Saturday, April 28, 2012


Longfellow spurs me onward:
 "Let us then be up and doing,
  with a heart for any fate;
  Still achieving, still pursuing;
  Learn to labor and to wait."
Take my morning walk---survey my scene--ask what is calling to me.
Walk to this valley---see houses widely scattered---why do people live so far apart?  Consider going out there to find out.

Decide instead to hook up and drive 50 miles to this fascinating place.

Believe it or not, people (and coyotes) are living out there among those giant rocks.

You can drive into them. I settle in for a few days.

They are a wonderland of secret nooks and crevices.

This guy has found his hideaway---lives in that campershell---protected from the heat by aluminum bubblewrap. Never saw him emerge---went looking elsewhere for a story.

Ahh yes!  There's my guy---resting in the shade on a lawnchair.
I learn that he has lived in his car for years---stays in this county--summer and winter.  I eventually got a look inside---he has not even bothered to engineer it for comfort. (remove 3 seats and platform in a comfortable foam bed etc)
Meet "Bill" the focus of this entry.  With some careful and patient inquiry, he told me his story:  A
 college graduate in agricultural science---worked some years---then lost his job---and lost heart.  He marshaled his savings and resources---calculated he could subsist indefinitely if he reduced his expenses to about $200 a month.  He did so---and has done so for many years.  His pleasures are reading and animal watching.  He left next morning to go watch turkeys.

RANDY RUMINATES:   Oh sweet people--this was a disturbing interview:  In some respects I am looking into a mirror---for that is essentially my strategy.  AND YET---AND YET--there is something terribly wrong,( I think,) in this radical retreat from humanity. Something essential is missing in his strategy:  HE DOES NOT INTEND TO DO THE WORLD ANY GOOD. He is turned inward--focused on survival and not thrival. I say it is not enough just to do no harm.

RANDY RANTS:  Self reflective consciousness is so miraculous a gift that it demands to be put to use.  I believe everyone on this planet owes something to the rest of creation---To be up and doing in some way to further the creative process.
Imagine someone giving you a billion dollars and you chose to do nothing with it.  That is the staggering ingratitude of any human who's been given the miracle of self awareness and does nothing with it.

UPDATE ON THE QUEST-FOR-COMMUNITY CARAVAN:  We are enjoying ourselves on a cool mountaintop inventing ourselves as a community and moving to a new location Monday.    


Maria Meiners said...

There is a saying that God never gives you more than you can handle. In my experience that isn't always true.

For some people things happen that are beyond their ability to deal with and they shut down, retreating from life and just surviving as they wait for it to be over.

I'm not saying that happened to this man though I suspect there's more to his story than is being told. Maybe all he can do is read and watch animals. Maybe observing from the sidelines is the only contribution he can make right now. Who knows?

No matter how good you are at soliciting stories and how sincere you may be about seeking to understand, it's still near impossible to figure out why people do what they do. Sometimes you just gotta withhold judgment and allow people to be as they are even though it makes absolutely no sense to you.

Anonymous said...

Maria says it pretty well. You can't put everyone in the same box. The fellow may be doing the best he can. Who knows?

The Desert Scruff

Anonymous said...

> I say it is not enough just to do no harm.

How many gallons of gas do you consumer each year? If you had a little more money you could buy an electric rig and use those solar panels to charge your vehicle. Your range would be limited, but at least you wouldn't be dependent on oil with all its ethical dilemma's. You feel free in a car but you are a slave. After you figure out the car problem, next how to do food in a sustainable natural way. This old 1960s Easy Rider myth of roaming the world in your gas powered vehicle is out of date with current world realities.

Anonymous said...

My new favorite news source, the state run Russian TV (RT) beaming from Washington DC. Entirely online:

According to this report on'Man of Low Intent' is buying us all time. Seems he's way more progressive than most.

The Royal Society - People and the Planet Report

New report out by the Royal Society from the United Kingdom. It's titled 'People and the planet' and was chaired by a Nobel Prize winning biologist Sir John Salston.

The report warns that world population must be stabilized and consumption of wealthy nations must be reduced or our entire planet is in big trouble. The report reads,

"The number of people living on the planet has never been higher, their levels of consumption are unprecedented and vast changes are taking place in the environment. We can choose to rebalance the use of resources... to a more egalitarian pattern of consumption... or we can choose to do nothing and to drift into a downward spiral of economic and environmental ills leading to a more unequal and inhospitable future."

This basically the same warning that President Jimmy Carter gave Americans back in the 1970's but it was both ridiculed and ignored when Ronald Reagan came to power with a 'more positive message'. Basically telling the Americans we can do whatever we want. And then after 9-11, Bush told us all we should go shopping and consume even more. Now with corporations calling the shots in Washington long term health of the planet has taken a huge back seat to short term profits.

If we don't change our ways soon and embrace clean alternative energy and empower and educate women around the planet to regulate population control then we all could be headed for a rough century.

farmlady said...

I like Maria's comment and truly believe that every person has their own limits and their own story.
I sometimes get overwhelmed with the pressures of my life and long for the solitary place that this man has chosen. But, my life has given me many good things for which I feel responsible.
Sometimes life is not about choice. Sometimes it's about survival and we all react to this in different ways.
I find your blog very interesting. It has opened my eyes to a different world of people who live deliberately, for what ever reasons.
Keep on posting and searching...

Anonymous said...

I again find myself hung up on your inability to not judge how someone lives their life.

Their life to do with as they choose.

Randy said...

Bingo--anonymouses---I agree with all of you. I cannot know the full story on this guy---but what the hell--I can speculate anyway--and use my intuition to springboard from this concrete being to more generalized opinions.
(it's what this blogger does)
And re: the low consumption essay--count me on board the train. Why don't we report the total weight of our worldly goods? Mine is about 10,000 pounds.
Re: fuel consumption: About 16 gallons a week.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Maria. From what you have told us, the man is not doing harm to anyone. He is living the life he chose, very possibly "thriving" at his ability to thrive.

Thanks for sharing,

Anonymous said...

Randy at 16 gal a week you use about as much fuel as I use to heat my home on average over the year. Of course I also use electricity for lights and freezer and stuff. And gas for my car (about 16 gals a month). So you are doing well compared to most Americans, but not so well compared to most.. Mexicans.

I think if I ever did take to the road, I would seriously look at going 100% electric, but waiting for larger electric vehicles to become available needed to tow a trailer with panels big enough to charge the vehicle in a reasonable time. Then slow, very slowly, work my around by the light of our sun.

Maria Meiners said...

@Anonymous @10:30am

You said "educate women around the planet to regulate population control"

Whoa there... Population control is the responsibility of both women AND men. If as a man you don't want to sire children then either tie it in a knot or don't use it, but don't try to abdicate your part of the responsibility to us. Takes two.

Anonymous said...

You know, the oil and gas will be used one way or another till it's gone and then we either have other sources of energy or we will go back to the way it was before....burning wood or cow dung.
Does it really matter how this oil and gas is used up? Is it really necessary to be at each other's throats as to whose way is more noble than another's?
When we revert back to the old way, population will naturally decrease as food production will dramatically reduce as well.
Yeah, Maria, you are correct. I just love it when it's the woman who is blamed for overpopulating the world and the men are all taking viagra.

Anonymous said...

Without my two vehicles (21'RV and SUV) my possessions weigh 840lbs and fit on a standard palette. I'm not a full-timer yet so I don't pay attention to my gas but it's probably 9 gallons a week.

Anonymous said...

Educating woman refers to UN statistics showing the higher a woman's education the less children she has. This planet is now in overshoot since the mid 80's. That means anyone born after that time should not exist.

Anonymous said...

Here's a cartoon even louts driving bloated tin cans who preach their inalienable rights to over consume could understand.

There's No Tomorrow

I'd like them to be led, occupants and all, into a cube crusher.

Happy Crushing!

Randy said...

Thank you Anonymous for that link to a remarkably concise and informative video. I feel educated and recommend everyone see it. Will forward it to several of my friends.

Anonymous said...

Just curious as to what this guy should be doing in order to gain the Kodger seal of approval? Maybe invite him to join the caravan?

Bill appears to have an introvert or contemplative personality. Kodger = extrovert.
It's often a little difficult for one to understand the other but both have value. We're not all here to make a big splash on the planet.

Idleness Theory -

Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America - Tom Lutz

I'm about ready to pull the plug on work myself, and I can't wait to do exactly what Bill is doing, ie relaxing, soaking up the sun, reading, wildlife viewing, more fresh air and exercise.

sail4free said...

How can we take seriously anyone who thinks they must remain anonymous? We have no way of knowing if we're dealing with one entity, multiple entities, or even multiple facets of the SAME personality. To me, it is profound cowardice on display. Without personal accountability, there is no reputation to worry about; no credibility to care about. (I don't use my real name either but it's easily found by anyone doing a search of sail4free.) So I must ask thou or those so lacking in courage, "Are you a man? Or a m-m-mouse?
Per the $200/mo., that is all the income my acquaintance has in this world -- his monthly allotment for food via an EBT card from the state. Each weekend, I shop & deliver his food out to him in the desert . . . along with water, gas, propane, tobacco (all non-food items I'm getting tired of paying for out of my "fun" money). I'm wanting to get his truck running, get his camper loaded up, so he can have more options in this life. I'm more motivated about this than he is. I'm counting down the days until I can END this charity experiment -- Memorial Day.

Randy said...

Thanks Anonymous for the question: (what should this guy be doing to gain the Kodger's seal of approval?)---- It's a really good one and has fired up my brain. Thanks also for the links to the article on idleness and the book: Doing Nothing by Tom Lutz. I read the former with fascination---then discussed the issue with my friends. They all agree with you----SOOOOO---I've decided to make my case in a second Blog entry---using the same title. (part 2)

Ed said...


au contraire, I think he is doing a lot of good by living on $200/month even if it is not his intent.

I know you intend to do the world a lot of good but intent means nothing. What good have you done versus your intent?

swankiewheels said...

I don't see why you are so puzzled by this lone man. Could it be that you are just unable to comprehend anyone being happy alone. You certainly seems surprized at RTR 2012 when I responded to your question about how or what do we do to find/hook up with other people when we are travelling. I thought that a curious question as I never have the urge or desire to seek out others. I have been involved with other or 6+ decades... and I would rather be alone. I think this lone man is the normal one and you the odd man out. Just MHO.

Cheryl (Desert Diva) said...

Ease up a little Randy - you talked with him a few minutes and don't know his full story. We all deal with life circumstances differently.

At least he doesn't appear to be "living off the government" on welfare.

I "hope" you told him that his "interview" would appear on your blog, along with his photo...

Anonymous said...

The small "work" is finding some job, some way to meet the demands of physicality. The larger "work" is the focus on the positions presented by the film on this page.
The really scary part of Growth is the last damn hour the bottle overflows...but everything seems fine right up until then. Easter Islanders no doubt never saw it coming: the no trees for fishing canoes, no birds because they ate all the eggs, and people people people everywhere on their 24 square mile island paradise.
That's where the real "work" lays; small "work" doesn't matter much.
We all encounter deeper problems doing it, so in my opinion we all get enough time to overcome them and get to the more comprehensive problems.
We live just long enough for that, if we chose to. If that makes sense. (It does to me.)

Anonymous said...

Why would anonymity bother someone?

LindaSue said...

Hi Randy Sometimes I don't read you for days and sometimes for weeks, but I always come back. I love what you are doing and learning and seeing. It is all so fascinating, interesting, always a great read. Any work on Leonard and how he is doing?

Jack said...

If we consider "doing no harm" as the threshold, maybe it is enough. How many millions of folks are living "mainstream" lives while at the same time doing harm to themselves, others and the society at large? Live and let live.

Anonymous said...

Always easy to have an opinion on someone else.

Much more self-work to develop an opinion of oneself :-)

BlackSheep said...

Randy, you have a gift for bringing out some really wild comments from readers of your blog! One commenter above stated "I never have the urge or desire to seek out others" and also goes on to say "I would rather be alone"....what utter bulls--t. If this person never has the urge or desire to seek out others, and would rather be alone, then why did she attend this RTR event??

Normally, if a person never has the urge or desire to seek out other people and would rather be alone, there are hundreds of thousands of acres of BLM lands out west to park on, away from civilization, and just stay there!! Get your free government check direct deposited, go buy supplies once a month, then go back to your spot and STAY!! No one will miss a person who would rather be alone.....the world will keep on turning....IF a person TRULY wants to be alone, there are ways to do it! People such as that commenter are just full of crap.