Friday, February 29, 2008

I send birthday wishes to all the leaplings born today. In 84 years you'll be old enough to drink.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Big Boss Goodall is on the Caribbean island of Antigua at Jolly Beach Resort this week with Miss Lacy Lou Fischer.

I'll be trading turns at the wheel with another one of Shawn's drivers this run--Greg Synnes. I'm looking forward to the change of company. Big Bear Goodall has been growly of late. Sun, sand, swimming, snorkeling, and sailing should change his tune.

Last night I drove to Mandan to record some rhymes at my man Elija's crib. That was a nice change of pace, too. Cabin fever sets in about this time of year, making Dunn County feel a little too little.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Grandpa Herak would've turned 96 today.

Here's a poem Mom wrote for him in 1978:

Watching Dad Irrigate

My daddy is a dancer, a mover, a scrambler
He’s light on his feet, he’s a basketball boy
He’s a fencer, a farmer, a friend to his children
He’s a tablecloth artist, a giver of joy.

He’s (Irish) Croatian from Montana’s Rockies
He’s a grower of grain; he’s a clown for the Lord
He a life-giving, life-loving whistling gypsy
He’s a riverboat gambler with cattle on board.

He’s a dreamer, a seeker, a wit, and a worker
He’s a friend to my mama, his sweetheart and wife
He’s a deep thinker, a teacher, a learner
He’s human as human, and lovely as life.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I am now officially the Reverend Chris N. H. Sand.

I sent Rose Ministries, of Las Vegas, $90. In return, I received a certificate of ordination, two "how-to" wedding books, five ready-to-use wedding certificates, an "official business" clergy parking placard, a clip-on clergy badge, plus a few other things. I considered being Cleric or Pastor, but decided on Reverend.*

I took this step because my friends Autumn and Brian asked me to officiate at their wedding this June. They made the request via a cryptic cell phone text message, and I thought they were joking. I flippantly responded that of course I would perform the ceremony. The next day, in a long grateful email from Autumn, I discovered they were sincere.

So, as Paul Harvey says: "Now you know…the rest of the story."

*My old band, The Workhorses of Yesteryear, had two Reverends in it--Rev. Camo Davi & Rev. Asher D. Dudley. I was the only layperson.

Friday, February 22, 2008

During the tail end of Wednesday night's lunar eclipse, as I drove between Spokane and Ellensburg, WA, I witnessed a bright celestial phenomenon in the sky to the south. It left a fiery streak of green, red, and pink as it rocketed towards the prairie. It had characteristics of a shooting star, but it was bigger and more colorful than any meteorite I'd ever seen.

I just now Googled "Washington meteor" to see if there were any reports, and I found a slew of them, many accompanied with videos. This video looks a lot like what I saw, but the timing has it as a couple days previous.


Perhaps what I saw was not a meteor at all, but rather a piece of debris from the U.S. spy satellite explosion.

Whatever the case, my evening was filled with cosmic glory.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

It was lovely watching Earth's shadow eclipse the moon through Pearl's* sunroof last night.

Photo credit: Cousin Jenny Sand.

*Pearl is Shawn's truck's name, not to be confused with my Subaru, Pearl Drop.
Grandma Viola broke her hip two days ago and had to have hip surgery today. The nurses say she's doing fine, if a little groggy from opiates. I am grateful for this news, 'cause there was worry that her body might be too frail to handle the trauma.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Isley Brothers.

Just watched seven boxing matches in a row with Shawn and Alejandro. Five hours total. Brutal.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Home. We only lost three hours due to icy roads this last run.

Driving a Kenworth tractor-trailer is what I do now. I'm still a troubadour, though. I won't forget.

Sandman the Truckin' Troubadour.

It's more real than "Sandman the Rappin' Cowboy." But I'm no real trucker, either.

What am I then?

A little wave on the Big Sea.
Hungry for God.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Shawn and I head out tomorrow morning, our trek having been postponed because of snow. That's cool, I like "down time." I wrote a Valentine to Grandma Herak, watched a couple Alicia Keys videos on YouTube, plunked around on an out-of-tune banjo, ate Mom's cranberry brownies, went to the post office, sent three CDs to Idaho, bought and installed a new car battery, and, last but not least, read Barack Obama's Call to Renewal speech on his Senate website. He's a good egg, I say.

Yes, Obama's a good egg. Hillary's a shiny apple. McCain's a tough nut. Huckabee's a southern ham. And Edwards & Romney are burnt toast (wheat & white, respectively).

POLITICS 2008: It's What's for Breakfast.

A couple days ago I bought two hi-tech gadgets in Dickinson: a Broadband Access modem for my computer and a cell phone signal amplifier kit. I also upgraded my Verizon calling plan to make it Broadband Access capable. Now my computer has Internet access wherever there are cell phone towers. This means I can take my laptop on the road with me and use it to check weather reports or emails or whatever. Also, my phone now gets good reception in Dunn County. Sweet.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Received an email today from a high school student in Bismarck:
i was crashing at a friend's house and she had a really big box of cds that she was gonna take to the pawn shop. i stayed up all night and listened through them, and your stuff was really good so i bought it from her, i had no idea it was local, i figured you were some long dead indie legend or something.
I like the "indie legend" part, but not so much the "long dead" part.

By the way, if anyone wants to sell me back any of my first three CDs or nine tapes, let me know. I'll pay way better than a pawn shop.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Performed three songs tonight at the Prairie Rose Annual Show in Dickinson: "Sarina," "Friendster Testimonial," and "Ballad of a Salad"--all love tunes off Good to Be Awake. Other acts included the Dickinson High School Choir, Silver Sage (pictured), Lance Rustand & Lacey Perhus, and the Prairie Rose Chorus. Sold seven CDs.

I was thanked at end of show by a gal who called me "The Rockin' Cowboy." Made me chuckle.

The word "chuckle" always makes me chortle.


The temperature is -9 F. Shawn "Raging Hormones" Goodall just called to say that all three Washington mountain passes are closed, due to snow. Our Monday trip might be delayed.

"Raging Hormones," you ask? That's Shawn's CB radio handle, or at least it used to be. I've only heard Shawn use the CB once. Truckers mostly use cell phones now, keeping the other handy for backup.

My CB moniker is "Hollywood," compliments of Shawn. I have yet to actually use the CB, however.

Friday, February 08, 2008

"Don't get mad at some'un who knows more'n you. It ain't their fault."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Welcome to the Year of the Rat! Goodbye, Year of the Pig.

Two days ago, Shawn and I unloaded another 9,000 pounds of live tilapia at our usual seafood warehouse in Vancouver, B.C. Our customer's spirits were higher than usual, probably because it was the eve of Chinese New Year.

Getting a dose of Chinese-Canadian culture is a job perk. Plus, I love the smell of fresh crab and carp and rain once a week, if only for 45 minutes.

Another bonus of my nomadic occupation is the weekly supper at Toro Viejo in Post Falls, ID. I always order tacos del pescado, and Bossman always picks up the tab. Friends, I guarantee you that there's no Mexican restaurant in North Dakota or even South Dakota that can compete.

The most concentrated dose of culture I get each week is trucker culture. I'll talk about that soon.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Bowl XLII was boring until the last half of the last quarter, when the Giants pulled ahead for good. It's sad that the Patriots lost their bid to be undefeated this year, but in the big picture who cares?

I'm a Chargers fan.

I watched it at McFadden's, with lots of little ones on my lap throughout.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

In Dunn County, ND, deaths are at least three times more common than births. And it might be a lot more than that.

I attended my friend Dorothea Pelton's funeral this morning. Dot would've turned 100 next year. She was a rancher who, up until a couple years ago, lived with her dogs and horses in a remote cabin along the Little Missouri River in the badlands north of Killdeer. Many years ago, she and her husband, Les (d. 1993), became overnight millionaires when oil was discovered beneath their clay and buckbrush ranch. Instead of keeping the money, they donated much of it to the Dunn County Historical Society (DCHS) to build a state-of-the-art historical museum.

I owe plenty of thanks to Dot and Les for giving me the opportunity to curate the Dunn County Historical Museum from 2004-2007. Even though I was employed by and answered to DCHS, it was really Dorothea I served. Her generosity of spirit was a rare and inspiring thing.
Big Pearl had two flat tires and a broken leveling valve on our last run. Snoqualmie Pass was closed for three straight days because of avalanches. We lost 15 hours waiting to get over Stevens Pass, also due to ice and snow.

Shawn said this was one of the more rugged runs he's made. Trucks were spun out everywhere.

A guy gets grungy after 85 hours in an 18-wheeler. This particular double-clutcher needs an immediate shower and shave. My cavities could use a good brushing, too.