Welcome to the Scandinavian Cyber-Posten!
The Scandinavian Cyber-Posten is my blog for the band. Ever since I started reading The Machine's Pump on the Brave Combo website I've wanted my own blog. After all, I'm a creative and intelligent person and I have thoughts on a lot of things. Here's a place where you can read what I think about a variety of topics. I hope you enjoy what you read. If you have any feedback on what I've written, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, May 5
What's Goin' On...--------------------
Greetings, Scandinavian Fans!
The Month of May is upon us and I'm sure you've probably been waiting patiently for an update to the Cyber-Posten. Seeing as how I haven't posted since January, that's a pretty good gap. There hasn't been a whole lot going on with the band in that time. We played for the St. Urho's Day Dance in Naselle, WA which was an adventure in itself. More about that later.
Mostly I've been staying home and working on the house. I replaced our front door with a nice, new vinyl-covered steel door. It came pre-hung in a nice door frame. I've also been cleaning up the yard and environs. My grandfather collected everything he possibly could that he thought would be useful. I've already hauled a truckload of scrap iron down to the Port of Tacoma and sold it. I've also hauled two truckloads of old batteries and sold those. I hear the lead from the batteries goes to China. I would assume that the Chinese take the lead and put it in our toys and other consumer goods and sell it back to us. That's kinda like recycling.
Muscially, I've been working much more with the Valse Café Orchestra. VCO plays a lot during the down time of the Smilin' Scandinavians which allows me to do some other kinds of musical things. It's a dance orchestra, so it's not too much different from what the polka band does. Both groups play dance music. VCO does more ballroom-type stuff like rhumbas, cha-chas, fox trots, one-steps and Viennese waltzes. It's different but not too far away from what the polka band plays. There's even some overlap between the two dance crowds.
Now about that trip to Naselle... it was one of the most fun gigs we've had in a while. We had lunch at the Pig 'n' Pancake in Astoria and then we went to the high school in Naselle and set up for the dance. Naselle is a town of Finns just inland from the Southwest Washington coast. It's a wonderful little town with all the best attributes of a small town. The people are friendly and helpful and really appreciate when a little culture comes to their town.
The performance was lightly attended. Normally we would have had a large contingent of students from the school since they like folk dancing and appreciate having a live event in town. However, our performance coincided with the spring formal dance in Astoria and it's hard to compete with a DJ playing Amy Winehouse and 50 cent. Nevertheless, the crowd we had danced to almost everything we played, including all the traditional Finnish dances like jenkka, humppa and tango. Yes, I know, the tango is originally Argentine, however the Finns have adopted it and made it their own.
After the gig we started the drive back home. Our route was to go up the coast on US 101 to just south of Aberdeen and then take SR 107 over to Montesano and then US 12/SR 8 to I-5 at Olympia. Unbeknownst to me, the right headlight on the Polka Van was burnt out. I don't drive it very often so I am not always aware of what the lights are doing.
Going through the town of South Bend I slowed down to 30mph, as I know that every small town in Washington relies on tourist speed trap revenues. Even at the posted speed limit I was still pulled over by the town cop. He looked to be about 19 years old and he ran me through the whole drill with license, registration, insurance, walking back to the car to run my driver's license number, etc. He came back five minutes later to tell me that my headlight was out and that I needed to get it fixed right away. I thanked him, received my documents back from him, and left.
In the next town, Raymond, only a few miles from South Bend, the town cop saw us coming and flipped a U-turn in the middle of town to pull us over. I had the license, registration and insurance in hand ready for him and told him that I knew about the light. He laughed, looked over the documents quickly, and sent us on our way. On the hill just north of town there was a terrible accident that had Hwy 101 down to only one lane. There were three State Patrol troopers, two fire trucks and two ambulances on scene. I'm glad the town cops didn't have to do anything actually useful; it probably would have confused them.
We continued north on 101 to Grays Harbor County. Just over the county line I watched a cop car approach, pass us, make a U-turn and then come up behind us and turn on his lights. Stop #3 in an hour and a half. When he came to the window I was laughing. I gave him the documents and explained that his colleagues in South Bend and Raymond were extra vigilant. He laughed and sent us down the highway. The rest of the trip home was uneventful.
That brings us back to May. We're very busy this month. We've already played one private engagement and have a couple more booked. We also have some great public events coming up including May 10th at the Maifest in Leavenworth, May 17th at the Minnesota-Dakota Club Springfest at the Puyallup Elks, May 25th at the Folklife Festival and May 26th in Port Angeles for the Juan de Fuca Festival. Those are some very fun engagements and I hope to see you at some, if not all of them!