You can scope it on iTunes, too.

Fyi, it's been called by Hip Hop Cosmonaut "the soundtrack for Halloween, 2007 . . . ghoulishly randy."

Friday, October 19, 2007

For two years I've kept a secret regarding an obscure yet breathtaking website that contains vital documents relating to my career as an undercover astronaut. It even reveals a letter from the President of the United States warning me not to take a certain mission to explore a certain black hole. It was a mission I chose to take, and, indeed, I have since suffered the inevitable consequences of remote-controlled striptease dream torture by government-sponsored robot nurse clones.

It was the journey I took with Mixmaster Timezone Lafontaine in late February of 2005, to explore and penetrate a star that had became so dense with gravity that nothing, not even light, could escape it.

(Note: We'd been near it once, in 1984, but did not have the courage to enter.)

Scientists warned us to abort the 2005 mission, but we went anyway. And we survived. Barely.

We documented our odyssey, word for word and beat for beat, on a compact disc titled: (return to) . . . the blackhole (of outerspace). On said compact disc, there is a hidden message that no one has yet deciphered. We have given cryptic clues, but the code has remained uncorked, uncracked, and uncrunked.

That is, until tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Alone on the mountain tonight.

The pale, bare trees. Bobcats, coyotes, & wolves rotate. Aspen leaves like coins in the flood. Acorns.

The bearded bandit boils water in stolen pot. Thinks: Charlize-Theron-in-a-black-mu-mu.

Thinks: Johannson. Johannesburg. Jolie.

And . . . Barack-Obama-is-not-Dick-Cheney's-eighth-cousin.
And . . . Bettie-Page's-religion-is-not-your-business.
And . . . all-people-are-good, etc.
. . . including, Mahmoud, Coulter.

"Well met, well met," says he.
"'Tis all for the love of Thee."

God. Guru. Ghost.

Alone on Mountain, tonight.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

There will be no rest for the wicked. Dad has me back at work building things. It's probably for the best, though, because otherwise I'd be wallowing in post-tour depression. Every time I take a trip, especially to Olympia, I get on an adrenaline high. It's work, play, record, party, drive around, visit old girlfriends, and then boogie home and crash. And each go 'round gets a little more exhausting. It's good to be home.

Being on Killdeer Mountain is the remedy for anything, I think. Even though it's cold and my muscles ache, I feel happy today. I look forward to visiting my Killdeer and Dunn Center friends soon.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The North Dakota State Library in Bismarck just ordered six of my CDs. That's a first.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

All I want to do for the next three days is to sleep. The heavy hand of October has descended. The icy pheasants of my thoughts are dropping from the sky like dead . . . pheasants.

I used the word "surreal" five times last night during my campfire performance at Dale's. Indeed, the last four weeks have not been normal! For unless it was a dream, I just spent 29 days getting documented by a New York City film crew of two. I enrolled, attended, and then dropped out of trucking school. I had loaded weapons pointed at me by a madman during a radio show. My entire bank account has become depleted.

I have an eerie feeling that life's going to get a lot weirder before it gets back to normal.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Back in NoDak. Pearldrop made the drive without a glitch! Tonight I have a 7:30 show at the Spring Creek Ranch. Thanks Earl, Susan, Vinnie, and Emilie for the supper-bed-and-breakfasts along the I-90 . . .

Hi, Elizabeth and Rachel. Welcome back to the Big Apple!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Letter from Pops, received this a.m.:
Hi Son,

We are reading tonight. I heard you are talking to Williston re: trucking school. Do they know you have your permit? Does that make a difference on the cost and the time required? I hope it works out for you.

I am looking at a dump truck with a plow that is for sale. I think my Power Wagon may be too light for much snow pushing and hauling. I think I can get more for the PW than I would need to pay for the bigger truck.

The well is not working, so am getting pipe tomorrow and will put a sandpoint further down the well. We can frame up the well-house soon. I ordered the air powered flooring nailer.

Pardner got out thru a break in the fence. I got him back, but we need to run some good wire across the creek by the spring.

I hope the car gets fixed soon and carries you safely home.

Love, Dad
Pearldrop should be out of the shop by tomorrow afternoon. The fee for replacing a rear differential is $1005.00. The fee for going to trucking school for seven days I'll not talk about. I am broker than broke again.


I do, however, own plenty of intellectual property. If I could just figure out how to transfer some of it to cash. Someday I'll figure this financial game out . . .

Are there any venture capitalists out there? I need a shot of love.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Being a dropout has its benefits. I can now have fun in Olympia. I went from trucker to sucker in one morning. Strange days have followed. My car remains at the mechanic's, I've become reacquainted with former flame Natalie, my money has evaporated like dog water in July. And yet, filmmakers Lawrence & Vine have remained undeterred by these derelict maneuvers. Steadfastly, they document every step and misstep I take.

Headlines read: Little bat flies into the thick fog, followed by a $4000 camera.

Fortunately for me, I tend rely more on sonar than eyesight. I'm pretty sure everything's gonna work out fine. However, I feel rotten for temporarily letting Shawn Goodall down. I need to get back to NoDak ASAP and get my business straight. Maybe there's still hope for me getting my CDL before month's end.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The biscuits done fell off my gravy train. Illness, car breakdowns, and bureaucratic bugaboos have ruined me. The film crew & I will be hightailing it back to North Dakota Sunday morning minus the CDL that I came here for.

I am a trucking school dropout.