Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hello from Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Bunnel, Florida. Fox News just reported sub-zero temps across the north, but here it's already 70 F.

Hana grew up in the little village of Espanola which is eight miles from here. It's the sticks. We hiked around her grandma's property and saw deer, armadillos, and wild turkeys. Her uncle Mark reports that panthers, bear, venomous snakes, and alligators can be found, too. Only fifteen miles away is a sandy ocean beach where, yesterday, we saw dozens of dolphins.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm in Washington, DC, today, meeting Hana's parents. Auspiciously, President Obama is giving his State of the Union address here tonight and the pressure is on. Go 'Bama go! You can do it! Knock 'em out.

Tomorrow we fly to Florida to meet Hana's grandma.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

My new CD is getting mastered this week. I'd originally planned to call it All the Things I Done Wrong, but now I'm going with Chemicals in the Wheat. The cover artwork, an intricate paper cut by my friend Nikki McClure, is of a man in a field working under ominous skies. He has a pair of pliers in his right hand and appears to be disassembling a barbwire fence.

The songs, mostly guitar-driven electronic Americana, total over fifty minutes.
They are:
  1. Corpse
  2. Michael Jackson
  3. Strange Medicine
  4. All the Things I Done Wrong
  5. Day's Wages
  6. Buddha Chant
  7. Pegasus (You & I)
  8. Mister, I Can't Save Your Daughter
  9. O, Tsunami
  10. Your Mind is Mine
  11. Swine Flu
Back story to the title Chemicals in the Wheat: My Grandfather Nick Herak, Sr., who died twenty years ago, was a very Catholic and Croatian cattle rancher/wheat farmer. The palms of his hands would sometimes bleed like a stigmata. He'd joke that his affliction was a gift from the Holy Spirit. I asked Mom about this earlier this month, and she pragmatically blamed it on "chemicals in the wheat" that he encountered through daily work out in the field.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hello from Olympia. I'm workin' hard on the upcoming tour and the new CD.

Hana and my's trip from North Dakota was pleasant. We soaked in a couple Montana hot springs, visited a handful of friends, raided a few thrift stores. Weather was nice. Roads were dry.

A highlight of our trip was driving to Yellowstone Park to soak in the Boiling River. As we were leaving the Park we witnessed an epic bighorn sheep battle. On a practically sheer cliff, seven huge rams fought for the affection of one ewe. It was a harrowing spectacle to watch these super-ovine creatures fall and plunge down the mountain. Broad horns smashed and echoed across the canyon. Boulders clattered onto the road. The beleaguered ewe got the worst of it, it appeared.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Trucking has been keeping me busy this month. I just got off a six-day long haul to Minnesota, Calgary, and Vancouver. Tomorrow I leave for three more days. Next weekend my winter vacation begins. Hana and I leave for Olympia, WA, to drop Gilda off with friends, and then we'll fly to the Florida and D.C. together to meet her parents and Grandma. From there, she'll fly to Syria for four months to study Arabic. Soon after, I'll begin my winter/spring music tour.

I'm already beginning to miss North Dakota. All this snow has been fun to play in.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

My winter and spring tour begins in February. Would anybody out there like to host a house concert? Other people's houses are my favorite kinds of venues.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy 2010 everyone! How did you celebrate?

I dug a hole in a snow bank.

Burrowed eight feet back.

At the far end I carved out a dome.

From the inside. Can you see a dog-head in this picture?

At midnight, after a brisk walk under a round moon, Hana and I climbed into the hole and welcomed a new decade.

The End.

Hana wishing her dad a happy New Year. Gilda is curled at her feet, like a lemur.