Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving in South Dakota was fun as ever. I'll post pics soon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In Toronto, yesterday.

Back in Dunn Center today.

Spearfish tomorrow, for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mom (Mary) has three sisters, all saints: Agnes, Theresa, and Bryher.

That's right, St. Bryher of the Basin Bordello! She's in the official Book of Saints, I'm pretty sure.

A revolutionary, as well.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mom has five brothers: George, John, Thomas (Tom), James (Jim), and Martin (Marty). It dawned on me tonight that the first four U.S. presidents, each sons of the American Revolution, had the same names.

The eighth POTUS, born six years after the Revolution, was Martin Van Buren.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My pal Jeff Morrow, the Niarada saddle maker whose fiftieth birthday party I performed at this summer, just returned from a bighorn ram hunting trip. The odds of drawing a tag are extremely rare, so he made the most of it by camping and hunting for ten whole days. He sent dozens of pics. In sum: shelter, bedding, alcohol, terrain, brother ram.

Click on the top right photo and you'll see my pillow cases are gettin' around!

Monday, November 17, 2008

'Twas over six years ago when I discovered Blogger and started this web journal. Since then I've posted close to 1,500 entries. Occasionally someone will tell me they appreciate my online perspectives. Today a good fellow wrote this in his blog:
"Reading through [Sandman's] archives, I was touched and inspired by his way of life, his recounting of various experiences, and how his journal is an integral part of his unique artistry."
Thanks for mentioning it, Robert! I see blogging as a patient person's way to write an autobiography. A disciplined hobby for writers and backwoods philosophers. Sometimes though, I think I'd be better off lifting weights.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My first cowboy poems (1985).

Did my best to escape Montana in my late teens and twenties. Now I pine for those steep mountains and clear rivers. The thick alfalfa. The lakes. The grizzly bears. The farms.

North Dakota is more peaceful, though. North Dakota is now home.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I've been contacted twice in the last two days for permission to use songs. The first inquiry was from a California company that's creating an uptempo dog-walking compilation CD for "younger suburban females." The second was from an Oregon agency about music for an ad promoting an 80-year-old Portland Western-wear store.

The payout for each could be $500. I could use the income. Spent $400 in Bismarck yesterday: storm door, various house lights, heater parts, and so on.

Another thing I got in Bismarck was a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Marilyn Monroe, purchased at the Seeds of Hope second-hand store for five bucks. She's gazing out my kitchen window right now.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Top three fave songs, currently:

1. Ride Like the Wind (1979) Christopher Cross

2. I Keep Forgetting (1982) Michael McDonald

3. Soul Sista (2001) Bilal

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Interior house pics:

Left: Kitchen seen from living room.
Right: Living room seen from kitchen.

Vladimir and Estragon wait for Godot.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The long-haul fish trucking business has been slow all autumn. I've gone from five runs per month last winter and spring (approx. $3000/month gross) to two runs per month (approx. $1200/month gross). My own private recession.

Fortunately, the monthly mortgage is only $55. Cell phone $50. Car insurance $40. Internet and house telephone $70. Other utilities $80. Food $120. I don't have health insurance, child support bills, pets, credit card debt, or expensive habits. I don't drive my car much.

I spend money mostly on (1) music related projects: recording, manufacturing, promotion, and distribution of songs, and (2) house improvement.

With $1500 in the bank and scant trucking opportunities, I won't have enough cash to continue paying bills and travel to South America this winter. Instead, I'll tour the southern U.S. in January and February and peddle wares and services.

I am pleased to report that digital downloads are picking up.

Life is groovy. It's been good working with Dad on my house. The washer and dryer are reinstalled. The trim boards are stripped, stained, and varnished. The living room is painted. The bead board is up in the bathroom. The porch is done, except for the steps. Various landscaping projects are complete.

This free time also allows space to cook quality meals, research history on the web, and visit kin. Today I walked to Dunn Center City Hall and played pinochle for three hours with a group of thirty friends, senior citizens all. Neighbor Alice sent me home with a ham, lettuce, and cheese sandwich and some coconut caramel cake.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Happy 40th, Dale!
The pic is from a hot air balloon. Dale's sister and her husband treated him to a brisk ride yesterday as a birthday present.

Dale is a friend who lives west of Killdeer. He's president of Preservation North Dakota. Like the buildings he saves, he's an ND state treasure.

FYI, Dale is having major health problems. He needs a new kidney and liver immediately. He's spent much of his autumn at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Send prayers if you can. Money works, too.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A wood stove. Beeswax candles. Wool blankets. A good book. Cinnamon and sugar on toast. These are a few of my favorite November things.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Feels like Christmas in Dunn County. I drove 35 m.p.h. through blizzard snow on a ribbon of ice to watch the Broncos/Browns game at Shawn's shop.

Monday, November 03, 2008

My genius friend Nikki McClure made this poster and gave away 10,000 prints to whomever wanted one.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

If Obama truly is a socialist, as he's being painted by the McCain camp lately, why is he getting so many endorsements from famous capitalists and American entrepreneurs, such as Warren Buffet, Hulk Hogan, Doyle Brunson, Ken Adelman, Ralph Stanley, Ron Reagan, Colin Powell, Martha Stewart, Faith Hill, Michael Jordan, etc.?

Checkmate Obama.

Ok, just "check." I have dozens of friends on both the right and left side of the political spectrum who won't be voting for him on Tuesday. Some of the lefties think he's an Illuminati puppet or not progressive enough. Some of the righties think he's the Anti-Christ or a commie.

I think they're crazy.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

"Go Bama Go!": The Video

To watch with higher video resolution go here, and click "watch in high quality."

I wrote half the lyrics four years ago, and the other half last winter. I collaborated with Willie Wisely and Ryan Perez-Daple on the music. Brian Castillo and Elizabeth Hummel made the video. Thanks all!

The horse's name is Shorty, by the way. He's one of Grandpa's. There's no tellin' if Shorty's a Democrat, Republican, or other. Probably other.

Note that the "dear old mother" picture is of Grandma Sand, not Mama Sand. Brian wanted the mother image to be of someone in her golden years, not middle-aged. And although Grandma is an Obama supporter, it may not be true that she has a crush on him like Mom does.