Showing posts from August, 2014

A Zillion Miles For A Dirty Shirt

I just completed an 1126 mile book tour/college send-off. My equilibrium has me thinking I'm still in motion. It is a weird sensation. I saw a ton of sites, old and new. At the moment I'm too tired to write about any of it, but thought I'd give a flavor for what the experience brought. I'll expand on more of it after my next zillion mile adventure. I have much to tell and realize I probably should have taken notes. Alas, I was living the moment and, anyway, why start now? My course of travel, with several stops and a few U-turns along the way. That right there's called a Dad on the Dash. Mickey's Diner - A St. Paul Landmark with great burgers. Ben's new favorite. Mom's apartment primed and ready for her move-out. Caramel Rolls and bakery. Duluth by bluff. Foggy, misty and beautiful. Ben said it looked like a "model set". Fitgers Books. My books were sold out. I asked them to order more! Two Harbors Librar

The Great State Fair

I will be attending the Minnesota State Fair this coming Monday. As much as I like the Wisconsin State Fair, the Minnesota Fair is second to none in my book. For starters it's spread over a much larger area than the Wisconsin one which means things usually aren't as crowded. I say usually because the last time I went, a few years ago, it was a day of record attendance, and it was jammed. I think going on a Monday this year will be better as far as crowds go. We will see. I've come up with a list of 10 things I remember about the Minnesota State Fair from my youth. I remember taking the bus to the fair with my older brother. He showed me the ropes on all the free and cheap attractions, including all the milk you could drink for a dime. Now it's a dollar. If the races were running, I remember the sounds of the Race Track roaring no matter where you were on the grounds. When we lived on Hubbard, I think I remember hearing them at my house as well.  Tom Thumb Min

Great Northern

My eighteen year old daughter, Sarah, has always loved to fish. From the time she was a four year-old holding her snoopy pole out on the end of the dock to the present day, she had enjoyed the excitement that fishing brings to life. I don’t know what I did right to instill her love of angling, but she has fished virtually every year of her life since that first outing in 1999. She has fished in five different states and has caught walleye, perch, crappie, blue gill, trout, bass, northern pike, and even the mighty muskie. As the summer has slipped away, Sarah kept lamenting about how she would like to go fishing. She is scheduled to start school at the University of Minnesota in September, so time was running out. Much of her summer was spent working twenty hours a week at the grocery store near us trying to save money for college. I was busy myself, working full time as well as promoting my book . Because I rely on my fishing buddy Steve to get us out on the water with his boat

Here and There

Just time for a few short thoughts before I head out to see my friend Nick Konkle  play an acoustic set down at Bernies Tap Room in downtown Waukesha. Nick is a talented, rising musician whose live sets get better Flowers " is out and available for download at Band Camp. Check it out. I have had occasional ear worms to some of his songs which usually means their addictively good. every time I see him. He has a couple of CD's out and is building a decent song list of original material. I like to refer to him as like Neil Young without the road eyes and the feedback (of Rust Never Sleeps.) A quick rundown on what's new with Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir : I came across the fact that it is now available at the Milwaukee Public Library. All that was required to get it in there was to ask via an email. This is pretty cool because I consider Milwaukee my second home, even though most of my time in Wisconsin has been spent in Waukesha. I love the city and I cons

Fishing With An Ear Worm

I went fishing yesterday at Oconomowoc Lake in my kayak. Like many of my tendencies in life, I tend to fall into the trap of routine. Fishing is no exception. I developed a routine of fishing Beaver Lake near us because it is "carry in" only, so is kayak-friendly in that respect. It is a pretty good lake, and I always come away with 10-15 Bass, though most are pretty small. So to shake things up, I thought I'd try a new lake. In my hours of solitude, I came up with fifteen fishing facts, some well known, some specific to me and my situation. In no particular order, here they are: Due to the laws of physics, when freeing your lure from a hanging branch, jerking it turns it into a sharp, pointy missile guided in the direction of its jerk, in this case your boat, or sometimes you. (Of course, I've personally never done this.) Other peoples' million dollar mansions can be a good point of reference when negotiating a new lake. Large urban geese can render a flo

Longest Days

Okay, I have a confession to make. Things are just moving a little too fast around here these days. I am the father of an 18 year old and a soon to be 16 year old (Sat.), and I need to ask God, or mom, or someone how I got here all of the sudden? Because just last week, I was taking one through Freshman orientation and the other to sixth grade football practice. The week before that I was helping one with a science project and listening to the other one do a screechy, somewhat off-key violin solo in grade school. The week before that I was getting one off to kindergarten and watching the other admire his reflection in the stove window in the kitchen. And a month ago, I was watching Ben crawl under Sarah's self-made human rainbow as they danced to Trisha Yearwood's Under the Rainbow  on the stereo. This is not what I signed up for. I never signed up for getting one ready for college - saying goodbye to her for weeks and months at a time - and prepping the other for g

All Kinds of Dirty Things

I thought I'd give another writing/Dirty Shirt update because the life of a newly published author is about as fun as it gets, at least so far. I'll touch on some of what has transpired in my endless pursuit of making it to the New York Times Bestseller's list. (Enough from the peanut gallery, there!) Some of the cooler things I've found came when I googled my name and Dirty Shirt as a few keywords. Everyone should try this at some point to see what's out there about you, whether you know it or not. It was in doing this that I found my book was being offered through Omni Lit . Now, I have no idea how they got a hold of it, but near as I can tell, they harvest the data from Amazon and then sell the book. Hopefully I get a cut from it somewhere along the lines, but who knows? I trust they're in cahoots with Amazon and the authors do get some stipend, like a couple dimes. I also came across a mention of the book in the Duluth News Tribune . They gave it a