I’ve been (almost) everywhere, man

These are the states i’ve visited so far:



This is generated from http://www.defocus.net/visitedstates/generate.html – the states are color coded with green for places i’ve lived or spent at least several weeks visiting, blue for those i’ve visited up to a couple of weeks, amber and read for short visits and just passing through. Time magazine has a short quiz that’s supposed to show your best personality fit among the states (I belong in Oregon).

An interesting thing about the map for me is how it reflects that most of the traveling i’ve done was by car. I imagine people who have mostly traveled by plane would have lots of blue color in a few states, but otherwise blank. A lot of my colors in the west were started when we took a road trip the summer i turned 8, driving from Indiana to Oregon with stops at Yellowstone and the redwoods, looping back through Nevada (us kids being denied use of the bathrooms in the Reno casinos on our way through), the whole trip in the Chevy van my dad had customized with a bed in the back, with bench seat and table for playing cards. Three speed on the tree, thermos of coffee by his seat.

The map would be a lot less red to the east and south if i hadn’t taken a road trip with my mom to visit my aunt and uncle in Boston, or the college road trip to Florida and New Orleans.

There were other trips out west, and yet Montana would still only be pink if not for the extra 3 days my brother and i spent in Bozeman getting the transmission of his truck rebuilt so we could continue on our way to visit my dad in Oregon.

When visiting family recently, i found out that one of my second cousins hadn’t ever left her home state. My kids could fill in a fair number of those states too, between car trips and our train trip from St. Paul to Portland. We never traveled a ton when i was a kid outside of that first adventure, and i don’t expect i’ll exactly be able to take mine around the world either. But i’m happy they’ve at least gotten a taste of it, and that i could help plant the idea that the world is bigger than our back yard.

(not included: Germany and Japan)

Peelander Z

I don’t know if i can really say much more than that this was one of the craziest and most fun shows i’ve seen in a long time. Turf Club, St. Paul, MN, Sept 19, 2013.



Hang on, just moving the deck chairs around, back in two shakes.


make that three shakes.

Cruel to be Kind

This is my current song obsession. I like other Nick Lowe songs but it’s really hard to top Cruel to be Kind as a perfect little nugget of pop music. Exactly as long as it needs to be, and even though he had a reputation to just bash out songs, this is perfectly crafted. Listen to the rising and falling bass lines, the spot-on harmonies, and the melody that pushes at the envelope of Americana pop just enough to propel into the next hook. A 3:26 lesson in pop songcraft.

All your important song questions answered by a goat

Where have all the flowers gone?
I have to be honest, i et ‘em. I et ‘em all.

Is it really so strange?
It shouldn’t be, i mean, flowers are delicious. Most of them. Thistles are a bit chewy.

Where are the clowns?
I don’t keep track of clowns. They don’t taste good, what with all that greasepaint.

Hello? Is It Me You’re Looking For?
Yeah, sure, whatever, as long as you aren’t a damn clown. Did you bring anything to eat?

Do You Know The Way To San Jose?
Funny story; i’m an old goat, born near San Jose, but that urban sprawl sent us packing when i was just a kid. Ironically, the spot where my old pen sat is apparently now a Taco Bell, which i can’t eat any more. You know how goat poops are hard little nugget things? Well, all i’m saying is that they aren’t hard little nugget things after eating Taco Bell.

Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio?
Oh sure, it was pretty good. Those newer radios with their tiny little transistors aren’t nearly as filling as the old big band radios though. Those huge old capacitors were nice and juicy and the real wood cases had a nice crunch.

Who do you love?
I want to clear up a misunderstanding, we goats don’t love tin cans. It’s just that they get in the way of other food sometimes. And, you know, when there’s nothing else to eat. But they aren’t that tasty.

Why don’t we do it in the road?
Why don’t you go ask that flat ass squirrel out there? Dumbass. I’ma go eat that old tire now.

Should i stay or should i go?
(mouth full of tire)