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Rick's Blog 2006




Yuck... I never realized so many of you people had toenail fungus! Remind me not to sleep with you, or share shoes.  I might even cross to the other side of the street if I see you coming. (Like when I see someone I graduated with.)  I have a diseased eMail list.

The upside, I suppose, is that most of you can still SEE your toes.
I've received several home remedies - ranging from using Walgreen's watery athlete's foot stuff (along with sand-papering my toenail down to the point where it  starts to split - and then gluing it back together with Super-Glue) to soaking it in warm tea of Pau d’orco. (Now, where am I going to find fresh whale shit in this part of the country?)
I thank you all for your advice, but I'm going to ignore all of it.
I think the eye-doctor was spot on. Digger seems to be going away. It must'a been a stubbed toe. I just don't remember it (the stub) happening.
Damned glad I wasn't driving the Yukon that night.
I have also followed his advice about soaking my tennies in vinegar - which is a lot cheaper than Foot Powder - and I don't "poof" when I walk anymore like Charlie Brown's buddy, PigPen.
Except, wherever I go, people say "Odd,  do you smell pickles?"
My next problem is that I haven't been able to get my pool clear. (I know. Prolly not a lot of sympathy here.)
Last year I started early and had a great pool summer. This year, I wuz in Arizona when it started to get really warm, so my pool was greener than my lawn by the time I got home. I added my chemicals and started the filters - and then had to shut it all off so I could go to Rochester with Mom and Dad. I've been battling it ever since. There's plenty of chlorine so I know there's nothing growing, but it's milky white, and I can't seem to make any headway. Last week, I caught my neighbor sneaking over with a package of Oreos.
I liked it better last year when he sneaked over and peed in my rain gauge. We need the rain. 
Have you been following the filming of Sean Penn's (as director) movie "Into The Wild" in Carthage, SD?   The connection is that the wanderer, Chris McCandless, bonded with an employer in Carthage who remained his postal mail connection until they found him (McCandless) dead in a remote trailer in Alaska. I almost went up for the casting call last week, but was a'fear'd (that's Cowboy talk) that they'd be filming while our band was playing in the Hills for the Bike Rally (cheap excuse). They had plenty of people without me. Filming started today, for a week or so, and then in Winner for a couple days. The bulk of it will be filmed in AK, I'd imagine. The story is by Jon Krakauer who won critical acclaim for his book "Into Thin Air" about the disastrous 1996 Mt. Everest Climb that killed seven people.
Mitchell celebrates (or not) its 125th birthday this year. The new Mayor sez the last Mayor should have scheduled a celebration or something. The last Mayor sez... "Uhhh?"
When I get that old, I hope they ferget my birthday, too.



I made an appointment for the eye-doctor  to look at my foot today. My toenail was turning yellow, and I feared I'd become an apartment for Digger the D... (You've seen the commercials). And, left untreated, it didn't look good (check the Internet).
I dunno how this guy stays in business. 'Splains to me how bacteria cover our insides and outsides, and this is a natural deal beyond any physical or medical control. He sez "who knows what causes it, and nothing will cure it. Some Doctors will prescribe Lamisil  (You've seen the Commercials) but it's *tough on your liver and as soon as you quit taking it, the condition returns. All it does is line someone's pocket."
I'm getting by cheap, and believing every word he sez.
He's already spent a half hour telling me about his divorce and his oldest kid who wants to be a writer (because he asked me what I did and I had to tell him).
He looks at my hammer-toe which I've lived with for 10 years and sez he doesn't believe in cosmetic surgery for feet, and if I can walk (it ain't broke) don't fix it. That's OK, the only time it bothers me is when I go SCUBA and it rubs on my flippers, so I wear a sock on that foot. 
I'm getting by cheap, and believing every word he sez.
Then he sez he thinks I stubbed my toe and that's why it's yellow. I sez I think I would'a remembered a stub like that, and he sez "well, usually, people don't."
OK, so I'll I look like a raptor when I wear flip-flops. (I'm getting by cheap, and believing every word he sez.)
Then he sez I might want to avoid slip-on penny-loafer type shooze because they are the cause of most foot problems, and I have to admit that when I am not wearing slip-on tennis shoes with no sox, I am wearing slip-on tassel-loafers (I know, I know... Alexz has already told me how dorky those are.) with no sox
For the Tennies, he said to pour a little vinegar in one and slosh it around and into the other one and let 'em dry overnight. For the tassel-loafers, he sez throw 'em away and get tie-ons.
I'm getting by cheap, and I'm believing every word he sez.
I'm telling you this for your own getting older.
Then, he takes me into the parking lot and shows me his real love, the Diesel pickup he has personally converted to run on French-fry oil.
Smells good. 
As for Fritz, he had a tough day today and didn't do much but sleep and moan the whole time I was there. I wish I knew what we could do to help him, but short of sneaking in Morphine, he's getting great care.  
Hitchcock Park will be busy this weekend. It's Arts In The Park, and a Tennis Tournament with 205 entries, and the (controversial) new $4 million Swimming Pool has been drawing over 1000 kids each day, compared to the 108 daily average last year. As luck would have it, there's a 50% chance of (much-needed) rain.
Alexz is going to drive a convertible in the Plankinton Parade tomorrow for Mike Vehle (our regional legislator). I offered to do it, but Mike likes to walk the parade and pass out mints with his campaign logo, and sez that if a guy drives, people aren't sure who the candidate is. So, he likes to have a sharp young lady at the wheel. (Not too stoopid, if you know what I mean.)
Alexz is excited because she knows a lot of kids from Plank.
Maybe, I'll run her against him in the next election.



Dear Sister,

I missed Mom's call today. Musta been outside dancing in the yard. She left a message saying that nothing unusual happened since her last call. Randy phoned about 2 PM to ask how to get the hotel's wi-fi working. I wasn't much help. He didn't mention anything either, except that the Fiksdal has had someone working on its air-conditioning. Finally.

(John, I haven't heard from you in a spell. Drop me a note so I know that I have your new email address.) 


Wooden Nickel played last night in Tripp for our guitar player's parent's 50th Anniversary. Most folks were of that age and left around 10 PM, so we only played until 11.  I was home a little after Midnight. Not many dancers, but they paid attention and clapped. We sounded good. We have two street dances in July, and then all week in the Black Hills over Sturgis Bike Week in early August. I'm getting too old for this. I wish all our dances were over by 11 PM.

My pool is still a little chilly which is OK, because the water is still a little cloudy. I don't like to get in until I can see if there are any dead things on the bottom. I had a good start cleaning the pool but when Dad went to the Mayo last week I lost what ground I'd gained. After his operation I'll be up there at least another week, so I'll probably have to start clearing the pool all over again. Again.
No matter. Whatever it takes.
Unless... I can make it blue and explain to one of Alexz' hormone-soaked boyfriends how to keep it that way. She can talk them into mowing my lawn, but not for free. I dunno if one-of-'em can focus on a 15-minute task twice a week. Alexz can't.  
We have a state-wide primary vote on Tuesday. I'm guessing that our infamous Abortion-Ban Bill might be undone. And, I have to decide who to support for Governor. There might be a gay-partners marriage question, too. We have an extraordinary number of issues to check-mark this year. Gays? Immigrants? Drugs?  I'm ready to vote. I missed the Mayor's election in March because I was at your house & forgot all about it.
How did your metro-transit vote go? Will I ride Tucson's new mono-rail on my next trip?
Yer damned cat hissed and took a swipe at me, too, when I tried to pet her. She didn't mind prancing into the room and crowing "I love you" when she wanted to get out, but was really pissy when I tried to give her a back scratch. Beast!
Stopped at a friend's rummage sale today. (There were 69 rummage sales in today's paper. I stop at the ones I happen to drive past, and I try to take various routes home. I've decided that, if (God) wants me to have something, he'll lead me to it.  Anyway... my friend has a new little pond / waterfall  (a trifle smaller than yours) in the back yard . He'd built a water-wheel at the high point and ran his hose over that (which made a nice water sound). He keeps it pretty well chlorinated or else it turns green but, he has no fish. It gets full sun. He's just added his first water plant. Said they'd earlier gathered some James River snails to control the algae, but they either didn't live or didn't work. 
How-cum you missed the Water Gardener's meeting last week? You were ready to walk out the door when I hung up. 
My lawn looks about like yours. Dry. I've decided to bite the water bill and water it every other day, at least until I get the first bill that takes my breath away. I've already put down fertilizer and a bag of grass seed.  
Grilled some chicken tonight and threw on some pineapple circles (one plain, one sprinkled with cinnamon (best of the three), and one with cayenne pepper) and a can of artichoke hearts I found in the discount cart at the grocery. I wish I could find those big bins of "Spring Mix" like you have in Tucson. Up here, a pound of wilted leaves in a poly bag costs $3.99. (But our cottage cheese is cheaper, and my chives are growing like crazy.) My grocery has *fresh* sweet-corn, but I grilled it for nearly two hours and it was still starchy. I think 'nuking' still works the best for corn. I'm waiting for our own local corn and tomatoes.
I might go to the Rib-Fest in Sioux Falls tomorrow. Depends on how hot it is. Last year I saw 'Little Texas" on the final day.  This year, they have the Discovery Mime Theatre. I think I've seen them. Oh, well...  
If I'd gone Thursday I could have seen Joan Jett and the BlackHearts, but I knew we played Friday, and I only like to do one *big thing* each week.  
It costs $4 to get in and $5 for a "three bone" sample plate from one of the six or seven vendors. Coleslaw, beans, corn, etc. are optional and extra. I usually sample three of the vendors, and I skip Famous Dave's because they have a place in Sioux Falls and I've been there.
Most BBQ festivals cook for the judges, and unless you're a member of a *cooking crew*, you don't get to taste the good stuff. (Cabela's had one of these last year and - with no promotion because it was only open to judges - was poorly attended. I happened to drive by on my way to Wal*Mart. The cookers' were disappointed in the lousy turn-out. On their website, Cabela's called it the ""SD State BBQ Championship"".) The only award in Sioux Falls is "the People's Choice Award" and ribs are cooked all day for sale.  Everyone gets a ticket to vote when they walk in.
What a novel (makes sense) idea.
Last year, the Desperados took my vote and the Award and I'll eat their ribs again.  I'm just trying to decide if it's worth the gas money to drive over.
I'll keep you posted.
Hugs to all,


Hi Smileycat. Good to hear from you again.

The quest for a Corn Palace Museum has taken a giant step forward. The City sold the old Carnegie Library Building to the Historical Society for $1. It's built of heavy Sioux Quartzite blocks. During the WPA days Oscar Howe, the noted Lakota artist, painted a circular mural in the dome of the building. After the library moved to a new building, it became the home of the Oscar Howe Art Center. The Art Center joined with the Friends of the Middle Border Museum in their new building on the college campus, and the YWCA lived in the old library for a couple years, until they figgered out how much it was costing them to heat the place. It's been empty for a year.
It will be a big challenge for the Historical Society, but the Genealogy Club has become involved and also a group of locals were were fearful that the building might have been demolished. They are presently researching grant monies and talking to folks with an interest (and deep pockets).
Here's a link to the text version of a news story one of the Sioux Falls TV stations did on the recent transfer.  http://www.keloland.com/News/EyeonKELOLAND/NewsDetail4790.cfm?Id=0,47400
SD gets in the news for all the wrong reasons. Usually, because we pay our teachers the poorest in the nation. Or, because the Indians have camped on some plot of Public Forest Service Land.  Or, because the big concrete tower we try to blow up doesn't topple.  Lately, because they think that religious child-molester guy on the Top-10-wanted list might be holed up in his hide-out near Pringle in the Black Hills.
The Abortion Ban Bill will be on the primary election ballot next Tuesday. There's a great chance that it will be undone. 
My pool is still a little chilly which is OK, because it's still a little cloudy. I had a good start on cleaning the pool, but had to take my dad to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for heart surgery. We were there for a week including the Memorial Day weekend, and I lost what ground I'd gained. Now, his operation is scheduled for the 12th of June, and I'll be up there at least another week. So, I'll probably have to start clearing the pool all over again. Again.

No matter. Whatever it takes.

I spent 5 weeks in Tucson babysitting my sister's house (and dog and cat and fish and plants) while they were in India. Thankfully, it wasn't too hot while I wuz there. He's from New Dehli and he has Parkinson's so this might very well be his last trip home.
My band played last night for a 50th Anniversary. We have a couple street dances in July, and then all week in the Black Hills over Sturgis Bike Week.
My wonderful, but ditzy daughter graduated from High School two weeks ago. Her plan is to attend tech-school an hour away in Sioux Falls for their UltraSound Program. I'm OK with that. Sounds like a good entry point into the health-care business without getting your hands bloody. My house will be much *neater* once she's gone.  I can't believe the mess she's able to create in the short times she's home.



Hey Sis, (and John and Randy)

Mom was telling me about a kid's cookbook you have with a velvet cake recipe, made with Bisquik? She has the recipe, but what's the cookbook? I'd look on eBay for her. She mentioned she'd like a copy.
Our T-Day was pleasant and uneventful. Alexz and I went to Gramma's house (I'd invited them here, but their dietary needs don't mesh, and they declined). I was going to borrow Wes Pierson's deep-fat turkey fryer... I had bird fixed that way once, and it's very, very tasty, and not dry.
Besides... Dad expects dressing. I offered Coleslaw.
Alexz ate a pittance (she works out three days a week), and I was fairly controlled. (It's hard to be *controlled* when Mom cooks.)
I've lost touch with Victor Lynne. My earlier emails bounced back "mailbox full" and now they come back "user unknown". He said they were moving into town and Moo was going to open a Thai Restaurant, which has always been her dream. I need to get back in touch, because I want to drive up there in the next spring or two. Trans-Canadian Highway and all...
I don't suppose you've heard from him?
Thanks for the books! I love to read at night before bed.
I'm sending you Jim McLaird's book on Calamity Jane. It's *not a *Christmas present but an attempt to help and encourage a Mitchell author.
(Note to John: Happy Birthday!)
I copied "Old Blevens" and "Cheap Illegal Whores on Drugs" (or whatever) and will send them to Wes and Clay and John. We NEVER practice new songs, unless it's the premier song for a wedding dance. Otherwise, people request songs, and Clay tells us what key they're in, and we play them. He knows EVERYTHING recorded in the last 100 years (music director for the radio station). And, we've all played long enough so that we just "know" where the song is going.   
We prefer (specialize in) songs requested on bar napkins with money attached. 
Cheesy, but it works, as long as one of us knows the words. (Later in the night, we depend on the *audience to know the words.)
I'm OK with no Christmas cards. Besides, what are you going to tell me in a card that I don't already know.   Hell, I don't send cards or even put up a tree, but I will throw some multi-coloreds on the bushes in front of my house, 'cause I like the way they look under the snow.
Like little Alien landing-craft.
Alexz got up at 5:30 this morning (Friday-after-Thanksgiving) to be at Menard's for a clothes hamper that looks like a duck.
For $6...
She said there were only a few left.    You'd have thought it was an XBox 360
I've taught my stupid cat how to say Me(OUT), when he wants to go out.
Now, if I could only teach him to say "food" and "water".







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