Wednesday, February 28, 2018


EACH YEAR THE NEARBY TOWN OF NILAND CA DOES A PARADE CELEBRATING TOMATOES.  The Slab people are invited to participate.  Are you surprised that this most primitive city in the US could pull together a few entrants?
It begins with the usual military presence.

Here's an art car entered by the community centered around Salvation Mountain--the most striking feature at the Slabs.
Here's a group that celebrates the fact that dogs can roam free at the Slabs.
And they brought along a few to march with them.
A whopper of a float built by the  Slab community called EAST JESUS.  It's self powered and has a lively band playing.

An art car entered by an art group at the Slabs.

A terrific band assembled by the famous RANGE THEATER GROUP.

a patriotic slabber, proud of his country, his girl and his new motorcycle..

That's a tomato on top of that car.

And tomatoes dot this entry from the OASIS CLUB, probably the liveliest club at the Slabs.


This beautiful  lady was a visitor at the Slabs that amazed me.  She bought and built a home in that van and wanders the world alone writing stories. I think she calls herself NOMIE (know me) writes a blog or does a youtube thing. Someone tell me.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I HOPE YOU ARE IMPRESSED that a rag tag community that does not have electricity or running water or mail service has enough spirit to PLAY THE GAME--TO PARTICIPATE.  In my next post I will say more about the various aggragates of people--clubs that have arisen at the Slabs.  I think there is something important to be learned.

Saturday, February 24, 2018


I AM PREPARED TO SHOW YOU SEVERAL WONDERS OF THE SLABS--BEGINNING WITH ITS FUNDAMENTAL WONDER:  A FREE PLACE TO LIVE.  Perhaps you already know that "Slab City" is a one square mile of desert land three miles east of Niland, California, owned by the state, where "squatting" has been allowed for the past 40 years and seemingly will continue to be allowed.  Here are a few examples of squating:
About a hundred of us assembled here to experience the wonders of the slabs--some for the first time. (For me about my 20th visit)

Here's a relatively new a-frame type construction.  Note the pallats wall that defines the territory he or she is claiming.

Here's a modest cabin built under a much sought after shade tree.

Here is a "home" built into a one time sewage tank.  Don't worry--it's perfectly OK in there as I will show you.  70 years of desert heat will purify anything.  Marvel with me at the quality of the artist that painted this mural.

Here's the door that was chiseled through 8 inches of reinforced concrete..
Here's the current occupant that I persuaded to let our group have a look.  He told us amazing stories--such as: that he and his lady walked all the way here from Tucson, Az refusing all rides offered. 

Here is his lady who he said was once his drug counselor.  She was quite amiable.

Here's one view of its circular walls.  Don't know what to make of that human-like thing seated there.

I climbed an internal ladder to the top and took this shot looking North.

Looking west.  Note the artwork inside the pit.

A ground level view.

It is an outrageous tax we have imposed on ourselves as our culture drifted into modern housing--which became ever more expensive.  AHHH BUT HERE IS ONE ANTIDOTE---living in the wastelands for free.  More and more of us have "gone mobile" as a strategy to avoid rent and mortgages.  Here is a real live free zone that could serve as a model for other free zones that might spring up outside major cities.  Solar power and modern electronics can give us a good lifestyle living off the grid.  Next I will show the wonder of social life of the slabs.

Thursday, February 01, 2018


A small portion of the estimated 2000 who attended the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in Quartzsite this January.   Many of our speakers celebrated the vagabond spirit and call of the wild that urged us to take to the
open road.  Some of my readers wrote to add :

kaBLOOnie boonster said...

Let's not get carried away with romantic escapism: 'freedom of the open road' and all that. The real explanation for the growth of 'nomadism' is that normal housing has become over-inflated. The government has made it a policy for decades to turn housing into a financial investment bubble.

I would consider it progress to see the cost of housing go DOWN, not up. Then we could move the financial markets over to Bitcoin and tulip bulbs.
(if you don't know what he's referencing--click here for a quick education)
Anonymous said...
Boonster is spot on. Fully 80% of the working population can no longer survive without some form of government assistance or charity, that is, unless they opt out of the rat-slugging rent seekers and go RVing.

There is nothing new about the lifestyle, no matter what the propheteers are saying. Gypsies have been doing it for centuries. Nomads, thousands of years. Hobos, since railroads began. Mobile-homers, since trailer parks. Romanticizing the lifestyle using a camera and a YouTube channel doesn't make it new, any more than the Gutenberg Press made gypsies new.

Bottom line, cheap RVing is attractive only because it is a viable alternative to paying rent or mortgage payments. Silicon Valley geeks with hundred-thousand-dollar paychecks live in RVs because they do not want to bunk up, like migrant workers, ten in a motel room, but want to save money to one day have real freedom and satisfy some wanderlust.

A lot of the window dressing that bloggers put on RVing, which by no means at all is an easy lifestyle, is compensation for the difficulty of surviving in a world gone mad with greed. The human race is the only ransom species on Earth. Natural resources are owned & monopolized by one person, group or organization, then made available to anyone else for a ransom. The practice has become so normalized throughout history, no one gives thought to the realty that such a system is a simple variation of slavery.

And RVers want no part of it!

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I think Kabloonie and Anonymous are correct: The sheer cost of housing is a major factor in the increase of nomadism.  Kabloonie's (Boonster's) mention of tulip bulbs is a helpful reminder that from time to time whole societies will go bonkers over one fad or another, sometimes bankrupting whole nations.
Housing is indeed an economic bubble that, hopefully, is beginning to burst. The average American is paying 47% of their take home pay for a roof over their head---a staggering disproportion of values.
Thoreau said in Walden that hardly a man in Concord (Massachusetts) owns his home---that Indians living in Teepees were much smarter---took a month to build--were as good as their neighbors--would serve for a lifetime and were movable.  Kudos to the million or so of us who have opted out of the insanity.