Monday, April 28, 2008

I just got asked to open up for the Bellamy Brothers in August. I said no; I have too much on my plate this summer. Also, I don't feel quite qualified. I'm honored, though. Thanks for asking, JZ!

Friday, April 25, 2008

I-94 is icy today
I-90 is rainy and foggy
I-29 is dicey--like Dice Clay
I-5 is congested and smoggy . . .

We returned from Vancouver this morning and head to Calgary this afternoon. Nap time for Sandman.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's official. Lazlo the Laptop is toast. My computer guru tells me that Lazlo's video chip is irretrievably corrupt.

On the bright side, Lazlo's slow death and brief resurrection (last Friday at 11:21 a.m.) could make for a good children's book someday. Or not really.

Does anybody out there have a decent, used laptop I could buy?

Monday, April 21, 2008

I'm livin' large, y'all. Just returned from an active Colorado weekend with my lady, Christy Renee. She greeted me at the Denver Airport in style, sporting her brown '66 Chevy pickup, "Darlin'."

We boogied 35 minutes north to Erie for a barbecue and campfire hootenanny at Alex and Kelly's. Cousin Jenny was there, too, with her guitar-playing, dulcet-voiced friend, Krista. Uncle Ken & Aunt Christi came over from Longmont. Hannah & Liljiana made colorful drawings of butterflies and frogs and passed them around.

On Saturday Christy and I motored three hours west to Steamboat Springs, CO, where we stayed at the cozy and hospitable Steamboat Guest House. We took advantage of the bright, round moon and drove to Strawberry Hill Hot Springs for an evening soak. For two hours we had our own sandy-bottomed hot pot, with waterfall. Eventually we ventured out into the populated pools that terraced lower and lower alongside and into the rushing Elk River.

Yesterday--Sunday--we meandered back through Denver to Boulder, to visit Christy's friend Kaia, a professional masseuse. At Christy's pre-arranged request, Kaia gave me an intensely relaxing two-hour massage. Christy cooked us a gourmet-riffic meal of asparagus and pork tenderloin.

Life is good. Life is real good.

Thanks for the magical weekend, Christy.

Friday, April 18, 2008

While trucking, Bull Goodall likes to have the radio on. The noise helps drown out all the gear grinding. This works for me, as the rig is equipped with Sirius Satellite Radio, with lots of music/news choices and good fidelity.

The Fox News Channel is his top choice. He also likes the Jimmy Buffett Channel, The Coffee House (singer-songwriters), and The Roadhouse ('60s and '70s country).

My three faves:

1. Outlaw Country. This station has great deejays--Elizabeth Cooke, Steve Earle, Shooter Jennings, Mojo Nixon, and Rig Rocker. Rig Rocker plays mostly trucking songs, and there are thousands.

2. Heart & Soul. Modern R & B. Love it.

3. Planet Jazz. This station is best when deejay David Johannsen is in the booth. His song selection is wicked-sweet.


I fly to Denver today to see Christy. Tonight we'll join my aunt, uncle, and cousins for a campfire supper in Erie.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Quote of Day:

"We are doing this for charity...I consider myself a great philanderer...and I know at the end of the day I can look in the mirror and say, 'Michael, tonight because of you some little kid in the Congo has a belly full of rice this evening.' Plus, it's tax deductible."

- Michael Scott

(Submitted by cousin Jen Sand.)

Monday, April 14, 2008

I'll be performing at the 22nd Annual Dakota Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Medora, ND, next month. The dates: May 24 & 25.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Honestly, I'm not sure I can handle another winter here. I'm just not as sturdy as most North Dakotans. Then again, winters have always been my bane. Montana was too cloudy, Washington too rainy, and North Dakota is too cold (and this was a mild winter).

That said, Dunn County has begun to thaw. There aren't many better places to live in the world than western North Dakota from May-October. I'm glad that spring is finally official.

The best winter I ever had was in 1991/92 when I lived in Guatemala: 90 days of low-rent paradise. My bungalow cost .45 cents per day. I lived on rice, beans, eggs, fruit, tortillas, and vegetables. Somehow, I need to fly closer to the equator each winter from now on. Call me Sandman the Rappin' Snow Bird. I don't care, I like sun.

My friend Fayleen has capitalized on North Dakota's awesome summer offerings with her business: Burnin' Daylight Adventures. She'll line you up with an authentic North Dakota experience and good food. Tell everyone you know, and visit me while you're in the area. I can start a campfire with flint and sing songs.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Dunn County finally received some moisture yesterday. We're still much too dry this year, though; cattle need grass. Calving season is in full swing.

I went to church with Grandpa this morning. Grandma's leg is injured, and she couldn't go. The Killdeer Lutherans voted to hire a new minister. They've been nine months without.

Tonight Gramps made kumla, a traditional Norwegian dish. See Not everyone likes it, but I do. After supper Grandma beat Grandpa and me at pinochle. Again.

Uncle Ken called to say that today my niece Liljana, age 4, climbed up on a fence and hopped bareback onto a gelding. The horse took off across the pasture. Lily got ejected hard and landed in mud. Ken reports that she's fine, except for injured pride.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Regarding yesterday's blog:

Christy's the tall one. The short one is Iris*.


Friday, April 04, 2008

Lazlo the Laptop has died for a second time, perhaps to rise nevermore.

Which is why I'm on Dad's slow iMac. Dad, meanwhile, is in Montana waiting to get back surgery. Mom is with him, awaiting knee surgery. Grandma Vi, also in Montana, just got a hip-hop--I mean hip operation.

If only Lazlo could find a suitable surgeon, too.

To recap last week:

March 30th. My cousin Alex, on his 33rd birthday, picked me up at the Denver airport and delivered me to my downtown-parked vehicle. I immediately drove to Erie and spent the afternoon with Alex, Kelly, Hannah, and Liljiana. I love my cousins. Around 4 p.m., I attempted to make it to Spearfish, SD, to visit more cousins. Sadly, I became the victim of a dastardly blizzard and had to hunker down at the Raw Hide Hotel in Lusk, WY.

March 31st. Completed the icy drive north. Slept in my Killdeer, ND, bed.

April 1st. Awoke at 4 a.m. Resumed long-haul commercial trucking career. Picked up live fish load in Renville, MN.

April 2nd. Drove 1,200 miles west with Shawn Goodall.

April 3rd. Drove 1,000 miles east with Shawn Goodall.

April 4th. Finally arrived home at 8 a.m. Ambled up to Killdeer Mountain with Grandpa and Uncle Ken. Fixed Jenny's Well. Ate Grandma's venison/carrot soup.

I have a girlfriend now. Her name is Christy Renee, and she turned 34 today. She's not imaginary--I'll introduce you to her sometime. Happy Birthday, Miss Indiana! See you in less than two weeks.