31 October 2006

Space needed


If the dead cannot find rest in the normal places, just rent out your front yard.
I could be wrong too. This may be the tenants who have lived there.

All Hallows' Eve


There are plenty of opinions on Halloween. Some credible and others incredible. It is one of the few days which seem to celebrate disguise while giving a tip of the hat to the supernatural.
Huh? You may say "I thought this whole day was full of our ignorance of evil powers." No doubt could be looked at that way. The Celts sure did. Of course there are plenty of dissenters out there about Halloween, it's origins et al. Just today the wikipedia article for it changed numerous times. There was also some rant in the discussion section about ethno-centric interpretations of the day. Craziness.

30 October 2006

Death couch

The other day I found myself attempting to move a couch. It should have been a sign to me when we could not get it through the door of its previous location without removing its legs. The supposed next home of this couch required the ascent of stairs and featured some tight turns (one at the bottom of the stairs and one at the top) .
We arrive at the location and begin a long drawn out process. We get it through the door and stand the couch up. However, there is barely any room left one the couch is upright on its side. After some wiggling, pushing, and pulling the coach has trapped me into a small storage room at the bottom of the stairs. Unfortunately, nooks and crannies in the stairwell make moving coach out even more difficult.
At last somebody does some measuring of the doorway at the top of the stairs and then the couch's width is measured. The couch happens to be 8" too big.
Meanwhile, I'm still caught in this tiny room and bleeding from a cut I received from couch helping to push if I could even get a grip on the couch. The couch was snuggly lodged in against the doorway. There was not even any room to squeeze out. Occasionally I helped push or pull if I could get a decent grip.
Somehow (maybe divine intervension) after almost 10 minutes the couch "finds space" to move and we lug it out of the doorway and back into the truck.
I supposed this beats sinking in mud.
slan.

My modeling career

Back in the days when I lived in the Cities, I had a job that required me to do some modeling from time to time. While perusing the 'Net I found one of my projects. For this project I played a scientist with a white lab coat attempting to weigh a filter that looked a lot like a wafer. I think my hands also got photographed.

29 October 2006

An invisible warrior- radio

Although the number of followers of Jesus in Afghanistan are unknown, radio penetrates into this Muslim dominated land to share the liberating power of the good news. I've been praying for the increase in radio that brings hope to Afghans. Andaryas is one such fellow doing that very thing. Once a mujahedin, a Muslim holy warrior, he changed his allegiance to Jesus through the witness and lives of a few Christians he met as well as through an unusual meeting in India. Today he brings the message of hope, freedom from hatred, and love back to Afghanistan through radio, web and TV.

27 October 2006

Oh my wilderness - part 7


Finally the thrilling conclusion of my wildnerness adventure. You may want to review previous chapters to catch up.
Perhaps I should have taken another route to get back to the Moose River. I bypassed the portage from Oyster River to Lake Agnes. At 160 rods I had little motivation to take it on. Besides an 160 rod portage awaited me at the entry point. I pressed on.
I soon reached a large beaver dam. Thinking there to be a short portage around the beaver's handiwork, I searched the shore. My search came up empty. I brought the canoe to safer place on the dam and pulled it over and down 4 feet. Not long afterward I arrived at the the short portage. According to the map the Oyster would hook up with the Moose River in almost a half mile. What failed to grab my attention was that the navigation channel on the map diminishes into a blue/green area or in other words a marsh.
After a bite to eat I shove off thinking I'd be in familar territory shortly. The navigational channel of the river reduced in size to little under 6 feet. It continued to get smaller and smaller and then came some small beaver dams. I pulled over then paddled and pulled over again until I reached to the point of 3 forks each blocked with a dam- one to left, one to the center, and one to the right. I chose the center one, pulled over and paddled. The channel became 3 feet wide and then entirely disappeared. I got out of the canoe and found some stable ground. From my vantage point it looked like somebody may have cut through to the Moose by pulling the canoe overland. I decided to do the same. This proved difficult and troublesome as occasional mud holes were hastening the progress.
I could see nothing but the tall grasses which grew in marshy ground. I had no clue how far way the Moose River lied. Just then as I adjusted the canoe I stepped and both feet began to sink into the muck. I figuired this might be it. I'm done. I was almost swallowed up to my waste. I lunged for the canoe and with all my strength pulled myself out. Mud slithered off me into the canoe. No way would I be pulling the canoe through this.
Standing on sturdy ground I caught a glimpse of a canoe party just beyond the "weeds." They were waiting, thanfully. Being careful where I stepped I began to backtrack to the 3 forks. I then took the far left channel. However, things did not get better. After pulling the canoe over the little dam that blocked the head of the channel I lost my balance and capsized the canoe in a 3 foot wide channel. Acting quickly I got my gear to drier ground. Soaked and muddy, I drained the canoe and began again, navigating the narrow channel until it connected with the Nina Moose River.

My "guardian angels" asked if I was all right and told me that my escapade had convinced them not to take the Oyster River into Oyster Lake. We parted in opposite directions. I only got hung up looking for the Moose River outlet from Nina Moose Lake. Returning during the daylight I noticed that I missed a gigantic boulder along the river. I did not stop to explore. Nearly 4 hours later I finally arrived at the long portage at the entry point and by nightfall I was on my way back to Ely. I had made it! Thank God, I made it!


24 October 2006

History o' bands of 'Go

Did you know 'Go has a happening music scene? I always thought we were a bunch of metalheads with a unusual penchance for accordion and pack boots. But really, there's a "scene" that goes back almost to the forgotten 70's. Catch up on the past and look to future at the Fargo Bands Family Tree.
It is not a tome nor is it a paen to long forgotten rockers, punkers, and indies (actually it probably does do that a little). The wiki-based system mostly covers the lost and nearly remembered musicians that played or never played at Kirby's or Ralph's or those odd and unusual venues.
The wiki also is expandable and I might just take on that expansion to add the Mo-town groups. The biggest one of course being Children 18:3. But I am sure I could scour some sources and write A Little Lost on the Prairie: The Morris music scene 1993-1999.

23 October 2006

What sucks? - marketing myself


...besides that old Kirby Vacuum in the dingy closet down the hall there are plenty of items which deserve criticism and I am more than willing to proffer my amateur analysis. I am thinking of making this a semi-regular type post. Perhaps even a long running series in hopes that Fox will make it a reality show. However I must face the facts, what kind of reality do I have. I'd have to hire hundred of spin doctors and fashionistas to get my image up to what culture wants.
I have been wondering if I just couldn't be my own marketer. I could get on MySpace or Facebook and create a new social persona. My roommate would writhe with disgust at the decision. He would probably spout out all the evils of social networking websites and in particular focus on stalkers and other unsavory types out to get you. There's been tons of negative press and opinions on MySpace. Then I'd use CraigsList sell tickets to pizza parties so people can meet me. My roommate again would enter lecture mode and point out online safety violations I would make. I think his plan for social networking would involve pigeons and messages.
Anyways the point of this is to get to the website Church Marketing Sucks. Now the site not some rant on the Church or Christianity but sort of a discussion/thinktank on how to relate the Good News within the current culture context and freeing us from inwardness and getting out into the society which we live.
Slan.

Bison nearly upend Gophers

In possibly the biggest game NDSU has played since jumping to division I-AA, the Thundering Herd came up a bit short. Of course that did deter the faithful in Green and Gold cheering the team as they took their bows at the end of regualtion in the Metrodome. By all means the Bison had out played the Gophers- the stats show that. And 10-9! Most were predicting a massacre by the Big Ten team. What I see cost the Bison the game were 2 turnovers and few missed field goals. If they could have converted on those the Bison would have had their first victory over Minnesota especially one with little over 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter.
Although it did not end in victory like the Wisconsin basketball game earlier this year, the Bison showed again that they can mettle with Big Ten competition.

18 October 2006

Did you miss this one- Hip 'Go is cool

Yet another article with included MPR radio clip detailing the struggle and the progress of making this town out here something more. Needless to say the one critic of the restoration quoted most likely is surprised to see his KC Hall on Broadway come and go now, too. Whatever we become, it will need to embrace both the new and old or go the way of the lost sodbuster statue.

17 October 2006

A visit with Children 18:3


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity spend an afternoon with Children 18:3 and family. For all the years I've known David, Seth, LeeMarie et al, I have spent nary a quality hour with them. I guess this made up for all the lost time in a peculiar way.
The children are real. I mean it. Definitely not like rock stars albeit they have the external trappings of being ones. They are thoughtful and authentic. And they are not quite children anymore. Seth been working on a farm 40+ hours a week and David is moving toward the mid-twenties. LeeMarie must have graduated. I did not ask. She does not volunteer much info.
We ate lunch together and spoke with their parents, D and ML. I then sat in on a rehearsal. They even let me use the spare ear protection devices. Not only was it loud but skillfully impressive. I only wished I could play along on the maracas or triangle. They are working on new material. ML says that 18:3 are dedicated to their fans and feel the need to give them something new whenever they play. After the rehearsal, I partook in one of Seth and David's favorite activities, looking through abandoned houses. Luckily there was one nearby and did not disappoint- purely a mess of abandonment smattered with allusion to the 80s and prior.
Before leaving the family gifted me with some CDs including the most recent opus - Songs of Desperation. What a blessing.
I am not much of a heavy and loud music listener. I am a folkie at heart. However on my way home I began listening to the Children 18:3 CD became hooked. The lyrics are incredible and the music par excellent. A few days later I wanted to be the first to cover Paper Valentine. It has not happened yet. But perhaps someday along with the Cowboy Song.
Slan.

The fire may never end


U2 should have a bonfire (maybe call it a bonofire) every fall and invite all their friends and family. They could grill out and make smores and sing songs together. Perhaps the Edge could arrange to give a hayride. It sure would be an unforgettable fire.
Nevertheless, things were up in smoke this weekend back on the homestead at the annual bonfire of fall. Relatives, beer, a hayride, and a bonfire all in just less than 4 hours. There were lots of cousins and friends of cousins. It got cold too but that's not as exciting. The dog was not well behave and bit a record 4 people! I was very upset especially since the dog plays nice and then nips when one has his back turned.
I awoke early the next morn and the fire stilled burned, its embers still flickering with life.

16 October 2006

The return of the "Horstchow"


An empty room in South Minneapolis
Thinking French thoughts
Besides the truimph
Washed away
Come what may
Foward going
Round and round
The sunlit paper
Lingers strangely on

[There's a greater time to come]

Podcast picks

I have not written on podcasting for a while now mostly because the opportunity did not arise to venture into the webcasting sphere. I still think about it from time to time but like the web the 3 words echo loudly- content, content, content*. There is an asterisk at the end to represent the equipment you need to do a quality podcast. I digress.
Here's a list of some podcasts I enjoy and wholeheartedly recommend.
  1. Irish and Celtic Music Podcast- Marc Gunn hosts an hour dedicated to Irish and Celtic traditional music usually from independ and unknown performers (sorry no Tommy Makem or Daniel O'Donell). Marc has done quite of bit of promoting for Irish and Celtic music on the Net. He is one half of the Brobdingnagian Bards, who had an unusual rocket to fame during the Lord of the Rings rise.
  2. Worship Leader Podcast- An informative, inspiring, and quality podcast for those who are invloved in worship (which should be all of us) and the leading of it.
  3. Relevant Podcast- Brought weekly to you from the editorial staff of Relevant Magazine. It's an hour long menagerie of talk ranging from the peculiar (Neil Diamond) to the sublime (alternative energy). Occasionally they interview someone like Pigeon John and then they talk about pop culture. This podcast can go on rabbit trails to places you would never have thought.
  4. ESPN Soccernet Podcast- Twice a week this show recaps and looks forward to the footballing action mostly in Europe (specifically the UK). Usually there is a segment dealing with a particular nation's league. Informative without much fluff. Adriano Russo is by far the coolest name for a host.

12 October 2006

Oh my wilderness - review


The "Oh My Wilderness" saga of my adventures and misfortunes in the BWCA this summer will resume shortly. I am still trying to put it into words. In the meantime
you will be pleased as punch to review the previous chapters which I have indexed below.

Remember to check out the incredible PakCanoe, which carried me on my journey.

11 October 2006

The snows of fall: today's weather


Nothing speaks arctic gullag like a snowstorm in October. Don't forget your shovel. No doubt this will get people ranting and raving about global warming and the like. I think we're expecting 60s this weekend.

The debate at the Cord: intractable?

Unfortunately I did not attend the October 10th Senate debate at Concordia College. If I did, I would have enjoyed a night of sparring between Kloubacher, Kennedy, and Fitzgerald.
Of course the attention was on the big guns- Kennedy and Kloubacher- who have been at it from the start of the season. Fitzgerald, however, did provide a few quips which I will delight ourselves with.
The radio this morning gave Kennedy and Kloubacher the sound bits (albeit KFNW does not have an extensive news department, they borrowed the clips from WDAY). The annoucer only paraphrases Fitzgerald's comment on Iraq as "It's intenable."
Intenable? That's a five dollar word meaning incapable of being held or defenseless. A fair comment that may have flew over the head of Joe Average. At first I thought he may have said intractable since he, Robert Fitzgerald, being a computer science major would have known the word. Therefore if the war is Iraq is intractable it would be, according to the specific computer science definition, unable to be solved in polynomial time. I'd vote for intractable barring the divine. Solved in our lifetime?
The other great comment Robert made had something to do with horse meat sticking to your ribs. He was responding to some bill that is/was/could be passed that gave some special attention to the meat of horses. Too bad that was not quoted on the radio.

09 October 2006

A modern day mystic

Christ followers (or church attenders) these days would tend to avoid labeling themselves as mystics or those have an interest in mysticism. However, in some respects they must be (here's the definition). It is an interesting take on how faith is lived out when there is something we can read and know yet there is something (someone actually) who can be known yet unseen and move in mysterious ways.
The Rake, an alt-mag of the TCs, had an article putting an interesting spin on it when a reporter visted a meeting of the Uptown Fellowship. Check it out.

05 October 2006

Looking forward : a night at the Cornerstone

Looking toward the Apostles
It was a great rehearsal. It was sweet by and by with the catnip in the fly. I felt unsure about this upcoming gig, not knowing if I would be doing it alone or have a backing ensemble. I am glad to say I have a great duo of musicians joining me. A percussionist has not confirmed but that could all change.
Now I am excited about playing at the Cornerstone this Friday @ 8:00 PM. I'll be joined by a trombone and a stand-up bass and will be playing a gamut of music although I wish I could cover Children 18:3's "Paper Valentine." The song is stuck in my head. Slan.

04 October 2006

Are they from the Sixties?


Don't they look like some folk singers from the 1960s?
This is a character still from my most recent "movie." The word is in quotes because the movie is really a video with no post production, shot sequentially. Production values are low. These 2-bit movies are essentially family movies.
This one in particular is third in a series about Laker's coach Kurt Rambis and his exploits to save the NBA from evil.
I already have a 4th in pre-production stages.

Worst worship songs

Top 5 Worst Worship Songs according to someone else.
Although I did not think up this sort of thing I have to concur with some of the ruberic.
For years I found the "huge bell I ring" line from "I Will Not Forget You" to be troubling. It's just a plain weird analogy- how often to you get a big bell out and worship God. Now I understand if you are in a bell choir that ringing them bells could count as an act of worship.
The "Oh I feel like dancing" line from I Could Sing of Your Love Forever is just as troubling. My friend noted this to me years ago. I sang the song this weekend and comtemplated dancing to go against the flow. Normally nobody is dancing when they sing that line nor are they even considering it. We tried to change all that once with an arrangement that scooted into disco after the line. It never saw light of day.
Looks like Darrell Evans gets 2 on the worst list. His "Your Love is Extravagant" get the top nod for worst. The song is not bad but does suffer from odd metre grammere spreade wide syndrome.
There's plenty up for debate.
And one more- most overused catch phrase in the article- "I kid you not."

Fitzgerald to Washington?

A classmate from the U Mo and former radio disc jockey, Robert Fitzgerald, built an altnerno fueled bus and decided to run for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Mark Dayton. As the Independence party's candidate, he plans to play spoiler in the race that so far has highlighted the major party candidates Mark Kennedy and Patty Wetterling. Robert appears to be running a centrist route with a populist appeal.
Unfortunately I traded in my Minnesota citizenship and so am ineligible to vote, but here's a little recollection of Robert. Robert was a scruffy a UMM and portrayed a hippie like external. Perhaps he was idolizing his favorite professor, Nic McPhee. Now, he certainly has distanced himself from those whiskered days. Robert is probably a good example of the adage "don't judge a book by its cover." Although I did not know him intimately, my observations suggest he was a thoughtful and caring individual and a leader who lead. His famous bike journey journal inspired me to consider long distance touring and may have got me into blogging. How is that for a person I hardly knew. That's some influence.
Quite possibly the strangest memory of Robert was the response he gave me when I joked about the band Ghoti Hook. I am surprised he actually knew them.
Well, he's got a good Irish name and he looks senatorial. I expect some surprises in Minnesota on November 7.
Slan.

02 October 2006

Oddities in Mo-town


In a weekend jaunt to the Mo I had the opportunity to make a movie. Although overall it took approximately 7 hours to make, I finished shooting at little after midnight on Sunday. It was an arduous project which included more make-up and costumes than I ever used to before. Unfortunately special FX were not used in this video. I had not the time to work on them in addition to facing crying actors.
I usually make this type of movie on the fly, making up the lines and plot as production continues. Besides tempremental actors I also had battery pack problems with the camera.
To the left is an actor protraying the Blue Girl, supposed mascot of the fictious Peoria NBA team the Blue Giants. In the actual movie due to problems with lines it gets unintentionally changed to the Blue Hornets. If this video ever reaches the light of day perahps you will have a good laugh as Kurt Rambis again saves the day from evil. This is definitely B-movie material folks.