i am sitting on the starboard
of your only way
back home


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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Montana Ceramic Pig

The things I'll do...and the things other people will do by association.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and do something spontaneous. My biggest hurdle in deciding to take my friend Heidi's offer of 2 spare tickets to 2 Mary Chapin Carpenter shows in California in 2 weeks was whether I wanted to coordinate the travel for myself. I coordinate travel for a living, so doing it for fun made me go "eck." But I have a flight and I am excited!

I haven't seen my No. 1 musical influence live since 2005. I am well overdue.

Going to see MCC!

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Susan Kerrville Interview

A great interview with Susan, some insight into what makes Kerrville Folk Festival so cool, some new record thoughts, and then she says nice things about me at the end. :) Thanks, SG!

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Ceramic Pig Update

(Please review my state ceramic pig collection post before continuing, or you won't get it. You still might not get it, but at least you'll know what's going on and what the rules are).

Who knew it would be so hard? Who knew?

Ok, so for the record, on this last tour I had a list of states I had already acquired a ceramic pig from (New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming)...and then quite the list of new states (South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Montana which I had missed on the last tour). I was ready. Poised.

The first chance for pig buying was Montana, and since we had a leisurely day's drive with no gig at the end, we tried not one but TWO truck stops before leaving Billings where we had stayed. Nothing. But whatever, we had a lot of towns to go before Flathead Lake.

Livingston. Belgrade. Bozeman. Nothing. I even tried the biggest gift shop ever in one of those "gateway to Yellowstone" towns (I forget which)...the nice owner lady tried to convince me to buy a Grizzly Bear Bank. THAT IS NOT A PIGGY BANK AND IT DOES NOT SAY "MONTANA." No no no.

Susan was a huge sport for stopping so much.

About Bozeman I griped on Facebook that the hunt wasn't going so well. That's when Brad in New Braunfels, TX replied that he called the WalMart in Butte and they said they had them. Now we had a SCOUT! We stopped, found a giant souvenir section, and searched...but apparently the lady that told Brad they existed in the WalMart in Butte, MT...lied. There were no pigs. So I Facebooked that we were leaving Butte empty piggy banked, and once again a message from Brad...that Ross at Muralt's Truck Stop in Missoula had a Montana pig waiting at the counter for us. HECK YES! We walked in and Ross was off of work already, but his co-worker said, "You must be looking for a pig, huh?" Yes, yes we are. I bought Brad one too since he worked so hard for it.

There's video of this whole thing, I just need to edit it. In the meantime, look at the map-chart I made, it's very scientific.

Ceramic Pig Hunt 2010

South Dakota scored with a Deadwood pig (of course) and then my brother-in-law found a plain old South Dakota pig too, and I told him it counted since I was in the state the day before he found it.

Nebraska delivered as did Kansas. (We were in Iowa for a short time but did not gig there so I choose to not feel bad that I missed out on that one...next time). When we walked in the Nebraska truck stop and the souvenir shelf was front and center with two types of pigs on it, we got super giddy about it. I hope the security cameras got that and someone thought it was funny.

Not in Kansas anymore.

All in all a successful pig trip, thanks to Susan for stopping and Brad for the sleuthing!

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Sunday, July 18, 2010


On June 28th, 2010 I was named Employee of the Month by Susan in the Red Robin parking lot at the mall in Missoula, Montana.

Employee of the Month

I am Susan's only employee.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

All Nite Drive Part 5

It is most decidedly daytime now.

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Let There Be Done

Pretty sure I have signed off on final mixes for EP 2, also known as For & Against. We master and then the music part is done. The artwork is almost done. DONE, I SAY!



Friday, July 16, 2010

Texas Box Guitars

The Burqueño
Maybe I'll call it "The Burqueño." How New Mexican of me.

Ok, this is the COOLEST. Dan the Producer has had a Texas Box Guitar for at least over a year now, and I have been drooling over it because:

a) it's a guitar
b) it's got a license plate on it, which not only looks cool, but to me is a geographical reference, which I love (see also why I collect ceramic state truck stop pigs and hang maps on my wall for aesthetics).

When I moved this summer for the 47th time in 4 years, I found my old New Mexico license plate in a stack of crap and pondered what I could do with it that would be cool because I wasn't going to get rid of my first ever license plate.

Then the lightning bolt struck me, 2+2 came together (4), and I emailed Walter Morgan at Texas Box Guitars. Walter is the COOLEST, and he came by the music school to check on Dan's guitar (and Dan) and to show me the options for mine. We decided a black box would make the bright yellow stand out the most, and away Walter went to his magical guitar shop in Dripping Springs while I was driving around the country last month.

Probably the 2nd email I sent when we were back in town this weekend was to Walter to see when I could pick it up. As opposed to most other guitar buying experiences I've had, which has either been in a music store or on Craigslist, this was super enjoyable. Where else do you go to pick up a guitar made just for you and get offered a Coke and chat with the maker (and Walter's awesome better half, Susan) at their kitchen table? So fun.

New Mexico License Plate Guitar


It's a 4 string slide guitar, right now I've tuned it to open G, and Walter installs a pickup that sounds great. Love at first note! I'm going to have to study up on slide techniques this summer...I wish I knew someone who worked at a music school. Hm.

I suggest you all go check out Texas Box Guitars' website...they are super reasonably priced and if you have a plate that's just hanging around your house, this is a great way to make use of it.

License Plate Guitar

The quote on TBG's website? "You can never have too many guitars." So true.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Phew. So my excuse this time is there ARE NO CELL TOWERS IN SOUTH DAKOTA. Or anything AT&T will pick up on, anyway. We already get warnings from them that we are "off network" too much, so I feared that maybe they had just decided to cut us off entirely. But no, it picked up somewhat in Nebraska, a little more in Kansas, and then when we were back in Texas I had 3G again and I rejoiced.

Anyway, while I was off the grid for 2 weeks, we had some good shows and I got to spend some time with my family. The coolest part of having a job you schedule and having a boss that is cool with family time is that...you can go to a family reunion and just book a gig to get there. That is why there is a photo of my and 563 of my most adoring fans, I mean, relatives at our gig in Spearfish, SD. Crow Peak Brewing was some good folks and also 3 blocks away from my aunt's house. I like that in a venue.

Some of The Family

Michael, Mom, Me
Michael, who designed the Jpo Shirt sweeping the nation, Mom, modeling it, and me, not wearing it because you should never wear your own shirt. The rules.

We spent some time in Winner and Colome, South Dakota for my Dad's memorial service. That's where he grew up, so we all gathered there and celebrated his life. I'm so glad I got to be there. Later that day a wind storm blew through and afterwards there was a double rainbow in the sky. I think it was fitting.

Squint to See the Double Rainbow

Let's see...after some time in the Black Hills, we headed to Omaha. When we were in Iowa the trailer kind of came off the hitch while we were driving 60 on 1-29. That was weird. We had driven for 400 miles already, so why it decided to do that 6 hours into the trip, we're not sure. Suz is a driving champ, pulled over right away, and proceeded to put it back on. No damage done. She's like her own AAA mechanic.

South Dakota Wheat Plain

We finished off with 3 gigs in Kansas (where I saw MORE family in Hays! Yay!) and where I found out Lawrence is a cool town. The last show was in Lenexa (Kansas City), and then we saw a whole lot more of that view up there on the way home. I made up a rap about drinking water and not Diet Coke or tea or coffee ("Miss Hydration").

That's that...I'll finish off that "All Nite Drive" series I promise! Part 5 is right around the corner.

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