Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I just returned from my friend Ella Guenther's wake. I'll miss her funeral tomorrow, because I'll be hauling tilapia to British Columbia. I leave in a few hours.

Ella was almost ninety. I saw her last Friday morning from my rooftop, which I was shingling with Dad. She drove by and waved up at us, looking enthusiastic and healthy. We learned she died later that day from an aneurysm.

When I was the Dunn County Museum Curator, Ella and I collaborated on the Dunn County Historical Society's newsletter, "Tales & Trails." She was the editor for thirty years! She loved words and wordplay, and she mischievously sprinkled many of her writings with puns.

Ella G. deserves an elegy. (Her punnery must've rubbed off.)

Bye, Ella.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Blogger is finally working again. I'm going to post photos and blogs that I wasn't able to post over the last few days. Scroll down to catch up.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I'm supposed to be on a mini Minnesota/Wisconsin music tour right now. I found out two days ago, however, that my cousin Rodger died, so I cancelled all three shows, including tonight's set at Winona's Boats & Bluegrass Festival. (Sincere apologies, Tom).

Rodger was more an uncle than a cousin, due to his age. He was a great, sweet guy, and as real a cowboy and man as you can get. His only son, Justin, takes after him in all those ways. Justin is getting married in Killdeer tomorrow to beautiful Sarah Jane Koenigshof.

R.I.P. Rodger Nupen (1947-2008)

Friday, September 26, 2008

As some of you know, Dunn County is experiencing an enormous oil boom. It's bizarre. Traffic has tripled due to all the oil workers in their pickups and semis.

Here's an article from Great Britain's Telegraph that explains the situation better than I can. It features a three-minute video that spotlights my friends Ted & Dawn Kupper (awesome people) who recently acquired a couple oil wells on their ranch.
Adios, Paul Newman.

You rank right up there with Humphrey Bogart, in my eyes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I recently tracked down an old college friend, Josh R., who was a Bukowski-inspired poet and surfer back in the '90s. I learned that he has created a successful business.

He printed up 10,000 little promo booklets for his company this week and, in the process, is generously spreading my brand around, too. Click on pic to see details. (Vanity note: I've released ten CDs, not eight.) He also made a Sandman listening page on the website.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy 66th Wedding Anniversary, Farfar & Farmor!
I just read a great novel: When We Were Orphans. It's by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Depression. What for? When everything is coming up sunflowers, I only notice shadows.

Summer's last full moon is waning. It's all I can think about.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My train-hopper companeros--Brandon, Trent, & Izzy--helped me rip the weather-beaten cedar shakes off my house today.

Tomorrow the friends will find a fast rattler in Dickinson and ride outta this dusty old state.

Fare thee well, old fellows! Remember this: "Patience makes the hobo strong."

And this: "Any man who eats pork & beans can't be all bad."

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My friends Paul and Kristin got married yesterday in Killdeer. The reception was in Dickinson. I enjoyed catching up with my old pal Margi, whom I've not seen in over a year. She's now a biology professor at DSU and doing great.

Tomorrow I plan to tear the old wood shingles off my red house.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hello from Killdeer Mountain. It's hard to believe that I've let a whole summer slip by without spending quality time up here on my parents' and grandparents' land. The bullberries and chokecherries are ripe, deer and bird are abundant, the temperature is perfect. The leaves, alas, are changing color too soon.

I have a few days off before my next international truckin' run, so I plan to make the most of it by doing some construction projects with Dad.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today I received a disposable Sponge Bob camera in the mail from Scawy Monstur in Portland, OR. They want me to take 24 random pictures and then send the camera back to them, for an art project they're compiling. I can be as creative as I wanna be.

I also received an email from the Western Folklife Center Coordinator in Elko, Nevada. She requested that I apply for their 2010 National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Getting accepted would be like making it to Nashville's Grand Ol' Opry, in my eyes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Jonny "Corndawg" Fritz is in town.

He rode his R850R BMW motorcycle to Dunn Center this mornin'. We had an excellent day toolin' around the county. He's soon off to Spearfish, SD, for a show.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The filming is purt near complete--now the editing begins.

Yesterday's Dunn Center Auditorium show was sweet. Many came.

All in all, the last few weeks have been epically action-packed. I'm toast.

In two hours I climb back in the big rig and roll north to Calgary. Live fish for sale!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Life is currently strange and shifty. The documentary is in full swing.

I can't believe I just drove (with Goodall) to the west coast and back, again, in the last two days. On Monday we do it again.

My brain is melting.

Monday, September 01, 2008