One-Sentence Journal, Week Thirty-Four

  1. 09/08/2014:  I’m looking forward to weather a little rougher, a little less beautiful, for purely selfish reasons pertaining to having fewer people out crowding my favorite hiking places.
  2. 09/09/2014:  I traded two hours in the woods for two hours in a movie theater with the obnoxious mutant offspring to see some obnoxious teenage mutant ninja turtles, and it was time well spent.
  3. 09/10/2014:  Finally got a cool, blustery afternoon which led to about an 80% reduction in trail traffic, which meant wildlife wasn’t in hiding, which meant I saw a black bear about twenty feet off the trail grubbing on some berries.
  4. 09/11/2014:  There’s nothing like that first cool night under heavy covers; in this case, my beloved Pendleton blanket that Julia gifted me on our first Christmas together.
  5. 09/12/2014:  Most of today was spent on an interview/photoshoot just outside of Missoula in a beautiful spot in the hills north of town, which evolved into drinking wine and talking adventure with interesting friends.
  6. 09/13/2014:  A beautiful fall day in which I prowled up and down Higgins Avenue in downtown Missoula, the sidewalks crowded with market goers, people garbed in various styles of “Go Griz!” wear (there was even a from-out-of-town cheerleading team moving in a knot, all dressed in matching gray track pants and bright red team t-shirts), as I — rumpled and sweaty — visited boutique after boutique, urging their proprietors to tie and model scarves for the pleasure of  my camera.
  7. 09/14/2014:  In the first light of morning I rescued a bird stuck in the tree just outside my window; somehow it had managed to get a string wrapped around it’s claw and the branch, and could only flap its wings crazily while inverted, struggling to escape.


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A Quarter Century of Rock ‘N’ Roll Songs

Given my head is ringing from another extremely loud edition of American Falcon practice, I thought I’d take a stab at this music-related meme my friend Richard brought to my attention via a post on his blog. My friend Charles also posted one, which you can check out on his blog as well. I like this kind of thing, seeing what other people choose.

The meme is this: What 25 songs would you pick to describe your personal history with rock ‘n’ roll?

This is a tough one for me (as I’m sure it is for any hardcore music fan). What I decided to do is pick a meaningful song for every year going back the last 25 (including this year, which makes it 26). This decision omits most of my most formative songs, since I’m a child of the 70s and 80s, but I thought it would be more interesting this way. In compiling the list, I encountered songs that have hit me hard in the years since that I wasn’t aware of at the time, so in those cases I chose the songs that I remember had meaning to me in that particular year, as it was happening, if that makes sense. For example, Sleep’s Holy Mountain record came out in 1993, and I love that album . . . but Enigma, a band (and song) I can’t even remember when I heard last, gets the nod in my list because I listened to it then and it was a big deal. Suffice to say the exercise of putting this list together was quite a trip down memory lane. Anyway, enough of that. Dig this:

  1. Ramones — Don’t Bust My Chops (1989)
  2. Jane’s Addiction — Ain’t No Right (1990)
  3. R.E.M. — Losing My Religion (1991)
  4. Trevor Jones — The Kiss (Last of the Mohicans soundtrack)(1992)
  5. Enigma — Return to Innocence (1993)
  6. Sarah McLachlan — Possession (1994)
  7. Garbage — Only Happy When It Rains (1995)
  8. Tonic — If You Could Only See (1996)
  9. Ramones — We’re Outta Here (the entire album)(1997)
  10. Rob Zombie — Dragula (1998)
  11. Supersuckers — The Evil Powers of Rock n’ Roll (1999)
  12. Fu Manchu — Over the Edge (2000)
  13. Spirit Caravan — The Departure (Of Quetzalcoatl) (2001)
  14. Lazerwolfs — Elemental (2002)
  15. The White Stripes — Seven Nation Army (2003)
  16. Drive-By Truckers — Where the Devil Don’t Stay (2004)
  17. Witchcraft — Mr. Haze (2005)
  18. The Black Keys — Your Touch (2006)
  19. Ryan Bingham — Southside of Heaven (2007)
  20. The Mother Truckers — Dynamite (2008)
  21. Band of Skulls — Light of the Morning (2009)
  22. Katy Perry — California Gurls (2010)
  23. The Black Keys — Lonely Boy (2011)
  24. Heartless Bastards — The Arrow Killed the Beast (2012)
  25. Kadavar — Come Back Life (2013)
  26. Nikki Lane — Right Time (2014)


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One-Sentence Journal, Week Thirty-Three

I’ve been largely absent here; largely absent from social media in a lot of ways, frankly, except for on Instagram, which remains a steady source of enjoyment for me.  I’ve yet to get pissed off in just a minute or two of looking at Instagram, which can’t be said for my experiences on any of the other platforms. So it’s been a couple months since I did any of these One-Sentence Journal posts, but I started up again on the 1st because they were good practice in keeping connected with the world around me. Here’s to keeping at it once again. . . .

  1. 09/01/2014:  Driving by an open pool in a patch of wetlands, early AM, the sky reflected in the surface, just as a series of concentric rings are spreading from a single center point, and I drive on imagining what made them.
  2. 09/02/2014:  I’m not proud of it, but as their presence continues to expand in many of my favorite hiking places, I’m beginning to feel about mountain bikes and the subset of inconsiderate pilots among them the same way so many indignant drivers seem to feel about sharing the roads with bicycles around town.
  3. 09/03/2014:  Having just finished a Hap & Leonard novel from Joe R. Lansdale — the first in that series I’ve read — I’m compelled once again to admire the writer for choosing to write whatever the hell he wants in whatever genre he wants and do a great job regardless.
  4. 09/04/2014:  I spent my afternoon and evening with my camera in hand doing two separate photoshoots (Behring Made on behalf of Montana magazine, and once again for Betty’s Divine) and loved every minute of them.
  5. 09/05/2014:  It was a big night on the home front tonight as the brand new season eight of Trailer Park Boys became available on Netflix, and Julia and I were both pleased to find our heroes in excellent form.
  6. 09/06/2014:  Out on the dusty hiking trail this evening, I was reflecting on how many folks “ooo!” and “aaah!” over all of these beautiful young people and their adventure travel blogs — and all their photos of exotic locales — without ever taking the time to really explore their own backyards and the wonders to be found close to home.
  7. 09/07/2014:  It’s been officially determined that the mighty American Falcon will be playing two shows in two different venues on the night of October 10th, simply because no single room can handle the crushing weight of ROCK we intend to lay down.


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No Need to Bother

Recently, in a bid to consider trying my hand at writing the occasional bit of poetry, I pick up a copy of Jim Harrison’s In Search of Small Gods, open to the first poem, and shortly ask myself why I should even bother to try, considering he’s already summed up everything I want to say. . . .

I Believe (by Jim Harrison, from In Search of Small Gods)

I believe in steep drop-offs, the thunderstorm across the lake

in 1949, cold winds, empty swimming pools,

the overgrown path to the creek, raw garlic,

used tires, taverns, saloons, bars, gallons of red wine,

abandoned farmhouses, stunted lilac groves,

gravel roads that end, brush piles, thickets, girls

who haven’t quite gone totally wild, river eddies,

leaky wooden boats, the smell of used engine oil,

turbulent rivers, lakes without cottages lost in the woods,

the primrose growing out of a cow skull, the thousands

of birds I’ve talked to all my life, the dogs

that talked back, the Chihuahuan ravens that follow

me on long walks. The rattler escaping the cold hose,

the fluttering unknown gods that I nearly see

from the left corner of my blind eye, struggling

to stay alive in a world that grinds them underfoot.


Posted in Books, Poetry | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Take Them to the River

I bought one of these seat saver things from one of my favorite online shopping emporiums so that we could take the dogs on adventures without them totally befouling the back seat of our only current means of transportation. Yesterday during my lunch break Julia and I took all three of the beasts to Council Grove State Park for a splash or two. A good time seemed to be had by all.

bernard-2 darla-2 velcro-2

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No Complaints

A week ago flat out sucked. But this past weekend really couldn’t have been any better. It closed out on a glorious Sunday which included:

  • Perfect summer in Montana weather
  • Iced coffee on the deck in the morning sun, watching the dogs snuffle around in the lawn freshly mowed the day before
  • Breakfast at The Good Food Store with my Best Girl
  • 60 sweaty minutes out in the woods up Pattee Canyon
  • Two hours of sweaty AMERICAN FALCON rehearsal
  • Evening fly fishing on Rock Creek with my Best Girl
  • Grilled bison patties and steamed asparagus for a late dinner

Yeah, top that! Hell of a way to kick off a week. And today, Monday, I believe I’ll be feasting with my kid and my mom, who happens to be celebrating a birthday.

Happy birthday, Mom!


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Hot Summer Nights

We — not just my barking household, but the entire neighborhood — were awakened in the wee hours by a crack of lightning and thunder that sounded like it struck right outside our door. Today, in the hills just beyond, is a smallish fire. I’m listening to and watching a helicopter battle it with water from a bucket dipped out of the Clark Fork River that flows just a half mile or so yonder. I shot this picture standing on my front porch. It’s a little spooky. I’m curious to see if I’ll be able to see flames later tonight. I suspect I will.


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A First For Everything

Last week I was working from a site in Southern Indiana. The customer opted to order out to a local sandwich joint for lunch. When the food arrived, we stopped working and broke out our little styrofoam boxes. I ordered a club sandwich. It came with a pickle spear and a small bag of Lay’s Classic.

One of the guys I was working with was particularly impressed that I was from Montana. He said he’d never met anyone from there before. As we were eating, he nods at my sandwich and says, “You probably don’t get a lot of these in Montana, do you?”

I look at my sandwich, then at him. I make a gesture with it and say, “A lot of these?”

He nods. “Yeah, what do you guys eat up there?”

I frown, glancing again at my sandwich to see if there is something special I’ve missed, then look at him again, puzzled.

“I mean, is there anything food-wise you’re particularly known for?”

I just shrug and say, “Well, pretty much anything we can run off a cliff first we’ll eat.”

That generated a decent laugh (and it’s a line I’ve used before in jest) but I was still surprised. Of all the weird ideas people have had about Montana, beyond simply not knowing where it is, this was the first food-related episode I’ve encountered. They also asked how far I had to travel to get to an airport, something I’m asked quite often. This time I answered that it depended on the season, since in winter I must get there by dogsled, canoe in the spring runoff, horseback in the summer, etc.


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Los Angeles Street Art

I mentioned last week that I would devote a post solely to the photos I took of street art around the area of the Arts District in Los Angeles during my epic June 2014 Summer Vacation to Los Angeles. Well, dig this. . . .

LA-8 LA-9 LA-10 LA-11 LA-12 LA-14 LA-15 LA-16

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Battered By Waves

The Queen of the Sea

The Queen of the Sea

In the ongoing documentation of my epic June 2014 Summer Vacation to Los Angeles, we’ve reached Day Three. This was beach day. We’d met up with our friend Angela and her three boys — young men — the night before for dinner. This day we reconvened, piled into Angela’s Moby Dick (it’s a white Tahoe or some-such), and headed for the beach. We parked just a couple blocks away then walked on down. Being the middle of the week, it wasn’t crowded at all.

I love the ocean. I had a blast just diving into the waves and being buffeted about. Couldn’t have asked for a better day either; warm, but not scorching hot. I put the adventure case on my iPhone (it’s waterproof), then plunged back into the surf. I took a couple pictures, then shot a short SnapChat video of Julia making playful with the waves. I waded back shoreward, maybe thigh deep, to send it to all of her co-workers at Betty’s Divine.

Thing is, the swell was coming in steadily, and at times the waves were plenty big. I was manipulating the message on my phone when I heard one of Angela’s boys say, “Uh oh….” I looked up just as a wave broke, literally, right on my head.

Now I’m a big guy. Six feet tall, carrying way too much weight at this point, and sturdy. I don’t often get the sensation of just being totally manhandled. But brother, this wave dropped me like a poleax and proceeded to, I believe the term is, “washing machine” me. I mean, I’m only in about knee deep water, but a series of three or four waves surged in and broke right on me, rolled me back and forth across the bottom, all but tore my damn shorts off, and would not let me up (holding my phone out with one hand didn’t help). I was choking on sea water because I was laughing so hard. As for Julia, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard her laugh so hard. It was pretty damn funny.

The rest of the afternoon was uneventful. We parted ways with Angela and family, then headed to our hotel for the night (after a stop, of course, at In & Out Burger). It was a grand day.


Vacation life is hard life

Vacation life is hard life


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