Wednesday, September 29, 2010


OFTEN I SPEND A WHOLE DAY WITHOUT AGENDA. Like this one--the day after I left the coast. Slept here, just off hwy 99 on the Outskirts of Eugene, Oregon. Nothing on my plate---will go stir up some meaning.
Start with a morning walk. In a neighborhood strip Mall church I met this formidable guy--associate Pastor of a Four-Square Gospel Church. Could you guess that he once played for the NY Jets? He explained the church's name and history and gave me a booklet. (Church is the legacy of Amy Semple McPherson--a famous lady evangelist unsympathetically portrayed in the movie Elmer Gantry)

Continuing my walk, I was struck by this perfect Christmas tree.
Then seduced by this offer.
Engaged the lady--she let me pet the dogs---were super gentle. Racing Greyhounds she said whose career is over--- rescued from death by a group focused on just that cause.
Walked one of Eugene's many trails---This one along a restored swamp--they are big on ponds here. Wildlife teems in them...Stood still and watched the action. Saw a displaced Louisiana denizen--a nutria (world's largest rodent?)
Wondered at this! Why put massive concrete blocks along the trail--one ever hundred yards or so? Resolved to find out. Took an hour and the answer is surprising: Defense against thieves. Seems the crooks were accessing electrical wire ports, pulling the wire out for its copper. Blocks cover the access points. (this is an excellent time to make one of my favorite points--the distinction between MORAL and TECHNICAL solutions to problems. A "moralist" might recommend a sign saying DONT STEAL THE WIRE----It's expensive to replace. You are looking at the technical solution----simply reconfiguring the situation so that it's (almost) impossible to do wrong. I once founded a community based solely on technical solutions to the 5 major areas of personal conflict: Property, Power, Performance(tasks--chores),Privacy and Peacemaking. May do a blog detailing how that was done.
Birdwatchers--chatted with them awhile---asked about the latest on the Ivory bill woodecker suposedly spotted in the swamps of Arkansas. They were not believers--said the elusive bird was the Bigfoot of the avian world. What interested me was the shy guy looking down--hands behind back---a hanger-on? Desperate for human companionship? Tolerated but not appreciated? Felt sad for him.
Signs along the trail say no camping---but there's a guy doing it anyway---primo spot along Oregon's loveliest river, the Willamette.
Dinner at a mexican taco stand. The real thing--$1
Late in the day, I took this photo of myself and sent it to a lady--yeah, I know its weird---but you should see the one I got in exchange. What? Doesn't everybody do this sort of thing?
I've been impressed at the cybersatisfaction possible with the internet and phone. Discovered that I'm a babe in the woods compared to cutting edge practices. Anyway---part of my day--so I report it.
And I end up the day parked behind Valley River Mall.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: Commitments are one way to fill up time. Creative engagement is another---wandering around noticing and interacting----I think we need both----think the second is badly neglected---because we trap ourselves with excessive commitments---crowding out free days--like this one.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


PORTLAND GOT HOT! Decided to go to the coast--only 65 miles---lovely drive through the forest. Found myself at a lonely picnic area midway---a carload of folks-- lop lopped in with a flat tire--and no tools to change it---- lent them my Jack and lug wrench----began to feel uncomfortable with this bunch of tattooed, spitting, pot smoking guys. So I quietly armed myself, stayed alert and pleasant, keeping a quick-draw distance. They had trouble--took an hour. I reminded myself of the truism---"every good deed will be punished!" have found it in general to be true; but also true that we need to give--for our psychological health---so I help often---and take my punishment---all in all worth it. Someone wrote a book detailing this anomaly--entitled: The Victim/Rescuer/Persecutor syndrome----showing how these three change roles as the drama plays out.
At Tillamook I found my regular campground had doubled its prices---so I parked on this city parking lot for 2 days without a problem. (soooo freeing not to need campground facilities--bless those who invented solar panels.
Visited Tillamook cheese factory--a must-see.
Engaged this nice motorcycle band--they told me their club name but I lost the note. Have you noticed that most supercycles such as these are owned by old folks.
Free sampling---my favorite are cheese curds--unobtainable anywhere but here.
And my favorite ice cream---Pumpkin--likewise unique to here.--(I think)
AAAAhhhhhh----how cute---father said it was comfortable---baby said mmmmfffff!
Went South along the coast ---at tiny Neskowin I persuaded this preacher to give me water---Nice guy. Wasn't even tempted to rattle his cage. When I step back and consider the religious person as a whole, I see a being who wants to be a good person, contribute to humanity, engage creative chalenges---like all of us---what skews his life and dilutes his good will is the delusion that he has ACCESS TO CERTAINTY----moral and metaphysical. (i.e. the Bible) (metaphysics: theories about the meaning of existence) He has surrendered his TOLERANCE FOR AMBIGUITY---he no longer participates in life's greater challenges: FORMULATING MORALITY AND SPECULATING METAPHYSICALLY. He really believes that God has given us a book with both challenges already solved. He really believes he knows what life is about----OBEDIENCE TO GODS WILL. If I could plant a notion in his head, it would be this: "Believe in God if you will---but DON'T BELIEVE IN MESSAGES FROM GOD----Consider that HE left ethics and metaphysics for US to work out. That both are an ongoing process--well short of perfection---and therefore we ought not pretend to have absolutes.---to be humble--tolerant, open to others' speculations. religious Peace would come to the world.
Chinook Winds Casino--Lincoln City, Oregon---right on the ocean--can you see it --fog-shrouded between the buildings---free parking. Oh I got cool here--too cool---wanted some warm sun. This may be the time to share one of my humerous poems:
Says every casino from Yuma to Reno:
"Free parking to all who ramble;
pull out your slide;come on inside;
lay down some dollars and gamble!"
For the freebie you'r getting , the casino is betting
you cannot resist their bait;
you're a weak-willed critter, sucked in by the glitter,
whose pocketbook they will deflate.
But if you choose---its a bet they will lose;
certainly for this wandering chap;
As slick as you please, I eat all their "cheese"
and scamper away from the trap.
Antique car show--see lots of them out west--it and the trailer were cherry.
Further south, I whiled away the afternoon here---lovely view all round.
No doubt the world's best view from a gift shop.
Oregon boast the world's most scenic coast. They may be right.
Consider this stretch
And lovely beaches such as---
World's largest insect---the stick bug.
Here's a hopeful sign that oregonians are serious about recycling. These are everywhere in Oregon. Seem well used! Setting the incentive price is the tricky part---currently 5 cents per unit.
RANDY EMOTES: Call me crazy, but I don't like the coast much--too often gloomy for my taste----and too cold. I'm drawn to sunshine and warmer weather. 5 days was enough---I'm going to my favorite city---Eugene!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I ROLL INTO PORTLAND---STRANGER IN A BIG CITY--I have agenda--meet with an old love and get my "papers". (tangible evidence that I am safe for sex) I do this as often as necessary because I owe it to any potential partners----and P.S.-- the two agendas are unrelated. So I select the suburb city of Tigard as my base. (we have agreed to meet at Washington Square Mall) What's more convenient than to camp right at the mall. To assure I won't be "bumped" I play the boondocker trump card for the second time this year. Look carefully at the right front wheel--see the jack? And the Note in the window---explaining my presence. Worked like a charm--slept undisturbed.
While I'm at it I'll show you another campsite--at Home depot--one of my favorites--along with Wal-Mart. Love the convenience--especially when I'm working on "tweaking " projects.
This is my Ex---Leigh--a truly delightful and courageous personality. 25 years ago we lived together for 5 years and have intermittently kept in contact. We had much to catch up on---so we talked for 9 hours almost nonstop. Compared to her, I am timid! She has roamed the far side of the world--lived in Asherams--studied exotic religions--Danced with Sufi Masters--and much much more that I cannot tell you. Long ago, she set her general life course--spiritual awakening--no children---independence---service. (she is social worker specializing in alcoholism) What a thrill to get the story--one highlight was enumerating our lovers---took awhile---lots of surprises!
When I'm adrift in a city, I find the farmers market---and Tigard has perhaps the finest.
Did you know there were this many varities of tomatoes?
And I board the transit system--for the experience of it. Portland has a super duper one. This is a progressive city--are you surprised that it votes democratic? Only the Democratic party can think of the populace collectively--as a very large tribe -- which to some extent--cares about all its members. (Yes, I know, the Democratic party has a sappy, sentimental, element that stupidly wants to divide the pie evenly---a really bad idea--but still nobler than the Republican right wing religious nuts who want government to implement their "revealed" values, and the greedy Republican contingent who believes that transactional wealth(dealmaking wealth) is deserving of the huge money they collect) (HEY! just had a great idea---someone help me discover a "republican" city --I'll go visit and see how its philosophy (" every person for themselves" -- expresses itself in infrastructure, tone, services, creativity, and social ambiance) Brilliant idea!! help me out people--where are Americas' hard-core Republican cities. I'll go live among those insular SOB's just to see if "GREED IS GOOD".
Where was I before I threw a tantrum? Oh yes --adrift in the city. This is the entrance to the greatest bookstore in America---Powells----Oh my Oh my---You readers are in for a treat--millions of used (and new) books at reasonable prices--beautifully sorted and accessible---really great personnel to guide you. Note this lovely carved pillar--a very thoughtful compendium of the 8 greatest books ever written:
They are listed on this poster--can you make them out? Psalms--The Whale (Moby Dick), The Mahabharata (The Bagavad Gita etc), War and Peace, One Thousand Nights and a Night, Tao Te Ching, Hamlet, TheOdyssey. How many have you read? (I can't get through War and Peace)
Love wandering around the heart of downtown--I'm guessing this is a statue of Ganish the Hindu Elephant God.
Bums fascinate me--don't know why--perhaps I'm a closer relative that I'm comfortable admitting.
Perhaps it's because I too am a failure. My relatives say of me "He threw his life away". I've learned to embrace my failure and enjoy the freedom that comes from doing that. Occasionally I will give a pep talk to a dispirited bum--urging him to do likewise. The magic in doing this simple courageous resolve is that the tension--resistance--goes away--and allows a person to "move on."
Stated succinctly by Werner Erhard in his famous aphorism: "IF YOU COULD REALLY "GET IT" THAT YOU WEREN'T "OK"---- THEN YOU COULD STOP PROVING THAT YOU WERE OK. THEN YOU COULD " GET IT" THAT ITS "OK" TO NOT BE OK.---- AND IF IT'S OK NOT TO BE OK---THEN YOU'RE OK---GET IT? In the arcane language of Philosophy it's stated as follows: RE-CREATION CAUSES DISAPPEARANCE. Or in common speech ---- If you look at something long enough---it disappears.
This is the most subtle truth that I know---Not even sure I know it---BUT I'M HAPPY!
Visiting Portland--Ya just gotta visit its famous Rose Garden--Acres and acres of this.
And the City puts on free shows: Wonder if Republican cities have free shows---doubt it! This one featured exhilerating Japanese Drummers.
Lovers in a hidden nook. AAAAAhhhhh---how appealing---I'm gonna find someone for myself.
I leave you with this interesting mystery---did not see the figure in black till yesterday--I was photographing the lady in red---and (as in the movie Blowup) I caught this strange ominous figure in the bushes.----what's he got in his hand?
PHILOSOPHY? Think I've overdone that already. What I notice about myself is that I write my most controversial stuff when I am feeling high--as I am today---hhhmmmm---Mania?

Friday, September 10, 2010


REMEMBER THE FLOOD I MENTIONED SOME BLOGS AGO? When the ice-blocked super lake Missoula suddenly broke through about 10,000 years ago--in one huge gush, it ripped across the state of Washington below present day Spokane tearing its way to the ocean through that u shaped gap there and smashing through the mountains themselves creating the Columbia river gorge. Think I'll go down there to impress you with the power of that deluge---the greatest surge of water in geologic history.
From my side window--the thousand feet of solid rock that was sliced through. What do you think this has to do with you and me today? Glad you asked!
The flood carved out the Columbia river of course---AND GAVE THE OCEAN WINDS A CHANNEL THROUGH THE MOUNTAINS. And wow! do the winds take advantage of it--blowing fiercely almost day and night. Can you see the whitecaps. And so what? you say.
Well here's what------We can power our world by seizing this opportunity. Just in the past few years--our clever engineers have been capturing this power and feeding it into the grid. I was told that one large windmill--turning--can supply 400 houses with electricity.
Along with the hydro power generated by that dam back there. Can you see the hundreds of them clustered around this dam for convenient transmission.
But there's more--and I've come to this unique city--Hood River Oregon to experience it. Can you believe this fine camping place--spent the night right there after engaging the night watchman.
Next day I'm out to get the story--beginning with this guy. He's carrying everything needed to race across the water in the relatively new sport of kite sailing.
He and hundreds more come to this particular spot because its the best place in the world for it. And this whole beach--by general consent--is given over exclusively to it.
And here they are in action. Shakespeare said it best: "What a piece of work is man----In moving, how express and admirable------The beauty of the world---the paragon of animal." Kites are about 80 feet in the air. A skilled surfer can make the kite lift lift him 20 or so feet into the air.
And then 200 feet to the left is a different sub-culture--wind surfing. The more difficult sport to master according to my sources and slightly faster than kite sailing. $2000 will get you started.
Here are these guys in action. The kite surfers are just to the right---- clashes are rare.
Thrilled as I was--one day was enough and I moved on toward Portland--stopping to walk in a tiny town where I heard the sweetest sound--calling me--truly irresistable bleating--I followed it and found these adorable creatures who wanted some playful attention. I gave it.
Had to show you this---my kind of guy---somehow got his camper way up there--a cat-bird's perch--great spot to camp---considered joining him---or her.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES ABOUT SUB CULTURES: I belong to several sub-cultures, as do you--very likely. I'm a blogger, an RVer, A Unitarian, etc. Sub-cultures are voluntary tribes. It is the genius of our age to have multiplied their number and made our association voluntary, so that no one need be friendless. However, eccentric your taste, there are no doubt many who share it. There's a whip club in Phoenix--saw them practicing in the park; a mule club in Tucson and I read about a group bonded by their common enjoyment of the smell of skunks. I sing the praises of the internet for letting us find "our kind". In most cities you can google meet ups and find your precise cup of tea.