Sunday, October 23, 2011



Remember this guy who visited me back in June?

Lives full time in this Chinook motor home?

Earns money doing this on the streets of the cities he visits.
And he does much more: HE THINKS----and puts his thoughts in cyberspace---writes a blog:
About his travels.  And a few thousand read about his adventures.
-----AND THEN ONE DAY-----
He read an article bemoaning the poor wretches who had to live on $22,000.00 a year.
He said to himself!!
AND SO------
He wrote an e-mail to the author of that article--telling her---just that.
The author wrote back ---asking for an interview---Glenn complied---told his tale
and she published it.
Someone in the National News recognized this gem and published it NATIONALLY on yahoo.
Glen's message of living like a king---frugally--- reached every corner of the earth.
Here's the origional story:                                      

                                                             AND THEN-----AND THEN
Thousands upon thousands clicked on his blogsite to more fully "catch the drift" of this drifter.
Celebrate with me, sweet people, this earth-circling spread of the gospel of frugality--
How frugality can set you free---to find yourself.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


In a lawsuit seeking payment for  expensive medical proceedures on her invalid, incurable son. Her home was seized, sold and she found herself ousted.  When I met her she was living in a small travel trailer and working in this office for her rent.  She is 80 plus. I told her I would tell her story to the world so others might be warned.

I've "doctored" her image as I didn't get permission to show the real thing--This one was surreptitiously shot so I would not intefere with the flow of her story. 
She is not responsible for my interpretation or philosophical opinions.
More than 51 years ago, she gave birth to a severly defective son suffering from spinabifida. Doctors said he would likely die within a year.  Turns out, he lived for 51 years and this lady took care of him the entire time.  She, in effect, sacrificed the lions share of her life and hapiness for him---and he had no meaningful life either.   When he finally spiraled beyond hope, he fell into the grip of the medical community whose ethic will not permit a peaceful euthanasia but requires sustaining life as long as possible. It was an expensive dying--about $300,000.  The courts said she was responsible for the bill and thus she lost her house. Now she scrimps along doing what she can with the remainder of her life.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  Are you enraged? I think you should be! This lady is thrice victimized---BY SENTIMENTALITY. 
To begin with, we should not allow seriously defective babies to live.  Who says so?  Not just me but the most serious ethical thinkers in the world. Peter Singer for example:
And if you'd like to read both sides of the story:

Secondly, we should not burden this poor woman with the decision at either end of life.  We really do need DEATH PANELS composed of the wisest among us, representing a cross section of our peers to make the tough calls----both at the beginning and end of life. We dare not let husbands, wives
or children make these decisions.  They may be motivated by greed on one hand or sentimentality on the other.  Society as a whole has a stake in these very expensive decisions.
Here is a clear cut case where two lives and vast expenditures were squandered out of sheer sentimentality.  And guess what: One of those severly deformed babies who was allowed to live actually wrote a book describing his incredible suffering and HE SAYS THAT HE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO LIVE.  (I'm trying to find the title for you)
Let me anticipate an objection:  I am not talking about people WHO BECOME SEVERLY DISABLED. That is another issue entirely.  As is the right to assisted suicide.

People who believe that ethics is revealed in "Holy Books" rather than hashed out in human experience---cannot help us behave wisely---Indeed they have always been an impediment to
rational ethics.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


MY EXPERIENCES ARE OUTRUNNING MY REPORTS.  I'M WAAY BEHIND----So I shall condense a few of my stories from Bluewater State Park, NM---a well kept secret from most New Mexicans.  About 7,500 ft elevation---dependably cool---lovely canyon to hike--lake to enjoy--mountains to climb---and only 60 or so miles from mysterious Chaco Canyon. The Focus of the title story will come at the end

The dam that creates the lake.
Looking west.
Lovely canyon just steps away--great hiking--Campground is up here on the plateau.
Walked it several times---lush and beautiful.

On several occasions this herd of free ranging horses wandered in.

They are amazingly bold.  This one recently lost its mate---and then---

Quickly found another--they loved my carrots.

This little fellow was in the road.

Ever so gently, I got him out of harm's way.
A grade school principal---and the sheriff's daughter-- I engaged--We chatted at length about
One of the first commercial motor homes--a Dodge.  This one is the fitted together halves of two wrecks. The builder showed me its interior. He is a master carpenter--rare these days.

A marvel of great craftsmanship from front to rear.
Meet Francis---the focus of this story--He earns his keep for the park by leading hikes into the canyon.
He lives alone in a tiny rig---lives radically simple---except that he spends 6 hours a day on the computer--reading, commenting, writing his blog: --gave away most of his nest egg to a religious commune in an emotional surge---says he hates organized religion--have a look for yourself
Probably the most difficult interview I've conducted--he was unpleasant,  abusive, and insulting--I endured it to get the story. His opinions are so hardened that he can't listen---only explain his views.  He's lost the joys of give and take.   For all his vitriol, he could not resist my skillfully inviting questions and focused attention---The devil himself wants to be understood.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I ask my intuition to tell me why this man is so unpleasant? It said that he has spiraled to that low place in a feedback loop.  Moments of unrestrained irritation distanced one after another of his friends---- leaving him more and more alone--with his irritations echoing in his brain.  With only ones cranky self for company, one becomes even more cranky. WHEN YOU FOCUS ON THE BAD-----IT EXPANDS---TO FILL YOUR WHOLE AWARENESS. This man has slipped into a deep tar pit and few will join him there for fellowship.  I found it painful slogging around down there.  In succeeding days as he would walk by I caught him glancing my way---his dark hungry soul wishing for the joy of my attention.  I considered--but rejected any further contact---My own soul has all the darkness it can handle.
But to make good on my title question: THE WAY NOT TO GO WHACKO IS TO NOT LOSE YOUR FRIENDS. My friends are my salvation--(and the greater part of any wisdom and inspiration I may have.  You know who you are and That I treasure you)

Monday, October 03, 2011


Beyond those mountains--I'm in the mood to go---sit!

Across the lonely road where Georgia Okeeffe lived---and painted this world famous picture.

And this one!
Here's my secret camping spot---Diana and I found it years ago--it rests pleasantly in my mind--till I come and  rest pleasantly in it.

Seen from the nearby mesa, I'm barely a dot on the landscape. (just left of center)

Turns out---I'm not alone---In the night this humble camper puttered by, settling some distance away.

And it turns out---to be a lady professor---whose Phd thesis was---about Thoreau! My beloved Henry David Thoreau---whose writings set me on this path of adventure some 38 years ago.  We have much to talk about. (she later sent me one of her books)
She tells me that deep in a river canyon, long miles away, live 40 or so monks who have retreated to a secluded place to "learn the wisdom of living well in Christ Jesus." Of course I will go--and damn the rain.
That's the Chama river--now raging after this summer rainstorm.
Back, Back into the lovely canyon
Till this sign tells me I have arrived.
And these solar panels tell me that they rely on God (indirectly) for power.
And here is their worship place. at the end of the road. They are Benedictines (40 or so in number) who established here in 1964.  They raise hops and own a brewery. for the full story:
Some paint

strange pictures,
Some carve intricate doors.

I start for home just as more thunderstorms  threaten.  I could easily get trapped out here.
OR WORSE!! The car ahead of me nearly slid in the ditch--I was sliding toward the canyon--I paused to appreciate the seriousness of my situation. Then ever so slowly moved onward.
Couldn't resist walking a segment of the famous Continental Divide Trail.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I met none of them--they are, by choice, cloistered---mumbling their prayers, fumbling their rituals, denying their sensual urges, hoping for divine revelation, believing the fantastic, reinforcing a destructive doctrine, living constricted lives, roadblocks to peace ----THEY ARE DRONES IN THE BEEHIVE OF HUMANITY.  I wish---Oh I wish, I had brought with me a list of Maslow's 22 characteristics of self actualized personalities---I would have nailed it to that fancy door---like martin Luther's 95 theses. But better still if  I could have left  the movie Zorba the Greek or Lonesome Dove so these zombies could see what a juicy human being looks like.  It is sheer cowardice to run from life in this fashion. 
Assembling together for common purpose is not their sin---(that is often how progress is made) Their big lie and sin against themselves and humanity is their PRETENTIONS TO CERTAINTY: Their futile attempts to wall out doubt with self-reinforcing community. (wanna see how this works? Go into a Mormon bookstore---ask for a copy of Tanner's Mormon Claims examined)