24 December 2004

A thief in the cold night

One of my least favorire experiences is locking myself out- be it my car, my house, my workplace. I just does not bode well with me. Tonight two of those happened. I locked my car and house keys in my car. Everyone was gone for Christmas and it was below zero. Nevertheless I hiked 16 blocks to some friends' house and sought refuge and help. They were more than willing to lend a hand although it was quite chilly. I am very much indebted to them for their assistance.
To make a long story short we failed to get into the car or house by those old standard non-dirty break in methods. At last I find a small basement window could be opened with some tools. I squeeze through the window and the rest is history. I was very glad.

22 December 2004


...but we are looking for the city that is to come." h.a. kallio meditates with empty chairs behind her. Posted by Hello

Relax. It is only a holiday

At last the stress is nearly over. With the radio drama done and completed I have more time to rest- or at least think about it. I have not made it to bed before midnight all week. I needed to do my Christmas shopping. I completed most of it in one evening. I am glad. I am the type of shopper for gifts who needs to sense if it the right gift to purchase. If I get a bad feeling about it I walk away and look for something different.
Speaking of the holiday season, one of my favorite things of this time of year is the music, especially the carols. UnfortunatelyI have not had the opportunity to carol this year. I wish it was more of a tradition in my family. It never was but both my mother and I enjoyed the music. This past week I have had the opportunity to listen to most of my Christmas music. A majority of it is of choral tradition which I am found. I could imagine visiting England at Christmastide and hearing the choirs sing the ancient songs in great big cathedral-like edifices. Then afterward I would open a cracker and find some wassail. The British Christmas traditions resonate within in me. In these states the traditions get mixed and mingled until they resemble a new species of Christmas.
In researching old Christmas legends for the radio drama, I discovered a wealth of inspiring Christmas literature at project guttenberg. I was particularly fond of a tale about a forest that blooms and becomes springlike on Christmas eve. The story of St. Christopher was also intriguing. Do a little Christmas reading this year.
Until next time.

19 December 2004

Merry busimass

This has got to be the most hectic season I've had in all my years. I totally missed the blog birthday. I have been working non-stop on the a Christmas radio drama. I have not had hardly an ounce of shopping for gifts. I had actually planned to do it online, but it is too late. Besides I am hardly online as it is these days.
Holiday salutations to all if I don't write later.

02 December 2004

A note from Bill's best friend!

Hi,

I am Bill's best friend. Bill has accidentally left his blog open on my computer.

I want everyone to know what a great guy Bill truly is! There is not a better friend that exists than Bill. He has a great sense of humor and has a great servants heart! He is always willing to help out anyone in need in anyway he can. Bill is a great guy to go and have a beer with and also a great guy to go to a worship service with. He will make some lady a great husband some day!

Bill is a great spiritual role model for all! He has a great prayer life, is very disciplined, and has a great knowledge of the scriptures. I hope to be more like Bill some day.

So as you read about Bill and his adventures please understand that the world is a better place because Bill is in it! Say a prayer for Bill when you think of it.

Thanks,
Dan

Remember me

Back again after such a long time. There have been up and downs and even sideways. I have not had much time online as of late. When I have I just couldn't think of a thing to blog.
So is this some kind of apology?
No.
Realty bites. (You know about that Ben Stiller!)
I ask myself- where am I going? amI making a difference? Then that leads to the question- am I making sense?
Well, here's a bit of wisdom- ask good questions. Let the credit go to Socrates. If we realize we are ignorant and without knowledge, then we shall know we are true seekers. It also goes far to exhibit a trait which is disappearing in our society- humility.
Humble yourself and perhaps you will be exhalted.

15 November 2004

Oh the stately life

I moved in the last couple of weeks to stately part of Fargo. The setting is ideal- not far from downtown and settled between proud homes of yesteryear. There is even a mansion or two intermixed.
I am still digging out of my packing. My room is nearly 87% percent done. There are still boxes that need to go elsewhere. It causes me inner turmoil sometimes to see it in such a mess. I want the simple life but all these things seem like necsesities.
I am well cared for in this house. A pretty good deal.
How about DC United! I was fortunate enough to watch them on ABC mainstream a bit. They won the MSL cup for like the 4th time yesterday. I don't think it had anything to do with Freddie Adu since he saw lean playing time in the post season. With 10 men and K.C. Wizards rallying hard in the final interval, DC showed some fortitude. It appears they also avoided playing anywhere cold since the match was played in California.
So much for us up north to catch any football past mid-October. We've had some great weather for it. The high school season seemed to end early this year too.

04 November 2004

The end has yet to come

Have you heard about a mass migration to Canada? It appears that some feel the re-elected administration of the United States is oppressive enough to warrant leaving this fine nation. Sounds like a bunch of brazen threats.
Although Canada has many similarities to us it is not another United States. I think of it like a cross between Russia and France with a smidge of British sensibility with the added bonus of stable economy. Migrating Americans may find that their money goes far in the nation to the north but they don't intend to sit on their butts and do nothing. Could you even get a job in Canada as an United States citizen? There must be some work permit paperwork and limits on jobs you can take.
Anyways Democrats certainly have something to be angry about. They apparently had high voter turnout for their party. So what gives? It was a close race.
My overarching political theory is that we will get the leaders we deserve because the sovereignty of Almighty God. So then what's all this voting about? Really beats me. I still do it.
His will is greater than that of ours if we believe that He is the Lord of all. In the earthiness of it all I think God gives us some choices despite our faults. We may choose wrongly or rightly but with each carry the responsibility to trust God.
For some I suspect they will curse God and move to Canada.

31 October 2004

Oh holy night

I am not sure who decided the evening before a feast day should be celebrated but Americans certainly flock to the honey of Halloween. I believe we should just celebrate daylight savings time and rejoice over the time we saved. However, methinks Americans would perfer going door to door demanding candy from neighbors while dressed up like the minions of hell. Granted, not everyone makes themselves up to be demons, ghosts, or goblins but it is the lightheartedness a lot of people take towards the spirit world that makes October 31 such a devious delight.
I like candy and costumes. Although hiding uor identity supposedly tricked evil spirts and giving of candy (think offering) appeased these spirits I think it a funny tradition considering the lack of spiritual sense of this nation.
I think the Jews have a great counter to the this day in Purim. People dress in costumes and re-enact the story of Esther. It is a celebration of God's deliverance as compared to Halloween being something akin to oppression by evil ones.
Stop getting oppressed and seek the Almighty!

Overwhelmed- a discourse on moving

I made a move this weekend. It was large. It was mighty. It was rainy and cold.
After a hiatus of 4 years, I return to house living. My years in apartments and basements were good but cramped. My lifestyle has changed a bit since then.
The house reminds me of my St. Paul residence of the mid-seventies. It is in a better part of town. In fact it is in the part of town I like the most. Stately old homes surround it. There are even a few mansion like dwellings a few blocks away. Getting move was not so easy.
Moving overwhelms me mostly because of the stuff that needs to be packed and then unpacked again. I overload my mind with possible scenarios. My new room is literally uninhabitable because the is no room amongst the boxes and miscellaneous items scattered throughout.
Then there's the belongings you do not remember owning.
"Where should this go?"
"Why do I even own this?!"
Once I get things in order I hope to simplify. However, I may simplify in order to live in the room at the top of the stairs.

28 October 2004

Soggy river run

Saturday heralded my first race of the year, the venerable Red River Run 15k. It was a "drizzrible" morning- overcast with light rain. I rode my bike to race and soddened my shoes and socks before I even began. Fortunately I brought my weather running shoes. I attired myself in a longsleeve yellow Nike dri-fit shirt, HellyHanson fleece vest, Scheel's cap, shorts, andHind training jacket. I was mostly "sponsored" by Nike at this event since my weird blue shoes were made by Nike. (note: I wholeheartedly endorse dri-fit, and Helly Hanson, but don't think of this a commercial. Personal testmony of good products.) Now back to the competition.

At 10Am the race began. I had a respectable start. I eventually ditched my jacket sometime after the first mile to increase my swiftness. I passed a few runners and held them off the entire race. A headwind helped propel me but did not give me the edge to catch another runner who had passed me near the 6k mark. I was feeling good throughout.
After 10k I began to feel some mental fatigue, but I pressed on and received a few "good jobs" and "keep it ups" from other runners. I returned the encouragement to other competitors.

My roommates stood by the finish line and gave me the extra edge to finish strong. One of them even tried to beat me to the finish. I clocked in at about 1:16. I do not know if this is an improvement from 2001 but this year the competition in my age group was stiff. The 3 top runners were in my category. The first place male was clocked at about 54 minutes. So no trophies this year but I did win a door price.
I biked home in the cold rain feeling good but wondering why I do this. Well that's a thought for another post.

22 October 2004

Fargo going to the dogs

I get around the interior of the 'Go quite a bit and I have been seeing more and more people walking their dogs in the last month. This must be the new craze sweeping town. I go biking or running and I see upwards of a half dozen canines and their masters roaming the sidewalks. There are plenty of warmer days to do this but it appears early fall has been christened "Walk Your Dog" days. I suppose it goes hand in hand with the Dog Days of Summer but with a much more vigorous pace.
As a runner the canis sort can be a bit unconcerting. You are never sure how the dog will react. So far I have not been bit. Most of the time I encounter the dogs behind their fences. These dogs are usually eager to make you know they are the king of the jungle on this block.
In other news, one day until the 30th Annual Red River Run 15k. Will I regain the age group title? Will I put in a personal best? The pre-race news is I am in excellent running condition. The weather may not be so splendid however. If it storms tomorrow my guess is that the race will go to the dogs.

17 October 2004

Blowout! a true story of hardship overcome

Progressing from Lehigh, my ancestral home, on the Interstate
I encountered a most hazardous situation.

I ventured northbound from the Twin Cities while praying.
No particular reason to pray, it is just my custom on long trips.
Somewhere north of St. Cloud the car began to shake and make
unusual noises. I knew this script. I had been there a few time
before. As it was my front left tire blew out. The entire sidewall
disintegrated.

Call it providence or coincidence, this situation happened near
the entrance to the Middle Spunk Creek wayside. I navigated
the crippled vehicle off the freeway to safety. I inspected the
damage and although it was bad, I had an inner confidence that
something good was going to happen. I trusted the Lord and
jogged to the wayside building to use the facilities.

Getting back to the car I searched the trunk for the equipment
I needed: jack, spare tire, and wrench.
I only had two- the jack and the spare.
I had no means to remove the tire. An impasse?

I prayed. God told me that a person would stop and I was to
ask for the wrench. About a minute later a guy did stop. He did
not have a tire wrench- the correct tool for the job- but we was
willing to help. He actually broke some cheap ratchet wrenches
trying to get the tire off. Not wanting to leave me defeated he
drove into the wayside (I was on the entrance road) to ask someone
for a tire wrench.

We got it almost immediately. We drove back to the car and made
the switch in about 3 minutes. He then returned the tire wrench.
He was a Godsend.

Afterward, I carefully got back on the freeway after switching out
for the small spare tire and made it home without any incident. It is
amazing that such a small tire could travel at near 70 mph!

16 October 2004

Cold loathing wet

Autumn has fallen, very hard with an iron fist. The cold rain was gonna fall. It nearly turned to snow. It still has the chance to do that. Lousy biking and running weather. Although I have the clothing articles to keep off the precipitaion the rain seeps onto you. It attempts embrace you in all its wet slobbering way while you sit by helplessly. With rain its love or hate- mostly postive feelings for me. I have seen the rain as a cleansing force, a transitional phrase unto the next stage of develpment or action. I loathe the wind most of all. It spoils a good day. So wind coupled with rain is pretty bad.
I brought out the winter jacket for the first time this season to fight the cold snap. Worked well in this weather. However my Goretex pants allowed the water to drip off and into my shoes. My shoes are not water-tight.
To my surprise I had a rather excellent run in these conditions. In one week I compete in the the Red River Run. I'm probably in the best shape I have ever been. I did not keep track of last year's marathon fitness but without those long workouts I feel and look great. One of these days I'll get my running page up to tell the story of how I became a runner. I actually all began with a girl. This make for an interesting read.

Being culture shocked

I have been continuing to read books relating to Ireland.

Off and on I have been reading James Joyce's Dubliners. I find it a very good read especially for Joyce. I peered into Ulysses once and found it difficult to read. Dubliners is a collection of tales taking place in areas of Dublin. It may be a bit auto-biographical but I am not sure. I have really enjoyed the book as he gives an undeniable realism to the life of each Dubliner. However there is nothing to be glad about. Each story ends on a bit of minor chord. Not sure what story is my favorite. A friend of mine suggested Eveline. Maybe Two Gallants.

I have finally found an excellent book on Irish society, culture and customs. Culture Shock - Ireland by Patricia Levy is a fun read and covers topics ranging from politics to sport to literature. It also has a chapter covering the North and the Troubles which is particularly informative. I got mine dirt cheap on Amazon.


14 October 2004


A flock of minstrels Posted by Hello

Making music

My mandate - teach people how to play instruments and worship God.
My work thus far - 2 sessions, numerous copies of music printed
My continuing work - Obtain a bass guitar

I've been ebaying for about a month for a bass and a synthesizer keyboard. Other ebayers shut me down in the bid war until this morning when I the synthesizer I was bidding on had 1 hour left. I made the last bid and took it. What I failed to realize is that the Casio HZ-600 is a pretty sub-par instrument according to the reviews I have read for weeks. I got it under $100 and I will just have to see how under or over rated is this thing. Perhaps I could use it as a midi controller.

For a bass I have been looking at Ibanez. They are usually in the low price range but decent. I learned bass on an Ibanez. It's actually a funny story. My "teacher" had me strap on the bass and pointed to where I should put my fingers as I was supposedly being the bass player in the band. After a jump in on the deep end session of learning, I got better but had a lot of blisters that first year. Two Ibanez basses have eluded me on ebay.

12 October 2004

Keen on Keane - a tribute to the Bhoys

Can't believe it's October already and I am behind. I think it is mostly because I am focusing on my job and trying to get enough sleep. My internetting has been limited.
It's been a while since I talked football (soccer to yah yanks).
Internationals this week. Qualifications for the World Cup. My team of choice is the Republic of Ireland. They held France to a stalemate in Paris on the weekend. They play the minnows Faroe Islands later this week.
The Republic are a respectable team that is on the move and perhaps could challenge for the World Cup in 2006. They have steadily improved under Brian Kerr despite missing out on last summer's European Cup. Then all of a sudden, Roy Keane decides to return to the Irish ranks after retiring from international football 2 years ago. Keane is one tough and tenacious footballer. His decision to retire from Ireland precipitated from the tension between him and former Ireland manager Mick McCarthy before the last World Cup. Keane's comments after the break-up were extremely negative toward the Irish football set-up.
Well, Keane has had time to re-evaluate.
I like this guy. He may seem somewhat of an ass but he has a commanding presence on the field and for 33 he's still putting in great games. Who knows maybe the Irish will progressive further in the World Cup with Roy Keane to motivate and nag them.

26 September 2004

Mosquito madness

I decided to take my "ward" out to play soccer this evening and the invading insect army made relentless rear and frontal attacks on us. We attempted to flee the enemy but were unsuccesful. Upon returning to HQ I proceded to seek out repellant (DEET free) so we could get a wee bit of a soccer lesson. Still these mosquitoes kept up the harassment although hardly any bites. All the rain must have spawned this infiltration! Bother the rain!
So what is there to look forward to this week? Nothing to my knowledge but I'll let you know as the time arrives. It won't be as wet hopefully. In another week I plan to return to my ancestral home at Lehigh.

Crash bang

On Friday I found myself be flung over the handlebars of the C-200 as I attempted to avoid a puddle.
I rode out of the 25th Street tunnel on my way home. I noticed the standing water and desired to avoid going through. I veered left as I exited the tunnel but caught a mud slick. I lost control of the bicycle. I could not regain control and I flew over the handlebars. In the process the rear tire bent severely. Fortunately no spokes were broken. My body was 99% uninjuried. I sustained a scrap on my left side of my left foot.
It has been over a year since my injury crash at 17th and 25th. It might be in the files somewhere. The crash has not affected my running which I continue to do.

25 September 2004


Robin Mark visited Fargo and signed a few autographs. Posted by Hello

Making a tent

Robin Mark is a musician that inspires me. This Irishman from Belfast has written some excellent songs [I cover a few] and could command some broader fame and fortune but has a keen point of view concerning life. He holds that our work [vocation if you will] is and should not be separated from our spirtual work [ministry]. Our service to God does not happen just on Sundays in church. Our service to God should be devotion- our entire lives. We can serve God in our workplace, the marketplace, the school. Literally everywhere because God is everywhere and not confined to a building.
I am encouraged by the fact that Robin works a regular job most of the week [a noise consultant?] and only has church responsibility one day a week. I like it. I'd do the same. I enjoy work and meeting people.




24 September 2004

Upon the green shores

I came across these photos from a Downtown at 808 trek to Ireland. Seems like some shots from Dublin, the Wicklow Mountains and possibly Killkenny or Tara (at least somewhere 75km from Dublin). Take note in one shot of a guy with the Liverpool shirt. I think my friend Aric may have a similar shirt. One exceptional shot is the one with the sign saying "no entry except on Sunday."
The 808 crew are a church from Goshen, Indiana. Their name is derived from the time location they meet- Goshen Theater Downtown 8:08 PM (Saturdays). They now also meet on Sunday at 10 AM [compromise? ;) ].

20 September 2004

Legendary soccer manager passes on

Brian Clough dead at 69.
Bobby Robertson, Alex Ferguson, Matt Busby, Bob Paisley et cetera will all pay their respects to the possibly the meanest, toughest manager there ever was. The dead guys (Busby and Paisley) will probably give a glum nod from the nether regions of the football dead. I don't even know if Paisley is dead.

'I want no epitaphs of profound history and all that type of thing. I contributed - I would hope they would say that, and I would hope somebody liked me.' - Brian Clough

Anyways Clough is probably most noted for his mangerical career at Nottingham Forest. In the 1979 and 1980 he brought Forest to the top of the European football champions pinnacle. He ruffled more than a few feathers during his time but made scores of supporters happy. It is unfortunate that he turned to drinking and thus a few years ago needed a liver transplant. He retired from managing in 1993 after Forest fell out of the Premier League.
What strikes me about this figuire is his ablilty to motivate average players to play beyond what critics would believe. He possibly beat it out of his squads. To his record he mostly succeeded and probably influenced a slough of managers to follow his example.
Here's to you Clough- you painted some unique hues into the history of this beautiful and simple game.

17 September 2004

He keeps running

My running continues but I have nothing to run for. No marathon this season. Neither is there a half marathon planned. I keep telling myself "this is good for you" and "your looking good" to motivate myself to go out.
Once I get into the running rhythm things change. I turn into the endurance runner I never was. I actually feel good.
My workouts have been averaging around 45 minutes. Occasionally I would go over an hour. Mostly because of my work schedule I have stopped running at night. Almost everyday I am out on the roads. Only recently have I taken some extra rest days.
The only possible road race for me this season looks like the Red River Run 15k which I won my age group a few years ago. It's put on by the local running club and is a smaller race.
Some rumors have been arising concerning a Fargo Marathon but still seems afar off.

16 September 2004

Heart of worship to the art of worship

Last night started a workshop to train worshippers and worship musicians. It went very well. We did some practical things like work on technique [someone wanted to learn shaker and I was challenging Aric with some bass grooves] and learn new songs. My plan is to have one set of songs the group will all work with during the course of the year then add a few here and there to the repetoire. I really want people to come and learn to play instruments excellently and worship God.
Plans for other sessions include crafting the set, hymns, improvisation and playing in the Spirit.

14 September 2004

Icognito politico

In a strange turn of events I have been reading about the band U2. A few weeks ago I picked up an older biography of the group which I mentioned in an earlier post. I then came across a spiritual bit them in a book Segue gave me: Faith, God, and Rock n Roll by Mark Joseph. "Religion should not inform our politics" is a quote attributed to Bono (Paul Hewson to Dubliners) which bugs me. Although I sort of doubt Bono believes this since trying to pin down anything concrete on U2's spirituality has been vague to ethereal. [note: All You Can't Leave Behind nows seems more spiritual now than ever.] However, the quote is a springboard for a ponderous journey concerning the post-modern era we dwell in.
If religion should not inform our politics- which I am defining as opinions and thoughts on life issues - then what should? Emotions?
If religion is suppose to inform us how to live right, honor God, serve others then why does politics need to be reserved for another sphere. If it is not so - religion informing politics- then politics and therefore government is dead ( or anarchy). Every man should do as he wish. Definitions will cease to exist. And most assuredly justice will not be fair. The powerful and cunning will exert their wills upon us - which is exactly what post-modernism wants to escape.
Is it all bad to have something that governs our behaviors to keep us from the heart of darkness inside which will devour freedom and enslave us.
Now that's a pretty weighty post. Religion will affect politics. It is not always a clear cut choice either. Competing solutions can be equally valid according to relgious views.

09 September 2004

It was not swimming

I took an abbreviated bike camping trip this Labor Day weekend. I could regret it but instead I will look on the bright side.
Rainy, rainy, rainy. I should have gone elsewhere. It rained the morning I left. It rained when I arrived. It appeared it would rain again as I left the Chippewa.
Usually when I do this kind of camping it is dry. An occasional shower may pass but mostly the time in the wilderness is dry.
Challenging as it became, I did enjoy the adventure. For one I did not like the established campsite- too close to people. I continued down the trail on my bike. I rode up some incredible steap inclines and had a scare going down since my brake pads were wet. Then a marsh consumed the trail and I had to seek for shelter as rain increased in volume.
Well, I found a spot off a game trail and immediately improvised a shelter then tried to keep most of my supplies dry. I succeeded at only the former. It rained steady into the evening. Only once did the rain let up enough to provide an opportunity to pitch the tent. Fortunately the tent was considerable dry.
After 8am the next day the weather improved. The sun even shone to make it much more happier.
An adage I am taking up - if you reach an impasse, make it an adventure.


03 September 2004

X-celling

After 2 drug tests and 3 weeks of waiting, I begun my new long term stint at Xcel Energy this week. At last I have been placed in a challenging job. I hardly know how to do anything in this position. The renumeration is not bad either.
My primary function entails billing data analysis. From a slew of meter readings I must determine whether the energy bill is acceptable or needs servicing. Other options include tampered meters, shut offs, cancel bills, and zero reads.
So far so good. They even have a locker room where I can change after I bike to work. Right now it is a real long haul on bike. The Main Avenue and 25th intersection re-constuction impedes the quicker route. I loop around to downtown then wind through the subdued light industrial areas west of University but south 7th Ave. I am hoping they finish the Main and 25th intersection by the end of September. As for now I will be content with a good workout.

01 September 2004

A little win(e)ing tonight

Where has the summer gone? It just returned to Fargo. The temperatures roamed into the 80s today. I think my roommates even turned on the AC for a few hours.
This evening we celebrated my roommate's birthday. Although it really is not the official birth certificate day, we celebrate at this time every year for the spiritual significance. Tonight's assemblage featured wine tasting. Whites, rosas, a red, and Lucky Leaf were some of the styles we partook. The guests rated the wines by sight, smell, taste, and overall quality. Segolaj, an Italian rosa, appealed to the most. I think I liked it but I have been spoiled by Kosher Passover wine, no thanks to Mogen David!
We also enjoyed some homemade Tiramisù- a spectacular desert of Italian origin (the name means "pick me up").

27 August 2004

Read on

Had a fabulous journey reading The Course of Irish History. It did not go into much depth in places but presented a comprehensive view of Hiberno-History. I never knew that the constitution of the Republic stated that the whole of the island is Ireland thereby claim Ulster as part of the Republic. That's where a lot of debate and violence ensues in the past 80 odd years. I am still unsure an united Ireland will ever exist. At least the hostilities have diminished.
What books am I now hoping to conquer. Well I am reading Joyce's The Dubliners. A much easier read than Ulysses. The stories are auto biographical slices of existance in Dublin. So far I have read about dead and skipping school. I had been looking for the book for a while and finally got it at a thrift store for 30 cents!
Another book which I just picked up for a deal at Boys Ranch (more on that later) was The Unforgettable Fire an older U2 biography. I got it more more the information about Dublin than for the group although Haugen would be proud.

Doggone. Posted by Hello

I turned it down

My days of semi-employment are coming to end next week. I will once again enter the daily grind of the work a day world.
It's not that bad really. I just need to adjust my schedule. The increase in income will be a welcome reward.
Earlier this week I did possibly my last stint at Kaye's printing. It should have been a sad parting I think but it was more like changing a garment. At the end of my shift I walked out to my bicycle and shed not a tear.
Then a day later at 6:45 AM I get a call to work at AmeriPride. I dread getting that phone call. I last appeared at AmeriPride over a year before. I folded orange shop towels for 8 + hours a day. Although they treated me well (I got a free lunch one day!) it was not a fun a job. It was monotonous. But most of all it all happened the week before my high school reunion!
"So what you been up to lately?" one of my successful classmates asks.
"Oh, folding shop towels." I timidly replied with a smile.
Not quite what they were expecting me to bedoing 10 years after high school.
Fortunately I was saved by the Wells Fargo Wagon (a.k.a. Wells Fargo Services) drafting me. again.
Back to the phone call- I pause and listen my agent describe AmeriPride and then hear "shop towel." Immediately I know what I will say.
"Sorry, but I'm going to turn that opportunity down."

26 August 2004

Transitions- 101st Post!

Going through change is not necessarily easy. Although I do admit to being flexible, change irks me on the inside. I need to wrestle with it for a bit before I settle into it. That is what I have been doing this week.
So far I have been getting the advantage. Each discouraging thought or depression that come my way I rise to occasion and give it a KO.
So what all the change? Let me tell you.

  1. First, there's a Christian community I am going to help establish in Grand Forks this fall. I don't even have clue what's going to happen. We'll be driving up from Go weekly and find out. We've got a meeting space. Now we need chairs.
  2. Second, the church I am helped establish and am still attending is going through some transitions. New home groups and different prayer strategy have really put us in a spin going into the fall. It would be ideal that the church would move in that direction with unity.
  3. Third, a new contract position with Xcel energy begins in a few days. I will be back to regular work for a while with a decent salary. I'm not sure I'll like it yet but hopefully it will add to me expertise and skills. They had changed the timetable of the project a bit the other day. Hopefully it will allow for some flexibility come the end of March.
  4. Fourth and finally is something I will not elaborate on. All I will say is that it feels like a death in the family (although that's not the case). Emotionally it gets ties me in knots. It appears to be an impasse but I believe it will become an adventure.

Here's to a good transition. Keep on trucking


23 August 2004

The Ambitious go to Madrid

Owen relishes new challenge at Real
Rumors had been floating around since the end of the Premiership season that Michael Owen would depart for Madrid. After almost 13 years at Liverpool, Owen felt he needed to pursue his ambitions to be on a successful. Stiff competition up front (Ronaldo and Raul) hopefully will stir the striker to greater heights and gain Madrid some hardware this season.
With Liverpool in a strange rebuilding/readjusting phase, the parting probably produced bittersweet taste in Reds fans. It seems Heskey has left the club too? What about Gerrard (not Houlier)? Although it looks like Djibril Cisse has joined from Auxerre. I like his name.

22 August 2004

Grafton on the map

Grafton North Dakota Detailed Profile - travel and real estate info jobs hotels hospitals weather schools crime ...
Made a trek up to Grafton, ND this weekend for a mini-conference with the Outfitters churches. I had the opportunity to lead worship on Saturday and it was incredible. God told me "Why would He withhold his presence from his son?" earlier in the morning. [Note: If you do not know already I firmly believe God is an active and personal being. He also communicates to his people including me.] And so it came to pass. God's grace definitely flowed through me, my team, to the group assembled.
I have a recording of it and it actually sounds pretty good. Really good.
Well it's not that good but I love it!

Munch's famous Scream stolen

Munch's famous Scream stolen
At first I thought it was some cartoon character that had his scream stolen. Why would that make headlines? Sounds a lot like Monsters Inc.
So thieves stole a painting from the Edvard Munch Musueum in Norway. An actual scream did not vacate the musuem with thieves. Two Munch paintings were stolen which included one entitled The Scream, a rather popular impressioninstic painting depicting a person screaming with two hands over his/her ears/cheeks (I am not sure of gender or body part covered). That would be much more abstract and difficult to keep in a get away car. However the paradox exists that this and another painting by Munch were considered priceless but had no security that prevented thievery of the painting.
Check out Edvard Munch for yourself. The other stolen painting was entitled The Madonna.

18 August 2004

The lost run

I spent some time in New York Mills, MN last week on business. In keeping with my fitness regime, I run almost every morning. I think I am training for some road race, but I have not decided on one yet.
One morning I left to go run. I ran around the town as I did before but wanted to go a bit farther. I followed a country road heading out of town. I ran and ran hoping that I'd find a connecting road that would lead back to town. Unfortunately after an hour I did not come across one. I did not want to go back since there were big dogs that I had out run. It would not have been fun either. Backtracking to me is akin to "I made a mistake."
Eventually I found some roads that I thought would take me back, but they zigzagged a bit and took me farther away.
I was lost. I needed to find highway 10. I could hear it in the distance- the passing traffic and semi-trailer truck sounds. At last a gravel road took me right to the highway. To be safe I ran down a frontage road, however it became a driveway. I scurried through some grass up to the railroad tracks. I ran on them for a while but did not feel safe doing it.
Finding a dry spot in the ditch, I ran to the shoulder of the highway.
A distance of about 2 miles separated me from town. I ran on the shoulder of the highway as traffic whizzed past at 65 miles per hour. The shoulder was adequate and I made it back to my motel. I ran for nearly 2 hours! Not bad but I was exhausted.

15 August 2004

Another fair in the bag

Once again took another job working a county fair for ABC Seamless. This fair was in Wadena, MN and once again no fish house present. However, I still got many responses. I have been learning to deal with rejection doing this job. Who cares if they don't sign up for the silly fish house? I really enjoyed the fair in Wadena. It was a well done affair, although the attendance was spotty at times.
In the eveninng I retired to New York Mills to rest in the comfort of the Mills Motel. The Mills Motel is a family run establishment with modest accomadations. My television set suffered from severe magnetism disorder but overall I had a grand stay. I saw some good documentaries and caught some of the Olympics. However, I think I could hear snoring from an adjectant room my last evening. (An aquaintance of mine would likely comment: Oh my word!)
During the lulls and dead zone of the fair I had been reading The Course of Irish History, a comprehensive volume about the Irish nation. It has been an intriguing read. Plenty of political intrigue, and British oppression, and strong personalities. Do all Irish have strong personalities?
I have been planning on visiting the emerald isle in 2005 to pick up some stories and songs and make friends. The book is giving me a broader understanding of how history has shaped the Republic.

09 August 2004


No horsing around. Posted by Hello

He's still alive and kickin

I encountered Steve Sjogren a few years ago at a conference in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul). He had recently gone through some medical mishap concerning the abodomen or something and was a bit immobile. However, that did not take away from his love for kindness and service. I should also note he also loves God. Try sometime and you will see how enjoyable it can be.
Well anyway, Steve is incredible plugged in. He's up to date on the cultural, technological, and spiritual trends. I have found his web sites to be quite enjoyable. I visited his church in Cincinatti a few times when I was a road warrior for MTL. Always had a fantastic time.
Peering into his blog it seems Steve still faces some health problems- at least the week prior to August 1. It appears he is also in the process of writing a book about the health issue I mentioned above.
Some things I gleaned from Steve:
1. Where God is there is fun. I am not a stodgy odd churchaholic but an enthusiastic seeker of God. Why would God want to make our experiences with him so drab?
2. Kindness works. It works in both directions- it shapes the doer and the receiver.
3. Creativity can be used in the church. Steve's church is a firm believer in getting people to find where they fit. The openness to creativity really puts people at ease.

07 August 2004

Addicted to Thomas

I think I am addicted to Thomas the Tank Engine. It all started with my "little roommate." He got a Thomas cartridge for his LeapPad. Then there was the DVD borrowed from the library. I was hooked. Later I bought a DVD with wood train of Thomas for the "little roommate."
I am thrilled with the cool animation that utilizes a real model train set. It is incredible what they can do with it.
What else do I like about Thomas? Let me enumerate:
  1. A large ensemble of characters. There are over 30 different trains and stories that go along with them. So far my favorites are Edward and Stepney.
  2. George Carlin or Ringo Starr narrate the stories. They are fabulous. I enjoy the unique personality they bring to the Thomas characters. They also have friendly tone to their voices.
  3. The stories teach lessons. It is not all fun and mischief on the Island of Sodor (imaginary island where the trains operate.) there are plenty of lessons learned by the trains such as helping others, following the rules, working hard, respecting others, and making friends.
  4. Each train (and other vehicle) has a unique personality. Whether it is Percy's naivete or Edward's kind heartedness - I simply enjoy these characteristics.
  5. It's British. I grew up on British comedy it seems. I also grew up with one particular bear- Paddington, who happens to permeate children's literature in the UK. Thomas fits right in. As a matter of fact it would make a great crossover if Thomas met Paddington.

That's all for now. I got to be a real useful engine...er I mean human now.

05 August 2004

Green tea

I am a green tea aficionado. I have been qaffing it for years - hot, cold, and in between. I brew it occasionally at home but find the Arizona Tea brand to my liking. Recently I have found an incredibly potent green tea - Greenergy Double Brew by Tradewinds. It is marketed as a natural energy drink. I first tried it at room tempature and could only guzzle half the 16 oz bottle. For 16oz they use 4 tea bags and this is green tea with caffeine (and flavanoids to destroy those free radicals).
I also have tried Mad River. It is not as strong but is sweeter than a typical Arizona Green Tea. Natural lemon flavor is included. It was cheap (like 25 cents cheap).
Check into the benefits of the green tea.

Midnight special

To ease the sting of heartache I have been biking in the dark. Now that I have a terrific NightHawk Viper on the C-200 I can do it much more safely.
Last night I rode down 75 in Moorhead and crossedthe 52nd streer bridge into south Fargo.
Tonight was very dark although a partial moon shown in the background. I rode all the way back from my friend's house in Moorhead. I had to go through the partially lit Gooseberry Park and then cross the Sertoma Freedom Bridge to return to Fargo. I was prepared to be ambushed at every dark corner. However, this did not happen. I made it home safely.

Happy boy, joy desires. Bear applauds. Posted by Hello

03 August 2004

Out on the street

Most Fridays this summer my church has been hitting the streets to share the Gospel, pray, or do something to meet people in Downtown Fargo. Well this Friday I took a break from my fair duties in Glenwood and broke out the guitar in downtown. I played a lot of folky tunes and even tried to do some blues. Eventually I turned to my roots in CCR and Velvet Underground.
I sang "Have Your Ever Seen the Rain" and "Proud Mary" with some of the transitional bar crowd. That music attracted a Vietnam Vet named Richard who seemed (more like was) to be a bit inebriated but kind. I was in the US Bank plaza until almost 10PM. It was scary and fun. I need to get better on guitar or become a mime.

01 August 2004

More fair

Once again ABC Seamless contracted my services. This time for the Pope County Fair in Glenwood, MN. Additionally, I had the added bonus of staying in a motel- The Viking Motel in Alexandria.
The fair was average at best although I met quite a few interesting folks - "Ray Comfort Jr.", Conservative Old Man, Talkative Handshake Lady, and girl named Ramsey. I also struck up a conversation/dialogue/ relationship with an InfoLink employee who is a vegetarian and former KUMMer (the U-90 Alternative).
With 9 hour shifts things could get boring. It appeared the same people circulated the building after a while. I found that offering candy often brought folks to the booth and stymied the boredom.
The folks in Pope County must be pretty motor sport oriented. The only entertainment that did not feature motors was a mime. Of course the mime seemed to encourage me to work on my own mime technique. Can you believe that?! They did not have a talent show nor any music or variety acts. Even Ottertail had that! Two tractor pulls and two demolition derbies were the extent of the main entertainment.

26 July 2004


I think I thought that you required something of me... Posted by Hello

Meeting the Children (18:3)

Had the pleasure to listen to the band Children 18:3 a few days a go. They were part of a band tournament connected with a large Christian music festival in Sioux Falls, SD (LifeLight). 18:3 impressed me with their stage presence. It was unfortunate that the sound engineering did not get a cleaner pick up of the vocals. Anyways they won the alternative division and now go on to another round at the festival itself.
It had been a while since I saw them play. In fact David Jr. the lead singer reminded me of that time- the Stevens County Fair 2001. Punk rock maracas made a guest appearance. Since then the group added sister Lee Marie on bass. It is all a family affair now.
By the way See You at the Party has set the list and 18:3 will be there.

25 July 2004

A 6th Victory Lap - Lance Armstrong wins record sixth Tour de France

USATODAY.com - Lance Armstrong wins record sixth Tour de France: "cancer have drawn new fans to a race that has been won five times by four other riders"
It seems that this year's Tour was more touted than previous ones and not without reason. Armstrong's sixth victory in bicycling's most grueling challenge appears to have resurrected cycling from its position as something Europeans only watch to must watch TV around the globe. I am impressed with the Armstrong story, although a bit disappointed with the Sheryl Crow relationship thing. I read all of Outside magazine's section on the Tour and even saw a short documentary on Armstrong on ESPN2.
I currently have a Lance Armstrong poster on my door. Am I just jumping on the bandwagon. Probably so.
With Nike marketing, Lance was and is everywhere this summer. Whenever we see a man on a road bicycling on TV, we all assume that is Lance. This is similar to the marketing of Michael Jordan's "jumpman" likeness.
So what will Lance do now? Disney? He has said he'll spend time with his kids and miss the Olympics. So what, he is Lance.

22 July 2004


All the rigors of selling fireworks expressed in this picture Posted by Hello

Breaking News - Bob Newhart statue to be erected in Ill.

USATODAY.com - Bob Newhart statue to be erected in Ill.
Incredible. I wonder why they didn't erect a statue of Bob Newhart as Papa Elf at the North Pole.
Way to go Bob! Love the dry stuff.

21 July 2004


Hiking the NCT in the Sheyenne Grasslands. Posted by Hello

Invasion of the inflatables at MSBS-Fargo

I had the priviledge to attend the Microsoft Business Solutions picnic in Fargo the other day. Man they really went all out this year. This is one fabulous wing-ding. They brought in something like twenty inflatable things. The food was incredible. A great selection of fruit even some green beans that where done just right. BBQ ribs, corn dogs, pork roast. I loved it all. I am so grateful to have friends on the inside. Now I just need to get on the inside.
It has been a very hot week in Fargo. So hot it is nearly impossible to sleep at night. We do not use our air conditioner much in the apartment. I think it is to keep the cost of living down and not overload the powergrid.
I am practically alone this week as my roommates are busy out of town. I finally got an assignment this week to work with ABC Seamless at the Ottertal County Fair. I did this last year with some success. Fairly simple job (a pun I know).
Children 18:3 are coming to Fargo on Saturday. They are playing at a church down the street from me. The wild punk band from West Central Minnesota is on the up and up. They got some shouts out from CM magazine this month.  They played at Lifest recently. I wonder if they met Chonda Pierce?

Spinberger

A tantalizing tale to twart the press coverage away from the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Is this Republican spin at a key time for the Democrats? FBI does not think this Sandy Berger "lost" documents from the National Archives thing in  "front burner." Bush says it is serious. Heck yah. But who is interested in the past besides history buffs and that 911 commission.
And just why is there such a push to keep Clinton looking good. Honestly he does look good. He's charisma, baby. Clinton can to do no wrong according to the American public. Should I be angry?
Clinton is likeable. Bush is too. Now this Kerry guy that is an entirely different can of beans. Too bad Bill Bradley seemed to disappear (thanks Gore).

Not dangeresque enough Posted by Hello

09 July 2004

Firework Completed

Now my firework has been completed I have been thinking what to do to celebrate the momentous completion of this seasonal job.
Have a Caveman Party!
For the past three weeks I have been employed to sell fireworks out of a tent in Alexandria, Minnesota. It was by far better than last year's experience in Bemidji. We actually outsold the Bemidji super tent this season. The one downside is that I lost some important mail during the sale.
I wonder sometimes how they name a firework. For instance, the caveman party (alluded to above), seems rather out there in the name game. It just spouts colored sparks. Why not call it Colorific Tremendo? No, these fireworks big wigs have spend millions of dollars in market research to determine the average fireworks consumer (in the safe and sane states, but more on that later.) would be compelled to buy a firework with the name party on the end if caveman were used before it. Viola! A stupendous sales technique. I think they must have learned something because there was a plain Caveman fountain a few seasons ago. You can know only purchase it in assortment packs or from the trunks of unlicensed vendors wearing animal skins.
In Minnesota safe and sane fireworks are the only ones allowed to be sold. These fireworks include fountains, sparklers, and novelties. I don't know how many times I had to explain that firecrackers, parachutes, Roman candles, rockets, artillary shells, and reporting fountain cannot be sold or bought in Minnesota. Despite the lack of supposed "good stuff" we do a great business in Minnesota. My tent was in the top 5 in sales going into July 4th weekend.
In closing here are a few more peculiar fireworks' names: Iguana Man, Monster Parade, Kahuna's Revenge (beware surfers!), Devil's Delight, Screaming Ghoul, The Heat (for those cold 4th of Julys), Towering Inferno (we sold this right after 9/11).

16 June 2004

The web-press identity

I may not be Matt Damon but I sure can act like he can. With that sequel to his spy thrillerama I am not anxious to see it. Never saw the first one so who cares. I enjoy Thomas the tank engine much better. I just wish I was known as the talent Mr. Royce.
I am still pressing on in the web room a Kaye's. It appears that the guy the hired to do the job full time must have bit the dust. I actually worked longer as a temp in position than he lasted as a full pledged employee. Just shows I have the best work ethic. Ah the talented Mr. Royce.
I've been searching for information on Sami Ohayon, my roommate's father. He apparently was an Israeli actor and director so I am trying to find the movies he was involved. Could not find any. I did find an intriging Israeli film entitled Kvalim. Unfortunately it is unavailable on any format in any country. By the way it's a parody about cable television.

09 June 2004


At ease on an island on Baptism Lake- the fire warmed our hearts and provided a respite from the gloomy side of the island. Quetico Park, Ontario, CA Posted by Hello

07 June 2004

In good company

My mother passed away a year ago yesterday (June 6) after holding on for about five years with cancer. She had a tenacity to live and indeed even outlived some of her doctors strangely.
In course of the year I have noted quite a few exceptional people have gone on to eternity. Buddy Ebsen, Johnny Cash, Art Carney, Katherine Hepburn, and Bob Hope to name a few. It was quite inspiring to see that the in the last day Ronald Reagan made the step into the great beyond. Although during the Reagan era my family was staunchly Democratic, I have only come to appreciate what he did recently. Back in those days he was known in my family as "old prune face." He was the only President to who I ever wrote a letter.
Someone was quoted in a radio interview I heard saying "What a life!" I wholeheartedly agreed. From Illinois athlete to broadcaster to actor to California Governor to President of the United States - he lived an enormous life. So now maybe history will give him the credit he is do if it has not already.
"Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"


Contemplating eternity on a rocky island. Posted by Hello

02 June 2004

"I am the Mighty Popo"

About a week ago I was enroute to Quetico Provincial Park with my canoeing companions. We had been on the road for some time. Upon entering Canada I decided to turn on the radio. There was a scant number of stations but CBC1 attracted our attention. It was a intriguing show entitled "African Guitar Summit." It featured a menangerie of Canandian-African guitarists, including a guy who calls himself The Mighty Popo of Burundi. Well we could not resist a name like "Mighty Popo," especially when the annoucer made it sound so low key. Kris broke out laughing. Scott wanted the station changed. Matt was mildly amused but was speechless.
With a pseudo-African accent Kris annouced "I am the Mighty Popo."
Then I answered back with another thick African accent "No, I am the Mighty Popo - I killed a tiger with my bare hands." Hilarity ensued as we fashioned this Mighty Popo character with other Herculean feats.
Throughout the trip the catch phrase "I am the Mighty Popo" would be repeated. Scott yelled it one evening and it must have echoed a half dozen times. Pretty cool. Even Neil got in on it although he did not seem amused when we were using the phrase earlier.
So if you do any super-human feat remember to proclaim aloud "I am the Mighty Popo"

01 June 2004

Out of the wilderness

It has been a full two weeks. I've been on the road and in remote places.
I seemed to have finished my sentence at Kaye's printing, which is a relief. The last days there felt like prison.
I jumped on an opportunity to canoe the Quetico which kept me in remote parts of Ontartio. It was an excellent trip all be it rather wet. It was my second excursion up there.
Memorial Day weekend kept me in Morris. It was a bit boring since the small town generally locks itself up on the holiday weekend. Nonetheless I got a run in and watched the demise of the Timberwolves. It was a good game that Wolves could have won if it were not for turnovers and the points the Lakers scored off them. Kareem Rush's 3-point mania just added to our problems. Next year then. I'm hoping the Pistons can deconstruct the Lakers.

15 May 2004

On my way

Still working the dreaded print shop. I think I may have worked 50 hours this week. The irony of it all is that I am putting together the catlog for a former client of my former employer, MTL. I have practically memorized ever sub division of item that they sell. (Them being Rice Lake Weighing Systems).
Today I protest in silence as I ride my bike to distant places. I hope to restart geocaching again. My start last weekend ended up without a find.
I am hoping to find some garage sale deals today too.
Well I need to go it's almost noon.

The Angry Minnesotans

Is there a reason for anger?
Well gas prices certainly come to mind. Why a gallon costs $1.94 just up the street from me. Highway robbery I say! I should write a song concerning it.
Better yet, resurrect my old band The Angry Minnesotans and have loud protest concerts outside of gas stations.
I have been pondering getting the band back together this week. Although it might not be the same AMs as from the Morris years.
We were a monolith in Morris band culture. Not noteworthy but we appeared on the radar as a resurrection was occuring in the music scene in Morris (the population 5,000 town in west central MN). We were one of the first in a long line of groups that took the stage at Karl's Coffee - Morris' original coffee shop. Note: Although now defunct, Ardelle's Cafe could claim to be the first coffee klatch zone in town- but I'm not a townie on this info.
So where were we- bands in Morris. Now a group called Children 18:3 seem to be catapulting themselves from Morris to the medium big time. They even appeared in Newsweek recently, although quite by accident I am told. I have a strange connection with the band although they are punk rockish.

08 May 2004

Garage sales

Garage sale season has started and I hope to gobble up the deals and junk the is a treasure to me. The big weekend is coming up. This is only a small preview of what is to come. I must go. I must seek. I will deal!!
How to Tell a Decent Garage Sale without going in
1. Stroll, lull, or use surveillance equipment to discover if merchandise is pouring out the garage to at least half way down the drive way.
2. Flags. No questions about it but the flags signal "This is the U.S.S. Garage Sale"
3. Multiple tables, benches, and other contrivances which hold the merchandise and boxes on the sides.
How to Tell a Real Garage Sale from a Fake Wannabe
1. Prices range from 5 cents to 2 dollars with only a few items in the 5-10 dollar range.
2. Boxes to dig through that contain nick nack treasures.
3. Constant traffic. Only a few hours out of the sale should there be a lull of activity.

The Gas Strike

Gas prices in my neck of the woods have been inching up towards 1.90 a gallon. This is ludicrous for myself, an occasional driver. I purposely ride my bike so gas prices would plummet. North of here about 80 miles gas is almost 2.00 a gallon. I may be glad I bike a lot but for those long hauls I am not sure my peddle power will produce. I should fill my tank up before these prices skyrocket anymore.
Americans if there is a time to start the switch to alternative fuels, it is now! The gasoline apocalypse is upon us. Forget Iraq and the dirty pictures! I want alternative energy!!!! Troops will need to be sent home to protect the nation's gas stations and refineries from rebel armies of alternativo energios freedom fighters. Yo Joe!!

28 April 2004

A little more weird

It has been a while but I have been thinking about blog. Unfortunately my connection is going nuts.
In Fargo today the mercury hit 86 degrees. Sweltering hot.
But then after 4:30 PM some hefty winds came in and really shot the temp down. These were strong 50 mph winds. Not sure if the wind speed is accurate but we were under a wind advisory.
Tomorrow the cold returns. There is also a possibility for snow. Hey it's Fargo, stuff like this happens. Possibly one reason this city has the stigma it has. Oh well.

17 April 2004

I'm hired (not quite) - on The Apprentice

Good news! Bill was hired as Donald Trump's Apprentice.
Bad News. That Bill was not this Bill.
Entrepeneur? Well, I am hoping and seeking this out. I'm not too big on selling cigars but I certainly have prospects for a few service oriented businesses:
1. Mintrel-o-rama - Hire me to provide party entertainment from music to drama to games.
2. Need Tech - Consulting non-technology folks in choosing technology. Providing solutions for those who are in a bind with current tech.
3. Inklings - Creative writing service specializing in feature articles, website content, and technical writing.
4. Lehigh Productions - Consulting group that aids in digital video media production. Providing direction through whole productions.
5. Scribblers - Dramatic writing service specializing in idea and script development for radio, television, film, commercial, and industrial media productions.
Of course my 6th could be the social critic business but everybody wants to be a critic.

15 April 2004

Taking it to the songs

I am reworking some old songs I wrote while I was part of the trio The Angry Minnesotans. Hoping to make a decent recording of a few of the songs for posterity and a possible comeback. I was inspired listening to an old AMs recording from the UMM PE Annex. It has the stadium sound with the amps up loud. Of course the songs I wished were recorded on this tape were not. There are about 3 original songs and a bunch of Velvet Underground, R.E.M. and Hindu Love Gods covers. It does have the last recording known of "Mr. Spaceman" - my first song I wrote while with Tulipeter in 1994.
I sure need to get a history of the bands I was in online. It is the stuff of urban legend that needs the truth to refute it. Otherwise I'll have people saying "He sang Raspberry Beret with Prince and Dave Pernier on the mall in Morris." Never happened.

14 April 2004

Bhoys go out

Well Celtic (Glasgow that is) pride was deflated quite a bit today. The Bhoys are knocked out of Europe's junior competition (UEFA Cup). They have been having an outstanding season with all pistons running. Doing much better than cross town rivals Rangers (who I only half heartedly support since Barry Ferguson left). I was hoping they would make the final again this season. The Hoops, as they are also known because of their shirts, have automatic Champions League bid set for next season if they keep the domestic lead.
Villareal were the culprits. This Spanish outfit seems to have found some inspiration in Europe because domestically they are fairly mediocre right now. They have already shot down giants Galatasaray (Turkey) and Roma in their first taste of Europe. They are certainly looking forward to a dual with Spanish rivals Valencia in the semi-finals.

13 April 2004

In downtown

The web press broke today. How ironic it was while printing a Rice Lake Weighing Systems catalog. Rice Lake was a former client of ours while I worked at MTL some years ago. I was released from the monotony of waiting at a quarter past eight (8:15). I decided to bike around downtown and then jumped on over to Moorhead and set myself down on the Concordia College campus to continue my reading of Edersheim. Later I went to Cheapo Disc (colorado location which I have never been to) in search of Irish music. Bought some fiddle music. Not sure I like it yet. Totally fiddle. No session stuff.
I then crossed the river again a continued my digital photography foray of the area. I hope to create some webpages dedicated to my commentary on Fargo and a little on Moorhead.
That's all for now.

Fargo traffic

I have ranted before about Fargo traffic in some vein. Today I will unleash my fury on the notorious 25mph side streets.
These slow moving roads simply become relentless in the mid-morning and afternoon. I have had trouble crossing these niggling traffic creatures. Especially a few by my apartment (25th Ave you know that's you1). Where there are no crossing signals the cars will ignore.
I run and bike and although I believe Fargo to a great city to do these activities in I find that these side streets cause some psychological distress. Stopping in the middle of the crosswalk is the most blatant abuse. Next, turning right while the pedestrian (biker) has right of way. I have got to be on my watch while also trying to keep my rthymn.

06 April 2004

Pasted

Today I worked on all 3 levels at Kaye's Printing. None were remarkably interesting. Moving magazines off the belt, loading postcards, making boxes, stacking news insersts - all physically straining. Starting work at 6am is also a bit of a stretch for me.
I was so bored the other day when the web press was down I read a book about MLA style guidelines.

05 April 2004

Recent scat

April 1 marked the start of biking season for me. Started the biking at 5:30 AM to get to work at 6 AM.
I am running regularly again. Not too long but enough to rebuild the endurance. Not sure if I'll do any early season races.
Manchester U are sliding on the table as Arsenal have a firm grasp at the top. Interesting Chelsea versus Arsenal match in champions league coming up. Could determine who will have momentum in league. Chelsea currently stand 2nd.
Should Edu become a Brit? The Brazilian wants a taste of international game but Brazil is stacked with talent up front. It probably would be a good idea. Other Brazilians have done it. It would be weird though.

Passover Eve

Celebrated Passover Eve yesterday and used my new condensed haggadah for the seder. I think I'll call it the cliff notes haggadah.
Today at sundown actually marked the beginning of the official observance of Passover. I've celebrated Passover in some form for the last 3 years. My roommates currently are in Israel celebrating this festive celebration of rememberance and freedom.
The guests' responses were postive. I think some were taken by surprise by the bitter herb. Horseradish can really kick you in the butt. However, haroset was incredible. Makes up for the bitter herb . I cannot believe I made it.
In the condensed version we only drank the first cup of wine and participants were asked to try all the seder foods. We only did a short retelling by reading Psalm 107- which was not exactly a retelling. We then had a incredible meal of roast lamb. Lamb is not necessarily the traditional food but it was symbolic of the first Passover. I omitted the removing chametz because of time contraints and well I am a Gentile and so were the rest of the group. I know we had rice which is a chametz.
Thank the Lord we are not under strict dietary law.

31 March 2004

Send me to...Inspiration Point

Last weekend I had the opportunity to spend some time with young and old people at Inspiration Point.
We worshiped, played, listened, and prayed. In between we ate. I have been at these retreats twice before and like before it was an incredible time.
Ben Goodman and Jeremy Gwaltney (both of North Carolina) were the speakers for the retreat. I had the opportunity to chaffer them.
My friends Mark and Anna Haugen helped organize the retreat and once again did an outstanding job.
Although it was a small turnout (about 30), it was a quality time for all that attended. Jim McCracken was even there. Incredible. I can and should say more but I am planning a web page essay on the even. Hopefully soon.

Like dominoes, they fall

Today I will take a jab at love.
Being happily and advantageously single I find it irking that some would enter this "love circle." Beaming with stars in their eyes, they soak in this emotional high. What really gets my goat is that then they abandon all else and simply dote on this one love. Hey they even get engaged to make it legit. Oh my how passions doth burn!
I am of the kind that says love's passion doth burn but thou shalt have self control. Love is romantic and emotional. No questioning that. It is a powerful realmn. But love is not merely those things. Emotions come and go. Committment, faithfulness, sacrifice- now this is the hard part of love but perhaps its deepest expression.
I may be sounding like a crank- yes I am sounding as one. So here is my gripe- let's realize we are in love, recognize romance, but pursue the utmost for his honor above all. Just because one has waited three, five, or ten years for the one does not give license to let our emotions rule this time. Be smart! Do not compromise!

Write me a postcard tomorrow...

Today marked my move into the postcard business. After days on the web press I move up a floor and get to look at pleasant 3x5 pictures for over 9 hours a day starting at the crack of dawn. I admit I don't really enjoy the hours (6am to who knows), but it sure is unique.
I cannot believe the amount of postcards that get printed in Fargo. There were cards for places in Montana, North Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, Ohio and California. My favorite card of the day was one of a train. I think it was for someplace in Montana. It has a single shot of a refurbished Chicago Milwaukee St.Paul and Pacific E 70 Locomotive. The story behind the train is it was originally built to be used on the Trans-Siberian Railroad but then Ruso-American relations broke down and so the Milwaukee bought a whole dozen of these engines for a bargain. They are nick named little Joe in honor of Joseph Stalin, that crazy leader. This engine had a really good back story on how it was saved.
I took some of the throw aways home for my personal collection.

22 March 2004

Waiting in the wings

I auditioned the other day for a musical comedy based on Shakespeare's Tempest at the local community theatre. I decided to do it at the last minute and found no music to sing. I ended up singing the usual suspect - Happy Birthday. It took no more than 2 minutes. There were tons of kids auditoning.
I am not sure I want to make call backs but whatever the Lord wills. I auditioned because I want to be an actor and that's what actors do when they are not acting. But on the other hand I want to train for the next running season. I want to kick a soccer ball around.
I'll be working downtown so I can check the stagedoor.

21 March 2004

Hitting the pavement

I laced up my New Balance 716s this evening and ran in the dark as is my custom. It was a bit a chilly but virtually no wind. The weather has been getting better the past week but I was suffering from sinus congestion. I then started to suffer from running anxiety.
Whenever I saw someone running I would feel a deep tug in my soul. This also happens when I contemplate my physique or check out upcoming races.
So I hope to return to fine tuned running machine condition shortly so I can knock off a few pounds and take in an early season race or two.

Wowie Mawie Trinity

I finished up my stint at the boys class B tournament on Saturday by working the incredibly busy Wowie Maui (sic) stand. Clad in Hawaiian shirt I assisted the owners in a massive sell out of fruit smoothie beverages. I sampled quite a bit of the Mango Orange Banana.
Needless to say the stand was raking in the dough and kept us all busy from nearly 7:30 until 9:30 PM. It was a real money tree shaker as those in the sales business sometimes say.
On the court Dickinson Trinity defeated Milnor for the championship. I saw the last minute of the game. Unlike Trinity's earlier games, the Titans dominated Milnor throughout. They eventually won by about 19 points. Trinity were lead predominantly by a bushy haired guy named Chad Glasser. He seemed to be the heart and soul of the team with his big hair.
Trinity fans streamed down from the stands after the win to collectively mob the team with admiration.
Minnesota kicks off their boys basketball tourney next weekend. Morris will be sending their team with standout Brent Winkleman leading the charge. Do I sense a snow storm?

19 March 2004

In a class B of my own

Yesterday I got to work at the FargoDome selling Dippin Dots to fans of the Class B Boys Basketball Tournament. The tournament is for the smaller schools but is much more revered than the Class A (big school) tournament. Has a great back story which I will forgo telling. Regional public television made a documentary about it - One Shining Moment: History of the North Dakota State B. It is by no means Hoosiers but dang near close.
Yesterday's upset - Dickinson Trinity beats previously undefeated New Rockford-Sheyenne.
I'll be back at the dome on Saturday to see who will be crowned champion.

17 March 2004

Back Home Again

I have returned from my jaunt home and to D.C.
D.C. was great. Saw lots of stuff. Even watched an early St. Patricks day parade in Alexandria.
It appears the nation is in culture flux again concerning the same-sex marriage issue. I don't believe the spin that this is a civil rights issue. America seems so abyssmal. No one thinks morality exists let alone an institution that was God ordained. It is becoming the abolition of God fearing society.
I read in the Washington Post the other day that those virginity pledges do not impact whether or not one has pre-martial sex according to one study. Those who didn't have the pledge program were actually less likely to fornicate and/or contract STDs.
Will America go the way of Europe- be an also ran. To stand up for something that is right and moral is beginning to be spun as hate speech et al. Slowly freedom of thought and speech are being weedled away to make amends for some minority. Could we not protect both?

04 March 2004

In my (old) room

I sit at the laptop and write from my former room at Lehigh which is a horrible mess. It appears my sister made this here second and third closet.
Important news or bad news depending on how you feel about it, Royce Files will be on Hiatus for a bit since I am heading to the Capitol at the nations capital. Hope to write again soon. Caio.

26 February 2004

Passionately yours

Saw the Passion of the Christ the other day. I was a fortunate one to get a seat. So the movie was excellent in terms of re-telling the story of the last hours of Christ. Very graphic protrayal. It got to a point where there was so much blood it was outlandish. Kind of like on You Can't Do That on Television and Allister makes Alanis say "I don't know" and slime falls from the ceiling.
The movie was very "Mel Gibson"- it focused on the pivotal moments and utilized flashbacks. It had some cinematic effects similar to Braveheart. The ending stinger was an excellent conclusion. Just the right length although there was this enormous dead air/fade to black before it. Oddily no one wanted to stay for the credits- it was like the end of a Catholic Mass- a mass (no pun intended) exit. I stayed for credits. Looked like plenty of foreigners, Italians I think. Maybe some Jews.
One more thing- this movie didn't make me want to hate Jews. It made me want to hate Romans!! (I'm just kidding if there are any who came to be Romans out there reading this)

20 February 2004

Fiddler in the balcony

A friend of mine and I went to NDSU's production of Fiddler on the Roof tonight. We sat in the balcony. Possibly a thousand people were there. I believe the show was sold out, although there were at least four empty seats around me.
I have a little history with Fiddler. Back in the 4-H days I was in an abbreviated version and then in high school sang the medley of Fiddler tunes at least twice. I saw it performed at a community theater, watched the film twice, and have a roommate that was actually in it (she's half Jewish too but that's besides the point).
So here's my reaction. Steve Stark is no Zero Mostel or Topol but he does an excellent job at being Teyve- finding the character and fully becoming that person. I noticed a lot of actors were not into their roles. I could tell by a certain level of zest they brought to their lines and non-verbals.
Pacing/timing were off- the show was not tight. Although enjoyable it showed only reticent support of Stark's strong acting.
Type casting? Perchik is a rebellious young man fighting for an altruistic cause who becomes enamored with one of Tevye's daughters. The guy who played this role - Bjorn Fjorne - also played a similar role (Marius) at Trollwood last summer in .Les Miserables.
The other story of the night featured a women who was sitting a few seats away from me. She left the theatre just before the Dream Sequence and then returned near the Wedding scene. So when she returns she sits in the empty seat next to me. I smell a strong scent of alcohol and cigarettes. Hmm. Did she just step out to drink a few shots and smoke. Was the play that bad? (Really it wasn't by all observations.) She didn't exactly look sober. My friend next to me could smell it too. It must have been strong.

19 February 2004

A soapy situation

Today I perused a dollar store and saw a brand name of soap entitled "First Date." Apparently the marketing department thinks Americans wash up extra nice on a first date. But doesn't first date sound kind of outlandish. Look at the other names of soap - Zest, Right Guard, Irish Spring, Ivory. Does First Date stand a change against those stalwart names.
However, mulling it a bit, it could be a tie in with the Barrymore/Sandler movie 50 First Dates.

18 February 2004

A new job and other ramblings

This week I began a rather unusual yet simple job - holding a stop sign in the middle of the street. Yes, it is peculiar. I only hold the stop sign maybe a dozen times and then wait around until I have to do it again. Lots of free time. I did plenty of reading. I am planning on writing about this position since I took a few pictures. I do quite a bit of reading. So far this has got to be the easiest assignment Spherion has ever given me.
In other news Manchester City falls to Manchester United even though the Reds had only 10 men in the 2nd half. Looks as if Man City join the avoid the drop competition now.
Who is hot now? Bolton and Aston Villa. I would also add that Michael Owen has returned to form for Liverpool but I'm not dedicated to the Red side of that city- and well neither am I anymore dedicated to the blue side (Everton).
Finally snatched up some Man City player worn training duds. I was surprised that there wasn't more of a dog fight on e-bay for them.

14 February 2004

For all you Valentines...

Well its that day to celebrate eros.
To quash any kind of fun (or activity of highly questionably choices) I submit to you How to Have a Lousy Sex Life. Don't blame me for it. I found it worth reading and well thought I'd surprise the readers.
Oh yah, agape!

Sidewalk complaining

The Forum had an article concerning the clearing of snowy sidewalks a few days ago. Of course it failed to note the sidewalks the city is responsible for that do not get plowed and walkers do not have any recourse against that.
The 25th St bridge over 94 had been packed with 3 feet of snow for more that week and I almost went out and shoveled it in anger. See some of my December posts about winter biking that laments sidewalk snow removal. I also hampers running in winter.
We've got a ton of snow in Go. I'm think I should did out a tunnel and live under the snow for a while.

Life with Bernie

Today I got a most strange assignment - serve wine in a liquor store.
I was thrilled. I had not been working for almost two weeks now. The short shift was worth it and gave me new respect for Bernie's on south University drive. I do it again on Valentine's Day. Of course I am missing a Valentine but I bought some great Bob the Builder Valentines.

13 February 2004

I don't have a boyfriend...musical thoughts

This evening I walked down memory lane by myself but surrounded by hundreds of teens and their parents. Tonight I went to a high school musical.
The high school musical can be a real hit and miss affair. Sometimes it's a winner but other times it reeks of old sweat socks. Tonight's offering at West Fargo High was The Boyfriend. It was a bargain for five bucks. Terrific space too!
I had never seen it before but knew Julie Andrews had been in it before Mary Poppins and My Fair Lady sometime in the 50s.
It was a pretty basic musical format reversed slightly- girl meets boy, they fall in love, they somehow fall out of love, then finally the boy and girl come to their senses and return to fall in love. All this in three acts and in the space of 24 hours (realy Greeky). There are some non-principal sub-plots which are exploited well.
As for the West Fargo production- it was delightful but a bit clumsy at times. I could tell they have a very strong collection of women to work with in West Fargo (probably why they did this show it has the most women characters of any musical I have seen and that includes all those nuns in Sound of Music.). The men were slighly less on their toes although the men in character roles did very well. The leading lady was simply superb. She was in another production I saw last summer. Les Mis to be exact at Trollwood. She played Fontaine. She wore a wig in that show. But back to her perfomance tonight- it seemed so natural and flawless. She is a very talented lady. I was very pleased with sub-principal women too. Maisie gets kudos from me. I'm not sure if I'm biased. She had red hair. I hope to catch more high productions in the future.

04 February 2004

City astounds

Manchester City's improbable 4-3 victory over Spurs in the FA Cup is the result I've been looking for. It was simply improbable that down 3-0 and without one player that City mount a comeback. They haven't played like that most of the season. Keegan is smiling now although the he was looking for a new job after the first half.
Keegan said the match was a "truimph over adversity" and the "cup tie of his lifetime." No doubt this match will talked about for years.
In the next round of FA Cup action, City face rivals Manchester United. Now this would be a game to be at.
This victory almost makes me buy a new Manchester City jersey.

American invasion of Europe

So Brian McBride joins up and coming Premiership team Fulham and Clint Mathis gets onboard at Hanover in Germany. Two big MLS names land in Europe and both produced in their first games. I believe McBride scored a goal as did Mathis this week.
Mathis had taken his time finding a club in Europe who would take him. He did a trial at Glasgow Rangers after MLS season and trained a bit in England. He seems to perfer clubs with Red and Black and has now grown some lengthy chops. I also appears he had a mohawk earlier.

Pack up your troubles

So far I have not earned a cent in the month of February. My assignment to Kaye's Printing on the 2nd was canceled. I woke up early and drove downtown only to find out there was no work to be done. I had done a shift at Kaye's on the 31st. It was not so bad. I sort of prefer it to working at the other partnered business Automated Mailing Services.
The last few days I faced some major computer problems. It appears a worm and/or a trojan horse had infected my computer. My Norton was way out of date so I went for AVG. It really is a decent virus scanner. However, I am not sure how well it cleans up the invaders. Since my problem was a trojan and a worm- AVG seemed only to inform me of the problem files. I deleted the file but the thing replicated itself via some other files it stashed in the system folder. Using some logic I found these and deleted them. Then came the clean up. There must have been some screwed up DLLs because Explorer kept crashing when I rebooted. I ended up re-installing Windows. A domino effect preceded with software needing to be re-installed. My touchy cd-rom started acting up and my Juno internet connection refused to stay connected. Problems and more problems.
Today at last I conquered them and now feel better.

27 January 2004

Bolton through to final

Bolton loses to Villa yet goes to Carling Cup final? What is that? A competition for losers? No. Bolton lost the second leg of a 2 leg semi-final. They won the first leg 5-2 and the team with the most goals from both games advances. Bolton had 5 and Aston Villa had 4.
If there is a tie for points the team with the most away goals advances. Can be complicated if no goal were scored in either match. I guess that is why the Yanks (that's me too) don't use that format in any sports competitions I know. Bolton was missing star Jay Jay Okocha but Villa ended up being reduced to 10 men when one their players received a red card for unsportsmanlike conduct. Villa needed to score 4 goals to advance to the finals but with one less player it is very difficult.
And in other soccer news- Landon Donovan could be playing for Portsmouth?
Well Harry needs men and well Donovan is one of those Americans on "vacation" right now. Looks like a loan deal but seems there is some sticky situations concerning transfer windows being enforced in the States as well. Sounds like it might work. Although I wonder why Bayer Leverkusen haven't brought the lad to Germany for some work.

Fargo enigma

I just found out that Fargo is one of the nation's windiest cities. Take that Chicago! The stat from circa 1987 said the averge wind speed in Fargo was 12.5 mph. My general philosophy concerning the wind here is : it makes a good day worse. However, I do enjoy an occassional kite fly.

I could live in hope

Yet another day passed without being employed. I did not despair. Fortunately my agent called and hooked me up with a week at Microsoft. I'll be in the mail room and making speeding deliveries to all those dudes at Business Solutions.
I have two friends that work there and possibly more aquaintances.
Weather again turned into post-mortem chillage. Lots of snow and below zero temps. We've got this great big piles of snow at Sargent. Today I started a snow cave. I hope I get to finish it.

22 January 2004

Endurance II : Shingobee

Over MLK my roommate Erik and I decided to venture out into the wilderness of Chippewa National Forest to camp in below zero condtions. Never doing this before, I am not sure why I pressed on to do in perhaps the coldest conditions of the year: almost twenty below zero with no wind chill. We hiked about one mile into the forest to get to the site.
We got to camp fine but erecting the tent was tedious. I had not set this tent up for over a year and it had six poles! My headlamp batteries failed twice during the struggle.
Once shelter was assembled I tried make something hot to eat. My Sierra Zip Stove was not working at optimal levels. I changed its battery but after fifteen minutes the battery ran out. So much for new batteries. Erik assembled a fire in the fire grate. At first he failed. A hour later he had the fire going. By now most all the food and water was frozen. I got out just enough water to boil and make coffee. The coffee was so hot it burned Erik's tongue. It was the last vestige of warmth we would have for some time.
Shortly after we crept into our tent and into our double sleeping bags. In my down bag I was still cold. I did not sleep very well. Erik slept but may have frost bit his toes lightly.
In the morning I got out of the tent quickly because nature called. I did not feel well either. It was still very cold and we were both hungry and thirsty. I decided to break camp after we spent some time attempting to keep warm in the tent. It was useless.
We got back to the car around noon and headed to Walker. We stopped at a Hardee's a got something to eat but I decided we should eat it outside on picnic tables.
We drove around the forest more and then did some hiking before heading back home full of memories and freezer burn.

Misty kind of something

Today proved to be my last day at Varsity Mart. One day too early. Business had slacked since the return from MLK so my services were not needed any longer. Now I live in hope of what my next assignment will be.

14 January 2004

Do you prefer math

At the Varsity Mart today I asked a few customers if they prefered math. Most (two at least) said they did. Score one for mathmatics.
The last three days have been a blast working as a cashier. I shine in this position- although I would never consider this a permanent job. I met today a few guys who were in the musical Fiddler on the Roof at NDSU. We had a terrific exchange. Those a moments well worth the measily wage I draw there. At Wells Fargo I'd be lucky if one person a month would crack a joke with me.

11 January 2004

A Night on the Couch

Note: This is a short piece about what I did on New Years Eve. I was at a huge party in Alexandria.

A well known piece of furniture saves lives?

Not exactly, but the humble couch should sit among the likes of Dwight Moody, Billy Sunday, Luis Palau, and Billy Graham as an effective means of presenting the Gospel-saving lives from eternity in the depths of Hell.

"I am saving a spot on the couch for you!" I chirped to a passing youth. "Plenty of room, doesn't cost a dime. Nothing to lose and all to gain."

Some ignored my pleas and banter but quite a few took their chances and sat on the couch to hear an amazing message from my partners Tim and Jaime. I kept the couch full most of the night, drawing in the passing
young people. People of all types and hair colors and piercings sat on thecouch.

From 8 PM until nearly 6 AM I hung to my post at the couch- taking only a few breaks. This was important business. Surprisingly, I did not tire or grow weary. I believe that was a result of prayer. In the later hours I
had opportunity to sit on the couch and counsel some young people using the amazing two question test tract.

I had a long conversation with a girl from Willmar. I encouraged her to seek out God's purpose for her life and prayed with her. I later met with her boyfriend and meticulously explained two question test tract to him.
He seemed a bit resistance but to my delight decided to rededicate his life to Jesus and begin living for Him. It was a tense time.

I met many interesting teenagers and enjoyed chatting with them- even those who did not sit on the couch.

Thanks to God and a couch, I had a fantastic time.