Sunday, October 04, 2015


Thoreau said that thousands are hacking at the branches of evil to every one person hacking at its roots.  I agree and I want to hack at what I consider a root cause of evil in the world---indoctrination of children.

I was indoctrinated in the Southern Baptist faith and  was 27 when I escaped.  That crazy belief system and culture damaged my intellectual growth, inflicted guilt, stole happiness, wasted time and energy, imposed prejudices and much more.

I recognize that currently, almost everyone is indoctrinated into some belief system and culture.  Every cocoon must hang from some tree and so every one of us comes to consciousness within some culture. Most cultures have crazy components to it. (Catholic: birth control abortion divorce, infallibility of Pope----Mormons golden book, magic underwear etc) A key question is whether you can break free and construct your own value system. Regretably only about 20% of us do so.

I believe we should stop indoctrinating our children.  I think it is possible to teach values without doctrines. Here's apoem I wrote years ago:


What if all the religions of the world were forced somehow to compete on a level playing field? Perhaps a world, weary of religious strife, finally traced the problem to its roots: the indoctrination of children? And what if this were outlawed? Parents could still share values with their children, but not doctrines. Children would reach age 12 or so with their minds more open. And when they demonstrated sufficient mental competence and curiosity, they would be allowed to visit the Religion Warehouse.

The Religion Warehouse

Kids are gathered outside at eight,
Doors are opened at nine.
They are here to sample religions of the world,
All strung out in a line.

Row upon row, every living faith
Represented in spacious booths.
And every booth has people anxious
To share their “eternal truths.”

They have pamphlets and films and all 27
Major “holy books,”
The Bible, the Koran, the Bagavad Gita.
Every kid’s invited to look.

As they wander up and down the aisles,
Believers of every bent
becon children into their booths,
Like barkers at a side show tent.

The Christian section has 200 booths,
Each with a different slant
On God, salvation, Jesus and heaven,
That they wish to implant.

There are nine different versions of Islam,
Six different kinds of Jews,
A host of Buddhist sects,
A hundred types of Hindus.

The New Age section is replete
With people pushing “spiritual” stuff,
Smiley-faced believers in a thousand things,
Like crystals and superstitious fluff.

The American Indians drummed up a crowd
With dancers adorned with feathers.
Truly believing that Shamans can heal,
And Kachinas can change the weather.

Cults took up a whole wall–
Gurus of every stripe,
Dominating tyrants trolling
For the total submission type.

The atheist booth had scrappy folks,
Dead sure in their conclusion
That religion is the opiate of the people,
A dumb and deadly illusion.

Agnostics had a cheerful booth
With banners above and below.
The upper one said, “Keep an open mind;”
The lower said, “Nobody knows.”

The Mormons were talking ‘bout golden books.
The Quakers pushed peace and hope.
The Amish urged us back to the land.
Catholics said obey the Pope.

Back in the corner were Unitarians,
Of all the churches most odd;
The only church that didn’t claim
To have a message from God.

Muslims were a backward lot,
Their religion frozen in time,
Their nations ruled by autocrats,
Their women treated like slime.

Voodoo believers sacrificed chickens;
Spiritualists summoned ghosts.
Urantia folks told of flying saucers;
Tantrics urged sex uppermost.

On and on the religions stretched.
Children came and went until
In a day or a year, their minds were clear,
Or perhaps just had their fill.

Then back to the world, having chosen
Truths” that suited their taste.
Most took bits from several faiths,
With a job of “cut and paste.”

Gone was arrogance and dogmatism.
Their study of religion and history
Lets them tolerate ambiguity,
Embrace the human mystery.

In a few short years, religious wars ceased;
All nations made a truce.
Every civilized person now agrees
Indoctrination is child abuse.

Freedom to choose your religion
Is a universal human right.
Parents stopped laying their “trip” on kids,
And the world sleeps better at night.

 I say to my readers:  If you have escaped your indoctrination---created your own value system--you are a part of life's solution.  Congratulations.  If, on the other hand you believe the doctrines your parents told you---you are likely part of life's problem.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015


WHILED AWAY THE SUMMER IN A PARADISAICAL TOWN--- COLORADO'S EQUIVALENT OF BRIGADOON.  I didn't mean to stay the summer---but---Well, you'll see.

Salida, Colorado, population 5000, elevation 7000 ft--an old railroad town--reinventing itself as Artsy.

A river, literally, runs through it.
Kayakers play in "holes"--the most exciting parts.

Old kayaks on display--show their evolution  

lovely things decorate the town---houses like those in Disneyland.

Free concerts every week.

Look closely--bicycles not locked up

And yes Marajuana is legal. (report in today--taxes collected are double what was collected for alcohol)

Wild deer freely roam the streets

Farmers market every weekend

Surprise an old friend--Carol--she makes and sells those products. (remember her from the Quest for Community caravan)

Here's something new--a rolling art gallery.

with this philosophy---I like it!

And provacative paintings 

Every week a different festival--this one all about fibers--weaving, spinning etc--surprisingly interesting--a very large subculture.  Jeanne loved it.
Old car festival--my favorite--$23,000 would have bought it.

I think Chrysler mass produced these.

A few quirky folks around town--can you see the giant spider atop the luggage carrier.

a fence made of old bicycles

AAAhhh but the highlight of the summer was visiting with new and old friends.  That's Jim and Gayle in the green shirt and orange top--a couple extraordinaire whose healthy minds and lifestyle moved me to poetry:

Jim and Gail ride the gypsy trail
and are famous for their leisurely ways.
The name of their Rig is the name of their gig:
Both are called Lazy Daze.

With no contrition for their lack of ambition;
season after season they play;
with no troubling sorrow 'bout yesterday and tomorrow;
but enjoying today and today.

A self schooled couple, smart and supple
who've earned their nomadic diploma
for their fine-tuned talents of finding the balance
midway between frenzy and coma.

And what terrific luck to get moonstruck
with a lovely mobile fox
Who's quite proud to live out loud
in a rolling thirty foot box.

Check out their blog here

Is this the picture of a contented man?  

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  Paradise is of course not a place but a state of the head and even then comes and goes unpredictably.  Quality friends help a lot.  Beautiful, comfortable places help too.
Interesting happenings contribute;  Challenging projects also.  Salida furnished all the above.  I found myself posting more often---writing more poems.  I forsee a  time when everybody is free enough to search out the people and places most conducive to their creativity and well being.

(incidentally it was an incredibly inexpensive summer--camping is free, concerts, festivals mostly free, movies cheap.)  

Saturday, September 05, 2015


Meet Kim of Kimbo Polo
Travels the land alone and solo
Surprise! She wants to question me.
So we settle beneath my awning tree.
Turn by turn we answer and  ask
'bout things beneath the other's mask:
How nice to chat with a PHD
Hobnob with someone smarter than me

Kim:    well Randy--what did you do today?
Randy:  I blogged and blogged the day away.
            Writing my posts gives me reasons why
            I don't park my rig, lay down and die.
           What's your motive for writing your thing?
Kim:    Just the sheer joy that a blog can bring  
           I have this urge to write and write
           forever waiting for the muse to bite.

Randy: Well now you are a thing that's new;
           So today I think I'll blog about you.

Kim:   That might please your readers no end.
          but in those photos--make me look thin?

          And I think I'll also blog about you.
          Tell me your goals and what you do?

Randy: I write poems and travel to the new.
           Now tell me your goals and what you do.

Kim:   My needs are small, my goals are few:
          go round the bend---admire the view.

          You've been free for so long now,
          share with me the why, the how.

Randy:I had a good mind--never found where it fit;
          I'm a nobody---making-- the best of it.

          But you've climbed the heights of academe;
          can you find contentment in a drifter's dream?

Kim:  Contentment's  mine on the open roads;
          "afoot lighthearted"---you know how that goes.

          Would you ever settle down;  cease to roam?
          maybe build a fence 'round an earthbound home?

Randy:I've made my gypsy bed---now I
          will mosey 'round until I die.

          Does moving moving--on the whole
          polish your manner, your mind, your soul?

Kim:  All of the above, I guess
          since I pulled away from a life of stress.

          You think as we keep wandering this way
          we become more polished day by day?

Randy: Yes, -- like rocks tumbling downstream;
            the bump and bumble makes us glisten and gleam.

            Since those you meet are mostly strangers
            do you give much thought to risk and dangers?

Kim:    Stepping away from the TV news
           for good and forever changed my views.
           I find decent people whever I go.
           Don't you also find this so?

Randy: Yes, I find goodwill---up and down;
            seems every new place is Mayberry town.

            But tell me how you choose where to go
            and what's the sweetest places you know?

Kim:    Trip planning is my favorite art---
            I open my map--then open my heart.

            What guides you in your nomad style?
            what experiences do you find worthwhile?

Randy:  By far the richest thing I do:
            engaging folks the likes of you.
Kim:     Well this has been great; I love to talk deep,
             but I have promises to keep.

Randy:  The pleasures' been mine--thanks a heap;
             I have miles to go before I sleep.

Click Here to See the Video

Sunday, August 30, 2015


NO NEED FOR MOBILE PEOPLE TO EVER SUFFER THE HEAT.  The saving formula to know is that each thousand feet of elevation lowers the temperature 4 degrees on average.  Colorado is therefore perfect for the summer--just pick the elevation you're comfortable in.

Denver was too warm so I started climbing till nightfall caught me--selected an exit at random and soon happened upon this closed road----Perfect---I settled in right there.

Turns out I was near  Dinosaur ridge museum. So I walked over and got the story.

Can you appreciate the fact that you're looking at a giant's footprint that is 65 million years old.

West on 70 the serious mountains show themselves

The Eisenhower tunnel--one of the great ones--right through that mountain.  The highest tunnel in the world--11,000 feet.

These are MCMANSIONS west of Denver--hundreds of them.

Further West at Dillon--even bigger mansions.  Locals told me they are owned largely by out of staters who use them only a few weeks a year.  I'm sure they are legal, but there's something immoral about this vast waste of resources.  There are better things to do with wealth.

Boondocking in Dillon was a challenge--but I found a nearby frisby golf course and spent the night.

The town is ritzy ritzy with fashion name brand stores. For some reason I'm uncomfortable --even resentful of towns like this. Living a ritzy ritzy life is a sure sign that you're an asshole. Goddammit there are important things to be done and we need you, your creativity and your money.  Keep in mind what happened to the Nobles during the French revolition.

Towns like this---Leadville---old-- historic--with colorful characters--don't set me off like Dillon does. 
A man might choose this town to die in.  Can you read the sign around my neck: says HERE LIES LES MOORE---NO LESS NO MORE
Just outside town, a vast open forest invites me to camp free and enjoy mountain views.

I stayed about 2 weeks with a variety of companions ---got chilly and moved to the forest outside Salida--about 3000 feet downhill and 12 degrees warmer.  Down there a thousand feet is the beautiful Arkansas river valley.  Love the view from my door.

Camped and hiked with an old friend here
Those are both "fourteener" mountains.
Higher up the mountain is a vast meadow with great views in several directions---it waits for you to come camp here--free of charge.
One day we ran across this wierd thing---left it alone.

And then we came back to town and clustered beside the river.  For those with sharp eyes that's the popular blogger Kimbo Polo's rig in the middle.

Morning walk with companions Jeanne, dog Riley and in the middle is the  blogger Kimbo Polo.

The beautiful Arkansas River.  Arguably the most beautiful in the US 
because it was selected by Christo for this whopper of a project he calls "OVER THE RIVER".
These three views show how it will look from high in the air,  from the river level and just above it.  it will be  miles long in 4 separate segments making its way through a canyon south of town..
Like his other awesome projects it will stay up only two weeks. Read about it here .

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  If and when you become a butterfly, you too will flit about--resting on this flower and that one--drinking the nectar of small charming towns like Salida and Leadville.  It really is possible and incredibly cheap.  It's all I can do to spend $600 a month--everything included.
At this moment a million of you out there could squirm your way out of your cocoon and lift into the air to join me on the road.  In the words of Walt Whitman:
 " Come--travel with me!  However sweet these laid up stores, however convenient this dwelling--we cannot remain here.  However calm these waters, however secure this harbor we must not anchor here.  Together the inducements shall seem greater.
We shall sail wild and pathless seas---we will go where the winds blow, waves dash and the Yankee Clipper speeds by under full sail."

Tuesday, August 25, 2015



Meet "Ayla" (modern day equivalent of the heroine of CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR) using that ancient spear throwing device the atlatl.  Her personality proved to be as interesting as the weapon.

Meet "ED" who approached me on the street and invited me to dinner.  Turns out he wanted to give me the Christian sales pitch.  Nice guy--means well--but knows almost nothing about Christianity--its orgins or implications.  I delayed till I could bear it no longer--then gently asked some of the tough questions.  Dealing with believers is very much like discussing the Santa Clause myth with children:
when and if to break the unsettling news to them that life is a mystery--- that to be enjoyed must be embraced--that believing myths to be factual--is life wasting escapism. 

Meet Pam a delightful local who recognized me from the movie WITHOUT BOUNDS.  (It's a heady experience--I will try to contain my ego) I invited her in for tea.  She was charmed by the movie message of freedom and wanted a few tips. (I gave it my best shot)

A campground party--conceived and executed by my companion Kat.  She drew cute picture invitations and had me pass them out to (hopefully) interesting personalities.  They came--we played self revelatory games that she devised---we munched---and as usual all the guys fell in love with her.
(the game:  each wrote several jobs we'd held on slips of paper--then we drew them out and guessed who had done that job)
And then one day Elvis came to town--great performer--announced a dance contest.

Down they all went--serious boogiers all---but Kat was the winner.  If you look close you can see the metal around her neck.

Chatted with this guy on the street--loved his bold blue hair. (someday I will be bold enough to do it)  You'd think he was a hippy---not so!

He was towing this---So he's a respectable father/citizen.  I followed him inside a restaurant and lo--he took charge as though he were the manager or owner.  (hurray for bold individuqalism)

Then one day I got suddenly ill--severe pain in lower left gut.  Drove to Denver VA and was treated in 30 minutes---including cat scan and blood work.  Turns out it was either a kidney stone passing or more likely an episode of diverticulitis.  I SAY THE VA DELIVERS GREAT MEDICAL SERVICE.  Anyway, the pain went away and hasn't returned---sooo back to life on the road.

Spent the night at Dinasaur Park and next day this kind lady gave me a special tour and lecture. (I gave her my card and told her I would write about the museum.--did you know that it was right here that the world first became convinced of the reality of these giants.)

Then I went to Leadville---America's loftiest city--10,000 ft.  Wonderfully cool--chilly at night.

Camped with this lovely lady--old friend--Jeanne

and her delightful doggie Riley

Soon we are joined by old friend CB (who eats healthy)

And lives comfortably in his truck.  Few people live as cozily as he--even in rigs.  He owns a super luxurious Airstream trailer but much of the time prefers the simplicity of his truck.
His electronics are state of the art (solar power, refrigeration, great sound system)--we gather around
to watch hours of HOUSE OF CARDS.  
Then we are joined by 21 yr old Japanese student Sheomi--who camps the night with us. She is here to climb Mt  Elbert---Colorado's highest peak.

CB's music is so good we all get up to dance.

Next day the two ladies move on and two more move in.  Meet Nancy and Alisa.

They also like to dance.  Great companions--daily walks, campfires, conversations and side trips to town--lovable boston terrior.  Enjoyed their company for a week.

Then returned to Salida and the company of Jeanne--perched high o a ridge at 8000 ft.  Been here a week--will move downtown when I finish writing this.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  More of the personalities that have poured through my life---each is "gold bearing" and as they flow through the sluice  box that I am---they deposit bits of gold into me.
(Gold is wisdom, information, inspiration, warm memories)

Addendum: At Maxcactus's suggestion I include some of my techniques for approaching strangers.

  • I approach with a playful, friendly smile---usually with a "Hi".
  • Ask an easy question--or make a comment--usually related to the situation: e.g. "That's a classic old rig you got there--How long have you had it?"
  • Pay careful attention to their response--looking them in the eye.
  • Build my next response on what they just said. Often it will suggest a follow up question and voila--the conversation is rolling--Let it flow toward their passions--that's where the gold is! 
  • Get the "feel" of the person and respond appropriately--
  • I Keep in mind what I'm really after:  an authentic unfolding of their personality and values and notable experiences.  Specialized data is occasionally useful.  All of these will very often flow out of them naturally and easily in the presence of someone genuinely interested in them.
  • Have a feel for when to gently close the interaction.