Friday, April 11, 2014

SOOO SEDONA---A SLICE OF LAURIE'S LIFE

A HEALTHY PERSONALITY CAN MAKE A SATISFYING LIFE WHEREVER THEY FIND THEMSELVES.  THOUGH I HAVEN'T SEEN HER IN 4 MONTHS--- WE COMMUNICATE ALMOST DAILY.  WILL GO TO SEDONA, AZ AND SEE HER NEW LIFESTYLE UP CLOSE.

My regular readers will instantly recognize Laurie Theodorou---singer/songwriter---co-founder with me of the Quest-for-Community Caravan.
She shows up at my door "looking better than a body has a right to."


Her car is spiffied up a bit---and this message:
 YOU ARE AMAZING---
proclaims to all--- that she considers them amazing---and suggests they ponder their "amazingness."

Invites me to her hide-a-way home parked in an obscure corner of a fancy resort.

Don't be deceived by its humble exterior---her Casbah's interior is an elegant and cozy sanctuary while she is on her "Ambassador of love" tour.


Shows a favorite yoga posture on her 'yoga launch pad'.

and her latest toy----a stereo rocking chair

that lends itself to many positions as the music plays on.
  
 Walks me along the nearby Verde river showing me her 'sacred' meditation spot


where she assumes the lotus position.

Takes me to Cottonwood--- Hams it up on a 200mph motorcycle

en route to her favorite Chinese buffet

While Laurie has been in Sedona she has earned her Masters Degree in Reiki Healing and regularly attends the Reiki share at the Peace Place. She offers her 'Self Sufficient Reiki Healer' training classes in Sedona where she also offers "Reiki Love Gong Sound Healing Heart Expansion Sessions
and Life Purpose Attunements.

 On Sunday she takes me to the Sedona Unity church where she has become a member and will next month be qualified to serve as a Chaplain.

 I prepared myself to roll my eyes at superstitious chatter; But to my amazement this Jesus look-a-like Minister, Michael Mirdad, preached the best sermon I've ever heard. I left dazzled at the profundity of his insights. Emerson would have applauded.( it was a useful/spiritual talk about relationships--send for a copy--4/6/14-- click here you'll be dazzled too)


Then later she took me to a Hindu Kirtan-- where 30 devotees chanted for an hour  accompanied by loud music and drums and shakers and tamborines.  Laurie danced while playing the maracas! (A Kirtan is a session of "chanting the holy names to deepen your connection with Spirit")

.
Yesterday I dropped her off a few miles up the Verde River for a run through it's rapids. She inflated this marvelous, super-lite raft

and paddled off downstream on her expedition.  Didn't see her for an anxious 4 hours.

Laurie Theodorou in concert
(photo courtesy of Ms. Fredly Antosh)

 Giving an inspirational concert for
'A Course in Miracles' group in Sedona last week.

She also has been teaching people how to share their Heart Song by playing the Kokopelli Flute. If you can blow on a hot spoonful of soup and cool it off, in a one hr. class she can teach you how to play the Native American Flute. I know because even with no musical experience I learned how to play in one session!


Laurie seemingly feels at home everywhere---finds a way to participate--and make a difference.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: If you were dropped off in a wholly new situation---could you make a life for yourself?  Find worthwhile friends?  Meaningful challenges? Enjoy life? Laurie does it all---with flair! I speculate that rich, adaptive personalities like hers are "grown" bit by bit as they playfully, courageously engage others----absorbing aspects of them that they admire----- and that is how a feedback loop of character growth is set in motion---- Rich personalities getting even richer.

I think Laurie has found her heart's home here!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A SIMPLE PLAN TO REFORM DENTAL CARE IN AMERICA---BY GOING TO MEXICO

My regular readers know that I'm on a years long quest to get all my teeth beautiful and in working order.  Two days ago I broke one and hurried to my favorite dentist in Algodones Mexico to get it fixed.  I'll show you what it's like---and tell you a terrific notion the experience inspired.

The main offices of RUBIO DENTAL GROUP---just a three block walk from the border.

Meet Dr Alejandra Rubio (no relation to the founder) who preps me for the specialist.

Dr. Fernando Dominguez says he can save the tooth and does a rather complicated procedure involving a bit of laser surgery.  He prepares the tooth for a strong post----Since it's late in the day--I will come back tomorrow for its installation.  Note the spanking new building and extreme cleanliness.  
He points to the problem tooth.  They have the new instant low-dosage x-rays that pop up on large screens like this.  (and they will give you a copy to take with you if you want it)


Thought you might like to see Dr Alejandra without the mask.
Front office for the Endodontics and laser building.
He sends me immediately across the street to this office.
Where Dr. Omar prepares the new post for a crown,
 takes several impressions and makes a temporary crown for me.  He carefully matches the color of my teeth.
Before I go home, I ask for a shot of Dr. Ernesto Montoya--whose specialty is  prosthodontics and implants.  Seated from right to left are the people you will speak to if you call: Edgar, Michelle, and Louis. everyone speaks English.
I'll go back very soon to get my new crown.  Your local dentist could hardly deliver the expert service I received nor in the short time frame it was delivered.  And he would be astounded at the price I paid:
Far less than half what he would charge is my best guess.


Meet the visionary and founder of this new, comprehensive system of Dental service:  Dr. Carlos Rubio.  Already it is the biggest in Algodnes and I predict great things for its future.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:   Oh sweet people, I came home so pleased with the service and so sad for my fellow citizens who need dental attention and cannot afford American prices that I suddenly envisioned a simple solution:

A SIMPLE PLAN TO REFORM DENTAL CARE IN AMERICA: BY GOING TO MEXICO!


What's wrong with American Dental care is that it's waaaay too expensive! 

What you and I can do is take our business to Mexico.

A bright new dental care supermarket system has evolved in the past few years in Algodones----(just across the border from Yuma, Az.) that is the heart of my plan.

Most everyone I know needs dental work. Millions are suffering pain and cannot even afford to have bad teeth pulled.

It cost outrageously to get a root canal or a crown---or even dentures. God help you if you need an implant.

This morning I saw the solution----for you personally and for the nation. I remembered when American cars were second rate. Our auto makers were not properly motivated to produce quality at a fair price.

Then Honda introduced delightful, efficient. affordable little cars. Then Nissan, Toyota and others.
People bought and enjoyed them and very soon American cars dramatically improved. You and I are ultimately responsible for that improvement---BY SIMPLY VOTING WITH OUR DOLLARS.

We can do the same with shoddy, overpriced dental service. Just you and I---voting with our dollars can start a rock rolling downhill that can trigger an avalanche of change.

The strategy has 2 parts:
  1. Go to Mexico to get our dental work done.
  2. Focus our support on that bright new supermarket system---make it super successful--- so it can quickly expand to multiple locations. 
That new system is called RUBIO DENTAL GROUP (www.dentalrubio.com phone 928-275-2816 and 928-257-4594 ) an association of expert dentist under the leadership of Dr Carlos Rubio. He was a solitary dentist like the hundreds currently located in Algodones but he did such excellent work that he could not meet the demand. Slowly he expanded his practice with associates till one day he (apparently) had a vision. He imagined a very large dental clinic with the very latest technology, staffed by a full spectrum of experts in each phase of dentistry. Collectively they could afford to own the best technology and labs and for each associate to focus on his or her specialty. Thus, for example, Dr Rubio specializes in Implants. (he has done more than 10,000 and is likely the world's best)

This Idea has worked so well that now they own a host of buildings, including their own labs, to facilitate their work. (runners will dash off to the lab with freshly done impressions—or hurry in with a just made crown post)

HERE IS THE GIST OF MY NOTION: I think RUBIO DENTAL GROUP is a breakthrough notion in dental care not unlike Sam Walton's notion of selling for the least profit possible instead of the most. His first store in the unlikely town of Bentonville, Arkansas expanded by a FEEDBACK LOOP (success building even more success) to the world leader that it is.

Rubio Dental Group may be an incipient Wal-Mart ---dentistry wise---developing a pattern of efficiency that could be replicated all along the Mexican border---making it easier and easier to get quality care at a reasonable price. Millions could then vote with their dental dollars in Mexico.

THAT----AND THAT ALONE--- IS LIKELY TO GAIN THE ATTENTION OF THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION----and set reform in motion.

The sooner this bright new concept is discovered---the sooner---we can stimulate reform and price reduction in America. If my readers who need dental care will give this clinic a shot---and if they come away as satisfied as I am----and tell their friends---we can very quickly start a FEEDBACK LOOP that can catapult this new system to expansion just like the early customers of Sam Walton's first store.

Algodones, Mexico ---just like Bentonville Arkansas --is an unlikely birthplace for a dental empire---but there it is----go see for yourself.
 
And oh yes!--THE RUBIO GROUP guarantees their work for 3 years.

They have not asked me for this endorsement. I write it to hopefully set an avalanche in motion.  








Saturday, March 08, 2014

PEOPLE OF THE BUSHES----WHAT'S TO BE LEARNED

SENSIBLE HOBOS--VAGRANTS---HOMELESS FOLKS  SHOULD LIVE IN YUMA---DURING THE WINTER.  Because they can!  Right here---within a mile of me in every direction--is Hobo heaven in the winter.  Warm weather, free camping, accessible water and food, and assorted charity services are within walking distance.  And to put frosting on their cake:  A convenient train rolls sloooowly through every 45 minutes or so.  Easy enough to hop aboard and go elsewhere to escape summer's heat.  And thus for a hundred years Yuma has been hobo heaven.  I'll show you!
I've shown you this guy's house of sticks on another post.  I come again---note that his pile of stuff has increased.

I bring Wayne Wirs with me this date---note the additional security measures: lockable gate.

Some days later I intercept the builder/owner---meet Glen---on his way to work.  He earns $8 an hour waving a sign.  He remembered me---we chatted awhile.  He represents the best of the bush people: Has built a home---keeps pets--earns a living--is intelligent.  This day he briefly explained the bell shaped curve theory as it applies to homeless people.
This is an old lady whiling away the day in nearby Winterhaven---did not discover her lair.
I told this guy he looked like Geronimo.  He seemed pleased.
This cute lady emerged from the bushes one day---could not find her camp.


This guy only comes here to sleep---has a good tarp for rain protection.

I followed this trail 

To this camp.  Owner gone.  As you can see---their stuff is highly vulnerable to theft.

See that bicycle trail?  It circles around and enters an opening in that patch of trees.  I followed it ...

to this camp.   Nobody home.

Took this shot into his tent.  See that book?  It's John Updike's  TOWARD THE END OF TIME.   Resolved to come talk to this guy.
And I did!   Meet Larry---A very amiable and interesting fellow.  Retired---enjoys solitude--flies in from New York each year---stays till April---then flies home--leaving his bike and camping stuff here.  Spends his time reading, enjoying his solitude, visiting the library and interesting sites.  He has the means to live conventionally----just likes this style.
Visited this camp in the bushes---the smallest of them all---tucked away in the willows.
It belongs to this very tall guy.  Brad and I pass him almost every morning on our walk.  Have not gotten his story.  We see him sitting alone on a rock--sipping coffee.
One day a few miles away, I saw this guy.

Of course I engaged him.  Said he has everything he needs in those bundles---is in no distress---just enjoys seeing the country.  Quizzed more deeply he told me that wherever he goes the cops check him out --said he didn't mind.


Took this shot a few nights ago---a middle age lady lives in her minivan--parking at the casino at night--spending her days in the parks.

One day I went upriver a mile or so and discovered this wikieup frame along the banks of the Colorado River.  Someone once lived here awhile.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I have many other examples of bush people but this is a fair sample.
Here's what I think about this low-end lifestyle:
1. It's not the worst way to live: Welfare hotels and Missions are worse.  To live in the grip of religious people or bureaucrats is lowest-- because they provide no sense of freedom or self reliance.  Many of the bush people have sampled them---and said no thanks.
2.  There are bushes everywhere that you can pitch your tent in.  Anyone can buy a fairly comfortable house/tent for under $50.  There is no good excuse for wretchedness or dreadful discomfort.  No one need live in the rain.  (Once I lived in the bushes near Arlington, Wa. for a week---enjoyed myself---made friends.
3. The most surprising discovery is that bush people don't often camp together for the company and protection it would offer.  The six camps nearest me did not socialize with the others.  "Hobo Jungles" it seems are fading away.
4. One can live well in the bushes for $100 a month. 

 I predict that one day we will pay people to not work----JUST LIKE WE PAY FARMERS NOT TO FARM.  Mechanization has fulfilled its promise----there are not enough jobs to go round.  Let's pay people to get out of the work force---BUT NOT MUCH----saaay 3 to 4 hundred a month to willing mavericks who promise not to have kids and live the free life---just bumming around.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WHO SHOULD RESCUE THIS LADY?

Luke 10:30  A lady was going down from "Jerusalem to Jericho" when she fell into the hands of robbers.  They stripped her of  a reasonable lifestyle---psychologically beat her up and left her abandoned in a parking lot in Yuma, Az.
A Christian couple walked by---saw her distress---and walked on by.

A  Mormon guy walked by---expressed some curiosity---and went on his way.
My friend and I came by---curious what was in the shopping cart.
looked----did nothing
It held a mother dog and 6 puppies---born just last night.

She wanted to borrow a phone.  Someone lent her one.  A cab appeared.

She stuffed her few possessions and the dogs inside and disappeared---leaving the cart behind.
We all breathed a sigh of relief---she was gone---someone else's problem now.
That very day a tiny dog fell into a canal and was being swept along--in danger of drowning.  Both Brad and I rushed to the rescue.  He got there first and saved it.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  Oh sweet readers---I'm in shame and perplexity---I DIDN'T DO A DAMNED THING TO HELP THE LADY----saw her as a major pain in the ass---needy beyond reason-- angry--probably druggy---likely neurotic----with emotional and physical baggage that would strain my charitable impulses.  Yeah---she was a basket case for sure----AND SO WAS THE GUY IN JESUS' PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN.  Why was I so willing to rescue the dog and so reluctant to help the lady?
 (the dog was easier)
Fate put this lady on my "doorstep" and I  did nothing.  I should have to answer for that.  Who should rescue this Lady?  In urgent situations---like the dog---whoever can--- should act.  In basket cases, I maintain she is EVERYBODY'S  responsibility.  We need a social safety net that should reach out and care for her AT A REASONABLE COST to society----like we reach out to the winos on the street in severely cold weather.
Personal and private intervention --- welcome as it is---is not enough---is inconsistent.  Only institutional charity will work.