31 May 2006

Sir Alex and I

I was surprised to see that Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United (or Untied as some may editorialize) manager, paid a visit to Enniscrone in County Sligo. How delightful! I've been there there too. Of course I suspect he was not dancing, playing music and having great craic in someone's kitchen. In fact he was in Enniscrone visiting football players, signing autographs, and generally being famous. I cannot even come close to having been famous when I was in Enniscrone. Perhaps I can claim I was almost famous.
Slan

29 May 2006

My memorial adventure


I had a short window of time so I decide to take the short jaunt for an overnight in the Sheyenne Grasslands along with my hearty adventure mate (who was a good sport I might add).

The weather was sweltering and a grassland does not provide much shade. Fortunately a cool breeze brought relief and occassional patches of woodlands provided respite.

My goal for this outing was to find the Sheyenne River off the North Country Trail. It never happened. We must of walked further than I thought or the river is on private property which we cannot access (Argh!). We ended up following a fence line and backtracking until I stumbled upon a Mirror Pool WMA. I firmly believed we should camp near a water source. It was going to be hot and the water I bought was going to run out. Well no pools at Mirror Pool, just a mucky wetland, and the only windmill pond provided stagnant water. We left that area and immediately found high ground and pitched the tent.
The mosquitoes came out in droves after sunset and the ticks were just as bad. I should have known this! The same thing happened a year ago. We evacuate into the tent and pick ticks until we fall asleep.
The next morning I continue to look for a water source with no success. We pull up stakes and head back.
Now the north side of the North Country Trail in the Sheyenne Grasslands is pretty sketchy in places. It uses just the blue blazes on poles every 100-300 meters following almost worn away cattle tracks. Occasionally these markers cannot be seen from the previous which leaves the hiker with the "honor" of making his own trail. Well that happened twice to us. We found our way out but with some unforseen detours.
It was good to get out again although them bugs do get me upset. Yet I was prepared.
Slan.

27 May 2006

Dancing (half) marathon man: Fargo Marathon 2006

This was one of the oddities of my photo spreads. I got a shot of this guy in the middle (white shirt) running the half marathon. Notice the clenched teeth, bandana and the sunglasses- he's intense! He's willing to do anything for Scheel's gift card prize even if that means overtaking the guy in the hat (who may be listening to NPR).






Later on I caught him dancing with the swing dance entertainers. Notice the smile and friendliness he exudes. He's relaxed and enjoying a break from the race. Could this be a Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde situation?

This is a scoop not even the High Plains Reader even noticed much less The Rail.

26 May 2006

The crowds go wild: Fargo Marathon 2006

Here is one of the few spots along the route that a runner could get a "cold one."

Too bad it was only Miller Lite. I'd think that Guinness would have more potential.

25 May 2006

From glen to glen: Fargo Marathon 2006



The runners make their way around Fargo's downtown glen

A nickel for 30

Although I am not an avid concert attender I decided to trek to downtown to catch a show. I pretty depressed so I needed to do something different for once. For my money I got to hear a Dylan inspired balladeer [Rocky Votolato. He was great.] and the progressive new folk grass styling of Nickel Creek. To top it off even got to sit in a chair reminiscent of my Spooner dorm desk chair- but that is a another story.The atmosphere was odd to say the least. The audience consisted of older folkies and the younger quasi-boho set. I'm not sure where I fit in those groups.
I was mesmorized my Chris Thile's mandolin playing. Apparently he mezmorizes himself too because as he played he moved about like Hendrix in sort of a daze. He even joked about it when he bantered about not being high with Sara Watkins. Sean Watkins' guitar work was equally as incredible even if he does not have the eccentricity of Chris. Props also go to the stand up bass player with the neat hat. He also did a some clogging and banjo. Of course Sara has a lovely voice but I am sure she hears that a lot. To be true, Sara is bit like a bridge that keeps Chris and Sean together. Her showmanship is superb.
I am amazed at how well the combo flow together. There isn't a break of the music. Although the theatre did not allow for dancing I am sure if they did the whole front would be jigging.
I left feeling better with inspiration to improve on the mando.

22 May 2006

Hi, I'm Chip Verification - Fargo Marathon 2006


I had the best volunteering experience at the Fargo Marathon this weekend. On Friday I chip verified in the evening and met many of the runners. It really enjoyed the interaction especially asking them "Are you ready?"
Then I Saturday, after a freelance stint as a cheap digital photographer, I gave food to the runnners who made it back to the Fargo Dome.
Once again I got a lot of thank yous from participants. I responded "It's my pleasure to serve you."
I hope to put some more photos up and add some thrilling stories.
Props of course go to KT Reindl for completing the marathon and 2nd Eldest Odegaard for completing the 1/2 marathon

15 May 2006

Crushes on album covers

There are so many pretty faces on album covers. There doesn't come a time when I amble through the Cheapo Records shop and see someone who attracts me on an album cover. Being a musician myself draws me into these cold distant date an album crushes.
Its mostly new folk or roots rock bins although I've encountered quite a few in the bargain bin.
Unfortunately for them, I usually do not buy the album. I give it that short look and then come to conclusion that their politics and spirituality don't match mine. A bad mix. You may be charming and attractive but if I don't find that on the inside as well- you' re out. So album cover crushes are 1 dimensional.
The other day while perusing a thrift shop on the head side of the red, I saw an old album cover.
She was mysterious and smokes cigarilloes and wears berets. I took a second look stopped because she reminded me of a certain missionary aquaintance. I made a mental note of her name (both of them).

So today I discovered Rickie Lee Jones for the first time. I have nothing new to add to the plethora of information about her. In fact I have not even heard any of her music which seems to be described as a mix of Jazz Pop al la Joni Mitchell via Billie Holliday meets Nico. Nevertheless I do like the beret. Well, here claim to fame outside of her musical influence for 30 years is her attachment to Tom Waits for a year back in 1979. Ah, Tom you sly dog!

05 May 2006

Dare to play bodhran

Do you think you need a World Championship on your resume?
Well now you can beat the goat skin with rest of the world and see who can beat out the most to be the World Champion in County Kerry of all places!
This interests me because I've been honing my bodhran skills recently. I'm getting better. Around here it's a novelty. I think there's just 1 Irish Trad group in this ould town.
Maybe I could be the first Irish Trashditional one-man band.

Coming soon to the rOyCe Files

In the comic book world, heroes get a rehash of their genesis occasionally. The artists tweak and add depth (or utterly dismantle) the characters and restart the series. Other times they give the heroes a facelift and backtrack and create a wider backstory. Basically it sells more comics. Although this is not a comic, I think I need to explain things a bit more. So I think I'll post the secret origins of the Royce Files shortly.
Free comic day is tomorrow May 6.