Wednesday, October 02, 2019



This is a few of us whiling away the summer in the cool forest near Flagstaff, AZ.
Here are my thoughts on the subject:
1.Finding a set of friends that you like and who like you is more important than getting rich or famous.
2. We currently have about 55 people in our "tribe" that we have named MUSIC AND MIND CAMP.
3. People come and go as they wish--in our travels we have numbered as high as 50 and as few as 5.
4. Starting with NO rules and NO pattern, we decided to let all this take shape naturally out of our collective experience and agreement.
5. Rather quickly we agreed on a beginning "culture" and to flesh it out with suggestions that are tried and eventually establish themselves as agreements--OR NOT.
6.  It's great fun to grow a brand new culture out of ourselves. Later I will reveal some ideas that made their way to agreements.
7. We decide where to go next--splits are welcome and encouraged. Feel free to go or come with whomever will go with you.  We are pleased when anyone uses any of our pattern of association.
8. I am constantly astonished at our collective wisdom and power.
9. Our meetings at 10am are voluntary and various people facilitate. (whoever has a knack for it)
.  We have published authors and a retired philosophy professor in the group.
10.  We have evolved a system for resolving tensions.  It works beautifully.
11.  We encourage everyone to do what they really want to do.
12.  We are experimenting with the notion that friendships grow deep and strong when we practice knowing and being known by our friends.  We have fun ways to do this.
13.  I could go on and on but we are conscious of not boring others.  I will give you one more practice we have evolved:  When you are annoyed with what is going on you can signal your discontent by simply standing. (several standing people work magic)
If this sounds like your cup of tea--come have tea with us.  People in this lifestyle  have three primary challenges--TO GET MOBILE---TO GET COMFORTABLE---We are working on the advanced challenge: TO GET HAPPILY CONNECTED.

And speaking of happy:
This is CB, one of our founders recreating the exact moment 9 years ago when he started his engine to begin his travels.

Friends gather to help celebrate the occasion.

 One of these is a guy.
We parked for 2 wks  in a meadow with cows.

One day we met a celebrity walker. On this trip he walked 1500 miles and said he was invited on the Ellen Degeneris show.

  Our philosopher wrote this---now used as a textbook.

Need I say more?  I feel blessed.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Thank you to those who told me you missed me.  I've had computer troubles.  It's been a wonderful summer in and around Flagstaff.

Thursday, June 13, 2019



We've been parked for a month near Cottonwood, Az  and a cold spell  persuaded us to stay put right here for 2 more days.

Cold winds and rain kept us hunkered down.

Meeting when the weather permitted.

Within sight of our camp was this giant figure of the legendary Kokopelli.
If you don't know who Kokopelli was click here.

One night we welcomed this terrific couple from Australia to our camp. They had us laughing into the night.
My new knee is healed as this pict shows,

So completely healed that I am dancing again and Dennis wrote a new poem to celebrate it:
The Fixing of Randy Vining
By Dennis Draheim
(With apologies to Robert Service)

Strange things are done in the desert sun
By the men who dwell in vans;
These wayward males could tell you tales
That would make you clap your hands.
My peeping lights have seen some sights,
But the darnedest they ever did see
Was Randy Vining dancing,
'Cause he's got a brand new knee!

I arrived this day near the end of May
And Randy was there to meet me.
He danced a jig around my rig,
What a glorious way to greet me!
I slapped my thighs and wiped my eyes;
T'was a grand sight to behold.
That limping man is whole again --
Randy, may you never get old!

The day we arrived--the cows arrived---shipped up by truck from the hot ranches of the low country.
(elevation here 6,600 ft above sea level--temp today 70 degrees)

The meadow is sprinkled with this beautiful and interesting flower (fendler's sundrop) that you can watch bloom about sunset each day.  By 10 am next morning it withers and dies. Certain insects immediately pollinate it getting a taste of nectar.  

Our group gathers at 9:30 am and often at sunset to appreciate our good fortune and the color in the sky.

Two of our people appreciate the same hair style.  One of them is a pretty lady.

A morning view from my door.

One day a professional masseuse joined us and gave me the pleasure of a full body healing massage.

Another day a few hundred serious archers came to compare their skills. They amazed us with their accuracy.

Here's what they were shooting at----more than a hundred yards away.  To my amazement they hit a bullseye two shots out of three.  ($1 a shot--winner takes the accumulated money)
I made a sizable bet with Dennis that 5 oclock shadows of these east-west stakes  would point left.
As you can see the shadows point right. (thus the sun does set slightly north of due west)

Whoever lost had to compose a poem and present it to the other while holding his hat humbly in his hand.  Here I am delivering my humility poem to Dennis.

There are times when the facts
that you know to be true
are challenged by some upstart
not half as smart as you.

It happened today, some Yankee guy
told me that the sun
sets slightly north of West
when its day is done.

But I know better for you see
I've camped for 40 years
I'm older and smarter than he
so I'll bet him and watch his tears.

To seal the bet two sticks were set
perfectly east and west.
As the sun dipped low, shadows would show
whose wisdom was the best.

A shadow left would prove my case.
A shadow right prove his.
At 5 oclock we hurried to see
who'se dummy and who'se whiz.

I'm not gonna die but I eat humble pie,
I pay my debt, hat in hand.
To my astound, there on the ground
was a right hand shadow on the land.

Note to self: Dennis Draheim is a graduate Physicist--don't bet against his physics.

Saturday, May 04, 2019


FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP---where our little group was camping---
about 60 miles north of Phoenix, I drove down to the VA Hospital and signed in for a knee replacement operation. Parking my trailer and van in their parking lot, ( thanks to their Police department)
On the morning of 4/8/19 this was done to my right knee.  Of course I don't remember a thing.  Within 30 hours, 4 fellow patients who also had this operation had gone home.  You see, they had a home to go to---but my "home" was in the parking lot and it was much too hot to recuperate out there.  So they placed me in an air conditioned ward for 2 weeks while I got used to having a titanium knee.  The first week was a booger--but the pain was managed with pills and physical therapist soon had me up and walking.

Then--to my amaement--I drove to Cottonwood, Ariona settling in with my friends near a RC model airfield.
Here we are all gathered for our morning meeting under this tree.  We have focused sessious and terrific discussious about meaningful topics.  We also "check in" on what is on our individual minds.
Sweet people you are looking at the critical difference between meaningful and meaningless travel.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIES:  I'm now almost completely healed---pain free and ready to plan an interesting summer.  I hope you already appreciate the wonders of modern medicine.

Thursday, March 28, 2019


MUSIC AND MIND CAMP is the name of our experiment--we have about 80 members and we move about with 20 to 30 people at any given time.  We come and go when we wish.
Our intent is to invent a satisfying culture for a mobile group.

Here we are at Gunsite wash near Why Arizona.  We explored all the area around there including Organ Pipes National Park, the unique RV living arrangements at Coyote Howls, the charming town of Ajo and a community dinner at Why.
One day we did an open house for anyone willing to show off their rig and explain their unique adaptations.  Here we are going from rig to rig--outsid my door.

Another day we explored the Mexican border that has no wall (to speak of)  Here is where Trump wants a 17 ft wall.
Behind me is an incredible waterhole in the bleakest desert.  It is called Quitobaquito and is within steps of the Mexican border---a life saving bit of fresh water in a most unlikely place. Read about it

Here is a bad picture of a rare sight---a crowned saguaro cactus.  This phenomenon occurs when one of these giants is injured.

Ajo, Az has an art school and consequently is a highly decorated town.  Murals are all over town.

Some of them making a political point.  Can you guess what controversy this one is aimed at?

The group moved on to Tucson and visited the Tucson Book Festival--here's one of our members trying her hand at hula hooping.

Here's a guy performing Walt Whitman poetry--A speech I could have done--found myself lip syncing--we had both memorized the same passages.
While in Tucson--at Snyder hill--Frank hosted a Salon where we discussed Happiness. This was a terrific 2 week stay where everybody got to do their individual thing--some went to yoga--others went to museums--most of us went dancing one night.

 Met this interesting, educated hobo--took him and his little puppy with us to Apache Junction area.

And settled in here on State land. (we all got a permit--you can do it by phone or computer $15)
The desert is as beautiful as it's been in 15 years because of heavy rainfall.

The view from my door.

This wonderful lady gave me a personal lesson in efficient use of space.

And voila! one bench is cleared. Her theory is to tackle large and difficult chores in 20 minute segments.
Duraj took me to this cowboy church at a riding stable.   About what you would expect--guitar and spiritual songs.
Lynn took us to an arboretum--my first ever--just terrific--plants from deserts of the world.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  THIS IS WORKING BETTER THAN I COULD HAVE HOPED.  I have been operating on the premise that a fundamental human need is to know others and to be known by them.  To accomplish this we have developed about 40 "games" or processes designed to reveal ourselves. (opinions, biography, character, values) It's fun and interesting and generates affection for one another.  What I am aiming at is a functional mobile culture that others might find useful. 

Friday, March 01, 2019


This is headquarters---one of 4 buildings owned by the team operating a total of 12 chairs and a staff of 25.  The team has its own laboratory.

They do everything dental at a price you will be happy to pay.

The main office where you will be greeted in English.

I met with two of the three partners (Drs. Montoya left--Rubio right) some time ago offering suggestions from the perspective of Americans coming to Algodones, Mx for dental work.

The third partner is surgeon Dr, Monarrez.

Here is Dr. Rubio, the founder, suited up for implant surgery. He has completed 10,000 plus implants and is probably the best in the world at his specialty. I have 4 of them--rock solid in my mouth.

Here is a fourth member of the team Dr Dominguez--a specialist in root canals and everything related to them.  I have mentioned his terrific skill in saving one of my troubled teeth: click here for the full story.

Dr Dominguez and his staff.

A brand new chair in a brand new wing of the main building. This great dental team is located just across the border from Yuma Az.  google him for more info. here  (to reach their office go to the second intersection south, turn left to the stop sign, walk left 50 feet)

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I claim some credit for the success of this operation:  20 plus years ago I searched for a great dentist to fix my mouthfull of troubled teeth.  I found Dr. Rubio working alone in a tiny office.  He did great work using good English and good chairside manners.  I was so happy with the experience that I resolved to support him by recommending him to all my friends.  I like to think that I sent so many that he needed to expand his facility.  Then I got the idea that if me and my set of friends would send him even more clients that we could help him create a huge dental business that could serve the thousands of us Americans unable to afford American dentistry.
Once I brought 30 new patients at once and Dr Rubio let us tour his facility.
When I began blogging on the internet--I told my readers about my plan to support one great VISIONARY dentist who would build a super clinic we could all depend on for our dental care.

TO MY AMAZEMENT--IT WORKED!!  Dr. Rubio has continued to expand his  operation to include his current team of partners.  The genius of their practice is SPECIALIZATION ---each of them focuses on one or more area of dentistry--becoming super good in that speciality.  I believe they are the only clinic that guarantees work for 5 years.

I found a great dental team--supported them with recommendations--and I have managed to hold on to my teeth.  Give them a shot:  928-723-0015 or 928-723-0022